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EXCLUSIVE: UCP MLA says Albertans will want independence vote if Teck turned down

An Alberta government UCP MLA says an independence referendum should be held in the province if the federal government gives the thumbs down to the giant Teck mine project.

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Alberta UCP MLA Drew Barnes says Albertans will demand an independence referendum if the federal government gives the thumbs down to the giant Teck mine project.

The Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA – also a member of the province’s Fair Deal Panel – told the Western Standard on Friday afternoon that rejection of the mine would leave the province with no options for a “fair deal” if Ottawa kills the project, and that Alberta needs to build “leverage.”

Barnes pointed out that Alberta had lost another 18,000 jobs in January and said the economy is “moribund.”

“As a longtime Albertan & member of the Fair Deal panel it is clear that federal interference in approving Teck’s Frontier application will drastically heighten Albertan’s desire to hold a referendum on independence,” Barnes said in a statement issued by his office.

“During my three terms representing Cypress-Medicine Hat it is clear Albertans want and deserve opportunity, self-determination. Alberta should be the freest and richest place in North America. In fact, federal governance interference has done more to hold Albertans back than anything, ever before.”

“I ask Premier Kenney & the UCP government to turn down any comparative scrap of compensation offered to Albertans to negate Albertan’s opportunity to fully develop our best in the world oil and gas industry. Let us continue to work towards Alberta being the place with the most opportunity & best place to live and raise a family.”

He said federal rejection of the mine would “be a sign there is no Fair Deal to be had,” and that he expected to have some support in caucus for his position.

Poll on referendum vote

Barnes also said any aid package offered by the feds should be turned down.

“Ottawa needs to stop reaching into Alberta business. People may not realize the depth of despair Alberta is in but it’s a politician’s job to make sure all regions in the country are looked after.”

He said hundreds of people at Fair Deal hearing across the province have expressed frustration with Ottawa and wanted to have an independence vote, and that rejection of the mine would ramp up those calls.

The mega project in northern Alberta has already been approved by the non-political regulators, but Liberal the natural resources minister said last week that the federal government may delay approval of the project unless Alberta drops its opposition to Ottawa’s carbon tax. Adding fuel to the fire were several Eastern Liberal MPs lobbying to kill the project outright.

Reports of an aid package for the beleaguered province appear to confirm that the federal government is seriously considering nixing the mega project, which Teck says will create 7,000 jobs and significantly add to the provinces GDP.

In place of allowing the private investment project to go ahead, federal sources say that direct government spending on infrastructure projects and well cleanup is in the mix.

EarlierThursday, Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs tweeted, “A political rejection of this project by the Liberal cabinet will be perceived by most Albertans as a final rejection of Alberta by Canada.”

Teck itself issued a statement this week saying it also hoped it would become a net-zero emitter by 2050.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: 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

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Horgan told he can’t build a ‘BC Wall’

Many pundits said such a move would be against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but Horgan plugged away and last week ordered government lawyer to do some digging to see if he could.

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BC Premier John Horgan isn’t legally allowed to ban other Canadians from travelling to his province, his lawyers have told him.

Horgan has been musing for several months about the ban, which he said would help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Many pundits said such a move would be against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but Horgan plugged away and last week ordered government lawyers to do some digging to see if he could.

Section 6. (2) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: “Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right: to move to and take up residence in any province; [and] to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.”

And guess what BC lawyers found – they concluded the pundits were correct!

“The review of our legal options made it clear we can’t prevent people from travelling to British Columbia. We can impose restrictions on people travelling for non-essential purposes if they are causing harm to the health and safety of British Columbians,” Horgan said.

“Much of current interprovincial travel is work related and therefore cannot be restricted.

“Public health officials tell us what is most important is for everyone to obey health orders, wherever they are, rather than imposing mobility rules. Therefore, we will not be imposing travel restrictions at this time.

“If we see transmission increase due to interprovincial travel, we will impose stronger restrictions on non-essential travellers. We will continue to work with the tourism and hospitality sectors to make sure all possible safety precautions are in place.”

In November, Horgan said: “We need a pan-Canadian approach to travel. People in Quebec and Manitoba should stay in Quebec and Manitoba.

“We want to make sure we have an approach to travel not inconsistent with citizenship. Non-essential travel should not be happening in British Columbia,” he said.

So far, BC has had almost 63,000 cases of COVID-19 with 1,119 deaths.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Dastardly thieves steal entire herd of Saskatchewan cattle

While it’s quite common for the RCMP to be called in when one of two cows get stolen on the Prairies, it’s a whole different matter when the entire herd is pilfered.

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The cattle rustling – and there’s cattle rustlin‘!

While it’s quite common for the RCMP to be called in when one of two cows get stolen on the Prairies, it’s a whole different matter when the entire herd is pilfered.

RCMP in Saskatchewan are now on the look-out for 63 purloined cattle worth an estimated $100,000.

RCMP said between October and December, a Saskatchewan farmer had 35 cows and 28 calves on multiple quarters of land between Moosomin and Fairlight go missing.

It was only reported a couple of days ago and RCMP are investigating the matter as a theft.

“It’s definitely rare. Just everything about it,” Cpl. Dallyn Holmstrom told Global News.

“I’ve heard of people losing cows to the (United) States over frauds … but it’s always been a fraud where they’ve sold cows and then through frauds or whatever, they haven’t gotten money.

““But I’ve never heard of cows just being stolen — at this magnitude anyway.”

Holmstrom told Global all the cows are all branded with a line over a capital T and E.

“The calves aren’t branded, but they all have ear tags and the cows have ear tags as well, but they’re branded,” Holmstrom told Global.

“They can’t go to an auction mart, they can’t go to a butcher. They can’t because they’re branded.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact 310-7267 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Edmonton councillor calls for study on creation of urban reserve

An urban reserve is defined as a reserve within or adjacent to an urban centre.

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An Edmonton city councillor will ask administration to study the possibility of setting up an Aboriginal reserve with city limits, the Western Standard has learned.

Ward 5 Coun. Sarah Hamilton will make the request at the next council meeting on Monday.

She will move “that Administration prepare a report to formally implement an Urban Reserve Strategy for the City of Edmonton, to work with First Nations that would like to establish an urban reserve within the City of Edmonton boundaries.”

An urban reserve is defined as a reserve within or adjacent to an urban centre.

There are numerous urban reserves across the country – the majority being created as a result of a specific claim and Treaty Land Entitlement settlements, which provide First Nations with cash payments that, may be used to purchase land.

Hamilton asks administration to “outline how other municipalities in Western Canada have implemented an Urban Reserve Strategy, including bylaw compatibility, municipal service agreements and other considerations, and recommendations of feasibility on implementing a similar model in
Edmonton.”

In a federal government website on urban reserves, it notes it’s important for the new centre to have a municipal servicing agreement because it provides a fee for services such as water, garbage collection, police and fire protection, in an amount which is generally equivalent to the amount the municipality would have collected through property taxes.

“The same sales tax exemptions that apply to reserves in rural areas also apply to urban reserves,” the government said.

“Many First Nations in Canada are located in rural areas, far from the cities and towns where most wealth and jobs are created. This geographic remoteness can sometimes pose challenges for First Nations trying to increase their economic self-sufficiency. As a result, urban reserves are one of the most successful ways to address the problem of geographic remoteness of First Nations.

“Urban reserves offer residents economic opportunities that are generally unavailable in more remote areas. They give First Nation businesses the chance to establish themselves and provide employment and training opportunities. At the same time urban reserves can create jobs for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and contribute to the revitalization of the host municipality.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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