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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Some Good Things That Are Happening

Lots of things happening all over the place that really adds to the feeling there are good things to come. The ones that warm my heart includes the masterful work of the Honourable Jim Prentice, federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development for the “Specific Claims Action Plan.” Getting Phil Fontaine and Stephen Harper on the same stage is brilliant work. To get them on the same page is momentous. Nothing but good things can happen form this effort and it shows once again that Jim Prentice is the crème de la crème of Progressive Conservative politicians in Canada.

Melissa Blake, the Mayor the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo aka Fort McMurray is running again. That is great news for the citizens of that region and city for sure. She has been one of the most effective, assertive and focused local politicians in Alberta.

The Mayors and Reeves and economic development folks in the Grande Alberta Economic Region decided yesterday to keep moving forward in finding ways to deal with and cope with the infestation of the Mountain Pine Beetle. If we don't find ways to adapt and if we can't stop the beetle, chances are it could spread across the entire boreal forest. Full disclosure, we at Cambridge Strategies have been working with them for some months now on this and they decided to take their initiatives to the next level. Our report will be on their website and Policy Channel soon.

The move by Premier Stelmach to take the leadership on meeting the need for a regional growth strategy in the Edmonton area that deal with all the surrounding municipalities, include some in his own riding is a positive move. With out this Edmonton will be turning into another neglected Fort McMurray and the costs and damages will be disastrous. Mayor Mandel shows the way how to work effectively with the provncial government. Kudos for him too.

From the really bright ideas department Suncor has announced it is looking at geothermal heating for it SAGD oil sands operations. Now let’s use the brackish ground water instead of the Athabasca River and we are on to something. That approach would eliminate using natural gas and stop the nuclear threat in its tracks. Good for Suncor. I am sensing some progress as the marketplace is starting to see some slow down in the economy, the most obvious is the decline in drilling activity in the oil patch.