Federal methane emissions targets: Joint statement
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk”
Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz issued the following statement on the federal government’s proposed methane emissions regulations:
“The federal government has unilaterally established new methane emissions rules and targets to help win international headlines. Instead of building on Alberta’s award-winning approach, Ottawa wants to replace it with costly, dangerous and unconstitutional new federal regulations that won’t benefit anyone beyond Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s post-office career.
“Managing emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas industry is our constitutional right and responsibility, not Ottawa’s, and we are getting the job done. Using a province-led approach, Alberta has already reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 45 per cent – hitting our target three years early – and we’re just getting started.
“Meanwhile, not only is it illegal for Ottawa to attempt to regulate our industries in this manner, Ottawa also hasn’t even hit one of its past arbitrary and unscientific emissions targets largely because it has little to no credible expertise regulating the natural resource, agricultural and other industry sectors in this space.
“Ottawa could have helped us keep reducing emissions with joint incentive programs in line with Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan. It could have listened to the Supreme Court’s declaration that the Impact Assessment Act was unconstitutional and abandoned this kind of arrogant and ineffective scheme. Instead, these new regulations threaten our successful province-led approach and impede good work that’s already underway.
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk. A total ban would also be costly, resulting in shut-ins and loss of production.
“This approach will also cost tens of billions in infrastructure upgrades, yet Ottawa has provided virtually no financial support to do so. Thousands of Albertans could be put out of work in the coming years due to these costly regulations. A federal government willing to invest $37.7 billion into just three battery plants in Ontario and Quebec cannot credibly refuse to provide tax credits and financial incentives for producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan to assist with achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
“For years, Alberta, not Ottawa, has done the hard work and achieved results. We strongly support reducing methane emissions and have invested tens of millions into developing these technologies. Minister Guilbeault must work with us, and not against us, to keep cutting methane emissions and charting a course for carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Given the unconstitutional nature of this latest federal intrusion into our provincial jurisdiction, our government will use every tool at our disposal to ensure these absurd federal regulations are never implemented in our province.”
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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith delivers state-of-the-province address
In a televised address from Edmonton, Danielle Smith, the premier of Alberta, delivers an update on her government’s vision and legislative priorities.
Alberta looking to ban electronic vote tabulators ahead of next provincial election
electronic voting tabulators, which were supposed to speed up vote counting, instead saw election results delayed due with workers having to manually enter the results that each tabulator printed out.
The conservative Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, has confirmed she is looking to ban the use of electronic vote tabulators in future provincial elections after issues with them in the 2023 election saw massive delays in the tallying of votes.
Smith, according to a report from True North, while speaking to a United Conservative Party (UCP) fundraiser on January 26 in the community of Bonnyville was asked if she would “end the use of voting tabulators across the province?”
Smith replied with a firm “yes.”
The 2023 Alberta provincial elections held in May saw Smith and her UCP win a majority, although a slim one, over the left-wing Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP).
Elections Alberta used what is called a Vote Anywhere Service, which allowed anyone to vote at any voting place regardless of which riding (jurisdiction) they were actually voting in. While paper ballots were used for the election, electronic tabulators were used to count the votes from all hand ballots. A form was then printed out with the result of each riding from the tabulators count of the hand ballots.
However, the electronic voting tabulators, which were supposed to speed up vote counting, instead saw election results delayed due with workers having to manually enter the results that each tabulator printed out.
Elections Alberta noted in June 2023, per True North, that “[w]e did not use any electronic data transfer from the tabulators, as the tabulators used for advance voting were never connected to a network at any time.”
“As a result, it was a manual process to verify and enter these results.”
Many in the UCP have long called for the return of hand counting, as is done in Canada’s federal elections.
As for Smith, before the 2023 election, she noted that she was confident in Elections Alberta’s plan to use electronic tabulators, as “we have the ability to do a hand count as a follow up in the event there are close results, I believe that’s going to be sufficient.”
“That’s, I think, something that people expect in democracy – that you should be able to verify a vote if results end up very close,” she added.
Elections Alberta, however, has pushed back on returning to hand counting ballots, saying it would increase the manual workload of employees.
There were many close results on election night, with the NDP losing a few seats by only a handful of votes in some Calgary ridings.
Smith gave no timeline as to how or when she would make the change.
Many large municipalities in Alberta, including the province’s two biggest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, use electronic tabulators for ballot counting.
Issues surrounding electronic voting machines as well as tabulators came to a head in the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which saw Joe Biden declared the winner over Donald Trump.
A report published by LifeSiteNews last year documented how a computer programmer, Clinton Eugene Curtis, who had previously testified to Congress on the integrity of voting machines, warned lawmakers in Arizona to never trust them.
“Don’t use machines, because you can never, ever trust them to give you a fair election,” said Curtis.
“There are too many ways to hack them. You can hack them at the level that I did when you first build them, you can hack them from the outside, you can hack them with programs that load themselves on the side. It’s impossible to secure them. You will never beat the programmer. The programmer always owns the universe.”
Of note is that Curtis is a Democrat who had worked as a programmer for NASA, as well as the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
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