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By Scott Haggett
CALGARY, Alberta, May 12 (Reuters) - Rachel Notley, premier-elect of the Canadian province of Alberta, the largest source of U.S. oil imports, said on Tuesday her newly elected government intends to hold its promised review of royalty rates for oil and gas producers in its current term.
Notley, whose left-wing New Democratic Party last week ended the 44-year rule of the right-wing Progressive Conservatives, said the dates for the review have not yet been set, nor has the timing of her government’s first budget, which will be set in the next few days as she finalizes her cabinet.
The royalty review was among the more controversial planks in the new government’s platform. Oil and gas producers protested that potentially squeezing additional revenues from the sector while oil prices are low threatened jobs and the province’s economy.
However Notley said that while the timing of the review has not been set, it would take place before the next election is due to take place in four years.
“I’m not going to make any specific determinations around timing except to say it was in our platform, it will happen within this term and it will be preceded by good, thorough discussions with all stakeholders, including industry,” she told reporters. “No one will be surprised by the way it unfolds.”
Notley said she is already holding talks with some of the province’s oil and gas producers. She said those discussion went well and the executives were “looking forward to working collaboratively”.
“My guiding principles are the economic health of Alberta, job creation and maintenance,” she said.
Notley also said Richard Dicerni, appointed by outgoing Premier Jim Prentice as the province’s top civil servant, had agreed to remain as deputy minister to the executive council and head of the public service. (Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)