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Alberta

The letter Teck sent: A scathing rebuke of government

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The original application from Teck Resources was made 9 years ago.  That almost says enough right there.  As environmental regulations changed, the company ‘optimized’ the project to ensure it would remain ‘commercially and environmentally viable’.  The work with area First Nations communities was considered ‘ground breaking’ by those communities.  Teck had already invested well over 1 billion dollars.  But in the end, it appears Teck was not prepared to invest billions more in the environment of hostility toward major resource projects which Canada’s federal government has not been able to control.

Here’s the letter sent by the CEO of Teck Resources to Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.  This letter will do more to stir Western Canadian anxiety than any number of “Buffalo Declarations”.

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Letter to Minister Wilkinson

Dear Minister:

I am writing to advise that after careful consideration Teck has made the difficult decision to formally withdraw our regulatory application for the Frontier oil sands project from the federal environmental assessment process.

We are disappointed to have arrived at this point. Teck put forward a socially and environmentally responsible project that was industry leading and had the potential to create significant economic benefits for Canadians. Frontier has unprecedented support from Indigenous communities and was deemed to be in the public interest by a joint federal-provincial review panel following weeks of public hearings and a lengthy regulatory process. Since the original application in 2011 we have, as others in the industry have done, continued to optimize the project to further confirm it is commercially viable.

Teck is extremely proud of the work done on this project and the strong relationships that we have formed with local governments, labour organizations, scientists, researchers and many other stakeholders, as well as with affected Indigenous communities. We believe that our agreements with Indigenous communities on Frontier, and very recently the work undertaken by the Alberta government with Indigenous communities in the region, form an important foundation for the future, and we applaud them for this milestone achievement.

However, global capital markets are changing rapidly and investors and customers are increasingly looking for jurisdictions to have a framework in place that reconciles resource development and climate change, in order to produce the cleanest possible products. This does not yet exist here today and, unfortunately, the growing debate around this issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved. In that context, it is now evident that there is no constructive path forward for the project. Questions about the societal implications of energy development, climate change and Indigenous rights are critically important ones for Canada, its provinces and Indigenous governments to work through.

I want to make clear that we are not merely shying away from controversy. The nature of our business dictates that a vocal minority will almost inevitably oppose specific developments. We are prepared to face that sort of opposition. Frontier, however, has surfaced a broader debate over climate change and Canada’s role in addressing it. It is our hope that withdrawing from the process will allow Canadians to shift to a larger and more positive discussion about the path forward. Ultimately, that should take place without a looming regulatory deadline.

Resource development has been at the heart of the Canadian economy for generations. Resource sectors including the Alberta oil sands create jobs; build roads, schools and hospitals; and contribute to a better standard of living for all Canadians. At the same time, there is an urgent need to reduce global carbon emissions and support action on climate change.

As a proudly Canadian company for over 100 years, we know these two priorities do not have to be in conflict. Our nation is uniquely positioned with abundant natural resources coupled with strong environmental regulations and a deeply engrained culture of social responsibility. We can build on that foundation and be a global provider of sustainable, climate-smart resources to support the world’s transition to a low carbon future. And yes, that can include low-carbon energy produced from the Alberta oil sands from projects like Frontier, using best-in-class technology, which would displace less environmentally and ethically sound oil sources.

At Teck, we believe deeply in the need to address climate change and believe that Canada has an important role to play globally as a responsible supplier of natural resources. We support strong actions to enable the transition to a low carbon future. We are also strong supporters of Canada’s action on carbon pricing and other climate policies such as legislated caps for oil sands emissions.

The promise of Canada’s potential will not be realized until governments can reach agreement around how climate policy considerations will be addressed in the context of future responsible energy sector development. Without clarity on this critical question, the situation that has faced Frontier will be faced by future projects and it will be very difficult to attract future investment, either domestic or foreign.

Teck has not taken this decision lightly. It is our hope that the decision to withdraw will help to create both the space and impetus needed for this critical discussion to take place for the benefit of all Canadians.

 

Sincerely,

Don Lindsay
President and Chief Executive Officer
Teck Resources Limited

Alberta

Just 28 new COVID cases reported in Alberta, but 3 more deaths for a total of 32

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From the Province of Alberta

Update 27: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (April 9)

There are now 592 confirmed recovered cases of COVID-19 in the province.

With 28 new cases reported, the total number of cases in Alberta is 1,451.

Another three Albertans have died since the last report, bringing the total deaths in the province to 32.

Latest updates

  • Expanded access to testing has begun to better trace the spread of COVID-19 in hard-hit areas and in vulnerable residents.
  • Albertans are strongly encouraged to stay home and in the province this long weekend.
  • Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
    • 878 cases in the Calgary zone
    • 376 cases in the Edmonton zone
    • 97 cases in the North zone
    • 72 cases in the Central zone
    • 26 cases in the South zone
    • Two cases in zones yet to be confirmed
  • Of these cases, there are currently 47 people in hospital, 14 of whom have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
  • 192 cases are suspected of being community acquired.
  • There are now a total of 592 confirmed recovered cases.
  • Two new deaths are from the Calgary zone, bringing the total in this zone to 22. One additional person has died in the Edmonton zone, bringing the number of deaths to five in this zone. Four people have died in the North zone, and one person has died in the Central zone.
  • Stronger outbreak measures have been put in place at continuing care facilities. To date, 151 cases have been confirmed at these facilities.
  • There have been 68,116 people tested for COVID-19 and a total of 70,247 tests performed by the lab. There were 1,333 people tested in the last 24 hours.
  • Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographic areas, is available online at alberta.ca/covid19statistics.
  • All Albertans need to work together to help prevent the spread and overcome COVID-19.
  • Restrictions remain in place for all gatherings and close-contact businesses, dine-in restaurants and non-essential retail services. A full list of restrictions is available online.
  • Tighter restrictions have been placed on visitors to continuing care centres, group homes and other facilities. No visitors will be allowed unless a resident is dying or the visitor is essential for delivering care that cannot be delivered by staff.
  • As Albertans look forward to the holiday weekend, they are being reminded to:
    • avoid gatherings outside of their immediate household
    • visit over coffee remotely and virtually
    • try to shop for groceries outside of peak hours
    • limit Easter egg hunts to inside or on their property
    • find ways to connect while being physically separated
    • worship in a way that does not put people at risk, including participating in virtual or live-streamed religious celebrations

More guidelines for faith-based organizations can be found online.

Expanding testing to meet needs of Albertans

Alberta is expanding access to COVID-19 laboratory tests to better trace the spread of the novel coronavirus in hard-hit areas and in vulnerable residents. Testing is now being offered to three additional groups of individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath:

  • symptomatic people living in the Calgary Zone
  • symptomatic people who live with someone aged 65 years or older
  • essential workers whose workplaces remain accessible to the public

Read the full list of people eligible for testing here. People can access tests by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment online.

The chief medical officer of health will examine and adjust testing protocols and access to COVID-19 tests based on the changing situation in Alberta.

Stay home and in Alberta this long weekend

Albertans are being strongly encouraged to stay home, in their communities, in the province and off the highways this long weekend to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Alberta and British Columbia have released a joint statement asking families and friends to stay in their home provinces and celebrate the holidays virtually. This will reduce the risk of highway crashes – tying up emergency and medical responders who are busy with pandemic planning and care – and help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus between families and provinces.

COVID-19 health care for out-of-country visitors

To limit the potential spread of the novel coronavirus, individuals visiting Alberta from another country will receive physician and hospital services for the treatment of COVID-19 – even if they do not have health coverage or the ability to pay. This temporary measure will protect Albertans and encourage visitors to obtain treatment for COVID-19. Physicians may submit claims for this service using the new COVID-19 billing process. More information about the billing process will be provided to physicians.

Alberta Connects Contact Centre

The Alberta Connects Contact Centre continues to operate over the long weekend, and will be available to Albertans from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., April 10-13. Direct lines to specific services (such as MyAlberta Digital Identity) will be closed. Albertans should call 310-4455 for assistance.

Access to justice

The Alberta Court of Appeal has provided an update regarding electronic hearings. More information: https://albertacourts.ca/ca/publications/announcements

Mental health supports

Confidential supports are available to help with mental health concerns. The Mental Health Help Line 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 are available between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week. Online resources provide advice on handling stressful situations or ways to talk with children.

Family violence prevention

A 24-hour Family Violence Information Line is available at 310-1818 to get anonymous help.

Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-402-8000 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in more than 170 languages.

Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are available at alberta.ca/COVID19.

Quick facts

  • The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
    • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately.
  • Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
  • For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.
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Alberta

Shaw suspends share buybacks amid economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 impact

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CALGARY — Shaw Communications Inc. says it’s continuing to pay dividends to shareholders but has suspended its share buy-back program in order to preserve cash during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Calgary-based company says its Shaw internet and video networks and Freedom wireless network have performed well during the unprecedented global pandemic.   

But it says the widespread economic impact of COVID-19 could make it more difficult for its customers to continue with their current level of services. 

Additionally, Shaw says its management has been focused on adapting the company’s operations while protecting the health of its employees and customers.

As a result, Shaw says it’s withdrawing its financial estimates for the financial year ending Aug. 31 and suspending any additional stock buybacks. 

During the fiscal second quarter ended Feb. 29, which was completed before the pandemic was officially announced, Shaw’s revenue and profit were up from a year earlier. 

Shaw delivers internet and video services through Western Canada’s the largest residential cable system. It also owns Freedom Mobile, which operates in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SJR.B)

The Canadian Press

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april, 2020

fri17apr10:00 am9:00 pmFeaturedOur Best to You Spring Handmade Market10:00 am - 9:00 pm Westerner Park, Parkland & Prairie Pavilions, 4847A-19 Street Event Organized By: Signatures Shows Ltd

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