|Message from the Executive Director|
Deb and I on Pica GlacierHello. Our summer is just about over and with fall around the corner, I imagine many of you are like us at NCIA and are gearing up for a busy fall season. It is budget and planning time for us at NCIA in preparation for 2011 and I look forward to working with our Executive and Board to map out our priorities for the coming year!
Since our last issue, a few announcements have been made related to industry. The "Refine It Where We Mine It" campaign launched in early July. Spearheaded by Alberta's Industrial Heartland, the campaign focuses on building support for the oil sands value added chain. It encourages public support for policies and business-friendly incentives, to stimulate the province's economic recovery and long term sustainability. While NCIA is not a formal partner of this initiative, we support initiatives of this kind as development and progress like this benefits all Albertans.
The other major announcement was Total E&P Canada acquiring 20 percent interest in the Fort Hills mining project in the Athabasca region, in which Suncor holds 60 percent interest in. NCIA looks forward to our continued relationship with Total and Suncor in the Heartland region.
Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, Alaska
My wife and I recently returned from our first ever Alaskan cruise and land tour. To say this region was impressive is an understatement. It is by far the most impressive and awe inspiring vacation we have ever taken. It never ceases to amaze me how wondrous nature is. The spectacular scenery from the ocean, whales, sea lions and the majesty of the mountains and ice flows in this vast land, demonstrated to me how truly connected our earth really is - our water, air, land and biodiversity - which brings me to my final message.
Starting this fall, Albertans may begin to hear the term "cumulative effects management" more and more. Though it is not new terminology within government and industry, it is a relatively new one for the general Albertan - many who may feel it is yet another fancy term that government and industry are throwing around.
In actuality, it is a very important term and fundamental approach to development that our province and industry shifted towards several years ago. A substantial undertaking with implications to our province's policy structure and facility operations at the business level, a lot of important work has been underway to protect Alberta's vast environmental landscape while allowing for continued development. For these reasons, we have a "Cumulative Effects Management 101" article in this issue to help our readers get better acquainted with this topic.
|Two NCIA member companies make significant contributions to the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital Foundation |
One huge cash injection and the launch of a legacy project by two NCIA member companies will permanently mark their contributions to the forthcoming Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital.
Shell Canada and its Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture owners Chevron and Marathon Oil Canada Corporation together have contributed $750,000 to the Foundation's capital campaign. Funds will be used towards the purchase of a CT scanner, the current fund-raising objective, and for the planning and development of a courtyard that will be known as the Shell Healing Garden.
L-R: Maraget Wade, Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital Foundation Chair; Ed Coleman, Fort Saskatchewam Community Hospital Foundation Board Member; MLA Dr. Raj Sherman; Linda Cargill, Executive Director, Community and Rural Hospitals; Brian Maynard, Government Affairs Director, Marathon Oil; Peter St. George, General Manager, Shell Scotford Upgrader
"Through our combined commitment of $750,000 we're helping the Foundation provide excellent care and a healing environment for patients," said Peter St. George, Shell Scotford Upgrader General Manager, at the June 23 announcement.
With the $750,000 donation received, the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital Foundation
has now surpassed $1.2 million in total donations received since its inception in 2006. The Foundation's campaign goal is $2.2 million.
As well, a wonderful legacy project was launched in May, where the names of Fort Saskatchewan's newborn babies will be whispers in the breeze of an urban forest behind the forthcoming Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital.
BP Canada Energy presented a $30,000 cheque in May to kick-start a Birthplace Forest located behind the hospital location. Each spring, the forest will host a dedication day where parents of babies born the previous year will be able to dedicate a tree on behalf of their newborn. The first tree-planting day has already occurred for the Birthplace Forest, with a second tree-planting day scheduled for this fall.
The Birthplace Forest program is a partnership between the City of Fort Saskatchewan, BP Canada Energy, Alberta Health Services and the city's urban forest committee.
Fort Saskatchewan's new 38-bed hospital is currently under construction and is expected to be ready for use in early 2012. It will be a state-of-the-art community hospital boasting additional services, as well as expanded and modernized emergency and outpatient departments. The hospital not only serves the City of Fort Saskatchewan, which has grown 26 per cent in the past eight years, but also dozens of neighbouring communities including Redwater, Lamont, Gibbons, Bon Accord and Strathcona County.
|Cumulative effects...just fancy words or is there more?|
|The words cumulative effects and cumulative effects management are not new within industry and government, but they are however, relatively new terms with the public. What do they mean to you?
Well, to begin, cumulative effects are the combined effects of past, present and foreseeable human activities over time on the environment, economy and society in a particular place. Cumulative effects management is about making decisions that balance the social, environmental and economic needs in a particular region and taking action to support the unique priorities of each region. It is not about stopping development; rather it is about balancing development with smart, sustainable growth.
It is not new for Alberta to consider cumulative effects when managing the environment. What is uncharted territory is the significant task of identifying how to formally merge the current methods, science and technology of environmental monitoring and evaluation across air, water and land and move forward with a coordinated, integrated and legislated system. This movement was officially launched in 2007 when Minister Rob Renner was tasked to develop a Cumulative Effects Management approach for Alberta.
The Alberta Cumulative Effects Management approach will evolve the present environmental monitoring and management system to make sure the cumulative effects of development are considered as part of regular business throughout Alberta's seven distinct regions as described in the Alberta Land Use Framework.
Each regional Cumulative Effects Management Framework will be comprehensive to the region, integrated with the overarching provincial approach and future-oriented. It is not about managing for today, but managing for our future generations and ensuring that they have a healthy, sustainable economic and environmental landscape to live, work and play in. Cumulative effects management is being applied first in Alberta's Industrial Heartland and Capital Region.
The development of the Cumulative Effects Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region is busily underway. Stay tuned for more this fall.
|Managing our Water in the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region|
|Did you know that the North Saskatchewan River is not a "natural river", but rather a "managed river"? What does this mean, you wonder, and why is this important?
The flow of the North Saskatchewan River is affect by two dams in the headwaters: the Brazeau Dam on the Brazeau River, and the Big Horn Dam on the main stem near the mouth of the Big Horn River, west of Rocky Mountain House. These two dams, which have been in place for decades, are used to manage the river flows of the North Saskatchewan River.
There are three primary categories when measuring the health of a body of water and watershed - water quantity, water quality and biotic health.
Water shortages do not yet exist for the North Saskatchewan River. However, there is indication that our water quality has degraded in the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region, and while we have experienced an economic slowdown, the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region is still expected to continue to experience significant industrial and population growth over the next 10-30 years.
In 2007, the provincial government announced a series of comprehensive, science-based targets, outcomes and actions for the region to protect the air, land and water. The Cumulative Effects Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region, currently underway, specifies that one outcome is to protect water quality in the North Saskatchewan River water supply and river water quality would not be negatively impacted.
The Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region provides over arching principals for the management of river water from Devon to Pakan and is now into its second phase - proposed for 2009 to 2012 - where it recommends the transition to a regional water supply network and emphasizes the use of recycled water. A third phase - proposed for 2012 to 2041 - focuses on longer-term sustainability of the North Saskatchewan River.
A Water Steering Committee comprised of representatives from industry, municipalities, non-government organizations and the provincial government has been established to guide the implementation of the Framework.
To learn more about the progress to date on the Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region, please click here.
|Meet Mike Haig from Total E&P Canada|
|Mike Haig is a chemical engineer who understands project management. His 18 year career at Total Exploration and Production has seen him involved in commissioning, operations and project management in five different countries on four continents. An expat Brit, his career has taken him from working offshore Aberdeen to Paris. He has led a team of more than 100 at the world's largest gas field in Iran, and been Project Manager of a $2 Billion dollar project in the Niger Delta facing security challenges. "I enjoy project management," Mike says. I like to get things organized and make sure the plans get executed. You need to organize logistically to make some of these projects happen in a safe and secure environment, but if you are able to adapt and understand cultural sensitivities, you can thrive."
Now based in Calgary, Mike has spent the last two years immersed in Total's Athabasca oil sands projects. He is the company's new Extraction Plant Manager for its $9 Billion Joslyn North Mine Project, overseeing a team of 40 and responsible for the project's extraction plant basic engineering study, "The ore that we produce is fed to the extraction plant to recover bitumen. It's my job to ensure the plant is built safely, on time, on budget and to spec."
Prior to joining Total's Joslyn Mine team, Mike spent a year and half working on Total's proposed Upgrader project in Strathcona County. And that is when he agreed to Chair the Engineering subcommittee of the Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and the Capital Region.
The Engineering subcommittee provided technical support to the overseeing Water Committee. After nine months of work, targets to improve the quality of water in the North Saskatchewan River were set, and using a consensus based approach, his committee developed and evaluated five scenarios for water supply; short-listing two for further study. "The end result was fantastic. We provided options using a triple bottom-line analysis taking into consideration the social, environmental and economic concerns of stakeholders in the region," said Mike.
His subcommittee had representation from a cross section of stakeholders, including provincial and municipal government, industry, regional representation, EPCOR utility and environmental groups. "Balancing stakeholder concerns was challenging but by adopting the approach we use at Total of listening and ensuring mutual support and respect, I think we were able to put aside individual agendas and work cooperatively."
While Mike has stepped down as Chair of the Engineering subcommittee, he looks forward to maintaining the relationships that developed over the course of the project. "We had a high quality committed team on the committee who brought strong technical knowledge and expertise to the table," he says. "Because of their commitment, interest and professionalism we were able to stay focused, engaged, and enjoy the overall experience."
Mike believes the project management skills he has used in challenging environments like Nigeria and Iran are the same skills required for any project. "You need to listen, be organized, present the big picture and communicate the entire plan. It is Leadership vs. Management. Have a vision to help your team get onboard and you are able to lead and inspire people, not just organize them. Keep calm, persevere and enjoy yourself."
Bilingual in French and English, Mike says his wife and four children are enjoying their new home. "The people are great here. Canada is a beautiful country; friendly, multicultural, open to different ideas and approaches. It is easy to adapt and fit in."
The Northeast Capital Industrial Association (NCIA) is a not-for-profit cooperative representing industry located in Alberta's Industrial Heartland which include the municipalities of StrathconaCounty, SturgeonCounty, the City of Fort Saskatchewan and Lamont County. NCIA member companies range from large integrated global chemical and petro-chemical industries, to industrial service companies. Members directly employ approximately 4,500 people (not including contract employees) and spend approximately $700 million to purchase goods and services in the region, not including utilities and feedstock for their plants. Current industrial investment in manufacturing plants and infrastructure in the region already exceeds $25 billion, and an additional $20 to 40 billion in investment is expected in the next 10-15 years.
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