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Former PM Harper to join Alberta economic advisory team; more Alberta virus news

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Premier Jason Kenney has announced members of his Economic Recovery Council, including former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“This is the most significant and disruptive economic downturn in generations. It will get worse before it gets better,” Kenney said in a statement.

“The Government of Alberta will do everything in its power to protect jobs and job creators. The council announced today, chaired by Dr. Jack Mintz, will provide advice and policy recommendations on how best to confront this unprecedented economic crisis, and recover from it in the long term. This will include strategies to accelerate economic diversification.”

Mintz said he was looking forward to getting to work.

“This is a challenging time for Alberta,” Mintz said.

“I am pleased to chair this council of policy and industry experts who will provide advice to the Government of Alberta on the best ways to protect Albertans during this severe economic downturn.”

Members of the economic team are:

• Jack Mintz, chair

• Clive Beddoe – former chair, president and CEO, WestJet

• Robert Blakely – Canadian operating officer, Canada’s Building Trades Union

• Brent Belzberg – founder and senior managing partner, TorQuest Partners

• Bob Dhillon – founder, president and CEO, Mainstreet Equity Corporation

• Chris Fowler – president and CEO, Canadian Western Bank

• Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper – Canada’s 22nd prime minister

• Peter Kiss – owner and president, Morgan Construction and Environmental

• Zainul Mawji – president, Telus Home Solutions

• Nancy Southern – chair and CEO, ATCO Ltd.

• Kevin Uebelein – CEO, AIMCo

• Mac Van Wielingen – founder, ARC Financial 

In other Alberta developments:

• Childcare centres in Alberta will reopen Monday or Tuesday for children of essential service providers.

• The government announced a series of energy sector initiatives aimed at enhancing immediate liquidity – and longer-term certainty – of energy companies.

It will fund the industry levy for the Alberta Energy Regulator for a period of six months, achieving $113 million in industry relief.

Also, it will extend the term of mineral agreements expiring in 2020 by one year to “provide increased certainty for industry by allowing additional time to raise capital and plan future activities.

“The Government of Alberta has extended a loan to the Orphan Well Association in the amount of $100 million. This loan will bolster the association’s immediate reclamation efforts, decommission about 1,000 wells, and start more than 1,000 environmental assessments, creating up to 500 direct and indirect jobs,” the government said in a release.

• The province has cancelled all Grade 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests and Grade 12 diploma exams for this school year. 

• Credit rating agency DBRS Morningstar has downgraded Alberta due to plunging oil prices. Alberta’s Issuer Rating and Long-Term Debt rating is now AA (low) from AA.

• Effective immediately, driver road tests are suspended.

• Alberta Parks is closing winter camping effective immediately.

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. 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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UPDATED: Saskatchewan election called

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe will send the province into an election Tuesday.

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Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe will send the province into an election Tuesday.

Moe took to twitter Monday night to tell voters they would be going to the polls in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tomorrow, I will ask Lt. Gov. Russ Mirasty to dissolve the Legislature,” Moe tweeted.

“This will be quite a different #skvotes campaign –but a very important one that will ask Saskatchewan voters one question: Who do you trust to lead Saskatchewan’s economic recovery?”

When the legislature was dissolved, Moe’s Saskatchewan Party held a 46-13 lead over the NDP.

Moe was sworn in as premier in 2018.

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

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CORY MORGAN WEBCAST: Wild goose hunt, Alberta style

An interview with Jason Siliker of Canadian Premier Hunts on the multiple times that the RCMP interrupted his goose hunt.

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B.C. Liberals vow to cancel PST for one year; return at 3 per cent

“Everybody pays the PST, so everybody saves under the B.C. Liberal plan,” said Andrew Wilkinson

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B.C. Liberals say, if elected, they will help the economy recover by removing the 7 per cent provincial sales tax for one year.

After a year, a Liberal government would set the PST at 3 per cent until the economy recovers.

The federal GST is currently 5 per cent.

“British Columbians have lost confidence in the direction of the province and the weak economic record of the NDP. B.C. families and small businesses need help now, which is why a B.C. Liberal government will immediately eliminate the PST for one year — saving you money right away, getting more people working, and bringing investment back to B.C.,” said B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson.

“Countless people are still out of work, small businesses are facing bankruptcy, and the public health threat from COVID-19 is still very real.

“Eliminating PST puts more money in people’s pockets, stimulates growth for struggling small business, and helps British Columbians who are struggling to get by. This is a vital step to rebuild our economy.”

The Liberals say a family of four earning $60,000 per parent will save $1,714 in the first year, followed by an additional $979 in the second year. 

“Everybody pays the PST, so everybody saves under the B.C. Liberal plan,” said Wilkinson.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding the pledge.

“We pay the PST on everything from used cars to toilet paper so this would save everyone a lot of money,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the CTF.

“The best way to save people money is for governments to stop taking so much of it in the first place.

“We hope all of the parties can match or beat this promise so we can get serious about tax cuts during this election.”

In the 2019-20 budget year, British Columbians paid more than $7.5 billion in the PST.

“We need to do all we can to jolt our economy back to life and eliminating the PST would clear a lot of hurdles for working people and struggling businesses to get things rolling again,” said Sims.

“People know how to spend their money much better than the government does.”

B.C. residents go to the polls Oct. 24.

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

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