Alberta News in Brief for June 8

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 2:00pm

Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for sport meet in Lethbridge

June 8, 2016. Participation of Indigenous youth in sport will be among the topics discussed when Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for sport, physical activity and recreation meet in Lethbridge Wednesday and Thursday. Federal Minister for Sport and Persons with Disabilities Carla Qualtrough and Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of Health Kamal Khera will co-host the meetings with Alberta’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda. Discussion will focus on moving forward on the Framework for Recreation in Canada, the Canadian Sport Policy and other sport, physical activity and recreation policy issues and opportunities. The conference will include a tour of the Canadian Winter Sport Institute, Canada Olympic Park and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump to showcase Alberta’s Olympic history and proud Indigenous heritage.


Residents begin visits to Abasand, Beacon Hill, Waterways

June 8, 2016. Visits to destroyed properties in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways neighbourhoods of Fort McMurray begin on Wednesday. A specialized disaster response team will work with residents to visit properties. In order to enable the visits, a tackifier - a powdery substance that dries to a hard shell and prevents ash and other contaminants from becoming airborne - was applied to debris in the damaged areas. Tackifier application is complete in all affected neighbourhoods. Reapplication will occur after sifting operations are complete. Visits to homes identified as “destroyed or unsafe to occupy” outside the restricted areas of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways started Sunday.


O’Chiese loses application to appeal AER decision

June 8, 2016. The Supreme Court of Canada has denied O’Chiese First Nation's leave to appeal the Alberta Court of Appeal's dismissal of its bid to challenge a regulatory approval. The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled O’Chiese First Nation could not appeal Alberta Energy Regulator’s approval of Shell’s application for the construction of two natural gas pipelines and a natural gas well site because O'Chiese First Nation did not prove that it was eligible to do so under the specific wording of the relevant legislation. On June 2, the Supreme Court upheld that decision. SCC also ordered that the O'Chiese First Nation pay costs to Shell. By bringing the threshold question of eligibility to appeal a regulatory decision into the forefront, the decision might ultimately have the effect of limiting the extent to which a First Nation will use regulatory appeals to challenge regulatory decisions, says a review by the law firm of McInnes Cooper.


Notley to review Indigenous consultation with Trans Mountain panel

June 7, 2016. Premier Rachel Notley says she will be meeting with the panel, recently appointed by the federal government for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, to review issues around Indigenous consultation and greenhouse gas emissions. Notley’s statement follows those made by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and leaders from the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish First Nations, who were in Ottawa Tuesday in opposition of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The expansion will more than double the amount of Alberta crude oil shipped to the port of Vancouver for export. Last month the National Energy Board approved the project, but subjected it to 157 conditions. The panel is to present its report in November and a final decision is to come from Ottawa in December.



Carbon tax legislation passed

June 7, 2016. On the final day of the spring legislative session, the Alberta government used its majority to pass the Climate Leadership Implementation Act. The legislation, which includes a carbon tax, takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, and will raise the price of heating bills and gasoline as an incentive to go green. “I’m extremely proud of this piece of legislation and extremely proud of this government’s climate leadership plan,” Premier Rachel Notley told the house prior to the bill’s passage. “Action by this government with respect to climate change is one that is long, long, long overdue in this province.” All opposition members voted against the legislation. “It is with a heavy heart that I must say I do not support this bill…. There are too many weak points in the way this bill is written to guarantee that it will fulfill the purpose for which it is intended,” said Liberal leader David Swann in a statement.