Who’s behind the new Fairness Alberta advocacy group?
An organization called Fairness Alberta has been making the media rounds recently.
So who are they?
Well, their website claims that they aim “to inform Canadians about the magnitude of the contributions Albertans make to Canada, while educating Canadians about the damaging fiscal, trade, energy, procurement, and infrastructure policies that chronically undermine Alberta’s — and Canada’s — potential.”
But who are the people behind them?
The executive director of the group is Bill Bewick, a political science professor with Athabasca University, who until February was also the chief of staff to Kaycee Madu, the municipal affairs minister. For over 7 years, he was also the director of policy for the Wildrose caucus, and even worked on Ted Morton’s PC leadership campaign in 2006.
Ian Murray is president of the board of directors. He runs an Edmonton-based business consulting firm. Part of that consulting includes lobbying the provincial energy ministry on behalf of several energy companies while providing paid consulting work for that ministry at the same time.
One of the two vice-presidents is Fred McDougall, who worked in the ministry of forestry during Don Getty’s tenure as premier, starting with timber management in 1969, moving onto director of forestry in 1973, then becoming deputy minister in 1979, where he remained until 1989. After that, he ran Weyerhaeuser’s Alberta operations for over a decade.
The other vice-president is Ted Morton, a two-time PC leadership candidate, who also served while MLA as minister over three portfolios: sustainable resource development, finance, and energy. Today, he’s an executive-in-residence at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary and a senior fellow of energy and environment at the Manning Foundation.
Board secretary is Mark Smith. Given the ubiquity of his name, I was unable to find out anything conclusive about him. That being said, there is a UCP MLA named Mark Smith, who covers the Drayton Valley-Devon riding.
The group’s treasurer is Scott Ellis, who served as a senior financial officer with the provincial government until 2018.
The following are the non-executive board members:
Nadine Barber, a communications consultant with Energy Efficiency Alberta. Prior to that, she worked in governmental and public affairs with Devon Energy and Anadarko Petroleum.
Paul Collins, owner of Collins Steel, a structural steel contracting company.
David Dorward, an accountant, was an MLA in the Edmonton-Gold Bar riding. He lost his seat in the 2015 election and was unable to win it back in last year’s election. He served as associate minister of Aboriginal relations under Jim Prentice.
Chris Duncan, a communications and media executive, currently with Production World in Edmonton and several years with Shaw and CityTV prior to that.
Bashar Hussien, CEO of Vista Projects, an oil and gas engineering firm.
Jennifer Martin, CEO of Junior Achievement Northern Alberta & NWT. Prior to that, she held positions with several media outlets, including Corus Entertainment, Shaw, and CTV.
Pete Sametz, a director with Inline Petroleum Management. Prior to that, he held execturive and board positions with Pengrowth Energy, Gemini Corporation, Athabasca Oil, alberta Steam and Power, Connacher Oil and Gas, and Surge Petroleum.