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More naughty politicians wasting away in the sun

CBC investigation turns up errant senators latest in list of errant politicians traveling abroad during COVID-19 pandemic

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The hunt for vacationing politicians is still on

CBC said they are contacting every sitting member of the Senate to inquire about their foreign travel after a number of politicians came in for criticism for ignoring advisories to avoid all non-essential travel.

Of the 93 senate members, 2 did not respond to requests for information regarding their whereabouts during the holiday season.

Interim leader of the Canadian Senators Group (CSG) Sen. Scott Tannas of Alberta and Deputy leader Quebec Sen. Josée Verner neglected to respond to requests for information.

The CSG is a body of 11 senators formed in 2019 to better represent regional concerns across Canada – such as the passage of C-48, the legislation that bans oil tankers in northern B.C. – and C-69, the legislation that overhauls Canada’s environmental assessment process, seen by many in Western Canada as anti-pipeline.

CBC investigated land title records in Hawaii, and determined that Tannas owns a timeshare property there.

The CSG’s liaison, P.E.I. Sen. Percy Downe, could not say whether the other members had left the country.

“As you probably know, the CSG members in the Senate are completely independent, and our group does not whip votes or our members. Therefore, they are not required to advise how they intend to vote on any legislation, and in that spirit of independence, do not advise or seek permission to travel,” it was reported.

Two other members of the CSG said that they travelled abroad over the Christmas break.

A spokesperson for Quebec Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais said Monday the senator is currently in Florida and will return to Canada sometime this week once essential repairs to a seasonal property are finished.

Another CSG senator, Ontario Sen. Vern White, is also currently overseas.

“Yes, I have travelled to Finland with my family to visit my spouse’s parents,” White told CBC.

Manitoba Sen. Don Plett, the Conservative leader in the Senate, also spent part of the Christmas holidays in Mexico. Last week, a Conservative spokesperson said the senator was “following the 14 days quarantine guidelines after having travelled briefly to Mexico on personal travel.”

There is currently no federal restriction prohibiting travel abroad.

The Public Health Advisory Canada (PHAC) advises against non-essential international travel, “Canadian citizens and permanent residents are advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Ken Grafton is the Western Standards Ottawa Bureau Chief. He can be reached at kgrafton@westernstandardonline.com

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Kenney ‘concerned’ of reports Biden to cancel KXL

And if Biden does cancel the project, Kenney said he will sue.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney – whose UCP government invested $1.5 billion of taxpayers money in the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project – says he’s “concerned” about reports from south of the border that President-elect Joe Biden is set to cancel the project.

And if Biden does cancel the project, Kenney said he will sue.

Reports from Washington Sunday night said Biden will cancel the project on the first day he is in office, January 20.

Biden was vice-president and stood by President Barack Obama on November 6, 2015, in the Oval Office when he cancelled Keystone. President Donald Trump overturned that decision and granted a permit.

Kenney’s statement was critical of the pending decision, but made no mention of the $1.5 billion ownership stake his government took in the project. Biden publicly committed to killing the pipeline project along before the decision to purchase a portion of the pipeline was made by the UCP government.

“I am deeply concerned by reports that the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden may repeal the Presidential permit for the Keystone XL border crossing next week,” Kenney said in a statement.

“Doing so would kill jobs on both sides of the border, weaken the critically important Canada-U.S. relationship, and undermine U.S. national security by making the United States more dependent on OPEC oil imports in the future.

“In 2019, the United States imported 9.14 million barrels per day of petroleum, 3.7 million of which came from Canada. The rest comes from countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, none of whom share the commitment of Canada and the United States to environmental stewardship, combatting climate change, or North American energy security.

“As President-elect Biden’s green jobs plan acknowledges, Americans will consume millions of barrels of oil per day for years to come. It is in perfect keeping with his plan that the United States energy needs should be met by a country that takes the challenges of climate change seriously.

“The Keystone XL pipeline also represents tens of thousands of good-paying jobs that the American economy needs right now. That is why major American labour unions who supported President-elect Biden’s campaign strongly back the project, as do First Nations who have signed partnership agreements, and all state governments along the pipeline route.

“Prime Minister Trudeau raised the issue with President-elect Biden on their November 9, 2020, telephone meeting, agreeing ‘to engage on key issues, including … energy cooperation such as Keystone XL.’

“We renew our call on the incoming administration to show respect for Canada as the United States’ most important trading partner and strategic ally by keeping that commitment to engage, and to allow Canada to make the case for strengthening cooperation on energy, the environment, and the economy through this project.

“Should the incoming U.S. Administration abrogate the Keystone-XL permit, Alberta will work with TC Energy to use all legal avenues available to protect its interest in the project.”

During the Democratic primaries and campaign, Biden vowed to kill the pipeline, large portions of which have already been built in Alberta. He made the vow before Alberta invested it’s $1.5 billion.

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 Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas.

The new pipeline would run from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

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

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BREAKING: Biden to cancel KXL pipeline first day in office, report says

It will be a huge blow to Alberta, which has invested heavily in the pipeline.

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US President-elect Joe Biden is sent to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project on the first day he enters the Oval Office, says a report.

Biden was vice-president and stood by President Barack Obama on November 6, 2015, in the Oval Office when he cancelled Keystone. President Donald Trump overturned that decision and granted a permit.

It will be a huge blow to Alberta, which has invested heavily in the pipeline.

Alberta has already invested more than $1.5 billion with operator TC Energy. Another $6 billion in loan guarantees has also been made available to the company.

CBC News on Sunday reported a briefing note from the Biden transition team was widely circulated over the weekend after being shared by the incoming president’s team with U.S. stakeholders. 

The words “Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit” appear on a list of executive actions supposedly scheduled for Day 1 of Biden’s presidency, said CBC.

Biden has said he will sign a raft of executive orders on his first day in office, on January 20, including revoking a Donald Trump-imposed limit on travel from Muslim countries.

During the campaign, Biden vowed to kill the pipeline, large portions of which have already been built 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.

In November, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was optimistic the pipeline would get the go-ahead.

In March 2020, Kenney ordered the Alberta government to buy a $1.5 billion stake in the project that appears to be in deep trouble.

“U.S. energy security is dependent on Alberta as the United States’ largest source of oil imports. Much of the American economy is fuelled by Alberta energy. We look forward to working with President-elect Biden’s transition team and future administration to ensure that this vital economic partnership continues,” said Kenney.

“Canada and the United States must work closely together to protect lives and livelihoods through the COVID crisis, and to return our economies to growth. Alberta looks forward to doing our part in advancing that growth agenda, working with the next U.S. administration and Congress.”

The Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas.

The new pipeline would run from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

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

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North Vancouver councillor says pickup truck is ‘glorification of violence’, ‘petro masculinity’

Mathew Bond, a councillor for North Vancouver made the comment on Twitter Saturday after coming across a parked pickup in Vancouver.

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A North Vancouver councillor says a pickup truck is a “glorification of violence” and is a symbol “domination”.

Mathew Bond, a councillor for North Vancouver made the comment on Twitter Saturday after coming across a parked pickup truck in Vancouver.

“The glorification of violence and domination,” Bond tweeted with disgust, along with a picture of the truck.

Bond hash-tagged his posted “#unnecessarytrucks #petromasculinity“.

Bond tweet

The Dodge Ram with a medium suspension lift did not have a front licence plate, which means it could be from Alberta.

There is also a skull attached below the front bumper adorned with the words “global warmer.”

The post caused an eruption of anger by pickup truck supporters against Bond.

“I’m unclear on the point of this post other than to perpetuate/aggravate an “us and them” position. “Petromasculinity” really? “Unnecessary truck”? With so much crap actually going on do we really need to sit in judgment of a parked truck downtown???” asked Sonya Bonenfant.

Rand Ridley mocked the driving capabilities of Vancouverites with his response: “At least when you get that one inch of snow that shuts Vancouver down this guy won’t be stuck blocking traffic!”

But the councillor was less than impressed with his critics.

“A lot of the replies to this tweet (which Twitter has graciously ran through the quality filter) are reinforcing the point I made,” he tweeted on Sunday.

“Wow, never expected to have so many people on this website thinking about my penis (especially dudes). Weird, but thanks?”

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

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