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Alberta energy minister says all systems go after TMX ruling

The applications dismissed by the SCC were from two separate First Nations groups in B.C., two from B.C. conservation groups and, the fifth was from four individuals.

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Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage had a mixed reaction to the SCC’s decision as it is a positive move for the project but other obstacles still exist.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada further clears the way for the completion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. All five applications that were previously dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal in 2019 have been denied the right to appeal,” the minister said in a press release.

The application to appeal came last fall after the project received its second approval from the federal government.

“However, the illegal protests and blockades occurring across the country in recent weeks continue to be of concern. The same well-funded and organized groups involved with the protest camps, sabotaging of public infrastructure, and the shutdown of Canada’s railway will stand in opposition to future major infrastructure projects – especially oil and gas.”

Railway blockades set up by people around the country, purported to be in support of anti-pipeline protesters, have been going on since early February. The blockades have been taken down in some regions but others, like Ontario where a group has set up camps near the rail line, are still causing disturbances even though the trains are now running again.

The government of Alberta – which recently reconvened in the Legislature on February 24 – tabled Bill 1, the Defence of Critical Infrastructure Act. The Act adds specific criteria for immediate enforcement against protests that block, impede or damage infrastructure that is deemed critical to the function of the Alberta economy.

“This type of unrest has serious ramifications on not just Alberta’s economy, but all of Canada’s. These protestors do not speak on behalf of First Nations, but actually stand in the way of First Nations becoming true partners in prosperity,” Savage said.

“The rule of law must be maintained so that these projects can be completed on time and on schedule.”

A brief summary on the SCC website did not detail the reason for the dismissals.

“Twelve sets of parties applied to the Federal Court of Appeal for leave to judicially review that decision. A single judge of the Federal Court of Appeal wrote reasons for its dismissal of six of the twelve applications for leave.”

The applications dismissed by the SCC were from two separate First Nations groups in B.C., two from conservation groups, and the fifth was from four individuals.

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

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Liberals considering an extra $34 million CBC bailout

The broadcaster’s advertising revenue is falling as quickly as its ratings – its 27 stations across Canada combined to an average of 319,000 viewers, 12,000 per city, for their dinner-hour news.

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The federal Liberals are considering giving the CBC another $34 million in taxpayer cash as part of a COVID-19 bailout.

The proposed bailout is found in documents from the Treasury Board released this week.

The proposed increase — $33.733 million — is described as an “internal reallocation of resources for the COVID-19 impact to advertising revenues and operating costs” reported the Toronto Sun.

CBC has reported a revenue loss of 13% in their first quarter – blaming a drop in advertising dollars because of the pandemic.

The broadcaster’s advertising revenue is falling as quickly as its ratings – its 27 stations across Canada combined to an average of 319,000 viewers, 12,000 per city, for their dinner-hour news.

Treasury Board president Jean-Yves Duclos, Supplementary Estimates (B), 2020–21 shows $79.2 billion in budgetary spending, $58 billion in estimated statutory expenditures and nearly $21 billion in spending needing Parliament’s approval.

The CBC already receives more than $1-billion each year of taxpayer’s money.

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

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Alberta agriculture minister hit by rural crime

Devin Dreeshen, the UCP MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, tweeted he was at home last week when the criminals hit.

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Alberta’s agriculture minister has become the latest victim of rural crime.

Devin Dreeshen, the UCP MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, tweeted he was at home last week when the criminals hit.

“Woke up at 4am to the sound of my truck being stolen. Criminals were in the process of stealing quads from the shed but were scared off. Needs to be fixed – rural Albertans shouldn’t have to put up with this,” Dreeshen tweeted.

A pick-up truck belonging to the agriculture minister was taken and reportedly used in a crime spree across Alberta before being dumped and set on fire near Cold Lake.

RCMP recovered the vehicle on Thursday.

“Appropriate steps were taken immediately following the incident, involving all concerned ministries. For example, any electronic devices that may have been compromised by this incident were successfully remotely wiped by government officials,” said a government statement to Rebel News.

“Furthermore, the Government of Alberta has significant security measures in place for all of its information. Cabinet-level documents are accessed digitally through a secure, password-protected cloud-based app. Drives are password-protected and encrypted so they cannot be accessed simply by removing the drive and plugging it into another computer.”

Rural Alberta has been hit with a plague or rural crime the past two years.

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

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Edmonton NDP MP slammed for asking feds to stop health transfers to Alberta

Heather McPherson, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona, said in the House of Commons Kenney’s changes has put the health system “under attack” with women disproportionally affected.

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An Edmonton NDP MP is being blasted for asking the feds if they would withhold health transfers to Alberta in the wake of Premier Jason Kenney’s moves to shake up the health care system in the province.

Heather McPherson, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona, said in the House of Commons Kenney’s changes has put the health system “under attack” with women disproportionally affected.

“Will the minister commit to protecting women in Alberta and the rest of Canada,” McPherson asked.

“Will she withhold transfer payments if Jason Kenney refuses to adhere to the Canada Health Act?”

But that move is being slammed by prominent Edmonton businessman and Tory candidate in Edmonton Strathcona, Rick Peterson.

“It is totally fine that @HMcPhersonMP disagrees with @jkenney, but asking for federal health transfers to be withheld from Alberta is unacceptable. No level of disagreement justifies threats to Albertans’ healthcare funding, especially from the #EdmontonStrathcona MP,” said Peterson, who ran for the federal Tory leadership earlier this year.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced earlier this month that Alberta Health Services was shedding 9,700 hundred jobs by shifting them to the private sector.

The UCP has also asked the AHS to remove 100 managers.

Most of the 9,700 other jobs will now be outsourced in labs, housekeeping, food services, and laundry.

There will be 2,000 laboratory jobs, 4,000 housekeeping jobs, 3,000 food service jobs, and 400 laundry jobs cut.

The province said about 70 per cent of lab results are already contracted out, as is 68 per cent of laundry.

AHS has 3,300 employees in management, with 68 senior leaders and 14 on the executive teams.

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

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