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The Alberta Politics Quiz 2019: How well do you remember the year that was at the legislature? - Edmonton Journal - Canada News Media
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The Alberta Politics Quiz 2019: How well do you remember the year that was at the legislature? – Edmonton Journal

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Alberta Premier-Designate Jason Kenney arrives outside the Alberta Legislature building in Edmonton on Wednesday April 17, 2019 for a news conference, the day after his United Conservative Party was elected to govern the province.


Larry Wong / POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Whoever said politics is boring couldn’t have been referring to 2019 in Alberta, which kept us invariably engaged, entertained, horrified and angry — but overwhelmed most of all. How well did you manage to keep track of all the news? Take our annual multiple choice quiz to see if you’re a politics ace or amateur.

1. What was the UCP’s campaign slogan during the provincial election?

a. We can’t possibly be as bad as the NDP.

b. Make Alberta Great Again.

c. Strong and Free.

d. Conservatism. You missed us, right?

e. Friends of oil and gaslighting.

2. What was the NDP’s campaign slogan during the provincial election?

a. Everyone deserves a second chance.

b. Rachel Notley. Fighting for you.

c. Our leader is more popular than your leader.

d. Orange you glad you elected us in 2015?

e. Deficits come and go. Carbon taxes should be forever.

3. What is thetruthaboutjasonkenney?

a. No one knows. It’s a secret.

b. An NDP attack website highlighting Kenney’s controversial views and alleged misdeeds.

c. A reality show that never made it past the pilot.

d. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

e. The RCMP might shed some light on this, when their investigation into the 2017 UCP leadership campaign wraps up.

4. While NDP MLA Janis Irwin was a $100,000 lottery winner last spring, UCP House Leader Jason Nixon also won something unexpected. What was it?

a. 82 per cent of the vote in his riding.

b. The honour of being one of four Jasons in the UCP cabinet.

c. Another Nixon in the legislature (his brother Jeremy was also elected).

d. The fun of leading the UCP government’s climate change efforts.

e. A goat.

5. Who, or what, interrupted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a May news conference in Edmonton?

a. A noisy Canada Goose.

b. A different kind of honking, from motorists upset that the PM’s motorcade was blocking traffic.

c. A premonition that the Liberals would lose all their Alberta seats.

d. A phone call from Donald Trump.

e. A crowd of hecklers.

6. After some public concern, a special prosecutor from Ontario was finally appointed in July to oversee the RCMP’s investigation of the 2017 UCP leadership race. Who is that prosecutor?

a. Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer won’t tell us.

b. The Alberta Crown Prosecution Service won’t tell us.

c. The Ontario government won’t tell us.

d. All of the above.

e. Is there really a prosecutor?

7. Who won the April 4 leaders’ debate during the provincial election?

a. Jason Kenney. Duh.

b. Rachel Notley, of course.

c. It was a tie between Stephen Mandel and David Khan.

d. All of them, according to claims put out by each of the parties after the debate.

e. Everyone tried their best and should get participation ribbons.

8. Name one thing that isn’t being studied by a government-appointed panel looking into the effects of Alberta supervised consumption sites.

a. The merits of supervised consumption sites.

b. Crime rates.

c. Social disorder.

d. Damage to businesses and property values.

e. Needle debris.

9. Immediately after their first-ever session came to an end last spring, much of the UCP caucus did what to celebrate?

a. Held a karaoke contest with the lieutenant-governor.

b. Took turns posing for goofy photos in the Speaker’s chair.

c. Splashed around in the legislature wading pool.

d. Had a long nap, after surviving several NDP filibusters.

e. Quietly crept back to their constituencies, since they had just passed legislation rolling back protections for gay-straight alliances.

10. What did the UCP say to alleviate criticism of Kenney’s decision to hand out earplugs during a late-night legislature session?

a. It was a “harmless and lighthearted attempt to boost government caucus morale.”

b. None of the UCP MLAs actually used the earplugs.

c. The earplugs were for only one MLA who has tinnitus.

d. All of the above.

e. The premier was right to mock the questionable oratory coming from the NDP.

Bonus: What did Rachel Notley call a “stampede of stupid”?

a. Kenney’s decision to book a $16,764 charter flight to carry conservative premiers and others from the Calgary Stampede to Saskatoon.

b. The federal government’s Bill C-48, the so-called tanker ban.

c. The UCP’s attempt to play innocent in firing the election commissioner.

d. Her own party’s ill-advised decision to condemn a $35,000 government liquor purchase, when in fact the sale was legitimate.

e. The Calgary Flames trading for Milan Lucic.

ANSWERS:

1. c. The party borrowed the phrase from Alberta’s official motto, and used it for a catchy song that played at all campaign events. The UCP also did well with the phrase “Jobs, Economy, Pipelines.”

2. b. NDP branding was almost entirely based around Notley, as the party tried to turn the campaign into a popularity contest between her and Jason Kenney.

3. b. The website was one of three such attack sites used by the NDP featuring unflattering images of Kenney, sensationalist headlines and blood red lettering.

4. e. While any of the answers could suffice, Nixon was stoked about winning a goat named Gus at a charity event. Nixon tweeted that Gus “wanted me to remind you that friends don’t let friends vote NDP.”

5. a. It seems even the birds in Alberta had no time for Trudeau’s message.

6. d. The Crown prosecution service has said identifying the prosecutor is “under the purview” of Ontario, which won’t provide a name.

7. d. Most observers agree there was no clear-cut winner in the debate, but that didn’t stop anyone from claiming victory.

8. a. In announcing the panel’s mandate, the government said it already knew enough about the benefits of the facilities.

9. c. The dip in the wading pool was partly a gag from Speaker Nathan Cooper, who told rookie MLAs it was a tradition.

10. d. The UCP used three different stories about the earplugs, but wouldn’t officially admit to what was likely the real motivation: mocking the NDP.

Bonus. b. Both Notley and Kenney have spoken forcefully against Bill C-48.

kgerein@postmedia.com

twitter.com/keithgerein

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338Canada: Now for something lighter than politics—NHL projections! – Maclean's

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Flames, Maple Leafs favourites on Saturday NHL betting lines – Sportsnet.ca

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The Ottawa Senators will try to snap a nine-game losing streak when they host the Calgary Flames on Saturday as +135 underdogs on the NHL betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Ottawa’s recent woes continued with Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, which marked the club’s sixth straight loss on home ice going into Saturday afternoon’s matchup at the Canadian Tire Centre.

The Senators’ offence has been silent during the team’s longest slide since an 0-9-2 run nine years ago, scoring just eight total goals over their past five contests. However, the Senators defence has tightened up of late, allowing just three goals per game over their past four losses, with just one of those defeats coming in regulation. That has resulted in a steady 3-0-1 run for the under on the totals at betting sites, after the over prevailed in 15 of the Senators’ previous 17 contests.

While the Senators have struggled, the Flames arrive in Ottawa on a high after escaping with a 2-1 shootout victory in Toronto as +125 underdogs on Thursday night. Now sporting wins in six of their past seven contests, Calgary takes on the Senators as -155 betting favourites.

The Flames have been far from dominant during their current surge, scoring two or fewer goals in four of their past five outings, and claiming victory by just a single goal in each of their six recent wins. However, the team has been dominant in recent dates with the Senators, posting wins in four straight meetings while holding Ottawa to a single goal each time.

Elsewhere on the Saturday NHL odds, the Maple Leafs look to rebound from Thursday’s loss to Calgary as they host the Chicago Blackhawks asheavy -210 favourites. Hobbled by injury, Toronto has earned just one win in five contests overall, and has lost three of four at Scotiabank Arena to fall 11 points back of Boston in the hunt for top spot in the Atlantic Division.

The Blackhawks ride a three-game win streak into Saturday’s contest as +175 underdogs. Chicago posted a decisive 4-1 win in Montreal as a +150 wager on Wednesday to improve to 6-1-0 over its past seven road dates, and has taken two straight from the Maple Leafs.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, vie for their fourth win in five games as they host Vegas as +110 underdogs, the Edmonton Oilers welcome the Arizona Coyotes to town as -130 chalk in a crucial Pacific Division matchup, while the Vancouver Canucks put an NHL-best seven-game home win streak on the line as they battle the San Jose Sharks as a -160 wager.

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Sonos, PopSockets speak out against Big Tech's dominance – CNET

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At an Amazon booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2020 this month.


Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

As David Barnett tells it, Amazon is an abusive, unfair and uncaring partner to smaller businesses using its platform.

Barnett, founder and CEO of PopSockets, which makes adhesive grips for the backs of phones, on Friday lambasted the e-commerce giant for ignoring issues about counterfeit that he’d raised for months and bullying him to lower his prices. His comments were part of his sworn testimony before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, which has been holding hearings to investigate the potentially excessive power of the biggest tech companies in the US.

“This is tiring, this is tiring week after week,” Barnett told lawmakers at the University of Colorado’s Wittemyer Courtroom, describing Amazon’s threats to extract better prices — a practice that ultimately caused him to end his partnership selling products directly to Amazon.

He says his company is now banned from selling on Amazon’s website on its own and he’s lost countless sales after cutting off the lucrative direct-sales relationship. Other companies, he suggested, would rather put up with Amazon pushing them around to keep getting paid.

Amazon, along with fellow tech giants Facebook, Google and Apple, have all faced tough scrutiny over the past year from lawmakers and regulators, who not that long ago looked at Silicon Valley in a far more positive way. Now officials are raising concerns about these companies’ growing dominance in the market, which could be squashing competition.

This work could bring about big changes in the tech industry, perhaps forcing big players to break up, cutting off future mergers, or creating new regulatory restrictions. Officials say they’re pursuing this work to make sure innovative new startups can thrive and customers can benefit from strong competition.


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These tech giants have defended themselves by saying they’re small players in their broader fields, like Amazon being a tiny part of global retail. Facebook has pointed to emerging competition like TikTok threatening its lead in social media.

Regarding its PopSockets relationship, an Amazon spokesperson on Friday said it’s continued to work with PopSockets on counterfeits even after the direct partnership ended, calling the company “a valued retail vendor.” The person said Amazon does require some popular brands to sell directly to Amazon, so the company can ensure the best prices are available for customers.

Amazon also pointed to an IDC study, which Amazon funded and which was released Thursday, that discusses the sales growth of small- and medium-sized businesses on Amazon’s platform.

This theme of imbalanced, dominating business relationships kept resurfacing during the hearing. As part of their relationship, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told lawmakers, Google tried to restrict his company’s innovations and wanted insights into Sonos’ future product plans. Sonos this month sued Google, claiming the company stole its wireless speaker technology.

“There’s such a dominant power that exists with these companies that really even as a company of our size you feel like you have no choice,” Spence said.

A Google spokesperson responded: “Sonos has made misleading statements about our history of working together. Our technology and devices were designed independently. We deny their claims vigorously, and will be defending against them.”

Kirsten Daru, general counsel at Tile, and David Heinemeier Hansson, chief technology officer of Basecamp, offered similar complaints that tech giants Apple and Google so thoroughly dominated their markets that it was virtually impossible not to work with them. Those companies then use that power to make unexpected and unfair changes that can harm smaller businesses, they said. 

For instance, Hansson complained that Apple has been able to charge developers a 30% fee for paid apps for years because it faces little competition. Barnett, of PopSockets, said other online marketplaces that rival Amazon certainly exist, “but most of them are really tiny.”

Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman, said Friday that the company built its App Store as a safe, trusted place for customers, and a great business opportunity for developers.

Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, who’s chairman of the subcommittee, has already raised serious concerns about these companies’ power, using terms like “economic nightmare” and “one algorithm tweak away from ruin” when talking about them on Friday.

Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado, shared these concerns, showing there’s bipartisan cooperation on this issue, but he warned against unnecessary government interventions.

For now the chance that any of these tech giants could get broken up is remote, and Wall Street has pushed all these companies’ stocks higher despite this negative attention. Still, when Microsoft went through similar antitrust reviews 30 years ago, the process lasted for a decade, so it’s anyone’s guess what the outcome will be over such a long timeline.

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Over a thousand 'likely' infected by Wuhan virus in China: study – Al Jazeera English

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The number of people infected by a mystery SARS-like virus that has killed two people in China is likely hundreds more than officially reported, researchers have said on Friday.

The news comes as Chinese health authorities said on Saturday that they have discovered four more cases of pneumonia following an outbreak of what is believed to be a new coronavirus strain.

The four individuals were diagnosed with pneumonia on Thursday and are in stable condition, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement published shortly after midnight. Saturday’s statement marked the first confirmation.

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Chinese authorities previously said that the virus has hit at least 41 people in the country, with the outbreak centred around a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan.

But a paper published on Friday by scientists with the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London said the number of those affected in the city was likely to be well over a thousand.

The scientists at the Centre – which advises bodies including the World Health Organization – said they estimated a “total of 1,723 cases” in Wuhan would have been infected as of January 12.

The researchers took the number of cases reported outside China so far – two in Thailand and one in Japan – to infer how many were likely infected in the city, based on international flight traffic data from Wuhan’s airport.

SARS virus taught scientists new lessons

“For Wuhan to have exported three cases to other countries would imply there would have to be many more cases than have been reported,” Professor Neil Ferguson, one of the authors of the report, told the BBC.

“I am substantially more concerned than I was a week ago,” adding, however, that it was “too early to be alarmist”.

“People should be considering the possibility of substantial human-to-human transmission more seriously than they have so far,” he added, saying it was “unlikely” that animal exposure was the main source of infection.

Airport screening 

Two people are known to have been killed by the virus, a pathogen from the same family as the deadly SARS virus – even as health authorities around the world sought to assure the public that the overall risk of infection remained low.

Authorities in Hong Kong have stepped up detection measures, including rigorous temperature checkpoints for inbound travellers from the Chinese mainland.

The US said from Friday it would begin screening flights arriving from Wuhan at San Francisco airport and New York’s JFK – which both receive direct flights – as well as Los Angeles, where many flights connect.

The latest outbreak comes ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays, when many of China’s 1.4 billion people will be travelling to their home towns or abroad.[File: Andy Wong/AP]

So far, health officials do not consider the new virus from China to be as lethal as SARS, but the investigation is evolving and much is still not known about whether the virus can spread easily from person to person.

“This is the stage of the investigation where we need to proceed cautiously and be prepared for any eventuality,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, an expert in respiratory diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.

SARS originated in southern China in 2002 and infected more than 8,000 people in 37 countries before it was brought under control.

Nearly 800 people died worldwide. China was accused of covering up the case.

The latest outbreak comes ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays, when many of China’s 1.4 billion people will be travelling to their home towns or abroad.

The Chinese government expects passengers to make 440 million trips via rail and another 79 million trips via aeroplanes.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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