Houston Oil & Gas collapse could bring $81M well cleanup bill
Alberta’s orphan well count could grow by more than 1,000 after the receivership of Calgary-based Houston Oil & Gas Ltd., adding to the province’s growing inventory of oil and gas liabilities. Lars De Pauw, executive director of Alberta’s Orphan Well Association, said in an affidavit filed last month that the junior petroleum producer held 1,438 well licences when it ceased operations, mostly in southeastern Alberta. More than 1,200 were not properly shut in, it states. The estimated cost of abandoning and reclaiming those assets is $81.5 million, according to documents filed with receiver Hardy & Kelly Inc.
A proposed bill seeking to legislate physicians’ conscience rights to refuse treatment or referrals to patients on religious or moral grounds drew more than 200 people to a rally in opposition outside the Alberta legislature on Saturday afternoon.
+ EDMONTON — About 200 people attended a rally against the NDP government’s farm safety bill at the Alberta Legislature on Friday. Speaker after speaker talked about concerns the bill could drive them out of business, or prevent their children from learning about and working on the family farm.
Several hundred people gathered at the Alberta legislature Saturday, protesting the controversialthe so-called "conscience rights" bill.
"It's a risky and slippery slope when you talk about providing people a right to discriminate," said Sandra Azocar, executive director of
The bill,, was introduced in the legislature by Peace River United Conservative Party , and is aimed at reasserting the Charter-protected freedom of conscience and religion for health providers.
Funding confirmed for flood-prevention projects in Edmonton, northern Alberta
The provincial government will put $5 million toward protecting the city’s water treatment facilities from high flows on the North Saskatchewan River. The Edmonton projects will relocate critical equipment above predicted flood levels so the Rossdale and E.L. Smith facilities, which provide drinking water to more than one million people throughout the region, can continue operating safely during a flood event, according to a government news release. Funding for these projects is provided through the Alberta Community Resilience Program.
+ WATCH ABOVE: A coalition of Edmontonians gathered at the legislature to rally against ISIS Sunday. Eric Szeto reports. EDMONTON — A rally was held on the steps of the Alberta Legislature Sunday afternoon to protest ISIS and condemn the group’s acts of violence. Story continues below.
+ Hundreds of Edmontonians of Turkish descent gathered at the Alberta Legislature Sunday to condemn an attempted coup in Turkey. “Our country, our homeland, faced an unprecedented attack,” Sinem Senol, organizer of the event said. Story continues below.
If passed, health care providers would be allowed to refuse service to any individual based on conscience, including religious beliefs, moral and ethical values and cultural traditions.
Many have concerns about the bill, including what it could do to reproductive services, like access to abortion and birth control pills, or that it could create new barriers for LGBTQ2 people accessing healthcare.
"We want to send them a clear message that this is a discriminatory bill, and it is an unnecessary bill, and it will cause a great deal of harm to a lot of Albertans," Azocar said.
Azocar also added that she believes the current system already protects conscientious rights.say that if a provider, like a doctor or pharmacist, is "prevented" by their religious or conscience beliefs from providing access to information or services, they must ensure the patient is offered an effective, timely referral.
Father of Broncos player who died says Alberta organ donation bill needs work
EDMONTON — The father of a Broncos hockey player whose organs were donated after he died in a catastrophic bus crash says a presumed consent bill before the Alberta legislature is a good start but has a long way to go. "There's way more that needs to be added to the bill," Toby Boulet said in an interview Monday. Matthew Jones, a government backbencher, has introduced a private member's bill that would allow organs to be automatically harvested unless a person had opted out while still alive.Medical officials have long wondered about how to improve the rate of organ donation in Alberta, where the transplant recipient waiting list stands at more than 700.
+ EDMONTON – Another protest against the NDP’s farm safety bill took place at the Alberta Legislature on Monday, just three days after roughly 200 people gathered there for a similar rally . The noon rally saw an even bigger turnout than the one held Friday; approximately 1,000 people attended.
Dozens of people gathered at the Alberta legislature on Saturday night to take part in the Hate to Hope rally which is aimed at countering hate and intolerance.
The new bill doesn't have any specifications about referrals.
"[Providers can say], I don't agree with providing those services to whatever selective group of people, and I don't have to," Azocar said.
Some of Saturday's demonstrators were also concerned about dying with dignity and assisted-suicide access.
"If Bill 207 passes, this encourages patient abandonment, this encourages bad behavior," said Bradley Peter, the Edmonton chapter co-chair of Dying With Dignity Canada.
Peter said he is also concerned that Bill 207 would give institutions the right to refuse.
Last year, Covenant Health came under fire and, after outside of the hospital.
Since Covenant Health is a faith-based health organization, it does not offer medically-assisted dying services at its hospitals, but is legally bound to help arrange for patients to access them elsewhere.
Father of Broncos player who died says Alberta organ donation bill needs work
EDMONTON — The father of a Broncos hockey player whose organs were donated after he died in a catastrophic bus crash says a presumed consent bill before the Alberta legislature is a good start but has a long way to go. "There's way more that needs to be added to the bill," Toby Boulet said in an interview Monday.
Edmontonians rally on the steps of the Alberta Legislature Tuesday, Sept. + EDMONTON — Dozens of Edmontonians took to the steps of the Alberta legislature Tuesday evening to show their support for Syrian refugees. France sending reconnaissance flights over Syria against Islamic State.
+ Dozens of people converged on the grounds of the Alberta legislature Sunday afternoon in solidarity with protests in Romania where people are calling on the European country’s leaders to resign. For nearly two weeks
But there are concerns Bill 207 could change that.
"We currently have practices in Covenant Health where patients are forced out of facilities to die, because Covenant Health has decided they don't support assisted dying," Peter said.
"This is the type of behavior that Bill 207 is encouraging."
Williamsthat the bill "in no way limits access to health care services in the province".
"Health-care providers should never have to choose between their most deeply held beliefs and their job," the MLA's statement read.
Premier Jason Kenney said on Friday that members would be free to vote on the bill as they wish, but said that he himself has not read it.
2 UCP MLAS oppose bill
Justice Ministerthat he will vote against the bill unless there are material changes.
Agreed. Unless there are MATERIAL changes to Bill 207, I'll be voting against it.
— Doug Schweitzer (@doug_schweitzer)
His tweet echoed Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Pete Guthrie's who was quoted as saying the bill is not necessary.
My comments and opposition to Bill 207.
— Peter Guthrie (@PeterGuthrie99)
The bill is set to go before a standing committee on Monday.
Alberta NDP seek ruling to ban UCP from voting on bill to fire election watchdog .
EDMONTON — Alberta's Opposition NDP is asking the ethics commissioner to ban the entire United Conservative caucus from voting on a bill that would fire the province's election watchdog. Leader Rachel Notley says UCP caucus members are all in a conflict of interest because they would all benefit from having Election Commissioner Lorne Gibson's contract terminated.