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Alberta Sports Hall of Fame OPEN AGAIN!

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THE HALFTIME REPORT
News from the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Your Hall is back!

We’re excited to announce that we have reopened our doors as part of Step 2 of the Government of Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan.

We are open to the public Monday to Friday from 9 am – 5 pm, and on weekends and holiday Mondays from 10 am – 5 pm.

Since closing our doors in mid-December, we have worked behind the scenes to enhance the overall museum experience for our visitors.

Among these enhancements are four new interactives, among them the Lyndon Rush Bobsleigh Experience, which briefly opened to the public last fall; an Obie interactive projector, which projects a series of games onto the floor; a Hoops FX arcade basketball game; and a Super Chexx bubble hockey game.

Many of our displays have also been updated since the last time the hall was open, including our new featured exhibit, “When Sports Stopped.” This new exhibit, which was installed in mid-November, examines multiple times where global events brought sports to a halt, from the Spanish Flu to the World Wars, up to the effects Covid-19 continues to have presently. The exhibit will be on display until the end of the year.

Other new displays examine the history of Alberta athletics and the former freestyle skiing discipline known as ski ballet.

Come check out everything we have on display.

This newsletter is sponsored by City of Red Deer.

Honoured Member in Focus: Kevin Sirois

Kevin Sirois was on his way to becoming one of the few Canadians to compete in both the Winter and Summer Olympics in the same year.

He competed at the 1971 Pan American Cycling Competition and toured Italy with the Canadian Cycling Team.

At the 1972 Winter Olympics, he placed 14th in the 10,000 m speed skating event and set a Canadian record that would not be broken until 1982.

He set over 20 Canadian speed skating records at both junior and senior levels, in races from 500m to five miles. He was the first recipient of the Canadian Amateur Speed Skating Association’s Skater of the Year Award in 1968.

Provincial Sport Organization: Alberta Bicycle Association

The Alberta Bicycle Association (ABA) is the affiliated Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) of Cycling Canada. It operates under the authority of the world governing body of all cycling’s many sports, the Union Cycliste International (International Cycling Union) in Geneva.

The mission of the ABA is to advocate, develop, and facilitate bicycling for Albertans.

The vision of the ABA is to be the recognized authority and leader for bicycling in Alberta.

The Board of Directors and committees of the ABA are elected by the general membership at the Annual General Meeting every November. All members and clubs have the opportunity to run and vote for members of the Board. The Board reflects the input of the three Committees (BMX, Racing, and Rec. & Trans.) which meet throughout the year to plan and coordinate the programs and services offered by the Association to our membership.

The ABA relies on volunteers whose passion and contribution are essential, including:

  • coaches
  • commissaires
  • race organizers
  • board
  • and committee members.

The ABA also employs several full-time staff to administer the day-to-day operations of the ABA and to provide services to thousands of members across Alberta.

You spin me right round 

The sport of cycling steadily gained popularity into the 1890s with improved roads and the introduction of races that are still held to this day.

The famous Tour de France was first contested in 1903 and has continued every year since, except during World Wars I and II.

Apart from road racing, like what is contested during the Tour de France, there are a number of other cycling sports that have been developed alongside the evolution of the bicycle such as Track Cycling, Mountain Biking, and BMX.

Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Annual General Meeting is scheduled for June 29

The Annual General Meeting of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, June 29.

Special Olympics recognizes Heather Roberts for her contributions as a volunteer

One of our long-time volunteers and supporters, Heather Roberts, recently received the Lifetime Sports Achievement Award 2021 for her contributions to Special Olympics locally.

Congratulations, Heather!

Please check the link below.
https://www.reddeeradvocate.com/sports/red-deers-heather-roberts-receives-lifetime-sport-achievement-award/

Photo Credit: Bryon Hackett, Red Deer Advocate

Golfers wanted!

We’re looking for sponsors and golfers for the Annual Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament, which tees off on Tuesday, September 14 at the Innisfail Golf Course. We are excited to announce that we will be partnering with the Innisfail Eagles Hockey Team for this year’s tournament.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to support the preservation of Alberta sports by playing at one of the province’s crown jewels.

Call (403) 341-8614 or email [email protected]ca for more information.

Your Hall is hiring.

Are you a student itching to work in a fun, rewarding environment?

Of course, you are. Consider this your lucky day. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame is looking for a Collections and Research Assistant, and a Marketing and Communications Assistant to work behind the scenes.

The positions are 35 hours a week and work from Thursday to Monday.

Visit our website, www.albertasportshall.ca, for more information.

Leave a legacy

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame needs your support to continue the ongoing preservation of Alberta’s sports history and the development of museum exhibits. We are grateful and appreciative of the generosity of our supporters and friends. We would be happy to assist you in choosing how your personal legacy will be fulfilled and the many options available. Here is some information on donating shares to ASHFM and the benefits to you as a donor.

Donate

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame provides a family-friendly, interactive experience. You will be surprised by what you discover inside! Have fun, laugh, play and discover Alberta sports heroes together. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame is an interactive, hands-on celebration of Alberta's sporting history. Our over 7,000 square feet of exhibit space includes a multisport area with virtual baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer; an adaptive sports area, including a 200 meter wheelchair challenge; a Treadwall climbing wall; the Orest Korbutt Theatre; the Hall of Fame Gallery; an art gallery displaying works by provincial artists, and much more. Our venue boasts a collection of over 17,000 artefacts of Alberta sports history and showcases many of these items in a number of displays. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame also offers an education program, group activities, and a unique environment to rent for your birthday party, special event, corporate reception or meetings.

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Alberta

AUDITOR GENERAL MUST INVESTIGATE CASH BONUS SCHEME: NDP

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From the Alberta NDP

Alberta’s NDP is requesting the Auditor General investigate the UCP government’s process for pandemic management bonuses as new bonus pay policies were only recently approved in March.

According to CBC News, the Government of Alberta paid out $2.4 million in extra compensation to Government of Alberta managers in 2021 for work related to the pandemic.

An updated “Extra or special services compensation directive” was approved by the Alberta Public Service Commission in March 2022, reporting to then-finance minister Travis Toews. The directive includes two processes for lump-sum payouts, one that requires Treasury Board approval and one that does not.

The directive   on the website in February. The creation of a more recent compensation directive suggests considerable effort went into reviewing the policy, raising questions as to how Toews could possibly have no knowledge of the management bonus structure prior to media reports.

“For many Albertans, including members of our caucus who have served as ministers and on Treasury Board, MLA Toews’ claims defy belief,” wrote Alberta NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips in a letter to Auditor General Doug Wylie.

“Not only did he have ministerial authority over the policy, but such significant payments, on such a widespread scale, would — as a standard operating procedure — be brought to the attention of the Minister or be considered by the Treasury Board Committee as whole for their appropriateness.”

The Alberta NDP is asking the Auditor General to investigate the following questions:

  1. Was then Minister of Finance Travis Toews ever briefed on COVID bonus pay? And likewise, did the then Minister verbally approve of these payments? Was the Treasury Board Committee of Cabinet ever informed of these payments, either as an item For Decision or For Information?
  2. Was the policy on management bonus pay followed appropriately, during the fiscal year in question?
  3. As the directive on “Extra or special services compensation directive” was reviewed and updated under former Minister Toews, what role did he play in its development and approval? Likewise, what was the timeline on updating this directive?
  4. Did any members of the political staff, in either the Premier’s Office or a Minister’s Office receive bonus payments for COVID19 related actions, which were not in alignment with their employment contract?
  5. In addition to the extraordinary bonus payments paid in 2021, how many bonus payments were made thus far in 2022?

——

Letter sent by NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips to Alberta Auditor General Doug Wylie

Dear Mr. Wylie,

I am writing to request a performance audit of the Government of Alberta’s bonus payment structure and process related to the COVID-19 pandemic response, and in particular, the actions of the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance.

As you are likely aware, and as originally reported by the CBC, the Chief Medical Officer of Health received $227,911 in cash benefits in calendar year 2021 on top of her regular salary of $363,634. While this bonus amounted to 63 per cent of her base pay – or roughly $19,000 per month – media has also reported an additional 106 government employees received supplemental bonus pay.

By all indications, the scale and scope of these bonus payments are unique in Alberta’s history, and are out of line with other provinces who faced similar pandemic demands and challenges.

According to responses provided to media by the government, the Public Service Commission overseen by then-Minister of Finance Travis Toews was responsible for the bonus payment policy, and the payments made to these employees..

Subsequent to these bonus payments becoming public and entering the public conversation, former Minister Toews stated on Aug. 2 through a campaign spokesperson, that he did not authorize or have knowledge of these payments.

On Aug. 3, Mr. Toews promised that, as Premier, no bonuses would be paid “without a ministerial signature.” The implication of this commitment was that the Minister responsible for the bonus payments was, at the time, entirely in the dark.

For many Albertans, including members of our caucus who have served as ministers and on Treasury Board, MLA Toews’ claims defy belief. Not only did he have ministerial authority over the policy, but such significant payments, on such a widespread scale, would – as a standard operating procedure – be brought to the attention of the Minister or be considered by the Treasury Board Committee as whole for their appropriateness.

I am mindful that the Government of Alberta’s “Extra or special services compensation directive” (henceforth referred to as the “directive”) under which these officials were compensated was last reviewed and updated in March 2022. As such, it does not appear reasonable that the Minister responsible would not be aware and actively involved in the directives’ development and approval, and I should note that the directive does not require a ministers’ signature for the paying of bonuses. I also note with interest that the directive was not on the government’s website as of February 2022, suggesting that considerable thought went into policy for the provision of extraordinary bonus payments after 2021, and that the new directive would allow for similar payments in 2022.

Perhaps more importantly, the directive “provides the criteria and approach to the application of lump sum payments.” While there appears to be two types of lump sum payments under this directive, at least one requires Treasury Board approval. Given the threshold of Treasury Board approval under this directive, is it not reasonable to conclude that any lump sum payments to such a large group of officials would not be brought to the attention of the minister responsible.
Furthermore, I am mindful that former Minister Toews, during calendar year 2021, was actively involved in public sector bargaining and compensation, and brought forward to cabinet changes to management compensation in the core public service (see for example, Order in Council 338/2021). The record indicates that the former Minister was deeply involved in compensation issues, including for specific employees, and therefore Albertans are rightly skeptical of his
current claims of ignorance on the COVID bonus payment issue.

In June 2022, you released a report into the activities of then Minister Toews, and Treasury Board and Finance, into the lack of accountability for $4 billion in COVID19 spending during fiscal year 2020-21.

As bonuses are generally paid at the end of the year, and as part of your further performance audit work into COVID19 spending for fiscal year 2021-2022, we are requesting that you investigate and report on the following issues:

1. Was then Minister of Finance Travis Toews ever briefed on COVID bonus pay? And likewise, did the then Minister verbally approve of these payments? Was the Treasury Board Committee of Cabinet ever informed of these payments, either as an item For Decision or For Information?

2. Was the policy on management bonus pay followed appropriately, during the fiscal year in question?

3. As the directive on “Extra or special services compensation directive” was reviewed and updated under former Minister Toews, what role did he play in its development and approval? Likewise, what was the timeline on updating this directive?

4. Did any members of the political staff, in either the Premier’s Office or a Minister’s Office receive bonus payments for COVID19 related actions, which were not in alignment with their employment contract?

5. In addition to the extraordinary bonus payments paid in 2021, how many bonus payments were made thus far in 2022?

The issue of the appropriateness of bonus pay for selected officials during the COVID19 response has generated significant discussion amongst Albertans. More importantly, the role of ministerial oversight and competency has also been called into question on this matter. Given the opaqueness of the Government of Alberta’s responses to legitimate public inquiries, we are asking for your assistance.

At present, only your office has the authority to investigate and answer the public’s questions. We strongly believe that the aforementioned issues warrant your immediate attention, and we look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Shannon Phillips
NDP Official Opposition Finance Critic
MLA for Lethbridge-West

 

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Alberta

Cenovus Energy to buy remaining stake in Toledo refinery from BP for $300 million

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CALGARY — Cenovus Energy Inc. has reached a deal with British energy giant BP to buy the remaining 50 per cent stake in the BP-Husky Toledo Refinery for $300 million.

The Calgary-based oil producer has owned the other 50 per cent of the Ohio-based refinery since its combination with Husky Energy in 2021.

Cenovus says its U.S. operating business will take over operations when the transaction closes, expected before the end of the year.

The company says the Toledo refinery recently completed a major, once in five years turnaround to improve operational reliability.

It says the transaction will give Cenovus an additional 80,000 barrels per day of downstream throughput capacity, including 45,000 barrels per day of heavy oil refining capacity.

The deal brings Cenovus’ total refining capacity to 740,000 barrels per day.

Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus president and CEO, says fully owning the Toledo refinery provides an opportunity to further integrate the company’s heavy oil production and refining capabilities, including with the nearby Lima Refinery.

“This transaction solidifies our refining footprint in the U.S. Midwest and increases our ability to capture margin throughout the value chain,” he said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 8, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CVE)

The Canadian Press

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