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Alberta

Alberta threatens to fight Trudeau government restrictions on Canada’s plastics industry

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

“If the federal government refuses to abide by the constitution, we will take them to court again to defend our jurisdiction and the thousands of Albertans who work in the petrochemical sector”

Alberta has rejected the Liberal government’s “unconstitutional” federal plastics registry and production limit.

In an April 25 press release, Alberta’s Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz promised to take Liberal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault to court over his proposal to create a plastics registry, mandating companies to report their plastic production and implementation.

“If the federal government refuses to abide by the constitution, we will take them to court again to defend our jurisdiction and the thousands of Albertans who work in the petrochemical sector,” Schulz declared.

“This unilateral announcement is a slap in the face to Alberta and our province’s petrochemical industry, and the thousands of Albertans who work in it,” she continued.

Guilbeault’s plan, set to be implemented in September 2025, would mandate that businesses record how much plastic they place on the market in addition to the amount of plastic waste generated on their commercial, industrial, and institutional premises.

Companies would then report that amount to the federal government. The plan exempts small businesses which produce less than one tonne of plastic each year.

However, Schulz explained that the registry would negatively affect Alberta, as “plastics production is a growing part of Alberta’s economy, and we are positioned to lead the world for decades to come in the production of carbon neutral plastics.”

“Minister Guilbeault’s proposal would throw all of that into jeopardy and risk billions of dollars in investments. This includes projects like Dow Chemical’s net-zero petrochemical plant in Fort Saskatchewan, a $9-billion project that will create thousands of jobs,” she warned.

“If the federal government limits plastic production in Canada, other countries like China will just produce more. The only outcome that this federal government will achieve will be fewer jobs in Canada,” she explained.

Schulz’s statement comes after the November decision by the Federal Court to rule in favor of Alberta and Saskatchewan, declaring that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government overstepped its authority by classifying plastic as “toxic” and banning all single-use plastic items, like straws.

Essentially, the ruling overturned Trudeau’s 2022 law which outlawed manufacturing or importing plastic straws, cutlery, and checkout bags on the grounds of government claims that plastic was having a negative effect on the oceans. In reality, most plastic pollution in the oceans comes from a few countries, like India and China, which dump waste directly on beaches or in rivers.

The November ruling was only one of two recent court rulings that have dealt a blow to Trudeau’s environmental laws.

The second ruling came after Canada’s Supreme Court recently sided in favor of provincial autonomy when it comes to natural resources. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Trudeau’s law C-69, dubbed the “no-more pipelines” bill, is “mostly unconstitutional.” This was a huge win for Alberta and Saskatchewan, which challenged the law in court. The decision returned authority over the pipelines to provincial governments, meaning oil and gas projects headed up by the provinces should be allowed to proceed without federal intrusion.

The Trudeau government, however, seems insistent on defying the recent rulings by pushing forward with its various regulations.

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Alberta

Defending Provincial Priorities

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News release from Free Alberta Strategy

The recent debate around zoning across the province is a prime example of federal encroachment.

The federal government offered money to cities to help with housing affordability challenges, but only made the money available if cities promised to change zoning policies.

As you are aware, The Free Alberta Strategy was built on the concept that the federal government needs to keep out of provincial jurisdiction.

For years, Ottawa has been watering down the constitutional delineation of duties between the federal government and the provincial government.

Bill 18 – the Provincial Priorities Act – is anticipated to pass in the Alberta Legislature this week, and represents a huge step in the direction of greater provincial jurisdictional autonomy.

The Provincial Priorities Act has been dubbed the “Keep Out of Our Backyard” law by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.

Under the Provincial Priorities Act, any agreements between the federal government and any provincial entities – including municipalities – must receive provincial approval to be considered valid.

Agreements between the federal government and provincial entities lacking Alberta’s endorsement will be deemed illegal under this legislation.

When the legislation was announced, Smith was not mincing words:

“It is not unreasonable for Alberta to demand fairness from Ottawa. They have shown time and again that they will put ideology before practicality, which hurts Alberta families and our economy. We are not going to apologize for continuing to stand up for Albertans so we get the best deal possible.

“Since Ottawa refuses to acknowledge the negative impacts of its overreach, even after losing battles at the Federal and Supreme Courts, we are putting in additional measures to protect our provincial jurisdiction to ensure our province receives our fair share of federal tax dollars and that those dollars are spent on the priorities of Albertans.”

Although the federal government has limited direct authority in provincial jurisdiction, it can leverage its substantial financial resources to prompt or pressure provincial governments into specific actions.

The recent debate around zoning across the province is a prime example of federal encroachment.

The federal government offered money to cities to help with housing affordability challenges, but only made the money available if cities promised to change zoning policies.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek tried to claim that the federal housing funds were not contingent on the city’s rezoning efforts, but federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser posted a pretty strong response on social media platform X (formerly Twitter):

“If Calgary, or any other city, does not meet the conditions they have agreed to, we will withhold funding under the agreement.”

The federal government played the same trick in many other provinces, too.

But, notably, in Quebec, the federal government just gave the Quebec government the cash and let them distribute it to their municipalities without conditions.

It’s tempting to think this is just more federal bias towards Quebec.

But, actually, this is a great example of how pushing back can have results.

You see, the Provincial Priorities Act in Alberta is modeled after existing legislation in Quebec, known as “An Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif,” which prohibits any municipal body from negotiating or entering into agreements with the federal government or its agencies without explicit authorization from the Quebec government.

If Ottawa wants to meddle in Quebec’s jurisdiction, it must first seek Quebec’s approval.

And it works – the federal government got back in line.

Now, with the Provincial Priorities Act, if Ottawa wants to meddle in Alberta’s jurisdiction, it must first seek Alberta’s approval.

It’s time for Ottawa to recognize Alberta’s autonomy and respect our right to determine our own future.

At the Free Alberta Strategy, we understand that constant vigilance is necessary – every time we establish a boundary, the federal government tries to circumvent it.

We will continue to inform you about what’s happening in Alberta and fight to keep Ottawa out.

But we need your support.

With your help, we can continue our work to defend Alberta’s sovereignty and serve the best interests of all Albertans.

Enough is enough – we will not stand by while our interests are disregarded.

If you are in a financial position to contribute to our work, please donate!

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Alberta

Alberta’s government honours the province’s top athletes, teams, coaches and officials with 2023 Sport Recognition Awards

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Minister of Tourism and Sport Joseph Schow presents the 2023 Alberta Sport Recognition Awards, honouring the province’s top athletes, teams, coaches and officials.

Celebrating excellence in Alberta sport

Alberta is a global leader in sport, and it’s thanks to the athletes, coaches and officials who dedicate themselves to excellence in their craft. The Alberta Sport Recognition program was established in 1987 to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and commitment of coaches, officials and volunteers in the province.

Recipients of the 2023 Sport Recognition Awards represent the best in sport from across the province, from exceptional athletes to hard-working coaches and officials. Through their unwavering dedication to sport, these individuals are contributing to Alberta’s reputation as a global leader in sport and help make our province the best place in the world to live, visit and play.

“These high-performance athletes, coaches, and officials have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in international and national competitions and are deserving of recognition for their efforts. I am proud of their contributions and grateful for their leadership in making Alberta a province that lives the spirit of sport.”

Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sport

“The award recipients have demonstrated dedication, passion and excellence which have set them apart as true champions in their respective fields. Many have reached the pinnacle of performance and each of the recipients has demonstrated unparalleled commitment and skill, inspiring others to reach for excellence in all they do.”

Dale Henwood, chair, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

The 2023 award recipients are:

  • Junior Male Athlete of the Year – Nikita Ciudin – Sprint Canoe
  • Junior Female Athlete of the Year – Julia Bartlett – Biathlon
  • Junior Team of the Year – Team Tao – Curling – Johnson Tao, Jaedon Neuert, Ben Morin, Adam Naugler, Zach Davies and Skip Wilson (coach)
  • Open Male Athlete of the Year – Jeremiah Lauzon – Athletics
  • Open Female Athlete of the Year – Alexandria Loutitt – Ski Jumping
  • Open Team of the Year – Team Canada 3×3 Basketball – Michelle Plouffe, Katherine Plouffe, Paige Crozon, Kacie Bosch, Jamie Scott, and Kim Gaucher (coach)
  • Coaching Recognition Award: Rachel Koroscil – Biathlon
  • Coaching Recognition Award: Marty Birky – Basketball
  • Technical Official Recognition Award – Barb Bush – Springboard Diving
  • Technical Official Recognition Awards – Matthew Kallio – Basketball

Quick facts

  • In 2002, the Athlete and Team of the Year awards were added to the awards program to acknowledge high performance athletes and teams who are promoting Alberta on the national and international stage, and recognize their pursuit of sport development goals.
  • The Coach Recognition Award recognizes coaches for their outstanding achievements in developing Alberta’s amateur athletes.
  • The Official Recognition Award recognizes outstanding achievements in and commitments to officiating.
  • Award recipients were selected by a committee and considered results from the 2022/2023 competition season.
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