WHEREAS the Province of Alberta deregulated the electrical and natural gas industries in 2001;AND WHEREAS the Provinces goal is to develop a competitive, efficient deregulated utility industry to ensure Albertans have dependable and affordable energy;AND WHEREAS Albertas farmers, businesses, industry, residents and not- for-profit groups have faced hardships through higher annual energy costs, inconsistent provincial rebate programs, unfair and inefficient billing procedures and uncertainty in market supplies and contracts;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC request that the Government of Alberta abandon and reverse the process of deregulation of utilities.
Since the Province deregulated utilities in 2001, Alberta consumers, businesses, industries and governments have been paying more for energy. Billing procedures have resulted in unfair, inconsistent, untimely and erroneous charges to end-users. Retail marketers have gone out of business. Due to the nature of large industry including amalgamations and buyouts, there is not enough competition in the market to maintain lower energy prices and provide adequate supply. The generation and retail sectors do not appear to have become more efficient, cost effective and creative. US markets and their demand and other external forces will ultimately drive energy costs higher for Albertans in the future. Other government jurisdictions around the world provide real examples of the many pitfalls and negative consequences of deregulating the utility industries.
The AAMDC has passed two resolutions related to this in the past. Resolution 29-00F endorsed at the Fall 2000 Convention called for the Government of Alberta to reconsider its approach to electrical deregulation prior to deregulation coming in effect January 1, 2001. Resolution 17-01S endorsed at the Spring 2001 Convention urged the Government of Alberta to take immediate action to examine alternatives and develop a long-term action plan to alleviate and eliminate the high cost of energy for Albertans.