The Alberta government says it no longer wants ‘insiders hiring insiders’ to sit on the province’s hundreds of agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs).
Finance Minsiter Joe Ceci says the boards of groups as diverse as Alberta Health Services, the Alberta Boiler Safety Association, and the Alberta Film Advisory Council need to be as diverse as the province’s population. “For too long, frankly, the majority of board members did not represent the diversity of our province. Our modern Alberta is diverse in gender, ethnicity, age and in many other ways and our boards need to reflect that.”
To make the boards more inclusive, Ceci announced a new online tool where all Albertans will be able to learn about the various ABCs and apply to sit on boards. “Now we’re going to assure Albertans it’s not who you know it’s more what you know and what you can contribute to Alberta that is going to be paramount.”
Ceci says the goal is to include all Albertans in the pool for various board positions. “It’s not just boards recommending appointments or re-appointments, it’s the public understanding what’s on offer, putting their name forward and then having a robust review of those applicants from many different perspectives….Everyone is going to have the opportunity to put their name in as opposed to me or others searching people out.”
Ceci says this is the next step in a process to improve the way agencies, boards and commission are run. The review has already seen the government amalgamate or dissolve 26 public agencies, a move the NDP says will save $33 million over 3 years. There are 270 agencies, boards and commissions operating at arms-length from the government. Those ABCs include Alberta Health Services, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, the Alberta Energy Regulator, the Alberta Boiler Safety Association, the Alberta Conservation Association, and the Alberta Film Advisory Council.
Pictured – Finance Minister Joe Ceci