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Alberta

Danielle Smith: Just ‘watch me’ protect Alberta from federal restrictions on oil, gas production

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

‘That is what the Sovereignty Act was about, sending the indication that we’re simply not going to comply with federal rules around this’

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith warned the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “watch me” over how she will shield her province from economic damage and high fuel prices after the feds announced a plan to cut oil and gas production by a third via an “emissions” reduction scheme by 2030.

“You’ll just have to watch me if you don’t believe me. That is what the Sovereignty Act was about, sending the indication that we’re simply not going to comply with federal rules around this,” Smith said while speaking to reporters at the United Nations’ COP28 climate confab on Thursday.

Smith warned that the Trudeau government is risking a full-blown “constitutional crisis” over what she said are “economic sanctions” on Alberta because of Trudeau’s oil and gas production cut.

On Thursday, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault unveiled a plan at COP28 to slash oil and gas emissions by 35% to 38% below 2019 levels. He claimed that Canada needs to reach “carbon neutrality in Canada by 2050.”

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson claimed that the federal government’s new rules are needed to keep the planet from “burning up.”

Smith agreed to attend COP28 to paint her province in a positive light and to promote its oil and gas industry in direct opposition to the Trudeau feds. She said Alberta and Canada are under attack by the Trudeau government and his “eco-extremist,” admitted socialist environment minister.

Smith issued a joint statement with Alberta Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Minister Rebecca Schulz on Thursday that said the Trudeau government’s new rules amount to a “de facto production cap on Alberta’s oil and gas sector” that is an “an intentional attack by the federal government on the economy of Alberta and the financial well-being of millions of Albertans and Canadians.”

“Alberta owns our resources and under the constitution we have the exclusive jurisdiction to develop and manage them,” Smith said.

“We have done so responsibly by setting a price on carbon as far back as 2007, developing a carbon offset and trading program (TIER), investing billions in commercial scale carbon capture, creating an innovation fund that has so far supported 260 emissions reducing projects with $2.6 billion in grants.”

Smith noted that Alberta has its own plan for “reaching carbon neutrality across our entire economy by 2050,” which may or may not come to fruition.

She then took a shot at Guilbeault, calling him an “eco-extremist” whose ideals are “threatening the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Albertans.”

“Ironically, they are also significantly undercutting global emissions reduction efforts by effectively de-incentivizing capital investment by the oil and gas sector in the emissions-reducing technologies and fuels the world needs Alberta to develop and share,” she said.

Earlier this week, Guilbeault announced at COP28 his first attack on the oil and gas sector via a methane emissions cap. Smith blasted his new rules as “unrealistic” and “unconstitutional.”

The Trudeau government is trying to force net-zero regulations on all Canadian provinces, notably on electricity generation, as early as 2035. His government has also refused to extend a carbon tax exemption on heating fuels to all provinces, allowing only Atlantic provinces this benefit.

Trudeau’s current environmental goals are in lockstep with the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and include phasing out coal-fired power plants, reducing fertilizer usage, and curbing natural gas use over the coming decades.

The reduction and eventual elimination of the use of so-called “fossil fuels” and a transition to unreliable “green” energy has also been pushed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) – the globalist group behind the socialist “Great Reset” agenda – an organization in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet are involved.

Last month, after announcing she had “enough” of Trudeau’s extreme environmental rules, Smith said her province has no choice but to assert control over its electricity grid to combat federal overreach, by enacting its Sovereignty Act.” The Sovereignty Act serves to shield Albertans from future power blackouts due to federal government overreach.

Unlike most provinces in Canada, Alberta’s electricity industry is nearly fully deregulated. However, the government still has the ability to take control of it at a moment’s notice.

Guilbeault’s extreme eco-activist past

Guilbeault is as extreme as they come for an environment minister and his background shows a history of breaking the law via activism. In 1997, he joined Greenpeace and served for a time as a director and then campaign manager of its Quebec chapter for about 10 years.

He was arrested many times for environmental protests, the most famous arrest coming after an incident in 2001 when he climbed Toronto’s CN Tower with British activist Chris Holden. The pair hung a banner saying “Canada and Bush — Climate Killers.”

Greenpeace is a group that advocates for population control in addition to calling for an end to all oil and gas.

His extreme ideals have continued in his role as environment minister. He threatened arrest and jail time for Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who said that on January 1 his province will no longer collect a federally imposed carbon tax on electric heat in addition to natural gas.

Smith has repeatedly defended Alberta from Trudeau’s climate regulations and asserted Alberta’s right to control its power grid, also promising the province will not be “transitioning away” from oil and natural gas. She has called on Trudeau to replace Guilbeault because he is too “extreme.”

Alberta does have support from the Supreme Court, however, which recently sided in favor of provincial autonomy when it comes to natural resources. The Supreme Court ruled that Trudeau’s law, C-69, dubbed the “no-more pipelines” bill, is “mostly unconstitutional.” This was a huge win for Alberta and Saskatchewan, who challenged the law in court. The decision returned authority over the pipelines to provincial governments, meaning oil and gas projects headed up by the provinces should be allowed to proceed without federal intrusion.

The Trudeau government, however, seems insistent on defying the recent rulings by pushing forward with its various regulations.

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Alberta

Taxpayers Federation hoping for personal tax relief in Alberta budget

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Albertans need income tax relief now

Author: Kris Sims 

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Alberta government to stick to its promise of cutting its income tax in tomorrow’s provincial budget.

“Cutting the provincial income tax was a huge campaign promise from the UCP and it needs to happen right away,” said Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “Finance Minister Nate Horner should announce this income tax cut in the budget tomorrow.”

The provincial budget will be presented Feb. 29.

During the 2023, election the UCP promised to create a lower income tax bracket for the first $59,000 of earnings, charging eight per cent instead of the current 10 per cent.

The UCP said that move would save Albertans earning $60,000 or more about $760 per year.

The Alberta government currently charges workers who make under $142,292 per year a 10 per cent income tax rate.

By comparison, British Columbia charges an income tax of five per cent on the first $45,654 of earnings and seven per cent up to $91,310.

In B.C., a worker earning $100,000 pays about $5,857 in provincial income tax.

In Alberta that same worker pays about $7,424 in provincial income tax.

“Taxpayers need to see a balanced budget, spending restraint and our promised lower income taxes in this budget,” said Sims.

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Alberta

Province advancing plans to build stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital

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Investing in a new Stollery Children’s Hospital

If passed, Budget 2024 will allocate $20 million over three years to advance plans for a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

With 236 beds, the Stollery Children’s Hospital is the second-largest children’s hospital in Canada and has among the highest inpatient volumes of any children’s hospital in Canada. As the province’s population continues to grow, it is crucial that children in Edmonton and northern Alberta have access to the specialized care they need.

Alberta’s government is steadfast in its commitment to build a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital. A new facility would provide more beds, larger clinical spaces, more private rooms and dedicated areas for children and their families. It would also result in additional teaching spaces and state-of-the-art technologies to enhance health care delivery specifically for children.

“A new, stand-alone children’s hospital will build capacity and enable health care providers to continue delivering world-class care to children. This investment, as well as other capital investments outlined in Budget 2024, is an example of how we are creating a more unified and efficient health care system for Albertans. I look forward to sharing more details soon.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health

“The new Stollery Children’s Hospital project is the latest addition to Edmonton’s health care infrastructure. Building upon the successes of recent projects like the new emergency department at the Misericordia Community Hospital and Norwood West at the Gene Zwozdesky Centre, the new Stollery will help increase health care capacity in the capital region.”

Pete Guthrie, Minister of Infrastructure

Alberta’s government initially invested in the project in 2021, providing $1 million that was matched by the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. The proposed investment in Budget 2024 will include $17 million in new funding, following the $3 million invested through last year’s budget, for a total investment of $21 million in government funding over four years.

The investment in a new stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital is not only important for families in the city of Edmonton and capital region, it is important for families living across northern Alberta. The Stollery Children’s Hospital serves families in a geographical area of more than 500,000 square kilometres, stretching from Red Deer to Alberta’s northernmost border with the Northwest Territories. Almost 40 per cent of inpatients at the Stollery come from outside the Edmonton area and the hospital is the closest and primary children’s hospital for residents of the Northwest Territories.

“The Stollery has an incredible reputation for the impact it makes in the community, and especially in northern Alberta. This stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital is a long-awaited, necessary project that will help provide additional health care services to children and their families when they need it the most.”

Martin Long, parliamentary secretary for rural health

“This remarkable investment will take us one step closer to our goal of building a reimagined Stollery Children’s Hospital for the future. A new Stollery is poised to provide the most innovative, modern and family-centred physical and mental health care to help bring hope and comfort to kids dealing with serious illness and injury. Thank you to the Government of Alberta for recognizing the very real need for this hospital.”

Karen Faulkner, interim chief executive officer, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation

“A new Stollery Children’s Hospital is urgently needed to provide dedicated care for our children. By separating kids from adults, a stand-alone Stollery ensures a nurturing environment and the most modern pediatric equipment and resources to offer families like ours a health care space designed exclusively for our children.”

Shelley Cormier, parent of Stollery patient

Plans for the new hospital include integrating mental health resources, virtual care, research and training facilities to better support patients and improve health outcomes. There will also be a focus on ensuring health care providers, parents and caregivers have the resources they need to support patients.

Alberta’s government remains dedicated to expanding and modernizing hospitals and facilities to provide Albertans with high-quality health care while increasing system capacity and supporting front-line health care workers.

“Alberta’s government is committed to building a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital when planning is complete. A new facility would provide more beds, larger clinical spaces, more private rooms and dedicated areas for children and their families. There would also be more teaching spaces and state-of-the-art technologies to enhance health care delivery.”

Dr. Lyle Oberg, executive board chair, Alberta Health Services

Quick facts

  • Established in 2001, the Stollery Children’s Hospital is a full-service pediatric hospital and centre for complex pediatric care and research.
  • The Stollery Children’s Hospital sees about 300,000 children, 55,000 emergency room visits and 12,000 surgeries annually.

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