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MORGAN: Will Kenney’s carbon tax succeed in appeasing Ottawa?

Lets not beat around the bush here. The TIER is simply Notley’s carbon tax rebranded.




Whether you call it a levy, a tariff, a toll or Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Regulation (TIER), a tax by any other name remains a tax.

Lets not beat around the bush here. The TIER is simply Notley’s carbon tax rebranded. There are other regulatory changes bundled in with the legislative changes put forward by the United Conservative government this week which may or may not be good but we can’t pretend that we got rid of the provincial carbon tax on industrial producers in Alberta. “Emissions pricing” is just another word for a carbon tax. In fact, it’s the term Liberals and New Democrats use when Conservatives call it a tax.

There are a few reasons for a carbon tax. Some feel that these taxes will help save the world from pending climate catastrophe (arguable). Some see it as another way for the state to confiscate wealth from enterprise or to be more generous. Some see it as another way for the government to increase revenues to reduce the deficit. The UCP’s reason for a carbon tax (sorry, TIER) is to avoid having Ottawa impose it on our behalf.

But will it work?

The federal Liberal government is dominated by and beholden to climate alarmist ideologues. Trudeau’s right hand man Gerald Butts has a long history as an environmental activist as do countless other senior government appointees in the Liberal government. While in a minority position, Trudeau is now in a position where he must try to pacify the Bloc, the NDP and the Green Party if he wants to remain in power. All of those parties are determined to shut down Alberta’s energy sector.

Will Alberta and its industries ever be able to self-flagellate enough to satisfy these parties and groups?

The answer is a resounding no.

Already the Pembina Institute among other eco-groups are decrying the TIER program as not having gone far enough. Elizabeth May and the Green Party likewise say it doesn’t go far enough, but they acknowledge that Jason Kenney has at least brought in a (gasp) carbon tax.

Now we must wait upon Ottawa to see if they feel that that this industry challenging tax will meet the standards that they feel Alberta must live up to. If Trudeau and gang feel that this is not enough, they can and will slap another tax or regulation on top of this one. The Trudeau Liberals also want to raise the carbon tax on industrial emitters to $50 per tonne by 2022. Does the UCP plan to hike their carbon tax to $50 per tonne in hopes of avoiding the federal action?

This morning Encana announced that they are pulling out of Canada. This is one of Canada’s oldest and largest energy companies. Canada’s energy sector simply can’t handle any more government imposed abuse whether through pipeline and shipping embargoes, massive regulatory burdens and ever increasing tax hikes.

We need to fight for our besieged industry rather than vainly try to appease it’s attackers.

Make no mistake about it, the opponents of Alberta’s energy sector want nothing less than a total shut down of our industries and they want it soon. There is no reasoning with these people.

We are at a crossroads. We can choose to let the federal government destroy our industry through a legislated death of a thousand cuts or we can fight vigorously to the bitter end. Sugarcoating a carbon tax by giving it a new acronym to describe it by and hoping that it pleases the masters in Ottawa is taking the former approach.

Drawing lines in the sand and jumping back from them as we appear to be doing with the promised equalization referendum is only inviting more abuse. It is telling the federal government that we are all bluster and bluff and will roll on our collective backs and expose our vulnerable belly when push comes to shove.

Embracing the industry killing policies of Ottawa in hopes of pacifying their lust to shut us down won’t work. It will only further embolden the ideologues who dominate the Liberal administration. We need to fight hard, fight now and fight without apology. Nothing less will save our industry and our future as a prosperous province.


LETTER: Stop repatriating ISIS fighters to Canada

A reader says that Canada must shut the door on returning ISIS fighters.




RE: Calgary man charged with terror crimes after allegedly training with ISIS in Syria

The arrest of a Calgary man by the RCMP on terror-related charges linked to his time with the Islamic State should be a stern reminder to Canadians that the old foe of Islamic extremism hides beneath current tensions. The RCMP say there are 190 Canadians linked to Islamic terror groups. Sixty have returned to Canada. The most notorious organization, Islamic State, butchered its way across nations and conquered sizable territory and resources.

We should never forget that these groups intend us harm. ISIS, more than any other, seduced many individuals into committing crimes for them – many of these persons were never officially linked to Islamic State. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is right to counsel Ottawa to never allow the repatriation of ISIS fighters back into this country. Last month, Human Rights Watch accused Canada of abandoning some of these people inside prison camps variously controlled by the Kurds and the Turks.

The problem of terrorist repatriation is a global one. The Kurds and the Turks, by turns, have demanded their return and an end to their unwanted global responsibility. Britain’s appellate court has been lambasted by critics for allowing its former citizen, dubbed the Jihadi Bride, an ISIS member, to return home. Shamima Begum left Britain for Syria and stayed with the terror group for three years. Now sitting inside a refugee camp, she apparently begged to be repatriated. Britain’s Conservative MPs argue her return sets a dangerous precedent. They are correct in saying so.

Global, indeed Middle Eastern, security has always depended on a powerful alliance between the U.S, Israel, and a few Arab nations. States like Egypt and Jordan share military and economic partnerships with Israel. The American withdrawal from parts of the Middle East like Syria was a mistake. They enabled the Taliban to rebound and Hezbollah to resume attacking Israel. The China-Iran alliance could enable the tracking of Western forces. 

Christopher Mansour
Barrie, ON

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LETTER: There won’t be any accountability for WE in this Canada

A reader says that Canadians shouldn’t hold their breath that any accountability will come in the wake of the growing WE Scandal.




The Kielburger brothers are like the prime minister; they think most people would believe the WE charity along with the founders wouldn’t benefit from administering a near $1 billion dollar program. The Conservative’s have called for a RCMP investigation of WE and Trudeau’s involvement. I can’t see that happening.

Brenda Lucki, the RCMP Commissioner in the SNC-L affair, could have applied to the courts for release of cabinet documents, but she chose to hide behind the PM’s cabinets privilege. The Ethics Commissioner has no teeth to impose any real penalty on these ministers who again, abuse Canadian finances. This is a failed federation, lead by a corrupt PM and finance minister along with the PMO that has its head in the sand.

On another point.

WEXIT is sounding better, every day, for Albertans, but I don’t think Premier Kenney had any intention of taking the next step to give Albertans a say. Premier Kenney changed his tune after he was elected to the Premiership. I am not impressed with him as he was all fire and brimstone prior to the election, but now I feel he is just another politician who pulled a bait and switch on his real intensions. To bad I didn’t hear him tell Albertans that he was a committed Federalist prior to saying he was fighting for Alberta. I would have changed my vote for sure. 

Steven Ruthven
Calgary, AB 

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BARNES: Time to replace the RCMP with an Alberta force

Drew Barnes writes that Alberta should immediately begin the process of creating its own police force.




Guest opinion column from Drew Barnes, MLA

In the Fair Deal Panel report, it was recommended that Alberta create its own police force. It is what we heard loud and clear from Albertans across the province. It is imperative, now more than ever with the overreaching policies of Ottawa, that we have control over policing in our own land. Premier Kenney – in the government’s response – has committed to conducting a further analysis of the panel recommendation to move to an Alberta Provincial Police. This analysis will support why we should have our own police force that is overseen by a directly elected Alberta Chief of Police. An Alberta Provincial Police force is a constitutional right that we have, and it should be exercised. 

Historically, Alberta had its own police force from 1917 to 1932. During that period, Alberta saw an increase in arrest rate and conviction, and a decrease in movement into Alberta by those with criminal intent. The reason for this increase has been attributed to the institutional difference in focus and priorities of a national vs an Alberta entity. 

This history serves to underscore why we need a police force that is familiar with the Alberta experience. One of the issues the RCMP have that makes it difficult for them to effectively police the province is the constant in-and-out of its members in communities, which nullifies the benefits that come with being familiar with an area and its particular challenges. An officer raised in Jasper, Ontario will be less familiar with the issues and concerns of Jasper, Alberta, than an Albertan. While some RCMP recruits may be from Alberta and may land a position in Alberta, that is too often not how it works. The lack of familiarity with community, and short-term posting protocol of the RCMP is an ongoing, acknowledged hinderance, for both the officers and the community.

The costs to operate the RCMP increase at a higher rate than provincially run police forces. A study comparing these costs found that over the span of eight years, the cost of operating RCMP detachments rose an average of $44.50 per capita. The costs for the Ontario Provincial Police force rose only $37.10 per capita on average during the same period.

We can cancel the contract with the federal government and the RCMP with two years notice. Providing notice that we will cancel the contract can take place as early as March 31, 2021. This would allow us to terminate the contract as of March 31, 2023 at no cost. Within that two-year gap, we can work out the details, such as settling accounts over buildings and equipment, which the current contract provides a road map for.

As a province, we even have a basic template in place that make this easier. The Alberta Sheriffs already perform many police duties in our province with 950 sworn members and 16 stations. We would simply need to look at expanding them into the areas that presently utilize RCMP service. 

The RCMP is a proud and iconic symbol of Canada, made up of proud, hardworking members from across Canada, however, it is time for Alberta to consider taking back it’s policing, to create local ownership, accountability, and to hire Albertans to police Alberta. Albertans should determine their own policing priorities based on their particular needs. It is time to bring back the Alberta Provincial Police.

Drew Barnes is the UCP MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat

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