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EXCLUSIVE: UCP MLA says Albertans will want independence vote if Teck turned down

An Alberta government UCP MLA says an independence referendum should be held in the province if the federal government gives the thumbs down to the giant Teck mine project.

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Alberta UCP MLA Drew Barnes says Albertans will demand an independence referendum if the federal government gives the thumbs down to the giant Teck mine project.

The Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA – also a member of the province’s Fair Deal Panel – told the Western Standard on Friday afternoon that rejection of the mine would leave the province with no options for a “fair deal” if Ottawa kills the project, and that Alberta needs to build “leverage.”

Barnes pointed out that Alberta had lost another 18,000 jobs in January and said the economy is “moribund.”

“As a longtime Albertan & member of the Fair Deal panel it is clear that federal interference in approving Teck’s Frontier application will drastically heighten Albertan’s desire to hold a referendum on independence,” Barnes said in a statement issued by his office.

“During my three terms representing Cypress-Medicine Hat it is clear Albertans want and deserve opportunity, self-determination. Alberta should be the freest and richest place in North America. In fact, federal governance interference has done more to hold Albertans back than anything, ever before.”

“I ask Premier Kenney & the UCP government to turn down any comparative scrap of compensation offered to Albertans to negate Albertan’s opportunity to fully develop our best in the world oil and gas industry. Let us continue to work towards Alberta being the place with the most opportunity & best place to live and raise a family.”

He said federal rejection of the mine would “be a sign there is no Fair Deal to be had,” and that he expected to have some support in caucus for his position.

Poll on referendum vote

Barnes also said any aid package offered by the feds should be turned down.

“Ottawa needs to stop reaching into Alberta business. People may not realize the depth of despair Alberta is in but it’s a politician’s job to make sure all regions in the country are looked after.”

He said hundreds of people at Fair Deal hearing across the province have expressed frustration with Ottawa and wanted to have an independence vote, and that rejection of the mine would ramp up those calls.

The mega project in northern Alberta has already been approved by the non-political regulators, but Liberal the natural resources minister said last week that the federal government may delay approval of the project unless Alberta drops its opposition to Ottawa’s carbon tax. Adding fuel to the fire were several Eastern Liberal MPs lobbying to kill the project outright.

Reports of an aid package for the beleaguered province appear to confirm that the federal government is seriously considering nixing the mega project, which Teck says will create 7,000 jobs and significantly add to the provinces GDP.

In place of allowing the private investment project to go ahead, federal sources say that direct government spending on infrastructure projects and well cleanup is in the mix.

EarlierThursday, Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs tweeted, “A political rejection of this project by the Liberal cabinet will be perceived by most Albertans as a final rejection of Alberta by Canada.”

Teck itself issued a statement this week saying it also hoped it would become a net-zero emitter by 2050.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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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Unvaxxed grounded in Canada

As of November 30, travellers will no longer be allowed to submit a negative test result in place of proof of vaccination to board a plane or train in Canada.

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As of Tuesday, Canadian travellers over the age of 12 will no longer be able to fly or travel by train in Canada without proof of vaccination.

The policy was originally set to come into effect on October 30, however, the federal government announced it would grant a grace period to unvaccinated travellers allowing for a negative COVID-19 test to be provided within 72 hours of the trip.

As of November 30, travellers will no longer be allowed to submit a negative test result in place of proof of vaccination to board a plane or train in Canada.

The new travel restrictions for the unvaccinated come on the heels of the emergence of a new variant of concern (VOC) dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Cases involving the new variant, originally detected in South Africa, have been found in other countries including five cases within Canada.

Although there is not much known about the new variant at this time, the WHO confirmed scientists around the world are working to determine how the highly-mutated variant will affect transmissibility and severity of illness in the population.

Canada, along with other nations, closed its boards and expanded its screening protocols to travellers arriving from affected areas in southern Africa.

The Canadian airline industry welcomed the vaccine mandates when they were announced in October. Air Canada and West Jet have both confirmed they will be asking all travellers to produce proof of vaccination before boarding their carriers as of Tuesday.

While health measures such as masking and screening will still be required, no measures for quarantining individual travellers have been put in place with the exception of those who have travelled through or arrived from southern Africa.

“If you indicate to your airline or railway company that you’re eligible to board, but fail to provide proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 test result, you won’t be allowed to travel and could face penalties or fines,” the government indicated in a statement.

The Canadian government is also warning permanent residents abroad to expect to provide vaccine passports to return home.

The rules don’t apply to commuter trains.

The Government of Canada has created a “reliable way to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination history when travelling internationally and within Canada,” states the government’s website. The document is verified once uploaded to ArriveCAN upon returning to the country.

The website warns travellers are not guaranteed entry to another country with the documents and suggests checking the rules of your destination country and the countries you travel through.

“Today, Canada passed a sad milestone in its history,” said Matt Slatter, a pilot with a major Canadian airline and a founder of Free 2 Fly, a hub that has “Canadian aviation professionals standing with passengers in defence of freedom.”

“No longer can it hold itself as a beacon of freedom and liberal values.”

The Free 2 Fly website encourages passengers and airline workers who “feel strongly that the ability to travel should not be linked to vaccination status,” to sign up and join their movement.

“With the advent of mandates requiring all aviation and rail passengers to be vaccinated, Canada is now effectively a two-tier society,” said Slatter.

“On one tier, compliant citizens are afforded many of the rights they once enjoyed in a free society. While the other tier is essentially relegated to their own localities, with limited exception.

“History suggests this style of governance will only lead to more tragedy and heartbreak. The cure is inevitably worse than the disease. Will Canada learn from the mistakes of the past?”

Currently, there are just under 38,000 signed up on the Free 2 Fly site. One of the goals of the group is to “wage a legal campaign to block, and/or overturn, all vaccination mandates.”

Melanie Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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CRTC trying to hang up on spoof calls

Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

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All those calls from the taxman and Canadian Border Services officials threatening to arrest you could soon be coming to an end thanks to new regulations from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

“Many Canadians are now able to determine which calls can be trusted thanks to a new technology aimed at combating spoofed calls named STIR/SHAKEN. Caller ID spoofing is frequently used in nuisance and fraudulent calls to mask the identity of the caller,” said the CRTC in a release.

“As of today, telecommunications service providers will certify whether a caller’s identity can be trusted by verifying the caller ID information for Internet Protocol-based voice calls. This new technology will help reduce the frequency and impact of caller ID spoofing. As service providers continue to upgrade their IP networks and offer compatible phones to their customers, more and more Canadians will be able to see the effects of STIR/SHAKEN.”

It’s believed up to 25% of all calls in Canada are scams.

The CRTC said Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

“This new caller ID technology will empower Canadians to determine which calls are legitimate and worth answering, and which need to be treated with caution. As more providers upgrade their networks, STIR/SHAKEN will undoubtedly reduce spoofing and help Canadians regain peace of mind when answering phone calls,” said Ian Scott, CRTC CEO.

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SLOBODIAN: CBC’s list of woke words to help whites

Certainly, chiefs and elders running First Nations couldn’t manage without these buffoons sitting in a newsroom or office telling them some white guy saying the word tribe should deeply offend them.

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If you’re easily offended grab a soother, a soft blankie, and go powwow with your spirit animal in a non-spooky safe space. 

This is not for the ultra-sensitive ever-hunting for ways to accuse “sexist, racist” meanies of inflicting immeasurable pain with their words that leave victims emotionally crippled.

CBC Ottawa journalists brainstormed with possibly phantom readers to compile a lame, tone-deaf list of racist words and phrases.

Of course, the savage list targets — you guessed it, insensitive white people viewed as black sheep in the La La Land where well-paid publicly-funded media fools obsess with skin colour — and sells them down the river.

Just when you think the divisive ghetto CBC tends to dwell in couldn’t-possibly-get-more-ridiculous, they conjure up this fine example of your approximately $1.5-billion tax dollars at work. 

Apparently, CBC consulted black, indigenous, and people of colour to find out what offends them. Nope, no white people. Doesn’t matter if anything offends them. They all apparently have a blind spot when it comes to tolerance, so they don’t matter.

“We ran some of the words by anti-racism and language experts, who said some of these phrases can be hurtful to various groups of people for their historical and cultural context,” said CBC.

Statues have been torn down, history is removed from school curriculums, innocent books are banned, and this is the historical content CBC uses, not to protect, but to create division and wounded feelings. 

Fellow taxpayers, we’re getting gypped with this wasteful CBC spending.

“It might be time to rethink your use of these phrases and remove them from your daily lingo. CBC Ottawa compiled a small list of words, submitted by readers and some of our journalists who are black, indigenous and people of colour,” said CBC.

The list includes ghetto, to sell someone down the river, brainstorm, blackmail, savage, spooky, gypped, powwow, crippled, tribe, black sheep, blindsided, first-world problem, spirit animal, lame, grandfathered in, and tone deaf.

So, what did the ‘experts’ say? Basically, white is bad. Really, very bad.

“The issue here is that these are all negative terms,” said Joseph Smith, an anti-racism trainer and educator. “It connotes evil, distrust, lack of intelligence, ignorance, a lack beauty — the absence of white.” 

He said the lowering of blackness in value was enhanced and pre-dated the transAtlantic slave trade. So white people walking Canadian streets who had nothing to do with that and are appalled by that are guilty? Got it.

Anti-racism trainer Jas Kalra, an inclusion and diversity coach, pointed out the tech industry is moving away from using whitelist and blacklist and adopting terms like block-list or deny-list. 

Great. And so now, the world is a better place.

According to CBC the word ghetto “implies a negative connotation toward people of a certain socio-economic class often associated with racialized groups.”  

What about the term white trailer-court trash people freely utter? If CBC feels any sympathy or outrage about those hurtful words, it neglected to say.

Ai Taniguchi, a linguist and an associate language studies professor with University of Toronto Mississauga, said words like spirit animal, powwow and tribe used by English speakers “can be a painful insult to indigenous communities.”

“If a non-indigenous person says ‘This is my tribe,’ I don’t think it’s OK, despite the fact that they’re using it presumably in a metaphorical way,” said Taniguchi.

“I didn’t know it was racist’ does not eliminate the pain of the hearer,” said Taniguchi. “As language users, we have the social responsibility to monitor the impact our utterances have on others, especially when it involves a marginalized group.”

Awww, isn’t it great that these helpless marginalized groups, most of whom are making it just fine on their own and getting along with their white neighbors and coworkers, have these condescending experts to protect them from racist slurs that aren’t meant to be racist slurs?

Certainly, chiefs and elders running First Nations couldn’t manage without these buffoons sitting in a newsroom or office telling them some white guy saying the word tribe should deeply offend them.

How would black Canadians even know what they are supposed to be wounded about without this expert help?

People make a living and derive superior self-satisfaction from creating and fueling division.

Really, who are the racists though? 

This has an anti-white stench all over it. And by feeling a need to ‘help’ marginalized groups understand what is offensive, these experts label them inferior.

Here’s another list of words and phrases that are harmful and highly offensive: CBC. Inclusion and diversity coaches. Fake lists of racial slurs.

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

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

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

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No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

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

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