Wage freeze can’t stop the Alberta Energy Regulator from posting operating loss

CALGARY – Wage freezes couldn’t keep the Alberta Energy Regulator from swinging to an operating loss in the last fiscal year, the regulator’s annual report released Tuesday shows.

Following wage cuts and layoffs at oil and gas companies through the drop in oil prices, management froze wages for staff at the province’s regulatory agency in the last year as part of a wider effort to control costs.

Those efforts saved the regulator $7 million, or three per cent of its budget, but the AER still ended the year in the red. The agency posted a $1.7 million operating deficit in the last fiscal year, down from a $15.4 million operating surplus in fiscal 2015.

“Alberta is living through some rocky times as we grapple with the effects of a collapse in oil and gas prices not seen for years. Like others, the AER’s economists forecast a slow recovery beyond 2016, which is little comfort, but that’s where we stand,” AER president and CEO Jim Ellis said in the report.

Financial Post

gmorgan@nationalpost.com

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