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First Nations to invest $1-billion in Keystone XL pipeline

About 200 km of the pipeline have already been built including a section that crosses the U.S. border from Alberta.

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TC Energy has signed a deal with five Indigenous bands to make a $1-billion investment into the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Four of the bands are in Alberta and one in Saskatchewan.

Joe Biden, the apparent winner in the U.S. election of Donald Trump has vowed to killed the $14.4-billion pipeline.

“This historic agreement serves as a model of how to build strong and trusted partnerships between industry and Indigenous groups for a safe, secure and prosperous energy future,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a release.

“The partnership highlights the growing desire of Indigenous Peoples to bring jobs and wealth into their communities through the responsible development of Canada’s energy resources.

“These significant economic benefits will improve the lives and opportunities of many generations to come, while ensuring Indigenous people continue to have direct input into the continued care and respect of the land.”

Alberta has already invested $1.5-billion into the project.

Kenney said Keystone XL is expected to create more than $600 million in Indigenous supplier and employment opportunities throughout the project’s construction and will support an estimated 17,000 jobs in Canada and 42,000 in the U.S.

TC Energy has said it will go ahead with construction of the pipeline designed to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of oil from Alberta to Nebraska despite Biden’s election campaign vow.

“We’ve looked at the incoming Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan and the steps that we’ve already taken with Keystone XL, we believe, have positioned it very favourably, particularly as we bring jobs to the economy next year, a key platform for the U.S. government as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bevin Wirzba, president of liquids pipelines, on a webcast from the Calgary-based company’s investor day, The Canadian Press reported.

About 200 km of the pipeline have already been built including a section that crosses the U.S. border from Alberta.

The five First Nations include the Nekaneet First Nation in Saskatchewan and the Ermineskin Cree Nation, Montana First Nation, Louis Bull Tribe and Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta.

The Democratic candidate and the vice president-elect, Kamala Harris, have also said in the past they would put an end to fracking, a promise they did not repeat during the campaign.

The Alberta and federal governments have promised to lobby Biden hard on the benefits to letting pipeline construction from the Alberta border to Nebraska proceed.

Biden was also vice-president when Barack Obama cancelled the project on Nov. 6, 2015. President Donald Trump gave the project another green light when he was elected in 2016.

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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CTF demands Horgan reduce size of B.C. cabinet

The CTF said there are currently 22 cabinet ministers and eight parliamentary secretaries in the B.C. cabinet.

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The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says NDP Premier John Horgan should reduce the size of his new cabinet to save money and to keep in step with everyday British Columbians.

“Many hardworking British Columbians have had their salaries reduced or they’ve lost their jobs during the COVID-19 economic crisis and it would be a good move for Premier Horgan to form a cabinet that is 15 per cent smaller than his last one,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in a statement.

“By reducing the size of his new cabinet and reducing their salaries, the premier will save taxpayers’ money and show that we are all in this together.”

The CTF said there are currently 22 cabinet ministers and eight parliamentary secretaries in the B.C. cabinet. Reducing the number by 15 per cent would keep the number to 19 cabinet ministers and seven parliamentary secretaries.

B.C. cabinet ministers are currently paid a salary of more than $166,000 plus living allowances, and if they reduced their salaries by 15 per cent it would bring the remuneration down to $141,000 plus living expenses.

“Reducing the size and cost of government would show solidarity with struggling taxpayers and help this government to understand what average people are going through,” said Sims. 

Cabinet ministers in B.C. who are in office for more than six years are in line for very generous pensions when they reach the age of 65, with many typically being paid more than $70,000 per year upon retirement.

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

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Bloc demands no more concessions on dairy deals

Canada’s dairy farms are under strict government controls on what they can produce.

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The Bloc Quebecois has introduced a motion to stop for federal Liberals from making any more trade deals that allow greater access to the countries dairy system.

Canada’s dairy farms are under strict government controls on what they can produce.

The amount of foreign access to the market has also been tightly regulated but the Liberals last three trade deals allow foreign countries greater access into the market, said the Bloc.

“Something very important for milk and egg and poultry production is given away as a token and nothing comes back for those producers, so we say in the law that this should not happen anymore,” Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet told CBC News.

“[The Liberal government says,] ‘Oh, we will will compensate you. And you know what, they don’t.”

The CBC reported Bloc Québécois MP Louis Plamondon’s legislation, Bill C-216, would amend the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act to state that the minister “must not make any commitment … by future trade treaty or agreement” that would increase the tariff rate quota (TRQ) applicable to dairy products, poultry or eggs, or reduce the tariff applicable to those goods when they are imported in excess of that quota.

The private member’s bill is up for its debate on Tuesday.

Blanchet slammed Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland for delaying her fall economic update and said her spending plans must include the new NAFTA deal compensation farmers are waiting for.

“This money is owed, is expected [and] is terribly late,” he told CBC.

The economic statement is set for Nov. 30.

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

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Manitoba RCMP fine church minister after religious service drew 100 people

“To be honest, I feel honoured to get these and that I received them for doing something that God wants me to do,” the minister said in an interview

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RCMP in Manitoba have been called in to investigate after a rural church in Manitoba broke COVID-19 regulations and hosted a service for more than 100 people – and have laid levied fines against the minister.

Current laws dictate gatherings in Manitoba are limited to a maximum of five people and churches must be closed in an effort to stop the growing number of coronavirus cases in the province.

Religious leaders must hold services via the internet.

The church minister has now been slapped with two fines totalling nearly $2,600 for attending a protest against COVID-19 restrictions and being at a Sunday religious service.

Tobias Tissen, minister at Church of God, confirmed he received two individual fines of $1,296 Monday night.

“To be honest, I feel honoured to get these and that I received them for doing something that God wants me to do,” he said in an interview with CBC News.

Mounties were called to the Church of God in Hanover, southeast of Winnipeg, about 8:30 a.m. on Sunday about multiple vehicles in the parking lot and a gathering inside.

“It is believed there were well over 100 people inside the church, and the officers had to balance police and public safety when determining a response,” said RCMP spokesperson Julie Courchaine in an email to the CBC.

“This is currently still under investigation and RCMP are working closely with Manitoba Public Health on the matter.”

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, said he is aware of the reports of ongoing church services and urged them to stop.

“It should be quite clear, these orders are not here to restrict your right to worship. These orders are here to save lives,” CBC reported Roussin said.

“We can’t have in-person gatherings. Not with the positivity rates we’re seeing. It puts Manitobans at risk.”

The fine for individuals breaching the orders is $1,296 while corporations can be penalized with a $5,000 ticket.

Manitoba has had more than 14,000 coronavirus cases resulting in 236 deaths.

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

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