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DZIADYK: Forget climate emergency. Alberta cities have an economic emergency.

Governments near and far are declaring “Climate Emergencies” in response to these headlines

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Guest column from Jon Dziadyk, Edmonton City Councillor for Ward 3

Big cities across North America are boldly declaring an imminent “Climate Emergency.” 

The New York Times reported in 1969 that, “We must realize that unless we are extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years.” The Boston Globe reported in 1970 that “Scientists predict a new ice age by the 21st Century [2000].” In 2004 The Guardian reported that “Britain will be ‘Siberian’ in less than 20 years.” 

Today, Greta Thunberg telling us that, “We are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes.” The implied premise is that there is nothing else of importance we can do. 

Governments near and far are declaring “Climate Emergencies” in response to these headlines. It’s clever because, typically, emergencies are not up for debate. The term is universally agreed upon. When there is an emergency, we all know to clear the way. Pull over. Do nothing that will hamper the response as lives are in danger. Most citizens know what a real emergency is. So, are we facing a Climate Emergency, or are we watering down the term?

It’s all environment, all the time. Too often we are just signalling our virtues via decree. Two years into my job as a city councillor, I now get it. The virtue signaling comes first, and then any subsequent action is justified. Even here in Edmonton, City Council declared a Climate Emergency. I voted against it while voting in favour of many common sense proposals to protect the environment.

Politicians say that Climate Emergency declarations force all decisions through an environmental lens. It ensures all our policies and decisions are made with the dire environmental consequences of our actions in mind. Then we hear that social, economic, and environmental concerns need to be balanced. Well the pot of resources has been tipped and the environmental pile is bursting at the seams.

Implementation of climate programs cost billions and that impacts the economy. That is not to discourage spending on the environment, but it’ll be our grandchildren that will be asked to repay these massive expenditures. Well-intended people need to realize the impact that spending today has on future generations.

Governments are increasing taxes and regulations with full consideration relating to the climate and very little consideration relating to how spending is impacting the economy. We have created a situation where we are uncompetitive with other jurisdictions. Now businesses are leaving our country, our province, and our great city.

But some politicians get it. Minister Madu wrote in the Edmonton Sun that, “This massive and unsustainable growth in city spending has led to a never-ending reliance on property-tax increases for Edmontonians and Calgarians — tax increases that often far exceed inflation and create undue burden for residents.” As a City Councillor, I also get it, and I have tried to raise the alarm.

We need a fight these non-stop spending and tax increasing habits. So in all of its potential glory, I asked Edmonton City Council to declare an Economic Emergency.

Just imagine if we viewed all of our decisions through an economic lens. It would ensure all our policies are made with the dire economic consequences of our actions in mind. Unfortunately, no other councillor agreed with the proposal. It was Dziadyk yes, versus 12 no. We then proceeded to greenlight new spending. There truly is an emergency and it is our economy clinging to life support. 

An economic emergency could be the antidote to the tax and spend mentality and breathe some much needed balance and recalibration back into our governments. The battle has been lost in Edmonton, but I look to my elected counterparts elsewhere to have the economic emergency debates in their chambers. I’d second that. It could be a race to see which municipality really cares about the prosperity of future generations.

Jon Dziadyk is the Edmonton City Councillor for Ward 3

Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Kenney needs to stop ‘criminal’ searches of doctors’ offices

“Unless criminal charges are laid against those two so-called investigators, the CPSA itself is a criminal organization,” said lawyer Jeff Rath.

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Do not relent on the demand for a criminal investigation and sue their sorry asses off.

Accessing medical files under allegedly false pretenses while a legal challenge is underway is despicable and can’t be legal. 

This kind of medical “fascism” has no place in Canada. 

Investigators for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) went too far with what could be interpreted as either a shut-up tactic or dirt-digging hunt against Jeffrey Rath, a lawyer acting on behalf of several clients involved in litigation against the CPSA.

If the two CPSA investigators who raided a doctor’s office Thursday get away with this shockingly unethical stunt, then no one — vaccinated or unvaccinated — will be safe from these tyrants who think they have the authority to do whatever they want, rights and freedoms and privacy be damned.

This is utterly chilling. Jeff Rath, of Rath & Company, called it “medical fascism.” He’s right. 

CPSA investigators Dr. Jeff Robinson and Jason MacDonald searched the files of Calgary family practitioner Dr. Dan Botha for patients he granted COVID-19 medical exemptions. 

One of the few files — out of about 10,000 — they suspiciously accessed was Rath’s. 

“We’re in active litigation with these people and they think they can send investors in to access my medical files,” Rath told Western Standard.

“I wonder how a judge would feel if a judge found out these people could go through a judge’s medical file while a hearing with regard to the College’s conduct was before that particular judge.”

You can bet Alberta Health Services (AHS) — which pushes the boundaries of its authority beyond acceptable limits — had its mitts on this. 

Apparently, AHS didn’t let Premier Jason Kenney in on the plot.

“Neither the premier nor the Premier’s Office has any knowledge of the alleged events you describe. You’d need to contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons directly,” said spokesman Christine Myatt.

The investigators searched Botha’s files under the guise of a benign practice review they alleged was part of normal oversight procedures under the Health Professions Act.

Botha told Western Standard’s Melanie Risdon he was handed a one-page letter requesting he provide access to his patient files for the inspectors “under section 53.1 of the Health Professions Act (HPA).” It indicated the inspection was to “ensure the issuance of medical exemptions for vaccination against COVID-19 are in adherence to the provincial vaccination exemption program, medical exemptions for face mask are in adherence to provincial public health orders and the prescribing of Ivermectin is in adherence with CPSA Standards of Practice.”

This raid came from the CPSA, said Rath.

“I’ve sent several letters to the College of Physicians and Surgeons regarding concerns that my clients have with the CPSA basically interfering in doctor/patient relationships in Alberta. They’re telling doctors what they can and can’t prescribe, telling doctors what exceptions they can and can’t write,” said Rath.

“A week or so ago I wrote the College a letter saying how dare you tell doctors what medical exemptions they can’t write or threaten doctors with misconduct because they’ve written medical exemptions.

“The College replied: ‘Oh no, no, no, we’re not the ones coming up with these medical exemption restrictions, that’s coming from AHS.’ I said there’s an inherent conflict of interest in AHS setting out what the criteria are for medical exemptions to the vaccine and then having the College enforce it after the fact.”

On the heels of the raid, Rath fired off a letter demanding Robinson have his medical license suspended and that a criminal investigation be opened against both Robinson and MacDonald.

“As far as I’m concerned, they were illegally accessing my files under false pretenses that they were acting appropriately under the Health Professions Act.”

“Unless criminal charges are laid against those two so-called investigators, the CPSA itself is a criminal organization.”

Sadly, for the CPSA, there’s no dirt to be found in Rath’s medical file.

“There’s nothing in the damn thing anyway. It’s not like my doctor’s doing anything wrong regarding prescriptions. My privacy’s been violated. I feel personally violated. That invasion of my personal privacy is absolutely beyond belief.

“If they’re there — ostensibly conducting a random investigation of a doctor’s practice under the Health Professions Act to make sure that he’s conducting himself professionally with regard to mask exemptions or whatever — what business do they have targeting the medical file of a lawyer acting against the CPSA?”

“I grew up in a public health family. I’m watching what’s happening to the medical profession in this country and the complete lack of ethical conduct by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in this province. I don’t even recognize this to be my province anymore.”

Meanwhile, the family of a two-year-old whose file was seized is considering a lawsuit for the breach of privacy. 

Botha, treating the child with Rett syndrome, has provided a permanent mask exemption.

“Think about the poor mother. You can imagine how that family suffered already and you’ve got agents of the CPSA poking around in her poor little daughter’s medical file to decide if Dr. Botha appropriately granted this little girl a masking exemption. This family’s being terrorized by the College,” said Rath.

Time for the terrorizing to stop. It started with pastors and now has progressed to target little girls and lawyers. 

Who’s next? You?

Sue away.

What say you, Jason Kenney? Time to put a leash on these people.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

ANDRUS: Time to stop appeasing activists

“Under the guise of “Build Back Better” and a “Just Transition” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning a deliberate and systematic elimination of all oil and gas development within Canada.”

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Winston Churchill famously criticized appeasers, saying “each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last.”

His point was that repeated compromise that allows your opponent to repeatedly shift the goalposts only delays your inevitable demise, rather than preventing it.

If the federal government and environmental radicals are today’s crocodiles and Alberta’s energy industry is the meat, why are we still feeding them?

Anyone who thinks these crocodiles intend to stop feeding after the first few bites are deluding themselves.

Under the guise of “Build Back Better” and a “Just Transition” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning a deliberate and systematic elimination of all oil and gas development within Canada.

The appointment of radical eco-activist, Steven Guilbeault as Minister of Environment and Climate Change was just the opening salvo in their war to “save the world” from climate change.

The government says that they only plan to cap oil and gas emissions but not total oil and gas production.

Some in the energy industry say this is fine because technological advances will ensure that they can increase production while remaining within the government’s cap.

You can almost hear the crocodiles chewing.

Or should that be ticking?

Another radical environmentalist, David Suzuki, recently warned at an Extinction Rebellion rally that “there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on”.

While oil and gas workers have struggled to find work for years and many massive projects have been cancelled, blocked, or abandoned, thanks to government policy, the activists are so far to the left that they think our leaders aren’t even paying attention.

Which leads to the obvious question — what would our leaders paying attention look like to these guys?

The answer, of course, is the complete shutdown of Canada’s entire oil and gas industry, and violent protests if they don’t get their way.

Keystone XL.

Chomp.

Energy East.

Chomp.

Teck Frontier.

Chomp.

Coastal Gaslink and TransMountain.

Chomp chomp.

How many more projects, how many more jobs, how many more livelihoods should we feed to the crocodiles before we wake up and realize that they don’t plan on stopping and appeasement doesn’t work?

How about zero.

Let’s stop feeding the beast and start protecting Albertans instead.

Josh Andrus is the executive director of Project Confederation (https://www.projectconfederation.ca), a non-profit fighting for a better deal for the west within the Confederation of Canada.

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Opinion

MAKICHUK: Seeking economic diversity when it’s all going to hell

“Let’s keep it simple. Let’s do what we do best and absolutely, let’s expand our tech footprint in any way we possibly can — and it doesn’t just have to be in a green, eco-direction, as the esteemed Mr. Dhaliwal suggests.”

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On Nov. 16, the year 2021, Calgary city council voted 13-2 to declare a climate emergency, with only Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu and Ward 13 Coun. Dan McLean opposed.

The notice of motion was initially brought forward by Ward 5 Coun. Raj Dhaliwal and calls for the city to take action on climate change through various initiatives that will help limit global warming.

It includes calls for the city to accelerate its emissions reduction targets to net-zero by 2050, collaborate and engage with First Nations communities to ensure intersectional climate change strategies, and develop a carbon budget to guide future council decisions.

“People who think it’s a war against our oil and gas … it’s not about that. It’s about how we produce, and how we consume our hydrocarbons, and supporting our oil and gas or energy sector,” Dhaliwal said.

“And on top of that, we also have an opportunity to bring this monumental and transformative change.”

Sorry Mr. Dhaliwal, but you’re so out to lunch, so out in left field, so out of touch, so out of … well, you get the point.

Yes, even city councils in Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto and, even our brethren up north, in Edmonton — have done the same.

It’s all part of this new trend toward extremist activism, the so-called green signalling effect, and, accompanied by a heckuva lot of journalism that passes as journalism, but is actually an agenda unto itself.

Take a look at the eco-activist Narwhal online publication, and tell me if you think that’s journalism. Taxpayer-funded, by the way.

Rookie mayor Jyoti Gondek’s climate emergency declaration aside — a bit of a head-shaker, for sure — I think it’s time we start keeping things simple.

When it comes to the city hall budget, if we can’t afford it, we toss it. Simple as that. Every department in that massive bureaucracy should be read the riot act on how to do with less.

And I don’t care if it’s the Calgary Police Service or the guy who fines me for not shovelling snow off my walk … it’s time we tighten our belts. Mayor Farkas, may have broached that to some extent, Mayor “Greta” Gondek surely won’t.

She is Nenshi-lite scary and we are stuck with her for the next four years. Status quo, ladies and gents, status quo — just what you voted for.

Allow me to digress, slightly.

The US keeps a military liaison in Russia, just as the Russians keep a military liaison in the US. It’s an honoured exchange.

No big secrets are revealed but both observers get to see stuff we will never see and report back to their respective higher-ups.

Well, this particular American liaison had some interesting things to say to a friend of mine. And it involved how the Russians ingeniously keep things simple.

Take for instance fighter jet ejection seats. Which jet fighter would you rather eject from … an American fighter jet or a Russian fighter jet?

Ah … you don’t trust the Russian technology, right? Wrong.

The American ejection system, in any fighter jet, is made by hundreds, if not thousands of different contractors.

The Russians? One. Yes, just one manufacturer. They design it from start to finish. Chances are it will probably not fail as often as its American counterpart.

Again … not my opinion. The opinion of this US military liaison, who lived and worked in Moscow and saw things for himself.

Secondly, US jet fighters have high-tech titanium or other rare metal engine mounts — which, are probably good but expensive as hell.

What do the Russians use? Hardwood. That’s right, hardwood. Why? Because it works, it absorbs vibration, as it is supposed to and it’s cheap as hell.

That would never, ever happen at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works in Palmdale, Calif. 

Better to not tell the Pentagon this — better to make fun of them after work at the bar.

The lesson here, folks, is that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel to bring Alberta back on track following the devastation of COVID-19 and well-meaning health officials on our economy.

Let’s keep it simple. Let’s do what we do best and absolutely, let’s expand our tech footprint in any way we possibly can — and it doesn’t just have to be in a green, eco-direction, as the esteemed Mr. Dhaliwal suggests.

I recently read an interesting piece in Breaking Defense online, an excellent website for military news with top-notch writers, which quoted a new report from the Reagan Institute, titled “A Manufacturing Renaissance: Bolstering U.S. Production for National Security and Economic Prosperity.” 

The report called for a US “manufacturing renaissance” amid an intensifying economic and national security competition with China, which has openly stated it intends to displace the US as the world’s leading economy in coming decades.

The report’s four recommendations include: modernizing the Defense Production Act, enlarging the US workforce for high-demand trades, creating new public partnerships and financial incentives to strengthen economic sectors important to national security and facilitating new forums with G7 and Quad (US, India, Japan, and Australia) countries to coordinate on economic issues.

While we’re not so militarily inclined, it seems obvious that our province must also look at launching an economic “renaissance” if we are to compete with the world. We simply can’t do things the way we were, we must adjust our attitudes and fast.

And I’m not talking about destructive open-pit coal mines in the Eastern slopes, I’m talking about simple things such as establishing special economic zones to lure foreign investment — the so-called innovators, entrepreneurs and companies we seek.

This is going to impact rural areas in Alberta, like it or not.

We must also expand support for the industries that made our province strong in the first place, such as natural gas and crude oil, agriculture, forestry, mining, construction and tourism.

Alberta beef, for instance, is among the best in the world. It’s high time we let everybody know that. 

Reduce the taxes on small businesses in Calgary and Edmonton, offer incentives to tech startups and cut red tape for businesses. 

If we need more revenue, don’t cut from health, put a toll on Hwy. 2 (semi-trucks, not included). Find other innovative ways, such as the highly successful visitor fee for Kananaskis.

That was the best thing the Kenney government has done since it came into power.

We need to pour more dollars, into R&D, just like China is doing and to hell with the feds.

Six-figure green jobs and unicorns are not going to appear anytime soon — the oil industry is going to be around for many years and we should not be ashamed of that, no matter what the mop-haired man in the PMO says or does.

In short, we must improve the business environment and incentivize investment in innovation.

Alberta strong. Keep it simple. We can do this.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the Calgary correspondent for ChinaFactor.news
makichukd@gmail.com

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