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Barnes responds to Kenney: “I am an Alberta patriot”, doesn’t support unconditional federalism

“Without transferring a net $20 billion a year to Ottawa, we would retain the freedom to either increase our own spending … or to drastically cut taxes,” Drew Barnes wrote.

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UCP MLA Drew Barnes publicly responded over the weekend to Premier Jason Kenney who said that independence is an “empty threat” and would be bad for Alberta.

Kenney’s comments come on the heels of a dissenting report from Barnes, who was a member of the premier’s Fair Deal Panel. That dissenting report included calling for an independence vote if Alberta was unable to secure a fair deal within confederation, prompting the NDP to demand that Barnes be thrown out of the UCP Caucus.

Responding, Kenney told the media, “I am a Canadian patriot and I believe the vast majority of Albertans in their hearts are patriots. I don’t believe patriotism can be qualified. You can’t put conditions on love of country. You either have it or you don’t.”

Barnes does not name Kenney in his statement, but appears to respond to his main points.

The first line of Barnes’ weekend response was, “I am an Alberta patriot.”

Barnes went a step further in stating, “I do not believe in unconditional support for federalism.”

Kenney told the media that as people and investment fled Quebec during that province’s two independence referendums, so would also happen in Alberta.

“We’re certainly not going to get investment to bring jobs back in Alberta if we create a crisis of confidence by having a vote on separation…They went from Montreal mainly to Toronto. Real estate prices collapsed overnight and hundreds of thousands of Quebecers left the province,” said Kenney.

Barnes’ seemingly took issue with that in his own statement.

“The argument that an independent Alberta will fail, based on equivalating Quebec’s story to Alberta’s, is incorrect,” the Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA wrote in a Facebook post Saturday.

“Quebec’s independence movement was linguistically and ethnically motivated, and therefore scared investment and many of its minority’s groups away, and was fiscally unsound. By contrast, Alberta’s independence movement is motivated by a drive for freedom and equality, and is based on a strong financial footing.”

“Without transferring a net $20 billion a year to Ottawa, we would retain the freedom to either increase our own spending on government programs, or to drastically cut taxes. We would quickly become the first debt-free country in the world…In fact, an independent Alberta would have the 9th highest GDP per capita in the world, ranking us with Singapore and Switzerland…Ottawa never spends a dollar in Alberta that it didn’t take from Alberta first.”

Kenney also said not a lot of Albertans want independence, and that it was an empty threat.

“You don’t make a threat that you’re not prepared to keep, and I have not seen a single public opinion poll that indicates we’re anywhere close to the majority of Albertans voting to leave Canada,” Kenney told reporters.

Barnes seemingly disagreed on this point as well.

“Support for independence is no longer limited to a small fringe…In my own constituency of Cypress-Medicine Hat, people are no longer willing to be bystanders in their own country,” Barnes wrote.

“While there will be heartfelt, honest disagreements about the path forward, I was elected to speak out and represent my constituents, their convictions, and our hope for the future.”

large poll conducted exclusively for the Western Standard in May found between 45% and 48% of Albertans would vote for independence.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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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BC’s new “Vax Vans” are offering jabs to children older than 12, without parental consent

Anyone in attendance over the age of 12 will be able to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine without parental consent.

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Hey kid, I’ve got some mRNA shots in my van.

The new “Vax Van” – a custom mobile COVID-19 immunization clinic – will be stopping off in the Vancouver Island city of Langford on Friday night as part of its island-wide tour, according to Island Health.

The team will be setting up shop at Starlight Stadium, where Pacific FC will be playing Calgary’s Cavalry FC.

Anyone in attendance over the age of 12 will be able to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment.

“Look for our Vax Van signs – you won’t be able to miss us!” writes Island Health.

“As an added bonus, Pacific FC is offering those who get their first dose at the game the chance to win a special prize. We’ll see you there.”

The allure of prizes combined with the potential for social pressure will likely motivate temporarily unsupervised children to roll their sleeves up for the mRNA vaccine.

Plenty of kids ages 12-17 have not received the shot because their parents do not feel comfortable with it. Their discomfort exists for various reasons, each personal to the respective family, and the tactics employed by the BC government show their desire to undermine Canadian parents in new and creative ways.

“Children 12 and older who are able to understand the benefits and possible reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and the risk of not getting immunized, can legally consent to or refuse immunizations at any Island Health COVID-19 immunization clinic or Vax Van,” Andrew Leyne, media and government relations advisor, Island Health, told the Western Standard.

While many British Columbian’s thought they were out of the woods regarding COVID-19 regulations, Interior Health has re-introduced mask mandates in Central Okanagan, along with other enforcement demands.

They will be monitoring Central Okanagan businesses to “ensure compliance.”

These restrictions follow Interior Health reporting that vaccination rates in the area are lower than the provincial average, in what some view as a warning to the rest of the province for what is to come in the fall.

“It is a choice to be immunized, but there are consequences for people who are not immunized and that’s going to be more important for us as we head into the fall,” said Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Tuesday morning, one day prior to dishing out the new mandates.

On Monday, the Surrey Board of Trade wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Health Minister of Canada Patty Hajdu, BC Premier John Horgan, and Minister of Health Adrian Dix urging them to “implement a proof-of-immunization model.”

“We support a centralized, Canada-wide approach to COVID-19 proof-of immunization that could be easily used to confirm vaccination status for international and domestic use,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

Last week, YVR airport introduced separate lines for vaccinated and un-vaccinated individuals prior to reaching customs.

The separation of lines – which was put in place as a federal policy – has since been removed following extensive public push-back.

Concerns of returning lock-downs come fall are starting to grow substantially throughout the province, with people fearing the blame will be directed towards those who choose not to receive the vaccine.

A non-profit called the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Science in Public Policy (CSASPP) is fighting tooth and nail to hold the provincial government accountable for their “draconian” behaviour. They launched a Go Fund Me seven months ago.

“Our public health officer is a medical doctor. She is a scientist, not a shaman,” CSASPP’s Executive Director told the Western Standard on Thursday afternoon.

“Faith is not a requisite. As Carl Sagan aptly put it, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

“We’re still waiting for it.”

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

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NDP handily defeats UCP in second-quarter fundraising

Numbers released by Elections Alberta on Thursday show the NDP raised $1,515,419.87 in the second quarter of 2021 and now sits at of $2,701,664.90 for the year.

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Rachel Notley’s NDP continues to dominate the Alberta political fundraising landscape, new figures show.

Numbers released by Elections Alberta on Thursday show the NDP raised $1,515,419.87 in the second quarter of 2021 and now sits at of $2,701,664.90 for the year.

Jason Kenney’s UCP is well back, having raised only $715,886.71 in the quarter. The UCP now has a total of $1,236,074.07.

Other parties are even further behind in fundraising.

The upstart Wildrose Independence Party, who just elected Paul Hinman as leader, raised $13,840.00 in the quarter and sit at $45,111.00.

That’s even behind the Alberta Liberal Party who raised $35,645.84 in the first quarter and sit at $79,060.16

More to come…

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

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Kenney livid as Trudeau appoints Senator for Alberta

“The Prime Minister’s decision shows contempt for democratic decision-making, and for Alberta voters in particular.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has blown his top at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he appointed the Mayor of Bannf as Senator for the province, despite an election for a candidate coming in October.

Trudeau appointed Karen Sorensen to sit as an Independent from Alberta in the Upper Chamber.

“Today, Prime Minister Trudeau showed contempt for democracy in Alberta by appointing a hand-picked representative of Alberta to the Senate of Canada in advance of our province’s Senate elections,” said Kenney in a Thursday statement.

“The Prime Minister knows full well that Alberta will be holding elections for Senate nominees in October of this year. I personally informed him of our forthcoming Senate elections at our July 7 meeting in Calgary, and told him that the Alberta legislature had adopted a motion calling on the Prime Minister not to fill the two current Senate vacancies but to wait for Albertans to choose their own preferred Senate candidates.

“Alberta’s tradition of electing Senate nominees goes back to the 1980s. We have had four Senate elections in the past, and five nominees to the Senate selected by Albertans in these elections went on to be appointed and to represent Albertans in Parliament democratically.

“The Prime Minister’s decision shows contempt for democratic decision-making, and for Alberta voters in particular.

“Sadly, the Prime Minister’s decision to snub his nose at Alberta’s democratic tradition is part of a pattern of flippantly disregarding our province’s demands for a fair deal in the Canadian federation and the desire of Albertans for democratic accountability.”

Karen Sorensen. Courtesy CBC

Sorensen is currently serving her third term as Mayor of Banff. She previously served as a municipal councillor for six years and as a school board trustee for four years. After a successful 17-year career in the hotel industry in Ontario, BC, and Alberta, she founded Catalyst Enterprises Consulting in 2000.

She resigned from her post as mayor when the appointment was announced.

Trudeau also appointed David Arnot, for Saskatchewan, Michèle Audette, for Québec, Amina Gerba, and Clément Gignac, for Québec.

Trudeau has now appointed 60 Senators.

Trudeau said: “I am pleased to welcome Parliament’s newest independent Senators. Their combined experience, perspectives, and dedication to serving Canadians will further strengthen the Senate and help shape our country’s future. I look forward to working with them, and all Senators, as we take steps toward our recovery and to building back a more resilient and inclusive Canada for everyone.”

The Senate election is being held on October 18, the same day Albertans go to the polls in civic elections and the Equalization referendum.

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

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