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Poll shows MacKay as overwhelming choice for Tory voters

And Peter MacKay also lead a poll where other Canadians were asked about the leadership.

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UPDATED: August 5, 2020

Conservative voters say Peter MacKay is the right man to lead their party, according to a new poll.

The results of a survey conducted by Maru/Blue Public Opinion show MacKay would be the top choice – at 55 percent – to become the new leader of the Tory party among those who are committed to vote for the party if a federal election were held tomorrow.

As for rival candidates, Erin O’Toole received 23 per cent, Leslyn Lewis 11 per cent, and Derek Sloan 11 per cent.

And MacKay also lead a poll where other Canadians were asked about the leadership.

MacKay received 51 per cent supported followed by O’Toole at 25 per cent, Lewis 16 per cent and Sloan at 8 per cent.

While MacKay leads the Maru/Blue poll with general Tory voters, it will be paid-up Conservative Party of Canada members that will actually vote to select the leader.

“The presumption is that Peter MacKay is the front runner,” John Wright, the executive vice president at Maru/Blue Public Opinion North America told the National Post, who commissioned the survey.

“And a lot of that has to do with the fact that he’s got the most exposure. You look at the numbers regionally and he’s got a lot of good recognition.”

The 269,469 eligible Tory party members have until Aug. 21 to mail in their ballots. The numbers will be tallied and released at an undetermined time.

Courtesy The National Post

A total of 1,828 those who would consider voting for the Conservative Party of Canada if a federal
election were held tomorrow were surveyed between July 17- 21, 2020 and is considered accurate within +/- 2.6 percentage points.

The other poll surveyed 1,514 Canadian adults between July 10-13, and is considered accurate to within +/- 2.9 percentage point.

MacKay tweeted his pleasure with the poll findings.

MacKay tweet

The full poll results can be found here.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
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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COVID, financial hurdles putting Calgary Stampede at risk

Calgary Stampede suffered a whopping $26.5 million loss last year

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With the Calgary Stampede saddled with its first cancellation in 108 years, concerns over a second consecutive cancellation to COVID-19 have emerged.

Despite $16 million in government aid and grants and a $2.2 million revenue surplus in 2019, the Stampede suffered a whopping $26.5 million loss last year, said their annual report released this week.

Unsurprisingly, gross revenue nose-dived from $85 million in 2019 to $307,000 in 2020.

The non-profit cites the rodeo and midway bash’s cancellation, declining facility rentals and event services among the contributing factors during a trying year for the organization.

Following CEO Warren Connell’s passing in December and 890 temporary job cuts, impacts to vendor revenue and declining aid committed by the Alberta government signify trying economic times ahead.

Despite pledging $6.8 million in grants to significant fairs for 2021-22 in the recent Alberta budget, this represents a decline from $9 million the previous year.

Though the rapidly evolving and dynamic circumstances of the ongoing pandemic throws a wrench in future planning, the Calgary Stampede is “optimistic about 2021 and beyond.”

The report states: “Public health orders and the current economic environment have and may continue to have significant adverse impacts on the Calgary Stampede.”

Spruce Meadows has already cancelled prestigious show-jumping events in June and July, leaving many wondering about the fate of this year’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

“We are reviewing operating guidelines and working with various levels of government and health officials on specific measures to host the best and safest possible Stampede, July 9 to 18,” said the Stampede.

“We continue to work with our government partners and to identify strategic solutions to overcome these financial challenges.”

Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary, said the Stampede’s fiscal situation “makes very clear the uphill climb ahead of it [as] rebuilding becomes that much more difficult.”

She urged provincial and federal governments to backstop the Stampede to ensure its viability financially, owing to its importance to Calgary’s economy and social fabric.

The annual event constitutes one-third of revenue for the hospitality industry.

COVID-19’s effect on tourism was severe as typical hotel occupancies fell well into the double digits last summer.

Ady said the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations is a crucial factor for Calgary Stampede in 2021, with the province’s Phase 4 of reopening slated to permit larger gatherings.

Currently, in Phase 2 of Alberta’s reopening plan, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said: “We still can’t know what the case growth might be in the coming months.

“We are committed to working with these organizations, so they do at least have the best information.”

Dhaliwal is the Western Standard’s reporter based in Edmonton.

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Whistleblower laws in Canada nearly dead, says lawyers’ group

The International Bar Association said Tuesday federal whistleblower protection law is “nearly entirely dormant.”

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Canada’s whistleblower protection is nearly dead and lies dead last among other countries surveyed on their “track record for compliance with best practices” behind Albania, Bangladesh, Latvia, Pakistan, Romania, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam.

The International Bar Association said Tuesday federal whistleblower protection law is “nearly entirely dormant.”

Blacklock’s Reporter said cabinet has ignored a 2017 recommendation from MPs to strengthen the law targeting disclosure of wrongdoings.

“It is concerning the law is nearly entirely dormant,” the Association wrote in a report.

The U.K.-based Association said federal complaints in Canada involved lengthy processing with little result.

“It takes tenacity and financial resources for any whistleblower to sustain a reprisal dispute for over six years only to lose,” said the report.

“As eyewitnesses, whistleblowers are often an organization’s best early warning system against institutional liability or malfunction. Whistleblowers are essential for credible law enforcement campaigns against corruption.”

Parliament in 2007 passed the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act granting an Integrity Commissioner powers to investigate allegations of reprisal against federal employees who report wrongdoing, abuse of office or corruption.

The Commons government operations committee in a 2017 report recommended numerous reforms. Cabinet never acted on the report.

“We have very weak whistleblower laws,” Conservative MP Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West) told a February 17 committee hearing.

McCauley said legislators “have seen ample evidence of failures to protect whistleblowers.”

Sylvie Therrien of Ottawa, a former Employment Insurance claims officer, told MPs she was fired in 2013 after complaining management offered staff $50,000 bonuses to deny legitimate EI applications.

“I’m in debt, I’m no longer considered employable, I don’t have any money,” Therrien testified at committee hearings.

“They put me through the wringer. That was my experience.”

“When you see the suffering some of these people have gone through, it’s horrible,” David Hutton, a whistleblowers’ advocate with the Ottawa-based group Canadians for Accountability, said in an earlier interview.

“If we look at the failure of the system, the Act has pretty much been a disaster.”

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

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Great Mask Robbery – feds silent as millions of masks pilfered

The July 4 theft of the millions of masks – bought to supply hospital workers across the country – from an airport warehouse came after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had announced they arrived

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The federal government kept mum after millions of COVID-19 maks were stolen in a heist in Hamilton, say internal emails obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter.

The July 4 theft of the millions of masks – bought to supply hospital workers across the country – from an airport warehouse came after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had announced they arrived.

The cost of just chartering the aircraft alone to fly the masks from China is as high as $800,000.

The Department of Public Works on Tuesday yesterday would not disclose the value of goods stolen.

Records show a CargoJet flight carrying the masks in a planeload of 75,000 pounds of personal protective equipment arrived in Hamilton last April 11. Trudeau announced the delivery April 2.

“We received a shipment of over a million masks to a Hamilton warehouse,” Trudeau told reporters.

“I know people have been working overnight to validate these supplies.

“This is in addition to the ten million masks that have come over in the last days and are being distributed to the provinces and territories as quickly as possible. This Team Canada effort goes beyond government.”

The Department of Public Works in an internal email detailed the theft:

“On the evening of Saturday, July 4, 2020 a shipment of approximately 2 million surgical masks was picked up at a CargoJet warehouse in Hamilton for a scheduled delivery to a warehouse in Vaudreuil, Québec being used by the Government of Canada to store and inventory PPE shipments. Purolator is responsible for the transport of PPE from CargoJet’s warehouse in Hamilton to the Public Health Agency of Canada warehouse. Canada has been advised by Purolator that the masks were not picked up by one of their subcontractors as scheduled. Local authorities (Hamilton Police) are investigating.”

At the time, the department wouldn’t allow the media to take photos of the shipment due to security issues.

Hamilton airport managers had already publicly announced the goods were stored by CargoJet.

One staff email explained the department was “not comfortable with publicly divulging the location of any of our warehouses, nor is there comfort with having media present without strict undertakings such as non-disclosure agreements in terms of the location and any other sensitive information.”

“Would we still be able to show visuals of the warehouses? Can we get some high-quality photos and B-roll (video) of the interior that can be shared with media?” asked one political aide.

Police, CargoJet and Purolator all refused to comment.

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

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