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Alberta

It’s official. Albertans to vote on Equalization and Daylight Savings Time on October 18

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Referendum to be held on October 18, 2021

Elections Alberta has received the Orders in Council to conduct a Referendum Vote in conjunction with the 2021 Alberta Municipal Elections and the Alberta Senate Election on October 18, 2021.

Both referendum questions allow for a ‘yes’ vote or a ‘no’ vote.  The two questions are:

  • Should section 36(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 – Parliament and the government of Canada’s commitment to the principle of making equalization payments – be removed from the constitution?
  • Do you want Alberta to adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is summer hours, eliminating the need to change our clocks twice a year?

Conducting the Vote

All local jurisdictions holding elections on October 18, 2021, will facilitate the vote by also issuing the referendum ballot to electors.  In addition to Election Day voting, local jurisdictions may also offer advance voting, institutional voting, and special ballot voting.  At each voting opportunity, the referendum ballot will be provided to electors to vote in this election.

As not all communities hold elections on October 18, 2021, Elections Alberta and Alberta Municipal Affairs are working with First Nation communities, Métis Settlements, Lloydminster, Summer Villages, Improvement Districts, and Special Areas to provide voting opportunities for electors residing in these communities.

Eligibility to Vote

Canadian citizens who reside in Alberta and are at least 18 years of age or older on Election Day are eligible to vote in the referendum.  As the vote is being conducted by local jurisdictions, electors must vote in the municipality or local jurisdiction in which they reside.

Third Party Advertisers

Any individual, corporation or group that spends or plans to spend more than $1,000 in advertising to promote or oppose a referendum question must register with Elections Alberta.  Registration is now open. Visit https://www.elections.ab.ca/political-participants/third-party-advertisers/ for more information.

All registered third party advertisers are required to submit weekly contribution reports to Elections Alberta, commencing Thursday, August 12 and ending on October 21, 2021.  Elections Alberta will publish the reports each Friday on https://efpublic.elections.ab.ca/.

Announcement of Official Results

Following the close of voting on October 18, all local jurisdictions will complete the unofficial count of ballots.  These counts are submitted to Elections Alberta for tabulation.  The official announcement of the provincial referendum results will take place on October 26, 2021.

Result of Vote

The referendum question regarding equalization is a constitutional question asked under the authority of section 1 of the Referendum Act.

The referendum question regarding Daylight Saving Time is a non?constitutional question asked under section 5.1 of the Referendum Act. The result of the vote on the Daylight Saving Time question is binding.

More Information

For more information about the Referendum, visit www.elections.ab.ca, call toll free at 1.877.422.VOTE (8683), join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Elections Alberta is an independent, non-partisan office of the Legislative Assembly responsible for administering provincial elections, by-elections and referenda.

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

Popular roller-coaster at West Edmonton Mall amusement park to be removed

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Canada’s largest shopping centre says a popular roller-coaster at its amusement park is being removed after nearly 40 years in operation.

West Edmonton Mall’s vice-president of parks and attractions says in a statement that while the Mindbender will be missed, the mall is excited to announce it is working on new plans for the site.

The Mindbender was known as the world’s tallest and longest indoor, triple-loop roller-coaster.

In 1986, three people were killed on the roller-coaster, which forced the mall to shut it down for a year for safety modifications.

Galaxyland initially opened in 1983, but was known as Fantasyland until 1995.

The indoor amusement park partnered with Hasbro in 2022 and features attractions licensed from the franchise.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2023.

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Alberta

Qatar, Norway and ‘The Trouble with Canada’

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From the Canadian Energy Centre Ltd 

By David Yager

Resource developers in Canada face unique geographical, jurisdictional, regulatory and political obstacles

That Germany has given up on Canada to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) and instead signed a massive multi-year LNG purchase agreement with Qatar has left many angry and disappointed.  

Investment manager and perennial oil bull Eric Nuttall recently visited Qatar and Saudi Arabia and wrote an opinion piece for the Financial Post titled, “Canada could be as green and wealthy as Qatar and Saudi Arabia if government wakes up – Instead of vilifying the oil and gas sectors, Canada should champion them.” 

Nuttall described how Saudi Arabia and Qatar are investing their enormous energy wealth to make life better for their citizens. This includes decarbonizing future domestic energy supplies and making large investments in infrastructure.   

Nuttall concludes, “Why is it that Qatar, a country that embraced its LNG industry, has nearly three times the number of doctors per capita than Canada? We can do it all: increase our oil and natural gas production, at the highest environmental standards anywhere in the world, thereby allowing us to help meet the world’s needs while benefiting from its revenue and allowing for critical incremental investments in our national infrastructure…This could have been us.” 

The country most often mentioned that Albertans should emulate is Norway. 

Alberta’s Heritage Savings and Trust Fund has been stuck below $20 billion since it was created by Premier Peter Lougheed in 1976.  

Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, which started 20 years later in 1996, now sits at US$1.2 trillion. 

How many times have you been told that if Alberta’s politicians weren’t so incompetent, our province would have a much larger nest egg after 47 years?  

After all, Canada and Alberta have gobs of natural gas and oil, just like Qatar and Norway. 

Regrettably, that’s all we have in common.  

That Qatar and Norway’s massive hydrocarbon assets are offshore is a massive advantage that producers in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin will never enjoy. All pipelines are submerged. There are no surface access problems on private property, no municipal property taxes or surface rights payments, and there are no issues with First Nations regarding land claims, treaty rights and constitutional guarantees. 

Being on tidewater is a huge advantage when it comes to market access, greatly reducing operating and transportation costs. 

But it’s more complicated than that, and has been for a long time. In 1990, Olympic athlete and businessman William G. Gairdner wrote a book titled, “The Trouble with Canada – A Citizen Speaks Out.” It takes Gairdner 450 pages to explain how one of the most unique places in the world in terms of resource wealth and personal and economic opportunity was fading fast. 

That was 33 years ago. Nothing has improved. 

As I wrote in my own book about the early days of settlement and development, citizens expected little from their governments and got less. 

Today politics increasingly involves which party will give the most voters the most money.  

The book’s inside front cover reads how Gairdner was concerned that Canada was already “caught between two irreconcilable styles of government, a ‘top down’ collectivism and a ‘bottoms-up individualism;’ he shows how Canadian society has been corrupted by a dangerous love affair with the former.”  

Everything from the constitution to official bilingualism to public health care were identified as the symptoms of a country heading in the wrong direction. 

But Canadian “civil society” often regards these as accomplishments. 

The constitution enshrines a federal structure that ignores representation by population in the Senate thus leaving the underpopulated regions vulnerable to the political desires of central Canada. This prohibited Alberta’s closest access to tidewater for oil through Bill C48. 

Official bilingualism and French cultural protection has morphed into Quebec intentionally blocking Atlantic tidewater access for western Canadian oil and gas.  

In the same country! 

Another election will soon be fought in Alberta over sustaining a mediocre public health care system that continues to slide in international rankings of cost and accessibility. 

What’s remarkable about comparing Canada to Norway or Qatar for missed hydrocarbon export opportunities is how many are convinced that the Canadian way of doing things is equal, if not superior, to that of other countries. 

But neither Norway or Qatar have the geographical, jurisdictional, regulatory and political obstacles that impair resource development in Canada. 

Norway has over 1,000 years of history shared by a relatively homogenous population with similar views on many issues. Norway has a clear sense of its national identity. 

As a country, Canada has only 156 years in its current form and is comprised of Indigenous people and newcomers from all over the world who are still getting to know each other.  

In the endless pursuit of politeness, today’s Canada recognizes multiple nations within its borders.  

Norway and Qatar only have one. 

While relatively new as a country, Qatar is ruled by a “semi-constitutional” monarchy where the major decisions about economic development are made by a handful of people.  

Canada has three layers of elected governments – federal, provincial and municipal – that have turned jurisdictional disputes, excessive regulation, and transferring more of everything to the public sector into an industry.  

Regrettably, saying that Canada should be more like Norway or Qatar without understanding why it can’t be deflects attention away from our challenges and solutions. 

David Yager is an oilfield service executive, oil and gas writer, and energy policy analyst. He is author of  From Miracle to Menace – Alberta, A Carbon Story. 

 

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