The Alberta government’s energy war room has a new name — The Canadian Energy Centre — and former UCP candidate Tom Olsen has been appointed its managing director.
Energy Minister Sonya Savage said , that she looks forward to the official launch of the Canadian Energy Centre before the end of the year and that the economic future of the province and country is at stake, and the government will not let Albertans down.
The energy center will focus on improving perceptions about the oil and gas industry. Once fully functional, it will be a leading and authoritative voice on Alberta’s energy resources.
The war room was a United Conservative Party promise during April’s provincial election.
Premier Jason Kenney announced its creation in June, saying at the time it would have a budget of $30 million.
Energy Minister Sonya Savage said Wednesday the center will have three business units:
- A rapid-response unit to issue “swift responses to misinformation spread through social media.”
- An energy literacy unit to “create original content to elevate the general understanding of Alberta’s energy sector, and help the province take control of its energy story.”
- A data and research unit to centralize and analyze data “to reinforce this story with factual evidence for investors, researchers, and policymakers.”
NDP energy critic Irfan Sabir said that the $30 million will be spent to tweet out things at other Canadians.
He said there are other ways the money could be spent more wisely, including classroom improvements, or saving the jobs of health-aid workers in Vegreville who will be laid off by Nov. 1.