Government anouncements set stage


This week will be very telling for Alberta's post-secondary sector as Alberta's Speech from the Throne is read (Feb. 7) and the Government of Alberta's budget is released (Feb. 9).

Alberta Finance Minister Ron Liepert has hinted that the budget will not include any large expenditures or adversely any deep cuts, and that the health and education sectors remain priority areas for the government.

The U of L has spent a great deal of time over the past year advocating for stable and predictable funding that reflects the institution's mandate. Any budget documents from this week's release will be available on the Government Relations blog (

Cabinet tour hits U of L

In late January, Alberta cabinet ministers took part in an outreach tour of the province. Minister of Culture and Community Services, Heather Klimchuk, along with Advanced Education and Technology Minister, Greg Weadick, spent some time on campus looking at various facilities. Considering the cultural component to Klimchuk's responsibilities, she was shown the Digital Audio Arts facility as well as some of the Art Gallery's storage areas. Klimchuk had the opportunity to see some amazing pieces from the U of L Art Collection while on a tour last year as well. She understands the uniqueness of the Art Gallery's program as a valuable teaching resource for our students, as well as a cultural resource for the broader public.

Ministerial Decks

In an effort to make both elected and non-elected government members more aware of the University's teaching and research strengths, the Government Relations Office is creating general briefings, or Ministerial Decks.

These general briefings are sent directly to managers, directors, assistant deputy ministers, deputy ministers, elected members and their staff, as well as made available on the U of L's Government Relations website (

In recent months, briefings related to the U of L's relevance in the agriculture industry and issues related to water and the environment have been created and released. The third installment, focusing on health and wellness, will be available shortly.

One of the challenges of this project is including only a few of the many compelling stories the U of L has to offer in these areas. The goal of these publications is to ensure the U of L is viewed as an institution that has a significant role to play in issues that resonate with the government and citizens of Alberta.

Richard Westlund is the University's director of government relations.

This story first appeared in the February 2012 edition of The Legend. To view the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.