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Alberta

Angry about COVID-19? – Premier’s response to Albertans furious about the province’s relaunch strategy

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From Premier Jason Kenney

I know there’s many who are angry about restrictions still being in place on business operations, whether in Calgary or Brooks, or elsewhere across the province. I also know there are others who think we’re moving too fast.

I want everyone to know that I would love nothing more than to open everything up, go back to the way it was before COVID-19, and pretend like it never happened.

But we simply can’t do that. Other jurisdictions that have opened everything up without any precautions have seen massive outbreaks spark back up, creating unmanageable pressure on their health care systems. This has happened in some places in the U.S. like Alabama, and even in countries who previously had it under control like Singapore. That then forced these places to clamp down twice as hard and close parts of the economy all over again.

We do not want to do that in Alberta. We want to open up carefully, confidently, and permanently so we don’t lose all the progress we’ve made thus far in containing the virus.

That’s why, in the interest of our economy and public health, we will always make informed decisions, with cool heads, on the latest available medical evidence we have. That’s the surest path to getting a foothold on this virus, and ensuring we can get back to a version of normal where we protect both lives and livelihoods.

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Alberta

Former Alberta politician who gave seat up for Kenney gets Texas appointment

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EDMONTON — A former Alberta legislature member who gave up his seat for Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has a new government job in Texas.

Kenney has appointed Dave Rodney to the job of Alberta’s agent general.

Kenney says the role is aimed at driving energy business and investment to the province.

Rodney stepped down as the United Conservative member for Calgary Lougheed in 2017 so Kenney, then leader of the newly formed party, could run in the constituency.

Kenney won the seat two months later and, in 2019, his UCP defeated the NDP in the provincial election.

The government says Rodney starts his three-year assignment immediately and, when the Canada-United States border reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic, he is to move to Houston.

He is to receive a biweekly salary of $9,635.

“With his extensive government experience and his personal drive, Alberta needs someone like Dave who will engage with American business leaders and investors and put Alberta’s interests first,” Kenney said in a release Tuesday.

“I have the utmost confidence he is the right person for this role.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2020

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta won’t require full environmental assessments for sandpits

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EDMONTON — Alberta is moving to change the legal definition of minerals to spare excavators from having to conduct environmental assessments for large sandpits.

A court ruling earlier this spring would have forced sandpits for road and other construction projects to be regulated as if they were quarries.

That would have meant any new project digging up more than 45,000 tonnes of sand a year would have been subject to an environmental assessment.

The United Conservative government says sandpits are shallow and similar to each other, and their impacts are well understood.

Proposed legislation says sandpits will continue to be regulated as they have been in the past with no conditions on approvals.

The government says the change will affect 500 applications for sandpits.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2020

The Canadian Press

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july, 2020

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