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OPEC members announce production increases as Russia prepares for long game

Russia’s Finance Ministry said on Monday that the country could manage $25-$30/barrel prices for six to 10 years.

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Abu Dhabi National co. announced it would increase oil production from 3 to 4 million barrels per day on Wednesday and Saudi Aramco will increase from 12 to 13 million barrels/day.

The announcement didn’t have much of an effect on oil prices that have taken a hit over the past five days – in fact, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading slightly higher at $33.49 mid-Wednesday morning than the $32.67 around the same time on Monday.

Oil prices had begun the climb back up on Tuesday, gaining around 10 per cent before Wednesday’s announcements.

“The oil price crash will do irreparable damage to the Canadian economy and stock market,” Ed Moya, a senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. in New York told Bloomberg on Monday.

“Canadians will have to brace for lower prices for the foreseeable future and the oil sector will have to consolidate. Even when virus fears ease, the oil-dependent Canadian economy snapback rally will lag their peers.”

The price war – initiated by Saudi Aramco on Saturday and was seemingly aimed at Russia, who in turn had their sights set on U.S. shale – may not be going anywhere soon.

Russia’s Finance Ministry said on Monday that the country could manage $25-$30/barrel prices for six to 10 years. Russian officials also pointed to the country’s wealth fund, which has around $150 billion, as additional security if prices remain low.

The loonie also slipped to US$0.73 on Tuesday and is expected to continue to slide alongside oil prices until oil finds it’s floor price.

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

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UCP shuts down NDP anti-independence motion

But when Heather Sweet introduced the motion the UCP refused to give it unanimous consent, meaning it was not debated.

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The UCP on Monday blocked a NDP motion asking for the Legislature to reject independence and support a united Canada.

“Repeatedly, UCP Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes has, without challenge or objection  from Jason Kenney or any member of the UCP Cabinet and Caucus, supported the idea of Alberta separating from Canada,” the NDP said in a release on Canada Day.

“As well, UCP Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan read off a bizarre rant last month in the Legislature in which he referred to other Canadian provinces as, ‘hostile, parasitic partners.’”

Heather Sweet, NDP House Leader, said: “This motion will force Jason Kenney and the UCP to finally take a stand. Fanning the flames of separatism is this Premier’s way of distracting Albertans from his failed $4.7-billion corporate handout, which hasn’t created jobs or drawn in new investment.”

But when Sweet introduced the motion the UCP refused to give it unanimous consent, meaning it was not debated.

“Today, the UCP had a chance to once and for all commit to a united Canada. Unfortunately, they failed miserably. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jason Kenney and his UCP government ultimately want to tear apart the country,” said Sweet.  

In an earlier interview with the Western Standard, Barnes dismissed the motion at NDP politicking.

“I am very, very disappointed the NDP with the motion would try and diminish the role of Alberta within Confederation,” Barnes said.

“It’s part of Rachel Notley’s plan to work with her friend (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau.”

Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Barnes said his concern with the NDP motion supporting Canada is it uses the phrase “always.”

“We heard it in the Fair Deal hearings and from my constituents loud and clear that there has to be serious discussions about Alberta with a (independence) referendum on the table,” Barnes said.

There have been calls for Kenney to kick Barnes out of caucus for saying a referendum on independence should be on the table for Alberta in any discussions with Ottawa to get a fairer deal for the province.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Treaty 8 chiefs calls for Kenney’s speech writer to be fired

“Chiefs of the Sovereign Treaty Nations are amazed at the level of disrespect brandished by Premier Kenney”

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Chiefs of Treaty 8 on Monday called on Premier Jason Kenney to fire his speech writer, Paul Bunner, over past racist writings.

“Chiefs of the Sovereign Treaty Nations are amazed at the level of disrespect brandished by Premier Kenney who continues to employ an individual who has published anti-First Nation views that are harmful, divisive, dehumanizing and racist to say the least,” Grand Chief Arthur Noskey, said in a statement.

Bunner wrote a 2013 article title The ‘Genocide’ That Failed in which he argued residential school survivors fabricated a “bogus genocide story” for their own financial gain. 

“This article in its entirety is unconscionable. How can Premier Kenney know about this article and overlook the harm it continues to cause? The same way this government and its continued actions purposely ostracize the First Nation’s people! Premier Kenney’s acceptance of these articles demonstrates nothing but racism,” the chiefs wrote.

“The Chiefs of the Sovereign Treaty Nations call upon Premier Kenney to remove Mr. Bunner from his role as speechwriter and ensure that he is no longer associated with the government of Alberta moving forward.”

Chiefs of Treaty Six, the Blackfoot Confederacy, and the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Alberta have all called on Kenney to fire Bunner.

The NDP has been producing, almost daily, examples of what they say is Bunner’s history of writing and publishing racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic articles from the early 1990s to as recently as 2016.

“It’s disgusting that Premier Kenney has defended his racist speechwriter,” said Richard Feehan, NDP Opposition Critic for Indigenous Relations.

“Bunner has spread hatred and racism towards indigenous people and many others through his hateful writing. Kenney has known about this for more than a week. He must listen to the voices of indigenous leaders in Alberta and fire his racist speechwriter immediately.”

In response, Kenney’s issues manager Matt Wolf tweeted about NDP icon Tommy Douglas’ opposition to homosexuality.

Wolf tweet

When asked about Bunner in the Legislature Monday, Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson replied the government was moving forward “with reconciliation.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Trudeau fan and Liberal supporter deciding which media gets bailout money

Another member of the five-person advisory board, Margo Goodhand, was tweeting her support of Justin Trudeau when he was opposition leader.

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Two people who are deciding which media outlets will get hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer bailout cash have publicly praised Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party.

The two advisors regularly attacked the Conservative Party on their social media and openly praised Justin Trudeau before he became prime minister in 2015, reported Ottawa-based political website Blacklock’s Reporter.

One appointee, Professor Karim Karim of Ottawa, in a Twitter comment said Stephen Harper played the politics of hate, Blacklock’s said.

Karim also blasted the editorial stance of Postmedia newspapers, Canada’s largest newspaper chain.

“…it shouldn’t, but the National Post and Postmedia have had a long history of owner interference,” Blacklock’s reported that Karim had tweeted.

Another member of the five-person advisory board, Margo Goodhand, was tweeting her support of Trudeau when he was opposition leader.

“I am not a member of the Liberal Party… but I’m watching new Liberal leader Justin Trudeau these days as he goes up against Team Harper, and I have to admit that I wish him well,” she opined in an article with the title We Need Justin To Silence Bullies.

In April, Federal Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault promised cash for the bailout would soon be on the way.

It will be the second time the feds have sent taxpayer bailout money to the media, after a $595-million financial-assistance program 18 months ago.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge drop in advertising with dozens of newspapers being shuttered, including more than 20 in the Maritimes. There have been at least six publications in Quebec that have dropped Monday-to-Friday print editions, and four have closed in Manitoba. 

Postmedia closed 15 community newspaper in Ontario and Manitoba.

The Western Standard accepts no government monies.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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