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Alberta

COVID19 spreading events – Premier Kenney asks Calgary and Edmonton residents to stop hosting gatherings

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From the Province of Alberta

Strong public health measures are being implemented to protect the health system and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Expanded mandatory and voluntary limits on social gatherings are now in place to help reduce growing caseloads.

New COVID-19 measures

  • Effective immediately, new mandatory and voluntary public health measures will help protect the health system and limit the spread of COVID-19.
    • All Edmonton and Calgary residents should stop holding social gatherings within their homes and instead socialize in structured settings where it is easier to limit risk of exposure.
    • The mandatory 15-person limit on social gatherings is being expanded to all communities on the watch list.
    • Voluntary measures to limit cohorts to no more than three and to wear masks in the workplace unless able to safely distance are also strongly recommended for any community on the watch list, regardless of location.
  • Additional measures to bolster Alberta’s public health response:
    • AHS is prioritizing the hiring of about 380 additional contact tracing staff that will expand the contact tracing team to more than 1,100 people.
    • To support contact tracing, all Albertans should download ABTraceTogether, Alberta’s contact tracing app.
  • Alberta will also be shifting back to daily reporting of case numbers and information, including on weekends and holidays.

Latest updates

  • To date, 24,684 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
  • There are currently 6,822 active cases in the province.
  • Over the last 48 hours:
    • 802 new cases were identified on Nov. 4
    • 609 new cases were identified on Nov. 5
  • Alberta labs have now performed 1,869,192 tests on 1,305,540 people.
  • There were nine additional deaths since Nov. 3, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 352.
  • All zones across the province have cases:
    • Calgary Zone: 2,886 active cases and 10,966 recovered
    • South Zone: 398 active cases and 2,216 recovered
    • Edmonton Zone: 2,819 active cases and 8,713 recovered
    • North Zone: 431 active cases and 1,821 recovered
    • Central Zone: 255 active cases and 914 recovered
    • 33 active cases and 54 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
    • Additional information, including case totals, is online.
  • There are 392 active cases and 1,631 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 221 facility residents have died.
  • School case information will be updated on Monday.

Updated contact tracing approach

  • Alberta is piloting a targeted contact testing approach. This will make contact tracing faster and focus on populations at greatest risk of illness and further spreading COVID-19.
  • Alberta Health Services will directly notify close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases in three priority groups only:
    • health-care workers
    • minors (parents will still be notified if their child has been exposed in a school setting)
    • individuals who live or work within congregate or communal facilities
  • AHS will no longer directly notify close contacts outside of these three priority groups, at this time.
  • Albertans outside the priority groups who test positive will be asked to notify their own close contacts.
  • AHS will continue to directly notify all positive cases of COVID-19 of their result, identify priority contacts that AHS will notify, and provide the case with guidance on notifying their own contacts.

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Alberta

Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

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CALGARY — The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending licences for thousands of wells and pipelines after an oil and gas producer failed to bring its operations into regulatory compliance.

The regulator says it has ordered private SanLing Energy Ltd. to suspend its 2,266 wells, 227 facilities and 2,170 pipelines and ensure they are left in a state that’s safe for the public and the environment.

It adds the company currently owes $67 million in security to the AER for its assets’ end-of-life obligations.

The company has been producing about 4,200 barrels of oil equivalent per day, primarily dry natural gas, said AER spokeswoman Cara Tobin.

It is being asked by the AER to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination, ensure its emergency response number is working and provide a detailed plan to maintain its assets while they are suspended.

The AER says it issued an order to SanLing in September because of a poor compliance record and its outstanding security issues.

It says it met with the company several times over the past five months to request a plan to come back into compliance but the company’s responses proved to be inadequate.

“If SanLing, or any company, wants to do business in Alberta, they must follow our rules,” said Blair Reilly, AEB director of enforcement and emergency management, in a news release.

“We cannot allow a company that has ignored the rules continue to operate — that’s not in Alberta’s interest.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Ottawa unveils proposed federal carbon offset emission credit regulations

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CALGARY — The federal government is unveiling proposed regulations for its greenhouse gas offset program that will govern how developers can register and sell credits earned through projects that reduce emissions.

Environment and Climate Change Canada says one credit will be issued for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent reduced or removed from the environment, adding that eligible projects must be in Canada and offer “real, additional, quantified, unique and permanent GHG reductions.”

The projects will have to be registered and approved, monitored and face third-party verification before credits can be sold to industrial buyers for use to offset their greenhouse gas emissions and thus reduce their carbon tax costs.

In a briefing, department officials said the federal program will not compete with credit generators under similar programs offered in provinces such as Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, adding approved carbon offsets can only be used once.

The regulations are to undergo a 60-day comment period ending May 5 and final regulations are to be established by next fall.

Meanwhile, the department will be developing protocols to govern how various types of offsets will be regulated. On Friday, it unveiled proposed protocols for advanced refrigeration system upgrading, landfill methane reductions, and forest and agricultural land management.

In December, Ottawa announced a $15-billion plan to meet its climate change commitments that includes steady annual increases to its carbon tax from $50 per tonne in 2022 to $170 per tonne by 2030.

Canada wants to get to a 32 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, slightly more than its 30 per cent Paris agreement commitment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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