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Critics slam Kenney’s patronage appointment of Rodney

Dave Rodney gave up his Calgary Lougheed seat in 2017 for Jason Kenney to run in when he became leader of the UCP.

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Critics are lambasting Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for giving the man who originally gave up his seat so Kenney could get into the Legislature a plum government posting earning  $9,635 bi-weekly.

Dave Rodney gave up his Calgary Lougheed seat in 2017 for Kenney to run in when he became leader of the UCP.

This week he was named Alberta’s new trade envoy to the city of Houston for a three year term.

“This quarter of a million dollars taxpayer funded salary would be extremely hard to justify even during the best of times. But it’s completely out of touch with the realities facing the many jobless Albertans who will be paying Rodney’s salary,” said Franco Terrazzano, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s Alberta Director.

“The United Conservatives are supposed to be fixing the government’s spending problem, so when are they going to tighten their belts?

“The government should stick to attracting investment by cutting taxes and red tape.”

The government said Rodney will work to establish closer business relationships and pursue new investment opportunities that will revitalize Alberta’s energy sector and create jobs, since the province is a major supplier of energy resources to Texas and other states.

“I am pleased to announce that Dave Rodney has been appointed as Alberta’s agent general to Houston. Texas is Alberta’s second-largest export market in the United States, and it is vital we have an in-market presence to lead Alberta’s efforts to expand our commercial ties to the region. With his extensive government experience and his personal drive, Alberta needs someone like Dave who will engage with American business leaders and investors and put Alberta’s interests first. I have the utmost confidence he is the right person for this role,” said Kenney.

“As economies gradually reopen, Alberta needs to be equipped and ready to rebuild its economic relationships with our trading partners. I am pleased that Dave Rodney has agreed to take on the role of agent general; we are beginning a new chapter in Alberta’s relationship with the United States and we need a person of his calibre to seek out new opportunities for Alberta’s businesses,” said Ministe of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism Tanya Fir.

Rodney, the first Canadian to summit Mount Everest twice, said: “I am humbled by the trust that Premier Kenney has placed in me, since he has asked me to assist as Alberta’s agent general to Houston, U.S.A. It is an honour to serve the people of the province as we seek to advance the interests of Albertans in this invaluable market. Together, we will prove that investor confidence in numerous sectors is best placed in Alberta; with the resultant improvement of the livelihoods and quality of life of thousands of Albertans.”

Quick facts

  • During his mission to Houston in November 2019, Premier Kenney announced that Alberta would formally establish a presence in Houston.
  • Texas is Alberta’s second-largest export market overall, and Alberta’s exports to Texas in 2018 totalled $11.6 billion worth of goods. Energy exports accounted for $8 billion.
  • Alberta is one of the largest suppliers of imported oil and gas to the United States.
  • In 2018, Alberta’s crude oil exports accounted for about 38 per cent of U.S. crude oil imports.
  • Alberta is the largest supplier of natural gas to the U.S., providing about 70 per cent of the country’s imports in 2018.
  • In 2018, Alberta and Texas signed a memorandum of understanding to seek opportunities to enhance trade and investment and to explore prospects for economic development that could contribute to job growth in Alberta and Texas across several sectors.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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

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The world wants to move to Canada

Residents of 30 countries around the world pick Canada as their top destination.

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Canada is the top country most people around the world want to move to, a new survey reveals.

Residents of 30 countries around the world pick Canada as their top destination. Japan trailed badly in second place with only 13 countries selecting The Land of the Rising Sun to move to.

On the map – generated using Google search data – country names have been supplemented by their residents’ most yearned-for spot to emigrate to.

The majority of Canadians said they would prefer to move to the U.S.

The map has been drawn up by financial services provider Remitly, which looked at search data from Google for 100 countries. It says it created a ranking by looking at average monthly search volumes for phrases commonly associated with a move abroad and the most-searched-for locations within the 100 countries, the Daily Mail reported.

“It says that Canada, known for its friendly locals, beautiful scenery and well-paid job prospects, proves a clear favourite for relocation for everywhere from Qatar and the Seychelles to Belgium,” the Mail reported.

“Featuring prominently in the Global Peace Index as one of the safest places to live, and boasting low unemployment rates alongside a high amount of immigration options, it’s arguably no surprise that Canada is head and shoulders above the rest of the world.”

The Mail reported Jago McKenzie, business manager at Remitly, said: “Some of the main reasons people seek a move to another country are for greater job prospects, better pay, quality of life and to send money back home to their families, and I think for many, 2020 has been a year for assessing the choices that could change our lives for the better.

“With that in mind, I wasn’t surprised to see that many are searching for this change and potentially thinking about making it when worldwide travel resumes.

“While Canada topped the list, it was encouraging to see the variety of where different nationalities are looking to move to, with many places home to great job prospects with high earning potential.

“With the need for digital remittance services for immigrants even more important after the pandemic, we hope we’ll be able to make any transition smoother.”

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

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Edmonton spends nearly $550K to keep eight public washrooms clean during COVID pandemic

The dollar figures have some Edmonton councillors shaking their heads.

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Talk about pricey Port-a-Potties!

Edmonton taxpayers have been flushing out a pretty penny to keep the Whyte Ave. and seven other public washrooms clean during the pandemic.

A report headed to council on Wednesday shows from April 7 to Oct. 8, 2020, a total of $548,002 was spent on COVID-19 washroom response to ensure residents, especially vulnerable populations, have access to public toilets.

A total of $126,000 was spent just keeping the Whyte Ave. facility clean. There are two attendants on the site, day and night.

Source: City of Edmonton

“The outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted the operation and accessibility of many public facilities including washrooms, libraries and recreational centers (sic). In order to ensure Edmontonians still had access to public washrooms, Administration worked with Boyle Street Ventures to provide washroom attendants,” the report said.

“Public washrooms play a key role in ensuring healthy and equitable urban places.

“A cost analysis showed that despite a significant increase in direct staffing costs for monitoring the washroom (compared with costs of custodial services with no attendants on site), these costs may be partially offset via the overall increase in safety, cleanliness and a reduction in police response to social disorder as well as a reduction in repairs to the facility.

“Attendants provided thorough cleaning of the washrooms, disinfection and ensured users followed physical distancing guidelines to make washrooms safe and mitigate the spread of the virus.”

Source: City of Edmonton

The city will now create a formal long-term implementation plan to address challenges
associated with managing public washrooms.

The dollar figures have some Edmonton councillors shaking their heads.

“I do not understand how we spent over half a million dollars  in half a year to operate eight bathrooms. When we are thinking about cutting everything else in our budget this seems like a prime opportunity. I will be finding out how we can save money here,” said Coun. Jon Dziadyk, vice chair of the Community and Public Services committee which the report will be presented to on Wednesday.

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

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Majority of Canadians want Terry Fox to be the face of new $5 bill

Past Tory voters overwhelming pick Fox

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The vast majority of Canadians want Terry Fox to adorn the new $5 bill, a new poll finds.

The non-profit Angus Reid Institute found that among the eight final candidates, Terry Fox is named more than all others as the preferred new face, chosen by 57 per cent of Canadians.

Angus Reid poll

After losing part of his right leg to cancer, Terry Fox campaigned to raise national awareness and funding for cancer research by running his Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada 42-km daily run, on his prosthetic leg.

By February 1981, $24.7 million had been raised—or $1 for every Canadian.

His run was interrupted just past the half-way point when the cancer reached his lungs, and ultimately took his life.

Today, annual Terry Fox Runs are held all over the world to raise money for cancer research. In 2020, the Marathon of Hope marked its 40th anniversary.

“Famed Indigenous soldier Binaaswi (Francis Pegahmagabow) is chosen by one-in-five (21 per cent), including one-quarter of residents in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. Crowfoot (Isapo-muxika), an integral part of Treaty 7 negotiations in Alberta, is chosen by one-in-five (19 per cent) as well,” Angus Reid pollsters found.

“Past Conservative voters are much more likely to prefer Terry Fox as their choice (three-quarters do so), while those who support other parties like candidates other than him.

Angus Reid poll

“Residents in Quebec (34 per cent) and young women across the country (27 per cent) show considerable support for Robertine Barry, the first French-Canadian journalist and an advocate for women’s rights, as a candidate.”

Angus Reid poll

More than three-in-five overall, and a majority in each region of the country, say it is a good idea to change the face of the five. But a significant segment, 37 per cent (including 57 per cent of past Conservative voters), disagree.

Sir Wilfred Laurier, Canada’s seventh prime minister, has graced the nation’s sky blue five-dollar bank note for almost 50 years.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is to make a decision early next year about who should adorn the new bill.

Bios on all the finalists can be found here.

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

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