I want to start by wishing you all a Happy New Year. I hope the first few weeks of January have treated you well. I also wanted to update you on some recent news.
Our government continues to fight against the federal carbon tax in court, by challenging it at the Alberta Court of Appeal and supporting Saskatchewan and Ontario in their legal efforts to challenge the tax, which came into force on January 1. Albertans should not be punished for driving their kids to school or heating their homes. At the same time, we continue our efforts to combat climate change through the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) plan, which incentivizes large industrial emitters to adopt emissions reductions practices, such as implementing clean technology.
We will be holding engagement sessions and launching an online survey to gather feedback about the future of agriculture research in Alberta. This is an opportunity to explore how we can expand the world-leading agricultural research happening in our province. We want to hear from farmers to better understand farmer-led research priorities. For more information on the engagement sessions and online survey, please go to www.alberta.ca.
Albertans are invited to share their thoughts on fisheries management and expanded fishing opportunities at 11 open house events across the province. We want to hear your feedback on proposals to open up additional opportunities for recreational harvest at specific lakes. Beginning January 13, interested anglers may also submit feedback online at TalkAEP.Alberta.ca.
Our government is developing a 10-Year Tourism Strategy is being developed in partnership with Travel Alberta to diversify and grow Alberta’s tourism industry and its product offerings, expand visitor destinations and boost year-round visits across the province. Targeted stakeholder sessions will also be held in Edmonton and Calgary. Tourism stakeholders can provide feedback through the online survey at industry.travelalberta.com.
I want to take this opportunity to let you know about the Alberta Order of Excellence. Up to 10 individuals will be inducted into the Order this year in recognition of remarkable contributions to their community, the province and beyond. I encourage you to consider nominating someone who has made valuable contributions to our province by February 15. Nominees must be Canadians citizens currently residing in Alberta. People cannot nominate themselves, their spouse or a member of their immediate family. Information about the Order, including nomination guidelines, nomination forms and biographies of previous inductees, is available on the Alberta Order of Excellence website at www.lieutenantgovernor.ab.ca/aoe or by calling 780-449-0517.
Lastly, I want to express my condolences to the families of those who passed away when Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 crashed near Tehran on Wednesday. I was deeply saddened to have learned that 63 Canadians were among the 176 passengers aboard, including numerous Albertans. Alberta has a close-knit Iranian community that has made vital contributions to our province. For those who may be struggling during this difficult time, mental health support is available 24/7 via the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642.