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Alberta

Alberta drivers to feel some relief from crushing energy prices

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Providing relief for fuel and utility costs

Albertans will see lower fuel and utility bills through action to address rising costs.

Alberta’s government will stop the collection of the provincial fuel tax to offer Albertans relief from current high fuel prices. Currently, Albertans pay 13 cents per litre in fuel tax. This change will come into effect April 1.

The federal carbon tax rate on gasoline is set to increase again on April 1, from just under nine cents per litre to just over 11 cents per litre.

“We’ve heard Albertans’ concerns about the rising cost of living loud and clear. While the federal government is set to increase the carbon tax April 1, Alberta’s government is taking the opposite approach and stepping up to offer relief. Stopping the provincial fuel tax puts money back in the pockets of Albertans when they need it most.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Many Albertans expressed concerns about increasing prices on everyday goods when I consulted with them ahead of this year’s budget. The best thing government can do during inflationary times is to spend less, borrow less and tax less. That’s why today we are introducing new measures to help with the cost of fuel by reducing the provincial fuel tax, providing much-needed relief to everyday Albertans.”

Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Alberta’s government will also provide $150 electricity rebates to help Albertans pay for the high bills they faced this winter. More than one million homes, farms and businesses are expected to receive a $50 monthly rebate for three months. These retroactive rebates will help defray the high costs that many families and businesses paid in recent months.

Alberta’s government will work with utilities and regulators to determine exact details, including rebate timing. This includes working to have the rebates applied directly to consumers’ bills.

This rebate will combine with the Natural Gas Rebate program announced in Budget 2022 to provide real relief for Albertans.

“Utility prices are in part due to market conditions, and in part due to punishing policies from the former provincial government and the federal government. As our government works hard to responsibly manage system costs, we are also working tirelessly to increase generation investments to bring new supply on to the market. As this long-term work continues, a rebate to help offset these costs for Alberta families and small businesses will help provide support when they need it most.”

Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity

Collection of the fuel tax will be paused for:

  • gasoline – $0.13 per litre
  • diesel – $0.13 per litre
  • marked gasoline and marked diesel – $0.04

Because the GST also applies to provincial fuel taxes, the 13-cent reduction will also reduce the GST by 0.65 cents per litre, for total tax savings of about 13.6 cents per litre of gasoline and diesel.

The government will review the collection of the fuel tax on a quarterly basis and, if required, consider reinstating collection in stages, based on the average price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) over a number of weeks. The government will not start to reinstate collection before July 1.

Alberta’s fuel tax is reported and remitted by refiners and large wholesalers and included in the price Albertans pay at the pump. The government will provide information for stakeholders, including fuel retailers, on the fuel tax pause.

Alberta

Elks down Tiger-Cats 29-25 for first win of CFL season

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HAMILTON — Tre Ford was in his happy place Friday in Hamilton.

The Edmonton Elks quarterback got a win in his first career CFL start 30 minutes down the Queen Elizabeth Highway from his hometown of Niagara Falls, Ont.

The Elks came from behind to beat the Tiger-Cats 29-25 in front of 20,233 at Tim Hortons Field.

“To come back to Hamilton and have all my family watching me get that first start and that first win has been fantastic,” Ford said.

Among Ford’s supporters were his wife, parents, sister, sister-in-law and mother-in-law, his high school football coach from A.N. Myer Secondary, his University of Waterloo head coach Chris Bertoia, eight of his former university teammates and more friends.

Ford was shaky at times as the Elks trailed by 13 points early in the second half.

But the 2021 winner of the Hec Crighton Trophy winner that goes to the most outstanding Canadian university football player threw a game-tying touchdown pass to Kenny Lawler early in the fourth quarter.

The winning play for the Elks (1-3) arrived with 1:38 remaining when defensive back Scott Hutter tackled Hamilton quarterback Dane Evans and knocked the ball loose.

Jalen Collins recovered for a 14-yard touchdown.

“I saw him tackle him and thought, ‘please punch the ball out,” Collins said. “All we needed was an opportunity to close the game out. We were fighting all night. It was ugly.”

The winless Tiger-Cats opened a season with four straight losses for the first time since 2017 when they started 0-8.

“I want to apologize to all the guys. I put both home losses on me,” Evans said. “I just have to take care of it, and we win the game.”

Evans was 20-for-31 in passing for 197 yards and a touchdown throw. He was intercepted twice.

Ford’s numbers didn’t sparkle, although he did rush for 61 yards on six carries. The 24-year-old competed 15 of 26 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once.

Edmonton’s defence helped out with interceptions by Sheldon Brady and Matthew Thomas, as well as the pivotal late-game recovered fumble by Collins.

“A big shout out to the defence,” Ford said. “They won us that game. They made what, three or four turnovers? They did super well.

“I have room for improvement. I’m not going to complain because we did win. But I’m going to hit the film room to see what I can critique and where I can get better.”

Hamilton went after the rookie with various blitzes in the first half.

“My legs are going to open things up for my arm,” Ford said.

Ford credited teammate and quarterback Nick Arbuckle, who started in Edmonton’s three losses this season, for advising him during the game on defensive reads.

“He’s been like that since day one, even though we’re competitors for the position,” Ford said.

He admitted to early jitters as Hamilton led 16-6 after the first quarter and 19-9 at halftime.

“I always get nervous for the first play of every game,” Ford said. “I think it’s a good thing because it means I care and that I want to win.”

Evans hit Steven Dunbar for a 21-yard strike, and Lawrence Woods returned a kickoff of 72 yards for Hamilton’s first-half touchdowns.

Edmonton’s Kai Locksley scored on a one-yard plunge.

Elks kicker Sergio Castillo made two of his three field-goal attempts, while Hamilton counterpart Michael Domagala nailed his three and gave the Ticats at lead with a 33-yarder with 3:10 remaining in the game

“We’re not good enough right now,” Hamilton head coach Orlondo Steinauer said. “We’re not executing at the level which needs to happen. We’re just not making those plays we need to make.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2022.

Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press

 

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Alberta

Calgary Stampede receives $10M from federal government to aid recovery from pandemic

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Calgary – The Calgary Stampede has received more than $10 million from the federal government to help it bounce back after last year’s event was scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report to the city this week showed the Stampede had an operating loss of $8.3 million in 2021.

Last year’s Stampede ran at half capacity because of COVID-19 public health measures and was cancelled all-together the year before.

Daniel Vandal, the federal minister for Prairies Economic Development Canada, says the money aims to support a full-scale Stampede to deliver the “authentic western experience” this year.

He says it would also help to reignite Alberta’s visitor economy.

The 2022 Stampede is set to run from July 8 to 17.

“Festivals large and small were hard hit during the pandemic,” Vandal said in a news release. “They are events where families and friends come together and take in the exciting atmosphere.

“The tourism industry is facing a strong comeback providing quality jobs across the country, showcasing stunning landscapes and offering exciting experiences right here in Alberta.”

The federal government also provided about $1.8 million for four other tourism projects in southern Alberta: Charmed Resorts, Cochrane Tourism Association, Heritage Park and Tourism Calgary.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2022.

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