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Alberta lashes back against reported federal bailout over Teck mine

Reports the federal government is preparing an aid package for Alberta for when they turn down the proposed Teck mine has provincial officials seething.

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Reports the federal government is preparing an aid package for Alberta for when they turn down the proposed Teck mine has provincial officials seething.

“This isn’t a natural disaster. Alberta isn’t in need of an aid package. We need the feds to get out of the way & stop impeding job creation & investor confidence in our province. Period.” said Environment Minister Jason Nixon in a tweet.

At an earlier press conference Nixon said: “We’re not looking for an aid package from Ottawa, we’re not looking for handouts from Justin Trudeau.”

Nixon said the Alberta government has not been in touch with anyone from Ottawa over the proposed mine in northern Alberta.

“We are worried about some of the things we’ve been seeing in the media,” Nixon said.

“We do not view a decision on Frontier as something to be traded away or politicized. For us this issue goes beyond politics – Albertans want approval plain and simple.  

“Prime Minister Trudeau has emphasized his desire to work with Alberta and to preserve national unity. It’s time he backed up his words with action.

“Albertans are watching closely.

“The project has undergone a rigorous 10-year review, including a recommendation for approval from the independent federal regulator. Teck has played by the rules endorsed by Ottawa – including by the current federal government. To arbitrarily reject the project at the eleventh hour for political reasons would send a chilling signal to international investors.”

In Washington, Premier Jason Kenney said a thumbs down for Teck would be a devasting blow.

“I think that would be a devastating message to send in terms of investor confidence at a time when we are struggling to attract foreign direct investment to the Canadian economy,” Kenney told a business audience.

“Why would anyone invest in Canada? It’s a very dangerous path to go down.”

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer also blasted a possible aid package.

“An aid package is insulting and outrageous! Albertans don’t want a handout. They want work. You need to get out of the way. Let Albertans roll up their sleeves and do what they do best,” Scheer tweeted.

The mega project in northern Alberta has already been approved by the non-political regulators, but Liberal the natural resources minister said last week that the federal government may delay approval of the project unless Alberta drops its opposition to Ottawa’s carbon tax. Adding fuel to the fire were several Eastern Liberal MPs lobbying to kill the project outright.

Reports of an aid package for the beleaguered province appear to confirm that the federal government is seriously considering nixing the mega project, which Teck says will create 7,000 jobs and significantly add to the provinces GDP.

In place of allowing the private investment project to go ahead, federal sources say that direct government spending on infrastructure projects and well cleanup is in the mix.

Earlier in the day, Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs tweeted, “A political rejection of this project by the Liberal cabinet will be perceived by most Albertans as a final rejection of Alberta by Canada.”

Teck itself issued a statement this week saying it also hoped it would become a net-zero emitter by 2050.

The project, a “truck and shovel” oil sands mine, “will consist of surface mining operations, a processing plant, tailings management facilities, water management facilities, and associated infrastructure and support facilities,” according to a statement on the company’s website. It’s expected to produce 260,000 barrels of oil a day.

“Teck has also reached agreements with all 14 Indigenous communities in the broader Frontier project area.”

The federal government has said they would give an answer on the mine before the end of February.

Federal Environment Minister Johnathan Wilkinson hinted last week approval would be based on how Alberta approaches climate change.

“With respect to (Frontier), we need to look at all the environmental impacts, we obviously need to look at the economic opportunities, and we need to ensure we’re taking both into account,” Wilkinson said.

“Certainly, one of those issues is how does this project fit with Canada’s commitments to achieving the reductions we are committing to (for) 2030, and the net zero commitment to 2050? I would just say again that it’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets.”

Wilkinson said all provinces, including Alberta, are expected to do their part to help Canada meet those commitments.

The UCP government unveiled their industrial emitter plan, TIER (Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction system), in Bill 19, passed during the fall legislature session.

TIER replaced the NDP’s Climate Leadership Plan by maintaining the price on pollution for large emitters but repealing the price on other businesses and residents. The federal price on carbon for Albertans, excepting large emitters, came into effect January 1, 2020.

Under TIER, facilities can either reduce their emissions or; use credits from other facilities, use emissions offsets from non-regulated organizations, or pay into the TIER fund at $30 per tonne.

The Alberta government launched its challenge of federal carbon pricing in 2019 and presented arguments Dec. 16-18 in Alberta’s Court of Appeal.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Lawyer blasts Alberta sports facilities for vaccine passport policies

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

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Lawyer Derek From has sent a stern warning to sport facility operators Monday saying they are breaching the law by requiring parents and kids 12 and over to show their vaccine status.

A constitutional lawyer for 10 years with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, From is now in private practice at an Airdrie law firm.

From was retained by a group of parents who have kids enrolled in youth sports programs in Calgary and the surrounding area.

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

REP allows businesses to either choose to operate as usual if they implement a vaccine passport program or limit their attendance to one-third of their fire code capacity and abide by a number of other public health restrictions.

“Youth sports are supposed to be out of scope for these mandates according to the latest public health order,” From said in an interview with the Western Standard.

Last Thursday, public health order #43-2021 was rescinded due to “bad faith behaviour on the part of businesses offering youth activities and rogue municipal governments seeking to increase and stiffen the restrictions enacted by the Government of Alberta,” From states in the letter.

In its place, order #45-2021 was enacted making it clear that youth activities are out of the scope of REP.  

“This means that facilities that house youth sports are not allowed to use (vaccine) passports. They have to opt out of the passport program,” From said.

However, Calgary city council passed a bylaw that came into effect September 23 forcing businesses eligible for the REP to participate without choice including recreation facilities.

Calgary bylaw 65M2021 says “any person aged 12 years and older must show identification and either proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or a medical exemption from vaccine letter.”

“With (Mayor Naheed) Nenshi running interference on this issue, a lot of people were turned away from a number of facilities over the weekend,” From said.

“Essentially, they (city council) have left no one any choice in the municipality of Calgary including hockey rinks, even though it falls out of scope according to the province. Now a bunch of other surrounding communities are falling in line.”  

The legal letter demands these facilities stop enforcing any REP-related restrictions associated with youth physical, performance or recreational activities, and begin to follow the clear direction set out by the Alberta government regarding what falls in and out of scope for the REP.

“Youth physical activity, performance activity and recreational activity, where all participants are under the age of 18” is listed as outside of the purview of REP. This means that REP is not available for implementation in association with such activities,” the letter states.

“Thousands of parents are ready to have this fight for their kids across the province,” From said.

“If the letters aren’t enough to change the course for these facilities, we will start suing rinks and even the city (Calgary).”

From said he was sending the letter to Nenshi and Calgary council Monday.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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WATCH: Pawlowski arrested at Calgary airport

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

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Controversial Calgary Pastor Artur Pawlowski is back behind bars again.

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

He had been out of the country for four months.

Details on why he was taken into custody haven’t been revealed.

Pawlowski has been repeatedly ticketed and jailed for breaking provincial COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

He has recently been on a speaking tour in the US.

more to come…

source: streetchurch facebook

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Norway goes back to life as usual before COVID

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-related domestic restrictions.

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Norway lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions this weekend in an effort to return to normal.

“Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life,” said Erna Solberg, Norways’s prime minister at a press conference.

Neither vaccination status nor a negative test result was required for citizens to enter nightclubs and restaurants which saw throngs of people heading to their favourite hangouts en masse.

Saturday marked the first time capacity limits were lifted in bars and restaurants in more than 500 days. Revellers young and old took to the streets with rowdy celebrations.

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a small but growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-19-related domestic restrictions. Sports venues, bars, restaurants and other businesses will be permitted to return to full capacity and will no longer require social distancing or masking.

According to the Institute of Public Health, Norwegian vaccination rates sit around 76% for one dose and 67% are considered fully vaccinated.

Solberg still encouraged citizens to get vaccinated and said those who contract COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate to avoid transmission.

“Even though everyday life is now back to normal for most people, the pandemic is not over,” Solberg said.

Although some restrictions will remain in place for those arriving in Norway from countries with higher rates of infection, travel restrictions will also be lifted, the government said.

“In short, we can now live as normal,” Solberg said.

Denmark was the first country in the European Union (EU) to lift all corona virus restrictions on September 10.

“The vaccines and the great efforts of all of Denmark’s citizens over such a long period are the foundation for why we are going strong,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter just before the country opened up.

After seeing nearly three-quarters of adults fully vaccinated and experiencing low rates of infection and death in August, the Danish Health Authority declared the virus is “no longer a critical threat to society.”

Britain lifted much of its COVID-19-related restrictions over the summer.

As of September 23, more than 48 million people in the UK have received their fist does – 89% of those over 16 years old. A total 82% of the population or 44 million people 16 and older have been double jabbed.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

388 signatures

No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

**your signature**



The Western Standard will never accept government bailout money. By becoming a Western Standard member, you are supporting government bailout-free and proudly western media that is on your side. With your support, we can give Westerners a voice that doesn\'t need taxpayers money.

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