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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

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

Alberta pastor charged with violating COVID-19 restrictions to make court appearance

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STONY PLAIN, Alta. — A pastor of an Edmonton-area church that has been allegedly holding Sunday services in violation of COVID-19 rules is to appear in court today.

James Coates with GraceLife Church in Spruce Grove was arrested last week.

RCMP have said he was remanded in custody after refusing to agree to bail conditions.

The church has been holding services that officials say break public health regulations on attendance, masking and distancing.

Police fined the church $1,200 in December and a closure order was issued in January.

Coates was twice charged in February with violating the Public Health Act and violating a promise to abide by rules of his release, which is a Criminal Code offence.

Coates has addressed the province’s health restrictions in his sermons, telling worshippers that governments exist as instruments of God and there should be unfettered freedom of worship.

An associate pastor of the church, Jacob Spenst, conducted last Sunday’s service and told the congregation that messages of support have been pouring in for the jailed pastor.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Central Alberta man pleads guilty to manslaughter in wife’s death, fought over money

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RED DEER, Alta. — A central Alberta man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his wife.

Satnam Singh Sandhu of Sylvan Lake was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty Tuesday to the lesser charge.

The 43-year-old is to be sentenced in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Friday.

Court heard that he got into a physical fight with his wife, Kulvinder Sandhu, on Sept. 11, 2019, over money.

According to the agreed statement of facts, during the struggle they were choking each other and she hit her head on a heater while falling to the floor.

The 36-year-old was taken to hospital but was taken off life-support a few days later.

Crown prosecutor Bruce Ritter is seeking a sentence in the range of seven to 12 years, while defence lawyer Dan Murphy is asking for a sentence of four years, less time served. 

When given the chance to speak on Tuesday, Sandhu declined through an interpreter. (rdnewsNOW) 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2021

The Canadian Press

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