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Trump approves $22-billion railway between Alaska and Alberta

A2A Rail vice chair Mead Treadwell said the so-called A2A Railway will succeed where others have failed, because markets are hungry for resources that Canada produces

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U.S. President Donald Trump has issued an executive permit allowing a $22-billion international railway to be built between Alaska and Alberta.

“Based on the strong recommendation of @SenDanSullivan and @repdonyoung of the Great State of Alaska, it is my honor to inform you that I will be issuing a Presidential Permit for the A2A Cross-Border Rail between Alaska & Canada. Congratulations to the people of Alaska & Canada!” the president tweeted Friday.

A2A Rail vice chair Mead Treadwell said the so-called A2A Railway will succeed where others have failed, because markets are hungry for resources that Canada produces, but can’t export quickly enough to meet demand.

A2A proposed route

The company will start by constructing rail from North Pole, near Fairbanks, where the Alaska Railroad ends today. From there the railway will move south and east through Alaska, across into Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and into Alberta.

“It is approximately 1,600 miles, with roughly 200 miles of new track in Alaska, and the remaining 1,400 miles in western and northern Canada. We estimate our investment to be $15 billion CAD in Canada and another $7 billion CAD in Alaska,” said the company’s website.

“The port capacity and sometimes the rail capacity at other places in Canada are just so choked that there’s a potential market for a new port and a new method to get to Asian markets,” Treadwell said in an interview in August with KUAC.

“The Alaska Railroad right now runs 512 miles from Seward to North Pole we’re going to take that track and extend it 1500 miles to connect up with rail lines in Alberta,” Treadwell said.

Treadwell said the the system will transport bitumen, potash, sulfur and grains.

“We believe we have a project which is competitive with pipeline and one of the reasons why it’s competitive is because its risks can spread over several different commodities,” he said.

Treadwell says if all goes according to plan, work on the project would begin within three years and be completed in six. 

The company said it will now begin an “extensive environmental impact assessment” (EIA) under Canadian legislation for the Yukon, B.C. and Alberta.

Company founder Sean McCoshen has already spent over $100 million USD through the pre-feasibility, feasibility, and detailed engineering phases of the project. 

A2A Rail has also started talks with Indigenous groups along the proposed path.

“The proposed route for the A2A Rail project includes portions of traditional, treaty and heritage lands of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and the United States. A2A Rail has initiated dialogue with Indigenous Peoples along the proposed route to brief them on the project,” said the company.

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 and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. 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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Former Liberal Party president stunned by Trudeau’s support

For that, Ledrew blames Trudeau’s $600 million tax break for approved media.

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A former president of the Liberal Party says Justin Trudeau is surrounded by people in cabinet way over their heads – and he has no idea why Canadians support him.

Stephen LeDrew, Liberal Party president from 1998-2002, said past Liberal prime minister’s had a strong cabinet behind them, something Trudeau lacks.

“You look around the cabinet today and they’re all nice people, they’re all trying their hardest. But most of them have no experience in anything…it’s Trudeau, Dominic Leblanc and other people who really know nothing about public policy or good government,” said Ledrew, who ran also ran John Turner’s campaign to succeed the elder Trudeau.

“What about our current dictator?” LeDrew joked when asked for comment.

“Clearly there was a dearth in the Liberal Party leadership. And you look at Stephane Dion, you look at (Michael) Ignatieff. I mean there were some solid people that I was talking to throughout that era who just saying, ‘Can we not look into the parliamentary bag and find some people who are who are good?’ Well, the party went for somebody with a name.”

LeDrew said Trudeau “has no education and no real-life experience and he has no idea of what is appropriate,” and recent scandals reflect that.

“He simply has no idea with both WE and the Kielberger brothers, with handing out contracts, sole-sourcing hundreds of millions of dollars to former Liberal MPs. He doesn’t think that he is corrupt…but it’s totally corrupt.”

LeDrew, 67, said it “stuns me as to why Trudeau has so much support in Canada. I don’t get that. I can only attribute that to people have no idea what’s going on.”

For that, LeDrew blames Trudeau’s $600 million tax break for approved media.

“The Toronto Star is paid by the Liberal government and they are not going to smack the hand that feeds it,” LeDrew said, a Torontonian.

All of this leaves LeDrew with grudging admiration for Stephen Harper.

“You didn’t like him, but you knew that there was somebody who had the good interests of the country and who also knew how to make things happen in a proper way. And you can’t say that now.”

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WIP leader Hinman says Alberta should shut off natural gas taps to US after Keystone cancellation

Hinman noted it was cold now in parts of the US, and urged Premier Jason Kenney give Biden 24 hours to change his mind on Keystone or Alberta would be “shutting down our gas lines.”

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Wildrose Independence Party leader Paul Hinman says Alberta should turn off the taps of natural gas to the US, after Joe Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline expansion this week.

Hinman noted, during WIP’s founding convention Saturday, it was cold now in parts of the US, and urged Premier Jason Kenney give Biden 24 hours to change his mind on Keystone or Alberta would be “shutting down our gas lines.”

Biden cancelled the project on Wednesday – his first day in power. Kenney has asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help Alberta and operator TC Energy get their money back.

Hinman added it’s “heartbreaking” the way Albertans are being treated during the COVID-19 lockdown. He said Kenney’s pandemic lockdown response has turned Alberta into a “police state.” Hinman said Kenney was just “fear-mongering” with “propaganda.”

Hinman told viewers to the virtual AGM, he had received a call from an Alberta grandmother this week who decided to break lockdown regulations and open her business. Hinman said the woman was visited at home by RCMP officers and Alberta Health Services officials who threatened to arrest, fine her and apprehend the grandchildren she was caring for.

Hinman also called for recall legislation to be brought in. Kenney has promised recall legislation during his election campaign and after he came to office. He also made the case for a provincial police force and pension plan.

“There is a light, and that light is the Wildrose Independence Party,” said Hinman.

Members voted on the party’s constitution, put together by a committee. The constitution was voted on as a document in its entirety and required the backing of 75 per cent of delegates to pass. A total of 98 per cent said ‘yes.’

Members will be going through with line-by-line amendments when the law allows the party to hold an in-person gathering.

The delegates also voted on prepared policy documents, with a vote of 50 per cent needed to pass. It received 99 per cent support. Again, they will be fine-tuned at a later meeting.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGM was a virtual one, with events streamed through a YouTube channel.

WIP President Rick Northey said that their membership rolls have swelled by around 1,000 over the last month to a total of 6,500.

The surge in memberships comes in the wake of the UCP Snowbird Scandal, which saw at least 10 MLAs and staffers jet off to sun and sand destinations while the rest of the province was in a pandemic lockdown.

The party was founded in June when members of Wexit Alberta and the Freedom Conservative Party voted to merge their parties into the new Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.

The party surged in a recently Mainstreet Research poll conducted for the Western Standard to nine per cent province-wide support.

A leadership race is expected to be held between the spring and fall of 2021 to select the party’s standard bearer going into the next election.

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

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Former Liberal MP calls Trudeau a ‘fool’ unconcerned with increasing costs

Dan McTeague said Justin Trudeau’s Clean Fuel Standard and $170 carbon tax are far worse than the “Green Shift” proposed by Stephane Dion

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A long-time Liberal and former MP says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a “a fool who is nothing more than a marionette for the Laurentian elite.”

Dan McTeague, who has helped Liberal campaigns since 1978 and was a Liberal MP for Pickering from 1993-2011, said Trudeau’s Clean Fuel Standard and $170 carbon tax are far worse than the “Green Shift” proposed by Stephane Dion as Liberal leader in 2008.

“There was a time when Liberals actually did give a damn about the cost of living and they don’t today,” said McTeague, who once chaired a government task force on gasoline pricing and is now president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.

By 2030, Trudeau’s Clean Fuel Standard is expected to add another 11 cents per litre to the cost of gasoline, while the hike in carbon taxes will increase gas prices by another 36 cents per litre.

“We’re being led down this path of high costs, less jobs, all to be brought even into this fear, the aura of wokeness on the belief in the green climate front,” said McTeague in an interview with the Western Standard.

McTeague insists Trudeau’s “climate alarmism…has gripped the country at a time which would have the most devastating impact.” He also expressed concerns with Trudeau’s “virtue signalling” and “preachy” approach to government.

“It’s left a good number of Canadians without them knowing whether it’s a party that has their back, that has their interests. It’s really about top-down lecturing, moralizing about the new [climate] cult, and conform or be cast out. And that’s really the divide and conquer that I think has unfortunately gripped the nation beyond its economic woes, beyond its lack of accountability in terms of representation, beyond its dangerous move towards a fiscal collapse,” said McTeague.

“It’s important to have a strong energy sector to be able to pay for the social programs – you start messing with those as this Prime Minister has done, and his gang, you start cutting away the very economic and social underpinnings of this country.”

The 18-year Liberal MP believes the Trudeau government has deeply divided Canadians.

“We’re looking at really an undeniable collapse in our democracy and it’s unfortunate, but it’s created significant divides that I never thought would be ones a country could withstand – regional divides, city versus rural, West versus East, have and have nots versus haves, and…public servants versus those who work in the private sector.

“All these things tend to demonstrate there is no common purpose. The goal of government to make everyone work together and to get all the cylinders firing up and are rolling in the same direction has all been thrown out in favour of one or two handpicked issues in which you, your opposition, each either track or stand or fall.”

McTeague interned on Parliament Hill in 1981-82 when the first Trudeau was in power, and says the elder was more tolerant of debate and disagreement.

“The Liberal Party was far more tolerant and far more objective about future of Canada and everyone had a role. And that was true under Pierre Trudeau, whether we liked him or not. That guy could stand up to people in a good debate unlike his son who can’t tolerate anybody who is opposed to him. And that would not be like Paul Martin or Jean Chretien or Bill Graham or Stephane Dion or Michael Ignatieff.

“If you had something to say, you could say it. You could say it publicly, you could disagree with him, you could disagree with him on the floor of the House of Commons. At the end of the day, we were all Liberals. That is no longer the case. It’s an intolerant, academically intolerant group of people whose whole purpose is to divide and conquer and win by the narrowest of pluralities.”

McTeague believes Canada is on a path toward greater authoritarianism and that “this prime minister and the technocrats who dictated this policy to him are really only interested in attaining their woke objective, getting their carbon offset markets up and running, and enrichening their friends.”

“Every Canadian should be prepared to throw these bums to the side…these guys are not Liberals, they’re pretenders – and dangerous ones at that.”

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