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Alberta Oilfield worker living in Ontario feeling overwhelmed

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Submitted by Teddy Smith from London, Ontario

 

I just thought I’d share a bit with what’s going on in my life.  I’ve worked the service rigs for 20 years+, had some absolutely amazing times, met some truly awesome people, but most importantly I was doing a job I was in love with.  The pride that I got from doing a job I knew drove the world was a fantastic feeling.

In October of 2018 my 74 yr old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and in December my 84 year old father passed away.

Coupled with the 100% debilitating federal and provincial government towards our pristine oil fields I found myself out of work for the first time in my rigging career.  I decided to sell almost everything I own and pack up and move myself, my wife and my dogs in with my mother to help look after her.  She lives in London, Ontario.

My heart is Albertan.  My soul bleeds oil and I am truly feeling overwhelmed by the overall general sense of ‘suck it up’ Alberta that I get from the general population of people here in Ontario.  Every person I talk to here in Ontario has absolutely no idea what it’s like to work in the patch, no respect for what we do and all they come back with is you got paid really good money to do what you did, you should have set money aside for a rainy day… well how the hell to you do that with it’s been pouring for the last 5 years???

The people in Ontario don’t care how Albertans feel.  They make fun of us on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.  They don’t understand and they are unwilling to learn how we have the most ethical, cleanest, safest oil in the world.

There comes a time when one says I’ve had enough!!

I want to see us stop importing oil and using 100% Canadian refined oil and gas.

We need the media outlets to stop twisting Alberta’s story and get the truth out there.

We need to stop the indoctrination of youth in our school system into thinking oil is bad.

We definitely need to stop the equalization payments.

I want our voices to be hear loud and clear and it’s NOT happening here.  The word is not getting out!

People need to stop stifling our clean oil!!! I don’t understand at all, it’s truly heart breaking.

This is coming from someone that lives, breathes Alberta but due to tragic circumstances I’m being suffocated here in Ontario and I’m asking for help.  Help me help the province that has given me the best times of my life.  Help me save ALBERTA!

Canadian energy needs more faces showing the plight of our disgruntled energy workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

I am by no means a politician just a very humbled righand who chose to make his family’s personal life very public in the Hope’s of providing a better understanding to the uneducated/misinformed masses of the east in regards to the current state of our great western provinces.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

City of Edmonton has a spending problem

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Kris Sims

Between 2014 and 2023, total spending at the city went from $2.2 billion to an estimated $3.4 billion, a spending increase of about 54 per cent. The population of Edmonton increased by about 17 per cent over that same period.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Edmonton City Hall to rein in its salaries and spending splurges in the wake of its 6.6 per cent property tax hike.

“Ordinary working people didn’t get a nearly seven per cent pay increase this year, so what makes Edmonton city hall think these folks can afford this property tax hike?” asked Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “The city clearly has a spending problem and it’s wasting taxpayers’ money on electric buses that don’t work.”

Edmonton city councillors passed a 6.6 per cent property tax increase at city hall Tuesday afternoon.

Budget documents show spending at Edmonton city hall has jumped.

Between 2014 and 2023, total spending at the city went from $2.2 billion to an estimated $3.4 billion, a spending increase of about 54 per cent. The population of Edmonton increased by about 17 per cent over that same period.

Meanwhile, the city has a growing list of spending issues.

Reports show Edmonton spent about $60 million on a fleet of electric buses, but about 75 per cent of them are stuck in maintenance bays, needing constant repair and adjustments. The company that manufactures parts for the electric bus fleet has since gone bankrupt.

Last year, Edmonton City Hall decided to spend $100 million on bicycle lanes, in a city that can see snow on the roads from September to May.

After taking a raise this year, Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi is paid a salary of $211,488 per year, while the city’s 12 councillors are each paid $119,484. The premier of Alberta, by comparison, is paid $186,180 per year.

“The people of Edmonton should remember they have the option of recall legislation and they can force a byelection for their city councillor if they think they’re doing a bad job,” said Sims.

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Alberta

Redman got it right on COVID response

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Linda Slobodian

“The fear is still, I would say, in 65% of our population. They are now self-destroying their Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Emergency response expert and retired Lt. Col. David Redman tirelessly tried to warn everyone that the “incoherent” chaotic response to COVID-19 was dangerously flawed.

The powers in charge didn’t listen to Redman, a globally respected authority who led Alberta’s Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) for five years and served 27 years with the Canadian Armed Forces.

But finally, Redman’s dire warnings, concerns, and suggested response to dealing with a pandemic were validated by recommendations made by the Public Health Emergencies Governance Review Panel (PHEGRP) in a report submitted to the Alberta government last week.

What the government does with the recommendations remains to be seen.

But steps must be taken to hold decision-makers accountable for “gross negligence” and to help people break out of COVID’s needless “cycle of fear” that still cripples too many, Redman told the Western Standard Friday.

“Canada will pay the costs of this deadly response for decades to come,” said Redman.

Redman’s letters early on to Canada’s premiers warning them that discarding emergency management principles and placing health care officials in charge of pandemic response was dangerous, were ignored.

AEMA strategies, prepared in advance and in place to deal with pandemics, collected dust. Redman led the team that wrote the 2005 Pandemic Influenza Response Plan that was updated in 2014.

Emergency management offices — fully equipped and staffed with experts — in every province and territory were shut out.

Under the direction of health officials, the public was under siege. Punished for disobeying mandates. Subjected to unnecessary lockdowns and school closures. And controlled by a fear factor that defied a tenet of emergency management experts.

“They did it on purpose. They used fear as a weapon. In emergency management you never use fear. You use confidence. You show confidence that the emergency can be handled and present a plan to show how this will be achieved,” said Redman.

He said it is deeply disturbing that people still believe they must keep vaccines up to date and self-isolate. And that must be rectified if even possible.

“The fear that this government generated — by this government I mean every provincial, territorial government, and in particular the federal government — created for two straight years, only broken by the Freedom Convoy — will last until the children that were just entering school in 2020 die.”

Redman said the COVID-19 response was the “exact opposite” of an emergency management response.

“The pandemic response was health only focussed with terrible and deadly costs to individual mental health, societal health, our children, other serious illnesses and diseases, economic viability, and our democratic way of life simply ignored.”

“Unless there is an emergency management plan built, these costs will continue to be massive.”

Well, there’s hope.

The PHEGRP submitted its final report with more than 90 recommendations.

The panel was established by Premier Danielle Smith in January to review the government’s legislation and governance practices to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is my hope that by adopting these recommendations, the Government will be better equipped to cope with future emergencies and that the impacts on Albertans — their personal livelihoods, civil liberties and mental health — can be mitigated to the greatest extent possible,” said PHEGRP Chair and former Reform party leader Preston Manning in a press release.

Key recommendations include strengthening the AEMA through legislative amendments and budgetary provisions to make it the lead government agency responding to and coordinating the government’s response to future public emergencies.

Redman is “very happy” with Manning’s recommendations.

“There’s a lot of meat in what he’s written.”

“The first and foremost recommendation overarching his whole report is that legislation need to be changed to ensure that the emergency management process and emergency managers are in charge of every emergency including the next pandemic.”

“And that that the AEMA is appropriately funded and staffed to do their new far extended role.”

“He didn’t just say the legislation needs to be changed. He said the government needs to build and fund that organization to be responsible for response for every emergency including pandemics.”

Redman, who testified at the National Citizens Inquiry in Red Deer last April, was pleased with Manning’s wide scope.

“In the first line of each recommendation he’s covered all of the areas from fear being number one, to not doing a hazard assessment to realize that Sars-CoV-2 was really only affecting the elderly.”

“And the terrible destruction of the children and their education system, but more importantly their socialization, the effects on business, the destruction of our economy, and then summing it up with the complete destruction of rights and freedoms.”

“I think they’ve pretty much covered the areas.”

Redman said two steps must be followed immediately.

First, hold a public inquiry to educate the public and “break the cycle of fear.”

“The fear is still, I would say, in 65% of our population. They are now self-destroying their Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

“They believe Sars-C0V-2, the sixth version of the common cold, is deadly. And they will keep believing it until we do a full, open, transparent public inquiry to teach people that what we did was absolutely wrong and why it was wrong.”

“Step two, there must be a process-driven full-recovery plan … That recovery process has to be complete, covering all the points in the Manning report and any that he might have missed.”

“Again, it must be transparent. And that plan has to be fully implemented with the ability to hold accountable everyone responsible for the gross negligence and criminal negligence that was done during COVID.”

“That will show to the public that what was done wasn’t just wrong, it was criminally wrong, and they can stop the fear.”

The inquiry must address what was done, why and “how do we recover from all of the damage we’ve done.”

“Let’s use children as an example. How do you overcome the loss of academic training. And how do you overcome two years of lack of socialization?”

If the emergency management recommendation is implemented by Smith’s government, citizens can be confident if/when the next pandemic hits.

“Emergency management is made up of professionals who are experts who evaluate daily hazards. They use a disciplined process to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recovery from all hazards in their jurisdiction,” said Redman.

“The process they use ensures that all required experts, across the public and private sector, are involved in making a plan that evaluates the cost versus the benefits of all possible actions, making a coherent plan that is issued to the public for their engagement and feedback.”

Alberta’s pandemic plan is designed to control the spread of disease, reduce mortality, mitigate societal disruption, minimize adverse economic impact, and support efficient and effective use of recourses during response and recovery.

The Manning report recognized the delicate balance in protecting Albertans during emergencies and honouring rights and freedoms.

It recommended amending the Alberta Bill of Rights, Employment Standards Code, and Health Professions Act to protect the rights and freedoms of all Albertans, including workers and healthcare professionals and freedom of expression during emergencies.

Manning noted that too many Canadians suffered losses — including loved ones, jobs due to “rigorous health protection measures,” businesses, and freedoms.

How different would things have been if people like Redman had been listened to at the time…

Linda Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard based out of Winnipeg. She has been an investigative columnist for the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, and Alberta Report.  This originally appeared in the Western Standard here.

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