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Alberta

Clean tech innovation cuts emissions, creates jobs

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7 minute read

March 12, 2019

Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan is helping major industries reduce emissions and create jobs while cutting costs and becoming more competitive.

Emissions Reduction Alberta is funding more than a dozen new clean technology projects across the province, while Energy Efficiency Alberta is supporting small and medium-sized oil and gas companies to reduce methane emissions through upgrades.

“Innovation is a key part of Alberta’s economic and environmental success, and our industries continue to show tremendous leadership. Clean technology investments lead to made-in-Alberta solutions that support jobs, protect our environment, and point Alberta toward a healthy, prosperous future.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister responsible for the Climate Change Office

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA)

From Fort McMurray to Waterton, 16 innovative clean technology projects will receive funding through ERA’s $100-million Biotechnology, Electricity and Sustainable Transportation (BEST) Challenge – the largest challenge in ERA’s history.

These projects have a combined value of $600 million and the potential to reduce a total of 2.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – the same as taking 530,700 cars off the road. These projects will also result in 114 new jobs.

“Our BEST Challenge is about accelerating the most promising clean technology solutions across multiple sectors – from new solar opportunities in coal-impacted communities to efficient fleet solutions. These projects will be a showcase for innovative technologies that can be adopted in communities across Alberta. They support economic growth, community health and demonstrate environmental leadership on a national and global scale.”

Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta

The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) is working to develop and demonstrate a 700-kilometre-plus-range zero emission truck. These trucks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions through improved fuel efficiency of the fuel cell hybrid drivetrain. Sequestering carbon at the hydrogen generation facility will result in even greater emissions reductions.

“This is a very exciting project for the AMTA and our member companies. This initiative is primarily about moving freight on Alberta’s highways with zero emissions, but it is also about the future of the Alberta economy. Alberta is in the transportation fuel business, and that business is changing. The AZETEC project demonstrates that Alberta’s commercial transportation industry is leading the transition towards innovative, zero-emission transportation that meets the province’s unique needs.”

Chris Nash, president, Alberta Motor Transport Association

Another funding recipient, eCAMION, is working on a project to transition Alberta’s buses from diesel to electric. Its first-of-a-kind charging system could lower installation and operating costs, encouraging broader and faster adoption across the province. eCAMION will partner with the City of Edmonton on a trial of its fast-charge technology. A complete list of BEST Challenge projects is available here.

Energy Efficiency Alberta (EEA)

Government is providing an additional $5 million to support the continued success of EEA’s popular $10-million Methane Emissions Reduction initiative.

The program has already made it easier for 30 small and medium-sized oil and gas companies to address methane waste through energy-efficient equipment upgrades, which also helps facilities hire more staff, reduce annual emissions and boost competitiveness. To date, 2,534 applications are approved, with at least 1,500 more anticipated by March 31, 2019.

“Through methane-reduction education and deployment of existing technologies, companies ultimately have the ability to become more competitive and efficient. This announcement will result in a great collaboration to further our methane-reduction programming for the oil and gas sector.”

Monica Curtis, CEO, Energy Efficiency Alberta

The funding boost will also support a $1.5-million grant for the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada to introduce technologies that reduce methane emissions. The grant is expected to reduce up to 200,000 tonnes of emissions – the same as taking 42,460 cars off the road.

“Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Methane Emissions Reduction initiative is a momentous step towards a massive deployment of proven, cost-effective, economic methane-mitigation technologies that will benefit our people, planet and industry. It will enable producers – large and small – to maintain competitiveness, while helping Alberta’s entrepreneurs and small technology providers prosper and create jobs.”

Soheil Asgarpour, president, Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada

“EEA’s Methane Emissions Reduction Program continues to improve the province’s emissions inventory while growing local jobs and incentivizing capital investment in Alberta-based emission-reduction projects. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the success of this program and working with industry to implement emission-reduction technologies.”

Jackson Hegland, executive director, Methane Emissions Leadership Alliance

Quick facts

  • The biotechnology, electricity and sustainable transportation sectors account for more than 40 per cent of Alberta’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
  • ERA takes action on climate change and supports economic growth and diversification by investing carbon pricing paid by industry directly into clean technology solutions that reduce emissions, attract investment and create jobs. To date, ERA has committed more than $572 million in funding to 164 projects with a total value of roughly $4.3 billion.
  • The climate change impact of methane is 25 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. Methane emissions in 2014 from Alberta’s oil and gas sector accounted for 70 per cent of provincial methane emissions, and 25 per cent of all emissions from the upstream oil and gas sector.
  • The Methane Emissions Reduction Program was announced in October 2018, and 60 per cent of the first year’s budget has already been committed. The program received three dozen applications in the first six weeks.

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Alberta

'Life consuming': Alberta Crown stays charges against parents in toddler's death

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LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Crown prosecutors have stayed charges against parents who were facing a third trial in the death of their toddler in southern Alberta. 

Shawn Buckley, a lawyer for David and Collet Stephan, said Tuesday he received a letter from the Crown about the decision. 

“The Crown dropped the charges,” Buckley told The Canadian Press. 

“Obviously they’re very relieved that the Crown is not proceeding against them to try and convict them.” 

A copy of the letter from Chief Prosecutor Shelley Bykewich directs the Lethbridge court to stay charges of failing to provide the necessaries of life against the Stephans.

No reason for the decision was given and Alberta Justice did not immediately respond to a request to explain why.

David Stephan said it has been nine years since his son Ezekiel died and it was eight years ago he and his wife were charged.

“It has been absolutely life consuming,” Stephan said in an interview.

“It’s somewhat of a relief in relation to not going back to trial again although there was a part of me as well that would have liked to go back to trial and been able to dig in more to the missing evidence and all that we still haven’t had provided to us eight years into it.”

Stephan successfully represented himself at the second trial.

The Stephans were accused of not seeking medical attention sooner for 19-month-old Ezekiel, who died in 2012. 

Over the course of their trials, the Stephans testified that they initially thought Ezekiel had croup, an upper airway infection, and treated him with natural remedies, including a smoothie with tinctures of garlic, onion and horseradish. 

They said he appeared to be recovering at times and saw no reason to take him to hospital, despite his having a fever and lacking energy. 

They called an ambulance when the boy stopped breathing. 

A jury convicted them in 2016, but the Supreme Court of Canada overturned that verdict and ordered a second trial. A judge hearing the case without a jury found them not guilty in 2019. 

The Alberta Court of Appeal granted a request by the Crown earlier this year to overturn the acquittal and ordered a new trial.

Buckley said the Crown’s decision caught him off guard and the matter isn’t over.

“Actually it’s a little surprising because we still have an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada,” Buckley said.

“Both David and Collet want to proceed with that because they think it’s very important for the law to be clarified so that other parents don’t face the type of uncertainty that they have been facing.”

David Stephan said he’s not expecting to celebrate.

“I think it’s a little early to celebrate now,” he said.

“We’re still involved in the battle. We’re still moving forward to the Supreme Court and it’s still going to be a bit of an uphill journey.”

Stephan said he will also seek to be repaid by the courts for the “tremendous amount of money” they spent over the past eight years.

The report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2021.

— By Bill Graveland in Calgary.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Wildfire forces evacuation of an area in Yellowhead County west of Edmonton

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EDMONTON — A wildfire has forced the evacuation of an area in Yellowhead County west of Edmonton.

An Alberta Emergency Alert message says the evacuation order affects people along Highway 16 between Evansburg and Wildwood.

It says the order also applies to people who are in the Lobstick resort area.

The order says all people in this zone must leave immediately.

The province says an evacuation centre is being set up at the Evansburg Arena in Evansburg.

The wildfire danger in the area is listed as very high and there are six airtankers, four helicopters, six pieces of heavy equipment and 30 firefighters working on containing the blaze.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2021

The Canadian Press

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