UCP government appoint 10 people to the same 3 provincial boards

The Alberta government recently announced 10 new board appointments. All 10 now sit on the same 3 provincial boards.

Last week, the Alberta government announced the appointment of 10 persons to 3 provincial boards.

At the recommendation of the minister over municipal affairs, Ric McIver, the lieutenant governor filled positions on the Land Compensation Board, the Municipal Government Board, and the Surface Rights Board.

All 10 appointees had already been sitting on at least 1 of the boards, but with these new appointments, they now each sit on all 3.

The following persons were already on the Municipal Government Board but have been reappointed for another term. They were also appointed as new members on both the Land Compensation Board and the Surface Rights Board, which means they now sit on all three boards:

  • Edmund Bruton
  • David Thomas
  • William (Bill) Johnston
  • Donald Roberts
  • Earl K. Williams
  • Ike Zacharopoulos

Edmund Bruton is a retired lawyer based in Calgary. Between 1982 and 2009, he worked (including as board director and secretary) for several oil & gas companies, such as TransAlta, PG&E, Roc Oil, Asamera Oil, and Gulf Canada. He has also been a member of the Calgary Assessment Review Board and the Alberta Transportation Safety Board. According to a letter from Brent Shervey, campaign manager for Jim Dinning, Bruton donated somewhere between $10 and $5000 to Dinning’s 2006 campaign to replace Ralph Klein as leader of the PC party.

David Thomas is a former lawyer and current rancher living in Lamont. He’s a former member of the Drayton Valley town council, the Landfill Commission of Drayton Valley, and the Lamont County Development Appeal Board. This actually isn’t his first time on the Land Compensation Board or the Surface Rights Board, having served from 2013 to 2016. He also had previously served on the Municipal Government Board, from 2000 to 2012.

Bill Johnston is a project management consultant based out of Olds. He’s a former administrator for both the Town of Olds and the MD of Bighorn. He’s been on the Municipal Government Board since 2015.

Donald Roberts is a business consultant in Chestermere. He’s held executive positions with ATB, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Chestermere Utilities. He has served on multiple municipal boards and committees in the Chestermere area. In 2011, he donated $1,000 to the Foothills–Rocky Wildrose constituency association. He also co-chaired the election campaign for Bruce McAllister, who became the Wildrose MLA for Chestermere–Rocky View in 2012, but then lost to Leela Aheer after he crossed the floor to the PC party. Roberts had also been the CFO for the local Wildrose constituency association and was the provincial director on the Wildrose executive committee.

Earl Williams is business executive in Calgary, who was a vice president with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has previously served on the Calgary Board of Tourism, Calgary Assessment Review Board, and the New Home Buyer Protection Board. Williams donated $500 to Heather Forsyth’s 2012 election campaign; she was elected as Wildrose MLA in Calgary–Fish Creek.

Ike Zacharopoulos is a Calgary-based real estate executive and consultant. He has served on the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, Alberta Public Health Appeal Board, the Law Society of Alberta, the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers’ Compensation, Canadian Property Tax Association, and the Calgary Assessment Review Board.

All of the Municipal Government Board reappointments are until 2024, except for Williams, who has been reappointed until only next year. Appointments for the other 2 boards are for a 3-year term.

The following persons were appointed to both the Land Compensation Board and the Surface Rights Board, and they had received (re)appointments to the Municipal Government Board within the last 2 years:

  • Gail Sokolan
  • Jeffrey Dawson
  • Wayne Drysdale

Gail Sokolan is retired, but had worked as a land use planner and affordable housing coordinator with the City of Calgary. She was reappointed to the Municipal Government Board last year.

Jeffrey Dawson is a management advisor in Calgary and owns Alberta Casino Advisors. He has volunteered with the New Home Buyers Protection Board, Central Alberta Regional Assessment Review Board, Red Deer City Citizens On Patrol, and Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre. He has been on the Municipal Government Board since 2011. Dawson was a former city councillor in Red Deer and unsuccessfully ran for the mayor’s seat there. He had attempted to seek the PC party nomination in the Red Deer–North riding during the 2015 provincial election but pulled out less than 2 months after announcing his bid.

Wayne Drysdale is senior vice-president of business development with Aquatera, a utilities company based in Grande Prairie. He retired as MLA for the Grande Prairie–Wapiti riding just before the 2019 election, having served 3 terms under the PC party. He was minister of transportation under Jim Prentice. He was also a councillor with the Municipal District of Greenview. Naturally, he donated to the PC party while MLA, and his wife, Sherry, donated to Richard Starke’s PC leadership campaign. Both of them donated to the UCP party in 2018 and to the local UCP constituency association the same year. Drysdale was appointed to the Municipal Government Board last year.

Finally, Miles Weatherall was appointed to the Municipal Government Board in 2018, with a term to expire this upcoming June. With his new appointments to the Land Compensation Board and the Surface Rights Board, he now sits on all 3—at least until June.

Weatherall is a management consultant based in Medicine Hat. He worked for the provincial government for 12 years, including with the justice ministry. He was appointed to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Commission and Public Health Appeal Board last year and also sits on the Life Insurance Council.

Appointees are entitled to remuneration for each of the boards they sit on, subject to Schedule 1, Part A of the Committee Remuneration Order, which includes $150 for each period 4 hours and under, $265 between 4 and 8 hours, and $390 over 8 hours conducting commission business. Board members, according to the CRO, are entitled to paid travelling and living expenses as well.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

4 replies on “UCP government appoint 10 people to the same 3 provincial boards”

So does this mean those 10 people can meet for an hour, spend 20 minutes on matters related to each of the 3 boards, and then claim ($150 per board x 3 boards =) $450 of remuneration?

Potentially, but it’s unlikely. There are other members of those boards, so they probably wouldn’t be able to hold an official meeting on their own.

Are people not putting their names forward? Are openings not sufficiently advertised?

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