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MRU prof vows to battle the ‘woke’ culture trying to take her down

Widdowson said the BLM movement has “destroyed MRU” and she “doesn’t recognize the institution anymore”, adding professors will “strike” either Tuesday or Wednesday to make a point about racial inequity.

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Frances Widdowson is surrounded on all sides.

The Mount Royal University professor is conducting a “crazy” battle against what she calls the new “woke” crowd. She’s being fought by the public, students and even fellow faculty members at the southwest Calgary university because she has voiced opinions they have deemed to be objectionable.

But when things seem to be at their most bleak, Widdowson remembers a quote from the great British war-time hero Winston Churchill.

“Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured,” Churchill said.

“I have been fighting this for 12 years. We are at a time where anytime someone disagrees with something, people feel they should suffer consequences,” said Widdowson.

“I’m now thriving in a strange way. I have reverted into satire. I will fight these people.

“I can’t enter into rational discussion with these people so I will continue to mock (anonymous accounts) them.

“Fighting them is good, because you don’t feel defeated.”

Widdowson said a total of 41 fellow faculty members in various fields are against her. But she’s grateful the leaders of the school haven’t spoken to her at all about her positions.

She admits the fact she is tenured at the university makes it easier to lash out. It would be very difficult to fire her.

Widdowson said the Black Lives Matter movement has “destroyed MRU” and she “doesn’t recognize the institution anymore”, adding professors will “strike” either Tuesday or Wednesday and walk out of classes to make a point about racial inequity.

“You’re supposed to be teaching. That’s your job. You can go on strike to protest police brutality but what does it have to do with you?”

“A ‘woke’ faculty is now in charge. This isn’t going to be good.”

For Widdowson, the latest battle was joined after the Wendy Mesley controversy erupted at CBC in June. The veteran broadcaster was pilloried and suspended after she used the N-word twice during a closed staff meeting to quote the title of a book a potential guest had written.

The baying mob of Twitter quickly gathered and took Mesley down, a situation Widdowson found utterly ridiculous.

“It also was revealed that, in September 2019, Mesley had committed the word crime of referring to the title of Pierre Vallières’ book White N….. of America,” said Widdowson in a lengthy interview with the Western Standard.

“In normal times it would have been realized that mentioning someone else’s use of a word is completely different from uttering it yourself, and that even the derogatory word “n…..” can be used non-denotatively without implication by the utterer.

“In the haste to signal virtue in condemning racism, the “woke” are eager to prove their moral purity by punishing completely appropriate actions like those of Wendy Mesley.”

“The most distressing aspect of this story was the grotesque apology that Mesley felt she needed to make.”

Widdowson also blasted Mesley’s colleagues who were quick to pounce on her when blood was in the water.

She also likes to use the term “race hustler.”

“This has been defined as a person who becomes a self-proclaimed spokesperson for a particular racial identity during a perceived incident of racial tension, so that the individual can exploit the situation to serve their own interests,” writes Widdowson, in a yet to be published paper for the September 2020 issue of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship Newsletter.

“The race hustling surrounding Mesley continued at my university when I defended her.”

The issue exploded on June 18 when Widdowson tweeted: “You did nothing wrong @WendyMesleyCBC”.

“I elaborated with the following: “You were using the word in a QUOTE! Shame on CBC for making Mesley grovel’. I then asked “Are we now going to censor Wikipedia?!!!” and attached the relevant entry about “the word” from this source,” she said.

“In all of these posts, I intentionally avoided mentioning the word “n…..” because I was aware of the perfidy of race hustlers. This was until an anonymous twitter account that had lobbied to get me fired a month earlier “innocently” asked: “If the word is so benign, why do you refuse to say it?

“Although I almost never make a reply on twitter (especially to trolls), and I knew I was being set up, I thought that it was important to show the CBC that Mesley had done nothing wrong. I took a deep breath and showed my solidarity with Mesley by mentioning the word in the same way.”

She said her tweet barely caused a ripple, until it was retweeted by an Indigenous member of the faculty at MRU.

The tweet read: “Accordingtothisindigenouscolleague,“[s]tudentsareraisingcritical.awareness [sic] around certain faculty who hide behind academia to spread racist views! No one knows another person’s intent. Focus less on intent and more on outcome.”

What disturbed Widdowson even more was the fact the tweet was “liked” by six other members of the faculty.

“36 professors and other MRU staff and entities expressed their support for what appeared to be an academic mobbing. Over a number of days I was accused of being “anti-Black”, “mak[ing] neo-nazis and white supremacists happy”, “spewing hate”, “us[ing] violent racist slurs”, “outright harassment” and saying that BIPOC students were “less than human”,” she writes.

One colleague even suggested Widdowson had violated the university’s Code of Conduct with the content of her tweets. There were even suggestions offended students should be able to withdraw from her classes, she said.

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“Two members of the faculty association executive board also criticized my actions, and one suggested that I should be reported to my employer for using “derogatory language”.

She thinks fellow faculty are behind the anonymous student Twitter account.

“Students take their lead from the faculty. The faculty gets them all fired up.”

Widdowson then took it up to another level with a tweet that referred to herself as a “C-word.” Our use of quote marks, not hers. She used the full word.

“This action seemed to destabilize the “student-led initiative” of MRU Racial Advocacy, leading the faculty organized Mount Royal Anti-Racism Coalition to spring into action. On August 6, the coalition’s twitter account (@MRUAntiRacism) posted five of my controversial tweets that had been mined over the last year, tagging MRU’s President, the Students’ Association and a local Black Lives Matter group,” she wrote.

“This problem of pandering to race hustling (or to that of any other identity) is also apparent in universities. There is tremendous pressure to appease activists in the hopes that the “storm will pass”.

“Race hustling is a symptom of a wider disease, and it needs to be confronted head on to keep it from metastasizing and destroying the academic character of post-secondary institutions,’ she said.

Widdowson notes every generation of post-secondary educators faced challenges. In the 50’s, it was discussions around religion. In the 60’s, it was the era of McCarthyism.

“The left is being destroyed by ‘wokeism’. They have ten groups all fighting the same thing. There is no commonality on which to start discussions that could lead to change. They are just trying to tear each other apart,” she said.

Widdowson points out the case of Don Cherry, fired Nov. 11 from his job as a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada’s Coach’s Corner, for pointing out he didn’t see immigrants wearing poppies during a drive through downtown Toronto.

“It was politically correct totalitarianism. There was no debate. There were no discussions about what did Don Cherry mean with those comments. They just demanded he be fired,” she said.

“People who agreed (with what Cherry said) were fearful to voice their ideas.

“That’s what universities are supposed to be about, a place to talk about ideas. But now we have university administrations begging faculties to reign in the craziness.

“I’m keeping all my materials in case they come after me. I’m not giving an inch. I will fight them all the way.”

Up next for Widdowson is research into Canada’s residential school history.

“What people don’t realize is that these Indigenous children were able to get an education that normally they wouldn’t have received,” she said adding the term “genocide” to describe residential schools is incorrect.

Widdowson said she knows the baying mobs of Twitter will be back for that one, and she’s ready with a survival list:

  1. stay calm and be strategic;
  2. document everything;
  3. toughen up;
  4. don’t take things personally;
  5. focus on principles, not individuals;
  6. avoid demanding punishment;
  7. build up a supportive network of colleagues with diverse viewpoints;
  8. admit mistakes, but don’t apologize (unless wrongdoing was intentional);
  9. resist appeals for compromise and identify Trojan horses; and
  10. maintain a sense of humour.

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 removes capacity limits in some areas, but only if you’re double vaccinated

The change comes into effect October 25, and it applies to indoor sporting events, concerts, theatres, weddings, funeral receptions outside of a funeral home, and organized parties.

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British Columbia will be seeing some restrictions eased for those who have can prove two doses of vaccination against COVID-19.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Tuesday that capacity limits for events and gatherings throughout much of the province — where proof-of-vaccination is required — will be lifted.

The change comes into effect October 25, and it applies to indoor sporting events, concerts, theatres, weddings, funeral receptions outside of a funeral home, and organized parties.

Health officials will also be removing the requirement to stay seated at restaurants.

The changes do not apply to regional restrictions in effect in Interior Health, Northern Health, and eastern Fraser Valley.

Personal gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, are restricted to fully vaccinated people throughout the Northern Health region, with the exception of Terrace, Kitimat, Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Stikine, and the Nisga’a areas.

Indoor mask requirements remain in effect for all indoor gatherings and events.

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

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WORLD WATCH: U.K. warns of new COVID variant as cases rise yet Japan numbers plummet

Experts are taking a close look at AY.4.2. to see how much of a threat it may pose, but say it is not yet considered a “variant of concern”.

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News reports out of the U.K. are linking an uptick in cases to a new variant that “could be 10 times more infectious than Delta,” yet Japan is seeing some of their lowest case counts since this time last year.

According to the latest official data out of the U.K., an increase in COVID-19 cases includes a genetically sequenced variant labelled AY.4.2 accounting for 6% of new cases.

Graph courtesy worldometers.info

The new strain, some call “Delta Plus”, is said to contain mutations that could give the virus “survival advantages” and could make it more contagious.

Experts are taking a close look at AY.4.2. to see how much of a threat it may pose, but say it is not yet considered a “variant of concern”.

Meanwhile, reports from Japan say a very different narrative where cases have mysteriously plummeted over the last two months.

Low case rates have not been the norm in Japan throughout the pandemic. However, despite the 2020 Summer Olympics being postponed to the summer of 2021 and Japan seeing some of the highest COVID-19 case rates in the world at times, the country has never implemented any full lockdowns.

Over the last two months, rates in Japan went from over 26,121 new cases recorded on August 22 to 494 new cases as of Monday.

Graph courtesy worldometers.info

Some are crediting the incredible turnaround to a late but rapid uptake in vaccinations. Others say it could have something to do with bad August weather in the latter part of the month that kept people home.

Officials are still trying to determine the cause of the huge decline in cases and experts are warning Japan could face another surge with the gradual waning of vaccine efficacy as well as heading into the colder winter months.

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

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EXCLUSIVE: Chu vows not to resign, apologizes and speaks out on allegations

Chu speaks out after allegations against him come to light.

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Embattled Calgary Councillor Sean Chu says he has no intention of resigning, but has apologized to a woman he had a sexual encounter with 24 years ago.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm,” Chu told the Western Standard in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

City of Calgary officials confirmed Chu won the election race in Ward 4 by a mere 52 votes after allegations surfaced last week of his involvement in August of 1997 with a girl who was just 16 at the time.

“This was nothing but a political assassination,” said Chu.

Chu, who has represented Ward 4 since 2013, also fired back at some media reports which he claims were completely wrong.

Chu said he met the unidentified girl at a pub near Macleod Tr. and 94 Ave. S and not the Husky House restaurant downtown that some media had reported.

“Because it was a licensed establishment I thought the girl was at least 18 years old,” said Chu, who was in uniform with his partner at the time.

“I was single at the time and I thought some girl liked me.”

The Western Standard cannot confirm at this time if there is documentary evidence the encounter was at the Husky House or at the pub on Macleod Tr.

At some point in their interaction, Chu caressed the girl’s leg, an incident that later earned him a letter of reprimand on his file.

Chu said the girl seemed interested in him so when he was off duty he changed into civilian clothes and went back to the pub to meet the girl.

The evening continued with Chu and the girl eventually heading to his home.

Once there, the pair “started kissing and hugging, but there was no intercourse,” said Chu.

Chu admits there was “some touching underneath clothes”.

“She then said she wanted to go home and I drove her straight there.”

Chu denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

At one point Chu said he owned a shotgun, but denied that weapon was ever produced or shown in any way that night.

“If there had been a gun involved there would have been charges,” said Chu.

The Western Standard has not seen any documents that indicate the presence or absence of a firearm on the evening in question.

Chu said he does not drink alcohol, but added he didn’t know if the girl had been drinking.

After the incident, the girl reported the case to city police claiming she was sexually assaulted. That lead to nine years of investigations, court battles and appeals, with news of the case only leaking last week, days before the civil election.

There were never any sexual assault or weapons charges laid, and Chu says the letter of reprimand was the only discipline that came out of the entire process.

Documents obtained by the Western Standard and other media indicate that the woman claimed the whole process was a “cover-up.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

Chu is now at the centre of a political storm with friends and supporters deserting him.

Premier Jason Kenney described the allegations as “appalling” but said he didn’t think there was any way for the province to remove a councillor who han’t been convicted under the Criminal Code.

He said he would be happy to meet with Mayor-Elect Jyoti Gondek to discuss the situation.

Kenney said as much of the legal documents are under seal, it’s up to Chu to prove his innocence.

Calgary-Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner tweeted her disgust at the incident.

“I have supported Mr. Chu in the past, but firmly withdraw all such support in light of these reports. Believing women means walking the talk,” she tweeted.

“In light of the disciplinary action, as a result of inappropriate contact with a minor which has been reported by CBC Calgary, MP Rempel Garner is formally withdrawing her endorsement of Councillor Sean Chu and he is no longer a member of her Constituency Association.”

Rempel Garner tweet

Now Chu said he is looking at his legal options and a possible defamation suit over some of what he called the false reporting.

“I have always told the truth. My reputation is important to me and now my family is hurting,” said Chu.

Chu said he wouldn’t comment on remarks made by Gondek that she will try and remove him from council.

“I will continue to tell the truth at council and will be a fiscal hawk,” he said.

“The most important thing is I told the truth and the truth will prevail.”

It appears any bid to try and remove Chu would fail because he was not charged or convicted criminally.

Calgary police released a statement Monday about its investigation in 1997. It states:

“We want to reassure Calgarians that when this matter came to light in 1997 it was taken seriously by the Service and managed in accordance with the Police Act. This has been a complex legal matter with multiple complaints and investigations as well as appeals to the Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board. One of those decisions was overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeal. Ultimately, one allegation of misconduct was sustained through our internal disciplinary process.”

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

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