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UCP outlines future of natural gas reserves with hydrogen focus

The plan was created following input from natural gas industry partners, Indigenous and municipal leaders, and expert advice from the 2018 Roadmap to Recovery report.




The Alberta UCP government Monday unveiled their plan for future use of the province’s natural gas reserves, including more hydrogen production.

“The Natural Gas Vision and Strategy is a key part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and shares the actions Alberta’s government will take to grow the sector and seize emerging opportunities for clean hydrogen, petrochemical manufacturing, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and plastics recycling,” the government said in a release.

“This plan outlines exciting new opportunities for Alberta job creators and workers. We will meet growing global demands for clean and sustainable energy by building on Alberta’s success in natural gas. Alberta is ready to lead in safe, clean and reliable energy today and into the future. This is a key part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, designed to build, to diversify, and to create tens of thousands of jobs,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

Alberta is already a leader in hydrogen production and has strong carbon capture and storage infrastructure in place. Combined with a number of projects being built across the province, Alberta has the potential to be a strong global competitor through the creation of a hydrogen economy, said the release.

“Alberta’s 300-year supply of affordable natural gas provides significant opportunity to attract investment and job creators back to the province, building back our economy stronger than ever. Through this plan we will support a healthier future for Albertans and people around the world, said Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity

The plan was created following input from natural gas industry partners, Indigenous and municipal leaders, and expert advice from the 2018 Roadmap to Recovery report.

“Alberta’s natural resource industry is the greatest economic engine of this country, although the national prosperity it creates is often discounted. Nonetheless, the Government of Alberta and our industries continue to strive for excellence; advancing low-emissions technology and environmental efficiencies. The extraction of hydrogen from natural gas is yet one more example of our collective commitment to being the world leader in emissions reductions,” said Nancy Southern, chair and CEO of ATCO Ltd.

The government listed the plan in five sections:


  • Goal: Exports of hydrogen and hydrogen products across Canada, North America and globally are in place by 2040.
  • The Hydrogen Council, a global advisory council of corporate executives, estimates that by 2050, the global hydrogen sector could generate US$2.5 trillion per year and create 30 million jobs.
  • Hydrogen as a fuel source produces only water with no carbon emissions, and has the potential to become a major part of meeting carbon reduction targets worldwide.
  • Alberta has the potential to be one of the lowest cost hydrogen producers on the planet.
  • Hydrogen production will support continued and growing employment of highly skilled energy workers, create jobs and support innovation across the province.

Petrochemical manufacturing

  • Goal: Alberta becomes a global top 10 producer of petrochemicals and diversifies the portfolio of products manufactured.
  • According to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, there is an opportunity to grow Alberta’s petrochemical sector by more than $30 billion by 2030, resulting in more than 90,000 direct and indirect jobs and more than $10 billion in revenue for the Government of Alberta from corporate and personal income taxes.
  • Alberta has one of the most established petrochemical manufacturing centres in Canada with room for growth in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, Grande Prairie, Joffre and Medicine Hat.
  • The Alberta Petrochemical Incentive Program, which will open to applications this fall, is already drawing investment attention into the province’s petrochemical sector.
  • Alberta’s robust carbon capture and storage infrastructure will also allow petrochemical producers to create valuable products while simultaneously lessening their environmental impacts.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG)

  • Goal: Alberta natural gas has access to Asian and European markets through two to three additional large-scale LNG projects by 2030.
  • According to the International Energy Agency, global demand for natural gas is projected to increase by 36 per cent over 2018 levels by 2040.
  • The LNG Canada project currently under construction will provide enough energy to displace 20 to 40 coal-fired power plants in Asia, reducing global GHG emissions by 60 million to 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
  • Canada is among the world’s top five natural gas producers, and more than two-thirds of Canada’s production comes from Alberta.
  • Growing access to global markets will help create jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenues to support programs and services across our province and Canada.

Plastics circular economy

  • Goal: Alberta is established as the Western North America centre of excellence for plastics recycling by 2030.
  • A “circular economy” is a concept gaining acceptance within the plastics and recycling industries, in which plastic waste is reused in new products through enhanced recycling techniques and technologies.
  • About 95 per cent of plastic packaging – valued at C$100 billion to C$150 billion – is disposed of after a single use, meaning there is a significant opportunity for plastics producers to recapture that value.
  • A study by Deloitte and Cheminfo Services Inc. suggested that major changes to recycling in Canada could see 90 per cent of plastics avoid landfills by 2030.
  • Alberta is well-positioned to implement a circular economy for plastics thanks to our petrochemical manufacturing industry, lower transportation costs and the development of enhanced recycling technologies within the province.
  • The government has already initiated work on developing a plastics economy in the province by being a member of the Plastics Alliance of Alberta.

Industrial demand

  • Goal: Alberta demand for natural gas and natural gas liquids grows with increased investment in natural gas processing infrastructure. Adding more natural gas transportation infrastructure happens faster, encouraging industry performance and growth.
  • Alberta’s oil sands are a large consumer of natural gas. Natural gas production also supplies condensate/diluent to the oil sands and is a primary input for natural gas in-situ projects, which represented 50 per cent of bitumen production in 2019.
  • As oil sands production increases, so will its natural gas consumption to support oil sands processing activities.
  • A number of power-generation facilities in the province are also looking to convert to natural gas as a fuel source, increasing demand for natural gas as industrial electricity demand also climbs.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
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


Lock-down ignoring party host arrested again in Vancouver

“Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks the rules don’t apply to them,” said Sergeant Steve Addison, VPD.




A man arrested by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) earlier this year for running a “makeshift nightclub” from his downtown penthouse has been convicted of new charges.

Mohammad Movassaghi was initially sentenced to 18 months probation in April, along with 50 hours of community service after pleading guilty in BC provincial court on counts of violating a public health order and selling liquor.

The 43-year-old man hosted hundreds of party-goers to his 1,100 square-foot penthouse near Richards Street and Georgia Street, equipped with cash machines, menus, and doormen.

VPD officers arrived at one of the parties on January 31 after a “witness” reported the event. One of the alleged doormen was issued several fines, however Movassaghi refused to open the door and was defiant with police. Officers returned early Sunday morning with a search warrant and subsequently issued over $17,000 in fines for violations contrary to the Emergency Program Act.

Large quantities of cash were seized as well.

“Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks the rules don’t apply to them,” said VPD Sgt. Steve Addison, following the January 31 arrest.

“If you are caught hosting or attending a party during the pandemic, and continue to break the rules, you could face stiff fines or wind up in jail.”

Of Addisons’ top concerns was the fact that “none of them were wearing masks.”

A GoFundMe was set up shortly after Movassaghi’s arrest, which stated he’d lost $15,000 in cash and liquor.

The campaign was shut down before it reached $300.

Judge Ellen Gordon compared Movassaghi’s actions with those of a drug dealer, specifically fentanyl — a synthetic opioid 100 times stronger than morphine. Her logic being COVID-19 can kill people, and so can fentanyl. Therefore there is “no difference.”

“What you did, sir, is comparable to individuals who sell fentanyl to the individuals on the street who die every day. There’s no difference. You voluntarily assumed a risk that could kill people in the midst of a pandemic,” said Gordon.

Fast forward to August and Movassaghi had violated the court orders again when he began hosting more parties in his penthouse, prompting a second VPD investigation leading to his arrest on Wednesday night.

He has since plead guilty of two counts of failure to comply with an order of the health officer and one count of selling liquor, says VPD.

Movassaghi has now been sentenced to 29 days in custody, 12 months of probation, and a $10,000 fine — leaving many wondering if he will switch up the location for his next party, possibly somewhere more discreet.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard

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Porch pirate Chahal could face $5K in fines or six months in jail

“I’ve fully cooperated and provided all the information that was requested of myself and my team,” said Chahal in the interview.




Porch pirate George Chahal, under investigation for mail theft by Elections Canada, could face a fine of $5,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

The Liberal Calgary-Skyview candidate was victorious in September’s federal election, however, he came under fire when a doorbell cam caught Chahal removing an opponent’s election literature from a mailbox ahead of the September 20 election.

Chahal, in a jersey with his name clearly visible on the back, was easily identified in the video.

A complaint was filed on September 23 and an investigation was launched.

Months later, Chahal’s name and his involvement in the incident was brought up in question period in the House of Commons this week by Barrie-Innisfail Conservative MP John Brassard.

“The member is facing a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail during an investigation that is continuing from the Commissioner of Canada Elections,” said Brassard.

“Even with the low bar on ethics and conduct set by the Liberals and indeed the prime minister over the last six years, does the prime minister think this type of action from a member of his caucus is acceptable?”

Trudeau, in defence of Chahal, said, “The member has apologized and is fully cooperating with Elections Canada as it goes through its processes.”

Chahal, during a Friday morning interview on CBC’s Calgary Eyeopener, mentioned both he and his team are being investigated in the incident.

“I’ve fully cooperated and provided all the information that was requested of myself and my team,” said Chahal in the interview.

The investigation was initially opened by the Calgary Police Service’s anti-corruption, unit but was quickly transferred to Elections Canada.

Chahal’s admission during the Friday morning radio interview could mean the replacing of election material in voters’ mailboxes may have been more widespread and could have involved his large team of volunteers.  

The matter is still under investigation with Elections Canada.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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Suzuki apologizes for radical ‘blown up’ pipelines comment

“The remarks I made were poorly chosen and I should not have said them. Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead us to a desperately-needed solution to the climate crisis.”




Environmental activist David Suzuki issued a public apology for comments he made last Saturday referencing “blown up” pipelines if the government doesn’t take drastic action on climate change.

The radical activist made the comments at an Extinction Rebellion protest in downtown Victoria last weekend when asked by CHEK News what he thought would happen if government leaders didn’t address the climate crisis.

“We’re in deep, deep doo doo. And the leading experts have been telling us for over 40 years. This is what we’ve come to. The next stage after this, there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.”

A released statement, also available on his website, said, “Dr. Suzuki’s comments were born out of many years of watching government inaction while the climate crisis continues to get worse.”

The statement included this apology from Suzuki:

“The remarks I made were poorly chosen and I should not have said them. Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead us to a desperately-needed solution to the climate crisis. My words were spoken out of extreme frustration and I apologize.

“We must find a way to stop the environmental damage we are doing to the planet and we must do so in a non-violent manner.”

The statement goes on to cite the work of the David Suzuki Foundation.

“Since 1990, the Foundation has produced credible and reliable evidence-based environmental information, and worked with all levels of government (including indigenous leadership), business and communities to resolve critical environmental issues.”

Suzuki was heavily criticized Monday for his comments by Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon.

“David Suzuki is so out of touch with the real world that he advocates for eco-terrorism…towards Canadian people and industries — this is completely unacceptable and extremely reckless,” said Nixon during Ministerial Statements in the Legislature.

“The NDP have a long history of collaborating with David Suzuki and their silence on his outrageous comments make them complicit with calls for ecoterrorism towards Albertans.

“We must protect our critical infrastructure and not allow these ridiculous ideological menaces to destroy what Albertans have worked so hard to create.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Suzuki’s comment was “an implicit or winking incitement to violence,” and likened it to something you’d hear in “gangster movies.”

Contrary to accusations of inciting violence by critics, Suzuki’s statement read, “Always grounded in sound evidence, the Foundation empowers people to take peaceful and impactful action in their communities on the environmental challenges we collectively face.” 

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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