Terri-Jane Yuzda

Trade, Economic Roles Increase With Appointment to Alberta-Alaska Council


Executive Director & Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng., says his appointment to a new Alberta-Alaska council demonstrates a growing recognition of APEGGA's role in trade and economics. His appointment is also an important step in the ongoing process of making it simpler for engineers and geoscientists to work beyond the borders of their home jurisdictions - the issue known as mobility.

Mr. Windsor is one of a group of Albertans named in early May to the Alberta-Alaska Bilateral Council, which comes out of an agreement the two governments adopted a year ago. Also named from Alberta are six other private sector representatives and six provincial government representatives, including four cabinet ministers.

Mr. Windsor said his appointment builds on efforts APEGGA has already made, working with the Alaska State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors. "This is all part of our ongoing effort to improve mobility," said Mr. Windsor. "The real advantage of this council is that it's government and industry to government and industry. This is a great opportunity to present our message before policy-makers in the state and in the province."

That message is particularly important because of a proposed Alaska pipeline to move natural gas through Alberta to the lower 48 states. The pipeline will pass through a number of jurisdictions, so designing and building it will involve professionals with different home registrations. "It's in everyone's best interest that this project be done efficiently, effectively and economically, and having professionals work across borders will be fundamental to making that happen."

It's no accident that Mr. Windsor was appointed. Alberta International and Intergovermental Relations Minister Halvar Jonson, who will co-chair the council, and Deputy Premier Shirley McClellan have been "very supportive in making sure the government is familiar with our role in trade issues. Consul General of Canada Roger Simmons is also a strong advocate of APEGGA and has supported our mobility initiatives."

APEGGA is represented in other ways on the council as well. Several appointees have ties to the oil and gas and other industries, which have a major interest in Alberta-Alaska trade. They're involved in APEGGA through permit-to-practice memberships.

"Not only is this a way to support our individual members by addressing mobility of engineers and geoscientists. It's also a way to show our corporate members that we support their industries," said Mr. Windsor.

Designed to pursue areas of cooperation between Alberta and Alaska, the council was created in June 2002 by Premier Ralph Klein and Alaska Governor Tony Knowles. The two jurisdictions have significant trade - an average of $112.7 million a year's worth, in fact, between 1996 and 2001.

"As major energy producers, Alberta and Alaska have much in common," Mr. Jonson, the council's co-chair, said in a news release. "Alberta's delegates represent a number of different sectors - energy, economic development, transportation and Aboriginal issues, to name a few. I'm sure the discussions generated at the council will be wide-ranging and beneficial."

The council is similar to those Alberta has in place with Montana, Idaho and the Northwest Territories. Mr. Windsor has also participated in meetings of the Montana-Alberta Bilateral Advisory Committee.

The new council will meet annually, discussing opportunities for cooperation and joint action. It will also identify any trade issues and work to resolve them before they escalate.

Mr. Windsor said the mobility issue in the Pacific Northwest is gaining momentum, through bilateral work with state boards responsible for licensing professionals and through the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region. Fostering sustainable economic development throughout its region, PNWER has representation from Alberta, B.C. and the Yukon, as well as the states of Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.

Such bonds are important, and the new joint council with Alaska is no exception. "It's critical to have mobility of our professions, so our professionals can work there and theirs can work here," said Mr. Windsor. "The Alberta-Alaska agreement is an important piece in the whole process, and I welcome the opportunity to represent our professions in this manner."

The full Alberta contingent on the Alberta-Alaska Bilateral Council is made up of the following appointees.

Private Sector

  • Neil Windsor, P.Eng., the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta
  • Ian Scott, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
  • Doug Mitchell, Q.C., Alberta Economic Development Authority
  • Harry Hobbs, member-at-large
  • Roger Soucy, Petroleum Services Association of Canada
  • Kells Boland, ProLog
  • Robert Hill, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association

Alberta Government

  • Halvar Jonson, Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations (co-chair)
  • Murray Smith, Minister of Energy
  • Mark Norris, Minister of Economic Development
  • Pearl Calahasen, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
  • Mel Knight, MLA
  • Mark Hlady, MLA


For more information on the Alberta-Alaska Bilateral Council and the Alaska-Alberta Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation, visit

For more information on the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region, visit

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