fbpx
Connect with us

News

Kenney says independence doesn’t make sense for Alberta

“Either you love your country or you don’t, and I love Canada,” Premier Jason Kenney said at a Friday news conference.

mm

Published

on

Calling himself a “patriot” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called any independence threats from Alberta as “empty.

“I regard it as an empty threat, and I think making a threat like that would be counterproductive,” Kenney said in a news conference Friday morning.

Kenney was responding to Cypress-Medicine Hat UCP MLA Drew Barnes who has written his own report to the premier urging a much stronger stance against Ottawa for the province to get a fairer deal in confederation, adding that the issue of Alberta independence needs to be on the table.

Barnes sent Kenney his letter the same day the Alberta Fair Deal panel released their report.

“First of all, I am an unqualified Canadian patriot and I don’t believe you can qualify your patriotism. Either you love your country or you don’t, and I love Canada,” Kenney said at a Friday news conference.

Kenney said independence from Canada doesn’t make sense for Alberta and would cause more problems than solutions.

“The real crisis in this province is an economic crisis, it’s a jobs crisis,” Kenney said.

“We’re not going to get our economy growing again or get jobs back here if, first of all, we landlock ourselves with no potential access to the coasts for pipelines.

“We’re certainly not going to get investment to bring jobs back in Alberta if we create a crisis of confidence by having a vote on separation.”

Kenney said he doesn’t think a lot of Albertans are talking about leaving the country.

“I understand the frustration that has driven, not a significant number of Albertans, to talk about separation. But I fundamentally believe that’s the wrong path for Alberta,” he said.

A large poll conducted exclusively for the Western Standard in May found between 45% and 48% of Albertans would vote for independence.

“You don’t make a threat that you’re not prepared to keep, and I have not seen a single public opinion poll that indicates we’re anywhere close to the majority of Albertans voting to leave Canada,” Kenney told reporters.

“I love it (Canada) to the point where I want to improve it so that the federation works as it was originally conceived,” Kenney said.

Barnes has written his own report to Kenney urging a much stronger stance against Ottawa for the province to get a fairer deal in confederation, adding that the issue of Alberta independence needs to be on the table.

“I am grateful to you [Premier Kenney] for giving me the opportunity to listen to the thousands of Albertans that came to share their vision with the Fair Deal Panel,” said Barnes in a press release moments after the Fair Deal Panel report was released Wednesday.

“With an increasingly hostile government in Ottawa, you have had the foresight to understand that Albertans will no longer accept the inequities of being a second-class people under the constitution. My colleagues on the panel have given thoughtful consideration to the proposals before us, but it is necessary for me to express clearly to you and to Albertans what I feel in my heart must be done.”

In his letter, Barnes recommends the following:

  • A firm referendum date six months from now expressly forbidding Ottawa from legislating any kind of Equalization program.
  • Alberta should collect its own provincial and federal personal and corporate income taxes.
  • Alberta should hold a referendum expelling Ottawa from spending inside areas of provincial jurisdiction and transferring the tax points of the Canada Health and Social Transfers to the provinces.
  • Albertans should elect a constitutional convention to draft a provincial constitution, to be ratified in a referendum.
  • An Alberta Constitution should include the right to initiate referenda and recall elected representatives.
  • Alberta should immediately take back control over its own immigration under its provincial jurisdiction.
  • Albertans should hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment to not only elect senators, but to equally and justly determine how many seats each province holds.
  • Alberta should hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment to clarify and strengthen internal free trade provisions, including the right to move our resources across provincial boundaries.
  • Albertans should hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment to strictly firewall off any encroachment by the federal government over the internal development of our natural resources.

Barnes said his proposals should be voted on in two broad questions proposed to Albertans in a referendum: one on actions that Alberta can make unilaterally without federal consent, and one on constitutional amendments requiring the consent of the federal and other provincial governments.

“As we do so, we should be clear with Ottawa and the other provinces that if the people of Alberta vote for a fair deal of constitutional equality within confederation, but these proposals are rejected, that Albertans will be given the opportunity to vote on their independence,” said Barnes.

“While I appreciate that my colleagues on the panel do not believe that Alberta can raise the prospect of independence under any circumstance, I must respectfully disagree. A free people must be willing to at some point of injustice without rectification, to draw a line and make a stand.

“I do not make any of these recommendations, and the last in particular, lightly. I was born a Canadian, and sincerely wish to build a reformed Canada that treats all of its people equally and fairly.

“In fact, this is another opportunity for Albertans to lead the way, for by finding equality and fairness for ourselves, we can create the framework for others to find the same. Ultimately, this will help to build a stronger, freer, prosperous, and more united Canada.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/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

News

COVID lockdown remains as new virus variants found in Alberta ‘a serious threat’

mm

Published

on

There is no sign of Alberta relaxing COVID-19 lockdown regulations as numerous cases of virus variants are showing up in the province.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Monday the variants are “a serious threat.”

Shandro said 20 cases of a variant from Great Britain, along with five cases of a variant from South Africa, have been discovered in the province.

He said the variants are one of the reasons the province will not be easing lockdown regulations as they make sure the health care system is not overwhelmed.

Shandro said any easing of the restrictions will be based on the amount of “risk” involved.

When asked about numerous Alberta businesses opening despite lockdown regulations, Shandro said: “Our hearts go out to all business.”

Shandro also blasted the federal government as Alberta currently has no COVID-19 vaccines to hand out. Manufacturer Pfizer has said Canada will not receive any doses this week.

“We need more doses – now,” said Shandro, adding Alberta is currently ready to vaccinate 50,000 people a day when the shipments resume.

He noted Canada has only vaccinated two per cent of the population, while in the US, the figure is six per cent and the UK, ten per cent.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said regulations will be relaxed “as soon as it’s safe.”

She said in the last 24 hours, Alberta has found 362 new cases of the virus, along with 25 deaths. The positivity rate is 5 per cent.

It’s is the fewest number of new cases in a day since Oct. 23.

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

Continue Reading

News

Alberta RCMP find man who was wearing KKK hood in Grimshaw

The picture hit social media in early January with townsfolk wondering in the KKK has set up a chapter in Grimshaw

mm

Published

on

RCMP in Grimshaw say they have identified a man who was photographed at the town post office wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood.

Now it’s in the hands of the Crown to determine whether charges are laid.

The picture hit social media in early January with townsfolk wondering in the KKK has set up a chapter in Grimshaw, located 25 km west of Peace River.

The photo was passed on to the RCMP who launched an investigation.

“Following several investigative steps, Peace Regional RCMP believe to have identified the individual involved in this incident. The Peace Regional RCMP’s investigation remains active and all information has been presented to the Office of the Crown Prosecution for review and opinion,” RCMP said in a statement Monday.

The day the photo appeared, Mayor Bob Regal posted on Facebook: “The Town of Grimshaw and its residents in no way finds this type of behaviour appropriate or acceptable along with the insinuations made that have been made by several commenters that Grimshaw is somehow a racist community! “

Media reports said the hooded man had been seen at the post office numerous times.

The KKK hate group has been around in one form or another since 1865. Membership peaked at 6 million in 1925. There are currently up to 8,000 members of the white supremacist group.

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

Continue Reading

Energy

Former Shell head says Biden’s Keystone move ‘makes no sense’

John Hofmeister said Biden’s move will create huge uncertainty in the energy industry.

mm

Published

on

The former president of Shell Oil says President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline project “makes no sense for the future good of the American people,” warning “we will pay a price for that.”

John Hofmeister made the comments on FOX Monday morning.

“Oil is not going away. Anyone that thinks it is, certainly doesn’t understand how the economy works and how science works and so it’s just going to be a struggle,” he said.

“We’re in for a number of years of struggle while we also work on the next set of alternatives.”

In addition to halting Keystone, Biden renewed the U.S. commitment to the Paris climate accord last Wednesday, the first day he was in power.

Hofmeister said Biden’s move will create huge uncertainty in the energy industry.

“It creates a great deal of uncertainty, which is very difficult to manage in a business that requires billions of dollars and years of planning,” Hofmeister, who retired as head of Shell in 2008, told Fox.

“We’re not going to get rid of fossil fuels in a four-year term or an eight-year term of an administration. It’s just not going to happen. What will happen is that the price of oil will go up and the production of U.S. oil will go down.”

Alberta has billions of dollars tied up in the cancelled project, with $1.5 billion of taxpayers’ money handed to operator TC Energy already, along with $6 billion in loan guarantees.

In a letter to Trudeau Friday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney claims when Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project on Wednesday, he broke several free trade regulations.

“At the very least, I call upon the government of Canada to press the US Administration to compensate TC Energy, and the Alberta government, for billions of dollars of cost incurred in the construction of Keystone XL to date,” Kenney’s letter said.

During the Democratic primaries and campaign, Biden vowed to kill the pipeline, large portions of which have already been built in Alberta. He made the vow before Alberta invested it’s money.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, have also said in the past they would put an end to fracking, a promise they did not repeat during the campaign.

The Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas.

The new pipeline would have run from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

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

Continue Reading

External Advertisement

Sign up for the Western Standard Newsletter

Free news and updates
* = required field

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard owned by Wildrose Media Corp.