Braid: Smith says 'bananas' federal electrical car decree will trigger shortages, rationing

Smith says she’s absolutely onside with e-vehicles. What bothers her is the ham-fisted, overbearing, economy-wrenching calls for from Ottawa

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“If anybody wants a automobile, they higher purchase it now,” Premier Danielle Smith mentioned after listening to of latest federal guidelines for electrical autos.

When you don’t, she provides, “You’re going to be sitting on an inventory ready your flip . . . we’re getting into right into a interval of rationing.”

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Scary, if even midway true.

In a year-end interview, Smith referred to as the proposed guidelines unworkable and unconstitutional.

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She as soon as once more accused federal Surroundings and Local weather Change Minister Steven Guilbeault of missing widespread sense.

She mentioned his newest transfer absolutely justifies the phrase she utilized to his current actions in Dubai — “treachery.”

Beginning in 2035, Guilbeault’s plan decrees that 100 per cent of autos offered in Canada should be net-zero emission.

By no coincidence, 2035 can also be the 12 months Guilbeault expects Alberta’s electrical energy grid to be net-zero.

Smith says that underneath these twin calls for there’s no means the province can generate sufficient electrical energy to cost a whole bunch of hundreds of electrical autos each day — to not point out the huge problem of constructing charging stations in each nook of the province.

By 2026, 20 per cent of autos on the market should be electrical or plug-in hybrids with longer vary.

The goal rises practically yearly till it hits 60 per cent by 2030, and eventually reaches the whole ban on combustion car gross sales by 2035.

Economically, there’s little for Alberta or the opposite prairie provinces on this plan, besides expense.

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The batteries can be constructed principally in Ontario and Quebec (after all), with subsidies totalling $35 billion, up to now.

As gasoline and diesel-fired autos are phased out, Ontario’s auto vegetation should convert their operations, likely with extra billions in authorities help.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, as soon as lukewarm about electrical autos, is now absolutely charged in help, as a result of there’s a lot cash and employment on supply.

Ottawa is utilizing our cash to create a brand new business in Central Canada, and commanding the opposite areas to be the captive market.

In impact, it’s eerily just like the outdated and heartily despised Crow Fee, which favoured shipments of manufactured items from Ontario to the West, and discriminated in opposition to western manufacturing going east.

Smith says she’s absolutely onside with e-vehicles. What bothers her is the ham-fisted, overbearing, economy-wrenching calls for from Ottawa.

“Look, I help electrical autos and I help hydrogen autos,” she mentioned.

“The truth is, I’ve talked to my husband and I need my subsequent car to be a hydrogen gas cell car.

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“We bought three for the federal government, so we have already got them in our fleet. 100 had been bought by the Edmonton Worldwide Airport. There’s a 5,000-vehicle problem occurring in Edmonton.

“We’re on board with that. However the concept inside two years’ time 20 per cent of all automobiles offered in Canada should be zero emissions, it’s bananas. It’s not achievable.

“I can simply warn Albertans that if this really is carried out the best way they are saying, by the point we get to Jan. 15 of 2026 we’ll have offered our allotment of gas-fired autos for that 12 months.”

Steven Guilbeault speaking on electric vehicles
Surroundings Minister Steven Guilbeault speaks at an announcement in Toronto on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, the place he outlined the small print of his plan to finally part out the sale of gas-powered autos in Canada. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

So, the premier of Alberta takes on a brand new position — automobile gross sales. Get yours fast, she says.

She calls as soon as once more for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fireside Guilbeault.

“They’re taking their environmental extremism too far, and individuals are getting damage.

“We’ve acquired an affordability disaster, and but they’re layering on further measures which can be going to make it troublesome for provinces to guard our customers. However I don’t see any change in course, so long as Guilbeault stays as surroundings minister.

“Who is aware of what their net-zero dwelling laws are going to appear like? That would be the subsequent shoe to drop.”

Smith has been studying in regards to the Nationwide Power Program battle within the Nineteen Eighties.

Again then, Ottawa needed a bit of Alberta’s vitality business and income, she says. “Now they need to destroy it.”

Preventing phrases for 2024.

Don Braid’s column seems recurrently within the Calgary Herald

X: @DonBraid

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Breakenridge: Toll roads a fairer approach to cowl prices than the gasoline tax

Fairly than merely slide again into our earlier established order, this must be a chance to re-examine the complete idea of the gasoline excise tax and why it exists within the first place

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After a 20-month absence, we’re now lower than two weeks from the grand re-entrance of Alberta’s gasoline excise tax.

It gained’t be the total 13 cents per litre however, as of Jan. 1, the province will gather 9 cents on each litre of gasoline offered within the province. That is according to the coverage spelled out when the tax was initially paused: if oil costs dropped beneath a sure stage, the tax would return.

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Even when a case will be made for delaying its return, the tax was coming again finally. And in equity, tacking 9 cents onto the present gasoline worth nonetheless leaves us effectively beneath a few of the tax-free gasoline costs we’ve seen over the previous 12 months and a half.

However moderately than merely slide again into our earlier established order, this must be a chance to re-examine the complete idea of the gasoline excise tax and why it exists within the first place. This entire train has inadvertently made the case for 2 easy and efficient — and likewise controversial — options.

For as a lot as we’d view the gasoline excise tax as some type of drivers’ consumer price to offset the price of highway upkeep, it isn’t. Clearly, we’ve been sustaining roads whereas the tax has been paused. And the premier final week made it clear that it is a tax similar to another.

In a year-end interview on QR Calgary/630CHED Edmonton, the premier defended the return of the tax, citing the strain on Alberta’s backside line. “We’ve to ensure that we’re managing our revenues for the long run,” she mentioned. And pointing to the necessity to construct extra colleges and hospitals, the premier warned that “we are able to’t carry on slicing our long-term reliable income sources.”

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So why can we single out one product to use what is basically a consumption tax? A extra broad-based provincial consumption tax (sure, a PST) could be a way more reliable income supply and would give the province the fiscal leeway to not solely scrap the gasoline tax however decrease different taxes and costs.

But when we insist {that a} mechanism exist for recouping cash from drivers to cowl the price of fixing and constructing roads and different driving infrastructure, is a gasoline tax actually the easiest way to do this? Gasoline taxes find yourself in the identical income pot as all different taxes, and so there’s probably not a direct correlation between the tax fee and highway upkeep prices.

Moreover, the emergence of electrical automobiles has severely undermined the premise of gasoline taxes as a consumer price. Drivers of electrical automobiles clearly don’t pay the gasoline tax, but they use the identical roads (given the extra weight of EVs, they arguably trigger much more put on and tear) as everybody else.

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Shifting the price to car registration charges could be one different, however that imposes the identical price on everybody no matter how a lot they drive. The plain and honest answer to this conundrum is an concept that may be simply as controversial as a PST: toll roads.

It will be a lot simpler to separate toll highway income from different tax income and be sure that it went immediately into highway repairs and development. Not like gasoline taxes or registration charges, highway tolls assist to display the place driver demand is heaviest and the place investments are most wanted.

As a bonus, having a PST and/or toll roads would permit us to extra successfully seize income from these visiting or passing via the province.

Given the political headache the federal government will certainly face with the return of the gasoline tax subsequent month, it’s unlikely they’d compound that by touching two third-rail political points. However that shouldn’t stop us from rethinking a flawed established order.

“Afternoons with Rob Breakenridge” airs weekdays from 12:30 to three p.m. on QR Calgary

[email protected]

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Letters: Dec. 16: Parking scofflaws a security hazard at airport

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For these selecting up airport passengers, it isn’t tough to attend within the cellphone lot, then proceed to shortly choose up your ready companion. Disturbingly, folks have determined that ready on the passenger pickup level is simpler. Or higher but, parking at passenger pickup and going instantly into the terminal to seek for their companion.

On a latest evening, it wasn’t notably crowded however each passenger pickup spot at WestJet was occupied by a parked automobile, some with drivers, some with out, and no passengers had been being loaded. That is alleged to be pickup and go zone — no ready and no parking. We’ve passengers now strolling into the lanes of visitors to flag down their trip as a result of all of the passenger pickup spots are occupied with automobiles that aren’t loading. 

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The place is the parking attendant to implement the foundations? Somebody will get run over and, frankly, airport administration ought to be blamed together with our self-absorbed idle hogs.

Doug Welsh, Calgary

‘Common’ tax hikes don’t replicate actuality

Council made quite a few statements throughout final month’s funds deliberations that subsequent 12 months’s 7.8 per cent property tax enhance would solely quantity to $16 extra every month for the common family valued at $610,000.

We’ve lived in the identical southwest condominium for 20 years. Despite the fact that our condominium is assessed under $610,000, our new tax discover signifies that our month-to-month TIPP funds shall be rising in January by $31 a month.

Did council and metropolis administration know this was seemingly and, if that’s the case, had been they merely blissful to mislead taxpayers?

What number of different “common” households have seen their new month-to-month tax funds enhance by greater than the much-ballyhooed $16 a month?

Jim Williams, Calgary

Financial savings on gas tax smoke and mirrors

Re: Gasoline worth will rise 9 cents per litre on Jan. 1 as UCP reimposes tax, Dec. 14

I do know math is tough, however Premier Danielle Smith has introduced arithmetic to a brand new degree of complexity. An announcement from the UCP authorities states that by reimposing a 9 cent per litre provincial gasoline tax on Jan. 1, Albertans shall be saving 4 cents per litre. (Ed. observe: The total tax of 13 cents is being phased again in).

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With this logic, the affordability disaster is over and we are able to all return to consuming cake.

Rob Butler, Calgary

The issues of no-fault insurance coverage

No-fault auto insurance coverage is a ripoff to drivers and car house owners in Alberta who’re pressured, by regulation, to buy overpriced insurance coverage.

My spouse was lately rear-ended on a avenue in Purple Deer. She was not at fault and our automobile was nonetheless driveable. My pondering was that we’d swap car data, VINs, insurance coverage corporations, names, addresses, licence numbers, and many others. Then the insurance coverage firm for the particular person at fault would pay for the injury. But it surely doesn’t seem to work that manner anymore in Alberta.

Now we now have to contact our personal insurance coverage firm they usually pay for our injury, and the opposite insurance coverage firm will get off scot-free if the driving force at fault doesn’t make a declare. However it’ll present up as a declare in opposition to our insurance coverage, regardless that my spouse wasn’t at fault. And our premiums will seemingly enhance because of this.

Our insurance coverage firm wrote off our car regardless that the injury was minimal, repairable and the car was nonetheless very a lot driveable.

I assumed our insurance coverage firm was alleged to characterize our pursuits. Not the pursuits of the at-fault driver and their insurance coverage firm.

No-fault insurance coverage is a rip-off to shoppers and ought to be eradicated in Alberta.

Dale Stuart, Purple Deer

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Opinion: Ought to Albertans belief cupboard to handle well being emergencies?

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Invoice 6, the Public Well being Modification Act, makes basic modifications to the administration of public well being emergencies by shifting authority for main selections from public well being officers to cupboard. It additionally explicitly limits the function of the provincial chief medical officer of well being (CMOH) and provides cupboard the authority to overturn their selections. As current courtroom selections have proven, this course of had been adopted through the pandemic, with cupboard improperly exercising the CMOH’s powers.

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Although we can not reliably predict what the following public well being emergency would possibly seem like, main pandemics in historical past have been immensely disruptive each by way of direct well being results and their social and financial results. For instance, Alberta skilled devastating epidemics of polio and Spanish influenza, each of which required main public well being restrictions at a time when a lot much less was recognized about causative brokers or efficient therapy and prevention measures. Way more frequent than main pandemics are smaller, usually localized occasions, such because the current Shigella and E. coli outbreaks. In fact, the following huge one could possibly be one thing fully new, as was the case with COVID.

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Invoice 6 represents a missed alternative to extra comprehensively consider how nicely our public well being legal guidelines carried out throughout COVID to make sure that we’re higher ready for the following emergency.

Throughout a public well being emergency, troublesome selections must be taken balancing restricted and evolving data, direct well being results of the illness (deaths and incapacity), and penalties for the health-care system, together with broader results on people, society and the financial system. Measures to stop transmission of significant infections could impose limits on some regular actions for a time period. The response to a public well being emergency requires a capability to hunt out and consider the perfect out there info and opinions, make reasoned judgments by balancing a number of issues and successfully talk with the general public.

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Throughout a future public well being emergency, Albertans will hope that cupboard provides applicable weight to the recommendation of the CMOH and probably different sources of medical info. That is the place the amendments contained in Invoice 6 fall brief.

If cupboard goes to make selections, then Albertans have the proper to know what recommendation the CMOH has given them. Transparency is important for accountability, which has been an express objective of the UCP’s current well being system modifications. How can the general public know if our authorities has made sensible selections if we don’t know what recommendation they got?

Particular person residents even have the proper to make knowledgeable private judgments round well being dangers and the liberty to take the non-public measures they assume finest. Utilizing the COVID instance, a person would possibly nicely select to make use of a masks in public settings or keep away from crowded eating places in the event that they knew that was the advice of the CMOH, even when these measures weren’t mandated by cupboard.

Ontario’s Lengthy-Time period Care COVID-19 Fee highlighted the significance of CMOH suggestions being clear. The Ontario authorities adopted a threshold for precautions that was 2.5 occasions greater than that really useful by the CMOH, who believed that he couldn’t disclose his suggestion to the general public. In response, the fee stated that in a well being emergency, “the general public has the proper to know the recommendation given on such an vital matter, straight from their chief medical officer.”

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No authorized measures can assure the perfect final result in each possible scenario; the knowledge and the judgment of these making the choice will at all times be vital. Nonetheless, the legislation ought to guarantee the proper of Albertans to the knowledge that might permit them to evaluate selections taken by cupboard in a public well being emergency, and to make private well being selections.

Invoice 6 and the not too long ago introduced plan to dismantle AHS and revamp health-care supply are each examples of a problematic path this authorities has adopted for the well being system. Each reforms characterize a rejection of experience in favour of elevated central management, which dangers politicizing well being coverage. Neither are evidence-based options designed to handle the challenges with our well being system.

Dr. Stan Houston is a professor of medication and public well being on the U of A, a former 30-year director of the Northern Alberta HIV Program, and energetic within the improvement of hurt discount and refugee well being in Edmonton.

Lorian Hardcastle is an affiliate professor within the College of Regulation and Cumming Faculty of Medication on the College of Calgary, with a concentrate on well being coverage and governance.

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Braid: Smith takes power combat to new stage with cost of Guilbeault 'treachery'

In relation to federal Surroundings Minister Steven Guilbeault, the sensation towards him from many within the Alberta authorities comes near hatred.

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“Treachery” is a robust phrase. It implies betrayal of essentially the most vile and toxic kind.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines treachery as “an act of perfidy or treason,” the very best crime in opposition to one’s nation.

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Premier Danielle Smith ranges that cost at federal Surroundings and Local weather Change Minister Steven Guilbeault.

Her assertion on the end result of COP28 in Dubai says: “Though he finally failed in his ambitions to incorporate language within the last COP28 settlement concerning the elimination of oil and gasoline manufacturing, Albertans won’t neglect his continued treachery in opposition to our province and tens of millions of different Canadians.

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“We as soon as once more name on the prime minister to switch this minister instantly, as he continues to wreck Canada’s worldwide status and promote out the pursuits and livelihoods of tens of millions of Canadians together with his misguided private obsessions.”

This goes far past the same old Alberta-Ottawa costs of unfriendly, unworkable insurance policies.

Smith has slammed a door shut. Agreements on electrical energy regulation and emissions, unlikely at greatest earlier than, now appear unattainable so long as Guilbeault is round.

In fact, the minister is a useful weapon to make use of in opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. No premier longs extra ardently than Smith for a Pierre Poilievre Conservative authorities.

However the language passes any bounds of restraint. It’s private. Smith and her circle of advisers merely despise the man.

Right here’s a abstract of feedback I’ve heard concerning the minister, paraphrased.

“Guilbeault hates Alberta.” “He detests the whole lot concerning the province and doesn’t give a rattling concerning the individuals.” “He’s a shame and a menace to nationwide unity.” “His insurance policies will break the financial system.” “No progress is feasible so long as he’s round.”

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UCP politicians say it’s pretty simple to work with Vitality and Pure Assets Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

In addition they like Innovation, Science and Business Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, who was instrumental within the $8.9-billion Dow Chemical plastics plant to be constructed close to Edmonton. Smith praises him effusively.

However with Guilbeault, the sensation comes near hatred.

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Many Albertans, together with MRU political scientist Duane Bratt, are asking if there’s ever been a phrase as harsh as “treachery,” particularly in the course of the epic combat over the Nationwide Vitality Program in 1980.

I can reply that one, having been there for all the important thing public occasions and talks over the NEP, each in Ottawa and Alberta.

No.

The stakes have been monumental again then. The battle over power costs had been occurring since 1973 and got here to a head with the NEP, which gave Ottawa a measure of management over improvement, the place it occurs, and the worth of oil and gasoline.

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Then, as now, the federal Liberals have been stomping on provincial rights.

Two key gamers have been then-federal power minister Marc Lalonde and his Alberta counterpart, Merv Leitch. They’d tense conferences after Alberta minimize oil shipments to Ontario refiners in April 1981.

However the ministers by no means voiced private animosity towards one another. Then-premier Peter Lougheed and prime minister Pierre Trudeau have been equally restrained.

Throughout two referendum campaigns on Quebec separation (about breaking apart this nation, no much less) federal politicians didn’t throw round phrases similar to “treachery”.

The Supreme Court docket, coping with the phrases of separation, didn’t suggest treachery or treason.

Smith is basically proper about Guilbeault’s efficiency. He’s a centralizer who desires to run the entire local weather marketing campaign out of Ottawa. He has no discernible respect for the constitutional powers of provinces.

He additionally appears stubbornly immune to the plain historic incontrovertible fact that when Ottawa turns into too overbearing, it should get a bloody nostril.

That’s occurring now within the courts. The polls present that Guilbeault isn’t any assist to the Liberals. His autocratic strategy ensures the failure of his personal local weather objectives.

Does this make him a treacherous traitor? No, he’s merely a really dangerous Liberal minister, which historical past reveals is a purely Canadian factor to be.

Don Braid’s column seems usually within the Herald

X: @DonBraid

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Brookman: There have been classes to be realized from Norman Lear's comedies

It’s by means of laughter and humour that classes are most simply taught

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When Norman Lear died final week, the world didn’t simply lose a superb author, tv producer and artistic genius, but additionally an important instructor. Via packages resembling All In The Household, The Jeffersons, Maude and others, Lear taught us to not solely giggle at ourselves but additionally at these people who find themselves inherently racist, bigoted and narrow-minded.

He confirmed us, with comedy — sometimes caustic comedy — simply how silly these people look. Through the Nineteen Seventies, he opened our eyes to the various methods individuals might be damage and insulted that have been simply a part of our society on the time.

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It ought to hassle us that within the varied tributes to Lear, many stations blocked a number of the most humorous examples of racial bigotry as a result of they have been making an attempt to be politically right. This was flawed — the purpose of Lear’s reveals was to point out how ridiculous racists, bigots and zealots can look when some humour is added to the equation.

A basic All within the Household episode was when Archie Bunker needed to go to hospital, solely to find that the physician who’s going to present him a shot isn’t solely a lady however Black. His discomfort was hilarious and the truth that he wanted the eye overrode his shock at the one who was giving it to him. After all, when she did put the needle into his buttocks, she did it with a sure flourish, and the expression on his face turned symbolic of the ignorance of the day.

It’s inconceivable to measure how the attitudes of 1000’s of individuals have been modified that day, or what number of Black feminine docs instantly turned acceptable, when the viewers realized that they, too, might be in that state of affairs and their prejudices solely made them look silly. It’s by means of laughter and humour that classes are most simply taught.

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Two of my Rotarian pals, now each deceased, have been Jewish, and we had many chuckles primarily based on each our variations and our similarities. Each time the lunch menu at Rotary included ham, one would say, “Oh, good, corned beef once more.” When one good friend’s daughter acquired engaged, he referred to as to say, “My daughter is engaged however she is getting married to considered one of yours.”

I replied, “Properly, you married considered one of ours,” and he mentioned, ‘Sure, however I assumed she would have extra sense than that.” That story was informed many occasions at household gatherings till his demise.

In some way, we should get again to our sense of self-awareness and our sense of humour. I’ve Dutch heritage and have heard the expression “Picket Head, Picket Sneakers, Picket Pay attention” a thousand occasions. This isn’t an insult, it’s possible a praise. The adage that the Scots are frugal and the Irish prefer to get together or that Italians are nice cooks should not maxims to be whispered, they’re to be celebrated.

It’s laborious to know after we instantly turned so afraid to confess to our personal traits, weaknesses or strengths. We’re transferring right into a world the place each phrase must be rigorously chosen or each story must be sanitized in order to not offend anybody.

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We construct group by constructing friendships, and we try this by means of phrases of endearment that acknowledge the weaknesses of our pals and love them anyway. Norman Lear had an unbelievable expertise, not solely to level out a number of the apparent idiosyncrasies in all of us, however to assist us to get pleasure from our variations as an alternative of preventing over them.

Each time I hear a “beep” on the radio or tv, I believe to myself, “What tiny reality has simply been saved off of the air, and the way may now we have used that to construct understanding and admire one another extra?” It’s wonderful to me that greater than 50 years after the primary episode of All In The Household aired, now we have not realized to loosen up about who or what we actually are.

As a substitute, our Twenty first-century requirements appear to be making us extra uptight than at any time since Queen Victoria.

Relaxation in peace, Norman Lear, you made the world a greater, extra tolerant place.

George H. Brookman is chair and firm ambassador of WCD Ltd.

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Opinion: Hudson's Bay Railway opens a means ahead for worldwide commerce

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Local weather change is creating challenges and alternatives within the Arctic and Hudson Bay. Beforehand icebound commerce routes are opening. The Northwest Passage is experiencing extra site visitors and ice is reducing on Hudson Bay. The water temperature of Hudson Bay is 4°C above regular in 2023, and this warming pattern is anticipated to proceed.

For Western Canada, the opening of Hudson Bay to year-round transport might present a lower-cost path to export markets. For instance, the route for Saskatchewan potash fertilizer to Africa and Brazil is far shorter through Churchill than by Vancouver, and would keep away from the expense of the Panama Canal.

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Worldwide commerce corridors favour the trail of least resistance. Governments compete for commerce by investing in transportation infrastructure to scale back the price, however a profitable commerce hall should appeal to sufficient site visitors to take care of the infrastructure and to develop.

The dearth of site visitors quantity has confronted the Hudson Bay Railway (HBR) since its starting. Utilizing rail trade averages, the HBR wants roughly two million tonnes of site visitors per 12 months to cowl its upkeep. The railway has not moved 500,000 tonnes yearly in a long time.

Local weather change advantages delivery on Hudson Bay, however melting permafrost creates a problem. A extra lively permafrost layer threatens to disrupt 270 kilometres of roadbed that underlies the rail line from Gillam, Man., to the Port of Churchill. Whereas efforts are underway to mitigate the impact of roadbed instability, the success of those measures stays unsure.

In contrast to the previous when the Hudson Bay commerce hall relied solely on grain exports, the potential exists for extra diversified site visitors. Along with grain, the hall might transfer potash, sulphur, LNG/hydrogen, lumber and steel concentrates. In addition to these uncooked supplies and assets, the Hudson Bay hall might conduct two-way actions of containerized items that usually pay higher freight charges.

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A container terminal on Hudson Bay may present half the site visitors quantity wanted to make the railway viable. It will additionally improve financial growth of the Prairie economies by lowering transportation prices and time in transit. Presently, containers from Europe journey over an extended and costly rail hall from Montreal.

Gateway ports that facilitate transshipment between land transport and marine should have adequate water draft to accommodate the big ships that carry the majority of world commerce. Additionally, the gateway should have acceptable terminals to switch cargo rapidly and safely.

Terminals usually have an excessive amount of automated dealing with tools and are specialised to maneuver only some merchandise. Because of this, a terminal that handles potash doesn’t deal with grain. Container terminals deal with solely containers. LNG terminals are designed to deal with methane gasoline delivered through a pipeline, though they might additionally be capable to transship hydrogen.

The price of terminal services might be measured in billions of {dollars}. Consequently, they require giant volumes of products site visitors to be economically sustainable. Additionally, buyers should have consolation that these services can function for adequate years to allow the capital to be repaid. The funding for port terminals is offered by personal sector corporations. Governments’ position is to make sure the transportation connections.

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The financial feasibility of the Hudson Bay hall depends upon a number of variables. The primary is the quantity of site visitors that could possibly be drawn to the Hudson Bay route. Decrease prices stimulate commerce, however diversion of freight from different commerce corridors is extra probably. An evaluation is required of the competitiveness of the Hudson Bay route versus different hall routes for numerous merchandise.

One other query is the quantity of funding required to maintain the HBR connection, or whether or not it could be inexpensive to construct a bypass to keep away from permafrost areas. This requires a research of the doable prices and route choices.

The order of implementation should even be thought of. It will be tough to construct the whole lot without delay. Analysis is required to plan out websites for particular terminals, and to look at any related infrastructure they’d require.

Additionally required is an evaluation of carbon emissions, dangers and wildlife results.

The seasonality has restricted the competitiveness of the Hudson Bay Hall. A warming local weather might change the relative benefit of its location and improve the economies of the Prairie provinces. The rail hall to Hudson Bay is shorter and slopes gently downhill to salt water, whereas rail to the West Coast should climb over a mountain vary.

Alternative knocks.

Barry E. Prentice is a professor and the director of the College of Manitoba Transport Institute, Asper Faculty of Enterprise.

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Varcoe: As COP28 agrees to transition off fossil fuels, oilsands majors unveil $10B spending plans

‘There’s a place for fossil fuels and that is simply actuality,’ stated Gurpreet Lail, CEO of Enserva, an trade group that represents the vitality providers, provide and manufacturing sector

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In the future after nations on the COP28 local weather summit agreed to transition away from fossil fuels, two of Canada’s largest oil producers unveiled capital plans to spend greater than $10 billion subsequent yr.

It comes because the world consumes report quantities of oil this yr — greater than 100 million barrels per day — and Canadian producers put together to satisfy the continued name for extra vitality.

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“There’s a place for fossil fuels and that’s simply actuality,” stated Gurpreet Lail, CEO of Enserva, an trade group that represents the vitality providers, provide and manufacturing sector.

“You’ll be able to spin it any which approach you need to make your self really feel higher or placate public opinion proper now. However the truth of the matter is, we’d like funding coming again into this trade,” stated Lail, who attended the COP28 summit.

“Persons are consuming extra oil and fuel merchandise, and oil and fuel, than they ever have earlier than.”

On Thursday, a brand new forecast for Enserva projected capital spending within the Canadian oil and fuel sector rising by 10.5 per cent in 2024, with 6,300 wells forecast to be drilled, up about eight per cent.

In flip, the variety of oilfield service jobs within the nation is projected to develop by a further 5,500 positions.

Final month, the Canadian Affiliation of Vitality Contractors forecast 6,229 wells shall be drilled in Western Canada subsequent yr, reflecting the same improve, as new pipeline capability is coming to the market.

The capital applications of a number of main trade gamers have been unveiled over the previous week, and analysts count on modest spending progress, regardless of the latest drop in oil and pure fuel costs.

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On Thursday, Canadian Pure Sources introduced its funds subsequent yr will attain about $5.4 billion, up from a comparable funds of $5 billion in 2023.

The nation’s largest petroleum producer forecasts complete output will common about 1.36 million barrels of oil equal (boe) per day subsequent yr.

Nevertheless, it’s concentrating on shorter-cycle improvement exercise within the second half, and says manufacturing by the top of subsequent yr will attain 1.46 million boe per day — a rise of about 40,000 boe per day from the identical interval in 2023.

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In the meantime, built-in producer Cenovus Vitality launched plans to spend about $4.75 billion in 2024, together with about $2.6 billion of capital expenditures within the oilsands.

The Calgary-based firm’s complete funds is up about $500 million, or 12 per cent, from 2023. It’s anticipating complete manufacturing of about 790,000 boe per day.

Cenovus and Canadian Pure, together with 4 different main oilsands operators, are a part of the Pathways Alliance, a gaggle that’s working collectively to realize net-zero emissions by 2050.

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Analyst Phil Skolnick of Eight Capital stated Canadian producers are taking a look at “slight progress” subsequent yr, because the Trans Mountain pipeline growth is predicted to be accomplished, nearly tripling the capability of the prevailing line from Alberta to the B.C. Coast.

Even with risky oil costs — benchmark U.S. crude costs closed Thursday up $2.11 to US$71.58 a barrel — and the COP28 framework settlement calling for transitioning off fossil fuels, Canadian corporations proceed to speculate.

“They’re not reducing again,” Skolnick stated.

“They don’t appear fearful of it.”

Pathways Alliance has proposed constructing a $16.5-billion carbon seize community within the province connecting a number of oilsands amenities to a storage hub close to Chilly Lake, however has not but made a ultimate funding choice.

Pathways Alliance Cold Lake CCUS project
An worker with the Pathways Alliance explains how a proposed carbon seize and storage challenge based mostly in Chilly Lake works through the Oil Sands Commerce Present at Shell Place on September 13, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Right now/Postmedia Community

In the meantime, oilsands big Suncor Vitality introduced final week it’s boosting its capital expenditures to about $6.4 billion, a 14 per cent hike over this yr’s program.

In Alberta, complete oil and fuel trade spending is predicted to hit $29.6 billion this yr and climb to $32.6 billion in ’24, in keeping with provincial forecasts.

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Nevertheless, longer-term forecasts for the worldwide trade are a matter of intense debate.

There are predictions world oil demand will plateau later as the usage of electrical automobiles expands and as decarbonization efforts achieve velocity.

The Paris-based Worldwide Vitality Company says world oil consumption will improve to 101.7 million barrels per day this yr, but it surely has additionally forecast that international oil and fuel demand will peak someday this decade.

In Dubai at COP28, nations agreed to “transitioning away from fossil fuels in vitality techniques, in a simply, orderly and equitable method,” as they attempt to restrict international warming to 1.5 levels Celsius.

Federal Setting Minister Steven Guilbeault identified the deal requires the tripling of renewable vitality, doubling vitality effectivity and “a historic consensus to maneuver away from fossil fuels in vitality techniques.” It led to sharp criticism from Premier Danielle Smith.

The COP settlement sends a transparent sign of the place the world is headed, stated Greenpeace Canada’s senior vitality strategist Keith Stewart, even when oil corporations comparable to Cenovus and Canadian Pure plan to spend extra.

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“The (capital) selections have been made months in the past as a result of it takes a very long time for these processes to occur. It’ll be fascinating to see whether or not that development continues within the subsequent few years,” Stewart stated Thursday.

The Cenovus SAGD oilsands facility
Staff stroll by pure fuel steam turbines on the Cenovus SAGD oilsands facility close to Conklin, Alta. Ryan Jackson/Postmedia

However Ben Brunnen, writer of the Enserva report and a companion with Garrison Technique, confused the COP28 settlement offers nations the power to chart their very own path ahead.

It “permits nations the flexibleness to set their objectives,” stated Brunnen, a former vice-president of the Canadian Affiliation of Petroleum Producers.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of lingering questions on how shortly the transition can happen and the way the world will scale back emissions whereas additionally tackling safety of provide issues and assembly the rising vitality urge for food of nations.

“Oil and fuel is just not going away anytime quickly,” Rob Roach, deputy chief economist with ATB Monetary, stated after the Enserva occasion.

“Being lifelike, it’s a long-term transition and Alberta goes to be a part of that.”

Chris Varcoe is a Calgary Herald columnist.

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Opinion: Alberta's health-care technique is to delay and distract

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Premier Danielle Smith and Well being Minister Adriana LaGrange, together with their workers, have to be recommended for his or her mastery of political ways. Well being care is pricey, with an enormous payroll. Even small will increase for these providers are expensive. The UCP backers need the federal government to be “good stewards of sources,” which appears to imply protecting taxes down by not spending. The minister should face nice stress in cupboard to restrain spending plans.

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But the federal government have to be seen to do one thing throughout a time of health-care disaster.

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Inhabitants progress however falling nurse staffing, backed up emergency departments and rising process ready lists are exacerbated by household medical doctors leaving the province for higher situations and help.

Whereas different provinces have acknowledged issues and made quick selections to resolve their crises, Alberta is barely transferring. The longer the delay, the better the financial savings. Each week earlier than new expenditures is a bonus — although the UCP can transfer rapidly when public anger is main, as proven by cancellation of the Dynalife laboratory service, even at a excessive price.

The best problem is appropriately paying medical doctors. Right here the minister’s delays are masterful.

Negotiating defuses anger, so she has established a committee for dialogue with the Alberta Medical Affiliation.

Greater than a yr in the past, the earlier minister, Jason Copping, engaged physicians in making a plan. That plan is now being mentioned additional, to then contribute to finances dialogue, excusing doing nothing until April. After that, extra time might be taken. It’s unlikely any modifications will happen earlier than mid-2024.

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Within the absence of actual selections, a sequence of bulletins divert consideration. The premier introduced a reorganization of the well being service. This may take months, extra doubtless years, so nobody can determine its failures until then.

They introduced a plan to fund nurse practitioners in their very own main care practices. This may even take time, since there are few unemployed nurse practitioners prepared to start out instantly. Opening an unbiased observe requires advanced planning. It requires religion that the system will proceed supporting the observe for a number of years into the long run. Solely probably the most devoted will take that plunge.

This promise was a low-cost outlay that generated beneficial publicity from rural councils. It additionally stirred up inter-professional conflicts in regards to the function of nurse practitioners and whether or not they need to compete with household physicians or collaborate with them.

Speaking to naturopaths additionally generated publicity and diverted consideration, stirring the vexatious problems with their validity and function.

There are periodic bulletins of medical doctors and different health-care workers being introduced into native well being providers, however they’re fewer than wanted to construct again to full providers. And except the situations that drove away their predecessors enhance, they, too, are more likely to depart after a couple of years. However that would be the subsequent minister’s drawback.

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A lot of the health-care system in Alberta has been underfunded for a very long time. Specialist care within the cities is supported nicely, so the individuals who get to these providers obtain world-class care. The rich funders of the UCP who reside within the cities get what they want. Nonetheless, there are main deficits in main care (particularly rural care), psychiatric care, emergency medication and specialist care exterior the most important cities. UCP voters reside there, however since they’re unlikely to show towards the celebration, they are often ignored.

Alberta may copy the perfect options of plans in different provinces which are attracting Alberta workers. To show the tide, substantial funding have to be introduced instantly, for elevated EMS staffing, emergency room workers and boosts to doctor remuneration, particularly in rural areas. Such bulletins will give hope for longer-term enhancements. Tremendous tuning can happen later.

Can Smith and LaGrange change their method and use a number of the $5.5-billion anticipated finances surplus for a Christmas current to Alberta, to encourage retention and actual enlargement of the health-care workforce?

Dr. James Dickinson is a professor within the departments of Household Drugs and Neighborhood Well being Sciences on the College of Calgary.

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Letters, Dec.14: Adoption column resonates with readers

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Re: Adoption isn’t a nasty determination, but it surely’s a troublesome one, Opinion, Dec. 9

What an attractive story, and in time for Christmas.

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I can solely think about, on the tender age of 14, the lonely, scary wrestle it was to reach at a choice that solely you could possibly make.

You probably did two great issues. You not solely gave beginning and bestowed life, however you additionally gave that toddler a possibility to be all they might be.

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Thanks, Tina, for sharing, and I hope your story is seen as a beacon of hope for all ladies wrestling with this similar dilemma.

Gail Singh, Calgary

Adoption supplied higher life

I used to be adopted at beginning in 1947 and it was the most effective factor that occurred to me. My adoption had been organized by way of the Salvation Military earlier than I used to be born, when ladies “within the household manner” had been despatched away as a result of being pregnant out of wedlock introduced nice disgrace to the household.

Discovering my beginning mom within the pre-internet days meant scouring libraries and thumbing by way of metropolis directories. I used to be finally profitable, however sadly she had died a 12 months earlier than. What I did uncover was that had she not given me up, I might have been raised in poverty as an alternative of a privileged, middle-class upbringing.

I’m glad there was no open adoption again then as a result of which may have put pressure on my relationship with my mom and father. It could work for some adoptees and beginning moms, however the clear slate I used to be afforded labored nicely in my case. As an alternative of disgrace, I’ve immense gratitude for the dad and mom who selflessly raised me.

Nancy Marley-Clarke, Calgary

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Time to scrap pension concept

Why does the UCP authorities proceed to flog a useless horse by persevering with with its proposal to create an Albertan pension plan?

On account of their engagement periods, it’s clear that almost all of Albertans wish to stick with the Canada Pension Plan. The remainder of the knowledge they’re looking for from Ottawa is just stalling the inevitable.

JG Gilmour, Calgary

We are able to’t tolerate Ottawa overreach

Our provincial authorities has acknowledged the scope creep taking place in Canada. The federal authorities is shifting into all areas of provincial obligations. Will Canada now not be a real federation by 2050? Are we OK with this?

The APP, a provincial police pressure and the Sovereignty Act are all reactions to the scope creep of the Canadian authorities. We have to resolve if we’re pleased with management resting in Ontario.

Invoice Peddlesden, Chestermere

Private stake taints message

Al Duerr’s provincial cheerleading column of Dec. 8 on Alberta’s participation at COP28 could be extra significant and trustworthy if readers understood he’s paid nicely for his involvement with these Alberta applied sciences.

He’s a associate in Carbon Join Worldwide Inc., which is the recipient of a provincial authorities contract price tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars}.

Cam Spady, Carstairs

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