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Andersson has goal, two assists to lead Flames to 6-3 victory over Lightning

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After getting off to a terrific start on Saturday afternoon, the Calgary Flames weren’t about to let a 48-second lapse in the second period undo that.

Led by Rasmus Andersson’s goal and two assists, Calgary defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3.

“We were ready to play,” said Andersson, whose goal was his seventh. “I think our first period, we were really good and even when they got up 2-1, we bounced back pretty quick.”

Coming off consecutive regulation time losses for the first time since November and up against an opponent who had won five of its previous six, the Flames were full marks for a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, outshooting the Lightning 15-4.

The only goal, Nazem Kadri’s team-leading 18th, came on a power play.

Less than a minute later, the Flames went back on the power play, this time on a full two-minute, two-man advantage after Zach Bogosian took a roughing penalty in a post-whistle scrum after Nikita Kucherov had already been called for tripping.

Calgary had plenty of chances for a two-goal lead, peppering Andrei Vasilevskiy with four shots before the period ended. But the Flames failed to convert.

Despite carrying the territorial edge in play, the Lightning tied it at 10:20 of the second when Noah Hanifin’s turnover went right to Stamkos and he buried a slapshot under the crossbar to extend his point streak to eight games (six goals, six assists).

Vladimir Namestnikov’s goal 48 seconds later suddenly had the Lightning in front.

But the home team battled back, tying it just over a minute later on Tyler Toffoli’s wraparound that went in off Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman’s skate.

The misfortune would continue for Tampa Bay’s all-star defenceman. Five minutes later Calgary went ahead 3-2 when Andersson’s slapshot from the point deflected in off Hedman in front.

“We responded really well after their second goal,” said Andersson. “I’m proud of the guys. We bounced back quick and then once we got the lead, we played really well.”

Dillon Dube authored the eventual game-winner making it 4-2 at 7:40 of the third period, picking the top corner as he burst down the left wing.

“It was a battle out there right from the puck drop and they don’t quit,” said Dube. “They try and push you out of the rink and play hard. It was a fun game, these feel like playoff games.”

Jonathan Huberdeau and Blake Coleman added empty net goals to round out the scoring for Calgary (22-16-9).

Anthony Cirelli also scored for Tampa Bay (29-15-1), getting the Lightning briefly back within one goal with four minutes left in the third.

The Lightning lost both games in Alberta to finish 3-2-0 on its road trip.

“It’s just frustrating. You go on a five-game trip out west, bunch of different times zone, and you start out 3-0 and to drop these games,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “Especially when we had a tie game going into the third against Edmonton, we had a 2-1 lead in this one even though we probably didn’t deserve it, and to drop them both without getting any points, that’s probably not our style.”

Dan Vladar made 21 saves to improve to 8-0-3 in his last 11 appearances. His last regulation loss was Nov. 26. Vladar is 9-4-4 on the season.

Tampa Bay’s Vasilevskiy stopped 35 shots to drop to 20-12-1 on the season.

“I thought we battled. Too many penalties, including myself taking a bad one,” said Cirelli. “Too many turnovers fuelling their rush which ultimately led to the loss.”

The Lightning lost Pat Maroon to an injury in the third when he was involved in a collision in front of the Flames net. He went off the ice appearing to be favouring his arm.

PELLETIER DEBUT

After sitting for six games as a healthy scratch since being called up two weeks ago from the AHL, Flames 2019 first-round pick Jakob Pelletier made his NHL debut playing left wing on a line with Trevor Lewis and rookie Walker Duehr. He finished with one shot in his 6:35 of ice time.

“It’s a dream came true. Since I’ve been probably four or five, the main goal is to play in the NHL and tonight was the first one so it’s great,” said Pelletier, who had his mom and dad, two older brothers, and his girlfriend in the crowd after arriving from Montreal at 3 a.m. “It’s good for us to enjoy this moment together.

POWER FAILURE

Tampa Bay entered action with the league’s No. 2 ranked power play. But after going 0-for-6 it has now been blanked in four straight games, going 0-for-11 over that span.

UP NEXT

Lightning: Open a three-game home stand Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.

Flames: Former Flame Johnny Gaudreau and the Columbus Blue Jackets visit on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2023.

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Alberta

Writer opposing Free Alberta Strategy in national article confuses chartered banks with financial institutions

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From the Free Alberta Strategy Team

In a new article published in the federal-government-funded “The Conversation” publication, Robert L. Ascah, a researcher at the also-federal-government-funded Parkland Institute, attempts to lay the hatchet to the Free Alberta Strategy.

In his piece, entitled “What the Free Alberta Strategy gets wrong about Canada’s banking system,” Mr. Ascah argues that the Alberta Independent Banking Act that is proposed in the Free Alberta Strategy report is unconstitutional because banking is an entirely federal area of jurisdiction.

Here is the key quote from Mr. Ascah:

“The Free Alberta Strategy, however, purports to allow Alberta to incorporate and regulate banks, which is clearly unconstitutional. There’s no mention that this proposal is beyond the powers of the provincial legislature.”

But, as so often seems to happen, this latest Free Alberta Strategy critic clearly doesn’t appear to have read – or taken the time to understand – what the Free Alberta Strategy is actually proposing.

While it’s true that “chartered banks” are federally regulated, that doesn’t mean that any type or form of “banking”, as the term is colloquially used, must be federally regulated.

Credit unions, for example, offer “banking” services, while not being “chartered banks” that are federally regulated.

This definition, while technical, is the crux of the issue.

And while we admit that this is very technical, when you’re talking about writing laws, technicalities matter a lot.

To be clear, here is the exact proposal from the Free Alberta Strategy report itself:

1. Expanding the number of provincially regulated financial institutions and credit unions;

2. Promoting private ownership of these new financial institutions; and

3. Mandating that all provincially regulated financial institutions and credit unions (including ATB) remain compliant with the Alberta Sovereignty Act as it relates to the non-enforcement of federal laws and court decisions deemed to infringe unduly on Alberta’s provincial jurisdiction.

You will note, very clearly, that this proposal in our Free Alberta Strategy report talks about “provincially regulated financial institutions” not “chartered banks”.

This is because the authors of the strategy understand (unlike Mr. Ascah, apparently) that while “chartered banks” must be regulated by the federal government, “financial institutions” can be regulated by the provincial government.

This is exactly why our Free Alberta Strategy report suggests modelling any new “banks” in Alberta on ATB Financial (previously known as Alberta Treasury Branches), which is a long-standing Alberta financial institution.

(Note: Although ATB is a crown corporation, our proposal envisages privately owned and operated financial institutions, not more government-owned and operated financial institutions. Just in case anyone was worried we were suddenly advocating for bigger government!)

Just as Alberta’s credit unions are not “chartered banks” and so are not federally regulated, ATB Financial is not a “chartered bank”, and so it is not regulated by the federal government.

ATB Financial is a “financial institution” that is provincially regulated by the Alberta government under the ATB Financial Act.

This is precisely what the Free Alberta Strategy report proposes – an increase in the number of provincially regulated financial institutions in Alberta.

We can clearly see then that, despite the claim by Mr. Ascah that provincial regulation of banking is unconstitutional, the mere existence of ATB is proof that our proposal is, in fact, constitutional.

The remainder of Mr. Ascah’s article goes on to argue that if Alberta unconstitutionally incorporated its own new “chartered banks”, the federal government would cut those banks off from being able to transfer funds to other banks in Canada, making them impractical for the public to use.

Maybe it’s true that the federal government would cut off any unauthorized provincial “chartered banks” from payment mechanisms.

But, given no one is proposing Alberta incorporate its own new “chartered banks”, this entire second half of the article is an irrelevant straw man argument.

Again, the Free Alberta Strategy proposes to incorporate new provincially regulated financial institutions, like ATB.

And, in case you haven’t noticed, ATB has not been cut off from being able to transfer funds to other banks by the federal government, because – shock – the existence of ATB is perfectly constitutional.

The real question then, is whether or not the first half of Mr. Ascah’s article, where he claims we are proposing to do something unconstitutional, is simply a misunderstanding, or a deliberately misleading diatribe.

Either way, such a fundamental error really makes you wonder why the Parkland Institute would allow the article to be published at all!

Are Parkland Institute staff no longer expected to read the thing they are publicly criticizing anymore?

Are The Conversation editors no longer expected to check whether their authors have their facts straight?

Perhaps the oddest part of this whole situation is that the Parkland Institute, where Mr. Ascah works, has previously written about the benefits of having an Alberta-based, Alberta-regulated financial institution!

They did so in a report that goes into detail explaining the difference between federally regulated chartered banks and provincially regulated financial institutions!

Even stranger still – which Parkland Institute researcher do you think it was who wrote this report?

Yes, you guessed it, it was Robert L. Ascah!

It gets worse…

Once upon a time, Mr. Ascah worked at Alberta Treasury, the government department that is responsible for regulating ATB.

Then, after he worked at Alberta Treasury, Mr. Ascah went to work at ATB itself, where he was responsible for government relations, strategic planning, and economic research.

That’s right folks…

Our Free Alberta Strategy critic, who attacked us by claiming that provincially regulated financial institutions are unconstitutional, actually worked as a senior executive at both the organization he claims is unconstitutional, and the organization that is supposed to regulate the thing that he claims is unconstitutional.

We must either believe, then:

  • That Mr. Ascah, who has written about the benefits of provincially-regulated financial institutions, has worked for a provincially-regulated financial institution, and has worked for the organization that regulates provincially-regulated financial institutions, is somehow entirely unaware that provincially-regulated financial institutions are legal.

Or, we must believe:

  • That Mr. Ascah perfectly understands that provincially-regulated financial institutions are legal and that that is how ATB is established, but that it’s somehow, all of a sudden, now beneficial for him to pretend that he doesn’t, and that anyone suggesting other financial institutions be regulated in that way is suggesting something “unconstitutional”.

How could it possibly be beneficial for Mr. Ascah to pretend that this idea is unconstitutional all of a sudden, I hear you ask?

Well, the answer to that question is actually the least confusing part of his article.

Contained right at the bottom of the article, under “Disclosure statement” (and conveniently excluded from most re-publications of the piece by the media) are 9 little words:

“Robert (Bob) L. Ascah is affiliated with Alberta NDP.”

Of course, affiliated with is a little bit of an understatement in this case.

Mr. Ascah has donated thousands of dollars to the Alberta NDP for many years, while several of his Parkland Institute colleagues are actually running as Alberta NDP candidates in the 2023 Alberta election!

Now, as a non-partisan organization, we generally try to avoid pointing out the political affiliations of individual people.

As an organization, we base our support for ideas on whether the ideas are good or not, rather than on who is proposing them.

But, in this case, we’re not criticizing the person proposing the ideas, but the lack of independence and the conflict of interest inherent in a situation where federal-government-funded researchers are published by federal-government-funded websites and re-printed by federal-government-funded newspapers.

Unfortunately, in a world where government-funded academics get government funding to write government propaganda published in government-funded media, there’s really no incentive to cover the truth anymore.

As to why the federal government would want to fund researchers to write propaganda for them, and fund media outlets to publish it for them, we’ll leave that one to you to answer!

In the end, this is exactly why we need more independent research and independent distribution of ideas in our society.

The Free Alberta Strategy jealously guards our independence.

That’s why we never accept any money or resources from any government, regardless of political stripe.

But that’s also why we need your help.

We need your help so that we can continue to do research and analysis on ways in which Alberta can fight back, such as the Sovereignty Act.

We need your help to further our work to protect Alberta’s interests from a hostile and divisive federal government in Ottawa.

We need your help to grow our supporter, activist, and volunteer network across our great province.

We need your help to share our work with like-minded friends and family in order to get the word out to as many members of the public as possible.

If you’re ready to help, click here:

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Alberta

Former Alberta premier Jason Kenney accepts role in Calgary advising law firm

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By Dean Bennett in Edmonton

Jason Kenney, more than three months after stepping down as Alberta’s premier, has landed a new role as a Calgary-based adviser in law firm Bennett Jones.

Kenney, who is also a former federal cabinet minister, will work in the public policy group.

Kenney says on Twitter he looks forward to the new job and that his work won’t include lobbying the provincial government or its agencies.

He says Alberta’s ethics commissioner has signed off on his new role and Kenney says he won’t be accepting any other jobs without first checking with the commissioner.

Kenney announced last May he was stepping down as premier following a lukewarm 51 per cent vote of support in a United Conservative Party leadership review.

Kenney was instrumental in creating the UCP in a merger with his Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party, but he fell out of favour with many in the combined party over COVID-19 restrictions and what was seen as a top-down management style.

It was a not an amicable departure.

Kenney publicly clashed with his eventual successor, Premier Danielle Smith, over her plan to introduce sovereignty legislation to challenge what she considers federal intrusions into provincial areas of constitutional authority.

Kenney challenged the legality and economic effect of such a bill, and resigned as a legislature member on the day Smith’s sovereignty act was introduced last November.

Bennett Jones, with offices across Canada and in New York, said Kenney will provide advice on attracting investment in Canada’s energy sector and with Indigenous communities.

“I’m thrilled to be joining this iconic firm, which has both deep Alberta roots and a major national presence,” said Kenney in a statement Wednesday.

“Bennett Jones’ Public Policy group has the greatest policy depth of any Canadian law firm, and I look forward to working with several former colleagues from both senior elected and public service roles.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2023

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