National Newswatch

Alberta premier warns Opposition United Conservatives eyeing toll roads

Jan 17 2019 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Premier Rachel Notley says Opposition Leader Jason Kenney's plan to build user-pay infrastructure if his party is elected can mean only one thing — tolls on roads. In a speech to energy producers in Edmonton, Notley suggested that recent comments by Kenney lauding user-pay infrastructure can only mean he would bring in tolls for […]

Notley says NDP member denies ordering staffer to break rules on political work

Jan 17 2019 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says a member of her caucus who is being accused of directing a civil servant to do party work on government time maintains he didn't do it. Notley was asked about backbencher Eric Rosendahl Thursday after former staffer Kathleen Westergaard came forward this week with allegations that he directed her to do […]

Alberta MLA quits United Conservatives, alleges top-down policy development

Jan 15 2019 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — A member of the Alberta legislature for the United Conservatives is quitting the caucus to sit as an Independent over concerns that the party is crafting policy from the top down. Rick Strankman says he is not seeing any input from grassroots members on party policy and is quitting so that he has the freedom to speak up on […]

Alberta premier resists calls to sack environment minister over parks row

Jan 10 2019 — Dean Bennett — FORT SASKATCHEWAN, Alta. — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is resisting growing opposition demands to fire her environment minister over comments about RCMP involvement in a new parks plan. "I certainly will not (fire Phillips)," Notley said when asked Thursday. "We have made tremendous progress in the last three years (on the environmental file) and that has happened as a result of […]

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

Dec 18 2018 — Dean Bennett — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Ottawa's new $1.6-billion aid package for the oilpatch will help, but is essentially tone deaf and won't fix the pipeline bottleneck crippling the province. "We don't need help finding more markets. We need help moving our product, and I don't know that we could have been much more clear about that," Notley said Tuesday in […]

Alberta incorporates public feedback on K-4 curriculum, set for testing in 2019

Dec 14 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Proposed changes to Alberta's curriculum for kindergarten to Grade 4 students have been finalized and will be piloted in select schools starting in the new year. Alberta Education Minister David Eggen did not say which schools will be part of the pilot project, but says the department will strive for a geographic balance. The […]

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

Dec 11 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil refinery, but Premier Rachel Notley says any deal needs to work for both industry and taxpayers. "The project must make sense for Alberta," Notley said Tuesday. "It must have a return on investment for Albertans, and it must diversify the way we use […]

Alberta hiring more paramedics, buying new ambulances to improve front-line care

Dec 7 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta is hiring more paramedics and deploying more ambulances in an attempt to improve front-line medical care. Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says the province is adding 58 first responders in Edmonton and Calgary to go with more than 30 new hires in smaller centres. She says there will also be 16 liaison officers for hospitals […]

Spring election: Alberta legislature ends what could be last sitting before vote

Dec 6 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta politicians have wrapped up what could be the final sitting of the current legislature, with all eyes now turning to a provincial election in the spring. Premier Rachel Notley has committed to holding the election sometime next March, April or May, as mandated in legislation, meaning the campaign could begin as early as February. But […]

United Conservative leader regrets comments on gay hospital visitation rights

Dec 6 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta's United Conservative leader says he regrets comments made in his earlier days about overturning a law extending hospital visitation rights to gay couples during the 1980s AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. Jason Kenney says, since then, his public record in Parliament shows he supports domestic partner arrangements and benefits for couples regardless […]

Premiers head to Montreal for tough meeting with Trudeau

Dec 6 2018 — Dean Bennett — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she'll have allies in the room to help push talks on the oil-price crisis at the upcoming first ministers meeting. "There is really no province in the country that doesn't owe Alberta to some degree for their schools, their hospitals, their roads. The fact of the matter is Alberta has […]

Former United Conservative MLA denies stuffing ballot box five months ago

Dec 5 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — An Alberta legislature member who quit the United Conservative caucus five months ago in a scandal over ballot box stuffing now says he didn't do it. Prab Gill said he had barely read the party's five-page investigation report when he accepted its findings of guilt in July and quit, suggesting he felt like it was a […]

‘A national priority:” Alberta sets legal wheels in motion to cut oil production

Dec 3 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and her cabinet have put the legal wheels in motion to begin cutting oil production, while calling on the federal government to step up. "We don't actually need Ottawa's sympathy. We need Ottawa's full attention," Notley said prior to a cabinet meeting Monday morning. The meeting was called to hash out legal directives to give […]

Alberta orders 8.7 per cent oil production cut to help deal with low prices

Dec 3 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Premier Rachel Notley is ordering a mandatory cut to oil production to deal with a price crisis she says threatens to gut Alberta's bedrock industry. Notley announced the province will impose across-the-board cuts amounting to 8.7 per cent of output to reduce a growing glut of oil that is forcing Alberta oil to sell at steep discounts […]