ALBERTA NEWS HEADLINES WEEK ENDING Jan 9, 2021

Scanning the web for Alberta news and views Inspired by Verna Milligan & Carol Wodak

QUOTABLES:

The province had detected its first case of the South African variant of COVID-19. the person with the illness is in quarantine and “there’s no evidence at this time that the virus has spread to others. I know any new case is concerning, but we are actively monitoring for these variants and working to protect the public’s health.”

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw
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‘Buck stops with me’: Alberta’s Kenney promises change in caucus discipline after MLA trips

Alberta’s premier says there will be consequences for any “people in senior positions of public trust” who go against his new directive not to travel abroad during the pandemic.

Terrible, insulting, frustrating and trust-breaking were all words used by Jason Kenney on Thursday to describe the international travels of nine of his MLAs and senior staff.

“I also accept responsibility we didn’t have a strong enough culture of discipline in the caucus, the government caucus, for people not to even think about travelling abroad at this time,” Kenney told media and the public.

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Coal exploration around Alberta parks raises questions about future recreation

At least five popular recreation areas in southern Alberta are surrounded by coal exploration plans and one of them has been partly given over to an exploration lease, raising questions about their future with lovers of the outdoors.

“We’re not leaving a picnic table and a campground on the precipice of an open-pit mine,” said Katie Morrison of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. “I can’t imagine that (parks) could continue if some of these mining plans go forward.”

A provincial spokeswoman said no development will occur in the parks.

Information released this week by the province shows about one-third of the Oldman North provincial recreation area, a campground north of the Crowsnest Pass, is covered by an exploration lease granted last August to Elan Coal Ltd.

“Any development would require notification to Parks Division,” said a government email. “Any exploration would be expected to avoid any entry into the (provincial recreation area), but you can see that the coal agreement does surround (and enter) parts of the park.”

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