Connect with us


March 27: Alberta agrees to protect renters

There are now 4,777 positive cases of COVID-19 in Canada including 1,479 from B.C. to Manitoba.




Measures have finally been introduced to protect Alberta renters. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said rental rates would be frozen and late fees will not be enforced.

“No one will be evicted as of April 1, 2020 – that includes folks who have not been able to pay their rent for the last couple of months,” Kenney said.

“Effective today, there will be no rent increases,” even for those who have already been given notice of increases, Kenney said. Late fees will also not be enforced from April 1 until June 30, 2020.

Kenney clarified that these protections do not apply to rental situations in which willful damage of property or other violations of existing rental agreements.


The province announced 56 new cases today bringing their total to 542.

These numbers include two additional cases at the Mackenzie Town continuing care centre, bringing their total to 15.

Alberta has recommended that public gatherings be reduced to less than 15 and has asked that all non-essential businesses are now close including public parks, campgrounds, restaurants, clinics, masseuse, furniture stores, and others.

The City of Calgary has ordered the shutdown of personal care businesses, closure of parks playgrounds, and skate parks, and leisure sports including football, baseball, cricket, and basketball.

“The number of community transmission cases are rising,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health said Friday afternoon.

AHS will now be limiting diagnostic imaging and blood testing to those who are emergent only.

“The more that we comply with recommendations by public health experts, the faster we can get through this,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said.

Alberta Tourism Levy will be deferred for six months to assist hotels and access to Alberta Parks will be restricted.

Kenney said the Legislature will be recalled on Tuesday March 31 to deal with provincial issues.

Additional information for Alberta residents can be found here.

British Columbia

The province identified another 67 cases on Friday bringing its total to 792.

Modelling suggests that physical distancing restrictions are starting to slow new cases in the province.

British Columbia confirmed new cases at three additional senior’s homes in the province, up from nine facilities on March 26.

A resident at Berwick by the Sea in Campbell River, a staff member at The Harrison at Elm Village in Surrey, and a health worker at Chartwell Independent Living at Langley Gardens have tested postive for the virus.

Additional information for B.C. residents can be found here.


Three probable cases of COVID-19 were identified in Manitoba and a woman in her sixties has succumbed to the virus. This is the first COVID-19-related death in the province.

Additional information for Manitoba residents can be found here.


Nine new cases of the virus have been identified in the province bringing its total to 104.

More than half of the province’s COVID-19 cases are people under the age of 4 and six people have now been hospitalized including two people in intensive care.

Saskatchewan’s cases have risen to over 100 cases in less than a week.

Additional information for Saskatchewan residents can be found here.

Quebec reported 10 deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours and saw their confirmed cases rise by over 400 for a third day in a row.

Provincial tallies:

  • Quebec: 2,021 confirmed and presumptive cases, including 1 recovered and 18 deaths
  • Ontario: 993 cases, including 5 recovered and 18 deaths
  • British Columbia: 792 confirmed cases including 186 recovered and 14 deaths
  • Alberta: 542 confirmed cases including 34 recovered and 2 deaths
  • Saskatchewan: 104 confirmed and presumptive cases and 3 recovered
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 102 confirmed and presumptive cases
  • Nova Scotia: 90 confirmed and presumptive cases
  • New Brunswick: 45 confirmed and presumptive cases
  • Manitoba: 42 confirmed and presumptive cases and 1 death
  • Prince Edward Island: 9 confirmed cases, and 1 recovered
  • Yukon: 3 confirmed cases
  • Northwest Territories: 1 confirmed case

There are now 4,777 positive cases of COVID-19 in Canada including 1,479 – B.C. from B.C. to Manitoba.

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a Senior Reporter with Western Standard
Twitter @Mitchell_AB



LETTER: Trudeau would send money if the West was a third-world country




RE: Kenney outraged as new Ottawa transfer payment revealed

Alberta is asking for more than we can give. Sound familiar?

But if Western Canada was a third-world dictatorship, Trudeau would rain so much money down on us that we would have to build an ark.

John McCanna
Milk River, AB

Continue Reading


Horgan continues to hold massive lead in B.C. election

A new Angus Reid poll, taken after a televised leaders’ debate, shows John Horgan’s NDP continuing to hold a double digit lead a week before then Oct. 24 election.




New polls on the B.C. election show the NDP continuing its large lead over the Liberals.

A new Angus Reid poll, taken after a televised leaders’ debate, shows John Horgan’s NDP continuing to hold a double digit lead a week before then Oct. 24 election.

“The BC NDP continues to hold a double-digit lead (49 per cent) over the second-place B.C. Liberals (33 per cent),” the poll said.

“The Greens, at 14 per cent, remain stuck in third place with a less committed vote base than the other parties. However, with the Green leader’s momentum surging, it is worth noting the party is the most common second choice for voters who have not yet locked in their choice.”

A new Insights West poll shows the NDP with 47 per cent, the Liberals with 33 per cent and the Greens at 14 per cent.

Insights West poll

The televised debate, said Angus Reid, didn’t move voter preference.

“First, a frontrunner with the most to lose who appears to have emerged unscathed after an unsteady performance on a key question. The second, a political underdog who did not find a much-needed breakthrough with voters. And finally, a relatively unknown candidate whose introduction to the electorate is resulting in personal admiration, but crucially, no surge in vote intention.”

The poll said , NDP leader Horgan was chosen as having performed best in the TV debate by the largest number (29 per cent). Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau was seen as best by 23 per cent, while 15 per cent chose Andrew Wilkinson, the leader of the BC Liberals.

Angus Reid poll

“Beyond the debate, these new data reveal an electorate hardly enthralled by the options available to them. As the province enters this last week of the campaign, voters are motivated equally by blocking the party they dislike (52 per cent) versus a party they truly support (48 per cent).”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Continue Reading


MORGAN: “Hyper-loop” pipe dream a financial disaster waiting to happen

Cory Morgan writes about the wild costs involved in Alberta’s latest “monorail” craze.




It is a story that repeats itself every five years or so; proposals for a high-speed rail between Calgary and Edmonton. The pattern is always the same. An idea for a high-speed train is pitched with great fanfare, a feasibility study is conducted which concludes that a massive taxpayer investment is involved and the project gets put on the shelf. The latest proposal from Toronto-based Transpod to build a pie-in-the-sky hyperloop is no exception.

The concept sounds exciting indeed. A low-pressure tube would be constructed which will move pods containing passengers and freight at speeds of up to 1000 kilometers per hour. The models and drawings look cool and futuristic and many people are getting excited at the prospect of commuting to work in a vacuum tube as George Jetson in the futuristic 1960s. I hate to rain on folk’s parade, but this concept is simply not viable.

Let’s look at the cost to begin with. Transpod is giving an estimate of $6 billion to $8 billion simply to construct the line. Companies making pitches always low-ball estimates and the costs required to expropriate 300 kilometers of land for a line will be huge, not to mention the delays which will surely come as some intransigent landowners refuse to cooperate. With this not having been formally studied yet and with the long timelines, $10 billion will likely end up as a more realistic estimate and that is still modest.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s set a ticket price at $100 per passenger. At that price, the line would have to transport one hundred million passengers simply to recover the cost of construction for the line. The new line would have to carry 27,000 passengers per day for 10 years in order to reach that number. Again, this is simply to regain the capital costs on the project. Ongoing expenses such as electricity, staffing, maintenance have not been taken into consideration, let alone profit.

Now how will we capture the interest of 27,000 people per day in order to get them to ride this thing. How viable and practical does this sound?

Well let’s compare it to a typical family trip on the weekend from Calgary to see Aunt Ethel. The family will have to be packed up and taken to the station either in a personal vehicle or through some form of public transportation. They will have to check in and eventually be boarded onto the pod. Upon arrival in Edmonton, they will then have to take a cab or public transit to get to Aunt Ethel’s, where they will spend the weekend without the convenience of a personal vehicle. They will then have to repeat the process in order to get home.

With a $10 billion price tags, we can expect security times to be similar to airports. With half an hour on the pod – coupled with the other time delays due to check in and local transport – the trip will take about one and a half hours each way at the low cost of $800 in total. All this to save about the difference of 1 and a half hours in the family car at a fuel cost of perhaps $80. Would you do it?

This company will also be moving freight, but let’s face it, the freight will face all the same challenges that passenger services have. It would be a niche market at best for products which are small, in a rush and have somebody at each end to deal with drop off and pick up. It won’t compete well with conventional freight transport.

If anything does dramatically change, how we move people and freight between Edmonton and Calgary in the future, it will be driverless vehicles which are proving to be quite effective in many environments already. In anticipation of that trend, we should be perhaps examining a new, dedicated lane for these kinds of vehicles on the highway to complement the existing lanes. It would cost a fraction of the Transpod proposal and is much more likely to ever actually come into being.

Transpod and Jason Kenney are very clearly pointing out that this project is not costing a single tax dollar at this point. Let’s not pretend that it will stay that way. Once true viability studies are done, proponents for the hyperloop will surely come cap in hand and begging for tax dollars in order to get this thing running. There is no way they can or will get this going with purely private investment. It simply isn’t realistic.

By all means, let them test this thing out. Let them set up between Olds and Didsbury in order to build a test portion of the tube if indeed they can manage to get enough investors to get that far. There is no better time than the present to make it absolutely clear though that taxpayers will not pay for an inch of this project. We have enough boondoggles to pay for as it is and don’t need to sink ourselves billions further into debt for something which is somebody’s romantic pipe dream.

Cory Morgan is a columnist and the Podcast Editor of the Western Standard

Continue Reading

External Advertisement

Sign up for the Western Standard Newsletter

Free news and updates
* = required field

Recent Posts

Recent Comments


Copyright © Western Standard owned by Wildrose Media Corp.