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Ethics commissioner warns UCP MLAs about voting on bill to fire elections commissioner

NDP leader Rachel Notley is demanding the government shut down Bill 22 after the Alberta ethics commissioner said UCP MLAs could be in conflict of interest.

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NDP leader Rachel Notley is demanding the government shut down Bill 22 after the Alberta ethics commissioner said UCP MLAs could be in conflict of interest.

But that demand fell on deaf ears after the government passed the bill shortly after the ethics commissioner’s letter was made public.

Marguerite Trussler said Thursday any member under RCMP investigation or by the election commissioner would be in a breach of the Conflicts of Interest Acts if they voted on Bill 22.

Bill 22 is seeking to shut down the election commissioner’s office. The office has handed out hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines to UCP officials for wrongdoing in the leadership campaign that elected Jason Kenney.

The RCMP is also investigating the contest.

On Wednesday Notley wrote to Trussler asking her to review and UCP participation in the bill.

“Those individuals who are in the process of being investigated by the Elections Commissioner or the RCMP would be in breach s. 2 (1) of the Conflict of Interests Act if they were to discuss portions of Bill 22 pertaining to the Office of the Elections Commissioner or vote on the bill,” wrote Trussler.

And she said while not commenting on all UCP members, MLAs who work closely with anyone under investigation should not vote on the bill.

Trussler said it wasn’t within her mandate to ask the government to delay the bill.

Her letter was cc. to several MLAs under investigation Kenney. Three of those MLAs voted on the bill.

The bill has passed third reading Thursday morning. It still needs Royal assent to become law.

Notley told reporters her next step is to start filing numerous complaints with the ethics commissioner.

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt called Bill 22 a “travesty of democracy and justice.

“Bill 22 has passed in less than 4 days. Lorne Gibson, the Elections Commissioner investigating the 2017 UCP leadership race, has been de facto fired by the UCP govt.,” Bratt tweeted.

Kenney is in Texas on a trade mission.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. 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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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Godot

    November 21, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Wow, Notley has thrown her heart and soul into this one …
    Remember her indifference when more that 100,000 Albertans lost their jobs as a direct result of her government’s policies. And let us not forget how she dragged her feet when Fort McMurray was on fire in 2016. Recall too that Trudeau refused the numerous offers made by foreign governments to send firefighters to put out the blaze. Fort McMurray was the beating heart of the oil sands. Notley and Trudeau worked in tandem to destroy it.
    #WEXITNOW

    • Mary MAC Pherson

      November 22, 2019 at 10:44 am

      Albertans & Saskatchewan citizens all need to be educated on this subject. Hundreds of thousands of people do not know these facts.

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New Brunswick breaks ranks with Alberta on carbon tax

New Brunswick is breaking ranks for Alberta and fully complying with Ottawa’s carbon tax

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New Brunswick is the latest province to present a carbon tax plan on fossil fuels with its Gasoline and Motive Fuel Tax Act introduced in the Legislature Thursday.

“For us and for New Brunswickers, climate change is real, man-made, and worthy of action,” said Finance and Treasury Minister Ernie Steeves.

“One of our key priorities is to energize the private sector. With our made-in-New Brunswick carbon tax plan, we will protect New Brunswickers and ensure the sustainability of our environment, as well as that of our communities and our economy.”

The “made-in-New Brunswick” carbon tax on fossil fuels will go into effect April 1, 2020

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister introduced the new Ministry of Conservation and Climate Change when his government was sworn in on October 23, 2019.

Sarah Guillemard, MLA for Fort Richmond was appointed to lead the Ministry.

“(T)he new Department of Conservation and Climate (is) a single department charged with environmental and climate stewardship,” according to a news release on the Manitoba government’s website.

“The department is responsible for ensuring responsible growth including delivery of the made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, and Efficiency Manitoba.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in Alberta received federal approval of his TIER program, which maintains a carbon tax on about 50 per cent of Alberta’s emissions, on December 6th.

Kenney repealed the NDP’s “made-in-Alberta” carbon tax plan in May and eliminated programs through Efficiency Alberta that had been funded by the carbon tax.

“Albertans made it clear over the course of the election that they have no interest in taxpayer-subsidized home renovations schemes,” Jess Sinclair, spokesperson for Environment Minister Jason Nixon told the Calgary Herald in an email at the end of October.

Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan are still moving forward with their carbon tax challenge in a three-day hearing at Alberta’s Court of Appeal next week. New Brunswick officials have not said whether they are still intervening in the challenge.

Ontario and Saskatchewan appeal courts have both upheld the federal government’s jurisdiction.  

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Alberta premier’s approval rating plummets

Jason Kenney’s approval rating has gone from being in the top three of Canada’s premiers to bottom three in less than a year.

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Jason Kenney’s approval rating has gone from being in the top three of Canada’s premiers to bottom three in less than a year.

The Edmonton Journal commissioned poll of approval ratings show Kenney has a 40 per cent approval rate, a notable decline from his pre-election approval rating of 55 per cent.

An earlier Leger poll reported Kenney’s approval rating at 42 per cent at the beginning of December.

Former NDP Premier Rachel Notley had 40 per cent approval as well – pre-election.

The poll showed Quebec Premier Francois Legaut was the most popular and Ontario leader Doug Ford the least.

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Bernier rules out another Tory run

The second-place finisher in the last Conservative leadership race says there is “zero chance” he will run again.

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The second-place finisher in the last Conservative leadership race says there is “zero chance” he will run again.

Maxime Bernier, who went on to the form the People’s Party of Canada, made the statement shortly after Andrew Scheer resigned the leadership on Thursday.

“The party is morally and intellectually corrupt. Scheer was a weak leader who pushed it to the centre. The next leader will do the same,” his tweet read.

“I started a principled conservative alternative. I’m sticking to it.”

Bernier, who served as a cabinet minister under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, came a close second to Scheer in the 2017 leadership race.

He lost by less than 2 per cent.

Shortly after that Bernier started the People’s Party of Canada but didn’t meet with any election success in October, failing to win his own Quebec riding.

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

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