Aleana Young, NDP MLA for Regina University. Facebook

PRINCE ALBERT – With the recent election of Nathaniel Teed in the Saskatoon-Meewasin byelection, Leader of the Opposition Carla Beck has shuffled her shadow cabinet.

As part of that shuffle, Regina-University MLA Aleana Young has been handed the critic role for Energy and Resources, SaskPower, Jobs and the Economy, Immigration, Trade and Export Development. SaskPower had previously been part of her role.

While she currently owns and operates a gourmet cheese shop in the centre of Regina, Young worked nearly five years, from early 2012 to late 2016, with the Petroleum Technology Research Centre. She focused specifically on the Aquistore project. Aquistore takes carbon dioxide captured by the Boundary Dam Unit 3 Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Project and pumps it underground over three kilometres deep, two kilometres west of the power plant.

As such, with several years working in that capacity, Young has arguably more first-hand knowledge of the carbon capture process on coal-fired power generation than any other sitting member of the Legislature. And now she’s the New Democratic Party’s critic for SaskPower.

The Energy and Resources critic role is becoming inexorably linked to SaskPower, as the carbon dioxide captured from Boundary Dam Unit 3 is used in enhanced oil recovery in the Weyburn Unit. And as the federal government is moving to eliminate gasoline and diesel-powered light vehicles by 2035 in favor of zero emissions vehicles, electrical power generation is becoming even more closely tied.

Pipeline Online spoke to Young as she travelled back from Prince Albert on Oct. 5. She said, “Certainly on the SaskPower file, my goal is to continue to be strong and direct advocate for sustainable, affordable, real secure power generation for the province. and for businesses and industry, taxpayers here in Saskatchewan,

“And on Energy and Resources, it’s a huge job creator in the province. It’s a real contributor and driver of the provincial economy. And we think there’s a huge amount celebrate. And it’s also a file that I think it’s important that we keep the Sask Party accountable on, because energy, whether it’s power generation, or natural resources in the province, or the mining or forestry sector are huge economic contributors. And they need they need real innovation. And right now, we need to focus on all aspects. What makes us province great, and that’s something I feel really passionately about as a citizen of the province, and something I hope to bring to the critic role.”

She hasn’t worked as a roughneck, but she has had mud on her boots, Young noted, adding that she’s glad to have relationships in the industry. And that means going out and talking to people, and intends on coming to Estevan soon, as an example.

“Nothing beats face-to-face. Nothing beats talking to people in the communities and industries that makes us strong.

“It’s the best, the only way to learn,” she said.

 

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