HAPPY NEW YEAR
Today marks the start of Chinese New Year, the most important annual celebration for Alberta’s Chinese community. I’m sure celebrations will continue for some time and on behalf of the Alberta Liberal Opposition, I extend my best wishes to all Albertan’s taking part in the festivities.
The Chinese community is a cornerstone of Alberta’s prosperity. Its members’ hard work, dedication and entrepreneurial spirit are felt throughout the province. We all benefit from the innovation, leadership and unique traditions that Chinese culture offers.
A new year brings with it new beginnings and fresh opportunities. 2016 is the Year of the Monkey, an animal known for its intelligence, quick-wits and cleverness – this year, those traits will be more important than ever. I have no doubt those celebrating the Chinese New Year will be among the leading figures who propel Alberta through temporary hard times and into a prosperous future.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year. May you be surrounded by friends and family and may the year ahead bring you health, happiness and prosperity.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann today sent a letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly asking her to review spending cuts to the CBC and the potential damage of continued media consolidation in Alberta.
“A free, diverse and independent media is the cornerstone of democracy,” said Swann. “Because of previous cuts, the CBC is barely standing while major consolidations of media properties continue to remove diversity of opinion from the public domain.”
In his letter, Swann asks the Minister to review the funding levels of CBC in Alberta, including the decision to sell the CBC Calgary building. Swann also requested Minister Joly review and challenge the sanctioning of future consolidation of media properties.
“There is no question that media is a business, nor that businesses have a right and an obligation to their shareholders to make profits in the best way they can,” Swann stated. “However, in a democracy, media also has an obligation to the public interest. This interest is best served by diverse private ownership and a strong public broadcaster.”
Albert Liberal Leader Swann pleased with NDP petrochemical diversification plan:
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann is pleased with the government’s plan to offer royalty credits to companies willing to build petrochemical facilities in Alberta.
“At first glance, this looks to be a good idea for creating jobs and stimulating investment,” Swann said. “The full details have yet to be released, so my opinion could change, but I’m optimistic.”
“There are several planned projects which could benefit from this new program,” Swann continued. “One example is Williams Energy’s proposal for a polypropylene plant. All in all, it appears to be a win-win for diversification and jobs.”
Producers’ costs have gone up recently with the increase in corporate tax rates and the doubling of the carbon levy on large emitters by 2017. A royalty credit, which a petrochemical facility can sell or trade to a producer, could be used to reduce the producer’s royalty payments to government and incentivize them to provide raw materials to the petrochemical facility.