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NDP demands UCP throw Drew Barnes out of caucus for “separatist” letter

Drew Barnes has written his own report to Kenney urging a much stronger stance against Ottawa for the province to get a fairer deal in confederation, adding that the issue of Alberta independence needs to be on the table.

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The Alberta NDP says Premier Jason Kenney should boot MLA Drew Barnes out of the UCP caucus after he demanded tougher action than the provincial Fair Deal panel wanted.

The NDP is now calling Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Barnes, who was on the Fair Deal panel, the leader of the Alberta “separatist” movement.

And a former provincial Tory cabinet minister, Donna Kennedy-Glans, also on the panel, is slamming Barnes for having his own “personal agenda” by sending out a letter dissenting from the majority report.

“Jason Kenney has been recklessly fanning the flames of separatism to distract Albertans from his failed economic record,” said Sarah Hoffman, the NDP’s Deputy Leader.

“He selected Drew Barnes to help lead this panel. Did he know Barnes was a separatist when he appointed him?  

“As the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney must denounce and disavow Barnes’ calls for separation. While Albertans are struggling with massive job losses, business failures and a global pandemic, there cannot be a separatist caucus within the government. Drew Barnes is obviously claiming the leadership of that faction. Jason Kenney must act.”

Kennedy-Glans, a member of Kenney’s transition team when he came to power, said she and other panel members were stunned when Barnes released his own report.

“After we had all reached a consensus on the report, I find it incredibly cynical to release his own letter at almost the same time,” Kennedy-Glans told the Western Standard in an interview.

“We talked through many, many issues and not once did we not listen to Drew. We all made accommodations.

“It sends a terrible message when we can’t even reach a consensus.”

But in an interview with the Western Standard, Barnes said his report should have come as no surprise to Kennedy-Glans or other panel members.

“There were two or three times I said filing a dissenting opinion was an option for me. It shouldn’t have been a shock,” said Barnes, adding he hasn’t heard from Kenney since the report was filed.

“Alberta needs a better deal and we shouldn’t be afraid to make it stronger.

“But try try and get a better deal, there may have to be consequences.

“I want a better deal for Alberta within Canada.”

Barnes has written his own report to Kenney urging a much stronger stance against Ottawa for the province to get a fairer deal in confederation, adding that the issue of Alberta independence needs to be on the table.

“I am grateful to you [Premier Kenney] for giving me the opportunity to listen to the thousands of Albertans that came to share their vision with the Fair Deal Panel,” said Barnes in a press release moments after the Fair Deal Panel report was released Wednesday.

“With an increasingly hostile government in Ottawa, you have had the foresight to understand that Albertans will no longer accept the inequities of being a second-class people under the constitution. My colleagues on the panel have given thoughtful consideration to the proposals before us, but it is necessary for me to express clearly to you and to Albertans what I feel in my heart must be done.”

In his letter, Barnes recommends the following:

  • A firm referendum date six months from now expressly forbidding Ottawa from legislating any kind of Equalization program.
  • Alberta should collect its own provincial and federal personal and corporate income taxes.
  • Alberta should hold a referendum expelling Ottawa from spending inside areas of provincial jurisdiction and transferring the tax points of the Canada Health and Social Transfers to the provinces.
  • Albertans should elect a constitutional convention to draft a provincial constitution, to be ratified in a referendum.
  • An Alberta Constitution should include the right to initiate referenda and recall elected representatives.
  • Alberta should immediately take back control over its own immigration under its provincial jurisdiction.
  • Albertans should hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment to not only elect senators, but to equally and justly determine how many seats each province holds.
  • Alberta should hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment to clarify and strengthen internal free trade provisions, including the right to move our resources across provincial boundaries.
  • Albertans should hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment to strictly firewall off any encroachment by the federal government over the internal development of our natural resources.

Barnes said his proposals should be voted on in two broad questions proposed to Albertans in a referendum: one on actions that Alberta can make unilaterally without federal consent, and one on constitutional amendments requiring the consent of the federal and other provincial governments.

“As we do so, we should be clear with Ottawa and the other provinces that if the people of Alberta vote for a fair deal of constitutional equality within confederation, but these proposals are rejected, that Albertans will be given the opportunity to vote on their independence,” said Barnes.

“While I appreciate that my colleagues on the panel do not believe that Alberta can raise the prospect of independence under any circumstance, I must respectfully disagree. A free people must be willing to at some point of injustice without rectification, to draw a line and make a stand.

“I do not make any of these recommendations, and the last in particular, lightly. I was born a Canadian, and sincerely wish to build a reformed Canada that treats all of its people equally and fairly.

“In fact, this is another opportunity for Albertans to lead the way, for by finding equality and fairness for ourselves, we can create the framework for others to find the same. Ultimately, this will help to build a stronger, freer, prosperous, and more united Canada.”

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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Lawyer blasts Alberta sports facilities for vaccine passport policies

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

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Lawyer Derek From has sent a stern warning to sport facility operators Monday saying they are breaching the law by requiring parents and kids 12 and over to show their vaccine status.

A constitutional lawyer for 10 years with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, From is now in private practice at an Airdrie law firm.

From was retained by a group of parents who have kids enrolled in youth sports programs in Calgary and the surrounding area.

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

REP allows businesses to either choose to operate as usual if they implement a vaccine passport program or limit their attendance to one-third of their fire code capacity and abide by a number of other public health restrictions.

“Youth sports are supposed to be out of scope for these mandates according to the latest public health order,” From said in an interview with the Western Standard.

Last Thursday, public health order #43-2021 was rescinded due to “bad faith behaviour on the part of businesses offering youth activities and rogue municipal governments seeking to increase and stiffen the restrictions enacted by the Government of Alberta,” From states in the letter.

In its place, order #45-2021 was enacted making it clear that youth activities are out of the scope of REP.  

“This means that facilities that house youth sports are not allowed to use (vaccine) passports. They have to opt out of the passport program,” From said.

However, Calgary city council passed a bylaw that came into effect September 23 forcing businesses eligible for the REP to participate without choice including recreation facilities.

Calgary bylaw 65M2021 says “any person aged 12 years and older must show identification and either proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or a medical exemption from vaccine letter.”

“With (Mayor Naheed) Nenshi running interference on this issue, a lot of people were turned away from a number of facilities over the weekend,” From said.

“Essentially, they (city council) have left no one any choice in the municipality of Calgary including hockey rinks, even though it falls out of scope according to the province. Now a bunch of other surrounding communities are falling in line.”  

The legal letter demands these facilities stop enforcing any REP-related restrictions associated with youth physical, performance or recreational activities, and begin to follow the clear direction set out by the Alberta government regarding what falls in and out of scope for the REP.

“Youth physical activity, performance activity and recreational activity, where all participants are under the age of 18” is listed as outside of the purview of REP. This means that REP is not available for implementation in association with such activities,” the letter states.

“Thousands of parents are ready to have this fight for their kids across the province,” From said.

“If the letters aren’t enough to change the course for these facilities, we will start suing rinks and even the city (Calgary).”

From said he was sending the letter to Nenshi and Calgary council Monday.

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

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WATCH: Pawlowski arrested at Calgary airport

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

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Controversial Calgary Pastor Artur Pawlowski is back behind bars again.

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

He had been out of the country for four months.

Details on why he was taken into custody haven’t been revealed.

Pawlowski has been repeatedly ticketed and jailed for breaking provincial COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

He has recently been on a speaking tour in the US.

more to come…

source: streetchurch facebook

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

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Norway goes back to life as usual before COVID

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-related domestic restrictions.

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Norway lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions this weekend in an effort to return to normal.

“Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life,” said Erna Solberg, Norways’s prime minister at a press conference.

Neither vaccination status nor a negative test result was required for citizens to enter nightclubs and restaurants which saw throngs of people heading to their favourite hangouts en masse.

Saturday marked the first time capacity limits were lifted in bars and restaurants in more than 500 days. Revellers young and old took to the streets with rowdy celebrations.

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a small but growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-19-related domestic restrictions. Sports venues, bars, restaurants and other businesses will be permitted to return to full capacity and will no longer require social distancing or masking.

According to the Institute of Public Health, Norwegian vaccination rates sit around 76% for one dose and 67% are considered fully vaccinated.

Solberg still encouraged citizens to get vaccinated and said those who contract COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate to avoid transmission.

“Even though everyday life is now back to normal for most people, the pandemic is not over,” Solberg said.

Although some restrictions will remain in place for those arriving in Norway from countries with higher rates of infection, travel restrictions will also be lifted, the government said.

“In short, we can now live as normal,” Solberg said.

Denmark was the first country in the European Union (EU) to lift all corona virus restrictions on September 10.

“The vaccines and the great efforts of all of Denmark’s citizens over such a long period are the foundation for why we are going strong,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter just before the country opened up.

After seeing nearly three-quarters of adults fully vaccinated and experiencing low rates of infection and death in August, the Danish Health Authority declared the virus is “no longer a critical threat to society.”

Britain lifted much of its COVID-19-related restrictions over the summer.

As of September 23, more than 48 million people in the UK have received their fist does – 89% of those over 16 years old. A total 82% of the population or 44 million people 16 and older have been double jabbed.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@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

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