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With Alberta’s future ‘at stake’, Kenney lays out economic recovery plan

Billions of dollars will be spent, immigration curtailed and business taxes cut immediately, Premier Jason Kenney announced.




Saying Alberta’s future is “truly at stake”, Premier Jason Kenney laid out an Alberta economic recovery plan Monday that will see the spending of billions of extra dollars.

“We are a resilient people. And we are going to need that in the biggest economic challenge in our times,” Kenney told reporters Monday.

Billions of dollars will be spent, immigration curtailed and business taxes cut immediately, Kenney announced.

“This will create tens of thousands of jobs right now,” Kenney said.

The province will spend $10 billion on infrastructure to create, what they predict will be 50,000 jobs in building things like roads, schools, bridges and hospitals.

That’s an increase of 40 percent of what the UCP government had initially budgeted for.

Kenney announced the provincial business tax will be cut from 10 per cent to 8 percent, effective Wednesday, Canada Day.

He said that should create close to 55,000 jobs.

The province will also create a group called Investment Alberta, which will travel the world trying to bring investment back to the province.

Kenney said he had been spending a lot of time trying to woo a petro-chemical company to invest $10 billion in a plant near Edmonton.

“They’re not likely to make a decision til 2023 but the work we do now will lay the groundwork,” he said.

Kenney pointed out the province initially investment of $1.5 billion into the KXL pipeline project, which will create 7,400 jobs. He didn’t comment on what would happen if Joe Biden becomes president. The Democrat has said he would killed the pipeline.

Under the immigration program, Kenney said the province will reduce immigration by one-third. He said it wasn’t fair for Albertans who are unemployed.

“We are facing a real effective unemployment rate of up to of 25 per cent,” he said.

Kenney also promised money for cultural projects and the natural gas sector.

“This is a startling message to business” around the world that Alberta is the place to invest, said Kenney.

“This is still a work in progress but we must act now,” Kenney said.

“It’s a bold statement of confidence in the future of Alberta.

Kenney promised a “frank” fiscasl update later this year, adding if the province waited to act “the fiscal challenge would be insurmountable.”

Finance Minister Travis Toews note the province was doing better financially when the bottom fell out in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said because of it, the province has lost 330,000 jobs which “wiped out a decade of job growth.”

The province’s economic plan was drafted with the help of a panel of experts, including former prime minister Stephen Harper and Calgary economist Jack Mintz.

Opposition leader Rachel Notley said 50,000 jobs had been lost in Alberta even before the pandemic hit.

“There’s nothing new here. It shows they are out of ideas,” the NDP leader said adding it will do nothing to diversify the economy.

“The only thing that is bold is the rhetoric and its distance from the facts.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said it was pleased to see the Alberta government accelerate the business tax cut, but is concerned that higher spending will mean a larger provincial debt tab for Albertans.

“Premier Jason Kenney’s economic recovery plan delivers tax relief that will help entrepreneurs get Alberta back on track, but there’s also a lot of spending so we’re concerned about the deficit,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director.

“Allowing Alberta’s job creators to keep more money to invest in their businesses and workers is the right way to fire up our economy and get more Albertans back to work.”

The CTF is concerned that the additional infrastructure and corporate welfare spending through the Alberta Enterprise Corporation, the Innovation Employment Grant and other subsidies will accelerate the government’s provincial debt tab and could mean higher taxes for Albertans in the future.

“Risking tax dollars so politicians and bureaucrats can play investment banker is the wrong way to grow the economy,” said Terrazzano.

“Instead of more corporate welfare, Kenney should lower income taxes so families and workers have more money to spend in local businesses.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard


TWITTER: Twitter.com/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


UCP has no plans to debate their own anti-independence motion: source

Sources tell the Western Standard that the UCP motion meant to skirt an NDP anti-independence motion will die on the order paper.




A UCP motion intended to shut down debate on rejecting Alberta independence is likely to die on the order paper without any debate or vote, sources tell the Western Standard.

On Monday, NDP MLA Heather Sweet introduced a motion  asking for the Legislature to reject independence and support a united Canada.

But the UCP refused to give it the unanimous consent needed to allow debate. Instead, the UCP gave a notice of their own motion, which makes no explicit mention of the independence question.

The resolution would “affirm its [Alberta’s] loyalty to a united Canadian federation, and urge the Government to obtain a fair deal for Alberta within the Canadian federation.”

But now, sources inside the UCP tell the Western Standard that the government has no plans to allow their own motion to come forward for debate, instead letting it die on the order paper.

Government House Leader Jason Nixon did not respond to requests for comment, however after this story was originally published, a spokesperson told the Western Standard, “Oral notice for the motion was provided yesterday, and the motion is now on the Order Paper. This is standard procedure.”

Nixon’s spokesperson did not say if and when the motion would be debated.

The NDP motion appears to have been an attempt to try and divide the UCP caucus between its federalist leadership and sovereigntist-leaning elements in the backbenches; most notably, MLA Drew Barnes who said that a referendum on independence should be on the table in negotiations with the rest if Canada fail to secure Alberta a fairer deal within confederation

“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.

Kenney slammed the independence movement after Barnes’ first comments were made public.

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.”

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.

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

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Yet another U.S. court blow for Keystone XL pipeline

The court kept in place a lower court edict that blocked a key permit for the project.




The Keystone XL pipeline project has been handed another legal hurdle in the U.S., this time by that country’s Supreme Court.

In a Monday ruling, the court kept in place a lower court edict that blocked a key permit for the project.

It’s yet another legal blow for Calgary-based TC Energy which has been trying to get the pipeline built for years.

Another blow could come in November with the U.S. election. Democrat candidate Joe Biden has vowed to cancel the pipeline’s permit that was brought in by President Donald Trump after it was cancelled by Barack Obama.

Last week, Premier Jason Kenney held a press conference to celebrate work getting underway in Alberta on the project. The Kenney government has invested $1.5 billion in the pipeline and has given TC access to $6 billion more in loan guarantees.

Work on the Alberta section will continue will the U.S. legal morass continues.

It’s been a bad few days for pipeline in the U.S. with the cancellation of the $8 billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline in the Southeast and on Monday a ruling that shut down the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.

In the Keystone case, an April ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Montana had threatened to delay not just Keystone but more than 70 pipeline projects across the U.S., and add as much as $2 billion in costs, according to industry representatives, the AP reported.

TC Energy spokesman Terry Cunha told the AP the company is not giving up on Keystone, but it will have to delay large portions of the 1,900-kilometre pipeline. 

Keystone was proposed in 2008 and would carry up to 830,000 barrels of Alberta crude daily to Nebraska, where it would be transferred to another TC Energy pipeline for shipment to refineries and export terminals on the Gulf of Mexico.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard


TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Former Alberta NDP Minister: People shouldn’t jump to conclusions about Communism

“I know some people will see the word Communist and jump to all kinds of conclusions but I’d say give it a read before you do that, it may surprise you,” Shaye Anderson said.




Just give Communism a try, you might like it.

That’s the message from former Alberta NDP cabinet minister Shaye Anderson, who served as municipal affairs minister under Rachel Notley’s government.

“This is a good read. I know some people will see the word Communist and jump to all kinds of conclusions but I’d say give it a read before you do that, it may surprise you,” Anderson tweeted Monday in response to an article written by Elizabeth Rowley, the leader of the Communist Party of Canada.

Anderson tweet

The article, in a Communist website called The People’s Choice, covered a variety of tops including the COVID-19 pandemic and the rioting over police racism.

“The pandemic has underlined all the ills of capitalism. These include privatization and deregulation, tax cuts for the rich and the corporations, trade deals that destroy manufacturing and secondary industry, low wages and precarious work, growing poverty and insecurity,” Rowley wrote.

Elizabeth Rowley
Courtesy YouTube

“Eighty percent of COVID-related deaths in Canada have occurred among residents and workers in long-term care (LTC) homes. Most of these are private, for profit operations that are under-staffed, under-funded, and largely unregulated. LTC must be brought under public healthcare and treated as a public service with federal standards, needs-based staffing and funding.

“It is now clear to everyone that ‘we’re not all in this together.’ The wealthy have managed quite nicely. But the poor and unemployed, and those living and working in cramped or unaffordable housing without childcare, are in desperate straits and much more likely to become infected by the virus.

“While Cuba and China have been providing supplies, equipment and teams of healthcare workers to countries around the world, private producers of essential supplies and equipment in the capitalist countries have raised their prices, selling to the highest bidders.”

In the wake of race riots in the U.S., Rowley called for the disarming of police forces.

“The Central Committee received Party Executive’s previously issued statement supporting the protests and demanding an end to police killings and the systemic racism and violence against Black, Indigenous and racialized peoples. The statement noted that this oppression is a built-in feature of capitalism, which helps generate vast super-profits for the biggest exploiters, the large national and transnational corporations,” she wrote.

“The CC reiterated the Party’s long-standing demands for radical reform of policing. These include charging, prosecuting and sentencing police for crimes such as murder, rape and assault; demilitarizing police forces and disarming most police units, and putting an end to racial profiling and carding; enacting strong civilian control over police; slashing police and military budgets and redirecting those funds to civilian and social spending; and abolishing CSIS, the CSE and RCMP, as well as “anti-terrorist” legislation that threatens civil and democratic rights.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard


TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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