Officially, the National Hockey League season is over for the only two teams this province really cares about. While survivors prepare for action in Round Two of the Stanley Cup playoffs, both the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames are setting up what should be fascinating games of chop and change.
The final on-ice breath for 2020 took place after the Dallas Stars humbled Calgary 7-3 to win their best-of-seven series in six games. Days earlier, the Edmonton Oilers were outworked and outscored in a five-game loss to the Chicago Black Hawks.
Promptly, supporters of both teams fell to the oldest response in the Dedicated Fan yearbook: fire the coach.
Dave Tippett was singled out because he juggled some lines. Truly, his Oilers were not good enough at forward, on defence or in goal. Interim Flames head coach Geoff Ward drew immediate criticism on Thursday for replacing Cam Talbot with an ice-cold David Rittich in the early stages of the Stars’ record-setting offensive burst following their early 3-0 deficit. Talbot gave up three goals on only eight shots, but Ritich’s immediate performance was even worse.
Before the sixth and decisive game, Ward expressed optimism about his team’s future. “This is more relentless, more prepared, a better team” than the group that faded badly as a playoff top seed a year ago, he said. Well, for the first 20 minutes, he was absolutely correct. Fan frustration will not force any changes behind the bench. On the ice is entirely different. Goaltending, for example, is a serious concern in both centres.
Edmonton’s pair, Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith are 32 and 38, respectively. At the very least, a reliable young netminder is required. Talbot, widely inconsistent before being traded to Calgary for Koskinen two years ago, shone through most of the playoffs for the Flames this season and drew solid support from teammates Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund after Thursday’s shoddy start.
Monahan’s generous view did not detract from the likelihood that the veteran winger, in common with linemate Johnny Gaudreau, is sure to be prominent in trade talks, starting almost immediately.
Captain and key defenceman Mark Giordano, 35, finally showed signs of age. Partner T.J. Brodie, 29, would attract serious offers if general manager Brad Treliving put him on the market.
Good news for Calgary is that on-ice leader Matt Tkachuk has shown no sign of abandoning his fiery style. He was sadly missed after suffering an apparent concussion in Game Two. The seasoned Backlund, and youngsters Andrew Mangiapane, Dillon Dube and Sam Bennett are set for solid futures up front.
In Edmonton, the question about offence is simple: who will play with Connor McDavid on one line and Leon Draisaitl on another? Third- and fourth-liners on the 2020 roster will have plenty of company looking for jobs next year.
At this point, Edmonton lags behind its provincial rivals in at least one important area. It must be remembered that the Flames won their so-called elimination round by defeating a strong (but injured) group of Winnipeg Jets. The Oilers, who would mortgage the future of the entire Icer District for a brilliant young defender such as Miro Heiskanen of Dallas, Cale Makar of Colorado or Quinn Hughes of Vancouver (all still active in playoffs) have no such victory as a building block at this point.
Danielle Smith vows to protect Albertan farmland from Trudeau’s radical ‘net zero’ push
‘You cannot build wind turbines the size of the Calgary tower in front of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or on Nose Hill or in your neighbor’s backyard,’ the province’s premier declared.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said her province will continue to rely on reliable carbon-based fuel sources for power generation for decades to come after introducing sweeping new regulations restricting the development of so-called “renewable” energy generation from wind turbines and solar farms, saying these types of technologies are not the “silver bullet” the federal government claims they are for power generation.
“You cannot build wind turbines the size of the Calgary tower in front of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or on Nose Hill or in your neighbor’s backyard,” Smith said to media on February 28 after announcing the new regulations on so-called “green” power generation.
“We have a duty to protect the natural beauty and communities of our province.”
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith: “You cannot build wind turbines the size of the Calgary Tower in front of a UNESCO world heritage site, or on Nose Hill, or in your neighbour’s back yard.”
Alberta announces new rules for renewable energy projects:
“Renewables have a… pic.twitter.com/a7RN8ZbvAs
— Paul Mitchell (@PaulMitchell_AB) February 28, 2024
Smith’s United Conservative Party government’s new “Renewed path forward for renewable energy” flies in the face of what mostly left-leaning proponents of “green power” claim is needed to rid the world of using “fossil fuels.”
Indeed, the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to force net-zero regulations on all Canadian provinces, notably on electricity generation, as early as 2035. Alberta is adamantly opposed to this.
Natural gas and coal are abundant in Canada, notably in Alberta. In the new year, an extreme cold snap sent temperatures plummeting to nearly minus-50 degrees Celsius (58 degrees Fahrenheit) in much of western Canada. It was so cold that the province of Alberta’s power grid almost collapsed due to a failure of wind and solar power.
The UCP had put in place a pause on final approvals for large renewable energy projects, which was lifted on February 29. The UCP’s new guidelines stipulate that new wind or solar projects can only be allowed on Class 1 and Class 2 irrigable lands “unless the proponent can demonstrate the ability for both crops and/or livestock to coexist with the renewable generation project.”
Also, new buffer zones of a “minimum of 35 kilometres” will be established around “protected areas” and other “pristine viewscapes” that the province designates.
All new wind projects will no longer be “permitted within those buffer zones,” and other proposed developments “located within the buffer zone may be subject to a visual impact assessment before approval.”
Alberta’s new rules of solar and wind power generation drew the ire of Trudeau’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, who wrote on X (formerly Twitter) last week that “Renewable energy companies expect to be treated fairly.”
“By placing overkill conditions on new renewable energy, it has the same effect as a moratorium by burying projects in red tape,” he wrote.
The Alberta government notes, despite what some in the federal government might claim, that it is home to about 90% of the renewable power projects in Canada, besides those from nuclear or hydro.
Alberta’s rules stipulate that any renewables that come online must be backed by “baseload” or natural gas/coal power generation, as wind and solar obviously are not reliable when it is dark or there is no wind.
“They are not the silver bullet for Alberta’s electricity needs and they are not the silver bullet of electricity affordability because each new development risks driving up the transmission costs and makes Alberta’s utility bills even more expensive,” Smith said.
In January, LifeSiteNews reported that Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, while speaking at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2024 meeting in Davos, Switzerland, said it is up to the government to “make” sure the “decarbonization” of Canada’s energy sector “happens.”
Her comments came just after Alberta’s power grid was saved from near collapse due to a cold snap that saw carbon-based energy saved the day after “renewables” failed.
The reduction and eventual elimination of the use of so-called “fossil fuels” and a transition to unreliable “green” energy has been pushed by the WEF – the globalist group behind the socialist “Great Reset” agenda – an organization in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet are involved.
Canada has the third largest oil and gas reserves in the world, with most of it in Alberta. However, since taking office in 2015, Trudeau has continued to push his radical environmental agenda similar to the agendas being pushed the WEF’s “Great Reset” and the United Nations’ “Sustainable Development Goals.”
Alberta’s Energy Road Ahead Has Never Been More Important: Brian Jean – Minister of Energy and Minerals
By Brian Jean – Minister of Energy and Minerals of Alberta
Recently I had the opportunity to speak at The Road Ahead, Alberta Energy 2024, presented by EnergyNow at the Calgary Petroleum Club.
The road ahead for Alberta in 2024 is an important one. Alberta is at the crossroads on many key energy issues which I wanted to expand upon.
Let me start with some quotes from the last Throne Speech that will give you a sense of where Premier Smith wants Alberta’s world leading energy industry to go.
This is a key one: “Alberta’s government will ensure the entire world understands that the words “Alberta” and “energy” are inextricably linked for generations.”
All credible energy forecasters see the oil and gas industry as being the globally dominant energy player for decades to come. This means that Alberta, which produces energy in a better way than any other jurisdiction, will have opportunities and jobs in the energy industry for the children and grandchildren of those who are its current employees. Not only is Alberta’s resource one that will last, but it is also one that will lead the world.
Again, from the Throne Speech: “Our province is the fourth-largest producer of oil and gas in the entire world – and is, far and away, its most environmentally responsible one. Alberta will not be content with fourth place – not when our province’s energy reserves and environmental technologies are second to none.”
Our Premier recognizes that not only do we have globally significant oil and gas resources in the ground, but we also possess the significant knowledge and skills of Alberta’s energy workers and energy companies. That said, as we continue to develop energy projects of all types, more skilled trades will be needed and Alberta is committed to developing these skilled trades “in province” where possible. This will allow Alberta to continue to develop oil and gas in the most responsible way possible which will continue to evolve as new technology is developed.
All that heads us towards success. As a government we need to be bold enough to create the mechanisms of success for our energy industry and we are committed to do this.
Also from the Throne Speech: “Not only will Alberta be the greenest energy producer in the world, our government will ensure we create one of the most efficient, timely and red-tape free jurisdictions on the planet to invest in energy – whether that be conventional, non-conventional, renewable or otherwise.”
Premier Smith has tasked our government with improving our regulatory capacity. She wants us to create the flexibility and nimbleness to have world class results in all our energy spaces. We will take bold steps in the oil sands as we work with Pathways Alliance to create the world’s first carbon abated major oil field.
We will take bold steps with non-conventional producers to make the most of our gas and liquids industries in the Montney and Duvernay. And we will continue to take bold steps to use our energy industry to drive economic opportunities and reconciliation for our indigenous communities.
We will take bold steps to make sure that Alberta continues to be one of the top global places to build wind and solar, while protecting farmland and viewscapes.
We will use the skills and Alberta know-how that spring from our oil and gas expertise to make breakthroughs in lithium development and helium exploration.
Alberta is the ideal place for energy investments in established energy sectors and emerging energy-related sectors like petrochemicals, hydrogen, ammonia, lithium, and helium.
We will continue to lead the world in carbon capture, utilization and sequestration. A technology that we have deployed at scale faster than almost any other jurisdiction.
Finally, Alberta will take advantage of our tremendous natural gas resources to make Alberta a global centre for petrochemical production in general. But more than that, we will specifically be the global leader in green petrochemicals made from our energy resources and greened by sequestering the carbon used in their production.
These are the bold ambitions that Premier Smith and our government have for Alberta’s energy sector. Alberta has the expertise, and the duty, to remain a major global energy supplier.
And allow me to end with one last quote from the Throne Speech: “The world needs more Alberta energy – not less – and Alberta’s government intends to empower Albertans to deliver it!”
Our government isn’t afraid to declare that Alberta is energy and energy is Alberta!
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