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JOHNSTON: 500 Rebels occupy Calgary, discussion breaks out

Rebel Media town hall discusses Wexit and Alberta’s place in confederation.

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At an “emergency town hall meeting” Wednesday night in Calgary, a Rebel Media panel discussed Wexit and Alberta’s uncertain place in confederation.

Rebel Media founder and editor, Ezra Levant, led a panel discussion on the issues surrounding Alberta’s lagging economy, feelings of Western alienation and federal mismanagement and corruption – but not before asking the 500-plus attendees to stand for the singing of “O Canada”. And they sang beautifully, without complaint or sense of irony.

This is what it means to be a soft-sovereigntist in Alberta: You stand proudly for the national anthem and then politely go about discussing whether or not this patriotic ritual is really worth the effort. In Rebel fashion, however, they did refuse to sing the Liberal’s official, new politically correct lyrics.

Alberta’s economic situation is growing desperate and with this desperation is a growing sovereigntist movement. This reality is well understood by the panel of journalists that included Edmonton Sun columnist Lorne Gunter and Rebel reporters Sheila Gunn Reid and Keean Bexte. But like all good journalists, the panel members were ready to ask the tough questions but cautious about offering easy answers.

Keean Bexte calls himself a “borderline separatist” and asked for a show of hands from those in the audience who support Alberta independence. It was the vast majority of the 500 people in room. He then asked for a show of hands from those who support Alberta joining the US. Most of the same hands went up. His point? Albertans are not yet clear on what they want other than that they don’t want the status quo.

Sheila Gunn Reid used her opening remarks to compare the economic growth being experienced in Texas against the high unemployment in, and flight of capital from, Alberta. In the tale of two oil-producing cities, Houston is booming and Calgary is fighting to survive.

Lorne Gunter, whose journalism career began with the Alberta Report (a precursor to the Western Standard), said he’s “not yet a separatist” and is keeping a close eye on the Frontier oil sands project in northern Alberta. If the $20 billion project is approved by federal cabinet in February, it might demonstrate that the Liberal government is beginning to take Alberta’s economic development issues seriously. If it’s not approved, it could be the tipping point for support for Alberta independence.

The discussion and Q&A went on from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Rebel Media supporters were eager to engage the journalists they have come to know and trust. Discussions like these are happening across Alberta – the Freedom Talks Conference in Red Deer attracted 400, Wexit rallies have attracted thousands in Edmonton and Calgary – and they are helping to provide people with a better understanding of the full scope of the challenge of independence.

Nick Smart, a Yellow Vest activist, attended the event to learn more about the sovereigntist movement in Alberta and believes it could bring “new hope and energy” to his own anti-globalist cause.

Nick Smart is a Calgary “Yellow Vest” activist looking at Alberta independence (Photo Source: Western Standard)

Until these discussions clear a path forward for our beleaguered province and broken nation, maybe all conservatives can ask for is the “hope and energy” that keeps people like Nick Smart fighting for a better future for Alberta.

News

Manitoba announces quarantine rules for all visitors and returning residents

Alberta officials announced they have seen 20 cases of the virus variant from Great Britain and five from South Africa – something Manitoba wants to avoid

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Thinking of visiting friends and family in Manitoba – prepare yourself for a 2-week quarantine.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced Tuesday that anyone coming into the province – including those from the West – will have to quarantine for 14 days.

“These measures are necessary to protect us from a more deadly version of the coronavirus that is not, as some would sadly hope, a short-term thing,” Pallister said at a press conference.

“If I have a regret from last year, I would suggest it was that we were trying too hard to educate, perhaps, and not enough maybe to make it clear that there are serious consequences if you don’t want to abide by the rules.

“We don’t want to make those mistakes again. We want to learn from them.”

The order also applies to Manitoban returning home and is designed to stop non-essential travel, by land or by air.

The rules come into effect Friday at midnight. Anyone who lives east of Terrace Bay, Ontario, will not have to isolate.

Alberta health officials announced Monday they have seen 20 cases of the virus variant from Great Britain and five from South Africa. That’s something Manitoba wants to avoid.

“Early analysis shows, depending on the study you’re reading, that it can be up to 70 per cent more communicable and have the same impacts on morbidity, mortality and hospitalizations, if not worse, depending on what study we’re looking at, compared to what we have in the community right now,” acting deputy chief public health officer Dr. Jazz Atwal said in a conference call on Tuesday.

“We want to try to get ahead of it. We want to try to protect Manitobans, right? We want to ensure that those things are in place that mitigate that risk of that virus coming into Manitoba and if it does come into Manitoba, that we’re able to respond to it quickly.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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News

Former finance minister Morneau drops bid to head OECD

Morneau said he hasn’t been able to gather enough support to win the job.

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Former Liberal finance minister Bill Morneau – forced to resign during the WE scandal – says he is dropping efforts to become the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

In a Tuesday tweet, Morneau said he hasn’t been able to gather enough support to win the job.

“I am proud to have had this opportunity to talk about issues that matter to Canadians and to the world,” Morneau said.

The OCED is an intergovernmental economic group with 37 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

Morneau resigned August 17, after clashing with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the wake of the WE charity scandal.

Morneau also resigned as a Toronto MP effective immediately.

Reports out of Ottawa said Trudeau was unhappy with Morneau over how his department crafted some policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as Morneau’s testimony at the finance committee studying the WE charity scandal.

Morneau told the finance committee that he had forgotten to reimburse $41,000 in free travel offered by WE to his family and himself back in 2017 until the day before the committee meeting.

“I wish that in hindsight, we had done things differently around the WE Charity. As I’ve said, I think that it would have been more appropriate for me to recuse myself from that decision,” Morneau told reporters.

“I’ve done my best, I’ve apologized for that, and then move forward. And I know that the important work that we’re doing is more important than that problem that we that we had.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Energy

Tory MPs banned from wearing face masks supporting energy industry

The Speaker made the ruling after Liberals MPs complained about the masks during an emergency debate on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project

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The Liberal Speaker of the House of Commons has banned Conservative MPs from wearing face masks that show support for Canada’s beleaguered energy industry.

The Speaker made the ruling Monday night after Liberals MPs complained about the masks during an emergency debate on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project by US President Joe Biden.

“This is absurd! The Liberals just pushed to have Conservative MP’s stripped of their face masks because they support Canadian #oilandgas,” tweeted Melanie Paradis, the director of communications for Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole.

“Speaker just ruled Conservative MP’s can’t wear their oil & gas face masks!!! #cdnpoli

Alberta has billions of dollars tied up in the project, with $1.5 billion of taxpayers’ money handed to TC Energy already, along with $6 billion in loan guarantees.

Premier Jason Kenney told a Wednesday press conference he had “no regrets” about staking so much taxpayers’ money on the project.

Kenney has asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his help getting the money back. Kenney has also said Alberta will sue.

During the Democratic primaries and campaign, Biden vowed to kill the pipeline, large portions of which have already been built in Alberta. He made the vow before Alberta invested it’s money.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, have also said in the past they would put an end to fracking, a promise they did not repeat during the campaign.

The Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas.

The new pipeline would have run from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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