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Kenney warns country in peril if Alberta doesn’t get fair deal

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Premier Jason Kenney took his “urgent” mission for a “Fair Deal ” for Alberta to Ottawa on Monday saying the country is at risk if the feds don’t help out.

Kenney said Alberta’s ability to be the “Golden Goose” of Canada’s economy is in peril, thereby putting the stability of Confederation in at risk.

“Without Alberta in the last five years, Ottawa’s debt would be $100 billion more than it is,” said Kenney in a speech to the Canadian Club of Ottawa.

The premier told the crowd that out of 129 listed Alberta oil and gas companies, half have lost more than 90% of their value, been sold or delisted.

He noted the rest of Canada has been silent as Alberta lost 80,000 oil patch jobs but exploded in anger when 3,000 auto workers were laid off in Oshawa.

Kenney said the economic downturn has hit Alberta hard with increases in crime, suicide and family break-ups.

“The per capita suicide rate is 50 per cent higher than it is in Ontario,” he said.

“Government policy has made a bad situation worse,” Kenney said, pointing out things like the federal carbon tax, the TMX and Keystone pipeline halts and the cancellation of Energy East.

Kenney pointed out a recent polled that showed nearly 80% of Albertans “understand or sympathize” with groups that would like to see independence.

In his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tomorrow, Kenney said he was after five main things: guarantees on the TMX pipeline; a $1.7-billion back payment from the Fiscal Stabilization Fund, the repealing of bills C-48 and 69; expansion of tax instruments like flow-through shares and for the PM to come forward with an equivalency agreement for Alberta’s methane emissions regulation..

Courtesy Wikipedia

Kenney received applause from the crowd when he said he was a committed federalist and a standing ovation at the end of his speech.

Liberal deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland was in the audience for the speech.

Kenney and a number of his cabinet ministers will meet with Trudeau and staff tomorrow.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland (source: Flickr)

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

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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EXCLUSIVE: Country star running for UCP president to force Kenney leadership vote

Sources tell the Western Standard that George Canyon will run for the presidency of the party in order to trigger an earlier leadership review.

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Alberta country star George Canyon is set to announce he’s running for the presidency of the United Conservative Party, multiple sources tell the Western Standard.

But Canyon is not seeking a typical mandate for a party president, however, but will be running on a platform of holding an early leadership review of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Several sources in the party told the Western Standard Canyon will make the announcement this week.

The UCP will hold its annual general meeting November 19-21 at the Grey Eagle Resort, where members present will elect a new board of directors for the party.

Candidates running on an explicit mandate of triggering a leadership review is rare in Canadian politics.

Canyon placed second in the 2019 federal election under the Conservative banner in his native Nova Scotia, but lives in Alberta.

The country music star regularly sings the national anthem at Calgary Flames games at the Saddledome.

Canyon’s entry into the political fray comes as Kenney’s leadership has been under siege since he imposed a fourth round of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns last week, including a vaccine passport, something he vowed never to do.

A UCP Caucus meeting is set for Wednesday and Kenney’s leadership is expected to be the main point of discussion.

Dozens of grassroots UCP constituency associations have joined forces to call for an early leadership review of Kenney. The party currently has one scheduled in late 2022, only six months before the next provincial election.

UCP VP of policy Joel Mullan wrote an open letter in the Western Standard Tuesday that called for Kenney to go immediately.

“My responsibility is to look at the reality —not wish it away — and take the necessary steps to protect the health care system,” Kenney said.

“Let’s deal with those things at the right time, after this crisis.”

He said any move to hold a leadership race now would be “grossly irresponsible.”

Kenney was asked if the internal turmoil in the UCP was what led to the resignation of Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

“I am focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID, not politics,” Kenney said.

“We have to protect the health care system to prevent needless deaths — we will not allow politics to distract us.”

Kenney may not go so easily however.

One UCP MLA says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney would rather “blow up” the government than admit he was wrong about COVID-19 and resign.

The MLA, who spoke to the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity, made the comment prior to thee Tuesday afternoon Kenney cabinet shuffle.

“This is a desperate bid by Kenney to save his leadership,” the MLA said of Shandro’s removal.

“Most of us agree Shandro is incompetent and must go, but he was acting under orders directly from Kenney.

“It looks pathetic and is only designed to stave off a vote of no-confidence from the caucus tomorrow,” the MLA said.

“Rather than go gracefully, [Kenney] would rather blow the whole thing up than step down gracefully.”

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

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Kenney says leadership review now would be ‘grossly irresponsible’

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney last night rejected any calls for an immediate leadership review of him as “grossly irresponsible.”

Kenney has been under withering attacks for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Alberta, which led to the “resignation” Tuesday of Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

A UCP caucus meeting is set for Wednesday and Kenney’s leadership is expected to be the main point of discussion.

Dozens of grassroots UCP constituency associations have joined forces to call for an early leadership review of Kenney. The party currently has one scheduled in late 2022, only six months before the next provincial election.

UCP VP of policy Joel Mullan wrote an open letter in the Western Standard Tuesday called for Kenney to go immediately.

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

“My responsibility is to look at the reality — not wish it away — and take the necessary steps to protect the health care system,” Kenney said.

“Let’s deal with those things at the right time, after this crisis.”

Kenney was asked if the internal turmoil within the UCP was what led to the resignation of Shandro.

“I am focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID, not politics,” Kenney said.

“We have to protect the health care system to prevent needless deaths — we will not allow politics to distract us.”

Kenney said he knew when he brought in the fourth wave of COVID-19 lockdowns last week and flip-flopped on his promise not to bring in vaccine passports there would be internal grumblings.

He said the COVID-19 cabinet committee has had 12 hours of “respectful” meeting time with the full UCP caucus.

Kenney pointed out the People’s Party of Canada, which ran on an anti-vaccination platform, took 8% of the vote in Alberta in the federal election.

“Let me be blunt, those people likely voted for me in the last provincial election,” Kenney said.

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

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Kenney said shuffle was ‘time for a fresh start’

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

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Tyler Shandro wasn’t fired as health minister, he resigned, says Premier Jason Kenney.

Answering questions after Tuesday’s cabinet shuffle, Kenney said he accepted the resignation from Shandro from the health portfolio.

“Tyler’s dedication to the job has never been questioned. He brought his heart to the job,” Kenney said.

“It’s time for a fresh start.”

Kenney denied the shuffle was done to appease critics in the UCP caucus clamouring for action.

“We are focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID-19, not politics,” said Kenney.

Kenney promoted Labour Minister Jason Copping to health and put Shandro in his old portfolio in labour.

Kenney said bringing in vaccine passports has had a dramatic effect on the number of people getting vaccinated.

A total of 23,000 people were vaccinated on Monday with 78,000 jabs being given out in the last few days.

A total of 81.4% of people have received at least one vaccine with 72.8% having two jabs.

Since they were made available on Sunday, more than two million Albertans printed out their vaccination passports, Kenney said.

He said Alberta Health Services has expanded the number of ICU beds in the province to 337.

Copping said he was honoured to be named health minister in this “pivotal time.”

He said he has three goals: to increase hospital capacities permanently, educate the unvaccinated on why they should get jabs and to prepare the hospital system for any future waves of COVID.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans had died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

She said the province had identified 1,500 new cases in the last day from 13,600 tests for an 11.1% positivity rate.

There are 996 people in hospital as of September 21 with COVID, and 222 in ICU.

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

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