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Kinsella to start Alberta war room – in Ontario

Kinsella is currently devising a plan to confront Alberta’s adversaries, with a war room, of sorts, that exists “behind enemy lines”.

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Warren Kinsella wants to show, and grow, Alberta support in the federal government’s back yard.

Kinsella lives in Toronto now but spent many years in Alberta where he was a journalist and also completed his law degree at the University of Calgary. He is a former liberal strategist and authored more than one book on political strategy.

He still writes for a number of publications. Some may remember most recently that he was accused by Maxime Bernier of libel after a series of blog posts intimated that Bernier was racist. Kinsella was served on behalf of Bernier in December.

He also made headlines, with his firm Daisy Group, for providing political strategy services to the Conservative Party of Canada (he also made headlines for doing the same with the Green Party of Canada, but there’s only so much time in a day to parse through headlines about Mr. Kinsella….) for a covert operation called “Project Cactus” which purportedly was a CPC attempt at disparaging Maxime Bernier prior to the October federal election.

Never one to shy-away from controversial opinions – or strategy – Kinsella is currently devising a plan to confront Alberta’s adversaries, with a war room, of sorts, that exists “behind enemy lines.

“Alberta, my home, has been hit hard in recent years,” Kinsella said in a recent blog post.

“Bankruptcies, unemployment, countless businesses going under. Its main industry – whether you like that industry or not – has been flat-lined for half a decade. People are suffering. Families are hurting.”

Over the past five years, Alberta has seen companies divest, move, sell, and shut down with few new investment or projects starting – and fewer of those are oil and gas.

As Kinsella mentions, there are a few words that sting right now: “Teck, Trans Mountain, Coastal Gas Link, Keystone, Northern Gateway” – and don’t forget Energy East.

“There’s already a perception in Alberta that our voices are stifled in the (rest of Canada),” Michelle Rempel Garner, Alberta MP for Calgary-Nose Hill and signatory of the Buffalo Declaration wrote on Twitter.

“Albertans have been loud and clear that they expect to be treated as equals with the rest of Canada,” Glen Motz, Alberta MP for Medicine Hat – Cardston – Warner, and another signatory of the Buffalo Declaration said on social media.

One of the biggest complaints is that Alberta’s needs and priorities aren’t in Ottawa’s face – so to speak.

Kinsella feels that can change.

He says he wants to “create a group that isn’t partisan, isn’t corporate, isn’t government – but citizen-led.” He believes there are not just ex-pat Albertans in Central Canada –like him – but others in the most populous part of the country who feel Alberta is getting a raw deal from the feds.

The Mission, he says, is to “defend and promote Alberta. Make it factual, fast and fun.”

“Alberta deserves better- it deserves fairness.”

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

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Alberta reduces deficit by nearly $3 billion; debt now $97.4 billion

Toews said Alberta’s economy is gradually emerging from the depths of the downturn.

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Alberta’s UCP says government spending restraint and improving revenues has cut this year’s deficit $2.8 billion and now sits at $21.3 billion.

“Alberta was the first province to introduce an economic recovery plan in response to COVID-19, and we will also be the first to introduce a comprehensive plan to bring Alberta back to prosperity,” said Finance Minsyer Travis Toews in an economic update Tuesday.

“The foundation of the next provincial budget will be to bring spending in line with other jurisdictions, keep the net debt-to-GDP ratio well below 30 per cent, and have a plan for balancing the budget as we get through the pandemic and there is more economic certainty.”

Toews said expenses not including COVID-19 measures have decreased $156 million from Budget 2020.

Total expense is forecast at $62.7 billion, up $135 million from last quarter and $5.4 billion from Budget 2020.

“The additional spending is for health care, personal protective equipment, municipal grants, financial supports to Albertans and businesses to help with the effects of the pandemic, and stimulus initiatives detailed in Alberta’s Recovery Plan. Taxpayer-supported debt is forecast to be $97.4 billion by the end of the fiscal year, a reduction of more than $2 billion since first quarter,” the government said.

“The revenue forecast is nearly $3 billion higher than last quarter, at $41.4 billion. The increase from first quarter is due to improved forecasts for non-renewable resource revenue, gaming revenue, investment income, and transfers from the Government of Canada.”

Toews said Alberta’s economy is gradually emerging from the depths of the downturn.

Alberta’s real GDP is expected to contract 8.1 per cent rather than the 8.8 per cent reported in August.

Real GDP is expected to fully recover to 2014 levels in 2023.

Alberta has also seen a significant rebound in employment already this year, recovering more than 258,000 of the 360,900 jobs lost between February and April, said the UCP.

The UCP is also again renewing calls to the federal fiscal stabilization program which was capped 30 years ago at $60 per person.

…more to come

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

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CTF demands Horgan reduce size of B.C. cabinet

The CTF said there are currently 22 cabinet ministers and eight parliamentary secretaries in the B.C. cabinet.

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The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says NDP Premier John Horgan should reduce the size of his new cabinet to save money and to keep in step with everyday British Columbians.

“Many hardworking British Columbians have had their salaries reduced or they’ve lost their jobs during the COVID-19 economic crisis and it would be a good move for Premier Horgan to form a cabinet that is 15 per cent smaller than his last one,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in a statement.

“By reducing the size of his new cabinet and reducing their salaries, the premier will save taxpayers’ money and show that we are all in this together.”

The CTF said there are currently 22 cabinet ministers and eight parliamentary secretaries in the B.C. cabinet. Reducing the number by 15 per cent would keep the number to 19 cabinet ministers and seven parliamentary secretaries.

B.C. cabinet ministers are currently paid a salary of more than $166,000 plus living allowances, and if they reduced their salaries by 15 per cent it would bring the remuneration down to $141,000 plus living expenses.

“Reducing the size and cost of government would show solidarity with struggling taxpayers and help this government to understand what average people are going through,” said Sims. 

Cabinet ministers in B.C. who are in office for more than six years are in line for very generous pensions when they reach the age of 65, with many typically being paid more than $70,000 per year upon retirement.

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

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Bloc demands no more concessions on dairy deals

Canada’s dairy farms are under strict government controls on what they can produce.

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The Bloc Quebecois has introduced a motion to stop for federal Liberals from making any more trade deals that allow greater access to the countries dairy system.

Canada’s dairy farms are under strict government controls on what they can produce.

The amount of foreign access to the market has also been tightly regulated but the Liberals last three trade deals allow foreign countries greater access into the market, said the Bloc.

“Something very important for milk and egg and poultry production is given away as a token and nothing comes back for those producers, so we say in the law that this should not happen anymore,” Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet told CBC News.

“[The Liberal government says,] ‘Oh, we will will compensate you. And you know what, they don’t.”

The CBC reported Bloc Québécois MP Louis Plamondon’s legislation, Bill C-216, would amend the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act to state that the minister “must not make any commitment … by future trade treaty or agreement” that would increase the tariff rate quota (TRQ) applicable to dairy products, poultry or eggs, or reduce the tariff applicable to those goods when they are imported in excess of that quota.

The private member’s bill is up for its debate on Tuesday.

Blanchet slammed Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland for delaying her fall economic update and said her spending plans must include the new NAFTA deal compensation farmers are waiting for.

“This money is owed, is expected [and] is terribly late,” he told CBC.

The economic statement is set for Nov. 30.

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

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