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Liberals finally admit to payments to left-leaning environment group

After first denying it, the federal government is now admitting they gave more than $180,000 to the Pembina Institute.

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After first denying it, the federal government is now admitting they gave more than $180,000 to the Pembina Institute.

 A Conservative MP from Red Deer, Earl Dreeshen discovered the hidden payments, according to the Ottawa political website blacklocks.ca

Dreeshen had ask for the amount of money the feds had give to Calgary-based Pembina. Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan replied zero.

The Liberals then doubled down with Winnipeg MP Kevin Lamoureux accusing Dreeshen’s comments of being baseless.

But it turned out the government had paid the left-leaning think-tank Pembina $182,958 for contracts, in addition to $1.7 million in federal grants.

Blacklock’s said seven contracts were awarded to Pembina for consulting and research, all but one below the $25,000 threshold mandating open bidding.

“I am discussing the matter with my department officials to ensure this does not happen again,”  O’Regan told Blacklocks.

“I know now that a mistake was made and this information was false. I am very sorry for that. I am deeply sorry.”

The apology left Dreeshen unmoved.

MP Earl Dreeshen

“The most frustrating aspect is they doubled down,” Dreeshen told Blacklocks.

“It’s one thing to make a mistake – that’s why we are here, as a second set of eyes – but to double down, whether it’s arrogance or an attitude they can do anything they want.”

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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Poll shows most Conservative voters think the coronavirus threat is overblown

The Angus-Reid poll shows 64 pre cent of Tory voters think the coronavirus situation has been “overblown”, while 27 per cent describe it as “serious.”

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A new poll out Monday shows a massive segment of people who voted Conservative in the last election think the Covid-19 virus has been blown out of proportion.

The Angus-Reid poll shows 64 pre cent of Tory voters think the coronavirus situation has been “overblown”, while 27 per cent describe it as “serious.”

Angus-Reid poll

For Liberal voters, only 15 per cent say say it has been overblown with 38 per cent describing it as serious.

Regionally, B.C. and Alberta are disproportionately represented in the group who say the threat of outbreak is overblown, the poll shows.

ANGUS-REID POLL

A number of recommendations from health officials are being ignored by Canadians who see the outbreak as overblown. While seven-in-ten Canadians (72 per cent) who see the issue as ‘serious’ are doing all of those things, just 37 per cent of the skeptical group are doing the same.

ANGUS-REID POLL

In terms of getting the country back to normal, the majority of Canadians think it will take three-to-six months.

ANGUS-REID POLL

Dave Naylor is News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: @Nobby7694

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More pleas to stop the Wednesday carbon tax hike

“This is an unprecedented global crisis, and the immediate focus of governments is ensuring the health and safety of Canadians,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick said Monday.

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During the worst economic crisis for generations, and despite pleas from coast to coast not to, the federal Liberal government is set to hike its carbon tax on Wednesday.

“This is an unprecedented global crisis, and the immediate focus of governments is ensuring the health and safety of Canadians,” said Canadian Taxpayers Federation Federal Director Aaron Wudrick said Monday.

“As governments work to help Canadians get through economic challenges, minimizing the tax burden must be a central element.

“The federal carbon tax is scheduled to go up on Wednesday, but this is no time to increase any tax. Ottawa needs to hit pause on the carbon tax now.”

The Trudeau government has showed no sign of wavering.

The federal tax is currently $20 a tonne and will rise $10 a year, on April 1 of each year until it hits $50 a tonne in 2022.

The federal carbon tax is set to rise from 4.4 cents per litre of gasoline to 6.6 cents.

B.C. has already paused its planned carbon tax increase.

“With many Canadian businesses shuttered and millions of people losing income, the last thing Canadians need right now are higher taxes driving up the costs they still face,” said Wudrick.

“Speed is of the essence, and tax relief has the clear benefit of being simple and instantaneous.”

Wudrick also called on federal parliamentarians to donate their scheduled pay increase on April 1.

“I am sure all parliamentarians would agree that this is the wrong time for politicians to get a salary bump when millions of Canadians are struggling,” said Wudrick.

Bill C-30, mandates the indexation of salaries and allowances for MPs and senators based on the “average percentage increase in base-rate wages for each calendar year, resulting from major settlements negotiated with bargaining units of 500 or more employees in the private sector in Canada.”

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Governor General Julie Payette will take home an extra $6,858, bringing her annual salary to $308,972.

An MP currently makes $178,900 a year, a senator $153,900 and the Prime Minister $357,800.

Individual increases last year averaged $3,160.

Wudrick’s Alberta colleague also chimed in.

“”Now is the worst imaginable time to be hiking taxes on families and businesses, especially a tax that increases the cost of essentials. We need tax relief, not tax hikes,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director of the CTF.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has pleaded with Ottawa to delay planned hikes to the national carbon tax on April 1.

“Please, stop doing harm… throw us a lifeline here,” Kenney said at an Edmonton press conference last Wednesday.

“It absolutely makes no sense….do no harm.”

Dave Naylor is News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: @Nobby7694


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WATCH: Calgary emergency services show their appreciation to health care workers

This was the scene last night at Calgary’s Rockyview hospital as Calgary police, fire and EMS drove by to show their appreciation to all the health care workers.

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This was the scene last night at Calgary’s Rockyview hospital as Calgary police, fire and EMS drove by to show their appreciation to all the health care workers.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: @Nobby7694

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