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Alberta

Alberta Premier tells environmental heckler a battery-powered electrical grid is pure ‘fantasy’

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

‘There is no industrialized economy in the world operating that way,’ Danielle Smith said at the 2023 Alberta Climate Summit

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith tore a page off a heckler’s fantasy suggestion of a solar and wind battery-powered future after she stepped into the lion’s den to advocate for oil and gas at a conference hosted by a pro-climate change think tank.

On October 26, Smith spoke at the Pembina Institute’s “2023 Alberta Climate Summit” in a Fireside Chat, Premier Smith with Dave Kelly” to argue in favor of oil and gas and against proposals to phase out Alberta’s main energy industry.

While offering remarks in support of Alberta’s energy industry that includes fighting a federal government rule decreeing net-zero power emissions by 2035, Smith said trying to have the province go off natural gas for power generation by that year would be impossible after a heckler interrupted her.

Smith responded to the heckler by saying, “Do think I can get an equivalent amount of nuclear rolled out in 12 years? Do you think I could do that in an environment that we’ve never had nuclear before?”

“And what do I do when there’s no sun and there’s no wind?” she added.

At this point, the heckler shouted, “Batteries,” which irked Smith.

“Let’s talk about batteries, because I’ve talked to somebody and I want to I want to talk about batteries for a minute, because I know that everybody thinks that this economy is going to be operated on wind and solar and battery power and it cannot,” she said.

“There is no industrialized economy in the world operating that way because they need baseload. And I’ll tell you what I know about batteries because I talked to somebody who was thinking of investing in it on a 200-megawatt plant, $1 million to be able to get each megawatt stored. That’s $200 million for his plant alone. And he would get one hour of storage.”

Smith said that if one wants to have “12,000 megawatts of storage, that’s $12 billion for one hour of storage, $24 billion for two hours of storage, $36 billion for three hours of storage.”

Companies such as Tesla offer both home as well as commercial battery pack applications that are designed to store electricity from wind, solar or the grid. However, such packs are massively costly and come with their own negative environmental footprints.

The institute’s goals align with those of the federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has imposed a punitive carbon tax on all Canadians.

‘Fantasy thinking’ won’t keep the lights on in winter, Smith says

Replying to the heckler, Smith stressed how in Alberta, which gets most of its power via natural gas and coal generators, with some solar and wind, there are “long stretches in winter where we can go weeks without wind or solar.”

“That is the reason why we need legitimate real solutions that rely on baseload power rather than fantasy thinking,” she said. “And I’m not going to engage in fantasy thinking and see something is possible when I know that my principal job, I think we need to stop.”

Smith said her “principal job is to have a reliable energy grid” and added that is what she is “trying to do.”

Former Liberal MP turned gas price analyst Dan McTeague, who is against the carbon tax and the push to ban gas-powered cars in favor of electric vehicles, said Smith’s remarks were “beautiful.”

“Beautiful,” McTeague wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

“Climate extremism performs poorly when confronted with reality.”

Trudeau’s carbon tax scheme falling apart

Cracks have begun to form recently. Faced with dismal polling numbers, Trudeau announced he was pausing the collection of the carbon tax on home heating oil in Atlantic Canadian provinces for three years.

This caused a immediate reaction from Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who said his province will stop collecting a federal carbon tax on natural gas used to heat homes come January 1, 2024, unless it gets the similar tax break that Atlantic Canadian provinces.

The Trudeau government’s current environmental goals – 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 the use 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 – an organization in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet are involved.

The Trudeau government has also defied a recent Supreme Court ruling and will push ahead with its net-zero emission regulations.

Canada’s Supreme Court recently ruled that the federal government’s “no more pipelines” legislation is mostly unconstitutional after a long legal battle with the province of Alberta, where the Conservative government opposes the radical climate change agenda.

Alberta has 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.

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Alberta

Provinces should be cautious about cost-sharing agreements with Ottawa

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From the Fraser Institute

By Tegan Hill and Jake Fuss

According to Premier Danielle Smith, Alberta will withdraw from the federal government’s dental care plan by 2026 mainly because the plan would duplicate coverage already provided to many Albertans (although she plans to negotiate unconditional funding in lieu of being in the program). Indeed, all provinces should be wary of entering into such agreements as history has shown that Ottawa can reduce or eliminate funding at any time, leaving the provinces holding the bag.

In the 1990s, for instance, the federal government reduced health and social transfers to the provinces amid a fiscal crisis fuelled by decades of unrestrained spending and persistent deficits (and worsened by high interest rates). Gross federal debt increased from $38.9 billion in 1970/71 to $615.9 billion in 1993/94, at which point debt interest costs consumed roughly $1 in every $3 of federal government revenue.

In response to this debt crisis, the Chrétien Liberal government reduced spending across nearly all federal departments and programs. Over a three-year period to 1996/97, health and social transfers to the provinces were 51 per cent ($41.0 billion) less than what the provinces expected based on previous transfers. In other words, the provinces suddenly got a lot less money from Ottawa than they anticipated.

This should serve as a warning for the provinces who may find themselves on the hook for Ottawa’s big spending today. In the case of dental care, an area of provincial jurisdiction, the Trudeau government has earmarked $4.4 billion  annually for the provinces on an ongoing basis. However, any change in federal priorities or federal finances could swing the financial burden from Ottawa to the provinces to maintain the program.

The current state of federal finances only heightens this risk to the provinces. The federal government has run uninterrupted budget deficits since 2007/08, with total federal debt climbing from $707.3 billion in 2007/08 to a projected $2.1 trillion in 2024/25. The current government—or perhaps a future reform-minded government focused on balancing the budget—could reduce transfers to the provinces.

The Trudeau government has committed to significant new funding in areas of provincial jurisdiction, but provincial policymakers would do well to understand the risks of entering into such agreements. Ottawa can unilaterally reduce or eliminate funding at any point, leaving provinces to either assume the unexpected financial burden through higher taxes or additional borrowing, or curtail the programs.

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Alberta

Just in time for Canada Day weekend! Crescent Falls ready to be enjoyed again

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The new staircase structure and viewing platform are among many upgrades that visitors can look forward to at the reopening Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area. (Credit: Alberta Parks).

The popular Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area reopens following a significant capital investment to improve visitor safety and experiences.

Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area is ready to welcome visitors back to enjoy one of the most remarkable, accessible waterfall viewing opportunities in Alberta. The upgrades at Crescent Falls will help improve the park’s visitor experience. Guests can expect expanded parking, improved access roads, trails and day use areas, new and improved viewing areas to take in the falls and upgraded safety measures, including signage and wayfinding.

The Provincial Recreation Area (PRA) is reopening over the July long weekend after being closed since 2023. Visitors will notice increased public safety upgrades through additions such as new parking lots, a new stair structure to access the lower falls, new pedestrian trails, a new vehicle bridge to access the camping area and a viewing platform to enjoy the Crescent Falls.

“We are thrilled to welcome visitors back to Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area in time for the Canada Day long weekend. These additions will help visitors to safely access and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. Parks are for people and Alberta’s government will continue to invest in high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

“Today marks a significant milestone for our community as we reopen the Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area following extensive upgrades. Our province is well known for its incredible natural beauty, and these improvements will make our backcountry more accessible and ensure that Albertans and those visiting our great province can continue to explore our stunning landscapes for years to come.”

Jason Nixon, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
This project is part of an investment of more than $12 million to upgrade 13 sites along the David Thompson Corridor. The improvements at Crescent Falls will provide improved safety measures and better visitor access to and from popular tourist destinations in the area. Partners from Clearwater County, Rocky Mountain House and other organizations were critical in helping to move the upgrades forward. Clearwater County and its officials worked with Alberta Parks staff to advise on the upgrades needed around the area.

Alberta’s government is committed to reconciliation and acknowledges the significance of the land around Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The completed upgrades reflect an ongoing commitment to creating more outdoor recreation opportunities while protecting the land’s natural and cultural values so it can be enjoyed by current and future generations.

“The Alberta Government’s reopening of Crescent Falls is a remarkable achievement for our region. This project not only enhances recreational opportunities, natural beauty and accessibility in our area but also means safer, more enjoyable visits for our citizens and visitors alike.”

Michelle Swanson, councillor, Clearwater County

“The Town of Rocky Mountain House is where adventure begins, and we are thrilled that Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area has reopened to the public in time for the summer adventure season. This is a wonderful day trip destination for visitors and residents alike setting out from Rocky Mountain House. The provincial investment has only improved its accessibility and safety, making it a must-see destination if you are in the area.”

Dale Shippelt, incoming deputy mayor, Rocky Mountain House

“Westward Bound Campgrounds is the proud facility operator of the Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area and we are very excited to see our campers and visitors return to its beauty. These upgrades will have a significant impact on enhancing guest satisfaction levels, providing unique and memorable camper and visitor experiences while providing a safe environment to enjoy spectacular scenery.”

Lonnie and Edena Earl, Westward Bound Campgrounds

This work is part of an ongoing commitment to creating more outdoor recreation and camping opportunities, building trails and facilities and ensuring Alberta’s provincial parks can be enjoyed by all Albertans.

Quick facts

  • The upgrades at Crescent Falls PRA include the following improvements:
    • Enlarging the existing parking area
    • Developing a new parking area for large RV vehicles
    • Upgrading the access roads down to the lower area
    • Installing a new pedestrian trail to the lower day use area
    • Installing a new vehicle crossing from the day use to the camping site
    • Upgrading and expanding the day use areas
    • Increasing signage
    • Installing additional toilets and bear-proof garbage bins
    • Developing a new stair structure to access the lower falls areas with a viewing platform
  • Enhancing safety features throughout the PRA. The upgrades were part of a significant capital investment of $12.3 million by Alberta’s government to address safety and experience opportunities in 13 key provincial recreation sites along the David Thompson Corridor. Along with Crescent Falls PRA, other sites that were upgraded include:
    • Bighorn Dam Recreation Area
    • The following 11 Public lands and parks sites:
    • Coliseum
    • Allstone
    • Abraham Slabs
    • Hoo Doo Creek
    • Coral Creek
    • Pinto Creek
    • Preachers Point
    • Cavalcade
    • Kinglet/Tuff Puff
    • Wildhorse
    • Owen Creek
  • Crescent Falls PRA is located 22 km west of Nordegg on Highway 11 and 6 km north on a gravel access road. Crescent Falls PRA has a first-come, first-served campground with 12 tent-only sites and 22 RV sites. The day use area includes multiple viewing platforms of the upper and lower falls and picnic tables with views of the river. Access to the lower day use area is available on a 0.8 km trail from the main parking area or, alternatively, from the Bighorn Canyon lookout via a 3 km trail. The lower day use area also has accessible-only parking stalls adjacent to the viewing platforms with an accessible vault toilet and picnic areas.

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