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Wheatland County’s call for Alberta independence vote gathering support

Wilson said other councillors in other county officials around Alberta have asked for copies of the motion and a meeting with be held at the Rural Municipalities of Alberta gathering in Edmonton next week to discuss it.

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Jason Wilson was having trouble concentrating on feeding his cows Tuesday with the constant ringing of his cell phone.

The Western Standard was the first to report that Wilson, along with his Wheatland County council colleagues, had passed a motion demanding changes to the way Alberta is treated in Confederation – and if not a referendum would be held Oct. 18, 2021 on sovereignty.

Since the story broke Monday, Wilson has been besieged with calls from across the province and media interview requests from across the country – and calls from other municipal councillors looking for more information.

“You don’t get to hear ‘thank you’ very much in this job. This is very refreshing,” said Wilson, adding his Twitter following has also seen a spike.

“Residents are very happy and the understand we need a new deal. I’ve heard from people from Lloydminster to Grande Cache to Taber that we are on the right track,” he said, taking a break from attending to his 450 head of cows near Gleichen.

The Western Standard’s westsite, www.westernstandardonline.com, has seen more than 50 thousand page views on the story and hundreds of Facebook shares.

Wilson’s motion, passed unanimously, calls for the province’s withdrawal from the Canada Pension Plan, a start to collecting it’s own income tax, the end of equalization payments, Senate reform, replacing the RCMP and better control over immigration into Alberta.

He said other councillors in other county officials around Alberta have asked for copies of the motion and a meeting with be held at the Rural Municipalities of Alberta gathering in Edmonton next week to discuss it.

Wheatland County Council (source: Wheatland County)

“I am optimistic and that’s not a normal feeling – though the media attention is a bit nerve-wracking,” Wilson said, about to start preparing for a television interview with a Toronto news network.

Wilson was a Jason Kenney delegate for his 2017 run for the PC leadership, and currently holds memberships in the United Conservative Party of Alberta, Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta, and the People’s Party of Canada.

People’s Party of Canada candidate for the area’s Bow River constituency Tom Ikert is also a Wheatland councillor, and voted for the motion.

Wilson’s entire motion can be read below.

Whereas: Alberta contributes more, per person, to the national economy than any other province.  With only 12% of Canada’s population, Alberta attracts one quarter of all capital investment in the country and is responsible for more than one fifth of all Canadian goods exported.

Whereas: Albertan workers contribute far more to the Canada Pension Plan than its retirees take out.  In 2017, 16.5% of all CPP contributions came from Alberta workers, while just 10.6% of CPP expenditures made their way back to the province. If Alberta were to remove itself from the Canadian pension Plan, the current CPP rate (9.9%) would have to increase to 10.6%, resulting in up to $367 in additional contributions (in the form of payroll taxes) for workers outside of Alberta. Meanwhile, Albertans would pay just 5.85% for a CPP-like program for the province.

Whereas: A Statistics Canada 2017 report states that the Government of Canada generated $50.3 billion from Alberta taxpayers and only spent $28.5 billion in Alberta. Albertans pay more in federal taxes than we get back in federal spending. Meanwhile, the federal government generated $53.7 billion from Quebec taxpayers and spent $70.1 billion in Quebec.

Whereas: The Province of Alberta is under-represented in both houses of Parliament. While holding 12% of the nation’s population, Alberta only commands 10% of the seats in The House of Commons with 34 seats, and 5.7% of the seats in The Senate (6 seats). The Maritime provinces; Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island hold 5.1% the total population of Canada, yet they hold 22% of the seats within The Senate (24 seats).

Whereas:   The North-West Mounted Police were founded in 1873 with a military culture, and that remains a central aspect of the RCMP culture today. Over the last number of decades the changing of society has caused the RCMP to change into an inefficient and poor service. As Wheatland County has found, having five different Divisions and many detachments under staffed, with no future plans of reaching the organizations own recommendation of officers per capita, the national police force is no longer fulfilling local needs across the Province of Alberta.

Whereas: Alberta accepted 38,683 immigrants in 2018 and Quebec (with a populations twice the size of Alberta), accepted 47,903 immigrants. The Province of Alberta accepted 61% more immigrants per capita than Quebec, while having no way to regulate or refuse immigration. Alberta is allowed only to choose 5500 economic immigrants, unlike Quebec which has stronger authority over the province’s immigration.

Therefor be it resolved: The Government of Alberta act on the following recommendations in order to insert Alberta’s constitutional rights within confederation.

  1. That the Province of Alberta withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan and create an Alberta Pension Plan offering the same benefits at lower cost while giving Alberta control over the investment fund. Pensions are a provincial responsibility under section 94A of the Constitution Act. 1867.
  2. That the Province of Alberta collects its own revenue from personal income tax, as the province already does for corporate income tax. There is no reason to have Ottawa collect Alberta’s revenue. Any incremental cost of collecting our own personal income tax would be far outweighed by the policy flexibility that Alberta would gain.
  3. That the Province of Alberta use Section 88 of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Quebec Secession Reference to REMOVE EQUALIZATION from the Canadian Constitution. The federal government and other provinces must seriously consider a proposal for constitutional reform endorsed by “a clear majority on a clear question” in a provincial referendum.
  4. That the Province of Alberta again uses Section 88 of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Quebec Secession Reference to demand Senate reform.. Alberta has acted decisively in holding Senate elections. Now is the time to drive the issue further.
  5. That the Province of Alberta start preparing options to replace the RCMP as the province’s police force.  Alberta is a unique province and needs a police force operated, owned, and directed by the people they serve. Like the other major provinces of Ontario and Quebec, we should have our own provincial police force that answers to the Government of Alberta and understands the regional needs throughout the province. We have no doubt that Alberta can run a more efficient and effective police force than Ottawa can.
  6. That the Province of Alberta enter into an agreement with the federal government, similar to the Canada-Quebec Accord, allowing Alberta to oversee its own immigration that depicts the regional, cultural and economic needs of the Province.

Further be it resolved: If the federal government does not deal with these demands in good faith; if they block, hinder, or otherwise prevent Alberta from exercising its rights as outlined above, that the Government of Alberta will hold a Referendum with a “clear question”, as defined by The Clarity Act, on the secession of Alberta from the Canadian Confederation on October 18th 2021.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Farkas pledges to freeze taxes for four years

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.

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Calgary mayoral candidate Jeromy Farkas released the first plank of his platform Monday, pledging to freeze taxes for four years.

“Over the past 10 years, Calgarians have struggled with lack of opportunity. We’ve witnessed the economy crumble, the tax burden increase, and the city hall establishment become increasingly out of touch. It’s time for that to change,” said Farkas in a release.

“If elected as mayor, I will champion a four-year property tax freeze for homes and businesses. Now more than ever, Calgarians need a strong and growing economy. This four-year tax freeze will throw a lifeline to struggling families, seniors, and small business owners, and give them the certainty that they need to get back on their feet.”

Farkas said economist Jack Mintz reviewed the promise and found it to be an achievable goal, with the millions the city has stashed aside in various reserve funds.

“Implementing a four-year residential and non-residential tax freeze is undoubtedly achievable,” said Mintz,

“The best part is this plan can be implemented without reductions to city services given the excess reserves available and reasonable growth forecasts.”

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.

“It’s time to put this false choice to rest with common-sense financial management,” said the Farkas campaign, adding the tax bill for the typical home has doubled over the last decade while basic city services have remained stagnant or even declined.

“This election is about change versus more of the same. As councillor, I’ve consistently opposed needless budget increases. I have a record of following through on my promises. Change starts now, with a four-year tax freeze,” Farkas said.

Calgarians go to the polls October 18.

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News

Poll shows Canadians trust the Internet and know what’s fake news

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the internet.

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Despite Liberal attempts to censor the Internet, the vast majority of Canadians think online information is reliable and people can tell when its not, says the feds own internal polling.

Blacklock’s Reporter said Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the Internet.

“A majority, 80%, believe the online content they consume is factual and truthful,” said a pollsters’ report.

“Two-thirds of Canadians, 66%, feel confident in their ability to tell if online content is fair and balanced.”

The Heritage department paid Ipsos Public Affairs $164,621 to conduct online focus groups and questionnaires with 5,207 people.

“Almost all Canadians are frequently consuming some form of information online,” wrote researchers.

“Canadians largely believe having access to different sources of information with different points of view is important for people to participate in a democracy.

“Most participants were confident in their abilities to consider various sources and ensure they are being presented with ‘the full picture.’”

Guilbeault last July 2 issued a report to instruct the media on how to report the news.

“We can no longer ignore the challenges and opportunities that come with an increasingly digital world,” said Guilbeault.

“We have to act now to ensure a healthy ecosystem online for all citizens.”

Reporters, editors and commentators must “foster greater exposure to diverse cultural content, information and news” and “contribute to a healthier public discourse, greater social inclusion within society, bolster resilience to disinformation and misinformation and increase our citizens’ ability to participate in democratic processes,” said the report.

The guide defined misinformation as “false or misleading content shared without harmful intent though the effects can still be harmful, e.g. when people share false information with friends and family in good faith.”

The document doesn’t say who within the Heritage department would monitor news deemed to be harmful.

“Ethical journalistic standards should be upheld and encouraged,” said the guide, adding: “Information about media ownership and funding sources should be made accessible to the public and transparent to safeguard a diverse and pluralistic media ecosystem.”

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Twenty percent of Canadians bet pro sports is fixed

Only 6% said they were “very confident” major league hockey, football, baseball and basketball players were not doping.

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One-fifth of all Canadians think pro sports is rigged, says the feds’ own research.

Blacklock’s Reporter noted cabinet legalized bookmaking August 27.

Asked: “Do you think there is match manipulation in the NHL, Major League Baseball, the NBA or CFL?” 21% said yes, according to the Survey On Ethics, Equity And Safety In Sport 2021.

Only 6% said they were “very confident” major league hockey, football, baseball and basketball players were not doping.

A total of 19% of Canadians said they were convinced there is match-fixing in college sports, with 18% saying junior hockey is crooked.

A larger number, 24%, said the Olympics are fixed and 37% agreed “there is corruption within Canadian sport organizations” at the Olympic level.

Cabinet on August 27 brought into force Bill C-218 that repealed an 1892 ban on single-event sports betting.

The bill sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon-Grasswood) set no limits on sports wagering through provincial gaming monopolies.

Provinces have said Vegas-style bookmaking will be fully introduced by the year’s end.

The Department of Canadian Heritage commissioned the survey using questionnaires with 10,932 people nationwide. The department paid Advanis Incorporated $78,563 for the research.

“The survey gauges awareness, perceptions and understanding of key issues related to ethics,” said the report.

Questions of honest play were “fueled by negative media and public attention,” it said.

The Centre for Ethics in Sport in June 4 testimony at the Senate Banking, tTade and Commerce Committee cautioned legal bookmaking could see corrupt practices spread to “university sport, college sport or the Canada Games.”

Match-fixing “is already occurring in Canada,” testified Paul Melia, CEO.

“Importantly, it is not an issue that only impacts professional sport In fact, match manipulation is often targeted directly at lower-level sport where athletes are not paid or not well paid and are therefore far more vulnerable.”

“Match manipulation is linked to organized crime. It takes advantage of vulnerable athletes, officials, coaches and other support staff in order to fix the outcome of a sporting competition.”

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