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Alberta

Why Kanye West should not be President of the United States

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The celebrity-to-politician transition that Donald Trump has been repeatedly criticized for during his time as President of the United States threatens to become a runaway train with Kanye West’s outrageous bid for presidency.

Kanye West, influential rapper, fashion designer and father of four married to popular reality TV star Kim Kardashian, announced on July 4, 2020 via Twitter that he would be running for President of the United States. 

West’s recent announcement only adds to the rampant timeline of peculiar claims and outbursts made in recent years that appear to depict the stars touch and go relationship with reality. After being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2017, which he publicly revealed in 2018, the 43-year-old rapper turned fashion designer turned presidential candidate has become increasingly controversial. 

After his famous interrupting incident with Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMA Awards, Kanye has become increasingly known for being prone to public outbursts that spark significant debate. West received major political backlash in 2018 for publically endorsing Donald Trump, launching a number of political rants where his controversial comments on the history of African-American slavery lost him support from many in the rap community. 

West’s meltdown has left the public further divided on the legitimacy of his run for presidency, and what it means for the future of the country. 

“The question is, what impact will he have on the election? In that context, it might not matter whether West is knowingly playing the spoiler, a man with a mental disorder being used as a patsy, or something else entirely – he is now on the ballot, and millions of voters will have Kanye Omari West as an option in November.” – New York Intelligencer

The controversial leadership of the Trump Administration over the last four years, highlighted by Donald Trump’s often outlandish behavior online and in the public eye, has contributed to the popular reality show type coverage of the United States Government. While the eccentric tweets and comments have been a source of ongoing public entertainment, it can be argued they have had the extremely negative impact of simplifying the originally elite position of the POTUS into that of a controversy driven public figure in a popularity contest. This notion becomes more apparent when contrasting the idea of the United States President, the democratic leader of one of the world’s most powerful economic and military bodies, with rapper Kanye West. 

An article by John Taggart discusses the Dangerous Allure of the Celebrity President, stating “a mix of charisma, media-savvy and anti-establishment airs” can help celebrities appeal to voters, while “increasingly blurred lines between entertainment and news have lowered barriers for celebrities to enter politics.” 

Although his success is highly unlikely, the dangerous precedent looming alongside Kanye’s bid for the presidency is a rapid departure from legitimate political leadership in the United States in favor of popularity and publicity, positive or negative. Requirements for proper experience, as well as an understanding of international relations and the political, social and economic landscape of America will be replaced by capacity for dramatic impact and social controversy. “The rise of celebrity politicians is not a sign of the democratic field becoming more interesting or open,” says Taggart, “The rise of such candidates is a sign of political decline of democracies.” 

In this reality, the institution of democracy is undermined by popularity contests, social influence and which outrageous celebrity lifestyle has the greatest car-crash effect on the public.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Canada, Alberta agree on caribou protection deal that gives them years to take action

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EDMONTON — Canada and Alberta have signed a deal on caribou protection that gives them years to take action but could allow energy drilling to resume right away on some ranges.

The agreement gives the two governments up to five years to design and implement plans for some of Alberta’s most endangered herds.

Meanwhile, it allows for the resumption of mineral lease sales in caribou habitat, if they can be shown to be compatible with conservation. 

Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon says the deal prevents unilateral action from the federal government and ensures the province stays in control.

The deal is also being welcomed by Alberta’s energy and forestry industries.

University of Calgary law professor Shaun Fluker, who follows environmental issues, says the deal changes little on the ground but could make government efforts to save them more transparent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta to stop limits on oil production in December after nearly two years

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CALGARY — Alberta’s UCP government says it will end oil curtailment quotas in December, nearly two years after the previous  NDP government introduced them to support oil prices.

The province says it will extend its regulatory authority to continue the program for another year but doesn’t plan to use it after the end of November.

It says the monthly curtailments are no longer necessary because 16 per cent of Alberta’s crude oil production is offline, down from 22 per cent at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program has been controversial from the start, with oil producers such as Cenovus Energy Inc. largely in favour of it while oil producers who also own refining operations, such as Imperial Oil Ltd., have been adamantly opposed.

The allowable production quota was gradually raised from 3.56 million barrels per day in January 2019 to 3.81 million bpd by year-end, a level maintained through the first 11 months of 2020.

The province says production was actually 3.1 million bpd in August and it’s not expected to exceed export capacity before mid-2021.

The government says it extended what was intended to be a short-term measure because of ongoing delays to pipeline projects that would increase the province’s export capacity.

“Maintaining the stability and predictability of Alberta’s resource sector is vital for investor confidence as we navigate the economic conditions brought on by the pandemic, the commodity price crisis and the need for pipelines,” said Energy Minister Sonya Savage.

“This purposeful approach serves as an insurance policy, as it will allow Alberta to respond swiftly if there is a risk of storage reaching maximum capacity while enabling industry to produce as the free market intended.”

The province quoted Genscape in noting that there were about 20 million barrels in storage as of Oct. 16, down from nearly 40 million when the curtailment program began.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CVE, TSX:IMO)

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october, 2020

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