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Poll shows most Albertans opposed to Kenney government

The majority of Albertans are now turning a thumbs down to Premier Jason Kenney and his UCP government.

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The majority of Albertans are now turning a thumbs down to Premier Jason Kenney and his UCP government.

A new poll released Monday by ThinkHQ Public Affairs shows 53 per cent of Albertans are now opposed to how Kenney is running the province.

That’s compared with 44 per cent of the population who approve of the government’s actions.

“Approval for the Kenney government has dropped by 12 percentage points since mid-October, with a comparable increase in disapproval. Strictly looking at performance ratings from voters, the new UCP government today is almost identical to the NDP government just prior to the spring election,” ThinkHQ said in a release.

“Disapproval for the provincial government is particularly high in Edmonton, and although enthusiasm has cooled somewhat in the past few weeks, the UCP remains more popular outside of the two metropolitan centres – particularly in northern and central Alberta.”

The poll showed more men than women like the Kenney government and approval goes up with age.

“Fully one-fifth (21 per cent) of those who voted for the UCP during the spring election now say they disapprove of the party’s performance as government,” the release said.

Jobs, health care and education were the most important issues for the people polled.

ThinkHQ President Marc Henry said: “This is a significant drop in support, and likely foreshadows a bumpy start in 2020 for the UCP government. Their honeymoon has been fairly short-lived, and this is driven by not meeting voters’ expectations, on economic and non-economic issues.

“Following the provincial election, there was actually a spike in economic optimism among Albertans. The expectation among many voters was that a new government would usher in a speedy economic recovery. That hasn’t happened yet.”

Henry said those polled were concerned with cuts in health care and education.

“For many voters, particularly a substantial segment of UCP voters, this is out of step with what they heard during the campaign. For these voters, they believed that budgets would be balanced with little or no pain inflicted on services like health care and education and are now perhaps feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse,” Henry said.

“Of note is the finding that 21 per cent of those who voted for the UCP only a few months ago now disapprove of the government’s performance – this is a dangerous number for any government.  If this persists and these voter’s feel as though they were misled, it impacts trust and makes them awfully difficult to win back.”

Kenney’s office replied with a speech the premier made on Dec.12.

“It’s been a long time since we had an Alberta government with a backbone to say ‘no’ on occasion. We’ve had too many of my predecessors that sat in this chair more concerned about their polling numbers than doing the right thing. Reducing public spending is not a quick path to personal popularity, which is why we’ve had 15 years of avoiding the inevitable as the problem has grown on the fiscal side,” Kenney said.

The poll was conducted online from Dec. 3-6. More than 1,200 people were polled and it is accurate to 2.8 per cent 19 times out of 20.

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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WATCH: Alberta Oil drives Guilbeault to meeting with Nixon

Federal Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault’s tour of Alberta has already kicked off with a whiff of hypocrisy.

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Attended by a sizable entourage, Guilbeault exited his black gasoline-powered SUV and hustled into the McDougall Centre in Calgary for a meeting with Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon.  

Guilbeault has dedicated most of his career to telling Canadians they need to transition from petrochemically fueled transportation. During this meeting though, Guilbeault chose not to find an utilize an electric-powered SUV in order to demonstrate his environmental virtue. With the resources of the entire federal government behind him, one would have thought that Guilbeault could have arranged appropriate transportation for his cross-Canada tour.  

It’s almost as if electric vehicles are still not ready for mainstream use yet. 

At least Guilbeault contributed to the Western economy with his conspicuous consumption of local petrochemical products.  

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Officials urge booster injections to tackle lingering Delta variant amid Omicron craze

The WHO classified Omicron as a “variant of concern,” however, the South African doctor who discovered Omicron in her patient says she is “stunned” by the response.

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The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is now strongly urging COVID-19 booster injections for those over the age of 50.

In addition, the committee is now recommending boosters of an authorized mRNA vaccine to those 18-49 years of age at least six months after completion of a “primary COVID-19 vaccine series with consideration of jurisdictional and individual risks.”

The announcement comes amid global discussion of the Omicron variant. The federal government requested on Tuesday that NACI swiftly review its booster guidance in response to Omicron.

The NACI’s new booster recommendation, however, focuses on the lingering Delta variant while more details are gathered on Omicron.

On Nov. 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified Omicron as a “variant of concern,” although the South African doctor who discovered Omicron in her patient says she is “stunned” by the response.

“As chair of the South African Medical Association and a GP of 33 years standing, I have seen a lot over my medical career,” writes Dr. Angelique Coetzee, in an op-ed for the Daily Mail.

“But nothing has prepared me for the extraordinary global reaction that met my announcement this week that I had seen a young man in my surgery who had a case of COVID that turned out to be the Omicron variant.”

The young man was unaware he had contracted the virus.

Coetzee says she has seen nothing about the variant that warrants panic.

“No one here in South Africa is known to have been hospitalized with the Omicron variant, nor is anyone here believed to have fallen seriously ill with it,” writes Coetzee.

She also says the variant has been circulating South Africa for “some time.”

Viruses — such as COVID-19 — have their own DNA or RNA, therefore allowing them to mutate into new forms.

“This virus is going exactly how you’d expect,” Dr. Steven Pelech, chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee at the Canadian Covid Care Alliance, told the Western Standard.

“Strains are going to predominate which are more infectious and mild. That’s how it displaces other variants, it doesn’t kill the host. The host often doesn’t even know they are infected.”

Pelech — who is far from alone in his analysis — suggests the “variants of concern,” including Delta, are merely steps towards COVID-19 evolving into a common coronavirus. One that is highly infectious and exceedingly mild.

The Canadian government implemented additional travel restrictions in response to Omicron on November 30 — built upon previous measures.

“We know that these concerning mutations can arise and, where vaccinations are low in parts of the world, they can spread rapidly,” said BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Tuesday.

BC officials say the province will have more information on Omicron and its implications — such as vaccine efficacy — in the coming weeks.

“Isn’t this the same playbook we heard a year ago with the Delta variant?” said Pelech.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Surrey RCMP investigating rocks thrown from overpass

Multiple vehicles, including a transit bus, were damaged by rocks hurled from the pedestrian overpass. Fortunately, no one was injured.

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Several incidents involving rocks thrown onto Highway 99 in South Surrey have prompted an investigation from Surrey RCMP.

Multiple vehicles, including a transit bus, were damaged by rocks hurled from the pedestrian overpass. Fortunately, no one was injured.

The first incident took place on November 26, at 7:44 p.m. when a semi-truck and bus were struck with rocks. The following incident, involving another two semi-trucks occurred three days later on November 29 at 10:49 p.m., and most recently, November 30 at 10:20 p.m. when yet another two semi-trucks were damaged.

“These incidents are very concerning. Throwing objects off of the overpass has the potential to cause serious or even fatal injuries to the occupants of vehicles,” said Cpl. Vanessa Munn, Surrey RCMP.

“We are asking anyone with information to contact police. If you reside in the area please check your residential cameras and be sure to report all suspicious activity to police.”

The overpass where these incidents took place is between the 32 Avenue and King George Boulevard exits of Highway 99.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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