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Andew Clews challenging Education Minister Adriana LaGrange for Red Deer North UCP Nomination

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Submitted by Andrew Clews

Hello, my name is Andrew Clews. I wanted to share with you who I am, my values, what motivates me, and why I am running for the United Conservative Party nomination for the Red Deer North constituency.

The most important thing in my life is my faith in God. I am not perfect. I need grace, and I know that God’s grace has saved me from my sins. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. As a follower of Jesus, I am called to live by truth. I am telling you these things, not to evangelize to you, but to let you know where I am coming from, and what values motivate me.

Because my faith requires that I live by truth, I find my values increasingly in conflict with a society built on lies.

As I write this, I can tell you, this is not what I had planned for my life. I have a great career and a beautiful family. I had never given much thought to running in provincial politics, but in 2021 as the Delta wave was hitting Alberta, and vaccine mandates were put in place municipally, provincially, federally, and at our places of work, I found myself in a position of leadership in the freedom community.

I remember quite clearly having two conversations that have changed my life forever. These conversations were almost identical.

I was speaking to a friend and industry colleague over the phone. I was asking him about these vaccine mandates, and he told me that he was not vaccinated, didn’t want to get vaccinated, but he didn’t have much choice, and was probably going to be forced to get it. We talked for a little while, and I told him that when you are faced with a problem that you feel has but one choice, there is usually a better option out there, you just need to find it. At the end of the conversation, I
heard relief in his voice, he thanked me for letting him know that he was not alone, and he said he would hold off on getting the vaccine.

The next day I had another conversation almost identical with a co-worker of mine. Same result. He and his family were going to hold off.

I realized at that moment that there were so many people out there who felt alone, and all we needed to do was find them, and give them support and encouragement.

This was the genesis of a community that I co-founded called Hold the Line.

By building Hold The Line from a core group of 5 members, to a community of over 1,000 Central Alberta citizens, I learned what leadership was. Leadership meant talking to a lot of people, reminding them that they are not alone, and giving them the support they needed to avoid violating their conscience.

My time with Hold The Line also taught me a lot about our province’s education system. Listening to the members of our community, I realized that our public school system increasingly does not represent the values of Albertan families. Parents are concerned about delays in their children’s development, both academically and socially because of school closures, masking, and restrictions on play. Kids need play, and our government took that from them.

Worst of all, what is happening to our children’s mental health is completely unacceptable. I was speaking to a friend the other day, and he was telling me heartbreaking stories of childhood depression and suicide within his community.

Some school boards are even hiring additional counselors because of the mental health crisis facing our kids.

We were told that if the lockdowns saved just one life, they would be worth it. Someone should have stopped to consider the completely foreseeable consequences of these lockdowns. We are seeing them now, and we will be dealing with the aftermath for a generation.

Our province has suffered greatly due to a lack of leadership in the Alberta Legislature. We as Albertans elect smooth talking career politicians, with great talking points. The problem is these career politicians don’t have the courage and leadership to follow through and do what they promised.

What I have learned through the last two years of lockdowns and vaccine mandates is that I do have the leadership and courage to speak truth, and follow through with my promises. I have done it, and I did it when the world was against me.

My Policy:

Alberta First

I will put Alberta first. Alberta’s relationship with Ottawa is at an all-time low. Over the last thirty years, we have transferred over $600 billion to Ottawa, Trudeau’s climate policy has increased the cost of living for everyday Albertans, and he has abused the use of Canada’s Emergency Act.

Various candidates running to be our next premier have proposed their plans to bolster Alberta’s sovereignty within Canada. As your MLA, I will work with our next premier to restore Alberta’s sovereignty and put Alberta First.

School Choice

The current school funding model has given the public school system a monopoly on our children’s education. For some parents, the public school system aligns with their values. For others, it does not.

Parents deserve to have their children educated in an environment that aligns with their values. My vision for education in Alberta is for school funding to follow your child, whether they enroll in public, private, home school, or even learning pods.

Protection of Rights

We need representatives in the legislature who will stand up for the rights of Albertans. I believe the following steps must immediately be taken to restore the rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
– Reform the Public Health Act to limit the power of the Chief Medical Health Officer
– Implement a public education campaign with the purpose of educating our society in the Canadian Charter. A self-goverend people who do not understand their rights are sure to lose them.

For my full policy, please visit my website: www.andrewclews.ca

The Nomination Election

The nomination election for the UCP Red Deer North constituency has been scheduled for:

– August 18, 2022
– 11:00am-8:00pm
– The Pines Community Hall
– 141 Pamely Avenue

To be eligible to vote, you must be a UCP member of Red Deer North for 21 consecutive days prior to the vote, and have photo ID to verify your address.

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Alberta

U.S. senators call for trade crackdown on Canada over dairy quotas, digital policies

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WASHINGTON — A pair of senior U.S. senators is urging the Biden administration to get tough with Canada for “flouting” obligations to its North American trade partners. 

Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Republican Sen. Mike Crapo lay out their concerns in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. 

The letter says American dairy producers still aren’t getting the access to the Canadian market they’re entitled to under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 

It also describes Canada’s planned digital services tax as discriminatory and raises similar concerns about new legislation to regulate online streaming and news. 

All three, the senators say, would give preferential treatment to Canadian content and deny U.S. tech companies fair access to the market north of the border. 

The letter comes after meetings this week in San Diego between U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade emissaries, as well as the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City earlier this month. 

The USMCA, referred to in Canada as CUSMA, has been at the centre of a number of bilateral and trilateral disputes since it went into effect in the summer of 2020. 

“Three years later, it is disappointing that Canada and Mexico have failed to come into full compliance with the agreement — and, in some cases, have flouted their obligations,” the senators write. 

“USTR must take decisive action to ensure full compliance with the agreement and with dispute settlement panel findings. It is critical to ensure that every chapter of USMCA is fully and timely enforced.”

Canada and Mexico have their own issues with how the U.S. is interpreting the deal, which was signed in 2018 after protracted trilateral efforts to replace NAFTA. 

As the Mexico City summit wrapped up, a dispute panel ruled against the U.S. over how it interprets the rules that determine the origin of core automotive components. 

It remains unclear whether the U.S. plans to comply with that decision.   

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

TotalEnergies EP Canada ups stake in Fort Hills oilsands project

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Calgary – TotalEnergies EP Canada Ltd. says it is increasing its ownership in the Fort Hills oilsands project by acquiring part of Teck Resources Ltd.’s stake in the mine.

Teck announced last year that it would sell its 21.3 per cent stake in Fort Hills to Suncor Energy Inc., the third partner in the project, for about $1 billion.

However, TotalEnergies EP Canada says it has exercised its pre-emption right to acquire an additional 6.65 per cent in the project from Teck for $312 million.

The deal brings the company’s stake in Fort Hills to 31.23 per cent. Suncor will own the rest.

French company TotalEnergies announced in September 2022 its plan to exit the Canadian oilsands by spinning off TotalEnergies EP Canada in 2023.

It says the acquisition of an additional interest in Fort Hills helps build TotalEnergies EP Canada for the future.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TECK.B, TSX:SU)

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