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UPDATED: Alberta shuts down pubs and cancels Xmas gatherings to try and stop COVID

Limits on outdoor gatherings and a ban on guests in homes will be extended through Christmas.

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The Alberta government is launching another massive COVID-19 lockdown, effectively cancelling Christmas.

Much like the first lockdown earlier spring, the new “dramatic measures” announced by Premier Jason Kenney on Tuesday will order the 12:01 a.m. Sunday closure of all pubs and restaurants, with curb-side food takeout still allowed.

The closure order comes despite health officials saying there is little community COVID-19 transmission through pubs and restaurants, though they haven’t been able to identify where most transmissions occur.

The orders will put a damper on Christmas with all household gatherings cancelled and outdoor events banned.

“We can’t let Christmas turn into a tragedy for Albertans,” Kenney said, noting most transmission is occurring in home gatherings.

Kenney said while Alberta has handled the panic better than most jurisdictions “the last few weeks have been a different story.”

He said hospital admissions and patients in the ICU have skyrocketed.

Kenney said growing hospital capacity problems could have a “catastrophic impact” on people awaiting surgeries and if restrictions aren’t put in “hundreds, potentially thousands of Albertans could die.”

He urged Albertans not to lose hope, saying “vaccinations are in sight.”

Casinos, fitness centres and personal service business such as hair salons, nail salons, tattoo and piercing parlours will be shut effective midnight on Sunday with bingo halls, gaming entertainment centres, horse tracks, raceways, bowling alleys, pool halls, legions and private clubs also closed.

But malls will allowed to remain open but with further restrictions to 15 percent of capacity.

The 15 per cent capacity will also apply to church services. A 10-person limit on weddings and funerals will also stay in place.

The closures will apparently take affect midnight Sunday and will be reevaluated in four weeks.

The province also imposed mandatory work-from-home measures.

People who live alone will be allowed up to two close contacts for in-person visiting. Those two people must stay the same while the measures are in effect.

Libraries, science centres, interpretive centres, museums, galleries, amusement parks, and water parks will all be closed.

Ski resorts will be allowed to remain open.

A province-wide mandatory mask order has also been issued.

There will be no changes to they way schools are currently operating.

Kenney admitted many of the restrictions mean “Charter rights are being abridged.”

“These mandatory measures will help us slow the spread of COVID-19. This will require individual sacrifices that are necessary to protect our province. It’s not just about one person, it’s about doing what we can to protect and save our loved ones, colleagues, neighbours, and even strangers. Following these public health measures is how we as Albertans care for and protect each other,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw

Kenney also announced new supports for small business devastated by COVID and the regulations.

A $5,000 grant to small business earlier this year has been quadrupled to $20,000.

The first round of government restrictions hit 30,000 business and caused 300,000 job loses. About 250,000 of those jobs have been restored.

Alberta has gone more than a week reporting new cases in the four-figures.

Hinshaw announced an additional 1,727 new cases on Tuesday with nine more deaths.

Before the Tuesday figures were announced, province has had 70,301 COVID-19 cases with 631 deaths.

Hinshaw said if all COVID victims gathered together, they would form the fifth largest city in the province.

NDP leader Rachel Notley blasted Kenney.

“Today, we’re seeing the consequences of Premier Jason Kenney’s failure to provide leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Jason Kenney made a terrible decision to pit the economy against public health … and he has failed at both,” Notley tweeted.

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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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Charles Martell III

    December 11, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Kenny relied on the fake testing data for his decision . . . like you don’t do SCIENCE in Alberta?

    Delgado’s research discovered:

    “The PCR test is so well known for giving inaccurate results that the CDC warns not to give the test to asymptomatic persons “because of the increased likelihood of false-positive results.” In fact, there is a famous Chinese paper that stated if you’re testing asymptomatic people with PCR, up to 80% of positives could be false positives.

    But the numbers aren’t just skewed by false positives, they are also skewed by how many people are offered the test and what condition they are in. For example, during the first few weeks of the ‘pandemic’ tests were scarce. As they became more widely available of course the number of infections accounted for increased as well, and false-positive results further increased those numbers.”

    Widespread reliance on the PCR for COVID19 testing is beyond stupid. It is criminal because it is pushed as justification for maintaining ‘lockdown’ measures and compounding the fear and misery (including economic) much of the world is still suffering as a consequence of this gigantic science fraud.

    PCR is really a manufacturing technique,” Crowe explained. “You start with one molecule. You start with a small amount of DNA and on each cycle the amount doubles, which doesn’t sound like that much, but if you, if you double 30 times, you get approximately a billion times more material than you started with. So as a manufacturing technique, it’s great… This is where it gets wild.

    “In one paper,” Crowe says, “I found 37 cycles. If you didn’t get enough fluorescence by 37 cycles, you are considered negative. In another, paper, the cutoff was 36. Thirty-seven to 40 were considered “indeterminate.” And if you got in that range, then you did more testing. I’ve only seen two papers that described what the limit was. So, it’s quite possible that different hospitals, different States, Canada versus the US, Italy versus France are all using different cutoff sensitivity standards of the Covid test. So, if you cut off at 20, everybody would be negative. If you cut off a 50, you might have everybody positive.””

  2. Charles Martell III

    December 11, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Covid 19 is a Corona Virus . . . and the bad news folks it’s here to stay!

    What part of that is confusing for Premier Kenny?
    H1N1, Swine Flu, Seasonal Flu and the Common Cold are ALSO Corona Viruses . . . .
    Is Kenney going to eliminate them also ? ? ?

    Kenny is looking like a mindless idiot . . . just like Palister, Ford, Horgan and the rest.

    They keep referring to “Cases” ? ? ? These are not cases at all but Positive Tests.
    How many of these positive tests become sick, go to hospital . . . the Media appears uninterested.
    I suspect that number is tiny or Zero . . . then the Fact that the PCR Test has a massive FAIL Rate!

    The CDC’s current best estimates for the C-19 fatality rate are:
    0.003% for people aged 0–19 years.
    0.02% for people aged 20–49 years.
    0.5% for people aged 50–69 years.
    5.4% for people aged 70+ years.

    Anyone under 50 this is less of a threat than the Seasonal Flu . . .

    As Justin brings the Chinese Army into Canada for training . . . how long till Vancouver becomes Hong Kong West?

    Are Canadians really this friggin stooooopid ? I suspect yes . . . .

  3. Mars Hill

    December 10, 2020 at 12:23 am

    FREEDOM RALLY WALK, 7 pm local time, Sat Dec 12, silly hall, bring a glow stick and a non perishable food item if you can, SEE YOU THERE CALGARY

  4. Joni Menz

    December 9, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Health officials say they haven’t been able to identify where most transmissions occur while Kenny says most transmission is occurring in home gatherings.

    Breaking News: Politician Finds New Data; Pulls It Out of His Ass

    • Warren Leigh

      December 9, 2020 at 11:35 pm

      Just like with any other virus, the way you get this is through being in close contact with someone who has it. Yet according to our “officials” it seems to manufacture itself out of thin air, or maybe out of his ass, or both. If you’re sick, or you live with someone who is, then stay home; that’s called the Golden Rule and good social etiquette. But let the rest of us go about our lives. They should stop destroying our best defence against this, namely, that very scientific part of the human anatomy called our immune systems.

  5. Ron Voss

    December 9, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    Why don’t you tell people what is meant by “cases”.

  6. David Elson

    December 8, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    “We can’t let Christmas turn into a tragedy for Albertans,” Kenney said.”

    Small business owners and their employees just don’t count, according to Kenney, who seems perfectly willing to grinch that group of Albertans without any scientific justification for pillaging their Christmas stockings.

    Enough is enough, Kenney needs to go back to his masters in Ottawa. The people of Alberta need to stand up for themselves, their independence, and their freedom.

    • Allen

      December 9, 2020 at 8:11 am

      I’d like to meet the people who care. It seems like this province is full of brain-dead idiots, based on 2/3 of the comments on the Calgary Sun and Herald. I do NOT understand how you can advocate for less freedom, but somehow these morons have actually done it.

  7. warrenzoell

    December 8, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    Abridged? You mean infringed don’t you Kenney?
    You were not elected to take away our fundamental human rights.

  8. Allen

    December 8, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Cucked and retarded response to cucked and retarded liberal idiots, clamoring for retarded restrictions not based in reality. This government, and all governments for that matter, have proven they are against all of their own people. Welcome to the NEW WORLD ORDER.

  9. warrenzoell

    December 8, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Hey Kenney! Go fuck yourself! Why do these pigs always listen to the left wing take on everything. Which always proves to be false and in fact very harmful. I hope Kenney along with the rest of these fascists stand trial one day.
    How does the saying go? “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    • Mars Hill

      December 8, 2020 at 5:27 pm

      Come on man, don’t hold back, tell us what you really think. (:

      • warrenzoell

        December 8, 2020 at 5:51 pm

        They’re not accomplishing anything with their despotic mandates. Unless that’s their intent. They’re only making peoples lives miserable.

      • Allen

        December 9, 2020 at 8:11 am

        Seems to be the opposite for all these disgustingly stupid communists who have infiltrated this great province. All I hear online is “Yuh shoulda dun dis sooner Kenney, overwhelm health care reeeeeEEEE”

      • warrenzoell

        December 9, 2020 at 9:55 am

        I hate to say it but most people I’ve found are like sheep and will believe whatever is blasted at them over the television. Certain family members included. It’s frustrating.

      • Allen

        December 9, 2020 at 3:01 pm

        It is, especially for the most ‘conservative’ province in this hell hole. Unfortunately a lot of old people who are conservative, are also used to the days when the news told the truth and wasn’t complete propaganda, and don’t know how to turn on a computer—never mind do internet research on alternate information. The younger ones, like myself, are completely lost and easily swayed.

      • Charles Martell III

        December 11, 2020 at 4:05 pm

        If you approach from the perspective that the Media is Uninformed and Lying 90% of the time . . . you are on the right track.
        Do your own research and find more than one source . . . the “PCR Test” is complete nonsense . . . even the Scientist that invented is says so . . .

        The PCR test was invented by Kary Mullis (photo, top) in 1985 but it was never intended for detecting disease; it’s primary applications included biomedical research and criminal forensics.

        Before his death in 2019 Mullis told reporters:

        ““Scientists are doing an awful lot of damage to the world in the name of helping it. I don’t mind attacking my own fraternity because I am ashamed of it.”

        –Kary Mullis, Inventor of Polymerase Chain Reaction

        Mullis often spoke out against using his test for diagnosing illnesses. So-called experts ignored the warning. But now, many independent scientists and medical professionals are coming forward to denounce the idiocy of governments, the media and NGO’s for pushing the number of novel coronavirus “cases” (not deaths) premised on spurious results from this problematic PCR test.

      • warrenzoell

        December 11, 2020 at 4:14 pm

        I just heard that the
        antigen rapid test that is being widely used yields positive results… with Coca Cola.

  10. Mars Hill

    December 8, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    The thing that sticks out in the story is that ski resorts will remain open, I guess the silver spooned hockey players need a place to relax between games. Don’t worry folks I say quite confidently that Joe Biden will rescue us all from this, his family and political corruptness supported by the MSM will be exposed and this nonsense will fade away.

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Chu wants meeting with Gondek ‘to tell the truth’

Mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek told a city hall press conference she will not swear Chu in, when council meets for the first time on Monday.

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Embattled Calgary Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu wants to sit down with incoming mayor Jyoti Gondek to plead his case about a sexual incident 24 years ago.

Gondek said Thursday she will refuse to swear in Chu during the first council meeting on Monday.

“I want her to hear the whole truth. I will provide that to her,” Chu told reporters at a press conference.

Chu also offered to sit down with other incoming council members — most of whom are calling for him resign — to explain his side of the story.

“I always work with anybody but they have only heard media reports … some of which has been untruthful,” said Chu.

“I will sit down in private with them and answer any question they have.”

He added he thought it would be a judge who does the swearing-in.

“I was duly elected by the people of Ward 4. I told the truth,” he said, adding was surprised at the amount of support he has received from Ward 4 voters in e-mails and letters.

Chu said this would be his last election as he was a proponent of term limits for councillors at three terms.

“The Sean Chu situation continues to get more disturbing,” Gondek said prior to the press conference.

“This is a travesty for the young woman that was courageous enough to come forward … she needs to have this taken seriously, and he needs to resign in order for that to happen.

“[Chu] can absolutely show up. He won’t be sworn in by me.”

In his only interview so far, Chu had told the Western Standard on Tuesday he had no intention of resigning, but did apologize to a woman he had a sexual encounter with 24 years ago.

Since then, pressure has mounted with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Gondek, most of the incoming council, and even local Conservative MPs all saying Chu should resign.

At the press conference, Chu apologized to the woman who was involved in the original incident and his family.

“My daughter is crying a lot. My children are going through a lot,” Chu said, asking for his family’s privacy.

“I’ve had CTV camping out at my house.”

Chu confirmed other details he told the Western Standard during the 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, then a serving Calgary Police Services officer, said he met the unidentified girl at a pub near Macleod Tr. and 94 Ave.

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.

Chu “categorically” 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.

He said at the home, the two had consensual foreplay before she asked to go home.

Chu also addressed a 2008 fight with his wife that ended with police responding and seizing a firearm.

The incident happened in February 2008, when Chu was running in a provincial election for the Progressive Conservatives in Calgary-Buffalo.

He said his wife ran to a neighbour’s after a verbal argument. Chu said his now ex-wife never intended to call police, but the neighbour did.

After consultation with the Edmonton Crown, no charges were laid.

“This was at the lowest point of my life,” Chu said, adding he sought mental health help after it.

“I have never threatened or harmed my wife or children.”

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

During the investigation, Chu underwent a lengthy lie detector test asking him questions about consent and if a weapon was used. Chu said he passed all the tests.

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 hasn’t been convicted under the Criminal Code.

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

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WATCH: Vancouver restaurant served closure order for non-compliance with ‘Public Health Act’

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the closure order.

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Another BC restaurant has been ordered to close its doors in the name of public health.

“I’m a mother of four,” restaurant owner Rebecca Matthews pleaded with health officials and police.

Corduroy Restaurant — nestled in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood — has been offering service to customers without checking their vaccination status against COVID-19.

Under the BC Vaccine Card, people are required to show proof-of-vaccination against COVID-19 in order to access a variety of settings, such as dining.

In response to Corduroy having potentially committed the crime of serving unvaccinated customers, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) sent environmental health officer Ryan Hammel — accompanied by Vancouver police — bearing a closure order for non-compliance on Wednesday.

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the order, whilst listing off several more “health hazards,” such as “failing to comply with the Face Coverings Order.”

The closure order — signed by VCH medical officer, Dr. Michael Schwandt — says the establishment must remain closed until authorized by a medical officer.

Matthews told the Western Standard health officials showed up at her restaurant on Tuesday morning to “investigate some complaints.”

On Wednesday, Hammel served the closure order.

WATCH: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVQ1f8nhN2m/

“They wouldn’t even discuss anything with me,” said Matthews.

“We reduced our hours, we started doing counter service … these are all things that are — according to the provincial health orders — considered safe.”

Matthews said she’s looking into the closure order to determine how best to proceed.

“I have a family, but at the same time we still want to create a space for people that don’t have anywhere else to go … so we’re just trying to navigate the next steps in the best way for everybody, including my family. Our plan is not to just go away,” she said.

Wednesday is not the first time Corduroy has taken a hit for defying provincial health orders, as its license was suspended six months ago for offering in-person dining, when no such thing was permitted.

During a September 20 staff forum, the Chief Medical Health Officer of VCH, Dr. Patricia Daly, said vaccine passports in settings such as Corduroy’s are not intended to prevent transmission.

“The vaccine passport requires certain people to be vaccinated to do certain discretionary activities such as go to restaurants, movies, gyms … not because these places are high risk,” said Daly.

“We’re not actually seeing COVID transmission in these settings, it’s really to create an incentive to improve our vaccination coverage.”

A Go Fund Me has been set up for Matthew’s by a verified third party to cover legal fees so Corduroy can “continue to stand up for the rights of their patrons, their medical privacy and choice.”

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

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Gondek appoints controversial Carter as chief of staff

He received $130,000 in severance for his six months as chief of staff for Alison Redford.

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Incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek has appointed Stephen Carter, formerly Premier Alison Redford’s chief of staff and Naheed Nenshi campaign manager, as her own chief of staff.

Carter masterminded Gondek’s campaign and saw her come from well back in early election polls to an eventual easy victory over rival Jeromy Farkas.

Carter in February also threatened to sue the Western Standard when it published a story about a former Calgary city councillor filing an official complaint with Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer alleging Gondek used third-party funds to pay for a city-wide brochure mail-drop.

Almost immediately after publishing, Carter threatened Western Standard News Editor Dave Naylor with a lawsuit. He tweeted:

“That was quick: Ok. You will be getting a letter from our lawyer shortly. Straight to Jono? Does he defend you as well?”

We told Carter that any further correspondence should be directed to our lawyers. 

He then took to Twitter to brag about his impending lawsuit to shut the Western Standard up. 

Carter never followed through on his threats.

Carter was once famously referred to as “Chief of Stiff” by the Calgary Sun after he become embroiled in a scandal where he didn’t pay his bills.

The Sun reported a company owned by Carter, Carter McRae Events, “owes more than $600,000, most of it to the University of Calgary, and hasn’t coughed up a cent in court-ordered judgments.”

He resigned from Redford’s staff and received $130,000 in severance for his six months work.

Stephen Carter (photo credit: Calgary Sun)

“If that’s the full amount, that’s still pretty eye-popping,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith at the time.

“A six-figure severance for six months worth of work? An employee who voluntarily leaves should not get severance at all. This certainly doesn’t happen in the private sector.”

Carter, who had been Redford’s strategist in the 2011 Tory leadership race, became her chief of staff when she took office in October of that year.

He was also the mastermind behind Nenshi’s unexpected election victory 11 years ago.

Gondek also announced Amie Blanchette as deputy chief of staff, Catherine Seymour as operations manager and Allison Bates as communications advisor.

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