Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly newsletters:
Take Back Alberta Fight Continues
The battle between the United Conservative Party establishment and the Take Back Alberta faction continues. Tim Hoven, nomination challenger to former member of Cabinet Jason Nixon, has entered the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre race as an independent candidate. Hoven was disqualified by the party last spring in his challenge against Nixon’s nomination due to social media activity and allegations that he disparaged the RCMP at last year’s Coutts blockade. Hoven was also a key regional organizer for the Take Back Alberta movement to unseat Jason Kenney in the leadership review – a movement which ultimately proved successful. The organization also hoped that overturning the constituency board at their most recent AGM would allow for a new nomination race.
The race between Hoven and Nixon in May will test whether Take Back Alberta can sum up enough mainstream appeal, or whether their influence lies mainly within internal UCP politics. However, even Hoven’s campaign manager has conceded that unseating Nixon will be a difficult task.
Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Houston were in Bridgewater on Tuesday to participate in a major expansion announcement at Michelin. A $61.3 million provincial tax credit and $44.3 million in federal funding, through the Strategic Innovation Fund, will support Michelin as it modernizes to produce in-demand tires for the rapidly evolve electric vehicle market, creating more than 70 new jobs.
Cedar LNG Gets Provincial Approval
The Government of British Columbia has issued an Environmental Assessment certificate for Cedar LNG following a rigorous multi-year assessment process. Cedar LNG, majority owned by the Haisla First Nation and pipeline partners Pembina, will become the first Indigenous-majority owned LNG export facility in North America. It has an anticipated cost of US$2.4 billion, with an expected export capacity of three million tonnes per year. It will employ up to 500 people during construction and approximately 100 people full-time when operational.
In a press release, Premier David Eby said: “This is a significant milestone that honours our government’s commitment to respect self-determination and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Already proposed to be one of the of lowest-emitting facilities in the world, we will be working in partnership to further reduce the project’s emissions.”
The project represents an important signal from Premier David Eby. With many watching from the sidelines unsure if Eby would support resource projects, and instead favour environmental activists, this approval shows he is willing to take both challenges head on.
Not only did Eby approve the new LNG facility, at the same time he announced a new “energy action framework” for the Province that will put in place a regulatory emissions cap for the oil and gas sector. In addition, the Province will require all new proposed LNG facilities to develop an emissions test and credible plan to be net zero by 2030. Eby’s signal is that LNG can proceed if – and only if – it fits within the province’s climate and reconciliation commitments.
Environmental groups have already showed their dissatisfaction with the Cedar LNG green light.
Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade concluded a successful trade mission to Texas to promote Ontario’s growing automotive and technology sectors and explore new avenues for investment and job creation. The mission, led by Minister Vic Fedeli, included the province’s participation in the annual South by Southwest conference.
Ontario will be doubling the number of economic immigrants it selects in 2025 to over 18,000 to solve the province’s labour shortage. The announcement is intended to fill gaps in critical industries including the skilled trades, technology, and health care.
The Government of Ontario is investing over $343 million over five years to support agri-food research and innovation. The investments are being made through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, and funding will be used for research focusing on food safety and animal welfare and support the development of a highly skilled workforce.
Trudeau defends former Governor General David Johnston, accuses Conservatives of ‘horrific’ attacks on special rapporteur
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended former governor general David Johnston, whom he appointed to serve as special rapporteur on foreign interference in the wake of allegations of Chinese interference in the last two federal elections. Both the Conservative and Bloc Québécois parties have voiced opposition to Johnston’s appointment, with the Conservatives alleging that Johnston is too close to Trudeau, and the Bloc Québécois claiming he has been “chummy” with China. Both parties, along with the NDP, have also called for a public inquiry into the allegations of foreign meddling in the elections. Johnston, who was appointed as governor general on the recommendation of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has served Canada with the “highest integrity,” according to Trudeau. Johnston said in a statement that he would work with officials to finalize his mandate promptly and make recommendations on how to protect Canada’s democracy.
Ana Bailão and Giorgio Mammoliti announced that they would be running for mayor.
Former Ward 9 Davenport city councillor Ana Bailão has confirmed to Global News that she will be running for mayor of Toronto in June. In an interview with Toronto Today host Greg Brady on 640 Toronto, Bailão shared that she would prioritize fixing the city’s services, building affordable housing, and reducing living costs if elected. Bailão served as Deputy mayor under John Tory and managed the housing portfolio for Toronto as chair of the Planning and Housing Committee.
Giorgio Mammoliti announced on CP24 that he would run for mayor of Toronto. The former controversial and bombastic councillor for Ward 7 Humber River—Black Creek shared in an interview in the Toronto Star that he has changed his “aggressive fighter” after having had time to reflect on his mistakes. Mammoliti’s platform will focus on safety in public spaces, including the TTC, and getting more people into housing. He also criticized the city’s harm-reduction strategy for dealing with the drug overdose crisis, which included supervised consumption sites. Mammoliti recently came in third in the Wasaga Beach mayoral race, having moved there after losing his council seat to a rival incumbent in 2018.
Candidates can register between April 3 and May 12.