Alberta Premier says Alberta could take over as leader of Canada’s largest steelmaker
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province could take the lead on the nation’s biggest steelmaker by taking over as its leader.
In a recent interview with CBC News, Notley said the Alberta government could be in the driver’s seat for a company that makes about half of the world’s steel and could help steer the company toward profitability.
That could give Alberta the edge it needs to ensure it has the best future for steel workers in Canada, said Kevin Kelly, president of the Canadian Association of Steelworkers, which represents about 80,000 steelworkers in Alberta.
Kelly said a merger would be good for the industry because it would help ensure the best conditions for employees and ensure the survival of the industry.
“A merger will allow Alberta to leverage our strengths as a manufacturing province to bring in new capital, new staff and better quality,” Kelly said in an email.
“We want to support the steel industry in Alberta and provide a competitive environment to our businesses.”
Kelly said the union is opposed to any merger because it has no control over the company.
The Calgary-based steelmaker is owned by a consortium of companies including the province’s largest company, Calgary Steel Corp. (CSC), and it’s one of the largest producers of steel in Canada.
It is based in Fort McMurray, Alta., and has more than $1 billion in revenue.
Notley said she thinks a merger could help the province.
“It would give us a good deal for steelworkers and the jobs they do and also make sure that they can continue to prosper because they need to compete with the rest of the industrialized world,” Notley told CBC News.
“But we can’t do that if we’re still in the business of the steel mills.
We can’t keep doing that.”
Notley’s comments come as she is in the final weeks of her second term as premier.
She announced her plans to leave the Liberals in August.
The Alberta Steel Alliance said in a statement Friday that the merger is not the final step, but a possibility that could happen.
“I think it’s the right decision for Alberta Steel, but we’re in the process of getting it done,” the statement said.
“The alliance remains confident that Alberta Steel will remain in the Alberta Steel alliance.
We remain open to working together on a future agreement.”
Kelly noted the alliance has been in discussions with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), which would be in charge of any merger.
Notleys office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Alberta’s steel industry employs about 4,400 people, according to the AER.