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Alberta

Red Deer MP’s drill the federal government on vaccine mandates and the plan to eliminate Western Canada’s oil and gas industries

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Red Deer’s MPs have been flexing their opposition muscles this week.  Earl Dreeshen and Blaine Calkins found themselves in the middle of some tense exchanges during question period and in committee meetings.  Emotions in Ottawa have been high for months as a number of issues seem to be reaching the boiling point.

Regarding vaccine mandates and covid restrictions, Canada finds itself among only a few countries on the planet which has not dropped travel restrictions against its own citizens.  MP Blaine Calkins offered a stinging rebuke and a pointed question which Liberal MP Adam Van Kouverden replied to by quoting a recent study by some Canadian scientists who set out to defend vaccine mandates with mathematical modelling which showed vaccinated people are at more of a risk when they interact with unvaccinated people.  It’s obvious from the exchange that it will take a lot more heat from the opposition to start to change the Liberal / NDP government’s covid response.

Calkins has posted the exchange on his facebook page and introduced it with this statement, “The NDP-Liberal vaccine mandates are nothing more than a punitive policy meant to punish those that they view as holding unacceptable views. It’s way past time to follow the science, to follow the lead of the provinces and our international peers and get rid of these harmful mandates.”

Calkins also posted a short video to explain an incredible situation developing which ‘could’ result in fraud charges against the Prime Minister for accepting an illegal vacation to an Island owned by The Aga Khan.

Meanwhile, in a committee meeting regarding fossil fuel subsidies Earl Dreeshen called for an end to attacks on Alberta’s oil can gas industry.  Dreeshen posted this comment with his video. “The Government’s plan to eliminate oil and gas is dangerous. There is no actual solution for Canadians who don’t have the luxury of excess wealth and no real plan underneath their ideological promises.”

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

Saskatchewan ranchers call for investigation into retail meat pricing

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REGINA — A group of Canadian ranchers is calling for an investigation into meat pricing.

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association says it’s asking the provincial and federal governments to look into what it calls an “imbalance” between the price ranchers receive for the cattle and the price consumers pay at the meat counter.

The group says many ranchers and feedlots are operating at a loss this year. Grass is still scarce on the Prairies due to last summer’s drought, and the cost of feed grain and fuel has skyrocketed since last year.

But packers and retailers are reporting strong profits this year. The Stock Growers say they believe slaughterhouses may be intentionally running fewer shifts to in order to keep wholesale beef prices high and allow fed cattle supplies to build up in the countryside.

In the U.S., the Biden administration has already expressed concerns about rising meat prices and vowed to implement policies aimed at increasing competition in the meat-packing sector.

According to Statistics Canada, the retail price of beef is up 11.2 per cent year-over-year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

First test production of plastic a milestone for Heartland Petrochemical Complex

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CALGARY — The $4.3-billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex, which has been under construction northeast of Edmonton since 2018, has produced its first plastic pellets.

Owner and operator Inter Pipeline Ltd. said Tuesday the newly commissioned facility has been producing test pellets steadily since late June, an important milestone en route to the expected start of full commercial operation sometime this fall.

The Heartland Petrochemical Complex will convert Alberta propane into 525,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene beads, an easily transported form of plastic that is used in the manufacturing of a wide range of finished products.

Steven Noble, spokesman for Calgary-based Inter Pipeline, said the facility will be the first integrated propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene production facility in North America. He said approximately 70 per cent of Heartland’s total production capacity has been already contracted out to long-term customers.

“Through the duration of the project’s construction, we’ve seen demand for polypropylene increase significantly … including at one point hitting an all-time record (market price),” Noble said in an interview. “The demand that we initially forecast certainly hasn’t gone away.”

The Heartland facility is being built with the support of a $408-million grant from Alberta’s provincial government. The cash grant, part of an incentive program aimed at growing the province’s petrochemicals sector, is to be paid to Inter Pipeline in equal instalments over three years once the complex is operational.

Noble said by creating a new market for propane, the Heartland facility is an example of how natural resource development in Alberta is diversifying.

“The fact that we’re now looking at our raw resources in a different way, and figuring out different ways to get value out of them and create other refined products right here at home … is really the part of the story that everyone here is excited about,” he said.

The Heartland Petrochemical Complex is expected to employ 300 people once fully operational.

The polypropylene produced at the facility will be branded as Heartland Polymers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2022.

Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press

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