MLA gets new role as chair of committee
Stephen Khan swaps chairing duties, now at helm of resource stewardship committee
Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 06:00 am
A St. Albert MLA has found himself in the chair of the standing committee on resource stewardship.
“When they appointed the new cabinet they reshuffled the deck a little bit,” said Stephen Khan, MLA for St. Albert. He’s moved from chairing the standing committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund to chairing the standing committee on resource stewardship, one of three legislative policy committees in the government’s committee structure.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity,” said Khan. Chairing a legislative policy committee is a bit more involved, he said.
“Resource stewardship looks after a number of different areas … the areas that we oversee are Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Transportation, Municipal Affairs, Treasury Board and Finance, Energy and Aboriginal Affairs,” he said.
The committee is “very foundational in terms of the province, in terms of the province’s future,” he said. “It’s a terrific committee from that point of view.”
Currently the committee is involved in the budget approval process, which means going over the budget estimates and offers an opportunity to hold the finance department to account on the budget.
“We can be referred to review bills that have been brought up in the leg(islature),” Khan said. When that happens, the committee can make policy recommendations on how it proceeds.
“We play many, many roles,” he said.
Khan took over chairing the 15-person, all-party committee from Donna Kennedy-Glans, who got a bump up to cabinet in December. Khan had previously sat on the committee as a member.
Kennedy-Glans has since quit cabinet and the Progressive Conservative party and now sits as an independent.
As part of leading the committee, Khan is tasked with running the meetings and making sure they stay on track. It also offers a chance to introduce the idea of doing an investigative study, like the one recently done on the monetization of natural gas.
“It’s a great opportunity to have an influence on some of the future direction and some of the future policy in which the province moves,” Khan said. “The most exciting part is actually having a voice.”