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Alberta

Lethbridge MP challenging federal government crackdown on COVID-19 misinformation

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Is it right to launch a defence of COVID-19 misinformation?   Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder is doing just that and her campaign is taking off.  This has nothing to do with defending bad information about the virus sweeping the world.  It’s all about defending freedom of speech.  Harder is striking a chord with Canadians who disagree strongly with both the way the federal government is implementing the new law, and with the idea that government should have the final say on what Canadians can or cannot say.

Here’s the post that has been seen nearly 200,000 times in the 24 hours since it was first posted.


Your freedom is under attack!

On May 11th the Heritage Minister announced a government initiative to “combat false and misleading COVID-19 information.” AKA: censorship!

Listen to my reflections and take 1 minute to send 1 sentence to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, or give him a call:

[email protected]
514-522-1339

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

Ensign Energy reports lower Q4 drilling activity, revenue as slow recovery continues

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CALGARY — Drilling company Ensign Energy Services Inc. says oilpatch activity in its Canadian and U.S. operations is staging a slow recovery from a deep slump in 2020.

The Calgary-based company says it earned net income of $3.1 million or two cents per share on revenue of $201 million in the last three months of 2020, compared with a net loss of $71.6 million on revenue of $375 million in the year-earlier period.

Analysts had expected a net loss of $57.9 million on revenue of $197 million, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

Ensign’s fourth-quarter revenue slumped 43 per cent in Canada compared with the same period in 2019, by 52 per cent in the U.S. and by 36 per cent in its international arm, which operates in South America, the Middle East and Australia.

The driller says it had a net loss attributed to shareholders of $79.3 million for 2020 as a whole on revenue of $936.8 million, compared with a loss of $163 million on revenue of $1.6 billion in 2019.

It said it received $12.5 million in 2020 from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program and a $6.9-million wage subsidy from the Australian government.

“The outlook for oilfield services has recently and meaningfully improved as oil and natural gas industry fundamentals continue to recover,” Ensign said in a news release that notes recent improvements in benchmark world oil prices.

“In addition, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines globally in combination with economic stimulus actions have driven oil demand improvements.”

The outlook echoes that offered by rival Precision Drilling Corp., which last month reported a fourth-quarter loss of $37.5 million as its revenue fell 46 per cent compared with a year earlier.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ESI, TSX:PD)

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Judge to decide if pastor accused of violating public-health orders will receive bail

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EDMONTON — A judge is to decide today whether to release an Alberta pastor from jail, after his lawyer argued he should be free to lead worshippers until his trial.

James Coates with GraceLife Church, west of Edmonton, has been in jail for over two weeks and is appealing his bail conditions.

Coates is charged with violating Alberta’s Public Health Act and with breaking a promise to abide by conditions of his bail release, which is a Criminal Code offence.

His lawyer, James Kitchen, told court Thursday that Coates can’t follow a bail condition that forbids him from holding services, because that would violate his conscience by disobeying God.

A prosecutor argued that the pastor’s release is a danger to the public.

The church has been holding services that officials say break public-health orders on attendance, masking and distancing.

The church has continued to hold services, even though Coates is in custody.

He is to stand trial in May.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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