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Regina PPC candidates to run with Sask PCs

The three Regina candidates say that the provincial PCs is a good fit for PPC policies.

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Regina’s three People’s Party of Canada candidates all intend to run as Progressive Conservatives in the next provincial election. Trevor Wowk, Mario Milanovski , and Tracey Sparrowhawk finished fifth in their respective federal ridings last October, but believe there’s nowhere to go but up as they enter provincial politics.

“Going this route makes much more sense because this is an established party,” Sparrowhawk says. “We don’t have to bring it build it from the ground up, and there’s money available for the campaign…Plus it’s not as big a territory.”

The candidates will run in provincial ridings that are within their previous campaign areas. But the provincial ridings are smaller, since there are 14 federal seats in Saskatchewan but 61 in provincial elections. 

Seeds for the partnership were sewn last July when Saskatchewan PC leader and paratransit driver Ken Grey came to a campaign event for Wowk.

“I was almost chuckling out of my shoes the day Ken came to our barbeque because he was in full transit mode with his shorts and his safety vest and his walkie [talkie],” Wowk recalls. Grey agreed to offer PC volunteers to help PPC campaigns if the same would be reciprocated in the next provincial election.

“Early January of this year just about as I was willing to push the send button on my text message to Ken to say we need to have coffee, he sent me a text message. And that’s where we started.”

Gray says the PPC is a good match for the provincial PC’s with its emphasis on immigration policy, balanced budgets, and less centralization for provinces within the Canadian federation. He believes the governing Saskatchewan Party’s growth target of 1.4 million people by 2030 relies on “irrational immigration numbers…at all costs.”

“Many of the people that have come to us are disaffected Sask Party people who felt that the Sask Party was being more liberal, whether it was from a social conservative point of view or even an economic point of view,” Grey says. 

The Saskatchewan Party formed in 1997 as a coalition of four Progressive Conservative MLAs and four Liberal MLAs. The PCs have not won a seat since, but the Sask Party won the 2007, 2011, and 2016 elections under the leadership of Brad Wall. In his final election, the party took 51 seats and the NDP, 10.

Scott Moe replaced Wall as Saskatchewan Party leader and premier in 2018. The NDP and Liberal leaders have also been replaced, with a new Green leader to be chosen soon.

Amidst these winds of change, Grey hopes his party will increase its vote count and win a seat or two.

“The Sask Party has proven to be a very high-spending, high-taxing interventionist government. And I think a lot of conservatives took exception to that and are looking at us.”

The task before the PC Party is high. The Saskatchewan Party won the 2007, 2011, and 2016 elections under Brad Wall, taking 51 of 61 seats in his final effort.

Both the Saskatchewan Party and the PCs could also face a potential new challenger on the right as the new WEXIT Saskatchewan Party drives for its registration in time for the fall vote. 

The PC party only ran 18 candidates in the 2016 election and finished third in 10 of those. They collected 1.28 per cent of the provincial vote. Ken Grey finished third in the Regina Northeast by-election on September 24, 2018 with 2.8 per cent of the vote. Six weeks later he became the new PC leader.

In the federal election, Wowk received 573 votes in Regina-Lewvan. Saskatchewan Party MLA Warren Steinley won federally as a Conservative, taking more than half of the 51,614 votes cast. 

In recent weeks, Wowk invited former Regina-Wascana PPC candidate Mario Malinovsky to look at the platform. 

“I read through it and I felt I was getting back into PPC”, said Milanovski . 

Malinovski received 450 votes in Regina-Wascana, behind Liberal incumbent Ralph Goodale and Conservative Michael Kram, who won the seat.

“At a lot of the doors [during the federal campaign] they said they loved the platform and everything, but they have to vote Conservative now to take Trudeau out,” Maliovski says. “So I will definitely go back to the same doors.”

Sparrowhawk received 513 votes in her run against Andrew Scheer in Regina Qu’Appelle.

“It was good to get out there and talk to people and realize that a) there are a lot of people that a didn’t know who they were even going to vote for, b) they didn’t like Andrew Scheer,” Sparrowhawk says. “They were very open to hearing about the People’s Party platform.”

All three candidates attended a February 22 protest at Regina city hall calling for an end to illegal blockades. The blockades had run for days as a demonstration against pipelines, but on February 21, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for them to end.

“He should have done that in the first place,” Milanovski told the CBC.

Lee Harding is the Saskatchewan Affairs Columnist for the Western Standard

Lee Harding is the Saskatchewan Political Columnist for the Western Standard. He is also a Research Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and is the former Saskatchewan Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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Third pastor arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID lockdowns

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon.

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A Calgary baptist preacher has become the third religious leader arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID-19 regulations over church attendance.

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon. He had been the subject of repeated warnings from Alberta Health Services for having too many people at his services.

Earlier this month, on the church’s website, Stephens vowed to contiue services.

“Our actions are borne out of theological commitments to the Lordship of Christ and his instruction to the church as revealed in Scripture,” wrote Stephens.

“This, above all, is the reason why we have been gathering and will continue to gather … the consequences may be severe. But we stand before Christ rather than bend before consequences.”

Pastor James Coates, of the GraceLife Church, outside Edmonton, spent a month in jail after he was arrested by the RCMP for breaking lockdown regulations repeatedly. His case is still before the courts.

Last week, Pastor Art Pawlowski was arrested in Calgary for continuing to flout the regulations at his street chruch.

Calgary police at the AHS issued a joint statement saying Stephens was “arrested this afternoon for organizing a church service that was held today at Fairview Baptist Church, located at 230 78 Ave. S.E., that did not comply with public health orders, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. Police did not enter the church during today’s service.

“CPS has received repeated calls from concerned citizens regarding church services held at Fairview Baptist Church over the past several weeks. Last weekend, Pastor Stephens was proactively served a copy of the Court of Queen’s Bench Order obtained by AHS,” the statement said.

“The pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today’s service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask-wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees.

“For several weeks, AHS has attempted to work collaboratively with leadership at Fairview Baptist Church to address the ongoing public health concerns at the site. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action.

“Once again, CPS acknowledges it is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we are still in a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”

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

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LETTER: Hypocrisy in high school rodeo approval

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

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RE: Hinshaw grants approval for high school rodeos

Dr. Hinshaw approved school rodeos after Premier Kenney thought the rodeo near Bowden was a bad idea. It’s the mixed messaging these two are giving that is making me mad. A lockdown with very minimum exemptions is what I thought Hinshaw wanted, but apparently not. A school rodeo can bloody well wait until after the lockdown is completed!! Let up on the Whistle Stop Cafe then, Dr. Hinshaw. What a bully.

It’s a real kick by Hinshaw, at the Whistle Stop Cafe owner. With his cafe now in chains, while Dr. Hinshaw gives out approvals during this so-called circuit breaker lockdown.

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

Steven Ruthven
Calgary, AB

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Opposition calls for crackdown on animal activists

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

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By EMMA GREGORY

A coalition of federal Conservatives, NDP and Bloc MPs want to increase punishment for animal rights activists trespassing on farms, because they might make the animals sick.

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

Chief Veterinary Officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said there are no proven instances of an animal rights activists spreading a disease to animals while protesting at a farm.

“To our knowledge, there are not many documented cases from trespassing or from people having demonstrations. The one that I heard is the one in Quebec, but I’m not actually sure if there is evidence of transmission from the activists to the pigs. So in the scientific literature, we have not seen much evidence of transmission of disease from these activities,” said Dr. Jaspinder Komal, to the agriculture committee earlier this month.

The one instance Komal mentioned was an allegation made by Porgreg, a pig breeding facility in Saint Hyacinthe, Que.

The activists involved in that protest, members of the group Direct Action Everywhere, are charged under the Criminal Code with breaking and entering and mischief. Whether or not they gave pigs rotavirus is a matter before the court.

Rotaviruses are common amongst pig herds and typically are transmitted from pig to pig, via the fecal-oral route.

If a human were to spread a novel rotavirus to a pig it would be in a similar fashion.

When asked if she or any of her associates pooped in the barn, activist Jenny McQueen said, “No.”

Komal said the CFIA does not police activists.

“The CFIA enforces the Health of Animals Act and regulations which address disease and biological, chemical, physical agents that may affect animals or be transmitted to persons and in the same way to protect animals from these risks…CFIA inspectors are public officers they are not peace officers… In contrast, peace officers are generally police officers, their powers include the ability to detain or arrest individuals. Peace officers may also be armed where public officers such as inspectors are not,” he said.

There are several new provincial laws that seek to lay blame for disease outbreaks in farmed animals on activists.

The Canadian Biosecurity Guideline lists an intentional act of contaminating animals with a disease is considered a possible threat of bioterrorism.

Gregory is a Vancouver-based freelance reporter

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