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Woman refuses to wear mask at LUSH, films altercation

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A Lake Country woman claims she was the victim of “commie intimidation” after she was asked to leave Kelowna’s LUSH Cosmetics Thursday for refusing to wear a mask.

In a video that is not publicly available on her Facebook page, Susan Roth Drazdoff Faechner is seen arguing with a security guard and three female employees after she was refused service and told to leave LUSH for refusing to wear a face covering – which is company policy.

In the video, she describes the employees’ conduct as “commie intimidation.”

“I have the right to say no to a mask,” Faechner told Castanet. “I went in for an anniversary present for my husband. I picked up one thing I was going to buy. I turned around, I was ready to go, and security is there asking for my medical information.”

In the video, the security guard asks Faechner for a medical note after she tells him she can’t wear a mask due to her medical condition. When Faechner declines, the security guard explains that it’s store policy for customers to wear a face covering while inside. When Faechner argues the store is “public property to walk on,” the security guard says it is, in fact, private property.

“I know the law, and I know my constitutional human rights,” she says to the security guard.

“I felt like I was under, I don’t want to sound dramatic, but it was like great grievous bodily mental harm,” Faechner told Castanet. “Not that they were going to beat me up, but it was causing me extreme stress. When they came up to me it was like holy cow, I’m under attack and I’m all alone.

“This is like communism like, ‘you get out otherwise we call the police.’ Thats intimidation.”

Faechner says after the video ended she left peacefully as she didn’t want to escalate the situation further.

LUSH Kelowna manager Spence Dagneau says the incident with Faechner was one of the first times a customer has gotten upset about the mask policy.

“[The staff members] were pretty shaken up for the rest of the day but we have a really small, tight-knit group here and they’re all feeling pretty confident again today so its nice to see,” Dagneau said.

All LUSH stores across North America mandated face coverings on July 18, 2020.

“Shoppers who wish to enter a store but do not have their own face covering will be provided with one, or can choose contactless ordering instead by remaining outside the store while staff assist,” the LUSH website states. “The change comes following new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, along with our ongoing commitment to the safety of our customers, staff and overall community.”

Other retailers like Walmart and Real Canadian Superstore have also chosen to mandate the use of masks inside their stores.

But, echoing sentiments from a vocal minority in the community, Faechner says the mask rules infringe on her human rights.

“Masks are a freedom of choice,” she says. “Wear it, or don’t. Know your information, know what you’re talking about. You shouldn’t blindly wear a mask because some organization is telling you to do it.”

Faechner says after the incident she went to a different store in the shopping centre and was given service without a mask. She says she’ll no longer be shopping at LUSH stores.

“I call myself a Christ crusader and people with faith, they don’t just outright lie because they have a creator that they have to answer to at some point,” she says. “I’m not going to outright lie, I just think something’s happened to humans where we’ve just lost our sense of humanity.”

Faechner acknowledges the COVID-19 virus exists, but doesn’t trust the numbers of cases and deaths published by the government. To date, 223 British Columbians have died from COVID-19.

Source: – Kelowna News – Castanet.net

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Alberta exempts energy companies drilling wells or building pipelines from property taxes for three years – Edmonton Journal

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But the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) warned that the models under considerationwould cause “potentially devastating impacts on rural Alberta” and could cost rural municipalities more than $290 million in 2021 alone.

Allard said Monday the government would not be choosing any of those previous models.

Instead the government estimates its three-year plan will save the industry between $81 and $84 million.

“These measures are intended to provide much needed certainty to industry investors, municipalities, and other taxpayers for the next three years,” Allard said.

Meanwhile, Allard said the government will be startinga longer-term review of the system, including the ongoing issue of energy companies’ unpaid property taxes.

Tim McMillan, president and CEO of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said the property assessment values being used under the current system are not accurate so he doesn’t view the changes for the next three years as a tax break.

“This is an interim measure, as we’re working to correct a broader system issue that has built up over a very long period of time,” he said.

RMA president Al Kemmere said he hasn’t crunched the numbers yet to see exactly how much municipalities will lose under this plan but said it will be “nowhere near what we were looking at under the proposals.” He said he believes members of the association are willing to do their part.

Kemmere saidunpaid taxes continues to be his organization’s top priority and that some members are on the cusp of not being able to pay their bills. Municipalities estimate they are owed approximately $173-million.

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OPEC Is On The Brink Of A Crisis – OilPrice.com

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OPEC+ Is On The Brink Of A Crisis | OilPrice.com

Cyril Widdershoven

Dr. Cyril Widdershoven is a long-time observer of the global energy market. Presently, he holds several advisory positions with international think tanks in the Middle…

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    The OPEC+ member countries are on the brink of a financial crisis if the latest assessments of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are accurate. The IMF has presented a very bleak outlook for an economic recovery in the Middle East and Central Asia, predicting a 4.1% contraction for the region. The main driving factor behind this bearish outlook is the IMF’s forecast that oil prices will remain in the $40 to $50 range in 2021. An extension of the current low oil price environment for another year would badly hurt oil and gas exporting countries, which includes all of the OPEC+ members. In its statement, the IMF predicted an economic contraction of 2.8% in April for the Middle East and Central Asia. IMF director Jihad Azour highlighted a large disparity in the projected economic loss of oil-importing and exporting countries, forecasting a negative 6.6% growth for oil-exporting countries, compared to a contraction of 1.3% for oil-importing countries. With many of the OPEC+ members being rentier-states, the need for higher oil prices cannot be overstated. A vast part of the government budgets of OPEC member states depends on oil and gas-related revenues. As such, all OPEC countries are looking at significant budget deficits this year, especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait. Former OPEC member Qatar is in a similar situation, even as it tries to mitigate the damage by increasing its LNG exports. As both oil and gas demand has seen significant demand destruction this year, prices for both have plunged. At present, Brent oil prices are still 40% below their pre-COVID levels.  There is little hope of a significant rise in prices any time soon as global oil and gas storage volumes are still at historically high levels, and demand looks set to dip again due to new COVID-related lockdowns and a further economic recession. The frequently cited breakeven price for the Saudi government budget is $80 per barrel, although Saudi government budget discussions seem to revolve around an oil price of $50. Iraq has also stated that it expects price levels of $50 per barrel for 2021. These optimistic predictions seem to be based solely on Chinese post-Covid economic figures, which have proven to be highly untrustworthy and don’t take into account the fact that global demand for Chinese products will also need to pick up. The impact of the second wave of COVID cases in Europe and America will undoubtedly hurt this demand for Chinese goods. Related: Biden’s $2 Trillion Energy Plan Could Crush Natural Gas

    But of all the parties that will suffer from low oil prices and the continued impact of a global pandemic, OPEC+ members will suffer the most. Some oil and gas producers were already in a dire financial situation before COVID, including Libya and Venezuela. The major oil market contango and storage glut has been largely overlooked recently, but it still very much exists. Reports of demand recovery in some markets appear to be more wishful thinking spurred by multi-trillion-dollar cash injections rather than a viable economic recovery. OPEC and the IEA both agree that demand is still fledgling, having both cut world oil demand forecasts. The IEA cut its outlook for worldwide oil demand to 91.7 million barrels per day this year while OPEC brought its forecast down to 90.2 million in 2020. OPEC reiterated that future cuts could still be made.

    With the financial environment outlined above, OPEC+ members can no longer afford to base their economic stability and future on hydrocarbons alone. Economic diversification has to be put in place, even if the effects won’t be felt for years. Government budget cuts are imminent and could destabilize the region if not done prudently. OPEC+ discussions on stabilizing the market should not be focused at present on price levels or market share only. The real question is how to create a market that is resilient enough to cope with Black Swan events without toppling the current ruling elite. Instability is not only increasing in the Arab producer regions, but also in Russia where sanctions and low oil prices are taking their toll.

    OPEC+ members cannot simply bet on the death of U.S. shale as it is an industry that has proven incredibly hard to kill over the years. U.S. shale will almost certainly reemerge, possibly in a different form, but it is reasonable to assume the sector itself is far from dead. Leaders in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, and Kuwait City now have to find a way to survive. With oil at $50 per barrel in 2021, some OPEC members will be in a real crisis. With that in mind, a conventional OPEC+ JMMC statement today or tomorrow will be seen by some as a white flag.

    By Cyril Widdershoven for Oilprice.com

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      Stay Safe and Follow Public Health Advice This Halloween | Ontario Newsroom – Government of Ontario News

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