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Calgary police defend threatening to taser man for playing hockey

Bylaw officers were called to the rink in response to a group of men and children playing an outdoor game on Thursday.




Editors Note: This story contains profanity.

A tense confrontation between Calgary police officers and a group of outdoor shinny players ended with an arrest and a public relations nightmare for the force.

“I will fucking taser you!” one Calgary officer screamed at a young man playing hocking on an outdoor sheet of ice in the southwest community of Southwood.

Bylaw officers were called to the rink in response to a group of men and children playing an outdoor game on Thursday.

A woman who appeared to take credit for calling the police tweeted a picture and referred to the men as “#covidiots”. She has since deleted her Twitter account.

Tweet of woman appearing to take credit for calling the police on hockey players

When bylaw officers couldn’t get the players to move on, police were called in as backup.

Outdoor gatherings are now banned by the UCP government in a bid to stop the increasing rates of COVID-19.

The two-and-a-half-minute video begins with two female officers yelling at the skater – called Ocean by his friends – to get off the ice. Another male officer explained to bystanders that gathering is against public health regulations.

People in the crowd yelled “bullshit” as the two female officers struggle unsuccessfully with “Ocean”. One of them kneed him in the back in a repeatedly failed effort to take him to the ground. One of the officers fell down on the ice and Ocean was able to skate a short distance away.

“Get on the fucking ground before I taser you!” one officer screams at Ocean, who, ironically is wearing a “Bolts” jersey. The officer unholstered and points her weapon.

Another struggle ensuing with Ocean pleading: “I haven’t done anything wrong.”

During the time the video were taken, a total of four-mintues-forty seconds, the police officers failed to respond to Ocean’s questions about what law he was breaking or was being charged with.

It is unconstitutional for police to make an arrest in Canada without disclosing the charges being laid.

Provincial restrictions state that outdoor physical activities are still permitted for people from different households if the number does not exceed 10 people and individuals maintain two meters distance.

The Calgary Police Service released a statement claiming that there were 40 in attendance before the video began to record. The statement says that civilians are required to give their identity to police when ordered, however, the UCP government recently banned the practice of “carding” as discriminatory and arbitrary.

Bystanders asked the police to let Ocean take off his skates while another said: “This is going on the fucking news, for sure.”

Ocean was eventually forced to his knees and then receives three knees from one of the officers into his back as bystanders yelled “police brutality.”

As officers struggled to handcuff Ocean, other people began taking phone videos from less than a foot away. Another officer stepped in to take control of Ocean’s legs.

“This is our life. We are fucking humans,” Ocean yelled as the handcuffs were clamped.

“What kind of life do we live in?”

Other officers cut Ocean’s skates off and he was taken away to be charged with violating a public health order, obstruction, and resisting arrest.

Speaking to CTV News over the phone on Saturday, Weisblatt confirmed receiving the tickets, including for violating the Public Health Act, which carries a fine of $1,200.

“The rules are getting ridiculous,” he said to CTV.

The video already has caused a storm of controversy.

“And people thought I was exaggerating when I warned unreasonable restrictions would result in excessive use of force. You own this @jkenney and @nenshi. #ableg#yyccc” tweeted QR77 talk show host Danielle Smith.

Smith tweet

Supt. Ryan Ayliffe defended his officers actions.

“We are seeing officers continually put into these untenable positions where they have to diffuse and support bylaw,” Ayliffe said at a Friday press conference.

“What’s happening through our lens is good people are trying to find pieces of what they want to do in a changing environment and it is stressing people out to the max.”

Rebel News owner Ezra Levant tweeted that his organization will sue the Calgary Police Service on behalf of the hockey players.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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.


Ottawa press gallery expells Chinese agency

Founded by the Communist Party of China in 1935, Xinhua in recent dispatches praised an “ethnic policy” deemed genocidal by Canadian MPs.




The Chinese news agency has been booted out of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery after 57 years.

The press gallery said Xinhua News Agency, the propaganda arm of China’s Communist Party, was stripped of membership not due to expulsion but a paperwork error.

The embassy “neglected to send in their membership review form,” said Jordan Press, outgoing president of the gallery.

“It was an administrative oversight that they were still on the membership list at the end of last year.

“They were not expelled, they were not removed. They just simply did not file a review form.”

The Chinese embassy had no comment on the issue.

Gallery rules restrict membership to publishers and broadcasters that “adhere to generally accepted journalistic principles and practices.”

Xinhua is state-run and is known as a propaganda agency for the People’s Republic that prompted pro-democracy demonstrators to vandalize its Hong Kong office in 2019.

“The violent acts of the black-clad rioters have once again shown that only by stopping violence in accordance with the law would social order and public security be restored,” Xinhua said at the time.

Founded by the Communist Party of China in 1935, Xinhua in recent dispatches praised an “ethnic policy” deemed genocidal by Canadian MPs, urged foreigners to “stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs” and hailed China’s “comprehensive green transformation.”

“There is no perfect democracy, only democracy that fits best,” Xinhua wrote in a March 4 report.

The Ottawa Press Gallery granted Xinhua membership in 1964 at the request of then-Foreign Minister Paul Martin, Sr.

Xinhua was granted membership in a diplomatic exchange with Maoist censors who allowed the Globe & Mail to open a bureau in Beijing.

Press said if the agency wants to return they would have to submit an application form.

The Department of National Defence in 2012 blacklisted Xinhua from going to military briefings on Parliament Hill.

The agency that same year was accused of misusing its press credentials to maintain surveillance of Chinese dissidents in Canada and obtain details of a private meeting between the visiting Dalai Lama and then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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Climate bureau costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars

But even more spending is required to manage a voluntary Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System detailed Saturday in regulations.




The federal climate bureau – which manages new carbon offset program – spent more than $600 million last year, says Blackwell’s Reporter.

The Pan-Canadian Framework Implementation Branch had a total of 83 employees and spent $614,897,338 including $605 million on grants and subsidies, $7.9 million on salaries and $1.8 million for overhead and administration, auditors found.

But even more spending is required to manage a voluntary Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System detailed Saturday in regulations.

“Federal government costs associated with implementation of the proposed regulations are estimated to be up to $800,000 per year over the 2021-2030 period,” said a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement.

Another eight employees are needed to monitor emissions, said Peter Lamey, director of issues management for the Department of the Environment.

“These are complex.”

Employees would ensure that industries volunteering for the program “achieve real, additional, quantified, verified, unique and permanent” cuts to emissions, said the regulatory notice.

The system would allow companies to buy and swap carbon credits, though regulators did not explain where or how.

“It is challenging to forecast the extent to which the proposed regulations would lead to net greenhouse gas reductions,” said the Analysis Statement.

“The Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System is another tool we’re using to combat climate change and create a cleaner, healthier future,” Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a statement.

“The system will encourage cost-effective climate emission reductions right here in Canada.”

There has been no detailed look at all in-house costs of cabinet’s climate change programs.

Then-Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in 2018 told the Commons any expense was marginal compared to the impact of climate change.

“I do not know how many times I can repeat it,” said McKenna.

“Polluting is not free. It is a tax on future generations. I see lots of young people sitting out there wondering what the Conservatives are going to do to tackle climate change. The answer is apparently nothing.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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FEDS worried about COVID mask littering

The PHA estimated by July 1 Canadians will have used 1.8 billion surgical masks, 490 million disposable gowns, 91 million face shields and four million goggles.




Even though their department sent millions of COVID-19 masks to the dump before the pandemic, Public Health Agency officials warned of possible “environmental impacts” if regular Canadians started chucking their masks.

“Increased personal protective equipment is creating more PPE waste which is not currently recyclable or biodegradable,” said the January 14 memo PHA memo, obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter.

Regulators should be “developing programs to reduce litter,” wrote staff.

The PHA estimated by July 1 Canadians will have used 1.8 billion surgical masks, 490 million disposable gowns, 91 million face shields and four million goggles. Plans were needed to “reduce the amount of personal protective equipment waste,” said the memo.

“While single-use personal protective equipment is the current standard for medical settings, options are becoming increasingly available for reusable masks for non-medical purposes and the public,” wrote staff.

“These options are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than single-use disposable masks, particularly as more jurisdictions make mask-wearing mandatory.”

The PHA itself sent two million high-grade N95 masks and 440,000 gloves to the dump when it closed a Regina warehouse in 2019. It was one of three warehouses closed by the Agency in a plan to save $900,000 on leasing and storage costs.

Health Minister Patricia Hajdu last April 1 told reporters the Agency had so few supplies left it was unprepared for the pandemic.

“Did we have enough in the stockpile?” asked a reporter. “To your question about whether we had enough, no,” replied Hajdu.

Sally Thornton, then-Agency vice president responsible for the stockpile, defended the disposal of masks at an April 22 hearing of the Commons health committee. She subsequently resigned last September.

“Would you agree we failed to keep an adequate stockpile?” asked Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux (Edmonton Riverbend). “No, the stockpile was actually doing well,” replied Thornton.

“But the Minister said it was inadequate,” said MP Jeneroux. “With hindsight, would I have liked it to have been different?” replied Thornton.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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