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Great poll news for Horgan comes with election warning

“The New Democrats have opened a whopping 19-point lead over the opposition B.C. Liberals, with half of residents (48 per cent) saying they would cast votes for the party that has helmed a minority government for three years.”

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Will he or won’t he? Because you know it has to be massively tempting.

A new poll out this week show’s B.C. Premier John Horgan with a massive lead over the opposition which may lead him to call an early election.

But pollsters say the lead also comes with a warning.

“The New Democrats have opened a whopping 19-point lead over the opposition B.C. Liberals, with half of residents (48 per cent) saying they would cast votes for the party that has helmed a minority government for three years. The B.C. Liberals take 29 per cent of the decided and leaning vote, while the B.C. Greens are at 14 per cent of current vote intention,” polling group Angus Reid said Friday.

“But against these sunny skies, dark clouds are forming on the horizon. The government is fighting a pitched battle with the union representing B.C. teachers as anxiety mounts over sending children back to school next week. The province is also continuing to fight – some would argue unsuccessfully – a sustained increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Indeed, fully one-in-three B.C. residents say they would not be comfortable heading to the polls in person this fall as they would during a normal year, due to concerns about the coronavirus. B.C. NDP feel this more acutely than those who support other parties, with two-in-five New Democrat supporters saying they would be uncomfortable going physically to the polls.”

Other key finding by Angus Reid include:

More Key Findings:

  • The NDP holds a commanding lead in Metro Vancouver, 53 per cent to 26 per cent over the Liberals, and also leads by nine-points in the rest of the province, 42 per cent to 33 per cent
  • Four-in-five residents (83 per cent) say the Horgan government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been “good”
  • By contrast, British Columbians are critical of its response to the opioid epidemic. Only 22 per cent of residents say the government has done a good job on this file, compared to 71 per cent who say they have done a poor job.

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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Alberta agriculture minister hit by rural crime

Devin Dreeshen, the UCP MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, tweeted he was at home last week when the criminals hit.

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Alberta’s agriculture minister has become the latest victim of rural crime.

Devin Dreeshen, the UCP MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, tweeted he was at home last week when the criminals hit.

“Woke up at 4am to the sound of my truck being stolen. Criminals were in the process of stealing quads from the shed but were scared off. Needs to be fixed – rural Albertans shouldn’t have to put up with this,” Dreeshen tweeted.

A pick-up truck belonging to the agriculture minister was taken and reportedly used in a crime spree across Alberta before being dumped and set on fire near Cold Lake.

RCMP recovered the vehicle on Thursday.

“Appropriate steps were taken immediately following the incident, involving all concerned ministries. For example, any electronic devices that may have been compromised by this incident were successfully remotely wiped by government officials,” said a government statement to Rebel News.

“Furthermore, the Government of Alberta has significant security measures in place for all of its information. Cabinet-level documents are accessed digitally through a secure, password-protected cloud-based app. Drives are password-protected and encrypted so they cannot be accessed simply by removing the drive and plugging it into another computer.”

Rural Alberta has been hit with a plague or rural crime the past two years.

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

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Edmonton NDP MP slammed for asking feds to stop health transfers to Alberta

Heather McPherson, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona, said in the House of Commons Kenney’s changes has put the health system “under attack” with women disproportionally affected.

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An Edmonton NDP MP is being blasted for asking the feds if they would withhold health transfers to Alberta in the wake of Premier Jason Kenney’s moves to shake up the health care system in the province.

Heather McPherson, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona, said in the House of Commons Kenney’s changes has put the health system “under attack” with women disproportionally affected.

“Will the minister commit to protecting women in Alberta and the rest of Canada,” McPherson asked.

“Will she withhold transfer payments if Jason Kenney refuses to adhere to the Canada Health Act?”

But that move is being slammed by prominent Edmonton businessman and Tory candidate in Edmonton Strathcona, Rick Peterson.

“It is totally fine that @HMcPhersonMP disagrees with @jkenney, but asking for federal health transfers to be withheld from Alberta is unacceptable. No level of disagreement justifies threats to Albertans’ healthcare funding, especially from the #EdmontonStrathcona MP,” said Peterson, who ran for the federal Tory leadership earlier this year.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced earlier this month that Alberta Health Services was shedding 9,700 hundred jobs by shifting them to the private sector.

The UCP has also asked the AHS to remove 100 managers.

Most of the 9,700 other jobs will now be outsourced in labs, housekeeping, food services, and laundry.

There will be 2,000 laboratory jobs, 4,000 housekeeping jobs, 3,000 food service jobs, and 400 laundry jobs cut.

The province said about 70 per cent of lab results are already contracted out, as is 68 per cent of laundry.

AHS has 3,300 employees in management, with 68 senior leaders and 14 on the executive teams.

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

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Alberta government lifts oil production limits

The province has been setting monthly oil production limits since January, 2019, a move that received all-party support except the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta.

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The Alberta government has finally lifted its temporary curtailment of oil production in Alberta.

The province has been setting monthly oil production limits since January, 2019, a move that received all-party support except the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta.

“The limits were intended as a short-term measure, but ongoing delays to pipeline projects have led to the monthly production limits continuing through November 2020,” said the government in a Friday release.

“It will not set production limits due to 16 per cent of Alberta’s crude oil production remaining offline, down from 22 per cent at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time the Government of Alberta does not plan to resume production limits.”

The curtailment will be lifted at the end of December.

“Maintaining the stability and predictability of Alberta’s resource sector is vital for investor confidence as we navigate the economic conditions brought on by the pandemic, the commodity price crisis and the need for pipelines,” said Energy Minister Sonya Savage.

“This purposeful approach serves as an insurance policy, as it will allow Alberta to respond swiftly if there is a risk of storage reaching maximum capacity while enabling industry to produce as the free market intended.”

‘The completion of long-awaited pipelines – including Keystone XL, the Trans Mountain expansion, and Enbridge Line 3 – will enhance the province’s permanent ability to balance production and takeaway capacity, helping to ensure Alberta’s resources are exported at full value,” said the government release.

“Government will closely monitor production, inventories, pipeline capacity and rail shipments to ensure that production does not exceed what the province can export. Current forecasts show that inventories are expected to remain low, with sufficient export capacity to allow the system to operate efficiently on its own well into 2021.”

Quick facts

  • In August, Alberta production was 3.10 million barrels per day, significantly less than the 3.81 million barrels per day curtailment limit.
  • According to Genscape, as of Oct. 16 inventories were at about 20 million barrels. When production limits were introduced in January 2019, inventories were approaching 40 million barrels.
  • Due to the economic effects of COVID-19, experts do not expect production in Western Canada to be above pipeline capacity before mid-2021 at the earliest, and rail and storage inventories are expected to remain low.
  • Prior to COVID-19, government had planned to exit curtailment by the end of 2020 provided export routes were in place, including the completion of Enbridge Line 3. Enbridge is proceeding with the final permitting process in the U.S. and estimates Line 3 will be in service in 2021.

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

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