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Alberta

CP Holiday Train family event in Blackfalds this Sunday!

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CP Holiday Train set for stop in Blackfalds

The CP Holiday Train, which raises food and funds for local food banks across Canada, is back for its 20th year. This year, it will arrive in Blackfalds on Sunday December 9 at 12:45 pm for a free concert with Terri Clark, Sierra Noble and Kelly Prescott. The train will stop at Gregg St between Broadway and East Avenues and will perform just beside Tayles Water Spray Park. We encourage people to arrive early.

Who: Terri Clark, Sierra Noble and Kelly Prescott will perform

What: CP Holiday Train arrives in Blackfalds

Where: Gregg St between Broadway and East Avenues

When: Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Why: At each stop, CP hosts a free event with music, entertainment, lights etc. They simply ask attendees to donate money or food to their community food banks.

Gregg St from Broadway Ave to East Ave will be closed from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. The Railway crossing on Broadway Ave will be closed from approx. 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.

The CP Holiday Train encourages donations of non-perishable food items & cash for the Blackfalds Food Bank. Donations to the Blackfalds Food Bank will be accepted at the drop-off locations at Tayles Park.

Please plan to arrive early & walk if possible, as nearby parking will be limited.

Follow the Train on social media and post your experience Instagram @cpholidaytrain, #cpholidaytrain @blackfalds

For further details visit the Town website at blackfalds.com.

Terri Clark

?Hailing from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Terri Clark got her start by playing for tips at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, a legendary honky-tonk bar across the alley from Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. The 3-time JUNO Award winner holds the honor of being the only Canadian female member of the legendary Grand Ole Opry. Terri has received 19 CCMA Awards and is the newest member of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

“I had such a wonderful time on the US leg of the CP Holiday Train last year, and I’m so excited for  this experience again, across my home country of Canada. Seeing the smiling faces, holiday spirit, and people giving back to their own communities is an amazing thing to be a part of and witness.”

 

 

Sierra Noble

?Winnipeg singer-songwriter Sierra Noble has been a part of the Canadian music scene since a very young age, beginning her touring career when she was only 14 years old as a solo Old-time fiddle player. Her evolution as an artist brought her to a journey of singing and songwriting debuted by a song called “Possibility” which went on to be featured on television shows such as “One Tree Hill” and “Switched at Birth”. She credits that song to be what opened the door to her opening for international legends Bon Jovi and Paul McCartney.

“I am beyond excited to be a part of the 20th anniversary CP Holiday Train! Come join us with your friends, family, and food bank donations while we warm our hearts together through song in the cold chill of winter!”

Kelly Prescott

?Celebrating a long lineage of a very musically inclined family, the third-generation singer grew up in an award-winning studio where she was able to hone her craft of song writing. Penning such fan favourites as ‘Carryin’ Coal’ and ‘Coming Home To You (ft. Buddy Miller)’, her new music expands on her talent and unique vocals to reveal tracks like ‘Who Gets The Church’ and ‘Leavin’ Her’, which was released worldwide June 8th.

“I’ve had the honour of being a part of the CP Holiday Train for many years, yet this never gets old. In fact, it becomes more magical every year. To see firsthand the difference this program makes in each community is nothing short of incredible.”

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Alberta

Premier Kenney’s reaction to Federal approval of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

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Premier Jason Kenney reacts to approval of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

This was a live video broadcast of the news conference held by Premier Jason Kenney in the moments after the Trans Mountain Pipeline was approved.

Media release from The Province of Alberta

“We appreciate the federal government’s second approval of this existing project. This approval is an important milestone for Alberta, and for Canada. The decision was made on the merits of the project that is supported by the majority of Canadians. Approving the TMX pipeline is a step forward for economic growth and prosperity.

“But approval is not construction and, regrettably, for far too long this project has been mired in uncertainty. TMX has been through countless months of consultation and a lengthy and rigorous review process. The immediate test is the start of construction, with shovels in the ground and real progress. Success will be measured by one thing alone: completion of this pipeline.

“At the same time, this is just the beginning. Without TMX and other coastal pipelines, we are underselling our resources to the United States and allowing OPEC countries to dominate global energy markets. That doesn’t reduce energy consumption, but sells Canadians short, making us poorer.

“We should never have been put in the position of depending on one coastal pipeline project, which is exactly what happened through the cancellation of Northern Gateway and the death of Energy East. These policies are now being enshrined in bills C-48 and C-69. Both bills pose a threat to Alberta’s energy industry and provincial autonomy.

“Albertans continue to urge the federal government to listen to the provinces, job creators and the Senate on these bills to restore investor confidence and diversify our markets.

“We remain committed to fighting for additional pipelines, growing the economy and creating good jobs.”

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Retired Oil Field Worker sparks national conversation with his pitch for a new route to move Alberta Oil

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The following Opinion piece comes from local writer / editorialist (and former oil field worker) Garfield Marks. 

We have not been able to run our bitumen through a pipeline to a refinery in New Brunswick. There has been resistance in parts of Ontario and in Quebec. What if we came up with another plan. Would we consider it? There will be road blocks, but not insurmountable, would we consider it?
Yes how about Thunder Bay?
Thunder Bay, Ontario, the largest Canadian port of the St. Lawrence Seaway located on the west end of Lake Superior, 1850 kms. from Hardisty, Alberta. A forgotten jewel.
So what, you may ask. 
They used to ship grain from Thunder Bay in huge tankers to ports all over the world. Why not oil?
The Saint Lawrence Seaway ships fuel, gasoline and diesel tankers, to this day.
We could run oil tankers to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick, bypassing the controversial pipeline running through eastern Ontario and Quebec.
The pipeline, if that was the transport model chosen, would only need to run through parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Like, previously stated the pipeline would only be 1850 kms. long. 
The other great thing about Thunder Bay is the abundance of rail lines. Transportation for such things as grain and forestry products from western Canada. If you can’t run pipeline from Hardisty, through to Thunder Bay, use the railroad.
Why Hardisty, you may ask.
Hardisty, according to Wikipedia,  is mainly known as a pivotal petroleum industry hub where petroleum products such as Western Canada Select blended crude oil and Hardisty heavy oil are produced, stored and traded.
The Town of Hardisty owes its very existence to the Canadian Pacific Railway. About 1904 the surveyors began to survey the railroad from the east and decided to locate a divisional point at Hardisty because of the good water supply from the river. 
Hardisty, Alberta has the railroad and has the product, the storage capacity, and the former Alberta government planned on investing $3.7 billion in rail cars for hauling oil while Thunder Bay has the railroad and an under utilised port at the head of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Economics are there along with opportunity, employment would be created and the east coast could end its’ dependency on imported oil. 
Do we have the vision or willingness to consider another option. I am just asking for all avenues to be considered.
In my interviews in Ontario there is a willingness to discuss this idea. 
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is still reviewing the idea of shipping crude oil from western Canada through its system, and it’s a long way from happening, according to Bruce Hodgson, the Seaway’s director of market development.
“Obviously, there needs to be an ongoing commitment on the part of a producer, and so that’s going to be required for any project of this nature,” he said. 

We could consider it, could we not?
CBC NEWS did a story about this idea on March 7 2019;
A retired oil field worker in Alberta has “floated” a novel solution to Alberta’s oil transportation woes: pipe the bitumen to Thunder Bay, Ont., then ship it up the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Irving oil refinery in New Brunswick.
Marks’ proposal might be more than a pipe dream, according to the director of the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy.
‘I don’t think that it’s a totally nuts idea’
“I don’t think that it’s a totally nuts idea,” Warren Mabee said. “I think that there’s some flaws to it … but this is an idea that could work in certain circumstances and at certain times of year. … It’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”
The chief executive officer of the Port of Thunder Bay said shipping oil from the port “could easily be done.” 
“We ship refined gasoline and diesel up from Sarnia. We’ve done that for many many years,” Tim Heney told CBC. “So it’s not something that’s that far-fetched.”
There are, however, plenty of potential drawbacks to shipping crude through the Seaway, Mabee explained, not least of which is the fact that it isn’t open year-round.

The need to store oil or redirect it during the winter months could be costly, he said.
Potential roadblocks
Another potential pitfall is capacity, he added; there may not be enough of the right-sized tankers available to carry the oil through the Seaway. 
Finally, he said, the journey by sea from Lake Superior to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick is a long one, so it might make more sense to transport the product to a closer facility such as the one in Sarnia, Ont.
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is still reviewing the idea of shipping crude oil from western Canada through its system, and it’s a long way from happening, according to Bruce Hodgson, the Seaway’s director of market development.
“Obviously, there needs to be an ongoing commitment on the part of a producer, and so that’s going to be required for any project of this nature,” he said. 
So far, no producer has come forward seeking to ship crude through Thunder Bay, he said. 

Asked about the possible environmental risks of shipping oil on Lake Superior, both Hodgson and Heney said shipping by tanker is relatively safe; Hodgson noted that any tankers carrying the product would have to be double-hulled, and crews are heavily vetted. 
Time to rethink pipelines?
There hasn’t been a spill in the Seaway system for more than 20 years he said. 
Nonetheless, Mabee said, the potential for an oil spill on the Great Lakes could be a huge issue. 
“The St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes have a lot of people living in close proximity, a lot of people who rely on it for drinking water,” he said. “There’s a delicate ecosystem there. I think a lot of people would push back against this proposal simply from that perspective.”
In fact, one of the reasons Mabee appreciates Marks’ proposal, he said, is because it invites people to weigh the pros and cons of different methods of transporting oil. 
“If we’re not going to build pipelines, but we’re going to continue to use oil, it means that people are going to be looking at some of these alternative transport options,” he said.

“And if we don’t want oil on those alternative transport options, we need to give the pipelines another thought.

Time to consider all options, I dare say.

​Garfield Marks​

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