Alberta’s abundant natural resources and beautiful landscapes are a great source of opportunity for the people of our province. Our resource sectors provide jobs that support thousands of Alberta families and attract talent and investment from around the world. Our diverse landscapes are some of the most beautiful in existence and enrich our lives as places of adventure, reflection and renewal.
We recognize our good fortune to have such tremendous opportunities, and we are committed to developing our land and natural resources responsibly, safeguarding Alberta’s environment and keeping our economy and communities strong.
With that goal in mind, Premier Redford recently identified regional planning as a priority for our government, part of our ongoing work to integrate the key elements of resource development.
Along with environmental monitoring and regulatory enhancement, regional planning is a cornerstone of the world-leading resource system we are building in Alberta. A more integrated and better coordinated resource system will deliver the best economic, environmental and social benefits for Albertans today and into the future.
The Lower Athabasca Regional Plan is the first regional plan to be completed under this new system. It is a product of more than three years of consultations with Albertans and reflects our values, goals and aspirations.
The plan sets the stage for strong economic growth in northeast Alberta – home to Alberta’s vast oil sands resources – balanced with world-class environmental monitoring.
It also addresses community wishes for more recreation areas, as well as the need for infrastructure to support the region’s growing population.
Further, the plan reaffirms Alberta’s commitment to including aboriginal people in land-use planning in a way that respects their constitutionally protected rights.
With the approval and implementation of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, Alberta is entering into a new era as a world leader in resource stewardship and environmental management.
But as far as we’ve come in building this foundation together, we know there’s still more work to be done.
I invite you to explore the Land-use Framework website and learn more about regional planning, and I encourage you to get involved in planning for your area and to have your say in Alberta’s future.
Thank you and best wishes,
Honourable Diana McQueen
Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development