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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

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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Good news for patch: Spanish firm looking to buy 2 million barrels of oil a month

The move comes after a refiner in India signed a six month deal for heavy oil from Canada.

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A massive Spanish refiner is looking to buy more than 2 million barrels of Canadian oil a month.

The move comes after a refiner in India signed a six month deal for heavy oil from Canada.

The deals have been done, in part, because of the threat of more U.S. sanctions against Venezuela, reports Bloomberg.

“Repsol SA is in talks with trading houses and producers for a contract to buy as much as 2 million barrels of Canadian oil a month, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity,” reported Bloomberg.

“Spain’s biggest oil company is following in the footsteps of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd., which recently signed a six-month purchase deal for heavy Canadian oil.”

The deals have also been made because it’s expected exports from Mexico will increase in price next year.

Repsol has been Mexico’s biggest customer while being Venezuela’s third best.

The Madrid-based company has five refineries in it’s country.

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

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UCP launches new program to improve French service in Alberta

More than 268,615 Albertans speak French, and 86,705 Albertans identify French as their first official language.

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The UCP has launched a program to help deliver French services in the province.

“The 2020-2023 French Policy Action Plan builds on the 2018-2021 plan. It outlines the path for continuing to implement the  French policy that was endorsed by the government in 2019,” said the government in a release.

“All government departments are moving forward with new and existing initiatives – about 100 in total – that make life better for French-speaking Albertans.”

The first multi-year French Policy Action Plan was published in December 2018 for the 2018-2021 period.

In the government’s 2019 French Policy Annual Report, Alberta confirmed that it had successfully delivered on 37 planned initiatives and that ministries had undertaken 23 additional initiatives to improve services in French, said the release

More than 268,615 Albertans speak French, and 86,705 Albertans identify French as their first official language.

Alberta’s Francophonie is the third-largest outside Quebec, after Ontario and New Brunswick.

“I’m thrilled to unveil the 2020-23 French Policy Action Plan that builds on our commitment to further enhance services in French areas that are a priority for the Francophonie. This commitment supports the province’s significant French-speaking population. A vibrant multilingual workforce is an asset to Alberta’s and Canada’s economy. It helps diversify trade, boosts exports and imports, and creates jobs and growth,” said Leela Sharon Aheer, Alberta Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.

Since 1996, Alberta’s Francophone population has grown by 40 per cent and enrolment in Francophone schools has increased by almost 270 per cent.

Statistics Canada predicts Francophone population growth is projected to be the highest in Alberta and the territories by 2036. The scenarios predict a 25 per cent to more than 50 per cent increase in Alberta in this time frame.

“Over the course of its two years of existence, the Alberta Advisory Council on the Francophonie has had an increasing number of exchanges and communications with government ministries on issues of prime importance to Alberta’s French-speaking population. I am pleased to see that our recommendations have contributed to the development of the new French Policy Action Plan, which involves 21 ministries and increases access to French-language services.,” said François Eudes, co-chair of the Alberta Francophone Advisory Council.

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

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Alberta launches program to attract petrochemical investment

But the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is slamming the plan, in part, because of its lack of a cap.

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The UCP has announced a massive new incentive programs with the hope of attracting petrochemical companies to Alberta.

But the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is slamming the plan, in part, because of its lack of a cap.

The province claims the Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP) will help attract billions in petrochemical project investments and continue to diversify the province’s economy while drawing directly on our abundant reserves of natural gas.

“The goal is to aggressively compete with several jurisdictions across Asia, the Middle East, and those in the Gulf of Mexico in the United States, many of which also offer similar incentives for petrochemical manufacturers, to become a global destination for petrochemical investment,” the province said in Friday release.

“According to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, there is an opportunity to grow Alberta’s petrochemical sector by more than $30 billion by 2030, resulting in more than 90,000 direct and indirect jobs over the construction and operations of new facilities, and more than $10 billion in revenue for the Government of Alberta from corporate and personal income taxes.”

APIP offers a direct financial incentive on new petrochemical or fertilizer facilities, or on expansions to existing ones.

Once a project is up and running, companies that have successfully applied will receive grants worth 12 per cent of their eligible capital costs.

The grant will be issued in the final step in the process, ensuring that only projects already built and employing Albertans receive funds, said the release

Prior to the grant, companies will need to show their project meets the program requirements by detailing the scope and expected cost of the project.

The application window for small projects (between $50 million and $150 million in capital costs) will be open for five years. Applications for larger projects will be open for 10 years.

Projects eligible for the program must have a minimum $50 million in capital investment, consume natural gas, natural gas liquids or petrochemical intermediaries, create new and permanent jobs in Alberta and meet the federally set definition of a manufacturing and processing facility.

There is no cap to the program, but the government will report on expected costs each fiscal year, based on applications received and projects approved.

“Today we’re adding another incentive to Alberta’s already world-class opportunities for petrochemical development. On top of our existing petrochemical producers and all the companies that feed in and support them, we have a multi-generational supply of natural gas, an experienced workforce, and one of the lowest tax rates in North America. By launching this program, Alberta moves towards achieving the goal of becoming one of the most attractive investment opportunities for petrochemicals in the world.,” said Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is slamming the government for failing to put a cap on the program.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to sign a blank cheque for the petrochemical industry,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director.

“It’s bad enough that taxpayers are already paying for one bad petrochemical subsidy, but it’s completely unacceptable for Premier Jason Kenney to let another petrochemical subsidy to be rolled out without a cap on taxpayer costs.”

The APIP is in addition to the current Petrochemicals Diversification Program, which costs taxpayers $1.1 billion.

The CTF obtained a leaked briefing note produced by Treasury Board and Finance officials warning former finance minister Joe Ceci about the risks associated with subsidies for the petrochemical industry, which states: “the proposed incentive program cannot be justified on economic merit alone” and “there is no guarantee that the incentive program will actually lead to additional investment.”

“Kenney deserves credit for lowering the business tax rate so job creators can invest more of their own money into their business, but the government is taking a wrong turn by adding another petrochemical corporate welfare program on to the backs of struggling taxpayers,” said Terrazzano.

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

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