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Alberta

Premier Kenney blasts Biden for confusing US energy policy

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The first thing President Joe Biden did when he came into office was kill the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Those who understand global energy needs, knew that would eventually come back to haunt the US which is the largest consumer of energy on the planet.  Well it didn’t take long.  Not even a year.  Eight months after taking office the US finds itself in a position of begging OPEC (an energy producing rival) to increase oil production to help bring down the price of oil.  It’s enough to make Alberta Premier Jason Kenney boil over with anger and lash out at the President for a shortsighted and self-defeating energy policy.  

Here’s a statement released today from The White House and a subsequent post from Premier Kenney reacting to the situation the US finds itself in.

From a facebook post by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney

The same US administration that retroactively cancelled Canada’s Keystone XL Pipeline is now pleading with OPEC & Russia to produce & ship more crude oil.
This comes just as Vladimir Putin’s Russia has become the 2nd largest exporter of oil to the US.
Ironically, Russia is now selling the US 840,000 barrels of oil per day, which is *exactly* the amount of Canadian oil that Keystone XL would deliver to the US.
At the same time, the US administration has lifted sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Western Europe.
The same administration is also committed to ending the embargo on Iranian oil exports.
Why is the US government blocking energy imports from friendly Canada, while pressing for more imports from OPEC dictatorships & Putin’s Russian regime?
Canada is the USA’s closest ally. OPEC+ includes regimes that fuel conflict and instability around the world.
Canadian energy producers are transparent publicly traded companies. OPEC+ producers are overwhelmingly state enterprises, many financing corrupt regimes.
Canadian energy producers operate in compliance with the world’s highest environmental, governance and social (ESG) standards. Producers in Russia, Iran, Venezuela etc. flagrantly violate those standards. Canada is a rights-respecting liberal democracy. Many OPEC+ countries are amongst the world’s worst regimes.
So why is American energy policy opposed to more Canadian energy exports, but in favour of more OPEC+ exports?
And why is Canada’s federal government silent about this gross double standard?

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Alberta ombudsman says she doesn't have the power to probe EMS dispatch consolidation

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s ombudsman says she doesn’t have the power to investigate a complaint about the decision to consolidate ambulance emergency dispatch services in the province.

The complaint was filed by the cities of Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

The municipalities have contended that the decision to consolidate the dispatch services to save the government money could put the lives of people in their communities at risk.

In a release late Friday, Ombudsman Marianne Ryan says the decision was technically made by Alberta Health Services, which her office is prohibited by law from investigating.

When the United Conservative government announced the consolidation in August 2020, then health minister Tyler Shandro said the province’s dispatch system would allow for better co-ordination of all ground ambulances and air resources.

At the time, the four mayors of the municipalities, none of whom are now still in office, said they were blindsided by the decision and would fight the change.

“While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction,” Ryan said in the release.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

Last February, a judge granted an interim injunction sought by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services after the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo stopped transferring emergency medical calls to the provincial dispatch centre.

The municipality, which includes Fort McMurray, stopped transferring calls after its council decided the provincial ambulance dispatch service was putting patients at risk due to delays and confusion.

A lawyer for Wood Buffalo had argued it was in the public interest for the municipality to keep handling emergency medical calls through its own dispatch centre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta Ombudsman can’t do anything about City of Red Deer complaint about 9-11 Dispatch

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Ombudsman Responds to Municipalities’ Complaint About Ambulance Dispatch

Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman took the unusual step of publicly commenting on a complaint received involving Alberta Health Services.

The City of Red Deer, along with the municipalities of Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo filed a complaint to the Ombudsman regarding Alberta Health Services’ consolidation of ambulance emergency dispatch services.

The Ombudsman Act authorizes the Ombudsman to investigate administrative decisions of government ministries and many related bodies, but the Act specifically prohibits her from investigating decisions of Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“My office thoroughly analyzed the complaint and confirmed that the decision to consolidate ambulance dispatch services was indeed made by AHS. While many government-related bodies fall under my jurisdiction, AHS is not one of them,” stated Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman. “In fact, the Ombudsman Act specifically states that my powers of investigation do not apply to health authorities. My ability to investigate AHS decisions would require a change in legislation. While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction.”

Investigations by the Ombudsman are conducted in confidence, and it is the Ombudsman’s general practice not to comment publicly on complaints, especially ones that are not being investigated.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

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