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Alberta

Standing for Alberta – The Fight for a Fair Deal Within Canada

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A new organization called Fairness Alberta has recently joined the ongoing national conversation discussing Alberta’s role in the Canadian landscape as a major contributor to the wealth and general prosperity of the country. Arguments surrounding the value of Alberta, which position it as Canada’s neglected province, have long been a contentious topic at the regional and national levels. 

In 2016, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel famously made waves at parliament when she accused the federal government of treating Alberta like a “fart in the room, that no one wants to acknowledge or talk about” (1).
In October 2019, the results of the Canadian Federal Election saw the outrage of many across western Canada, giving rise to the popular Western Exit, better known as WEXIT, movement. Based on fundamental principles of economic liberty and social stability, WEXIT advocates for Western Canadian sovereignty through the secession of the western provinces from the rest of the country.
In January 2020, Alberta Proud hosted The Value of Alberta: A One-Day Conference on Alberta’s Future, featuring keynote topics such as “The Economic Value of Alberta”, “Is there a Canadian Manifesto without Alberta?” and “Reasons Alberta Struggles to fit and Where we go Next”. 

On Monday, May 25, Fairness Alberta joined the ranks of Albertans dissatisfied with the federal government’s treatment of Alberta, seeking to take a stand against biased policies and regulations. This Proudly Canadian, Fiercely Albertan organization operates on non-partisan, factual fundamentals, seeking not to deepen the divide between Alberta and the rest of the country, but to bridge the gap through education, discussion and understanding. 

Bill Bewick, Executive Director Fairness Alberta, brings extensive experience to the organization with a PhD in Political Science from Michigan State University and years spent working as a political consultant, as well as within the Alberta legislature. “It is entirely outside of our mandate to speculate about separatism,” says Bewick of the WEXIT movement, “our goal is to get a better deal for Alberta, within Canada.” 

At the core of their organization, Fairness Alberta believes Canadians should recognize how a prosperous Alberta benefits Canada as a whole. According to Bewick, FA founders and members share a fundamental frustration regarding “how little people and politicians seem to understand about the amount of money leaving Alberta every year.” The Alberta Transfer Meter, operated by Fairness Alberta, features a running total of Alberta’s net contributions to other provinces in the form of federal taxes and EI premiums over the last two decades. According to the Meter, Albertans have seen an estimated total of $324 billion of their tax dollars spent in other Canadian provinces from the year 2000 to 2019. 

Dedicated to informing the rest of the country about “the importance of Alberta’s contributions to Canada, and about the unfair nature of various federal policies, actions, and decisions from Ottawa”, Fairness Alberta hopes to help level the Canadian playing field in regards to fiscal, trade, energy, procurement and infrastructure issues.

 “Alberta’s contributions are taken for granted,” says Bewick, “We want to encourage investment in a place that has shown high levels of productivity in the past and has a lot of potential for the future.” In achieving this goal, Bewick adds, “we really think education and open discussion are critical in reaching a common ground and having any significant change take place.” 

 Since their official launch, Fairness Alberta has experienced positive pick-up and feedback from the Alberta public, and is committed to continued growth and expansion throughout the rest of Canada. Dialogue based and donation driven, Bewick encourages the public to reach out, share feedback and join the conversation surrounding Alberta’s future. 

For more information on Fairness Alberta and how to get involved, visit https://www.fairnessalberta.ca.

 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Alberta First Nation monitors hundreds for COVID-19 as it announces curfew

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SIKSIKA NATION, Alta. — A First Nation in southern Alberta has implemented a curfew as its health workers monitor more than 200 people for signs they may have developed COVID-19.

Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot said in video messages posted on Facebook that as of Thursday there were 21 known COVID-19 positive cases with links to the community west of Calgary, and that five separate and unrelated case clusters had been uncovered in the previous 12 days.

Crowfoot said that as of Wednesday, 258 Siksika Nation members were under “active investigation and daily followup” by the community’s health services team — a number he said had quadrupled in only three days.

On Friday, councillors approved a temporary curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, with exceptions that Crowfoot said can be made on an as-needed basis for work or other reasons.

Crowfoot encouraged Siksika Nation members to co-operate with health officials if they call, and to avoid non-essential travel to nearby cities. 

He said the risk of community transmission is high and that each new case cluster makes it even harder to contact trace and isolate people fast enough.

“We realize you have freedom of choice but we don’t have freedom of consequence. If we choose not to follow these guidelines, the consequence may be that we contract the virus and spread the virus further through our community,” Crowfoot warned in a video message posted Thursday.

In a message posted Friday, Crowfoot said his community had met meeting with federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller and Alberta Indigenous Affairs Minister Rick Wilson to address shortfalls in resources for dealing with the pandemic.

Crowfoot said the community’s annual Sun Dance ceremony was continuing, but that each participant was being tested prior to entering and that health workers were screening people as they came and went.

“It is understandable that people may feel anxious regarding this current situation, but if we continue to stay vigilant to the public health measures and do our best to limit travel and to avoid gatherings we have a chance to slow down the spread on our nation and also give our health team a chance to do their job,” Crowfoot said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 4, 2020

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Attendance for Alberta MPs at special COVID-19 committee since the end of May

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EDMONTON — The average attendance for Alberta’s Conservative MPs for a special COVID-19 committee, which has acted as a stand-in for the chamber, was about 42 per cent from May 27 to June 18.

The only other Alberta MP, Edmonton Strathcona NDP member Heather McPherson, attended all 14 meetings. She says she’s shocked by the low attendance of her colleagues.

Here’s the attendance for the province’s 33 Conservative MPs:

— Edmonton Manning MP Ziad Aboultaif: 4 of 14 (29 per cent)

— Foothills MP John Barlow: 6 of 14 (43 per cent)

— Calgary Heritage MP Bob Benzen: 0 of 14

— Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins: 9 of 14 (64 per cent)

— St. Albert-Edmonton MP Michael Cooper: 2 of 14 (14 per cent)

— Edmonton Centre MP James Cumming: 13 of 14 (93 per cent)

— Edmonton Greisbach MP Kerry Diotte: 5 of 14 (36 per cent)

— Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen: 10 of 14 (71 per cent)

— Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan MP Garnett Genuis: 12 of 14 (86 per cent)

— Calgary Forest Lawn MP Jasraj Singh Hallan: 6 of 14 (43 per cent)

— Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder: 7 of 14 (50 per cent)

— Edmonton Riverbend MP Matt Jeneroux: 0 of 14

— Calgary Rocky Ridge MP Pat Kelly: 2 of 14 (14 per cent)

— Calgary Shepard MP Tom Kmiec: 2 of 14 (14 per cent)

— Battle River-Crowfoot MP Damien Kurek: 13 of 14 (93 per cent)

— Calgary Midnapore MP Stephanie Kusie: 2 of 14 (14 per cent)

— Edmonton-Wetaskawin MP Mike Lake: 2 of 14 (14 per cent)

— Calgary Signal Hill MP Ron Liepert: 0 of 14

— Sturgeon River-Parkland MP Dane Lloyd: 3 of 14 (21 per cent)

— Edmonton West MP Kelly McCauley: 9 of 14 (64 per cent)

— Calgary Centre MP Greg McLean: 12 of 14 (86 per cent)

— Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Glen Motz: 13 of 14 (93 per cent)

— Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner: 12 of 14 (86 per cent)

— Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards: 3 of 14 (21 per cent)

— Calgary Skyview MP Jag Sahota: 5 of 14 (36 per cent)

— Bow River MP Martin Shields: 2 of 14 (14 per cent)

— Yellowhead MP Gerald Soroka: 12 of 14 (86 per cent)

— Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs: 12 of 14 (86 per cent)

— Edmonton Mill Woods MP Tim Uppal: 4 of 14 (29 per cent)

— Peace River-Westlock MP Arnold Viersen: 2 of 14 (14 per cent)

— Grande Praire-Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin: 2 of 14 (14 per cent)

— Calgary Confederation MP Len Webber: 0 of 14

— Fort McMurray-Cold Lake MP David Yurdiga: 10 of 14 (71 per cent)

Source: Minutes for the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, House of Commons

The Canadian Press

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