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Rebel UCP MLA Barnes blasts NDP motion on unity

“It’s part of Rachel Notley’s plan to work with her friend (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau,” said Drew Barnes.

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Rogue UCP MLA Drew Barnes says he will talk to his caucus colleagues before deciding how to vote on an upcoming NDP motion reject independence and support a united Canada.

The NDP said on Canada Day they would bring in the motion to the Legislature on Monday.

“I am very, very disappointed the NDP with the motion would try and diminish the role of Alberta within Confederation,” Barnes told the Western Standard on Thursday.

“It’s part of Rachel Notley’s plan to work with her friend (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau.”

Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Barnes said his concern with the NDP motion supporting Canada is it uses the phrase “always.”

“We heard it in the Fair Deal hearings and from my constituents loud and clear that there has to be serious discussions about Alberta with a (independence) referendum on the table,” Barnes said.

“I plan on being in the Legislature Monday and speaking on it – after I’ve had a chance to discuss it with my UCP colleagues.”

There have been calls for Premier Jason Kenney to kick Barnes out of caucus for saying a referendum on independence should be on the table for Alberta in any discussions with Ottawa to get a fairer deal for the province.

“Repeatedly, UCP Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes has, without challenge or objection  from Jason Kenney or any member of the UCP Cabinet and Caucus, supported the idea of Alberta separating from Canada,” the NDP said in a release on Canada Day.

“As well, UCP Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan read off a bizarre rant last month in the Legislature in which he referred to other Canadian provinces as, ‘hostile, parasitic partners.’”

Heather Sweet, NDP House Leader, said: “This motion will force Jason Kenney and the UCP to finally take a stand. Fanning the flames of separatism is this Premier’s way of distracting Albertans from his failed $4.7-billion corporate handout, which hasn’t created jobs or drawn in new investment.”

“Our caucus has been clear and open with Albertans in our support for a united Canada and unanimous in our belief that Alberta’s best interest lay within Canada. It is time for Jason Kenney and the UCP to finally be upfront with Albertans on this serious issue.”

Stephan couldn’t be reached for comment.

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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WATCH: Alberta Oil drives Guilbeault to meeting with Nixon

Federal Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault’s tour of Alberta has already kicked off with a whiff of hypocrisy.

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Attended by a sizable entourage, Guilbeault exited his black gasoline-powered SUV and hustled into the McDougall Centre in Calgary for a meeting with Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon.  

Guilbeault has dedicated most of his career to telling Canadians they need to transition from petrochemically fueled transportation. During this meeting though, Guilbeault chose not to find an utilize an electric-powered SUV in order to demonstrate his environmental virtue. With the resources of the entire federal government behind him, one would have thought that Guilbeault could have arranged appropriate transportation for his cross-Canada tour.  

It’s almost as if electric vehicles are still not ready for mainstream use yet. 

At least Guilbeault contributed to the Western economy with his conspicuous consumption of local petrochemical products.  

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Officials urge booster injections to tackle lingering Delta variant amid Omicron craze

The WHO classified Omicron as a “variant of concern,” however, the South African doctor who discovered Omicron in her patient says she is “stunned” by the response.

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The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is now strongly urging COVID-19 booster injections for those over the age of 50.

In addition, the committee is now recommending boosters of an authorized mRNA vaccine to those 18-49 years of age at least six months after completion of a “primary COVID-19 vaccine series with consideration of jurisdictional and individual risks.”

The announcement comes amid global discussion of the Omicron variant. The federal government requested on Tuesday that NACI swiftly review its booster guidance in response to Omicron.

The NACI’s new booster recommendation, however, focuses on the lingering Delta variant while more details are gathered on Omicron.

On Nov. 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified Omicron as a “variant of concern,” although the South African doctor who discovered Omicron in her patient says she is “stunned” by the response.

“As chair of the South African Medical Association and a GP of 33 years standing, I have seen a lot over my medical career,” writes Dr. Angelique Coetzee, in an op-ed for the Daily Mail.

“But nothing has prepared me for the extraordinary global reaction that met my announcement this week that I had seen a young man in my surgery who had a case of COVID that turned out to be the Omicron variant.”

The young man was unaware he had contracted the virus.

Coetzee says she has seen nothing about the variant that warrants panic.

“No one here in South Africa is known to have been hospitalized with the Omicron variant, nor is anyone here believed to have fallen seriously ill with it,” writes Coetzee.

She also says the variant has been circulating South Africa for “some time.”

Viruses — such as COVID-19 — have their own DNA or RNA, therefore allowing them to mutate into new forms.

“This virus is going exactly how you’d expect,” Dr. Steven Pelech, chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee at the Canadian Covid Care Alliance, told the Western Standard.

“Strains are going to predominate which are more infectious and mild. That’s how it displaces other variants, it doesn’t kill the host. The host often doesn’t even know they are infected.”

Pelech — who is far from alone in his analysis — suggests the “variants of concern,” including Delta, are merely steps towards COVID-19 evolving into a common coronavirus. One that is highly infectious and exceedingly mild.

The Canadian government implemented additional travel restrictions in response to Omicron on November 30 — built upon previous measures.

“We know that these concerning mutations can arise and, where vaccinations are low in parts of the world, they can spread rapidly,” said BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Tuesday.

BC officials say the province will have more information on Omicron and its implications — such as vaccine efficacy — in the coming weeks.

“Isn’t this the same playbook we heard a year ago with the Delta variant?” said Pelech.

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

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Surrey RCMP investigating rocks thrown from overpass

Multiple vehicles, including a transit bus, were damaged by rocks hurled from the pedestrian overpass. Fortunately, no one was injured.

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Several incidents involving rocks thrown onto Highway 99 in South Surrey have prompted an investigation from Surrey RCMP.

Multiple vehicles, including a transit bus, were damaged by rocks hurled from the pedestrian overpass. Fortunately, no one was injured.

The first incident took place on November 26, at 7:44 p.m. when a semi-truck and bus were struck with rocks. The following incident, involving another two semi-trucks occurred three days later on November 29 at 10:49 p.m., and most recently, November 30 at 10:20 p.m. when yet another two semi-trucks were damaged.

“These incidents are very concerning. Throwing objects off of the overpass has the potential to cause serious or even fatal injuries to the occupants of vehicles,” said Cpl. Vanessa Munn, Surrey RCMP.

“We are asking anyone with information to contact police. If you reside in the area please check your residential cameras and be sure to report all suspicious activity to police.”

The overpass where these incidents took place is between the 32 Avenue and King George Boulevard exits of Highway 99.

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

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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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