January 30, 2006

Members named to oil sands policy advisory group

Alberta MLA Mel Knight (Grande Prairie-Smoky) has been appointed to head an advisory group whose task is to revise plans for consulting on policy principles for Alberta's oil sands area. The group was formed in December by the Ministers of Environment, of Energy and of Sustainable Resource Development, Guy Boutilier, Greg Melchin and David Coutts, respectively. Its members represent diverse backgrounds and collectively bring many years of experience in public consultation processes to their task.

In addition to serving as an MLA, Mel Knight is, among other things, a member of the Standing Policy Committee on Energy and Sustainable Development and a co-chair of the Alberta Energy Research Institute. He and his wife also continue to operate a farm in northwest Alberta.

Gordon Lambert, vice-president of sustainable development for Suncor Energy, also works on the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers' environment, health and safety executive policy group and is involved with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in support of its work on climate change and sustainable development. In 2004, he was appointed to the joint public advisory committee of the Commission for Environmental Co-operation of North America.

Bill Gendreau, a former area supervisor over roads, building and grounds with Suncor, opened a general contracting company in the Fort McMurray area in 1994. He served on Fort McMurray city council for 20 years and is currently on the Keyano College board of governors.

Jim Boucher has been chief of the Fort McKay First Nation since 1986 and is president of the Athabasca Tribal Council. In these positions, he promotes sustainable growth and economic development, while maintaining the value and culture of the Fort McKay First Nation.

Martha Kostuch, a veterinarian in Rocky Mountain House, is one of Alberta's best-known environmental advocates. She has received several awards for her contribution to managing environmental issues and is on the board of the Clean Air Strategic Alliance.

Dr Rick Schneider is a wildlife ecologist who has written extensively on forest management in Alberta and contributed to the development of the Alberta Forest Conservation Strategy.

The group will work with the Cumulative Environmental Management Association and other stakeholders to develop and recommend revised plans for consulting on policy principles for Alberta's oil sands area. Its final report is due by March 31, 2006.

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