Does Bill 46 Violate Democratic Principles?

Does Bill 46 violate democratic principles?

Bill 46, if passed into law, will establish a new Alberta Utilities Commission to oversee distribution and sale of electricity and natural gas, powers which formerly were held by the Energy Utilities Board. A new Energy Resources Conservation Board will focus on the responsible development of energy resources. Bill 46, the Alberta Utilities Commission Act, passed first reading in June 2007.

A government news release states Bill 46 is proposed to enhance Alberta’s energy regulatory structure. Reviewers of the bill state it reduces the requirements for public notice of major power/energy projects, makes it harder for Albertans to participate in public hearings, and awards the new commission broad powers to deal with anybody who may oppose such projects. Its provisions would be retroactive to June 2003.

Although Bill 46 may promise more efficient decision-making with respect to energy projects, presenter Joe Anglin will argue that it is a threat to meaningful public engagement in matters of public interest and violates the principles of democracy including the right to be informed, the right to object, and the right to present evidence in support of an objection. . Speaker: Joe Anglin

Joe Anglin is the President and CEO of Anglin Stewart Investment Group Inc. (ASIG), a firm that specializes in managing energy and currency traded funds. He has provided analysis of energy related matters to CBC radio and CNBC television.

Joe is also an independent author and writer advocating for social justice. He writes a bi-weekly column for two central Alberta newspapers, the Red Deer Advocate and Stettler Independent.

Joe is currently guiding a landowner’s group, (Lavesta Area Group) in challenging the tactics used by Altalink and the Energy Utilities Board with respect to an application for regulatory approval of a 500 KV transmission line from Edmonton to Calgary, although he is not directly affected by the proposed transmission line. Joe lives in Rimbey.

Moderator: Knud Petersen

Date/Time: Thursday, 8 November 2007, Noon - 1:30 PM

Location: Ericksen’s Family Restaurant (lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S.

Cost: $10.00 (includes lunch)

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