Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Louis Girod Alberta needs Jason Kenny Like · Reply · 13 hrs Julie Ali Julie Ali No we do not.

If conservatives in Alberta UNITE the NDP LOSE. It's time to put past squabbles aside and act in the best interest of Albertans.

SIGN to support conservative UNITY
Louis Girod Alberta needs Jason Kenny

Reply13 hrs
Julie Ali No we do not.

ReplyJust now

Reply13 hrs
Sharlene Heninger I mean. NDP is destroying our province. We need to be united conservatives

Reply13 hrs
Dayton Nabess man, that is sad.

11 hrs
Ingrid Hess I think you should just Nap!

7 hrs
Jim Eigner No petition wording, no support. Particularly for any of Hapless Harper's has beens.

12 hrs
Gord Quong worked at government of alberta ?, bet you loved getting that pc government cheque

9 hrs
James Williams That cheque came from the people of Alberta, not the PC's, and the last time I checked the NDP is still paying wages. Keep your alternative facts to yourself. Typical conservative spin.

Reply9 hrs
Carol Friend Belanger Yes with Brian Jean as leader!!!

10 hrs
John Spijkers I wouldn't start celebrating just yet!

7 hrs
Bryan Jones Gotta love the right! By the time they are slitting each others throats and stabbing each other in the back the carnage should be epic.

the manning mafia has already decided on the new leader, and have amassed dirt on the others......the rest of the "party faithful" exist merely as a funding source and a facade of democracy.

7 hrs
Les Semeniuk Not a chance

5 hrs
Rob Gilgan The best interests of Albertans is served when Kenney's political career ends. Manning-Harper The Hate machine ™, hard at work.

5 hrs
Lorne McLean I am a conservative but until Brian Jean takes back his comments re: GSA's he won't get my support. Brian Jean said parents should not be notified if their kids are attending GSA's. Sorry Brian you're wrong on this one!

4 hrs
Grant Collies For any progressives left in the conservative your only real choice to stop the Hate Machine Social Conservatives is to vote NDP.

Reply1 hr
Julie Ali Really you are being silly. There are plenty of nice Conservative voters who will be happy to vote Wildrose. I am one of them.

ReplyJust now

Grant Collies Julie Ali I am serious it is the right choice they have proven that they are a centrist party already in their support of the oil industry.

Reply5 mins
Julie Ali Grant Collies They have proved they are the PCs all over again. Have you seen their total reversal on fracking? How about the failures in the promises to families about the evolution of the continuing care system. Just think about the 1% increase in pay to AUPE when there was more on the table. The NDP folks have shown us that it only takes a year for them to become the NDPCs. I doubt they will leave us anything in the bank as well. Troubling failures and hard to believe I fell for this spin when I voted for them in the last provincial election. Never again.

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Grant Collies Julie Ali Kept more election promises than 44 years of the PC's, that is a fact. Alberta's economy is actually recovering because of their policies while Saskatchewan's is failing.

Reply53 mins
Julie Ali Grant Collies Have you by chance noted the debt? It's easy to say that the house is being renovated but when you have a house being spruced up with a foundation of debt, it's rather hard to trust that the increased value of the renovated house is going to be long lasting. My feeling is that spending money is not proof of any sort of performance and that we've had this junk with the PCs enough to recognize economic improvement by spending massive sums of cash. In any case I doubt the NDP will be re-elected because families like myself who voted for them for change in the continuing care system will never trust them again. I'm of the feeling that the AUPE folks are also of that same feeling.

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Grant Collies Julie Ali That debt is why you still have any continuing care at all, you can't have it both ways.

Reply29 mins
Julie Ali Grant Collies Debt is not why we have continuing care. The debt is due to the major cost of all the non-productive folks in the GOA. Have you considered the major number of PC inserts in the Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs)? The NDP folks were supposed to prune these entitlements. Instead we've still got the many patronage positions filled. In terms of the executive staff at the health authorities--both at AHS and Covenant Health we have a hemorrhage of cash that could go to continuing care. Just recently Ms. Notley told us that we would be paying $235 million to the oil and gas industry for their liabilities (orphan well program). Why are we "loaning" them this money when they have billions in assets? Good question. Ms. Notley even kindly provided the $35 million that the Trudeau folks gave for economic stimulation so that the oil and gas industry would not have to pay interest. I guess the NDP are copying the PCs but at least Stelmach only gave the oil and gas industry $30 million and told us that it was free cash to create jobs. Notley doesn't even bother to tell us that the money will never come back to us but spins us a story of a "loan". Again why are we the bank for big oil's liabilities? You've got money($4.2 million) being handed over by Alberta Health under the NDP folks to the Pure North even though the PCs had already made this mistake by giving $10 million. So tell me what is the difference between the PCs and the NDPCs? Same old same old

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Grant Collies Julie Ali Have you considered how many of the PC inserts have been removed by this government and how much of a cut in pay their replacement received; no you have not. The debt is so, their is still continuing care , funded hospitals and schools. Creating another centrist party is the surest way to elect the wing nut social conservatives.

Reply2 mins
Julie Ali Grant Collies I think there will be a decision by each of us what is best for our families and Alberta. I don't believe in the NDP any longer because they have just done the same sorts of moves as the PCs. This indicates to me that they aren't living their values. If they can screw the very folks in AUPE who worked so hard to get them to power what sort of people are they? Just like the PCs. The fact is that all political parties are the same. Best to be respectful about all voters. Instead of calling folks "wing nut social conservatives" maybe ask them for their side of things and talk to them. Some of them have odd opinions but you're not going to know the many good Albertans by calling them names.

ReplyJust now

Grant Collies
 Julie Ali I live and work among them and stand by what I say. many of these people are totally deluded in their thinking. This government has not screwed the AUPE; the fact is that they are stuck between a rock and a hard place on this matter, the need to act as a government and the desires of the party to support the union, not an enviable position at all, but, one I can understand. The issue is much like the fracking issue; as a government do you end a viable portion of the industry or serve the environmental desires of much of your party? They have chosen token as many people working as possible. I am not happy about that but, in the economic reality of Alberta it makes sense.

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Reply19 mins
Julie Ali Grant Collies Sorry I don't agree with you. The NDP stood by specific positions which is why I voted for them. Now they are in government they change colour and do what is required to keep their jobs. But what they have done isn't productive. For example, the continuing care system has many private providers both in the for profit and not for profit system. The PCs downloaded care to these providers while minimizing the public share of the work because the transfer of responsibility fitted the agenda of the PCs. Long term contracts may be in force. But so what? Government can do what it wants to do. It did this in terms of the power companies didn't it? Why doesn't the government do the change in the continuing care system? Because frankly speaking the image of the oil and gas industry is more important than the people in the continuing care system. Fracking represents a problem as per the Jessica Ernst and Diana Daunheimer cases and yet we don't have any work done by the NDP folks to investigate both the contamination of water or the health risks. Why not? Could it be that their only concern is the relationship with big oil and not with the citizens themselves who have no power in these messes? These are issues of justice and values. The NDP have proved themselves --like the PCs to be representing the values of the elite and not the ordinary citizens. There is no rock and hard place. Or why else is the GOA able to spend money on the orphan well program while at the same time telling us that heck this is a liability of the industry? They are talking out of both sides of their mouth.

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Grant Collies Julie Ali Again you are talking about things you don't understand; the GOA did not spend money on the Orphan Well Program, the federal government did, that is the $30 million that is paying the interest the loan the OWA has. The money was targeted by the feds for that purpose it could not be spent otherwise. The decision to use the money to pay the interest was a good one as it was also tied to the increase of the Orphan Well Levy being raised from $30 million to $60 per year. It put a lot of workers back to work and it cost the Alberta taxpayers nothing. That is the very definition of good government.
Reply20 mins
Julie Ali Grant Collies So the GOA just got $235 million of our cash out of some mystery bank to help out big oil? Where is the money coming from? We are loaning this money to big oil. The feds made no mention of targeting the $30 million in their notes to pay for the orphan well program did they? They made the transfer for economic development. The NDP folks choose to make the "loan" interest free. The oil and gas industry could have made the levy appropriate right from the beginning --but due to the lack of interest of the PCs did not do their due diligence. Now the NDPCs continue the mollycoddling of this industry with our money. Or do you consider this loan not to be tax payer money? The Liberal government’s budget released Wednesday, which projects a $28.6-billion deficit, includes a $30-million one-time payment to “support provincial actions that will stimulate economic activity and employment in Alberta’s resource sector” and its “specialized workforce.”
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Chris Erickson Does the Wildrose Party no longer believe in itself? Why else would they give up and join the PC Party that they were founded to stop in the first place? I think Brian Jean and his buddy from Ottawa are sell-outs just looking to get money and power for themselves. The Wildrose needs new leadership from someone who will do their job and put together a shadow budget instead of just collecting a paycheck.

34 mins
Julie Ali I agree completely with you. Why would the Wildrose take in the PC folks we have voted out? It's shameful.

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Julie Ali No I do not.

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Auditor general to audit Alberta Health grants to Pure North private health foundation

Liberal health critic David Swann says Alberta Health also needs to conduct own investigation

By Charles Rusnell, Jennie Russell, CBC News Posted: Jun 19, 2017 6:00 AM MT Last Updated: Jun 19, 2017 8:23 AM MT
Alberta’s auditor general, Merwan Saher, will examine two grants Alberta Health awarded to Pure North S’Energy Foundation, an alternative-health foundation that offers unproven treatments.
Alberta’s auditor general, Merwan Saher, will examine two grants Alberta Health awarded to Pure North S’Energy Foundation, an alternative-health foundation that offers unproven treatments. (CBC)







Alberta's auditor general has partially acceded to a request from Liberal health critic David Swann for an audit of two Alberta Health grants to Pure North S'Energy, a private health foundation that offers unproven alternative health treatments.  
In a recent letter to Swann, Auditor General Merwan Saher said his office examines Alberta Health's grant processes as a matter of course, but will conduct a more in-depth review of the Pure North grants.
"The [Pure North] grant payments in question will be selected for testing," Saher said.
But a spokesperson for Saher said no decision has yet been made on whether his office will conduct a separate performance audit to determine if the funding itself was merited and provided value for the public money spent.
"We will compare new audits identified with those still in the planning stages and reprioritize our work as appropriate," Saher told Swann. "Your request has been added to our inventory of items for future audit consideration."
Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann formally requested a full audit of both Pure North grants. (CBC)
In an interview with CBC News, Swann said he understands the auditor general has significant demands on his time and resources, but he said "it is clear that he sees this as a priority. He is at least going to look into the application and approval process in Alberta Health and I think that is appropriate."
Pure North was founded, and is funded, by wealthy Calgary philanthropist and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) co-founder Allan Markin. The non-profit foundation focuses on vulnerable populations such as the homeless, addicted and elderly, and operates free clinics in such places as homeless shelters and on Indigenous reserves.
CBC News reported in April that Alberta Health gave Pure North a $10-million grant in December 2013 to expand its alternative health program, which featured high doses of vitamin D and the removal of mercury dental fillings, ultimately to 7,300 mostly low-income seniors.

Funding approved against ministry advice

Internal government documents show former Progressive Conservative health minister Fred Horne approved the funding against the advice of ministry officials. The officials determined the Pure North program was not adequately supported by science, could not prove the health and economic outcomes it claimed, and may cause adverse reactions in participants.
The documents also showed that six days before the ministry signed the grant agreement, the rationale for the funding was inexplicably changed from a research project to simply an expansion of the program. The change meant there was no ethical oversight of the program. The ministry has not explained the abrupt change in purpose for the funding.
In 2015, newly elected NDP Health Minister Sarah Hoffman declined to continue funding the Pure North program based on advice from ministry officials. But Hoffman did approve $4.2 million in funding to Pure North for a nurse-practitioner led primary care clinic, which is part of a ministry pilot project.
Health Minister Sarah Hoffman has repeatedly refused to answer questions about her ministry’s funding of Pure North. (CBC)
Hoffman has publicly stated that she had no knowledge of any health safety concerns about Pure North before she approved the nurse-practitioner grant. But a briefing note obtained by the Opposition Wildrose through freedom of information shows Hoffman's office was briefed about various issues a month before the grant agreement was signed.
Hoffman has refused to answer questions both from CBC News and opposition politicians about what she knew about Pure North, and when she knew it.
She has also refused to respond to questions from CBC News in relation to its reporting about lobbying conducted for Pure North by health deputy minister Carl Amrhein while he was AHS official administrator. The Wildrose have asked Alberta's ethics commissioner to investigate but that office neither confirms nor denies investigations.
In Swann's May 5 letter to the auditor general requesting the audit, he said "my office has conducted a preliminary review into the matter and, after having spoken to several stakeholders, I believe that there is sufficient grounds for concern, especially as it relates to the potential public health risks the vitamin supplement program may cause to a vulnerable population."

Pure North says no health safety issues

Swann said in an interview that Alberta Health should conduct a thorough review of the program to determine if there were any adverse effects. Pure North spokesman Stephen Carter has publicly stated that the foundation has many studies that prove the effectiveness of its program and said 50,000 people have participated in the program without any safety issues.
Carter welcomed the auditor general's review.
"It's fantastic," he said. "The contracts were awarded through a normal process and I am quite confident that he is going to find that there were no problems with it."
Friends of Medicare executive director Sandra Azocar also previously said Hoffman has a responsibility to independently investigate the potential effects of the Pure North program on vulnerable Albertans.
Hoffman however has simply refused to address the issue and instead told opposition parties they should direct their questions to Conservative MLA Dave Rodney, who was associate health minister under Fred Horne when Pure North received $10 million in funding for its unproven seniors program.
Hoffman, through a spokesperson, has said "we will be fully supportive if the auditor chooses to look into this file."
If you have any information about this story, or information for another story, please contact us in confidence at


Federal budget slashes drilling deductions, grants Alberta $30 million to stimulate economy

Published on: March 22, 2017 | Last Updated: March 23, 2017 10:01 AM MDT
Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold copies of the federal budget in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold copies of the federal budget in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. ADRIAN WYLD / THE CANADIAN PRESS
OTTAWA — Alberta is getting a $30-million payment from Ottawa to clean up “orphan wells” — and boost employment in a slowly recovering energy industry — even as higher tax rates will hit companies drilling new oil and natural gas wells.
The Liberal government’s budget released Wednesday, which projects a $28.6-billion deficit, includes a $30-million one-time payment to “support provincial actions that will stimulate economic activity and employment in Alberta’s resource sector” and its “specialized workforce.”
In a news conference in Edmonton, Premier Rachel Notley called the payout “good news” and confirmed the money will be used for remediation of abandoned wells that no longer have corporate owners.
“The idea was to focus on orphan well reclamation and find a way to kick-start getting those particular small oilfield workers and service workers back to work, while doing the work that needs to be done,” said Notley.
Alberta has more than 82,000 inactive oil and gas wells, which industry groups suggest could be cleaned up by laid-off resource workers.
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada had originally sought $500 million in loans from Ottawa for the project.
Mark Salkeld, the head of PSAC, said he wasn’t disappointed to only see a fraction of what the group wanted but did wryly note it was less than a 10th of what aerospace company Bombardier received in a loan from Ottawa.
“Ironically, those airplanes won’t fly without oil and gas,” said Salkeld.
Notley said more details of how the $30-million payment would be used will be announced in the weeks to come, but the dollars will be “leveraged” to gain additional funding.
The NDP premier, who has been closely aligned with the Trudeau government, also praised budget commitments to child care, bolstering Alberta’s plan to eventually move to $25-a-day daycare, and to First Nations drinking water and infrastructure.
The budget did not reveal the location of a planned new Canada Infrastructure Bank, which would co-ordinate projects with different levels of government and the private sector. Calgary is one of three cities seen to be in the running as the bank’s new location.
But with the announcement of a new funding formula that will see $20.1 billion spent over 11 years, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Calgary will receive $1.15 billion for the planned Green Line expansion of the LRT system. He has also been assured Ottawa will pony up the additional $400 million to $450 million promised for the project.
“This means we will be able to move forward on the Green Line, and it also means that it will be very, very important for us to sit down with the government of Alberta to get their one-third in place,” Nenshi said of the NDP government, which has not yet committed to the proposal.
Notley said the government is “in principle” behind the funding of the Green Line through money collected from its carbon tax, but the province needs to know the “parameters” of the project.
One issue that needs to be looked at further, said the premier, is the Liberal government’s plan to fund 40 per cent of city-led infrastructure projects, where previously it had committed to half the funding.


There were other areas of consternation in Alberta. While the money for orphan wells was welcomed, tax changes around drilling new wells were condemned by the oilpatch.
While companies have previously been able to deduct expenditures for discovering previously unknown petroleum or natural gas reservoirs in the first year, Ottawa will in the future allow only 30 per cent of costs to be deducted each year on a declining basis.
That means companies will pay more tax upfront, and only get gradual deductions, only if their projects are successful. The change should bring $145 million to federal coffers between 2019 and 2022.
Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said the move will disproportionately affect small producers and make the industry less competitive.
“It puts us at a further disadvantage to the U.S., which is talking about tax reform,” he said.
The budget notes that rising exploration costs will “influence investment decisions,” which is part of “Canada’s international commitments to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.” Focused on “clean energy” and “green jobs,” the financial plan also designates almost $1.4 billion in financing for Canadian “clean technology” firms, along with $12 million to help such companies market their services abroad.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said the federal budget showed signs of working with cities on housing and transit, but little in terms of the government’s climate commitments.
“You can’t deliver change on greenhouse gases without working with local governments,” he said.
Abandoned oil well equipment near Legal, Alta. SUPPLIED / POSTMEDIA NETWORK
The cash-strapped federal government also slightly raised taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, and will soon tax ride-sharing services like Uber.
Wednesday’s budget includes a proposal to “ensure that ride-sharing businesses are subject to the same GST/HST rules as taxis” by changing the definition of taxi under the Excise Tax Act, which will bring an estimated $20 million by 2022.
Federal taxes on cigarettes will slightly rise, from 10.5 cents to 10.7 per smoke, which should bring in $225 million over five years. Similarly, the government aims to raise $470 through higher alcohol taxes, such as an extra cent per litre of wine.
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said in a news release the budget did nothing to address the real problems in the Alberta economy after two years of recession spurred by low oil prices.
“A strong Alberta means a strong Canada,” said the Calgary Nose Hill representative. “Albertans aren’t looking for government hand-outs. Instead, our communities need a partner in Ottawa.”
But Liberal MP Kent Hehr, Calgary’s representative at the cabinet table, said the support for transit and areas of the economy such as agri-food and clean technology will bolster the province.
“We’re making ambitious investments,” he said.
With files from Chris Varcoe and Annalise Klingbeil, Postmedia

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