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Alberta

Premier Kenney blasts Biden for confusing US energy policy

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The first thing President Joe Biden did when he came into office was kill the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Those who understand global energy needs, knew that would eventually come back to haunt the US which is the largest consumer of energy on the planet.  Well it didn’t take long.  Not even a year.  Eight months after taking office the US finds itself in a position of begging OPEC (an energy producing rival) to increase oil production to help bring down the price of oil.  It’s enough to make Alberta Premier Jason Kenney boil over with anger and lash out at the President for a shortsighted and self-defeating energy policy.  

Here’s a statement released today from The White House and a subsequent post from Premier Kenney reacting to the situation the US finds itself in.

From a facebook post by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney

The same US administration that retroactively cancelled Canada’s Keystone XL Pipeline is now pleading with OPEC & Russia to produce & ship more crude oil.
This comes just as Vladimir Putin’s Russia has become the 2nd largest exporter of oil to the US.
Ironically, Russia is now selling the US 840,000 barrels of oil per day, which is *exactly* the amount of Canadian oil that Keystone XL would deliver to the US.
At the same time, the US administration has lifted sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Western Europe.
The same administration is also committed to ending the embargo on Iranian oil exports.
Why is the US government blocking energy imports from friendly Canada, while pressing for more imports from OPEC dictatorships & Putin’s Russian regime?
Canada is the USA’s closest ally. OPEC+ includes regimes that fuel conflict and instability around the world.
Canadian energy producers are transparent publicly traded companies. OPEC+ producers are overwhelmingly state enterprises, many financing corrupt regimes.
Canadian energy producers operate in compliance with the world’s highest environmental, governance and social (ESG) standards. Producers in Russia, Iran, Venezuela etc. flagrantly violate those standards. Canada is a rights-respecting liberal democracy. Many OPEC+ countries are amongst the world’s worst regimes.
So why is American energy policy opposed to more Canadian energy exports, but in favour of more OPEC+ exports?
And why is Canada’s federal government silent about this gross double standard?

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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Alberta

Reducing funding for RCMP on the table for Saskatchewan amid firearm buyback debate

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REGINA — Saskatchewan says it would consider reducing its funding for the RCMP if the force was to help the federal government with its proposed firearms buyback program.

Public Safety Minister Christine Tell says all options are on the table, signalling the province will not help Ottawa collect guns it has banned.

“We as a province fund the RCMP to a tune of 70 per cent, so it could even get more interesting,” Tell said Thursday.

The Saskatchewan Party government said it is pushing back to protect law-abiding firearms owners from what it views as federal intrusion on its provincial autonomy.

Under Ottawa’s proposed firearms buyback program, it would be mandatory for people to have their assault-style firearms rendered inoperable or have them discarded. That could also include centrefire semi-automatic rifles or shotguns designed to accept a detachable magazine that can hold more than five cartridges.

In response, Saskatchewan has introduced its own firearms act to forbid municipalities and police services from receiving federal money to help confiscate firearms.

The proposed law says a municipality, police service or board would have to get written approval from the province’s public safety minister before agreeing to support the federal buyback program.

It also states that Saskatchewan’s chief firearms officer would enforce which federal agent can or cannot confiscate firearms in the province.

“These legal firearm owners are not the ones committing the crimes,” Tell said.

The legislation was tabled Thursday, months after Tell wrote a letter to Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, the head of Saskatchewan’s RCMP. It stated that the province would not support the Mounties using provincially funded resources to help confiscate firearms.

Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick have sent similar letters to their RCMP forces. They have joined Saskatchewan in asking Ottawa to not use up “scarce RCMP and municipal resources” for its buyback program.

In October, Blackmore said Mounties are service providers, not decision-makers, and any decisions over the buyback program are between the federal and provincial governments.

“As the service provider, we would be the individuals that get our information from them,” Blackmore told The Canadian Press.

That includes if additional resources would be needed by RCMP once the buyback program rolls out.

“It would depend on the level of expectation, and what that looks like, and what the involvement is if there are additional resources,” Blackmore said.

The specific role of the RCMP and the details surrounding the buyback program have not been determined.

On Friday, the Saskatchewan RCMP said it will continue to prioritize front-line services and the safety of communities is its highest priority.

The Saskatchewan Firearms Act also calls for helping firearm owners get fair market value for guns collected through the buyback program and would require all seized firearms to go through forensic and ballistic testing.

The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, which advocates for hunters and the protection of the province’s hunting heritage, praised the proposed act, saying it would mitigate the “draconian” federal legislation.

There are approximately 115,000 licensed firearms owners in Saskatchewan, 75,000 of whom may be penalized under the federal government’s policy. That’s about 10 per cent of Saskatchewan’s adult population, the province said.

Saskatchewan’s NDP Opposition has stood united with the government to denounce the program.

“It does not strike the right balance for Saskatchewan,” justice critic Nicole Sarauer said last week in the legislature.

“These amendments are overbroad and capture rifles that have legitimate uses for both hunters and producers in Saskatchewan.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2022.

Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Premier Smith goes on the attack against NDP opposition to the Alberta Sovereignty Act

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It appears Premier Danielle Smith has had enough of playing defence. In the days since introducing the Alberta Sovereignty Act in the Alberta Legislature this week, Smith has found herself explaining and re-explaining how the Act will survive scrutiny and serve the province well in ongoing battles over issues of contention with Ottawa.  Peppered by the media and by the Official Opposition NDP inside and outside the legislature, Smith and her team decided to turn the tables.
The media and the official opposition claim the Sovereignty Act allows laws to be crafted by cabinet members “behind closed doors” after the legislature has declared a federal overreach into provincial jurisdiction.
However that appears to be a confusing opposition tactic since the Sovereignty Act does not require the passing of new laws.  Rather, the Province will simply provide reasons for declining to enforce federal laws which (i) intrudes into provincial legislation jurisdiction, (ii) violates the rights and freedoms of Albertans under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or (iii) causes or is anticipated to cause harm to Albertans.
Thursday, Premier Smith took the opportunity during Ministerial Statements to lash out at the opposition leader Rachel Notley for siding with Ottawa instead of Alberta in the struggle to defend provincial rights.

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