REFLECTIONS ON 2020
Whew . . . and what a year it was
1 Albertans begin paying a federal $20 per tonne consumer carbon tax imposed after the UCP government struck down a provincial levy brought in by its NDP predecessors.
A U.S. drone strike near Baghdad Airport kills several people, including Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Quds Force, and two top Iraqi military leaders.
Following the Soleimani assassination, Iran pulls out of an agreement to control its uranium enrichment, an international pact the Trump administration had already spurned.
Iran launches missiles at Iraq military bases hosting U.S. troops in retaliation for Soleimani's death.
Ukraine International Airways Boeing Flight 752 with 176 people on board is shot down mistakenly by an Iranian surface-to-air missile as it leaves Tehran, killing all passengers and crew. Among the dead on the Boeing 737 are 57 Canadians and others living in Canada, many in Edmonton.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle — the duke and duchess of Sussex — announce they're “stepping back” from their duties as senior royals.
The world's biggest investor, Blackrock, announces it'll be putting its focus on climate change by changing its stance on its massive fossil fuel portfolio.
Leaked documents suggest figures connected to U.S. President Donald Trump were conducting surveillance and possibly other hostile activities in 2019 against then-u.s. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who at that time had been abruptly warned to return to the U.S.
The Supreme Court of Canada rules against B.C.'S legal appeal seeking the right to control what moves through the Trans Mountain pipeline.
An independent government watchdog concludes U.S. President Donald Trump broke the law by withholding congressionally approved funds earmarked for Ukraine in 2019.
Eastern Newfoundland is buried under a record-breaking dump of snow by a powerful blizzard packing 130 km/h wind gusts.
Alberta's UCP government announces it will tie funding to post-secondary institutions on a merit basis, using criteria such as graduation rates, employment and income outcomes.
Some Alberta landowners threaten to shut off power to oil and gas producers, which they say aren't paying them rent. It comes after figures show the energy sector owes $173 million in back taxes to rural municipalities.
China locks down 12 cities totalling a population of nearly 40 million people in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others are killed in a helicopter crash near L.A.
A freedom of information request reveals Calgary Ward 2 Coun. Joe Magliocca spent considerably more on expenses than colleagues at a 2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Quebec City. Further Postmedia Calgary investigation also reveals he claimed expenses for meals with guests who didn't dine with him.
A new vision of the proposed LRT Green Line presents a bridge over the Bow River instead of a tunnel beneath it, and tracks along Centre Street.
The White House unveils its long-awaited so-called Mideast peace plan that's immediately rejected by Palestinians who had no input in its drafting.
The Trump administration announces a travel ban on six more countries including Africa's biggest state, Nigeria. It brings to 13 the number of such prohibitions from countries with large Muslim populations.
Britain officially exits the European Union, though details of Brexit remain to be worked out over the coming months.
The Federal Court of Appeal rules First Nations opposed to the TMX pipeline expansion have no power to halt the project by arguing insufficient consultation.
The U.S. Senate votes to acquit an impeached Donald Trump of charges of abuse of power and obstruction, related to a scheme to allegedly extort the Ukrainian government in which aid money would be released in exchange for help in winning the 2020 presidential election.
Kirk Douglas, one of the last stars of Hollywood's golden age, dies at 103.
A Thai soldier fatally shoots 29 people at a military base and a shopping mall north of Bangkok before being killed.
Antarctica registers a temperature reading of over 20 C for the first time in recorded history. Scientists call it “incredible and abnormal.”
Four U.S. prosecutors quit the case after the Department of Justice intervenes in the sentencing of convicted Donald Trump associate Roger Stone. Trump had tweeted the sevento nine-year sentence recommendation was too harsh. 13
Blockades of roads, rail lines, buildings and other protests continue across Canada in support of members of B.C.'S Wet'suwet'en First Nation opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline traversing their traditional territory. CN suspends service across Eastern Canada while Via Rail shuts down across the country.
In the latest in a series of rightwing extremist attacks in Germany, a terrorist shoots up two shisha bars in the city of Hanau targeting those of Mideast descent, killing nine people before taking his own life.
Signed by four Alberta Conservative MLAS, the so-called Buffalo Declaration laments what it sees as unfair treatment meted out to the province by Ottawa, with a warning that unsolved problems will lead to a strong desire to separate from Canada.
The Alberta government ends its master agreement with the province's doctors after contract mediation fails, and announces a new pay regime meant to realize $2 billion in savings. But the Alberta Medical Association balks at the moves.
A leaked report from prominent U.S. bank and world's biggest financier of fossil fuels J.P. Morgan warns humanity is on a collision course with catastrophe this century if greenhouse gas emissions aren't dramatically contained.
B.c.-based Teck Resources pulls the plug on its proposed $20-billion Frontier oilsands mine north of Fort Mcmurray, citing investor reluctance in the face of what it calls government climate change policy uncertainty.
Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is found guilty in New York of rape and a criminal sexual act following a lengthy trial. He's sentenced to 23 years in prison the following month.
In a break from decisions in Ontario and Saskatchewan, the Alberta Court of Appeal rules 4-1 that the federal carbon tax is unconstitutional.
Alberta's UCP government delivers its second budget and one that continues a cost-cutting trend that also vows to reach a balanced fiscal sheet by 2023.
North American equity markets finish their worst week since the 2008 recession plunge, as fear of the economic impact of the novel coronavirus intensifies.
The U.S. and the Taliban reach an agreement to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan that would see the pullout of foreign troops within 14 months.
Tornadoes tearing through Tennessee leave more than 20 dead.
The Alberta government announces plans to close some provincial parks and related amenities, and to off-load and possibly privatize 164 of them.
Despite being indicted on corruption charges, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wins the Israeli election, the third national vote in a year.
A review of the social impacts of Alberta's opioid safe consumption sites notes there are considerable safety concerns among the facilities' neighbours, while insisting the sites' life-saving benefits are exaggerated. It provokes considerable backlash among critics.
Alberta announces its first two presumptive COVID-19 infections, a woman and man in Calgary and Edmonton respectively who'd both been travelling in the U.S.
After OPEC+ talks in Vienna collapse, crude prices drop 9.4 per cent, the steepest plunge since the 2008 recession, and this sets the stage for an oil price war led by Saudi Arabia.
Equity markets plunge by record numbers, with the Dow falling by 2,000 points as fears over the economic impact of the novel coronavirus and an oil price war shake investors.
In the face of the novel coronavirus, the NHL suspends its 2019-2020 season following a similar decision by the NBA.
As the world hunkers down to combat the novel coronavirus, classes in all of Alberta's centres of learning are suspended and Calgary declares a state of emergency. Alberta's chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw becomes the face of the pandemic in the province, as she provides regular updates on the virus.
Spooked by the growing economic impacts of the novel coronavirus, the Dow Jones Industrial Index plummets 3,000 points, or 13 per cent, its biggest ever single day loss.
Alberta declares a state of emergency to fight COVID-19, shuttering bars and casinos.
The U.S. and Canada announce the closure of the border between the two countries to non-essential traffic, while Ottawa pledges an $82 billion aid package for Canadians impacted by the novel coronavirus. The House of Commons approves it unanimously a week later.
World oil prices fall to their lowest level in nearly two decades with Western Canadian Select plummeting to below $10 a barrel to further clobber Alberta producers.
Canada's Olympians say they won't attend Tokyo's 2020 Summer Olympics unless it's postponed for a year to avoid the impact of the novel coronavirus.
The IOC postpones the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo for a year, due to the coronavirus. It's the first time such a delay has occurred.
A $2.2 trillion COVID-19 aid package, the largest in U.S. history, is passed by lawmakers.
Alberta's UCP government announces it's laying off 20,000 school support staff and will use the savings to support the fight against COVID-19.
To get TC Energy's Keystone XL pipeline kick-started, the Alberta government commits to $7.1 billion in investment and loan guarantees for the project.
3 Donald Trump announces the firing of inspector general Michael Atkinson, who'd alerted Congress to concerns over the U.S. president's conduct that led to his impeachment.
It's revealed earth's largest organism, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, has undergone its third mass bleaching event in the past five years, due to climate change.
Country-folk singer John Prine dies of complications from the novel coronavirus. He was 73.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the province could suffer up to 3,100 deaths from the novel coronavirus and an unemployment rate of at least 25 per cent in 2020.