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Alberta Court of Appeal finds federal carbon tax unconstitutional

In a 4-1 majority decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal has found the federal carbon tax unconstitutional.

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In a 4-1 majority decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal has found the federal carbon tax unconstitutional, calling it a “Trojan horse” with the potential for “unlimited federal intrusion”.

Premier Jason Kenney said he was pleased with the decision.

“We promised to take meaningful action on climate change without punishing Alberta families for driving to work and heating their homes,” Kenney said.

“We urge the Trudeau government to respect the ruling of the court and scrap their carbon tax immediately on Alberta families.”

Alberta’s Court of Appeal is the first provincial court to reject the federal government’s jurisdiction.

A jubilant Jason Kenney said it was a great day for Alberta and federalism in a press conference after the decision was made public.

“Let me be clear about why we’re fighting so hard – there’s no one size fits all plan – we categorically reject that.”

“We do not believe Canadian families should be penalized for living normal lives.”

The provinces of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Ontario acted as intervenors in the appeal.

Ontario and Saskatchewan have previously lost their provincial appeals and filed notice to appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada.

Saskatchewan and Ontario’s provincial appeal courts delivered split decisions with the majority siding with the federal government’s jurisdiction in implementing the tax.

Canadian Taxpayer Federation President and CEO Scott Hennig said he was also pleased with the decision and that the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) final decision “should be interesting”.

Arguments on behalf of Saskatchewan’s carbon tax challenge will be heard by the SCC this spring.

Conservative Party of Canada leadership hopeful Peter MacKay said it was time for the federal and provincial governments to work together on climate policy.

“A carbon tax is not a (climate change) plan, it is a tax,” MacKay wrote on Twitter.

Kenney said his government respects the science behind climate change and touted the TIER program that maintained a carbon tax on Alberta businesses.

The UCP government repealed Alberta’s provincial carbon tax on individuals in June of 2019 but left the $30/tonne tax on Alberta’s “largest emitting” corporations with the TIER (Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction) program.

TIER replaced the NDP government’s CCIR (Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation) as of January 1, 2020.

“The TIER Fund would be used for new and cleaner Alberta-based technologies that reduce emissions – like improved oil sands extraction methods and research and investment in carbon capture, utilization and storage” a statement on the Alberta government website reads.

“It would also be used to reduce Alberta’s deficit and support the province’s energy war room, which is now incorporated as the Canadian Energy Centre.”

Cabinet Ministers Doug Schweitzer, Jason Nixon and Sonya Savage are the named directors of the private corporation.

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told CBC’s Power and Politics that because both Ontario and Saskatchewan Court of Appeal found the carbon tax constitutional, “the ultimate arbiter will be the Supreme Court of Canada who will be hearing this case in March”.

“The federal government remains confident that our arguments will be upheld,” he said.

“I will simply say that pricing pollution… is the most efficient, most cost effective manner in which to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and it’s something to which (the federal government remains) committed.”

Deirdre is a Senior Reporter with Western Standard

dmaclean@westernstandardonline.com @Mitchell_AB

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Leaders thank businesses and Canadians

Five more residents die at Calgary seniors home.

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Businesses, non-profits and individuals have been stepping up all over the country to offer products and services that have been identified as necessary. 

ATCO has offered trailers with a potential for remote testing, distilleries began making hand sanitizer, Suncor has donated masks, Shell has donated isopropyl, a major ingredient in producing hand sanitizer, and McDonald’s and Tim Hortons have ensured truck drivers can order food for pick-up. 

“I’m deeply touched by the outpouring of support we’re seeing from private and non-profit organizations, both foreign and domestic. When times are tough, Alberta’s spirit of ingenuity and generosity always answers the call,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Friday.

In Ontario, the government has put out a call for “viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario,” a government release said.

“Ontario has an army of innovators, entrepreneurs, and the hardest-working people in the world ready to roll up their sleeves, support our frontline healthcare workers, and beat this virus,” said Premier Ford.

“This mass mobilization of government, business, communities and private citizens to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe and healthy represents one of the largest and most ambitious efforts undertaken by Ontario in generations.”

The Prime Minister announced Tuesday that almost 3,000 Canadian companies have been able to add production to meet critical supply needs of medical and personal protection equipment, as well as test kits, and other companies have donated personal protection equipment they had in supply. 

“Canadian companies are answering the call to provide critical support to our health care workers, who are on the front lines of our country’s fight against COVID-19. As the situation continues to evolve, the Government of Canada will be there to work with Canadian industry to find solutions that will support our medical professionals and protect the health and safety of all Canadians,” the Prime Minister said.

Alberta

The province reported an additional 107 cases bringing the total to 1,075. The province also announced five more COVID-related deaths in Alberta bringing the total to 18.

Four of the deaths were from the Mckenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in Calgary, bringing the total to eight from the single senior’s residence.

108 cases may be community transmission meaning they cannot be traced to international travel or known cases. 

174 people have recovered.

British Columbia

The province reported 53 new cases bringing its total to 1,174. Four additional COVID-related deaths were also reported bringing the province’s total to 35.

641 people have recovered.

Manitoba

The province has identified 15 additional probable cases bringing its total to 182. Manitoba also announced its second COVID-related death.

11 people have recovered.

Saskatchewan

The province reported 14 new cases Thursday bringing its total to 220. 

48 people have recovered.

Provincial cases:

·        Quebec: 6,101 confirmed cases, including 1 recovered and 61 deaths

·        Ontario: 3,675 cases including 501 recovered and 105 deaths

·        British Columbia: 1,131 confirmed cases including 641 recovered and 31 deaths

·        Alberta: 1,075 confirmed cases including 172 recovered and 14 deaths

·        Saskatchewan: 220 confirmed cases including 48 recovered and 3 deaths

·        Nova Scotia: 207 confirmed and presumptive cases

·        Newfoundland and Labrador: 195 confirmed cases and 1 death

·        Manitoba: 182 confirmed cases including 11 recovered and 2 deaths

·        New Brunswick: 95 confirmed and presumptive cases

·        Prince Edward Island: 22 confirmed cases, and 3 recovered

·        Yukon: 5 confirmed cases

·        Northwest Territories: 1 confirmed case

·        Nunavut: 0 cases

There are currently 12,909 cases across Canada with 2,608 from B.C. to Manitoba.

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a Senior Reporter with Western Standard
dmaclean@westernstandardonline.com 
Twitter @Mitchell_AB

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Calgary Fire Dept. saves the day for locked down birthday parties

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Planning a depressing lockdown birthday party for a young ‘un?

 

It’s the Calgary Fire Department to the rescue!

 

Fire Chief Steve Dongworth announced a plans on Friday to have a fire truck show up at the homes where people are self-isolating inside while they celebrate a birthday.

 

Dongworth said the fire truck would blast their sirens and the firefighters inside may get on the loudspeaker for a predictable awful version of “Happy Birthday!”

 

The program is open for any Calgary children between the ages of four to twelve, and anyone over 75.

 

He said the fire truck would hopefully get to the birthday party about 2 p.m.

 

Dongworth said some firefighters had already started doing this on their own volition before the department made it a city-wide program.

 

“Those families have been fairly overwhelmed (when the fire trucks showed up), said Dongworth.

 

The chief said the “Drive-by Birthday” program will last until the end of May but could be expanded.

 

Dongworth said the surprise for the younger children should be kept a secret in case the local fire truck gets called away for an emergency but that “we will get to you eventually.”

 

To book a fire truck for your party go here.

 

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

 

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

 

Twitter: @Nobby7694

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Calgary on lockdown til end of June; Stampede’s fate still uncertain

That puts the pressure on the Calgary Stampede to announce whether or not it plans to continue with year’s show which starts July 3.

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The City of Calgary has cancelled all events through til the end of June.

That puts the pressure on the Calgary Stampede to announce whether or not it plans to continue with year’s show which starts July 3.

“All I can tell you is the (Stampede board) is taking this extraordinarly seriously,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said at a Friday press conference.

“At this moment there is no news. But they will make the right decision for the community,” said Nenshi, adding it was possible the city’s order could be pushed into June.

Last week, before the city’s latest order came down, Stampede CEO Warren Connell said all aspects were being studied. 

“We’re assessing what could be possible or not possible with respect to all of our programming in the coming months, given that the full impact of COVID-19 on the community remains uncertain,” Warren Connell, the CEO of the Calgary Stampede, said in an interview with the Globe and Mail.

“With any social-distancing requirements, it just really wouldn’t be responsible or possible for us to host a Stampede.”

The city ban on gatherings means a total of 79 events have been cancelled in June, including many charity walks and runs.

Also cancelled was Nenshi’s beloved Neighbour Day, the third Saturday in June, in honour of the city’s resilience to the 2013 flooding.

Also shut down by order are all the Plus 15s in the city which Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson said were being used by people to “mill around.”

And Sampson said the order would mean no games and the Saddledome or McMahon Stadium should NHL and CFL season’s astonishingly resume.

Sampson again urged people not to gather in places like parks. He said if people get too close in parks to “just turn away.

Dave Naylor is the News editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: twitter/Nobby7694

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