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RCMP recruitment failure has Alberta advocacy group calling for Provincial Police Service

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News release from Free Alberta Strategy  (A Strong And Sovereign Alberta Within Canada)

“Make no mistake, we are paying for these services that we aren’t receiving. Alberta’s taxpayers are paying tens of millions of dollars for nearly 400 vacant RCMP officer positions – for boots that are not on the ground.”

A recent report from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)’s independent Management Advisory Board had findings that are nothing short of alarming:

“Federal policing has now arrived at a critical juncture of its sustainability, which present risks for the national security and safety of Canada, its people, and its interests,” says the report.

After over a year of diligent study, the Board has been tirelessly firing off flares, signalling to all who will listen: the very foundation of our national public safety apparatus may be at risk of faltering.

This is doubly problematic because, as you well know, the RCMP is also responsible for boots-on-the-ground policing in large parts of the country, including many rural and remote areas – including in Alberta.

Rural crime has been a longstanding issue in Alberta, and social disorder continues to make headlines nightly.

Alberta Minister of Public Safety, Mike Ellis, took to social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) to express his opinion:

“The independent report finds the RCMP has struggled in recent years to recruit and retain regular members, a problem that’s particularly acute in federal policing. This is not about the hard-working men and women on the frontline: they are doing everything they can. The reality is the RCMP do not have enough officers to police communities in Canada effectively.” 

Ellis has been ahead of this story for months now.

In March, Ellis stated that:

“… on average, Alberta has an RCMP officer vacancy rate of 20 per cent. This means that Alberta is only being served by 1,522 of the 1,911 RCMP officers that the federal government has authorized for Alberta.”

“Make no mistake, we are paying for these services that we aren’t receiving. Alberta’s taxpayers are paying tens of millions of dollars for nearly 400 vacant RCMP officer positions – for boots that are not on the ground.”

The consequences of this capacity crisis are far-reaching.

Not only does it jeopardize the safety of Albertans, but it also undermines the credibility of Canada’s federal police force on the international stage.

With limited resources and personnel, the RCMP’s ability to address pressing national and global security concerns is severely compromised.

The Management Advisory Board, created in 2019 by the federal government to provide external advice to the RCMP commissioner, set up a task force in the fall of 2022 to study the federal policing program.

Overall, the report says budget and personnel shortfalls have left the RCMP “operationally limited,” restricting the number of cases it can take on annually.

Here are some more highlights from the report:

“Canada and its people have already begun to see the repercussions of the federal policing program being stretched thin.”

“Federal policing’s overall eroding capacity may have implications for the credibility of Canada’s federal police force and its investigations on the international stage.”

“Ultimately, this may influence Canada’s overall approach and standing in international politics, including its ability to advance global priorities.”

Clearly, we cannot afford to wait any longer.

Municipalities can ease the burden on our national security services by establishing municipal policing.

Several cities in Alberta already have their own police authorities, and the provincial government is providing funding for others interested in exploring this option.

Grande Prairie is already in the process of establishing their own municipal police service.

No word on how many other municipalities have taken the government up on their offer.

Unfortunately, President of Alberta Municipalities Tyler Gandam (also Mayor of Wetaskiwin) is featured prominently on the National Police Federation’s “Keep Alberta RCMP” website.

Interestingly, the Keep Alberta RCMP website doesn’t mention the fact that the advisory board even exists.

It doesn’t mention the report.

The notion that our federal policing infrastructure teeters on the brink of instability while Gandam appears to be asleep at the wheel, is deeply disconcerting.

The safety and security of Albertans must remain our top priority.

We cannot afford to wait any longer.

The time has come for the province to take swift and decisive measures to bolster policing capabilities in Alberta.

It’s time for Alberta to seriously consider the establishment of an Alberta Provincial Police Service.

It has been one of the core tenets of the Free Alberta Strategy.

If you agree, please reach out to your municipality and ask them to take steps to protect your community.

Together, we can keep Alberta safe.

Regards,

The Free Alberta Strategy Team

P.S. We’re hoping you’ll consider contributing to our cause. Your generous donation helps us make a positive impact in our community. No need to worry about any hold-ups or threats here. We’re just passionate about making a difference, and your support goes a long way in helping us achieve our goals.

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BC teacher fired for sharing the truth about Indian Residential Schools speaks out

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Jim McMurtry

The End of Nuance

George W. Bush said famously to Congress after the 9-11 terrorist attack, “Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Similarly, George Orwell said in 1942 that “in practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me.’ The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle…is a bourgeois illusion.”

My employer, the Abbotsford School District, showed me that I was not aloof from the struggle by investigating me for “extremely serious misconduct.” I had relayed to senior history students the “most important news in Canada in 2021,” which was that the remains of 215 Indigenous children had been discovered in a mass grave in an apple orchard on the site of a former Indian residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. This news led the Canadian government to declare itself guilty of genocide for having placed about one-third of First Nation children in long-ago-shuttered residential schools.

At the end of the partial and superficial investigation, I was fired. But, like the Joseph K. character in Franz Kafka’s The Trial, I knew I had done nothing wrong:

“But I’m not guilty,” said K. “there’s been a mistake. How is it even possible for someone to be guilty? We’re all human beings here, one like the other.” “That is true,” said the priest, “but that is how the guilty speak.”

My crime was in saying that most students who died while enrolled in these schools from 1883-1996 did so from disease, especially tuberculosis. Though factually true, the Abbotsford School District wrote to me in June 2021 that it was a time to hear from students “and not debate or challenge their emotional response to the news…. [Students] were struggling to make sense of the news and process the discovery.”

The problem was there was no discovery in Kamloops, and there still is no evidence whatsoever.

For the past three years the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have not conducted an investigation of the alleged murders; the archeologist’s report has been sealed by a local university (Simon Fraser University); and no excavation of the site has taken place.

The Abbotsford School District charged that “clearly it was not a time to play ‘devil’s advocate’ or to have a nuanced debate or discussion of the underlying reasons for these deaths…or push their thinking on the issue when students, as [with most] of the staff and general public, were struggling to make sense of the news.” It didn’t help that I was a history teacher: “Mr. McMurtry decided to use the class as an opportunity to teach a history lesson.”

The allegations kept changing. For example, they first accused me of saying “the deaths could not be called murder or cultural genocide,” but later they said that “my comments to students were inflammatory, inappropriate, insensitive and/or contrary to the school’s message of condolences and reconciliation.”

I noted, of course, that they replaced the word truth, as in Truth and Reconciliation, with condolences.

In time I realized that I was simply outside of an orthodoxy that was distorted by sensationalized headlines and cowardly journalistic practices. The woke employ a dual lens of good and bad, friend and foe. In their lynch-mob mentality, nuance and compassion get short shrift.

In the schools where I taught there is an administrative class of citizens who play the role of gatekeepers against unacceptable ideas, for they fear that a Trojan horse might get inside the walls and open the gate for other ideas to enter. In such a not-so-brave new world, you are with us or against us. There are no shades of allegiance, no nuance. As I was not with those administrators, they came for me.

I have been without a teaching job now for three years and my grievance against my employer is in abeyance while an investigation into my teaching by my regulatory body, the B.C. Teachers’ Regulation Branch (TRB), slowly unfolds. The TRB investigator’s report could take up to a year to write and a subsequent public hearing could consume another year of my life. The process is the punishment.

 

Jim McMurtry has taught in many subject areas in many places, including Switzerland where he was Principal of Neuchâtel Junior College. He lives in Surrey, B.C.

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Oil and gas in the global economy through 2050

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From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Ven Venkatachalam

The world will continue to rely on oil and gas for decades to come, according to the International Energy Agency

Recent global conflicts, which have been partly responsible for a global spike in energy prices, have cast their shadow on energy markets around the world. Added to this uncertainty is the ongoing debate among policymakers and public institutions in various jurisdictions about the role of traditional forms of energy in the global economy.

One widely quoted study influencing the debate is the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook, the most recent edition of which, World Energy Outlook 2023 (or WEO 2023), was released recently (IEA 2023).

In this CEC Fact Sheet, we examine projections for oil and natural gas production, demand, and investment drawn from the World Energy Outlook 2023 Extended Dataset, using the IEA’s modelled scenario STEPS, or the Stated Policies Scenario. The Extended Dataset provides more detailed data at the global, regional, and country level than that found in the main report.

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook and the various scenarios

Every year the IEA releases its annual energy outlook. The report looks at recent energy supply and demand, and projects the investment outlook for oil and gas over the next three decades. The World Energy Outlook makes use of a scenario approach to examine future energy trends. WEO 2023 models three scenarios: the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario (NZE), the Announced Pledges Scenario (APS), and the Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS).

STEPS appears to be the most plausible scenario because it is based on the world’s current trajectory, rather than the other scenarios set out in the WEO 2023, including the APS and the NZE. According to the IEA:

The Stated Policies Scenario is based on current policy settings and also considers the implications of industrial policies that support clean energy supply chains as well as measures related to energy and climate. (2023, p. 79; emphasis by author)

and

STEPS looks in detail at what [governments] are actually doing to reach their targets and objectives across the energy economy. Outcomes in the STEPS reflect a detailed sector-by-sector review of the policies and measures that are actually in place or that have been announced; aspirational energy or climate targets are not automatically assumed to be met. (2023, p. 92)

Key results

The key results of STEPS, drawn from the IEA’s Extended Dataset, indicate that the oil and gas industry is not going into decline over the next decade—neither worldwide generally, nor in Canada specifically. In fact, the demand for oil and gas in emerging and developing economies under STEPS will remain robust through 2050.

Oil and natural gas production projections under STEPS

World oil production is projected to increase from 94.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2022 to 97.2 mb/d in 2035, before falling slightly to 94.5 mb/d in 2050 (see Figure 1).

Source: IEA (2023b)

Canadian overall crude oil production is projected to increase from 5.8 mb/d in 2022 to 6.5 mb/d in 2035, before falling to 5.6 mb/d in 2050 (see Figure 2).

Source: IEA (2023b)

Canadian oil sands production is expected to increase from 3.6 mb/d in 2022 to 3.8 mb/d in 2035, and maintain the same production level till 2050 (see Figure 3).

Source: IEA (2023b)

World natural gas production is anticipated to increase from 4,138 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2022 to 4,173 bcm in 2050 (see Figure 4).

Source: IEA (2023b)

Canadian natural gas production is projected to decrease from 204 bcm in 2022 to 194 bcm in 2050 (see Figure 5).

Source: IEA (2023b)

Oil demand under STEPS

World demand for oil is projected to increase from 96.5 mb/d in 2022 to 97.4 mb/d by 2050 (see Tables 1A and 1B). Demand in Africa for oil is expected to increase from 4.0 mb/d in 2022 to 7.7 mb/d in 2050. Demand for oil in the Asia-Pacific is projected to increase from 32.9 mb/d in 2022 to 35.1 mb/d in 2050. Demand for oil from emerging and developing economies is anticipated to increase from 47.9 mb/d in 2022 to 59.3 mb/d in 2050.

Source: IEA (2023b)

 

Source: IEA (2023b)

Natural gas demand under STEPS

World demand for natural gas is expected to increase from 4,159 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2022 to 4,179 bcm in 2050 (see Figures 6 and 7). Demand in Africa for natural gas is projected to increase from 170 bcm in 2020 to 277 bcm in 2050. Demand in the Asia-Pacific for natural gas is anticipated to increase from 900 bcm in 2020 to 1,119 bcm in 2050.

Source: IEA (2023b)

 

Source: IEA (2023b)

Cumulative oil and gas investment expected to be over $21 trillion

Taking into account projected global demand, between 2023 and 2050 the cumulative global oil and gas investment (upstream, midstream, and downstream) under STEPS is expected to reach nearly U.S.$21.1 trillion (in $2022). Global oil investment alone is expected to be over U.S.$13.1 trillion and natural gas investment is predicted to be over $8.0 trillion (see Figure 8).

Between 2023 and 2050, total oil and gas investment in North America (Canada, the U.S., and Mexico) is expected to be nearly U.S.$5.6 trillion, split between oil at over $3.8 trillion and gas at nearly $1.8 trillion (see Figure 8). Oil and gas investment in the Asia Pacific, over the same period, is estimated at nearly $3.3 trillion, split between oil at over $1.4 trillion and gas at over $1.9 trillion.

Source: IEA (2023b)

Conclusion

The sector-by-sector measures that governments worldwide have put in place and the specific policy initiatives that support clean energy policy, i.e., the Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS), both show oil and gas continuing to play a major role in the global economy through 2050. Key data points on production and demand drawn from the IEA’s WEO 2023 Extended Dataset confirm this trend.

Positioning Canada as a secure and reliable oil and gas supplier can and must be part of the medium- to long-term solution to meeting the oil and gas demands of the U.S., Europe, Asia and other regions as part of a concerted move supporting energy security.

The need for stable energy, which is something that oil and natural gas provide, is critical to a global economy whose population is set to grow by another 2 billion people by 2050. Along with the increasing population comes rising incomes, and with them comes a heightened demand for oil and natural gas, particularly in many emerging and developing economies in Africa, the Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, where countries are seeing urbanization and industrialization grow rapidly.


References (as of February 11, 2024)

International Energy Agency (IEA), 2023(a), World Energy Outlook 2023 <http://tinyurl.com/4nv9xyfj>; International Energy Agency (IEA), 2023(b), World Energy Outlook 2023 Extended Dataset <http://tinyurl.com/3222553b>.

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