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Red Deer – Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins sets the record straight on Pipelines


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From a Facebook submission by Red Deer – Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins

I don’t know about you, Alberta, but I’ve had it “up to here” with Liberals attacking our energy sector. Since 2015 they have gone out of their way to cancel already approved pipelines, put a tanker ban on the West coast (while conveniently ignoring the importation of foreign oil on east coast) and creating a regulatory quagmire that makes building a pipeline in this country next to impossible. This means billions of dollars in investment have been chased out of Canada and hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost.
“But the Conservatives under Harper never built a pipeline” is the cry offered by Liberals and those trying hard to defend them! Baloney!
The Libs have tried to sell this false bill of goods since 2016, and it didn’t stand up then, but since so many people like to continue to repeat this nonsense, I think it’s time to set the record straight on pipelines once again.
Fact: 4 major Pipelines Were Built in Canada between 2006 and 2015.
1. Enbridge Alberta Clipper – 1607km. Applied 2007, approved 2008, built in 2010 and transports 450,000 barrels per day. (…/update-1-enbridge-begins…)
2. Trans Canada Keystone. 1247km (in Canada). Applied 2006, approved 2007, built 2010, and transports 435,000 barrels per day. (…/2010-06-30keystone-pipeline…/)
3. Enbridge Line 9B Reversal. 639km (affected) Applied 2012, approved 2014, operational in 2015, and transports 300,000 barrels per day. (
4. Kinder Morgan Anchor Loop. 160km. Approved in 2006, Built 2008, and transports 40,000 barrels per day. (…/kinder-morgan-marks-tenth…/)
It is noteworthy that between the years of 2006-2011 Prime Minister Harper had two minority governments, which hampered the ability of the government of the day to change the laws and regulations that would streamline the large project application process.
After forming a majority government in 2011, former Finance Minister, the late Jim Flaherty, tabled Bill C-38, the Jobs, Growth and Prosperity Act, which among other things, created a predictable, thorough and streamlined approach to issuing certificates for major pipelines. It did not remove environmental regulations but instead, established time limits for regulatory reviews and created a predictable timeline for energy companies who wanted to invest in Canada. I was honoured to chair the sub-committee of Finance tasked to review Bill C-38, which was passed in 2012.
For the next three years of the Conservative majority mandate, and based on signals of support for the industry, Alberta jobs flourished, and we had near full-employment numbers through most of Prime Minister Harper’s tenure as Prime Minister.
In 2015 the Trudeau Liberals inherited billions of dollars in energy projects that were either fully approved or progressing well towards approval. Unfortunately, many of these projects were either killed by the Prime Minister directly or made unviable by the Liberal’s disastrous anti-energy policies and Bills like C-48 (Tanker Ban) and C-69 (No More Pipelines) that created economic uncertainty that caused investments to flee our country, along with good paying jobs:
Energy East – applied in August 2013, cancelled by then TransCanada in 2017, citing “existing and likely future delays resulting from the regulatory process, (more like heaping on red tape and environmental requirements that even imported oil doesn’t have to comply with) the associated cost implications and the increasingly challenging issues and obstacles.” Project Value – $15.7B…/transcanada-energy-east-1.4338227
Northern Gateway – applied in May 2010, approved by the Conservative Government in June 2014. Despite support from industry and indigenous communities, Justin Trudeau made good on an election promise and cancels this pipeline in November 2016. Project value – $7B
Keystone XL – applied in June 2005, Canadian portion approved by the Conservative Government in 2007. The US portion of the project was rejected by President Obama in 2015, re-approved by President Trump in 2017 (which was reaffirmed in 2019) and most recently cancelled by President Biden in January 2021. Despite billions of dollars invested by the province of Alberta on this project, Trudeau only indicated his disappointment in the decision. Project Value – $8B…/statement-prime-minister-canada…
Trans Mountain Pipeline – applied in 2013, this project was a privately funded venture with the support of no less than 12 energy companies. By 2018, after changing the rules for this project almost daily, the Liberal government was forced to purchase the old pipeline from Kinder Morgan at a cost of $4.5B, and is now on the hook for new construction with a Project Value – $12.5B (a $5.2B increase since 2013)…/us-canada-pipeline…
Today, the Liberal Government is facing new pipeline issues as Enbridge Line 5 could be shutdown by the Governor of Michigan – Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline carries Canadian oil east, running through Wisconsin and Michigan, supplying about half of the oil needs of Ontario and Quebec. In addition, the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement project is at risk as there are rising calls in the US to pull a water permit necessary for the project. To date, the Liberals remain silent on their plans to deal with these pressing matters.
It is worth mentioning that unemployment rates in Alberta from 2005 – 2015 averaged 2% lower than the rest of Canada. Since December 2015, the first full month the Liberals formed government, unemployment rates in Alberta rose to and have remained higher than the national average. (…)
So, let’s set the record straight. Conservatives build pipelines, cut red tape, create jobs and the entire nation prospers. Liberals cancel lucrative energy projects, create unemployment, foment uncertainty and only create a toxic investment climate. The only thing more damaging to the economy of Alberta than a Liberal government is a Trudeau Liberal government.
Thankfully Erin O’Toole has a plan to get the Liberals out of office and get Albertans and all Canadians back to work.
We will highlight the excellent environmental record of our energy sector, which is improving every day. I expect the NDP and Greens to twist the facts against Alberta energy, but Liberals ought to have learned long ago the risk of messing with the Alberta energy sector, not furthering the misinformation of the Greens and NDP.

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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Premier Danielle Smith sent this letter to PM Justin Trudeau today

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An alternative to Just Transition: Premier Smith

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith invites Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to work with her to develop “Sustainable Jobs” legislation as an alternative to the proposed “Just Transition” legislation.

Dear Prime Minister:

I am writing to once again raise Alberta’s serious concerns with the proposed federal ‘Just Transition’ legislation. The world needs more Canadian energy, not less. It would be premature and ill-advised to signal the end of a vibrant, thriving industry that has the ability to reduce Canada’s and the world’s emissions through technological innovation and increased exports of LNG and other clean burning fuels the world so desperately needs. It is also critical to the security of our nation and allies to lessen dependence on fuel sources from unstable, undemocratic and dangerous countries with atrocious environmental records.

Simply put, the world needs more Canadian energy and technology, not less, and as the owner of the world’s third largest oil and gas reserves and the most advanced environmental technology on the planet – we need to signal our intention to provide substantially more of both.

According to your government’s own predictions, the federal Just Transition initiative alone will risk a full 25 percent of Alberta’s economy and 187,000 jobs in Alberta, while also causing major disruptions and displacement to 13.5 percent of Canada’s workforce. At a time when Canadians are struggling to afford basic services and goods, Canada’s oil and gas sector offers some of the highest wages in Canada, which translates to strong business and community support across the country. Signalling a move away from these types of high paying jobs, threatens the national economy, and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers across the country at a time when good jobs are needed the most. It also creates a chilling effect on investors considering large scale investments in the Alberta and Canadian energy sector.

Prime Minister, we are at a crossroads in Alberta’s relationship with the Federal Government. We can continue with the endless court challenges, legislation to protect jurisdictional rights and inflammatory media coverage over our disagreements, or, as is my strong preference, Alberta and Ottawa can work in partnership on a plan that will signal to all Canadians and investors from around the world that our governments have cooperatively designed a series of incentives and initiatives intended to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Substantially decreasing Canada’s and Alberta’s net emissions;
  1. Accelerating private and public investment in projects and infrastructure that utilize and develop Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS), Bitumen Beyond Combustion, Geothermal technology, petrochemicals, hydrogen, lithium, helium, zero-emissions vehicles and nuclear technologies;
  1. Attracting and growing a larger skilled workforce to fill positions in both the conventional energy sector as well as emerging industries using the technologies cited above; and
  1. Significantly, and through the lens of global emissions reduction, increasing the export of LNG and other responsibly developed conventional oil and natural gas resources to Europe, Asia and the United States.

Prime Minister, all of the above objectives need to be clearly articulated and integrated into any Federal legislation or policies your government seeks to implement in the coming months, or that legislation will face irrepressible opposition from Alberta. I genuinely do not want to see that happen.

Further, this proposed legislation must be developed through cooperative discussions with affected provinces – namely Alberta. I would therefore invite you to meet with me in February on this matter, after which I would propose we have our appropriate ministers and officials meet repeatedly in the coming months with the goal of coming to a joint agreement on the key items to be included in your contemplated legislation so that it can be introduced and passed by the end of Spring.

Further, I request that you take to heart, and acknowledge publicly, the following items, in an extension of good faith to Albertans:

  1. Immediately drop the verbiage of “Just Transition”. Accordingly, rename the “Just Transition Act” to the “Sustainable Jobs Act”;
  1. Vow that all provisions of any forthcoming legislation will be designed to incentivize investment and job growth in both the conventional energy sector as well as in emerging industries utilizing Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS), Bitumen Beyond Combustion, petrochemicals, hydrogen, lithium, helium, geothermal, zero-emissions vehicle and nuclear technologies;
  1. Demonstrate that no provision of the Act will be designed to phase out or reduce Alberta’s conventional oil and natural gas sector and workforce (as we are already experiencing a workforce shortage in this sector);
  1. Commit your Government to actively partnering with Alberta to expand LNG exports to Asia and Europe as part of our nation’s overall emissions reduction strategy; and
  1. Promise that you and your Government will work with Alberta in partnership to set reasonable and meaningful emissions reductions targets and will not unilaterally impose such targets on Alberta’s energy, agriculture and other industrial sectors on a go forward basis.

Investments by Alberta’s oil and natural gas industry are driving the creation of the very clean technologies needed to bring emissions down both in Canada and around the world. Oil and natural gas companies representing the majority of production in Canada are investing $24 billion on projects to help reduce annual GHG emissions from operations by 22 million tonnes by 2030, and have committed to emission neutrality by 2050. Putting an end to or hampering this important work, and continued tepid support for increased LNG export, is the best way for your government to fail in its goal of reducing our nation’s and the world’s emissions. It would be the ultimate example of scoring on our own net.

The Alberta energy sector has grown and thrived through innovation, providing good paying jobs for thousands and contributing billions of dollars in tax revenue for all levels of government.  They will continue to evolve and adapt to new technologies in search of new low to zero-emitting fuel sources like hydrogen and provide new, high-paying skilled jobs for decades to come. It is essential that the federal government stands shoulder to shoulder with Alberta to reduce emissions and continue to develop our oil and natural gas and future energy sources responsibly, while also positioning Canada as the optimal solution to global energy needs and security.

Prime Minister, we can and must work together. Operating in political silos, as adversaries on this issue, is getting us nowhere, and I believe all Canadians are tired of seeing it. Canada should be the world’s greatest energy superpower. It can be, if we come together collaboratively in pursuit of that objective. There is no limit to our nation’s potential.

Let’s turn the page starting with a meeting between us next month followed by a dedicated effort to craft “Sustainable Jobs” legislation that a vast majority of Albertans and Canadians will welcome and support. The consequences of missing this opportunity will be dire for the Canadian and Alberta economies, workforce and environment.

I look forward to your prompt reply.

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‘Not true’: Justice minister denies crying or yelling during doctor confrontation

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By Bill Graveland in Calgary

Alberta’s justice minister said he felt sad and disappointed when he discovered someone he considered to be a friend was behind a social media post targeting him and his wife.

The Law Society of Alberta is in the final day of a hearing into allegations Tyler Shandro violated the profession’s code of conduct. The three complaints date back to his time as the provincial health minister early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Mukarram Zaidi, who had posted a photo on social media of Shandro with a caption related to privatizing health care, told the hearing the minister and his wife visited his home in March 2020. He said it occurred during fractious negotiations between the government and the Alberta Medical Association over fees.

The photo of Shandro, with a thought bubble caption, said: “So every Albertan that I can kick off health care is another client we can sign up for Vital Partners. We’re going to be RICH.” Shandro’s wife, Andrea, is the co-founder of Vital Partners, a health insurance agency.

Shandro said Thursday his spouse alerted him to the post earlier in the day, when there had been up to a thousand threats made against the couple.

“I recognized the account being someone I considered a friend and who lived around the corner,” Shandro said under questioning by his lawyer.

“The irony is that this is a fellow who had often engaged with me to discuss the importance of being careful with words, with online posts and what that could result in.”

The doctor testified earlier this week that he went outside of his home to meet Shandro and described the minister as being highly upset as he demanded the doctor remove the post immediately because his family was being subjected to death threats.

“I see Shandro and his wife standing at the sidewalk. He was crying, he was emotionally charged. His wife was holding him,” Zaidi said.

“He said: ‘You can’t do this to us. We’re getting death threats.’ I think I asked him: ‘What do you want me to do?’ And he said: ‘Delete your post.”’

Shandro said he walked over to Zaidi’s home by himself and asked the doctors’ children to send out their father. He said the conversation was over in a matter of minutes.

“I said: ‘Mukarram, why wouldn’t you have just asked me if you had questions? We know each other. You know me. You know Andrea. You know this isn’t true.’ And then I asked him: ‘Do you know this conspiracy theory is resulting in Andrea getting death threats?'” Shandro said.

“He said softly: ‘What do I do? Do I delete the post?’ I specifically did not take him up on that offer. I said: ‘Look, you have to decide that for yourself.'”

Shandro’s lawyer, Grant Stapon, asked his client what he had to say to Zaidi’s description of him crying and yelling while being held by his wife during the discussion.

“It’s not true. It isn’t true at all. Andrea was not there and if she really was there, it doesn’t benefit me to say she wasn’t there. If anything, it would be helpful to have her be there to corroborate,” Shandro replied.

“I definitely did not yell at him.”

Shandro said his wife did show up at the end of the conversation.

“She was emotional. She did have red eyes. She was crying earlier. She said: ‘Don’t talk to him. He’s not interested in us. He’s only interested in money.'”

Shandro said at that point they returned home.

Andrea Shandro is expected to testify later Thursday afternoon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2023.

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