Over 18 years ago, our Association began as four municipalities believing our communities, province, and nation would derive great benefit from a collaborative, team approach. The City of Fort Saskatchewan, Lamont County, Strathcona County, and Sturgeon County created a municipal partnership dedicated to planning, promoting, and advocating for responsible and sustainable industrial development. With the addition of the City of Edmonton and three Associate members – Bruderheim, Gibbons, and Redwater – Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association has become a unique model of cooperation. We are recognized across the country for our success at investment attraction and community connections.
With a shared vision and commitment to cooperation, this model has contributed to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland becoming Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing region, a provincial and national economic driver. More than $35 billion in capital has been invested in the region, which generates significant returns to our provincial economy and local communities.
Despite this past year being a challenging economic time, innovative energy development continues. We were pleased to celebrate with our industry partners the completion of construction on several major projects and we welcome the full time employment to our region. We also welcomed the announcement of the Government of Alberta’s Petrochemical Diversification Program and two new propane processing facilities that will diversify our energy exports and contribute to sustainable growth.
Many factors are considered when companies make their investment decisions. Our team approach allows us to showcase the Heartland as a proven industrial energy cluster, in a province that values energy development. This year we promoted the region, our province, and our country as a prime location to global investors from North America, Asia, Middle East, and others. We continue to advocate to our provincial and federal governments on issues such as energy infrastructure, regulation, environmental stewardship, and investment programs to ensure our region remains competitive within the global context.
Of course, the success of the region is a result of efforts well beyond our municipal partners. We are proud to foster relationships with Chambers of Commerce, industry associations, educational institutions, unions, economic development agencies, and media. Our relationships with corporations, government officials, and investors in foreign countries have grown over time and remain critical as we work to secure further value added processing here at home.
As the economy stabilizes, we look forward to operations commencing at new facilities including the Sturgeon Refinery. We will continue promoting our region as a competitive area for global investment. We will also continue advocating for policies supportive of value added investment that help diversify our energy economy, create sustainable jobs, and contribute to the strength of our local communities, our provincial economy and our national interests.
Our Association has succeeded because of a commitment to an economic vision that is founded on partnerships with industry, community, and government stakeholders. We are grateful for the support and contributions of all our partners and we look forward to building on the success of the region in the years to come.
Chair, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association