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Liberals may delay Teck oil sands project; imply Alberta should accept carbon tax

Wilkinson said all provinces, including Alberta, are expected to do their part to help Canada meet those commitments.

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The federal environment minister says Alberta’s plan to battle climate change could affect whether or not the government approve a giant mine project in the province.

“In the context of Premier (Jason) Kenney, you know, the most recent actions are fighting the federal government on the issue of pricing pollution,” Wilkinson told reporters in Ottawa.

“I think what we’re looking for is concrete actions on climate change.”

Teck’s Frontier $20.6 billion project is currently awaiting federal approval to begin construction in northern Alberta and is expected to create around 7,000 jobs in the construction phase.

The project, a “truck and shovel” oil sands mine, “will consist of surface mining operations, a processing plant, tailings management facilities, water management facilities, and associated infrastructure and support facilities,” according to a statement on the company’s website. It’s expected to produce 260,000 barrels of oil a day.

“Teck has also reached agreements with all 14 Indigenous communities in the broader Frontier project area.”

“With respect to (Frontier), we need to look at all the environmental impacts, we obviously need to look at the economic opportunities, and we need to ensure we’re taking both into account,” Wilkinson said.

“Certainly, one of those issues is how does this project fit with Canada’s commitments to achieving the reductions we are committing to (for) 2030, and the net zero commitment to 2050? I would just say again that it’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets.”

Wilkinson said all provinces, including Alberta, are expected to do their part to help Canada meet those commitments.

The UCP government unveiled their industrial emitter plan, TIER (Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction system), in Bill 19, passed during the fall legislature session.

“Alberta recently announced its TIER industrial levy program, which has received notable support from stakeholders, including individuals such as Prof. Andrew Leach and Ed Whittingham. TIER would obviously apply to Teck Frontier. What’s more, Minister Wilkinson’s own government confirmed federal equivalency for TIER,” Jason Nixon, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks said.

“In July 2019, the independent federal Joint Review Panel clearly recommended that Teck Frontier is in the public interest. Teck Frontier has followed the process the Liberal Government confirmed for them, so one would hope that Ottawa is not arbitrarily changing the rules at the 11th hour.”

TIER replaced the NDP’s Climate Leadership Plan by maintaining the price on pollution for large emitters but repealing the price on other businesses and residents. The federal price on carbon for Albertans, excepting large emitters, came into effect January 1, 2020.

Under TIER, facilities can either reduce their emissions or; use credits from other facilities, use emissions offsets from non-regulated organizations, or pay into the TIER fund at $30 per tonne.

The Alberta government launched its challenge of federal carbon pricing in 2019 and presented arguments Dec. 16-18 in Alberta’s Court of Appeal.

The court’s decision has yet to be announced.

story ideas? dmaclean@westernstandardonline.com Twitter: @Mitchell_AB

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Trudeau: ‘I’m sorry for not recusing myself on vote for WE money’

“I made a mistake in not recusing myself immediately from the discussions given our family’s history,” Justin Trudeau said.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was sorry he didn’t recuse himself from a cabinet vote that gave nearly a billion dollars to a charity that had given his family members hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“I made a mistake in not recusing myself immediately from the discussions given our family’s history, and I’m sincerely sorry about not having done that,” Trudeau told reporters at a Monday press conference .

“When it came to this organization and this program, the involvement that I’d had in the past and that my family has, should have had me remove myself from those discussions and I’m sorry that I didn’t. I’m particularly sorry because not only has it created unnecessary controversy and issues, it also means that young people who are facing a difficult time right now getting summer jobs, contributing to their communities, are going to have to wait a little longer before getting those opportunities to serve, and that’s frustrating.”

It was Trudeau’s first public comments after it emerged last week the WE organization had paid his mother $250,000, his brother $32,000 and his wife $1,400 to appear at WE events.

In April, Trudeau announced a new program called the Canada Student Service Grant that promised to pay to students who volunteer over the summer.

Management of the $900-million program was outsourced to WE Charity. WE Charity would be paid at least $19.5-million to run the program.

After controversy erupted, the WE organization withdrew from the program.

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion has announced that his office is investigating.

WE Charity Co-Founders Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger issued a statement on the WE website.

“… We respect the public concern that Margaret Trudeau and Alexandre Trudeau were paid past speaking honorariums,” they wrote.

“The past two weeks have been extremely difficult. The charity’s integrity and purpose has been called into question. It has had direct impacts on our staff, supporters, and beneficiaries. We have made mistakes that we sincerely regret. It has led us to more closely examine our own internal structures, governance and organization.

“In the days to come we will have more to say on these matters and about the organization’s future. For now, we wanted to set the record straight, take responsibility for our part, and refocus on the mission that started twenty-five years ago.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Green Party leadership candidate drops out blaming May’s interference

“In the last election the party presented fewer candidates of colour than any other party… this is a situation which is wrong, embarrassing, immoral and that must be addressed,” Tyrrell said.

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A candidate for the leadership of the Green Party of Canada says he is dropping out of the race because of the “constant” interference of former leader Elizabeth May.

Alex Tyrrell, the leader of the Green Party of Quebec, also slammed his federal party as being the least diverse political party in Canada.

“When I decided to put my name forward for the federal leadership, I did so under the assurance that Elizabeth May would not intervene in the race. Although this held true for the first few weeks, her intervention in the race has become more and more visible on social media, behind the scenes and most recently when she launched a fundraising tour with one of her preferred candidates,” said Tyrrell.

“At the same time that Ms. May has been intervening in the race on a daily basis, she has consolidated power in the party by presenting a slate of candidates – managed by her husband (John Kidder), for the federal council elections.

“The unfortunate reality is that the Elizabeth May era will continue for the foreseeable future.”

Alex Tyrrell
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec

Tyrrell said he chose not to run a slate of candidates for the federal council “which turned out to be a mistake.

“Over the past months and weeks Ms. May and her entourage have made it amply clear to me that they will do everything in their power to oppose my candidacy, my political agenda of moving the party to the left and that they will fiercely undermine my leadership in the event that I would win the federal leadership race,” he said.

“In a CBC article published a few days ago, Ms. May’s husband, who is now the party’s vice president, compared my criticisms of their consolidation of power to, and I quote, “fecal matter,” before adding that I “understand nothing about governance” and that I should “return to study.” I view these comments as ageist, condescending, paternalistic and outright disrespectful.

“The level of disrespect shown to me by Ms. May, her husband and their entourage has sent the message to their supporters that it is ok to bully me, to send me hateful messages and to bend the rules against my candidacy.”

Tyrrell said he was the most experienced candidate in the race, having run for the Green Party in 10 provincial elections.

He also slammed the Green Party for its lack of diversity.

“It is no secret that the Green Party of Canada has huge problems with racism, discrimination and exclusion of marginalized communities within its ranks. In the last election the party presented fewer candidates of colour than any other party… this is a situation which is wrong, embarrassing, immoral and that must be addressed,” he said.

The Western Standard has contacted May’s office for comment but so far hasn’t heard back.

The Green Party will select a new leader in October.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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MacKay denies Tory deputy leader promised promotion in exchange for endorsement

Sources tell the Western Standard that Leona Alleslev will become leader of the opposition in the House of Commons until Peter Mackay has a seat, should he win the leadership.

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Federal Conservative Party Deputy Leader Leona Alleslev has resigned to throw her support behind leadership candidate Peter MacKay – with sources tell the Western Standard there is a behind-the-scenes agreement attached to the move.

The sources say that should MacKay win the leadership, Alleslev would be appointed the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons until Peter Mackay wins a seat, either in a by-election or in a general election.

A spokesman for the MacKay campaign categorically denied that there was any quid pro quo.

“That is 100 per cent false. Anyone who has endorsed Peter MacKay, or will endorse Peter MacKay, makes the decision freely without any promises or commitments,” said Jordan Paquet.

Some of the same sources speaking to the Western Standard we’re the same individuals leaked word that Scheer would appoint Alleslev as his deputy leader in November 2018.

Alleslev was first elected as a Liberal under Justin Trudeau in 2015, but cross the floor to the Tories in 2018.

“The selection of the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is too important a decision for me to stand to the side. Today, I am stepping down as Deputy Leader of her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to engage more actively in the leadership campaign,” Alleslev tweeted.

Behind the scenes agreements that reward supporters are common in leadership races, however they are seldom official or in written form.

Mackay famously made a written agreement with David Orchard to win the 2003 federal Progressive Conservative Party leadership, promising never to merge his party with Stephen Harper’s Canadian Alliance.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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