Food, energy, health and wellness identified as essential for Alberta’s future

Food, energy and medical advances.

In short, these are the areas that could lead to a more prosperous future for the province’s 4.4 million people.

The Business Council of Alberta has prepared what it calls Define the Decade: Building Alberta’s Future, a 72-page report that identifies several steps, or “missions,” that could lead to greater prosperity.

The plan identifies the province’s strengths: energy and resource development, agriculture and agri-food, and medical advances. He urges Albertans to work together to solve global challenges related to energy and food security and well-being.

The council says it consulted with thousands of Albertans from all walks of life before developing the plan.

“This is a vision for Alberta by Albertans,” said Adam Legge, Chairman of the Board.

“This is the economic development plan of how we will get there over the next 10 years,” he said.

Legge says the plan is different because it doesn’t focus entirely on a specific sector of the economy.

“We actually framed it around missions of prosperity, what are these great humanities, these global challenges, that really intersect with Alberta’s strengths, our strengths and our strengths,” he said.

One of the most pressing global challenges is to reduce carbon emissions. The strategy suggests that Alberta strives to become a world leader in carbon capture, use and storage, possibly a leading global supplier of net-zero oil and gas and the largest producer and exporter of hydrogen in the world.

Susannah Pierce, President and National President of Shell Canada, is a member of the executive task force that prepared a report for the Business Council of Alberta. (Alastair’s Bird)

“The objectives of the report are quite in line with Shell’s objectives,” said Susannah Pierce, President of Shell Canada and National President.

Pierce is a member of the report’s executive working group.

“So over the next 10 years, I think you can see Shell, in line with what the report suggests, investing in low carbon solutions like hydrogen, like carbon capture sequestration. We we’re already very involved in this in the province,” she said. said.

Pierce noted that the company could also export hydrogen.

Alberta’s agriculture and agri-food sectors are considered one of three sectors with the potential to create prosperity for Albertans. (Shannon VanRaes/Bloomberg)

“We’re hoping to rally people, inspire people by the challenges that Albertans are going to solve, instead of saying we’re going to pick this industry, that industry. And that’s what we think is different, unique,” Legge said. .

The report recommends a significant push in agriculture and agri-food production, suggesting expanding the use of new agricultural technologies, innovations and practices to improve the quality, quantity, sustainability and diversity of food products.

The third “mission” recommends that Alberta become a leader in helping people live healthier lives. This suggests greater investment in advances in health and medical care. More ambitious suggestions include reducing obesity rates by 20% over the next decade, reducing rates of diabetes among Indigenous peoples, and setting the lowest wait times for health care in Canada. .

Equity, inclusion

One of the themes that emerged is the number of people, including women, Indigenous people, racialized people and 2SLGBT people, who have not shared in the province’s wealth and prosperity. The plan sets out a commitment to making Alberta a more equitable and inclusive place.

This is one of the reasons why the President and CEO of the Center for Newcomers joined the group as a member of the advisory board.

“I’ve heard all my life about the ‘Alberta advantage’,” said Anila Lee Yuen.

Dr. Raimar Lobenberg, Director of Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation and Professor at the University of Alberta, works with researcher Chulhun Park in a clean room used for clinical trial production. Advances in medicine and wellness are considered one of the “missions” to create prosperity in Alberta. (University of Alberta/The Canadian Press)

“I know for a fact that benefit hasn’t reached many racialized communities. It didn’t affect women, it didn’t affect Indigenous communities the same way, because we still face a lot of systemic discrimination,” she says.

Lee Yuen hopes the strategy will lead to changes. She points to the fact that 150 of the province’s top business leaders and CEOs participated in the development of the roadmap.

“The refreshing piece was each of them saying that our future path to prosperity is not just to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion, but to make sure we remove all barriers preventing every Albertan from participating at leadership levels and at the policy-making level.”

“It’s something I’ve never heard or seen before, usually when we do these exercises,” she said.

Heartland Economic Region

The Business Council of Alberta is proposing a single region comprised of the province’s major cities to coordinate investment attraction, transportation infrastructure, and other economic development tools to compete with other flagship regions in North America, including Vancouver, Toronto-Waterloo, Silicon Valley, Houston and Denver.

This suggests a quick end to the bitter regional battles that involve rural versus urban, Calgary versus Edmonton, and working more collaboratively.

Canada is the world’s sixth largest producer and one of the largest exporters of wheat, producing an average of over 25 million tonnes annually and exporting approximately 15 million tonnes. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

The strategy also includes a plan to improve the quality of life for Albertans by advancing truth and reconciliation with First Nations peoples, fostering a healthy population, attracting a diversity of people to the province, and creating safe, accessible and vibrant city centres.

It also recommends improving primary and post-secondary education, strengthening the technology and innovation sector, improving physical and digital infrastructure, reducing emissions, and saving and investing more revenue. from resources.

The council wants to see the creation of an “Alberta Mission” agency, an independent group that would link businesses, research institutes and governments to achieve the goals of the strategy.

Alberta at a “Crossroads”

Cory Janssen, another member of the executive task force responsible for the report, says the strategy is all about creating “a good life” for every Albertan. The co-founder and co-CEO of AltaML, an Edmonton-based artificial intelligence software development company, says he was motivated to get involved because the province is at a critical juncture.

“I feel like Alberta is at a crossroads,” Janssen said.

He says Alberta’s reputation in Canada and around the world needs to be improved — and there aren’t enough people who have taken advantage of past booms.

Cory Janssen, co-CEO of AltaML, which specializes in applied artificial intelligence, hopes a new strategy for Alberta will create prosperity for Albertans and convince young people to stay in the province. (Radio Canada)

Janssen says he wants to create a province where his teenage children — and other members of their generation — want to stay in Alberta or move to the province.

He says it will be helpful to identify global challenges and offer local solutions.

“Why don’t we think bigger? »

“If you believe Alberta’s best days are ahead of it, like we do, and you believe you can build it here, why not look at the greatest challenges facing humanity and really come together and try get to work and actually do it in this province?”


bryan Labby is a corporate reporter at CBC Calgary. If you have a great story idea or piece of advice, you can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.

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