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Alberta

Opinion writer Norman Wiebe says no matter who wins the election it’s time for the Republic of Alberta

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For a Freer Alberta

I continually hear a lot of talk concerning vote splitting during this Federal election campaign. This problem is one we’ve faced before and yes, suffered from. Do you vote your principles and values, or do you vote for the blue jersey regardless of what it’s become.

We destroyed the federal PC party once before when we turned Reform in Western Canada. We voted our principles and against corruption. We struggled with the fact that the good guys who stood on principles couldn’t seem to win in our federal electoral system, so compromises were made, a merger was done, and then we conservatives got our win.

After a CPC victory federally, we learned that it didn’t really help Albertans much anyway because even the most accomplished and intelligent politician couldn’t achieve the kind of changes required to free Alberta.

It seems to me that the dollars that flow through Federal transfers to eastern jurisdictions are a vital part of the vote buying process, and no one appears to be willing to risk messing around with that.

This process of transferring vast sums of wealth from one region to another is what helps every party to increase their chances of staying in power. If enough dollars are directed to those eastern jurisdictions, then possibly those votes are inclined your way, and this is what works against Alberta.

Ottawa takes from us no matter what party sits at the helm, and redistributes our wealth to buy votes for the next election. Some federal governments are less bad than others, but no matter what, Albertans are plundered by them all.

The concept of creating a new nation in Alberta is not new. Decades have passed since the last time we had a Trudeau aggressively attacking our economy, and in my opinion, this time must be the last. We have been robbed to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, denied our rights to move our products to market, and little will change under the current system of government.

We might get a pipeline built, and some small amount of relief, but the plunder will continue unabated. It’s certainly far worse under a Trudeau, but no matter who is PM, Albertans are often collateral damage to the political parties seeking favor from eastern jurisdictions.

So is the solution to not vote split and simply endure a less awful situation, or vote your principles and risk a really awful result. I guess I have always made the choice of hope over fear, of principle over compromise, but now I see only one choice.

I think it’s time we dispose of always choosing the lesser of two evils. I believe it’s time we chart our own course, take control of our own destiny and create a new nation that will be a shining example of how things can be done the right way.

We can shed the bad choices of future Canadian federal elections, and make something new. A government that is accountable and responsible. That is closer to the people it serves and follows the guidelines laid out by the peoples constitution.

A constitution that would guarantee our rights as individuals, as equals, protect the people and our property. Not a constitution that would rob from those with no political power, or discriminate based on your DNA.

We can establish a modern state that would be the envy of the world. Free markets, free trade, and a strong economy. A place where competition is the norm, monopolies and corruption are not given opportunity or support. Where transparency of government is a given, and politicians are held to a higher standard, not given a free pass.

Where freedom and liberty are core values not to be tampered with. Where charity and generosity are truly virtuous, and not seedy tools of corrupt government officials. Where merit is rewarded and cronyism crushed.

This is easily within the reach of Alberta, and our friends and neighboring provinces if they wish to join us. The only thing it requires is the will of the people to shed the fears and doubts our detractors constantly push. To ignore the anger of those who stand to lose access to our wallets, and those who imply we are property, and have no right to self determination.

I say it’s time for us Albertans to do the right thing, to create a new nation; not only for us, but for our children and future generations to come.

Norm Wiebe is a Financial Advisor and political policy enthusiast. He and his wife Lera, live in Red Deer with their two children. Norm uses facebook to promote ideas, so look for him there. https://www.facebook.com/norman.wiebe

Norm Wiebe is a local Financial Advisor and political policy enthusiast. He and his wife Lera, live in Red Deer with their two children. Norm uses facebook to promote ideas, so look for him there. https://www.facebook.com/norman.wiebe

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Alberta

Male suspect involved in tragic incident between Beaumont and Edmonton sought by police; EPS release photos of suspect

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News release from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS)

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is assisting the RCMP with the investigation into a tragic incident that claimed the life of an innocent woman last night on 50 Street.

Yesterday, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, at approximately 9:40 p.m. various EPS resources were deployed to the area of 50 Street and 22 Avenue SW at the request of the RCMP. It was reported to police that RCMP attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a suspicious U-Haul in Beaumont, when the vehicle fled. The U-Haul subsequently travelled north on 50 Street into Edmonton, where it struck and killed a woman inspecting the exterior of her vehicle. Moments later the U-Haul came to rest just outside a gas station off of 22 Avenue and 50 Street.

After crashing the U-Haul, the male suspect then reportedly stole a Honda Civic that was parked outside the gas station with a child inside. Police did consider an Alert to the public at the time, though thankfully the child was located unharmed in the area of 66 Street and 25 Avenue minutes later. The suspect then fled the scene in the Honda Civic. The stolen vehicle has since been recovered outside of Edmonton.

The EPS and RCMP continue to actively seek the identity and whereabouts of the male suspect described as being approximately 5’11” who was last seen wearing a black hoodie with white text on the front, brown shorts and black shoes. CCTV photos of the suspect are included below.

“We are incredibly saddened to hear about the tragic death of the innocent woman who was killed on 50 Street,” says Det. Nigel Phillips with the EPS Investigative Response Team. “Our hearts are with her family and friends who will now have to carry on with this unfathomable loss.”

“We are doing everything we can to track down the suspect and we trust the public will help us identify and locate him as soon as possible.”

Assist to identify and locate: Male suspect running in area of 50 Street & 22 Avenue SW
While the RCMP is leading this investigation, the EPS is assisting and working collaboratively with its law enforcement partners.

Anyone with information about the suspect’s identity and/or their whereabouts is asked to contact the EPS immediately at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

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Alberta

Low emissions, Indigenous-owned Cascade Power Project to boost Alberta electrical grid reliability

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The Cascade Power Project. Photo courtesy Kinetcor

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Will Gibson

New 900-megawatt natural gas-fired facility to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s power needs

Alberta’s electrical grid is about to get a boost in reliability from a major new natural gas-fired power plant owned in part by Indigenous communities.  

Next month operations are scheduled to start at the Cascade Power Project, which will have enough capacity to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s energy needs.  

It’s good news in a province where just over one month ago an emergency alert suddenly blared on cell phones and other electronic devices warning residents to immediately reduce electricity use to avoid outages.  

“Living in an energy-rich province, we sometimes take electricity for granted,” says Chana Martineau, CEO of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) and member of the Frog Lake First Nation.  

“Given much of the province was dealing with -40C weather at the time, that alert was a vivid reminder of the importance of having a reliable electrical grid.” 

Cascade Power was the first project to receive funding through the AIOC, the provincial corporation established in 2020 to provide loan guarantees for Indigenous groups seeking partnerships in major development projects. 

So far, the AIOC has underwritten more than $500 million in support. This year it has $3 billion  available, up from $2 billion in 2023.  

In August 2020 it provided a $93 million loan guarantee to the Indigenous Communities Consortium — comprised of the Alexis Nakota Sioux NationEnoch Cree NationKehewin Cree NationOChiese First NationPaul First Nation, and Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation — to become equity owners. 

The 900-megawatt, $1.5-billion facility is scheduled to come online in March. 

“It’s personally gratifying for me to see how we moved from having Indigenous communities being seen as obstacles to partners in a generation,” says Martineau. 

The added capacity brought by Cascade is welcomed by the Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO), which is responsible for the provinces electrical grid. =

“The AESO welcomes all new forms of generation into the Alberta marketplace, including renewables, thermal, storage, and others,” said Diane Kossman, a spokeswoman for the agency.  

“It is imperative that Alberta continue to have sufficient dispatchable generation to serve load during peak demand periods when other forms of generation are not able to contribute in a meaningful way.” 

The Cascade project also provides environmental benefits. It is a so-called “combined cycle” power facility, meaning it uses both a gas turbine and a steam turbine simultaneously to produce up to 50 per cent more electricity from the same amount of fuel than a traditional facility.  

Once complete, Cascade is expected to be the largest and most efficient combined cycle power plant in Alberta, producing 62 per cent less CO2 than a coal-fired power plant and 30 per cent less CO2 than a typical coal-to-gas conversion.  

“This project really is aligned with the goals of Indigenous communities on environmental performance,” says Martineau. 

The partnership behind the power plant includes Axium InfrastructureDIF Capital Partners  and Kineticor Resource Corp. along with the Indigenous Communities Consortium. 

The nations invested through a partnership with OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension funds.  

“Innovation is not just what we invest in, but it is also how we invest,” said James Davis, OPTrust’s chief investment officer. 

“The participation of six First Nations in the Cascade Power Project is a prime example of what is possible when investors, the government and local communities work together.” 

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