It has been an extremely eventful month for a Morinville-St. Albert MLA recently appointed to a cabinet position in the UCP government.
“It's been an absolute whirlwind. But that said, it's not a complaint … I can tell you I'm absolutely enjoying the new role,” said Dale Nally, Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction.
Nally was previously associate minister of natural gas under the Kenney government.
Since being appointed minister on Oct. 24, Nally has travelled to Texas to attend a blockchain summit and a trade show.
In mandate letters released last week, Premier Danielle Smith instructed cabinet ministers “to deliver on a clear and bold mandate in a limited period of time.”
“I think it was pretty clear from all the mandate letters that the priorities for our government will be fighting things like inflation, driving affordability ... [and] resolving some of the challenges that we have in health care," Nally said.
“Those will be the top priorities for our government, regardless of the ministry hat that you wear."
Smith listed seven commitments for Nally, including improving slow turnaround times in land titles.
Alberta has a business-friendly environment, said Nally, but the turnaround time in land titles is “embarrassing and it needs to be fixed.”
The minister said he has heard a lot of feedback from constituents in Morinville and St. Albert about the issue, as it creates difficulties for home sellers, as well as the municipalities.
Another issue that Nally has heard a lot about is hydrogen.
“What else I've heard is (residents are) very excited that we will be taking a look at how we can advance a domestic hydrogen economy in Alberta, starting with things like hydrogen fuelling stations (for vehicles), in addition to electric charging stations where applicable. That is going to be a huge initiative that propels us into this hydrogen economy that we're trying to advance,” he said.
While in Texas last week, Nally took one of his first forays into meeting with the blockchain industry, which he described as incredible.
“I was there to learn about their industry and to talk about the Alberta advantage. It was an Alberta trade mission,” he said of the Texas Blockchain Summit.
Blockchain is a way of recording information, so it is duplicated and distributed across a network in a way that makes it hard to hack or alter, according to a government press release.
“I probably learned more over two days talking about blockchain that I even knew was possible,” he said.
Nally said the blockchain industry is a much different industry than the industries he is used to meeting with.
“The blockchain tends to be a younger crowd, a little more laid back. The joke floating around the convention is that they were the 'crypto bros,'” he said.
Nally also attended the Alberta Coming to Texas trade show, which he described had a slightly different crowd, including the more traditional oil and gas people, but “there were also some renewable folks there as well.”
Nally said his job was to deliver the message of a business-friendly environment and low corporate taxes, and he was encouraged by the response he received from business in both Austin and Houston.
“I can't go into any specifics because we're having conversations with private companies. But I was very encouraged by the conversations."