Optimism and anger as Albertans react to pipelines

 

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Industry in Alberta was quick to celebrate the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines on Tuesday, but opponents vow to delay or kill the projects by any means possible.

“I think that Canada’s reputation as a place that can move projects forward took a step forward today,” said Tim McMillan, the president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

McMillan said this was a positive move toward reducing the price differential for Canadian oil. Producers face sometimes steep discounts on the price they receive for a barrel of oil in the U.S. compared with world prices.

With the ability to send more oil to Pacific markets, and increased capacity on a rebuilt Line 3 pipeline to the U.S., Canada’s oil and gas companies should be able to get a better price.

University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe said that without new pipelines, the National Energy Board predicted a shortfall of $10 per barrel.

“That adds up to over $10 billion a year in forgone revenue for producers,” he said.

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Alberta MLA Sandra Jansen latest in long string of female politicians to face abuse

 

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Credit: CBC

Alberta MLA Sandra Jansen isn’t the first female politician to look at a screen and see words like “bitch” and “bimbo” and “dumb broad” staring back at her.

Jansen, who recently crossed the floor from her longtime home in the Progressive Conservative party to the ruling NDP, stood up in the Alberta legislature Tuesday and read aloud some of the comments she’s received since changing parties.

“Sandra should stay in the kitchen where she belongs.”

“What a traitorous bitch.”

“Now you have two blond bimbos in a party that is clueless.”

“Dumb broad, a good place for her to be is with the rest of the queers.”

It was a remarkable break from parliamentary language and, at least in the heat of the moment, had its desired effect — MLAs from all parties took to their feet in applause.

It also presaged an announcement that Jansen — who left the PCs over what she said was bullying and harassment at a recent party policy convention — would receive a security detail due to the threatening nature of some of the messages she’s received.

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Alberta micro-maltsters serve exploding craft beer scene

 

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Joe Hamill, head malter at Red Shed Malting. Credit: Andrew Brown/CBC

Alberta might not have the hop prowess of our western neighbours in B.C., but as the craft beer scene rapidly expands under new provincial rules, micro-maltsters are popping up to bring local barley to local brews.

“We’re a craft maltster, so we’re producing specialty malts for the craft brewing industry here in Alberta,” explains Joe Hamill from Red Shed Malting.

Malt is the backbone to beer, adding flavour and colour that helps separate a dark beer like a porter from lighter fair like a pale ale. The barley on which it relies is abundant in Alberta.

Calgary is already home to the country’s largest malt company, Canada Malting, but small-batch producers are a new, and still small, phenomena — two and counting.

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Report looks at costs and causes of Alberta’s PPA fight

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Credit: CBC

new report calls into question the Alberta government’s cost estimates in relation to power companies walking away from agreements and outlines the combination of factors that are making those agreements unprofitable.

Written by economists Trevor Tombe and Andrew Leach — who chaired the province’s climate change advisory panel — and published by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, the report deals with the controversy surrounding Power Purchase Arrangements in Alberta’s complex private energy market.

The government is going to court in an attempt to prevent the companies that own the PPAs from walking away from the arrangements — something the government said will cost Albertans $2 billion — citing the new increased emissions fees and Alberta’s new climate policy.

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Jason Kenney sidesteps war of words on rumoured PC leadership bid

Jason Kenney, the Conservative MP who has upended right-wing politics in Alberta with the suggestion he’s considering a run for the leadership of the PC Party, isn’t getting drawn into a war of words on his ambitions.

Some party members are none too pleased at the prospect of Kenney as their leader, particularly since the former federal cabinet minister has made it clear he would try to unite the right in the province.

Kenney was in Calgary Tuesday night speaking at an event hosted by Tribute to Liberty, a charity group that is raising money to create a national memorial to the victims of communism.

Thomas Lukaszuk, who lost a leadership bid against another former federal minister, Jim Prentice, said there should be restrictions on who can run to lead a party.

He said Kenney’s politics don’t align with the PCs and the MP for Calgary-Midnapore supported the Wildrose Party in the last provincial election.

There’s also the issue of taking the helm of a party just to destroy it.

“Why would you want to join a party that just a few weeks ago in Red Deer almost unanimously voted not to enter into any merger negotiations, on a platform to literally blow up and merge with Wildrose, when even Wildrose doesn’t want to be a part of that,” said Lukaszuk.

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Calgary company Dissolve creates the perfect (fake) U.S. campaign ad

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Screenshot from the Dissolve video.

This is a lede. It’s meant to draw you into the story by telling you what you’re about to read.

Often we’ll toss in some active words like rammed, or ploughed, or engulfed so that you don’t turn your infant-level attention span elsewhere.

In this case, we want you to be interested in a story about a mock presidential campaign video created by Calgary stock video company Dissolve. We’ve embedded it below so that you’ll scroll down more.

Perhaps you’d like a subhead to draw you in further.

Excitement follows

Taking a cue from the dramatic and hokey ads that litter U.S. television screens during elections, Dissolve cobbled together video footage from its vast collection in order to offer a template of sorts for the Donald Trumps, Hillary Clintons and Bernie Sanders of the world.

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Calgary’s music scene and how it shapes us

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Photo by: Bernard Bodo, EXIT photo team

Some speculate that music is the reason humans are what humans are.

That the sounds of voice and eventually instrument over the millennia helped form the communities that became the societies, that allowed us to grow into the dominant species on the planet.

As famed cultural critic George Steiner put it, there is no community on this planet that does not have music — music being far more universal than language.

Our people

Music shapes community. It shapes cultural (and counter-cultural) identities within societies. It is tribal. It helps us to find “our people” and shape our world view.

From the snarky guy at the record store to the acclaimed pianist taking the stage at the Jack Singer; from the keen all-ages promoter hyped up on the local music scene to the guy putting up posters along 17th Avenue — music and the social scenes that develop around it mean more than just beats and bleeps and bangs.

When I was in high school and regularly going to all-ages punk shows, my dad would often ask in that concerned parental way what I had in common with my friends. The answer was almost always music. That didn’t make much sense to him.

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