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In an effort to help Albertans and Canadians understand each other and have meaningful conversations about energy, the environment, and the economy, Todayville presents this informative post from Canada Action. We invite you to share your questions, comments and concerns. Please note the first time you comment on a Todayville story you will be asked to register as a user. Once registered you are also invited to contribute your own original posts to Todayville’s front page. Thank you for taking part in these important community conversations.
Diagrams and thumbnail photo from Teck.com
From Canada Action
Teck Frontier Mine: 8 Facts You Must Know
With the federal government’s decision on the Teck Frontier Mine coming soon (in February), there’s some important details about this new oil sands project that need to be brought into the limelight.
Teck’s new oil sands mine in northern Alberta will be one of the most innovative projects of its kind to-date, making use of industry-leading technologies to:
> Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity
> Minimize water use and protect water quality
> Reclaim land as soon as mining begins
> Ensure safe, secure tailings storage with leading-edge technology
> Prevent or mitigate possible impacts to wildlife
Fact #1: Global Oil Demand is Growing
But before we discuss these further, it’s essential we are all reminded of the paramount fact that global oil demand is projected to grow by nearly 10 million barrels per day between now and 2040, as outlined in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) most recent World Energy Outlook 2019.
Heck, that’s the whole reason why Teck has proposed this massive new oil sands mine in the first place. If oil sands growth forecasts by the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER)and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) come even close to being true, with production increasing 50% by 2040 and even more so by 2050, the new Teck Frontier Mine is just a small part of the puzzle for Canada’s energy industry going forward.
We know about projected growth for oil and natural gas demand in the foreseeable future, so why would anyone not want Canada to have as much market share as possible? As one of the most transparent, regulated and environmentally responsible petroleum producers on the planet, it only makes sense that Canada should be one of the last producers “out of the pool.”
Canada’s record of oil and gas production is exemplified by Teck’s initiatives to make Frontier one of the best-in-class oil sands mines ever built in regards to both the environment and Indigenous support.
Fact #2: Land Reclamation Will Begin as Soon as Mining Starts
> Land reclamation will begin as mining progresses, adhering to strict regulations set forth by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)
> The actual footprint of active mining will be smaller than the total project area due to on-going reclamation efforts
> With a size of about 292 square kilometres, the mine’s total surface area is about half the size of Edmonton but this land will not be all disturbed at once
Fact #3: Frontier Will Have a Carbon Intensity Less than 50% of USA Refineries
> GHG emissions intensity of the Frontier project will be about 50% less than the oil sands industry average
> Carbon intensity of the Frontier project will be less than half of the oil currently refined in the United States
> Energy efficient mining processes and cogeneration are among the industry-leading technologies that will help reduce GHG emissions
Fact #4: Extensive Work on Prevention & Mitigation for Wildlife
> Extensive assessments of potential effects on fish, wildlife and their habitat have been conducted to ensure the right steps are taken to prevent and mitigate effects during operations and after the mine is closed
> Any affected wildlife habitat will be fully reclaimed to a “…self-sustaining ecosystem with local vegetation and wildlife.” – AER
Fact #5: Frontier Will Have the Lowest Water Use Intensity
> Teck’s Frontier Mine will have one of the lowest water use intensities in the oil sands
> About 90% of water used to process the bitumen will be recycled, minimizing fresh water withdrawals from the Athabasca river
> Off-stream water storage will help to reduce water withdrawals from the river during low flow periods
> Safeguards will ensure water quality is protected and there are no leaks into the water table
Fact #6: Leading-Edge Tailings Management & Technology
> Teck’s Frontier Mine project will use state-of-the-art practices to create a safe and secure placement for tailings
> Centrifuges will de-water tailings fluid before placement mined-out pits, eliminating the need for dams after operations cease and providing increased levels of security for tailings containment in the process
Fact #7: All 14 Indigenous Communities Support the Project
> All 14 Indigenous groups in the region where the Teck Frontier Mine is proposed support the project. They include:
- Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
- MikisewCree First Nation
- Fort McKayFirst Nation
- Fort Chipewyan Métis
- Fort McKayMétis
- Fort Mc Murray Métis1935
- Fort McMurrayFirst Nation #468
- MétisNation of Alberta- Region One and it’s member locals
- Athabasca Landing Local # 2010
- Buffalo Lake Local # 2002
- ConklinLocal # 193
- Lac La BicheLocal # 1909
- Owl River Local # 1949
- Willow Lake Local # 780
Fact #8: Teck Frontier Mine a Much-Needed Boon for the Energy Sector
> Frontier will employ up to 7,000 people during peak construction
> An additional 2,500 people will be employed throughout operations over a project life of 41 years
> 75,000 person-years of employment generated by the construction of Frontier
> $55 billion generated in provincial taxes and royalties
> $12 billion generated in federate corporate income and capital taxes
> $3.6 billion generated in municipal property taxes
Teck’s investment of $20.6 billion in northern Alberta comes at a time where a lack of new pipeline capacity and strangulating regulations have been choking the life out of one of Canada’s most valuable industries.
Frontier will create thousands of new employment opportunities, tens of billions in government revenues and provide a much-needed boost to an industry that has seen countless jobs and investor cash flee in droves to more competitive oil and gas producing jurisdictions over the past five years.
Much like the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, an approval of Teck’s Frontier Mine would help to restore investor confidence in Canada’s energy sector.
With the Trans Mountain Expansion, Keystone XL and Line 3 Replacement set to add more than a million barrels of additional pipeline capacity for Canada in the near future, it only makes sense that this project – with its low carbon intensity and leading-edge environmental initiatives – should provide some of the oil necessary to fill those pipes.
Learn more – Pipelines in Canada: What You Should Know
Canada Action is an entirely volunteer created grassroots movement encouraging Canadians to take action and work together in support of our vital natural resources sector. We believe it’s critical to educate Canadians about the social and economic benefits provided by the resource sector and industry’s commitment to world-class environmental stewardship. We’re strong supporters of Canada’s oil sands and the resource sector generally because we know how important these industries are to Canada’s present and future prosperity.
We’re committed to engaging Canadians in a more informed conversation about resource development, about how important it is to our society and about how we’re doing it well today and improving our practices for the future. We believe that by educating Canadians on the importance of the country’s resource sector – they’ll act on that information, stand up and make their voices count.
Canada’s food costs expected to increase by $700 per family in 2024: report
‘When Trudeau’s carbon tax makes it more expensive for farmers to grow food and truckers to deliver food, his carbon tax makes it more expensive for families to buy food’
A new report estimates that food costs for a family of four in Canada will increase by $700 in 2024 amid the ongoing carbon tax and rising inflation.
On November 27, researchers from Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of British Columbia published Canada’s Food Price Report 2024, which reveals that food prices will only rise in 2024.
“The current rate for food price increases is within the predicted range at 5.9% according to the latest available CPI data,” the report stated. The report further revealed that the increases are expected to be less than in 2023.
According to the research, the total grocery bill for a family of four in 2024 is projected to be $16,297.20, which is a $701.79 increase from last year.
Bakery, meat, and vegetables are expected to see a 5% to 7% increase, while dairy and fruit prices are projected to ride 1-3%. Restaurant and seafood costs are estimated to increase 3-5%.
The report further revealed that, “Canadians are spending less on food this year despite inflation,” instead choosing either to buy less food or to buy poorer quality of food.
“Food retail sales data indicates a decline from a monthly spend of $261.24 per capita in August 2022 to a monthly spend of $252.89 per capita in August 2023, indicating that Canadians are reducing their expenditures on groceries, either by reducing the quantity or quality of food they are buying or by substituting less expensive alternatives,” it continued.
In addition to food prices, the report found that “household expenses like rent and utilities are also increasing year over year.”
“A recent report by TransUnion found that the average Canadian has a credit card bill of $4,000 and a 4.2% increase in household debt compared to last year, all of which are possible contributors to reduced food expenditures for Canadians,” it continued.
Canadian Taxpayer Federation Director Franco Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews, “The carbon tax makes grocery prices more expensive.”
“When Trudeau’s carbon tax makes it more expensive for farmers to grow food and truckers to deliver food, his carbon tax makes it more expensive for families to buy food,” he explained.
“The carbon tax will cost Canadian farmers $1 billion by 2030,” Terrazzano added. “The government could make groceries more affordable for Canadians by scrapping the carbon tax.”
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre referenced the report, blaming the increased prices on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s policies, saying, “EVERYTHING is more expensive after 8 years of Trudeau. He’s not worth the cost.”
EVERYTHING is more expensive after 8 years of Trudeau.
He's not worth the cost. pic.twitter.com/0tCwaRJHwC
— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) December 7, 2023
The report should not come as a surprise to Canadians considering a September report by Statistics Canada revealing that food prices are rising faster than the headline inflation rate – the overall inflation rate in the country – as staple food items are increasing at a rate of 10 to 18 percent year-over-year.
Despite numerous reports indicating Canadians are experiencing financial hardship, the Trudeau government has largely ignored the pleas of those asking for help, while consistently denying their policies have any impact on inflation or the economy more broadly.
Trudeau has continued to refuse to extend the carbon tax exemption to all forms of home heating, instead only giving relief to Liberal voting provinces.
The carbon tax, framed as a way to reduce carbon emissions, has cost Canadians hundreds more annually despite rebates.
The increased costs are only expected to rise, as a recent report revealed that a carbon tax of more than $350 per tonne is needed to reach Trudeau’s net-zero goals by 2050.
Currently, Canadians living in provinces under the federal carbon pricing scheme pay $65 per tonne, but the Trudeau government has a goal of $170 per tonne by 2030.
The Trudeau government’s current environmental goals – which are in lockstep with the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – include phasing out coal-fired power plants, reducing fertilizer usage, and curbing natural gas use over the coming decades.
The reduction and eventual elimination of so-called “fossil fuels” and a transition to unreliable “green” energy has also been pushed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) – the globalist group behind the socialist “Great Reset” agenda in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet are involved.
However, some western provinces have declared they will not follow the regulations but instead focus on the wellbeing of Canadians.
Both Alberta and Saskatchewan have repeatedly promised to place the interests of their people above the Trudeau government’s “unconstitutional” demands, while consistently reminding the federal government that their infrastructures and economies depend upon oil, gas, and coal.
“We will never allow these regulations to be implemented here, full stop,” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith recently declared. “If they become the law of the land, they would crush Albertans’ finances, and they would also cause dramatic increases in electricity bills for families and businesses across Canada.”
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has likewise promised to fight back against Trudeau’s new regulations, saying recently that “Trudeau’s net-zero electricity regulations are unaffordable, unrealistic and unconstitutional.”
“They will drive electricity rates through the roof and leave Saskatchewan with an unreliable power supply. Our government will not let the federal government do that to the Saskatchewan people,” he charged.
APP Update: Chief Actuary of Canada to provide opinion on Alberta’s share of CPP assets
Alberta Pension Plan engagement
The Alberta Pension Plan Engagement Panel is giving the office of the chief actuary of Canada some time to release findings before scheduling new public sessions.
This fall, the Alberta Pension Plan Engagement Panel, led by former provincial treasurer Jim Dinning, invited Albertans to discuss the findings of an independent report on a potential provincial pension plan. The panel has been collecting feedback from Albertans since then, with more than 76,000 Albertans participating in five telephone town hall sessions and more than 94,000 Albertans completing the online survey. The first phase of the engagement is now complete, and the panel will now analyze what it has heard from Albertans so far.
“Albertans can rest assured that their voices have been heard and that’s why I tabled the Alberta Pension Protection Act, which provides Albertans with certainty that their pension contributions are safe and that we will not proceed with a provincial plan without their say through a referendum. This is a complex process and one that we do not take lightly.”
During this first phase of engagement, it quickly became clear that Albertans wanted more precise information on the value of the asset transfer Alberta would be entitled to receive if it were to withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan. While the LifeWorks report was able to provide a reasonable asset transfer value by relying on publicly available data, determining a more precise number requires analysis from the federal government.
Following discussions between Canada’s finance ministers, the federal finance minister has committed to asking the chief actuary of Canada to provide an opinion on Alberta’s share of the CPP assets. Alberta’s government is hopeful that this work can be completed promptly so that Albertans can have as much information as possible as they consider the possibility of a new plan. To that end, the panel has decided to give the chief actuary of Canada some time to release their findings before scheduling new public engagement sessions.
Albertans continue to have the opportunity to participate in the conversation by reading the information on AlbertaPensionPlan.ca and completing the online workbook.
“We are pleased with how many Albertans we have reached with our consultations to date. The LifeWorks report presents an opportunity worth exploring and Albertans have answered that call, but what we’ve heard loud and clear is that they want to hear how the federal government calculates the asset transfer number. We will start the next round of public meetings when we have more clarity on that number, but in the meantime, we encourage everyone to have a look at our workbook and provide feedback there.”
Throughout this entire process Alberta’s government committed to ensuring the most-up-to-date information is provided to Albertans.
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