No matter who wins the UCP Leadership race, you can count on a turbulent relationship with Ottawa. Albertans have long had issues with how the Liberal government stifles the critical Oil and Gas industry. Now Alberta’s farmers are finding out what that feels like, as the federal government is introducing measures to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer they use.
To add to the level of animosity between the two governments, a growing number of Alberta UCP supporters are voicing dissatisfaction over Covid restrictions and mandates. This group is active politically, and seems to be rallying behind frontrunner Daniel Smith and likeminded Todd Loewen. The idea is to avoid future restrictions and mandates provincially, and stand up against any federal measures.
It’s no coincidence then, that the leading candidates in the UCP race all have strong platform initiatives to stand up to Ottawa. Here’s what they look like, beginning with Danielle Smith’s “Alberta Sovereignty Act.
Danielle Smith – Alberta Sovereignty Act
It is clear that my proposed Alberta Sovereignty Act has thus far been the central issue of the UCP leadership campaign. Tens of thousands of Albertans have embraced the idea of actually standing up to Ottawa’s attacks against us, rather than usual ineffective letter writing campaigns and complaining.
It’s been both exciting and heartwarming to see hope restored to so many in our Province, and I want them to know how much their faith and confidence in this initiative strengthen my personal resolve to see it through.
Unsurprisingly, many in the media and establishment do not support the Alberta Sovereignty Act and have turned to the tried and tested methods of fearmongering and disinformation to discredit the idea. Unfortunately, some of my fellow UCP candidates may have fallen into their trap.
My hope in releasing this FAQ sheet on the Alberta Sovereignty Act, is that more Albertans and MLAs will take a thoughtful look at this policy, and join the growing majority of Albertans who want to see us stand up to Ottawa, restore our constitutional rights, and take control of our future in this manner.
I am sincerely looking forward to implementing this critically important piece of legislation together.
– Danielle Smith
What is the Alberta Sovereignty Act?
A proposed provincial law that would affirm the authority of the Provincial Legislature to refuse enforcement of any Federal law or policy that violates the jurisdictional rights of Alberta under Sections 92 – 95 of the Constitution or that breaches the Charter Rights of Albertans.
How will it be used?
When the Federal Government institutes a law or policy that appears to violate the constitution or Charter, the Government of Alberta may introduce a Special Motion for a free vote of all MLAs in the Legislature. The Special Motion would include the following:
1. Identification of the Federal law or policy that it deems to be in violation of the Constitution
2. An Outline of the specific harms that violation of the Constitution imposes on the citizens of Alberta
3. Description of the specific actions the Province will take to refuse the enforcement of that Federal law or policy in Alberta
4. A Declaration that by authority of the Alberta Sovereignty Act and notwithstanding the specific Federal law or policy in question, it shall not be enforced by the Provincial Government within Alberta in the manner outlined by the Special Motion
5. Imposition a specific time frame (no more than 24 months) by which the Special Motion will be reviewed in the Legislature
Will a Premier or Governing Party be able to refuse enforcement of any Federal Law or Policy they don’t like?
No, the Alberta Sovereignty Act may not be used unless specifically authorized by way of a free vote of all elected MLAs in the Alberta Legislature, as explained above.
What examples of Federal Laws will the Alberta Sovereignty Act be applied to?
Examples could include:
– Federal mandatory vaccination policies – Charter violation
– Use of Emergencies Act to jail & freeze accounts of peaceful protesters – Charter violation
– Bill C-69 ‘No New Pipelines’ Law – found unconstitutional by Alberta Court of Appeal
– Mandatory cuts to fertilizer use by Alberta Farmers – violation of s.95
– Mandatory emissions and production cuts to Alberta energy projects – violation of s.92A
– Federal gun grabs – violation of s.92(13)
Is the Alberta Sovereignty Act about Separation from Canada?
No, the entire objective of the Alberta Sovereignty Act is to assert Alberta’s Constitutional Rights within Canada to the furthest extent possible by effectively governing itself as a Nation within a Nation, just as Quebec has done for decades and as Saskatchewan is also now considering.
If anything, the restoration of provincial rights and autonomy of every province from the destructive overreach of Ottawa is likely the only viable way for Canada to survive and flourish into the future. Ottawa’s “divide, control and conquer’ policies have Canada on a path of division and disunity. Alberta can and must lead on this issue going forward.
Is the Alberta Sovereignty Act illegal or does it run contrary to the rule of law?
No, just the opposite.
Over the last several years the Federal Government has triggered a constitutional crisis through repeated lawless attacks on provincial constitutional rights and the Charter.
The Trudeau Government has effectively imposed economic sanctions against Alberta (and parts of Saskatchewan and BC) that have resulted in economic chaos.
Hundreds of billions in investment and tax revenues, and hundreds of thousands of jobs, have been lost to these sanctions as investors around the world find it too risky to do business in Alberta’s energy industry. In fact, no new major development of our world class oil sands has been commenced in almost 20 years as a result.
The idea expressed by some UCP leadership candidates that the Alberta Sovereignty Act would “cause chaos” in the markets is naive in the extreme. The “chaos” is already here and has been caused by both Ottawa’s unlawful policies and an utter lack of provincial leadership on effectively pushing back against those attacks.
The fact is the Alberta Sovereignty Act reimposes constitutional rule of law on a lawless Ottawa by reaffirming the critical import of respecting the powers and jurisdiction of the Provinces under the Canadian Constitution.
Brian Jean – Autonomy For Albertans Act
I started with policies designed to change how Alberta reacts to the federal government and Canada. I want us to stop being defensive and go on the offensive. We have to stop covering up and we have to take the fight to Canada.
The five sets of actions that will protect and enhance Alberta’s Autonomy Within Canada are:
These actions and this approach is very different than how Alberta has traditionally acted. This is very different from what the other leadership candidates are proposing. First this is about acting, about doing something. The “Alberta Sovereignty Act” proposal is purely defensive and reactive. Instead of saying to Canada “we won’t enforce your rules if you come after us,” I am saying that we need to take the initiative.
My proposals are about taking ACTION and going on the offense. Danielle Smith proposes a purely defensive strategy that surrenders on past fights. Travis Toews has no strategy at all in this area — he wants to continue Jason Kenney’s practice of writing stern and meaningless letters whenever we get stepped on.
When we open the Constitution, we can deal with the issues of: pipelines and right-of-ways, access to tidewater, stopping provinces and the federal government from landlocking provinces, and democratic under-representation. Taking the fight to the rest of Canada is the way to actually get results and reverse the damage.
Passing an unconstitutional “Sovereignty Act” that only kicks in the next time we are punched doesn’t change anything. It will likely encourage Trudeau to hit Alberta harder.
Fighting the efforts of the World Economic Forum to change our society is something Alberta should have been doing all along.
As is using the courts intelligently including as a way to get expert testimony into the record in important legal debates.
Fighting back against the insults of Quebec and the federal government should have always been our policy. Instead under Jason Kenney we too often gave away things hoping that other provinces would return the favour. They did not.
Finally, we should learn from Quebec and have our position in the world recognized by Canada. Alberta is an energy superpower and it should own Canada’s seat at the global table whenever energy issues are discussed.
Rebecca Schulz – 100 DAY PROVINCIAL RIGHTS STRATEGY
A Schulz government would immediately start the 100 Day Provincial Rights Action Plan, with clear steps – and a timeline – to fight, negotiate, partner, and strengthen Alberta’s position with Confederation.
“No more letters, no more panels, and no more empty threats – Albertans want action and results when it comes to defending our rights in confederation and seeing our province reach its full potential.” – Rebecca Schulz
Within the first 10 days, a Schulz government will appoint a Deputy Premier and team with the primary focus to act as Alberta’s lead negotiators in strengthening Alberta’s position in Canada.
This will include:
- Presenting the federation with a package of common sense reforms on equalization, fiscal stabilization, and greater provincial control over programs through tax points
- Presenting the federation with a list of federal, provincial overlap in regulations/policy and begin negotiations on disentanglement
- Pursuing an Alberta Pension Plan, Alberta Employment Insurance and an Alberta Revenue Agency
Within the first 50 days, Schulz and the Deputy Premier would present a Provincial Rights
Framework, to identify every legal and constitutional measure possible to stand up against Ottawa’s continued attacks on provincial jurisdiction.
This will include:
- Calling for a Protecting Provincial Rights Summit to bring provinces to the table and identify every measure to stand up for jurisdictional rights against federal interference
- Continuing the fight against the Tanker Ban (C-48) and Trudeau’s No-More Pipelines legislation (C-69), alongside all 10 provinces
- Taking every proactive legal measure possible against Trudeau’s federal emissions and fertilizer caps.
Within the first 100 days, Schulz and the Deputy Premier would present a new Market Access Plan to create political and economic incentives for federal and provincial governments to negotiate with Alberta in good faith for improved trade and market access.
This will include:
- Identifying strategic actions to deter other provinces or levels of government from limiting Alberta’s market access and trade
- Developing criteria for when Alberta will Turn off the Taps through the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act.
“You don’t need to spend weeks on the campaign trail to understand how frustrated Albertans are of being pushed around. The emissions and fertilizer caps are just two of the most recent examples of governments interfering with our provincial trade and prosperity. It’s about time Albertans were presented with a real plan to take action.” – Rebecca Schulz
Future of Energy is Here – Province of Alberta pitches Alberta and Albertans at 2022 Energy Council conference
Alberta’s Energy Minister Pete Guthrie is making a powerful presentation to state and provincial legislators from across the United States and Canada at the Energy Council’s Global Energy and Environmental Issues Conference in Banff.
It’s a convincing pitch on behalf of energy workers, and Alberta taxpayers who rely so heavily on the province’s most lucrative industry. The presentation is boosted by this video profiling Alberta’s stable, abundant and environmentally responsible energy supply.
Energy Minister Pete Guthrie issued the following statement on Alberta’s energy sector at the 2022 Energy Council conference:
“Energy matters now more than ever. This year, we’ve seen how geopolitical events and volatile energy markets can impact the lives of people throughout the world. It matters where the energy that powers our homes, our economies and our lives comes from.
“The world needs a solution for long-term energy security that is also responsible, reliable and affordable. That solution is Alberta.
“It’s in this spirit that Alberta is proud to host the Energy Council’s Global Energy and Environmental Issues Conference in Banff. We are promoting our energy sector to more than 160 participants – including state and provincial legislators from the United States and Canada.
“During the conference, we will focus discussions on the future of the energy industry, the strength and security of the North American energy system and the role Alberta has to play.
“Alberta is the global leader in responsible energy development that the world needs. We have the innovation, technology and expertise needed to produce responsible energy. We have the highest human rights, labour and environmental standards. We have Canada’s fastest-growing renewable energy sector. On top of all that, we are rapidly developing carbon capture and storage and lowering emissions, with the Pathways Alliance targeting net zero by 2050.
“Our government firmly believes Alberta is the key to energy security for North America and the world. Our track record speaks for itself. Last year, about 62 per cent of the crude oil imported to the United States came from Alberta – that is 10 times more than their oil imports from Saudi Arabia, and over four times more than all of OPEC. Every barrel that comes from Alberta helps replace one produced by countries that do not adhere to our high environmental and social standards. Our province has one of the largest oil reserves in the world, and we are ready to supply nations around the world with our reliable and responsibly produced resources.
“Alberta’s support of research and innovation excellence ensures that innovators can continue to make groundbreaking discoveries, commercialize game-changing emissions-reducing technologies and solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges.
“The future of energy is here. It’s Alberta.”
Ice Explorer rollover investigation complete – No criminal charges
Submitted by Alberta RCMP
Jasper RCMP investigate Ice Explorer rollover in the Columbia Icefields – Update #7
The RCMP have completed their investigation into the tragic events of the Ice Explorer rollover in Columbia Icefields on July 18, 2020. The RCMP have shared all requested investigative material gathered during the criminal investigation with the Ministry of Labour as required by the Alberta OH&S Act. While the RCMP is aware of the charges resulting from the regulatory investigation, the criminal standard is high and the criminal investigation is independent, separate and parallel to the OH&S investigation.
Upon consultation with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, the RCMP have determined that no criminal charges are warranted in this investigation. This determination brings the RCMP’s criminal investigation to a close.
This investigation was of the utmost seriousness and was complex, both factually and legally.
Our thoughts continue to go out to the families of the deceased and the injured, and to all who have been impacted by this tragedy.
No further details can be shared at this time.
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