From Josh Andrus, Executive Director of Project Confederation
Look what we discovered about the “Just Transition”…
You might remember, not so long ago, that federal Natural Resources Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the federal Liberal government would soon be rolling out its plan for a “Just Transition.”
This is the “Just Transition” plan that the federal NDP insisted be included in the “confidence and supply agreement” that is currently propping up Justin Trudeau’s minority government.
Then, an internal government memo was made public, suggesting that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost in this “transition” – particularly in western Canada.
Project Confederation immediately sprung to action, investigating the proposed policies and launching a petition against the plan, which has now received more than 13,000 signatures.
As news spread, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe spoke out strongly against the plan.
But one politician was suspiciously quiet – the Alberta NDP leader, Rachel Notley.
We thought Albertans, and Canadians, deserved to know whether someone running to be Premier of Alberta supported the shutting down of Alberta and western Canada’s largest industry.
And so we pushed hard for Rachel Notley to answer the question – does she support the “Just Transition” idea?
But, as time went on, Notley’s silence became more and more deafening.
Eventually, her silence became so deafening that even some in the media began to question whether or not she truly disagreed with the plan.
Hours turned into days, and days turned into weeks – literally!
Two full weeks after Wilkinson’s announcement, Rachel Notley finally broke her silence, calling on Ottawa to “put the brakes on” the “Just Transition”.
But, “put the brakes on” sounded a lot more like “wait until after the Alberta election” than “ditch it entirely” to us.
So we decided to do some more digging.
Well, after some excellent work by our research team, we think we now know why it took so long for Rachel Notley to oppose the “Just Transition.”
It turns out that, rather than just being some federal NDP idea that she’s now distanced her provincial party from, the “Just Transition” was actually a huge part of her NDP government’s plans.
Insert flashback music here.
It’s November 2015, the newly minted NDP government are celebrating a big election win, and are moving forward with their climate change strategy.
(You know, the one they accidentally forgot to mention that they were going to implement if they won).
New Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Phillips, commissions a blue-ribbon report by a team of high-profile academics, to help the NDP figure out exactly how to fulfil their campaign promise (sorry, their campaign omission).
Several months later, the “Climate Leadership Report” is released, setting out the government’s vision for climate policy and – guess what?
The “Just Transition” is a key part of the NDP’s Climate Leadership Report!
Yep, that’s right – forget not knowing what the “Just Transition” is, and claiming not to support the federal government’s plan.
In reality, it was Rachel Notley’s government who wrote the policy in the first place, and then made it a critical part of their entire environmental policy agenda.
Here are some extracts from the report…
In a section discussing mitigating the impacts of carbon pricing on low- and middle-income Albertans, the NDP said they would “support a sound and just transition for labour and communities…”
Later in the report, the authors highlight a quote from their friends at the Alberta Federation of Labour.
This quote is really just one gigantic contradiction, given the government is literally legislating their employment out of existence:
Next, the report talks about what the workers who lose their jobs might need to do as part of this “transition” – it notes that they may need assistance with “relocation”:
Oh, sorry, did the government legislate away your job?
Not to worry, we’ll “fix” it for you by helping you walk away from your entire life and move somewhere else.
Remember how Rachel Notley said Albertans might have to move to BC to find work while she was Premier?
Yeah, we’d prefer Albertans could find work here in Alberta, thanks.
Here’s the thing…
Not only did the Alberta NDP support the concept of a federal “Just Transition” when they were in government, they were also actively implementing their own “Just Transition” – 8 years earlier than the federal government!
And yet now they claim to not support the idea at all?
No wonder it took so long for Rachel Notley to answer the question.
She was probably just surprised that no one in the media had dug up her own support of “Just Transition” legislation from years before, and was wondering if she could get away with pretending she hadn’t.
Well, we’re not surprised no one in the media bothered looking.
But, we did look, and thank goodness we did!
Thank you to our researchers who dug up this document, which I’m sure the NDP would have preferred we’d not found.
If you’d like to help us do even more research like this, please click here to make a donation to our work.
Otherwise, if you haven’t signed the No Unjust Transition petition yet, please click here to do so now.
Rachel Notley’s claim to now be opposed to the exact thing that she herself implemented is not credible.
She can run from it, but she can’t hide.
Her environmental policies put Alberta into one of its deepest recessions ever.
And we can’t afford to repeat those mistakes.
Province orders dismissal of Chestermere Mayor, three councillors, and all three CAO’s
City of Chestermere/Facebook)
City of Chestermere councillors and senior staff dismissed
Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver has issued a ministerial order dismissing four of the City of Chestermere’s municipal councillors and all three chief administrative officers (CAOs).
After the city failed to comply with the supervision of the official administrator and some of the minister’s directives that have been in place since March 15, 2023, Minister McIver has dismissed Mayor Jeff Colvin, Coun. Mel Foat, Coun. Blaine Funk and Coun. Stephen Hanley, as well as the three CAOs.
The directives, intended to restore good governance to the City of Chestermere, were issued following a municipal inspection. Since then, the city has continued to be managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner.
“The directives issued by my predecessor are not onerous and represent the bare minimum that citizens ought to expect from their municipal government. However, after undertaking all reasonable efforts to have the city comply with its obligations, it has failed to do so. I am profoundly disappointed that it has come to this, but the people of Chestermere deserve better. This community should be able to have trust in its local elected government.”
While the minister determined that the city has failed to comply with its obligations, he has also determined that dismissal of Coun. Shannon Dean, Coun. Sandy Johal-Watt and Coun. Ritesh Narayan was not justified given their efforts to hold council to account and attempt to move council in a more positive direction toward proper governance practices and compliance with legislation.
Councillors Dean, Johal-Watt and Narayan remain as elected councillors but will have no role in the governance of the city until a byelection is held and council quorum is restored.
The ministerial order dismissing Chestermere council members and senior administration is effective Dec. 4. An official administrator and interim CAO are in place to oversee the City of Chestermere’s governance and operations until a byelection is held to elect new councillors for the vacant positions at a date to be determined in 2024.
- A municipal inspection was ordered by the minister of Municipal Affairs under the Municipal Government Act (Section 571) in May 2022.
- The independent inspection, which concluded in September 2022, found the City of Chestermere to be managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner.
- An official administrator was appointed in September 2022 to supervise the municipality and its council.
- On March 15, 2023, the minister of Municipal Affairs issued 12 binding directives through a ministerial order requiring the City of Chestermere to take action to address key areas of concern.
- On Oct. 18, the minister of Municipal Affairs issued to the City of Chestermere a notice of intent to issue a ministerial order which would dismiss all seven council members from office, as well as all three CAOs.
Premier Smith reacts to Liberal Government’s announcement on new methane reduction targets at COP 28
Federal methane emissions targets: Joint statement
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk”
Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz issued the following statement on the federal government’s proposed methane emissions regulations:
“The federal government has unilaterally established new methane emissions rules and targets to help win international headlines. Instead of building on Alberta’s award-winning approach, Ottawa wants to replace it with costly, dangerous and unconstitutional new federal regulations that won’t benefit anyone beyond Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s post-office career.
“Managing emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas industry is our constitutional right and responsibility, not Ottawa’s, and we are getting the job done. Using a province-led approach, Alberta has already reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 45 per cent – hitting our target three years early – and we’re just getting started.
“Meanwhile, not only is it illegal for Ottawa to attempt to regulate our industries in this manner, Ottawa also hasn’t even hit one of its past arbitrary and unscientific emissions targets largely because it has little to no credible expertise regulating the natural resource, agricultural and other industry sectors in this space.
“Ottawa could have helped us keep reducing emissions with joint incentive programs in line with Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan. It could have listened to the Supreme Court’s declaration that the Impact Assessment Act was unconstitutional and abandoned this kind of arrogant and ineffective scheme. Instead, these new regulations threaten our successful province-led approach and impede good work that’s already underway.
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk. A total ban would also be costly, resulting in shut-ins and loss of production.
“This approach will also cost tens of billions in infrastructure upgrades, yet Ottawa has provided virtually no financial support to do so. Thousands of Albertans could be put out of work in the coming years due to these costly regulations. A federal government willing to invest $37.7 billion into just three battery plants in Ontario and Quebec cannot credibly refuse to provide tax credits and financial incentives for producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan to assist with achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
“For years, Alberta, not Ottawa, has done the hard work and achieved results. We strongly support reducing methane emissions and have invested tens of millions into developing these technologies. Minister Guilbeault must work with us, and not against us, to keep cutting methane emissions and charting a course for carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Given the unconstitutional nature of this latest federal intrusion into our provincial jurisdiction, our government will use every tool at our disposal to ensure these absurd federal regulations are never implemented in our province.”
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