September 1, 2015
Held in Calgary, representatives from the grazing lease community had a meeting with Environment and Parks (EAP) Minister Shannon Phillips. Also representing EAP were assistant deputy ministers, Rick Blackwood, Shannon Flint, Graham Statt and Matt Machielse and staffers Curt Horning and Brent Dancey. Other industry representatives were Western Stock Growers' Association, Alberta Beef Producers and Northern Alberta Grazing Association.
We started the meeting discussing our concerns with the Auditor General's report while reviewing the grazing lease system and the too-often-understated role of the leaseholder. There was also extensive discussion on oil and gas compensation, as well as ecosystem goods and services. Most of the EAP representatives took notes and we are hoping between the discussion and the notes, we were able to deliver our message.
At the end the Minister requested our input and analysis on a number of issues, including the new grazing lease proposal that has been tabled since the election. We have requested these meetings be an on-going exercise to make progress on the issues that face the grazing leaseholders.