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WESTERN PROVINCES UNITE TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO ASIAN MARKETS

Released on December 16, 2010

Partnership Also Promotes Collaboration With Industry, Between Governments

Energy ministers from Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan signed an agreement in Calgary today that will help expand and strengthen Canada's position as an energy powerhouse.

Arising from the New West Partnership created this spring, the Energy Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will combine and build on the existing strengths of all three provinces to expand the region's energy sector - attracting new investment, stimulating job creation and strengthening the region's economy. The three provinces will begin working immediately on a number of projects, including developing a joint strategy to target opportunities in Asia and improving consultation with industry. These initial activities are expected to be completed within 90 days.

"As a dependable, responsible and secure source of energy, our exports account for billions of dollars of economic activity and thousands of jobs across Canada," Alberta Minister of Energy Ron Liepert said. "This partnership will help to further break down barriers to trade both within Canada and to international markets, like Asia, where demand for our energy continues to grow."

"This agreement helps to solidify Western Canada's reputation as an energy powerhouse," B.C. Minister of Energy Steve Thomson said. "The demand for energy is growing worldwide, and this is an opportunity for us to work together to meet these needs while making sure our resources are developed in a responsible manner."

"Our three jurisdictions have a wealth of energy resources that are not only contributing to continental energy security but can also meet, and are meeting the energy needs of countries around the world," Saskatchewan Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said. "This MOU recognizes that together we are stronger, and Saskatchewan looks forward to working with Alberta and British Columbia to create new opportunities for our companies and our citizens."

Longer-term projects under the Energy MOU are expected to include regulatory streamlining, continued promotion of the region's energy goods and investment opportunities and acceleration of the development and use of green energy sources.

Signed in April 2010, the New West Partnership is a new and far-reaching partnership between the Governments of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The three provinces commit to ongoing collaboration on innovative ways to strengthen the economy of the West. The New West Partnership focuses on four areas key to economic growth in the West: trade, international cooperation, innovation and procurement.

The New West Partnership brings energy to market through responsible growth and development. The agreement creates Canada's largest interprovincial barrier-free trade and investment market and sees the three westernmost provinces work together in unprecedented ways to the benefit of workers, businesses and investors in all three provinces.

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For more information, contact:

Jay O'Neill
Alberta Energy
Edmonton
Phone: 780-422-3667

Jake Jacobs
B.C. Ministry of Energy
Victoria
Phone: 250-952-0628
Cell: 250-213-6934

Bob Ellis
Energy and Resources
Regina
Phone: 306-787-1691
Email: robert.ellis@gov.sk.ca

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