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Alberta

More doctors registered in Alberta last year than in 2019: report

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EDMONTON — Alberta lost 32 physicians over the last few months of 2020, but overall there were 172 more doctors registered in the province than in 2019.

The numbers are in a year-end report posted today by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, which also said there are 11,120 physicians registered in total. 

Doctor arrivals and departures became critical after Health Minister Tyler Shandro cancelled a master agreement with physicians almost a year ago as part of a plan he said would make health spending more sustainable and predictable.

Some family doctors announced they would reduce their services or leave the province because the changes financially strained their practices.

The government eventually rolled back some fee and scheduling changes.

Shandro said in an interview that the net increase shows Alberta remains a viable place to practise and the government wants to work with doctors to make sure future changes work for everyone.

“We’ve seen overall numbers increasing in 2020, even during a pandemic, which is good news,” said Shandro,

“(The year) 2020 was an incredibly difficult year for (physicians),” he added.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our doctors and the (Alberta Medical Association) to make sure that this continues to be one of the most generous places for doctors to be compensated.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021

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Alberta

Premier Kenney Goes Ballistic on President Biden and PM Trudeau in defence of Keystone XL

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The day before President Biden’s inauguration, the incoming government announced the President would rescind the Presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.  True to his word, one of the first actions of the new President was to retroactively cancel the pipeline which is partially owned by the Canadian Government.
Considering the massive investment by the Province of Alberta which would leave Alberta taxpayers also on the hook for about a billion dollars, Premier Jason Kenney has been speaking out loudly and aggressively.   Premier Kenney has used strong language including “This is not now you treat a friend and ally.”
Regarding Canada’s response (The federal government is a part owner of the pipeline) Kenney is also calling on Prime Minister Trudeau and the federal government to stand up and retaliate with statements such as. “When the former Trump administration slapped punitive tariffs on Ontario and Quebec steel and aluminum in 2018, the Trudeau government imposed $16 billion worth of countervailing tariffs on U.S. goods the very same day.  By contrast, when Alberta oil was attacked on Wednesday: nothing.”
Here are statements Premier Kenney has released over the last three days in full:

January 19

“Canada should be President Biden’s first priority in re-establishing U.S. energy security. Canada is the environmental, social and governance (ESG) leader among global energy powers.
Alberta’s oilsands, once a source of carbon intensive barrels, has reduced carbon intensity by over 20 per cent in the past nine years. The average barrel produced in Canada is now cleaner than one produced in California.
Canada leads the world in key environmental categories like methane regulation, water use, and innovations like carbon capture and sequestration; and individual Canadian firms hold the top ESG scores in the industry.
TC Energy, the builder of KXL, has also committed to being net zero by 2030, ahead of its US peers, and hire a U.S. union workforce.
You won’t get those commitments from Venezuelan shippers.
Canada’s oil reserves are vast at 170 billion barrels, making Alberta’s oilsands the third largest supply in the world, holding more oil than Russia, China and the USA combined. Keystone XL secures access to this strategic supply for purpose-built U.S. refining capacity in the Gulf.
On environmental and strategic grounds this should be far preferable to carbon-intensive rail transit — or alternate supply from Venezuelan tankers.”

January 20

The United States is our most important ally and trading partner. Amongst all of the Canadian provinces, Alberta has the deepest economic ties to the United States with $100 billion worth of exports, and strong social connections that go back over a century.
As friends and allies of the United States, we are deeply disturbed that one of President Biden’s first actions in office has been to rescind the Presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline border crossing.
My thoughts are with the 2000 people who lost their jobs today, and all those who are coping with the devastating consequences of this decision.
The US State Department’s own exhaustive analysis conducted under President Obama’s administration concluded that Keystone XL would actually reduce emissions, as the alternative will be to move this energy by higher emitting and less secure rail transport.
The Government of Canada has more ambitious emissions goals than the new US Administration, and our provincial government is investing billions of dollars in the development of emissions reductions technology.
This means that Alberta, Canada, and the Keystone XL pipeline are part of the solution in the energy transition.
For months we’ve been told that the Biden transition team would not communicate with foreign governments on this or other issues. And now a decision has been made without even giving Canada a chance to communicate formally with the new administration.
That’s not how you treat a friend and ally.
We will continue to fight for Alberta’s responsible energy industry, and for the 59,000 jobs that this project would create.
Alberta’s government calls for the federal government and Prime Minister Trudeau to immediately enter into talks with the Biden administration on their cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline in the context of a broader agreement on energy supply and climate action.
Failing an agreement with the American government, we call on the Government of Canada to respond with consequences for this attack on Canada’s largest industry. We are not asking for special treatment, simply the same response that Canada’s government had when other areas of our national economy were under threat from the US government.

January 21

“He has been so anti-oil himself during his five-plus years in office (including not objecting loudly to the Obama administration’s first cancellation of Keystone in 2015), that the incoming Biden administration must have known our Liberals wouldn’t put up much of a stink if it killed Keystone.
When the former Trump administration slapped punitive tariffs on Ontario and Quebec steel and aluminum in 2018, the Trudeau government imposed $16 billion worth of countervailing tariffs on U.S. goods the very same day.
By contrast, when Alberta oil was attacked on Wednesday: nothing.
Also, Trudeau can be blamed for making the death of Keystone matter so much. Had Trudeau not killed two other all-Canadian pipelines — Energy East and Northern Gateway — the end of Keystone wouldn’t be such a crippling blow.”

From January 20

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Alberta

Eldorado Gold bids $132 million for junior miner QMX to fuel potential Quebec growth

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CALGARY — Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold Corp. says it has struck a deal to buy the shares of Quebec exploration company QMX Gold Corp. it doesn’t already own in a cash-and-shares transaction worth $132 million or 30 cents per share.

Eldorado owns about 17 per cent of the QMX shares, purchased for six cents each in a private placement at the end of 2019. It’s offering 7.5 cents in cash and 0.01523 of an Eldorado share for the rest.

CEO George Burns says the deal opens up expansion opportunities for Eldorado within its operating footprint as QMX’s lands are located adjacent to its Lamaque underground gold mine at Val-d’Or, Que.

In a note to investors, National Bank analyst Mike Parkin says the deal would expand Eldorado’s Abitibi footprint and supports a “hub-and-spoke” production model with a central processing facility.

Shares in QMX rose by as much as 35 per cent or 7.5 cents to 29 cents on Thursday as Eldorado shares fell by as much as five per cent or 75 cents to $14.02.

Shareholders in QMX are to vote on the proposed deal in March.

“This transaction expands our position in the Abitibi camp and is consistent with our strategy of pursuing growth at Lamaque in Quebec, a high-quality jurisdiction,” said Burns.

“QMX’s highly prospective land package is ideally located immediately adjacent to our current Lamaque operation and associated exploration projects in the heart of the Val d’Or gold district.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Month Date, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ELD, TSXV:QMX)

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