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Kenney to Trudeau: You owe Alberta $6 billion

“Now is our time of great need,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney used a meeting of Canada’s conservative premiers to give Justin Trudeau a blunt message – you owe Alberta $6 billion.

Kenney used the meeting, that was focussed mainly on health, to reissue his plea for the feds to revamp the federal fiscal stabilization program.

During a nationally-televised press conference, Kenney told reporters Alberta has paid $630 billion to Ottawa over the years.

“And it’s something Albertans have been proud to do, being a part of nation-building,” said Kenney.

“Alberta has been there for Canada and now it’s time for Canada to be there for Alberta.

“Now is our time of great need.”

Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenney noted Alberta has been hit with record low oil prices which has resulted in the second-highest unemployment rate in the country along with “crisis'” in addiction and mental health.

He said a $60 a person cap the feds put on stabilization payments 20 years ago has cost Alberta $6 billion, money he wants Ottawa to cough up now.

“All we are asking for is to be recognized for the way the system was supposed to work,” said Kenney.

 The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Kenney to make sure any equalization rebate from the federal government goes directly to Alberta taxpayers.

“The Alberta government doesn’t pay equalization, Alberta taxpayers do, so any equalization rebate should go back to Albertans who are paying the bills, not to provincial government coffers,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF.

“Alberta families and businesses are struggling, and this equalization rebate would go a long way in helping Albertans survive this downturn.”

 A $6-billion equalization rebate could mean about $1,400 for each Albertan.

“Kenney is right to try and bring home more of our federal tax dollars, but he needs to make sure that money gets back to the families that paid for the province’s oversized contribution to the feds,” said Terrazzano.

The four premiers also issued a joint call to Trudeau to massively increase health transfers to the province.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault noted that the feds currently only cover 22 per cent of provinces’ health care costs – a figure they want hiked to 35 per cent.

That would see federal health transfers go from $42 billion a year to $70 billion annually.

Legault said health care expenses are growing at six per cent a year as the country’s population ages.

“We want the federal government to continuously fund 35 per cent of health care spending – with no conditions attached,” he said.

They also demanded a meeting with Trudeau this fall with only one thing on the agenda – health care.

“This is so the deal is ready for the next budget in April,” Legault said.

The premiers – including Ontario’s Doug Ford and Manitoba’s Brian Pallister – also called on the feds to fund a new infrastructure program with $10 billion a year for the next 10 years.

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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Horgan leads NDP to majority government in B.C.

Preliminary results from Saturday’s election show the NDP turned its 41-seat minority into a 55-seat majority.

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John Horgan’s NDSP party now rules B.C. with a majority government.

Preliminary results from Saturday’s election show the NDP turned its 41-seat minority into a 55-seat majority.

More than 500,000 mail in ballots still have to be counted. Final results won’t be known for several weeks.

“B.C. has voted, and a majority has been called, but there are many many hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be counted,” Horgan said at a victory rally in Vancouver.

“While we wait for that final count to happen, I want to assure people that I’m going to keep the focus right where it belongs, on helping people get through this pandemic and making sure that they have the services that they need.”

“All British Columbians can sleep safely knowing that we’re going to do everything we can to keep them safe, healthy and secure.”

The Liberals won 29 seats and the Green party, three.

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

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Kenney says Albertans may get ‘multi-issues’ referendum

The government has already committed to hold a referendum on equalization payments next October at the same time as municipal elections

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the UCP could have multiple referendum questions for voters next year.

The government has already committed to hold a referendum on equalization payments next October at the same time as municipal elections.

Speaking virtually to the UCP’s AGM on Saturday, Kenney said the party is also looking at adding other issues.

“I believe on the big consequential issues it’s right to go to the public,” kenney told 1,400 delegates who had signed up for the virtual convention.

He said a decision to get rid of Daylight Savings Time, a Senate election, constitutionally changing property rights and a provincial pension plan are some of the things Albertans may have a chance to vote on.

Kenney spent most of his speech hilighting UCP policies they have brought in, including scrapping the carbon tax and repealing Bill 6.

“We are one-third through our mandate and we have implemented two-thirds of our 261 election promises,” said Kenney.

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

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RCMP able to save ice-bound calf in northern B.C.

The on-duty police officer responded to the area and was able to locate the calf clearly in distress

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For a B.C. Mountie, it was a very moo-ving rescue.

On Tuesday morning, RCMP were told about a young calf that had fallen through ice, into a slough along Farrell Creek Road, north east of Hudson’s Hope, in northeastern B.C.

The on-duty police officer responded to the area and was able to locate the calf clearly in distress, said the RCMP in a release.

“It was obvious that the calf had been doing its best to stay afloat and was getting tired, however could not move forward or backwards due to the surrounding ice,” said the release.

“Thinking quickly, and using any means available to the officer, and some locals that had stopped to assist, the ice around the calf was broken. The very tired calf was able to be lassoed and brought to the edge and out of the slough to rest.”

When we suit up and start our shifts each day, we really never have any idea what our day on the front line will entail,” said Cpl. Rob Gardner.

The front line officer, who responded to the scene, did a great job thinking quickly and outside the box to work with some locals to break the ice and free the small calf. We’d like to thank all those who stopped to assist with this rescue.

The wet calf, who seemed un-injured during the ordeal.

Rescued calf. Courtesy RCMP

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

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