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Alberta

Billion dollar boost to oilfield service contractors to put thousands of Albertans to work in the next month

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From the Province of Alberta

$1 billion program to create 5,300 jobs

A new program will provide the energy industry with access to up to $1 billion, creating jobs to immediately get Albertans back to work.

LIVE: Supporting Alberta's economy and the energy sector

LIVE: Announcing Alberta's Site Rehabilitation Plan, to put 5,300 Albertans to work remediating wells, pipelines, and oil & gas sites.

Posted by Jason Kenney on Friday, April 24, 2020

 

The Site Rehabilitation Program – mainly funded by the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – will provide grants to oilfield service contractors to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site reclamation work. Starting now, the program is expected to create about 5,300 direct jobs and lead to the cleanup of thousands of sites.

This work will be done in Alberta, putting Albertans back to work. The program will also provide additional economic benefits, such as indirect employment, helping support various sectors of Alberta’s economy – including restaurant and hotel workers, and many other businesses – as it begins to reopen and recover after the effects of COVID-19.

“Alberta’s energy industry is the largest subsector of Canada’s economy, as well as one of its biggest job creators. We are creating almost 5,300 jobs for Alberta’s energy workers, while completing important work decommissioning and reclaiming abandoned pump jacks, pipelines and wells. This will ensure that sites are properly addressed, benefiting landowners and Albertans across the province.”

Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy

This program will launch on May 1, with an initial focus on providing grants to service companies that have been significantly impacted by the unprecedented economic downturn. The program will provide funds in $100-million increments.

The first $100 million will be available for service companies to do eligible work anywhere in the province. Future increments may be allocated for work conducted in specific regions within the province, directing funds where they can have the most significant environmental benefits.

All laws, regulations, directives, and environmental and occupational health and safety standards, including physical distancing and COVID-19-related health guidelines, must be followed in carrying out the work.

Quick facts

  • The Site Rehabilitation Program will provide grants of between 25 and 100 per cent of total project costs – depending on the ability of the oil and gas company responsible for the site to help pay for cleanup – and will be paid directly to the oilfield service company completing the work.
  • Contractors can apply for a grant online during the following dates and must meet all eligibility and project requirements:
  • May 1-31: Open to service companies significantly impacted by the unprecedented economic downturn for contracts of up to $30,000 per application across Alberta. This $100-million increment will focus on projects that are eligible for 100 per cent government funding.
  • May 15 to June 15: Open to service companies for contracts of up to $30,000 and eligible for 100 per cent funding. This $100-million increment will focus on sites where some operators have failed landowners and where government is paying compensation to landowners as required under the Surface Rights Act.
  • Future increments will be developed for larger projects.
  • Application and eligibility information, as well as the online application portal, is available at alberta.ca/siterehab.
  • Grant-funded work must be done in Alberta, putting Albertans to work.
  • Eligible work includes:
  • closure work on inactive wells and pipelines, including remediation and reclamation
  • removal of abandoned in-place pipelines
  • Phase 1 and 2 environmental site assessments
  • Alberta has a strong regulatory system requiring that the thousands of oil and gas structures across the province – including pump jacks, pipelines, and wells – be properly decommissioned and their sites brought back to a land condition similar to the state they were in before the infrastructure was built. This work ensures that the sites are safe for landowners and Albertans and there are no negative impacts to the environment.

Alberta

Alberta politicians swap charges of bullying, misogyny after member ejected

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s Opposition NDP tried and failed Thursday to censure the deputy speaker for evicting one of their members from the house in a day that saw both sides accuse each other of belittling and marginalizing women in politics.

The governing United Conservatives voted down an NDP motion to discuss whether deputy Speaker Nicholas Milliken should still have his job after he ordered NDP member Marie Renaud out of the chamber during debate the evening prior.

Milliken ejected Renaud after she accused UCP members of trying to intimidate her through gestures while she was standing to speak to a bill.

Milliken said Renaud’s comments imputed unfair motives and were disrupting the house, and ordered her to withdraw the comments and apologize.

Renaud withdrew the remarks but would not apologize and was evicted for the balance of the night.

On Thursday, Renaud told reporters she faced mocking gestures, stares and facial expressions to try to throw her off balance during her speech.

“It happens frequently to a lot of women in our caucus. And last night was just bad and I called it out,” said Renaud.

Milliken is a United Conservative backbencher but is expected to be impartial when directing debate from the Speaker’s chair.

NDP house leader Heather Sweet said the NDP made the motion because Milliken failed to not only address Renaud’s concerns but focused the blame on her, calling into question his impartiality.

“It affects every single member from having the ability to stand in this house and to be able to feel freely without harassment to debate with the intent of having the Speaker be a neutral, non-partisan body,” Sweet told Speaker Nathan Cooper in making the motion.

UCP backbencher Laila Goodridge challenged Renaud, telling the house that bullying and intimidation can’t be countenanced but heckling is a part of politics, and having someone focus their attention on you in the house is respectful and appropriate.

“We need to be careful not to label everything and everyone we don’t like as bullying. Not liking something does not make it bullying,” said Goodridge. 

“I would suggest that if someone doesn’t want people looking at them when they speak, perhaps they’re not in the right field.”

The debate was the capstone to a Wednesday that saw typical attacks, insults and angry hyperbole between the NDP and UCP boil over. It even dragged in the memory of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

During debate of a bill that would allow non-constitutional referendums, NDP member Marlin Schmidt pointed out that even conservative icon Thatcher had concerns that referendums can be twisted to curtail minority rights.

“Just let me say that I am no fan of Margaret Thatcher,” Schmidt added.

“If nothing else goes right for me in a day, I can at least count on enjoying the fact that Margaret Thatcher is still dead. And the only thing I regret about Margaret Thatcher’s death is that it happened probably 30 years too late.”

At the direction of the Speaker, Schmidt apologized and withdrew the remarks.

On Thursday, UCP backbencher Miranda Rosin told the house that Schmidt’s remarks make it difficult for women to enter politics.

“The disgusting comments we heard, which celebrated the death of the greatest female leader in the 20th century … will not be encouraging to any woman who wishes to seek elected office,” said Rosin.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2020

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Three more patients die from COVID-19 outbreak at Edmonton hospital

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EDMONTON — Three more patients linked to a COVID-19 outbreak at an Edmonton hospital have died.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro reported the deaths at the Misericordia Community Hospital in a statement on Twitter.

The announcement comes one day after health officials said three patients had died from the illness, and 20 other patients and 15 staff had tested positive.

Alberta Health declared a full outbreak at the facility and said it would not be admitting new patients.

Shandro says his thoughts are with the families of the six patients who have died.

He says his department is monitoring the situation at the hospital and he has full confidence that measures are in place to prevent further spread of infections.

“Our hospitals remain safe, and this outbreak is being managed as safely and effectively as possible,” he said in the statement Thursday.

“I know the physicians, staff and volunteers at the Misericordia are working extremely hard in challenging circumstances, and I thank them for the care they’re providing.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2020

The Canadian Press

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july, 2020

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