Poll predicts UCP majority in landslide win
A recent survey by Forum Research has found that Albertan voters support Jason Kenney to the tune of 55 percent, giving the United Conservatives the edge over current Premier Rachel Notley’s NDPs.
It appears as though the debate held between the parties did little in terms of any change to the polls, with the majority of Albertans still backing Kenney’s party, aiming to give him a landslide victory come April 16.
Anti-pipeline protestors outside of Spruce Grove, Alberta, were confronted by locals fed-up with the law-breakers blocking the railway on Wednesday, as first reported by CTV News.
A business owner from Spruce Grove, upset with the protestors affecting her business, asked
“Quick question though, how is this affecting your business? How does this affect your business if you’re in Spruce Grove?” asked the one activist blocking the train route to the business owner.
“Are you kidding? Do you know what industrial area you are in? Do you know how many trains for through Spruce Grove in a day? Do you know that?” asked the business owner.
The one protestor shook his head no.
“You don’t, and you don’t care. And that’s the sad part. How there be any reconciliation or reasonable conversation when you are doing something illegal? Plain and simple,” said the business owner from Spruce Grove.
“The government is breaking its own laws,” said a woman protestor.
The business owner asked if illegal activity was a good way to go about reconciliation.
“Are you telling them how to get reconciliation? Another white person, coming down and telling Native people how to view their business. That’s sad.” said another anti-pipeline protestor.
“Your being racist, you’re both being racist,” said the female protestor.
“Eight of 13 hereditary chiefs. Twenty bands want that pipeline. You’re making it about something that it isn’t. And you’re standing in their way,” said the business owner.
“You’re making it a very unsafe space here, you need to go over there,” said another woman blocking the track to an out of work Albertan asking the protestors to clear the track.
“Trains are supposed to go through here… We have the rights to fu**in’ jobs, to pipelines, to all kinds of things,” said the clearly angry counter protestor in CTV’s footage of the scene.
“Trudeau isn’t doing nothing. The RCMP aren’t doing nothing. What are you, Batman? Why don’t you go home,” said another protestor to the unemployed Albertan.
The unemployed man said he was laid off because of the protest, in which one of the law-breakers asked if he had ever heard of a temp agency.
Canadians across the country are confronting the protestors shutting down Canada’s railways and roadways.
A poll commissioned by Global News found that 61 percent of Canadians see the protestors putting up illegal blockades as illegitimate in their actions.
The blockade near Spruce Grove was torn down by counter-protestors later in the day.
A blockade has been set up at an Edmonton railway from a new environmental radical group, the self-proclaimed “Cuzzins of Wetsuweten.”
The protestors, roughly two dozen in size, say they set up on the railway in support of anti-pipeline Wet’suwet’en peoples.
The group was spotted setting up at roughly 4 a.m. MST, setting up a blockade made up of wooden pallets, a vehicle, tents, and several foot soldiers. One member of the group confirmed that they called CN Railway before setting up their blockade.
The group says they do not plan on leaving until their demands are met.
According to CTV, the group did manage to stop a train from progressing, eventually slamming on its brakes and retreating.
One spokesperson who spoke with CTV who went by the name “Poundmaker,” told reporters, “Our focus is to get Coastal GasLink to respect Wet’suwet’en law and remove themselves from their territory along with the royal colonial mountain police. were planning on staying here until those demands are met… as soon as that happens, we’re out of here.”
No Royal Canadian Mounted Police have reported to the scene.
Minister Doug Schweitzer posted on Twitter in response to the Cuzzins of Wetsuweten protests, calling the blocking of economic infrastructure “an offence [that] will not be tolerated.”
Minister Schweitzer also said in the tweet that the CN Rail is “seeking an emergency injunction this morning, which the Government of Alberta fully supports.”
Though it’s unclear who exactly is behind the Cuzzins of Wet’suwet’en group, there was a post from Extinction Rebellion Edmonton promoting the group. That group’s Twitter account was only opened in February of 2020.
A new motion will soon be introduced to Parliament by the Bloc Quebecois asking the government to call off the Frontier Teck mine that has been proposed in northern Alberta, according to the Western Standard.
The motion will be introduced by Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet. The motion suggests, “That the House call on the government to not authorize the Teck Frontier mine development, as this project can not be reconciled with the Paris Agreement targets.”
Bloc MP Alain Therrien has also supported the motion.
Two more motions will be brought forward by the Bloc, though only one will be chosen to be put up for debate in the House of Commons. The Bloc has not yet specified the motion that will move ahead.
Non-political regulators have already given their approval for the $20.6-billion northern Alberta project. The Liberal natural resources minister noted that their approval of the project may be delayed if Alberta continues to oppose Ottawa’s carbon tax. Many eastern Liberal MPs do not want the project to go through it all.
The federal government has indicated it may be abandoning the project, though Teck claims that it will help the GDP of the province and create approximately 7,000 jobs.
A statement was just released by Teck noting that by 2050 it plans to be a net-zero emitter.
The statement on the company’s website says the project, “will consist of surface mining operations, a processing plant, tailings management facilities, water management facilities, and associated infrastructure and support facilities.”
The project is estimated to generate around 260,000 oil barrels in a single day.
All of the 14 Indigenous communities in the project area have come to agreements with Teck.
According to the federal government, they will not be giving an answer any time before late February.
Federal Environment Minister Johnathan Wilkinson said that environmental impacts would be taken into account before the project is approved.
“With respect to (Frontier), we need to look at all the environmental impacts, we obviously need to look at the economic opportunities, and we need to ensure we’re taking both into account,” said Wilkinson.
“Certainly, one of those issues is how does this project fit with Canada’s commitments to achieving the reductions we are committing to (for) 2030, and the net zero commitment to 2050? I would just say again that it’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets.”
Wilkinson noted that every province should be expected to help the country achieve those goals.
The industrial emitter plan, TIER (Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction) was revealed by the UCP government in bill 19.
This plan came in place of the NDP’s climate Leadership Plan by revoking carbon tax on residents and some businesses while keeping the tax on the big emitters.
The TIER plan gives facilities a number of options such as reducing emissions or paying $30 per tonne in a TIER fund.
The federal carbon tax challenge was brought forward by the Alberta government in 2019. Arguments went ahead in Alberta’s Court of Appeal on Dec. 16-18.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that the government is going through a process to determine whether the Teck Frontier Mine is in the national interest, according to Global News.
When a reporter asked the prime minister if he knew how devastating the cancelation of this project would be to Alberta’s economy, Trudeau responded, “I understand that it is a project that has a lot of people reflecting on the choice that we’re about to make.”
“We are taking this responsibility seriously,” Trudeau added, “to make a decision that is in the national interest.”
The Teck Frontier Mine is a multi-billion dollar project, located in Alberta’s oilsands, that could employ some 7,000 workers during constuction and 2,500 workers once the project is completed—giving some much needed relief to Alberta’s starved economy.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau is considering an “aid package” to Alberta if the Federal Government decides not to follow through with the Teck Frontier Mine.
“I would never think to characterize this as anything other then creating opportunities,” said Morneau. “Alberta is a province where we have great entrepreneurs who have built a strong economy and I think what we need to do is address the economy as challenged right now and create a path forward that will have hope for this generation and the next generation. I look at it very differently.”
The Teck Frontier Mine has created a great deal of contention from within the Liberal caucus, with some Liberal MPs calling for Trudeau to block the project. It has also sparked protests across the country. In Belleville, for example, First Nation protesters blocked train tracks for four straight days, stopping all trains between Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal.
As well as this, a dozen protesters blocked access to Vancouver’s Delta Port and would not leave until the RCMP left the Wet’suwet’en territory. Hundreds of dock workers could not be paid until the First Nation protesters left.