The Fort is well off, according to the Alberta's Energy Minister.
Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd spoke about energy diversification at the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday (Mar.13).
The biggest news was the announcement of Bill 1 (the Energy Diversification Act) being introduced.
"We announced last week Bill 1 is going to take us to the next stage of energy diversification here in Alberta. It's three parts. We announced another round of petro-chemical diversification projects and feed stock strategies/projects and the third one is partial upgrading and each of them is a different set of tools," said McCuaig-Boyd.
This bill will see up to $500 million in loan guarantees and grants.
She told the audience this bill is about building on Alberta's strengths. The province has a variety of natural resources and it makes good business sense for the province to continue to be a leader in oil and gas.
The energy minister also spoke highly of the Heartland.
"I was in Houston, Texas last week and I heard lots of people talking about the Heartland, so you're famous beyond the borders," she noted.
She also outlined the Energy Diversification Advisory Committee’s report, revealing there was roughly a $185 billion invested in North America, in value added sectors in the past ten years.
McCuaig-Boyd told the crowd that a small fraction of that money landed in Alberta and that opportunity had been missed in the past.
"Fort Saskatchewan has been very visionary in how they've approached in energy development. One of the first road trips I had as minister, is I came here and had a chance to tour the Heartland," said McCuaig-Boyd. "Many of my stake holders are here. I love the fact that so many communities and municipalities are working together and figuring out what's best for the region."
The purpose of her presentation was to spread the message that Alberta is positioning itself to attract investment and going head-to-head with the golf coast, Louisiana and Texas.
"Why not invest in Alberta? We want to be the destination of choice," she added.
Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jessica Littlewood said it is all up to the companies to see where they are best positioned.
"We'll see based on interest, what companies from this region want to be part of this new investment," said Littlewood.