Hello Chestermere! I am happy to see that our amazing, resilient farmers were able to get most of the harvest into the bin! This is tempered by sadness that the wet conditions meant a big loss of grade in many cases. Just think about what they have faced this year: first, smoke reducing sunlight, second, very dry conditions, and then third 12 inches of snow flattening the crops. It takes a special family to keep going and look optimistically to next year. I wanted to take a moment and give a shout to a couple of my very dear friends, Satish Lal (and his incredible family), and Ramesh Verma along with Rupak Dutta, the President of the the Amra Sabai of Calgary Association, Cathy Burness our Deputy Mayor, Joanne from the City of Chestermere, the youth volunteers of the Multicultural Youth Society of Chestermere, Subhash Bali, Sandeep Gar, Pawan Bhatt, Rup Sen Prasad and Acharya Vinod Kumar Sodiyal for the Diya lighting ceremony. These folks partnered with the Hindu Society of North America, the New Horizon Mall, Danny Chan, Nelson Naido, Denise, and Jennele Giong and combined their efforts in Balzac where Diwali brought together many ethnic communities and a diverse group of audiences including Koreans, Vietnamese, Filipinos, and many others. Thank you to their mighty volunteers who pulled off two fabulous Diwali functions this weekend, in Chestermere and in Balzac. For those of you who organize events, you know the amount of work that goes into these functions, and especially when you add in entertainment and awesome food! Thank you to the organizers, our gorgeous MC Anannya Biswas, performers and volunteers for this wonderful event and for including me. It was an honour to participate.
I wanted to chat a little bit about the carbon tax. If you truly want to make a difference in the global pollution footprint, we need more Canada! We have the best environmental policies by far. We are leaders in innovation in non-conventional oil extraction and are improving day by day. We were once upon a time competitive, and had the best tax advantages in the world, but now companies are exposed to an environment that sees Alberta as unable to attract capital, pushing business to our competitors south of the border, purchasing trains to move oil, when we could have had at least 3 pipelines, Energy East, TMX, and Keystone. This is our lifeblood, and we should be so proud to have these incredible resources, and yet here we are begging to bring prosperity to our country through so called “social license”, hiring activists to work on our oil and gas advisory panels, creating a carbon tax that does absolutely nothing to mitigate pollution, and in case you didn’t hear, our very own Alberta Made carbon tax will go up by 67% after Christmas. Albertans are extremely environmentally minded, but the combination of our Provincial NDP Government’s disastrous energy policies along with the Federal Liberal Government putting in tougher regulations for resource projects while ignoring the First Nations who approve of pipelines is too much to bear! Not to mention exemptions for Quebec cement plants and New Brunwick coal power plants, to name a couple of examples of Trudeau’s complete hypocrisy. Also keep an eye out for the Trudeau government if re-elected raising the Federal carbon tax past the $50/tonne mark in 2022. There will be a review evidently which includes increased stringency(strictness), and even with all this, the ideas are no better or further ahead of the targets set by our previous Prime Minister Harper. The Carbon tax would have to go up to at $300/tonne to see any real change, and maybe that is the plan! You may want to keep an eye on this.
In B.C., the NDP Government and their Federal MPs are vowing to do whatever it takes to keep Alberta oil away from their ports. The anti-pipeline movement continues, and yet if you speak with British Columbians, many are not on board with this activism, but it seems that our Premier would rather push for more oil on rail cars that working towards seeing the Trans Mountain Pipeline built. Rail is a proposal to help with the gap in the differential that is costing Alberta hundreds of millions every week in losses due to deep discounts for a barrel of our oil due to the lack of pipeline capacity. This would not have been an issue except that…oh yes…the pipeline was quashed by the Federal Court of Appeal. B.C. has filed to register as an intervener to question the National Energy Board in reconsidering the Trans Mountain expansion, in fact the extra 22 weeks that has been set by the Federal government to look at the pipeline, is insufficient to the BC government. They want those timelines lengthened! Trans Mountain has in fact submitted a very substantive examination of risk to marine life, and expanding traffic in the Salish Sea. This is a product of six years of work to show the safeguards both environmental and safety that would mitigate any major issues. We are an amazing Country and we are so blessed to live in Alberta. We have to stand up for our resources folks, proud and loud. Lets work together to get our resources to the rest of the world! As always we love to hear from you!