Alberta closing some of its international offices

Alberta is closing its Ottawa office as well as some of it international offices as the province continues to deal with low energy revenues.

Alberta’s Ottawa, Chicago and Munich offices will be shuttered and plans for opening the California and Brazil offices are on hold. Expenses will also be reduced across Alberta’s international offices network.

That could add up to $3.1 million in savings over the course of two fiscal years, said the province.

Ron Hoffmann, Alberta’s Senior Representative for the Asia Pacific Basin, led a 10-week Alberta International Offices Review in consultation with Alberta’s international offices, the province, the federal government, and Alberta’s private sector, education institutions and municipalities.

“These are responsible recommendations, and while difficult decisions had to be made, I am confident these changes will help us pursue Alberta’s global priorities in a way that provides the greatest return at the most reasonable cost,” Premier Jim Prentice said on Wednesday.

The province has accepted all 23 of the review’s recommendations, including shifting more international office investments to emerging markets like Asia and increasing the offices’ efficiency and service delivery.

The savings represent 20 percent of the total international and Ottawa offices’ $15-million budget.

Some efficiencies include:

  • re-allocating positions from the Beijing office
  • reducing the Hong Kong office’s operational budget
  • aligning employee compensation in our international offices with other jurisdictions across Canada.

Access to, and expansion of, new markets remains a priority, said the province.

More to come …

Related: Alberta’s millions in international relations are well worth it, says the province

Related: Alberta Premier Jim Prentice appoints former MPs, diplomats

Related: Premier Jim Prentice set to cut Alberta’s trade offices

Alberta International Offices Review 

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