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MORGAN: So, you want an Independent West?

If you want to set Western independence back another 20 years, hold a referendum tomorrow and take a double digit loss. We need to do a lot of groundwork first.

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Welcome to the club. I have been here a long time and since leading the Alberta Independence Party into the 2001 provincial election I have never seen regionalist sentiment explode like it has today. If a lasting movement is going to form which will eventually lead to the secession of Alberta and/or other Western provinces & territories it has to be done right. I have learned some things while running in separatist circles these last couple decades. 

To begin with, you need patience. I know. You’re done. You’re furious. You’re done with confederation and you want out yesterday. You have to remember though that despite the general fury of Albertans right now, most still will not be ready to pull the trigger to go when push comes to shove. I see people demanding a referendum on secession right now. People will vote yes in internet polls and formal polls in great numbers but I can assure you that if the real question was before them in a voting booth today, support would be 25% at best. If you want to set Western independence back another 20 years, hold a referendum tomorrow and take a double digit loss. We need to do a lot of groundwork first. 

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you really mean it. Are you just raging today or are you in this for the long game? If you try to keep one foot on either side of the line, you will simply damage the movement. When the Alberta Independence Party of 2001 embraced the mantra of “separation if necessary, but not necessarily separation”, they neutered themselves right out of the gate. Set the goal as independence and keep your eye on the prize. Be honest about it. If you just want to use the threat of secession as a tool to express rage, you will only damage the movement.

Preston Manning & Stephen Harper in the Reform Party

Understand and spread the word that it is the system of confederation that is broken rather than just the party which is at the head of it today. The realization that we are hamsters on a wheel and will always remain the lapdogs of confederation no matter which party is at the top is what creates true and permanent secessionists. Trudeau will be gone one day but will Alberta’s fate be any better in the long run? How did we do under Mulroney? Harper was less damaging than a Liberal Prime Minister would be but did he reform equalization? Did he end supply management? Did he cut the massive subsidies poured into Quebec in so many ways? Did he implement or even encourage even one element of the “Alberta Agenda” which he co-authored? Of course not. To do so would be political suicide. The system forces Prime Ministers to cater to Central Canada at the expense of the West no matter what. 

For an independence movement to gain popular support, it has to begin by weeding out and isolating the crazies. Vocal nutbars have killed countless nascent movements of all types. Conspiracy theorists, religious extremists, racists and pretty much every other type of fringe lunatics are always drawn to small movements. They like to feel like a big fish in a small pond and independence groups and parties have provided a home for them for some time now. Oh I know the vast majority of independence supporters are genuine and sane people. They always have been. Given a platform though, a tiny minority of lunatics can drag down a large majority of rational people in a movement quickly. The wackos need to be sidelined ASAP.

We need to clean up our own back yard first if we want to build a realistic secessionist movement. I didn’t bother calling openly for secession for the last 12 years or so because I knew that it was hopeless unless we could demonstrate that we would act better on our own. How could we do that when our provincial governments run massive deficits and infringe upon individual rights? We have finally shed the NDP government which is a great step. Now lets see some movement towards responsible provincial management so that we can climb upon the high horse that we need. My response to folks pushing secessionism in the last four years has been “Would you want to separate and have to say ‘President Notley’”?

We have to build the foundation of an independent Alberta before we put it to the question. Let’s dig up and implement that “Alberta Agenda”. Form that provincial pension plan. Form a provincial police force. Collect our own taxes. Take solid control of every tool within provincial jurisdiction without apology. Want to create permanent secessionists? There are few better ways than walking down the path towards provincial autonomy within confederation only to be attacked and possibly shut down by the federal central powers. Rest assured central Canada will not take kindly to Alberta trying to distance itself from their control in any way. 

Let’s get on with that referendum on equalization. This will be a great referendum practice run for us. It will also bring out and expose the vitriol and anti-Alberta sentiment from central Canada as they will attack us for daring to stand up for ourselves and attacking the status-quo which serves them so well. Even if an overwhelming majority of Albertans vote to dump equalization, it is very unlikely that the divisive program will be ended, much less reformed. That builds the support for the next referendum though which will be based on the Clarity Act. 

When Alberta has tried to use every tool within confederation to take care of itself only to find itself remaining in an abusive relationship, we will reach that tipping point where an independence vote becomes truly viable. The final tool is a referendum on independence and we have to be careful not to invoke it before it is time. When we see a Facebook page such as Wexit go from 20,000 members to over 220,000 members in a matter of two days, we are indeed seeing a groundswell of secessionist sentiment unlike any seen before. Bear in mind though that secession will need the support of millions in order to happen and that support will have to run deeper than clicking “like” on a Facebook page. We are well on our way today but we have to tread with care if we want to turn this into a lasting movement rather than an enraged flash in the pan. 

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Terence M

    October 31, 2019 at 11:17 am

    If you can unwrap yourself from the Canadian flag and the ’emotional attachment’ to Canada then cold critical thinking will tell you that this political construct (Canada) has no benefit on balance for the west. What is DESPERATELY needed is a ‘common sense’ study that shows that separation makes sense. People will not jump from a frying pan into the fire because security trumps emotion. This movement will fail if the little guy fears the unknown. This should be an obvious way forward to the ‘leaders’ of the separatist movement.

  2. Bob C

    October 26, 2019 at 11:58 am

    There will be a lot of talk and posturing about what needs to be done to unite Canada in the coming months, however, Westerners have to realize that the situation is not fixable, the united prosperous Canada the west desires, for some reason is not acceptable to the east, particularly Quebec, who seem to be spitefully against western prosperity, it’s a dysfunctional, irreconcilable marriage, resign yourselves to the fact that independence is the only solution and get on with it.

    Over the years, the West has worked the hardest at keeping the failed marriage that is Canada together, when your partners continually have no respect for your efforts, then enough is enough, if Provincial regionalism and protectionism’s are going to supersede nationalism, then what practical point can be made for Canada, when one province can impede the prosperity of another without Federal intervention, then there is no valid reason to continue in the federation.

    Save yourselves Alta. and Sask., by freeing yourselves, you will free the rest of us as well

    A friend from Ontario

    • Jimmy D

      October 28, 2019 at 11:45 am

      I totally agree with your sentiment about the quandary Alberta is in as a province in confederation, but separation from Canada is a non starter with the Alberta electorate. Like the article says, a referendum on Alberta sovereignty would be soundly defeated. Even if it was held today a week after the disappointing results of the federal election. Can you even imagine the fear mongering campaign that would be launched by the federal gov’t, Eastern Canada, environmentalists, Natives, and foreign interest groups if Alberta were to announce a referendum on separation? It would be colossal and likely scare many thousands of would be separatists into the safe haven of a united Canada.

      I think gradually adopting all of the autonomous recommendations suggested in this article and accelerating the referendum on equalization to 2020 from 2021 are the reasonable alternatives to separation. Things will have to get a whole lot worse economically for most Albertans to pull the plug on Canada.

  3. Leanna

    October 26, 2019 at 9:11 am

    I am almost 60, and remember Trudeau Sr. I cannot wait and do nothing, this isn’t a last minute feeling. I quit singing the anthem 30 years ago.

  4. john cox

    October 25, 2019 at 11:49 am

    I agree with your sentiment that Alberta needs to get it’s house in order, start our own police, tax collection, pension plan and everything else we came take away from the corrupt bureaucracy and Lieberal controlled central Canada government. Nothing changed with the CPC in power, as every political party needs the support of central and eastern Canada to stay in the big chair.

  5. B BAKER

    October 25, 2019 at 9:55 am

    I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.
    Isoroku Yamamoto

  6. Marcos Réal

    October 25, 2019 at 9:07 am

    Time for a Western Bloc party?

  7. Jess Sandhu

    October 25, 2019 at 7:18 am

    Thank you for helping make sense of this complex subject. It was sobering to read your thoughts, however it would be a pity to lose this momentum, so a referendum on equalization should be tabled as soon as possible

  8. Douglas W Warawa

    October 24, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Interesting article Cory. I do believe that now is not the time to sit back and wait for separation to happen. We must make it happen. The sooner the better. We have to change Jason Kenney’s mind and that’s not going to be easy. We have to get tough and be tough!! Have a great day. Without Prejudice. Sincerely Douglas W Warawa PS just Google Douglas W Warawa to see who I am.

  9. Thor Thorgeirson

    October 24, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Interesting that you say you have been active in this movement for a long time but no one has even superficially codified what it should look like after decades of consideration?

    You vehemently council that we need to be patient and NOT strike while the iron is hot – no no wait some more until the “details” can be ironed out – hmmm.

    You also spend alot of ink warning of “fringe” “conspiracists” and “lunatics” and the like – these are all completely subjective states of being and you fail to give any guidance as to just what might qualify some one for such a label – seems problamatic.

    You seem to want Albertans to be scared of “the feds” (deep state?) and lean toward allowing the perfect to derail the currently possible – if you play it too safe you will get no where but maybe that is actually what you want. I’m not accusing you I’m just noticing that if I was setting out to stop a movement I would say pretty much what you did in this post.

    • Mike Clark

      October 26, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      Cory is right to push patience. It’s not about playing it safe, is about playing it smart. This isn’t checkers, it’s chess. The separatist movement is going to have to start ramping up fundraising efforts if any kind of meaningful campaign is to take place, and so we are going to have to be very mindful of who is out there seeking funding. Are they true believers, or are they looking to make a quick buck? The people in the position to contribute heavily to the cause will want to be assured that their money is being spent wisely by an effective team with a reasonable plan.

      We can’t afford to be associated with the usual suspects of right wing activism in Alberta. Well meaning as they are, the George Clarks and yellow vesters aren’t going to do is any favours. One only need to look at the involvement of Doug Christie in the 80s for an example of how the movement can be easily poisoned by the baggage of individuals. The right alone isn’t going to get this done. We’re going to have to make compromises and have a more centrist approach if we are to build a base of support broad enough to get the supermajority we’re looking for.

      • Thor Thorgeirson

        October 28, 2019 at 5:37 pm

        Unless and until the question is at least formally asked on the record and for real nothing will happen – full stop. How do I know this? Because people have been in this space for decades and nobody has a plan ready to throw down to get this rolling ? – No one has put any ducks in a row ? I guess not – whats every one been doing all this time?

        So now Albertans need to wait another 19 months? 27 months?(how long?) while who exactly (?) attempts to maybe make a plan so maybe you build a consensus around that and then maybe have a vote that will get the brexit footdrag treatment.

        Seems like a tedious and pointless path. I council cage rattling of the first order.

    • Jeff Gibson

      November 1, 2019 at 11:28 pm

      I concur with your premise.

  10. Steve Thompson

    October 24, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I hope you’ll attend the EEA conference on Nov 15/16 to share these wise words. Serious adult conversation needs to take place in crafting a path forward.

  11. Craig B. Chandler

    October 24, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Thank you for fighting!

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Opinion

KAY: Suzuki exposed as a fraud who pays lip service to his causes

The wonder is it’s taken so long for the halo to slip. On the evidence, Suzuki was never anything more than a shameless self-promoting huckster, a step-right-up-folks barker in the carnival of climate-change alarmism.

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Reader’s Digest used to do annual polls to discover which prominent Canadians were deemed most trustworthy by the public.

In first place in 2010 for the second year in a row: “eco-champion” David Suzuki, was described on the Reader’s Digest website as “honest, compassionate, and communicating a clear message.”

How could so many Canadians have been so gullible? Long before 2010, it was clear to engaged conservatives one would have to be drinking Suzuki’s own special brand of Kool-Aid to write such a description in good faith.

It may be the Kool-Aid finally lost its magical power. Denunciations of Suzuki poured forth over his recent mischief-making in a supportive address to radical, law-breaking environmental group Extinction Rebellion at the site of a pipeline protest in B.C. Suzuki told the group there “are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.” Quickly realizing from the blowback he had gone too far, Suzuki attempted to walk the threat back with an apology. But unlike in the old days when he could get away with such nonsense, Suzuki’s apology was perceived as too little too late, and didn’t play well with responsible media.

The wonder is it’s taken so long for the halo to slip. On the evidence, Suzuki was never anything more than a shameless self-promoting huckster, a step-right-up-folks barker in the carnival of climate-change alarmism. He always talked like a selfless eco-warrior, but he has never walked the walk. On the contrary. Suzuki’s hypocrisy in all matters he engages with knows no bounds.

He urges us to cut our carbon footprint to near zero, while he enjoys the use of his multiple lavish homes, including one in Australia, which he visits regularly. He wants us to take personal responsibility in our reproductive choices for reducing the global population, while he permits himself the pleasure of five children. (In 2011, Suzuki took them on a visit to French Polynesia, a 25,000 km round trip from Vancouver, paid for by a climate change award’s prize money in 2011.)

He claims the David Suzuki Foundation is a charity, but what kind of charity has a dozen registered lobbyists in Ottawa and another eight in B.C.? He claims his foundation is funded by individual Canadians, but it takes funding from such fossil fuel companies as the Alberta natural gas company ATCO and the pension fund of Ontario Power Generation, which has operated both coal-and-gas-fired plants.

Suzuki wants politicians jailed for “denying the science,” but denounces police when they apply actual laws to eco-extremist blockaders. His family is of Asian provenance, but he complains of immigration from Asian and African countries. He spouts “scientific” nonsense — he once claimed “up to 90% of cancer is caused by environmental factors,” when in fact it is more like between four and 19%, according to the National Cancer Institute — and then admits to the CBC (2013), “I have a lot of personal opinions, but that’s not backed up by anything I know.”

His coarse language and open contempt for media are legendary. Suzuki’s narcissism is so comprehensive that he withdrew scholarship funding at Carleton University because a professor there wrote a tepid review of his books.

He’s the ultimate con man, whose rigid control over communications with audiences or media usually prevents people from learning how ignorant he actually is about issues he claims expertise in.

In September 2013, however, Suzuki was publicly humiliated when he participated as a panel member for the ABC TV program Q & A, in which exchanges were spontaneous and recorded. The audience was largely composed of scientific researchers in the field, one of whom politely, but insistently, rebutted his denial of the then 15-year hiatus in global warning since 1998, as well as falsehoods Suzuki had stated as factual regarding the Great Barrier Reef.

Suzuki was clearly flummoxed by his interlocutor’s question: “Yeah, well, I don’t know why you’re saying that…in fact, the warming continues…Where are you getting your information?” The questioner cited impeccable sources by their acronyms, inside jargon to a layperson that should have been instantly recognizable to anyone self-presenting, like Suzuki, as an expert. Suzuki’s complete bewilderment in the face of the data rebutting his own confidently stated but erroneous statements exposed him in all his inglorious quackademic nakedness.

Since this episode occurred in Australia, the Youtube of the event might never have reached more than a handful of Canadians. It was only because Rebel News made unmasking Suzuki’s charlatanism a priority that interest surged and the episode went viral. Thanks to their relentless, but often entertaining public pursuit of Suzuki, people came to understand that the man they had once deemed “honest, compassionate and communicating a clear message” was in fact dishonest, misanthropic and untruthful. Not to mention more than a little creepy in his open, overtly sexist fascination with young women on college campuses.

I’ve only scratched the surface of Suzuki’s self-serving fecklessness. For a full picture of this mountebank’s abuse of Canadians’ goodwill, from which several of my examples above have been taken, read Sheila Gunn Reid’s meticulously annotated 2018 book, The Case Against David Suzuki: An Unauthorized Biography (free on Kindle).

Reid’s book was published by Rebel Media (full disclosure: Rebel Media also recently published a book I co-authored with Linda Blade.) I promise the indignation aroused by Reid’s continually amplified proof of Suzuki’s cynical disregard for truth or honour, conveyed in crisp, cheeky and wit-filled prose — she describes Suzuki as “the Bernie Madoff of the anti-oil crusade” — will hold you riveted for the few hours required to read from the first page to the last.

Read it, consider the unnecessary fear and self-loathing this feckless shaman has instilled in so many vulnerable Canadian children’s minds, and weep for the naiveté of those Canadians in their millions who have, through their adulation and material contributions to Suzuki’s snake-oil empire, helped build and sustain this hollow man’s ill-gotten fortune and prestige

Barbara Kay is a senior columnist for the Western Standard.
kbarb@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter: @BarbaraRKay

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Opinion

WAGNER: Alberta’s social conservatives should be afraid of an NDP return to power

When it comes to education policy in Alberta, the NDP is adamant that only one view of sexuality will be represented – and it’s not the traditional Christian view – even in schools that were founded with a specifically Christian purpose.

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The increasing possibility of a NDP electoral victory in 2023 should keep conservatives in Alberta awake at night. Much will be at stake if the ‘progressives’ come back to power.

Social conservatives in particular have a lot to lose, especially with regards to education policy. One of the most acrimonious issues during the NDP’s term in government concerned gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in schools. Most noteworthy, a number of private religious schools were on the verge of losing their government funding and accreditation for failing to explicitly embrace GSAs within their school policies. Only the election of Jason Kenney’s UCP saved these schools. On this file, the NDP is likely to pick up where it left off once back in office.

Discussions of this issue have been fraught with misinformation. The NDP and its supporters have portrayed their GSA policies as the one and only way to keep vulnerable students safe in schools. Thus, they imply, anyone with a different view is malevolent, is homophobic, and obviously wants to hurt kids. There’s a strict binary choice at work in the messaging: endorse the NDP’s solution or be labelled a very nasty person. There’s no other possibility. Most of the mainstream media has followed this NDP talking point to the letter.

The fact is, though, private Christian schools are formed and maintained only at great sacrifice by those involved. The parents pay extra fees to have their children attend these schools, and school employees often take lower salaries in order to serve in a religious educational mission. These are people who are making extra sacrifices — often at great personal cost — because they believe a particularly religious environment is what’s best for their children. The idea that they do all this and yet want to hurt kids is absurd.

But according to NDP propagandists, private schools with openly Christian statements on the nature of marriage and sexuality are harmful to vulnerable children. This was the basis of their demand to remove Christian doctrinal statements from school policies. Naturally, such doctrinal positions did not align with many of the social-justice identity politics of the NDP’s ideological makeup. Thus, they had to be forcibly removed.

When it comes to education policy in Alberta, the NDP is adamant that only one view of sexuality will be represented — and it’s not the traditional Christian view — even in schools that were founded with a specifically Christian purpose. The message was explicit: conform to the NDP’s ideology, or close. No diversity of opinion allowed.

As Donna Trimble put it so well at the time: “These schools have two choices. One is they strip their schools of any faith-based perspectives in their safe and caring policies in order to satisfy the government’s demands, and then they are giving up the very foundation and reason for their existence, or, two, they are shut down for their refusal to do so.”

And as Calgary Herald columnist Licia Corbella added, “Perhaps that’s the NDP’s ultimate goal? No choice, no diversity. Just NDP beliefs taught in Alberta.”

Of course, Jason Kenney put an end to the imposition of NDP ideology onto private Christian schools once he took power by passing Bill 8 — the Education Amendment Act — which rolled back the most authoritarian aspects of the NDP’s GSA program.

However, there were other facets to the GSA issue that he left in place, contrary to the wishes of many UCP members. At the UCP convention in Red Deer in May 2018, 57% of delegates voted in favour of parents being notified if their children joined a GSA. But Kenney opposed the resolution and said, “Guess what, I’m the leader. I get to interpret the resolution and its relevance to party policy…I hold the pen.” It did not become policy.

Some parental rights activists have not given up on this issue, however. One group, Bill 10 Court Challenge Organization, has continued to lobby UCP MLAs to strengthen parental notification provisions. It also promotes a petition encouraging the government to amend legislation so that children under 16 must obtain parental permission to join a GSA.

If and when the NDP comes back into power, the GSA issue will once again become front-page news. The acrimony of the NDP’s previous term will return with a vengeance — not because kids are being harmed — but because the NDP cannot tolerate any private Christian schools upholding a traditional perspective on sexuality. Ideological conformity is a central principle of “progressive” thought. This time, the non-government schools will not escape defunding and loss of accreditation.

With most of the mainstream media cheerleading the NDP on this issue as before, social conservatives will again be widely portrayed as sinister throwbacks of the Dark Ages, and their influence in Alberta society will decline even further. The election of an NDP government will not be pleasant for any segments of the province’s conservative/libertarian coalition, but the social conservatives have the most to lose.

Looking towards 2023, it seems like darkness is approaching.

Michael Wagner is a columnist for the Western Standard

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Opinion

SELICK: AHS says it has no documents for its policy of disregarding natural immunity

The firefighters believe once they’ve recovered from COVID-19, they’ve got broad and long-lasting immunity — possibly even superior to that imparted by the vaccine.

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Freedom of Information (FOI) requests have long been a useful tool for journalists, lawyers, and ordinary citizens to gain access to documents the government might prefer them not to see. 

Sometimes, however, there is even greater value in finding out the government doesn’t have a single document in its possession to back up what it’s doing. 

A case in point is the recent FOI request sent to Alberta Health Services by lawyer Derek From. From is counsel for several Alberta firefighters and paramedics who wish to decline, for various reasons, mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. Their application challenging the constitutionality of Alberta Health Services (AHS) policy will be filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench imminently. 

Some of the firefighters have already acquired natural immunity to COVID-19 by virtue of having been sick with the illness and then recovering from it. However, the AHS document entitled Immunization of Workers for COVID-19 Policy 1189, makes no reference whatsoever to individuals with this medical history. Like everyone else, they are required to be “fully vaccinated” by November 30 or lose their jobs. 

The firefighters believe once they’ve recovered from COVID-19, they’ve got broad and long-lasting immunity — possibly even superior to that imparted by the vaccine. They’re therefore extremely unlikely to get COVID-19 again for a long time, and consequently wouldn’t be able to spread it to anyone else. They argue they’ve never seen any evidence indicating an unvaccinated person who has recovered from COVID-19 can actually spread the virus. 

Therefore, they wanted to know exactly what evidence AHS relied upon when preparing its policy. AHS seemed to presume people with natural immunity could pose a danger to others, but did it have any facts to back up that presumption? 

Lawyer From submitted a Freedom of Information request on November 21 asking for “all records of the scientific evidence that AHS relied upon in the development of the policy.” 

The answer came back within a few days: after conducting a comprehensive search, AHS could find no such records in its possession. 

There must be thousands of Albertans by now who are in the same position as the firefighters, having recovered from COVID-19. AHS has never even investigated whether there’s any need for them to be vaccinated. It appears to be oblivious to their condition, their concerns and their wellbeing. 

What’s worse is emerging evidence shows people who’ve developed natural immunity are more likely than other people to experience adverse reactions to vaccination, just as vaccinated individuals are more likely to experience adverse reactions after two doses than after one. The AHS policy of mandatory vaccination therefore puts those with natural immunity at greater risk than the rest of the population, when they are in fact the people who pose the least threat to others. 

It must be apparent to AHS executives that their policy arguably infringes on the constitutional rights of individuals to life, liberty and security of the person under Sec. 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They must know they will be called upon eventually to justify their policy under Sec. 1 of the Charter — in other words, to show the policy is “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

But their cupboard is bare. They don’t possess a single document showing the necessity of vaccinating people who have natural immunity, if their response to the Freedom of Information request can be believed. 

In other words, the policy is a huge bluff on the part of AHS — a despicable pantomime acted out for some unknown purpose, that will wreak havoc on the lives of thousands of Albertans as they scramble to replace their jobs and income, and simultaneously to bring their constitutional challenges before the courts. AHS displays shocking arrogance in continuing to inflict such burdens on the province’s residents when it must know that the policy will likely, eventually, be found unconstitutional.

The AHS is headed up by Chief Executive Officer Dr. Verna Yui, who reports to a board, which in turn is governed by the Alberta Ministry of Health. They proclaim their values include compassion, accountability, respect, excellence and safety. 

In my view, they are failing on several counts. 

Fire them all. 

Karen Selick is a columnist for the Western Standard

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