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Wildrose is Back: FCP & Wexit to vote on merger

The Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta (FCP) and Wexit have decided to join forces and, if members approve, will be called the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.




The Wildrose is back in Alberta – and this time they want the province to leave Confederation

The Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta (FCP) and Wexit Alberta have decided to join forces and, if members approve, will be called the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.

The FCP’s Bill Jones and Wexit’s Peter Downing signed the agreement to merge on Monday.

“The people of Alberta, having been exploited by the federal government since its establishment as a province in 1905, and having attempted in good faith for generations to seek reconciliation without resolution, require a political vessel with which to sever or radically redefine its ties with the federal government,” the two parties said in a release.

“Therefore, the members of Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta (FCP) and Wexit Alberta commit to bind themselves together in the establishment of the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta, hereafter referred to as the “WIP” or “the Party”.

It’s founding principles state: Alberta will be strong, free, and sovereign; Alberta will sever all ties of domination from the federal government; Alberta will immediately repatriate all powers granted to it under the constitution as it seeks to sever or radically redefine its current relationship with the federal government.

“Alberta will establish its own constitution and its own Charter of Freedoms. Alberta’s government will hold the freedom of its citizens as its highest responsibility,” the release said.

“Today’s unification agreement is the fulfillment of more than nine months of negotiations representing the direction we were given by our members after the last election,” said FCP President Bill Jones.

“They told us to reach out to other parties and organizations that support freedom and sovereignty for Alberta, and we have done so with an outstretched hand. We have worked hard to include everyone interested in coming together for the greater good of Alberta to found a credible, viable, mainstream party to be the voice and vehicle of Alberta independence. If our members ratify the agreement that we present to them today, then we will radically upset the stale two-party, federalist monopoly that governs Alberta.”

Wexit Alberta Executive Director Peter Downing said in a statement: “Since Eastern Canada re-elected Justin Trudeau, the Western independence movement has exploded. Albertans have given Jason Kenney a chance to get a ‘fair deal’ for his people, and after one year, all we have seen is talk. Because Mr. Kenney and Ms. Notley are committed federalists, Ottawa knows that all they will do is talk.

“The time has come for all Alberta sovereigntists in all parties and organizations to come together behind a single, unified and credible party that can do what we are unable to do apart. The Wildrose Independence Party is here to put Ottawa and the federalists on notice: Alberta independence has arrived, and it will fight on until Alberta is free,” said Downing.

Both parties will set up a remote, online vote on the potential merger to be held June 29.

If the ratification vote is approved, 15 members of each party will sit on the interim board of directors.

That board’s first acts will be to select an interim leader and set up a founding annual general meeting, to be held within three months.

After the founding meeting, a leadership campaign would be held.

––– More to come

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard


TWITTER: Twitter.com/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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Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.




The Alberta government’s new vaccine mandates for businesses, entities and events are in effect.

Each organization must follow one of two options: implement the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) requiring proof of vaccination or negative test result, plus mandatory masking, to continue operating as usual, or comply with all public health restrictions as outlined in Order 42-2021.

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.

The REP allows operators to avoid the majority of public health restrictions with the implementation of a proof of vaccination program, although vaccine requirements for staff are at the employer’s discretion. Face mask mandates are still required in all indoor spaces.

The program doesn’t apply to those under 12 years of age and businesses that need to be accessed by the public for daily living purposes, including all retail locations. As well, employees, contractors, repair or delivery workers, volunteers or inspectors will be permitted access to spaces without requiring a vaccine passport.

To enter spaces participating in the REP, adults need to provide valid photo identification that matches their paper or digital vaccine record showing name, vaccine type and date of administration. From now until October 25, proof of partial vaccination (one dose) will suffice, however after that date, proof of full vaccination (two doses) will be required. Those under 12 will only need to show vaccination paperwork.

Indoor entertainment, event and recreation facilities that don’t implement the REP will be limited to one-third capacity of their fire code occupancy and attendees must be in household cohorts or with up to two close contacts if they live alone.

Outdoor events and facilities have no capacity restrictions, but attendees must maintain a two-metre distancing between households.  

Restaurants that don’t follow the REP cannot offer indoor dining, and outdoor dining will be limited to six people per table from one household, and liquor sales will have to end by 10 p.m. with consumption cut off by 11 p.m.

Retail, shopping malls and food courts aren’t eligible for the REP, therefore will be reduced to one-third capacity of fire code occupancy and are required to stop all in-person dining, switching to take out only.

Indoor private social gatherings will be permitted for those that are vaccinated to a maximum of two households up to 10 (vaccine eligible) vaccinated people. There are no restrictions for children under 12. For those who are unvaccinated, indoor social gatherings are not permitted.

Private outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 200 people who are socially distanced.  

Churches will be limited to one-third of fire code capacity and masks and social distancing are still mandatory in places of worship.

Employees are mandated to work from home unless their physical presence is required for their duties.

Proof of vaccination will not be required to enter a polling place for Monday’s federal election although physical distancing, masking and other transmission reducing measures will be in place.

For more information on the Restriction Exemption Program, click here.   

Risdon is a reporter at the Western Standard

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Hockey arena backs down on banning unvaccinated kids

Within hours of the Western Standard posting the exclusive story, Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy.




Public pressure has brought minor hockey out of the penalty box in Cochrane.

Following an exclusive story by the Western Standard on Saturday, along with mounting pressure from the community, a Cochrane sports facility has revamped its vaccine passport policy.  

The Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) and Hockey Alberta were not mandating a vaccine passport system, but Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) announced it would be requiring proof of vaccine status for anyone 12 and up.

Within hours of the story being posted, CMHS President Cory Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy with this statement: “Youth between the ages of 12 (vaccine eligible) to 18 years of age are exempt from the REP vaccination requirement to enter the facility for the purpose of participating in a youth organized sport organization. Examples include (but not limited to) Cochrane Minor Hockey, Ringette, Cochrane Minor Soccer, Lacrosse, Cochrane Figure Skating Club, Comets, Junior Lifeguard Club, etc.”

Although youth may access the facility without being vaccinated, all adult spectators, coaches, volunteers and organizers of any youth activity “must show proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test, or medical exemption to gain entry to SLSFSC premises.”

“Although this helps our kids get on the ice in Cochrane, it’s still an issue at lots of other facilities, especially in larger facilities in Calgary and Airdrie,” Oaten said.

Oaten, who works in the insurance industry, points out the “huge liability issue” this poses to his and other sports organizations.

“Originally, Spray Lakes pushed us to collect this medical documentation from our members,” he said.

The CMHA board consists of 18 volunteer members.

“They can’t put those expectations on a board of volunteers. It’s a big legal issue for us,” Oaten said, adding he and his board refuse to take responsibility for requiring proof of vaccine or the collection of their members’ private medical information.

Oaten was informed the SLSFSC will now have its own security checkpoints set up in the facility and will take responsibility for checking the vaccine status of anyone 18-plus entering the building.

Oaten anticipates families will still pull their kids from hockey and other sports programs as those who remain unvaccinated will not be permitted in the facility to accompany their child.

Hockey Alberta stated on their Facebook page they are working with the Alberta government on how last Wednesday’s announcement will affect hockey for Alberta players. Oaten has asked his members to hold off on making a decision to pull their child from the program until Hockey Alberta comes forward with their updated season plan.

The Western Standard reached out to the SLSFSC for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard

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