12 leaders named to new Alberta Economic Development Authority board

EDMONTON – Twelve business leaders have been appointed to the Alberta Economic Development Authority Board.

Premier Alison Redford says board members have international expertise in the financial, energy, agriculture and technology industries.

The authority was improved during the 2013 fall session of the legislature, when the Alberta Economic Development Authority Amendment Act was passed.

The new Act restructures the governance of authority and integrates the work of the Alberta Competitiveness Council.

The appointees receive no remuneration other than reimbursement of travel expenses.

Redford says in a new release that the smaller board “will sharpen its mandate and focus on the priorities of diversifying Alberta’s economy and expanding our markets.”

“The quality of life of Albertans depends on the decisions government makes now. Many of those decisions will be strengthened with AEDA’s advice. Together we can lead responsible change and reshape Alberta for a more competitive world.”

The 12 are: Barry Heck, president and chief executive officer of WinSport; Andy Calitz, vice-president for Liquefied Natural Gas of Shell Canada; James Carter, former president of Syncrude Canada; Dr. David Chalack, a veterinarian and international sales manager for AltaGenetics; Marc de La Bruyere, principal and chairman of Maclab Enterprises; David Hardy, president of Franvest Capital Partners; Brian Heald, managing director private wealth management, CIBC; Todd Hirsch, chief economist of ATB Financial; Yasmin Jivraj, president and co-owner of Acrodex; Brenda Kenny, CEO of Canadian Energy Pipeline Association; Nancy Foster, senior vice-president of human and corporate resources with Husky Energy; and Brad Sparrow, president of Eden Textiles.

Alberta New Democrat Leader Brian Mason said the board lacks representatives from labour or environmental groups.

“Labour shortages in this province are a major economic concern, but that is not being represented on this board. And the lack of environmental oversight on the oil sands has limited our ability to market our products internationally,” said Mason.

“This government says the mandate of this board is to focus on diversifying Alberta’s economy. Yet what we have is an over-representation of the oil industry and the usual group of Tory insiders and friends who have contributed money to the PC party through corporate or personal means. I wouldn’t call that diversification.”