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Barnes makes first donation of 20 per cent of salary to charity until lockdown is lifted

Barnes earlier called for a temporary 20% paycut for MLAs, but received blowback from a member of his own caucus.

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Rebel UCP MLA Drew Barnes has made good on a promise to forfeit 20 per cent of his salary during the pandemic, donating it to the Salvation Army.

Last month the Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA called on his colleagues in the UCP and NDP to give back 20 per cent of their salaries as a show of support to people who have lost their jobs or businesses while Alberta has been under lockdown.

Initial barnes tweet

He wanted to see the same from all Government of Alberta bureaucrats making more than $145,000.

As an MLA, Barnes takes home $120,931.

“Pleased to make the 1st of my 6 month commitment of donating 20 per cent of salary until Covid govt restrictions are lifted. We chose to direct to @SalvationArmy because of their great frontline work benefiting families and Albertans.,” Barnes tweeted Friday.

Friday barnes tweet

Airdrie-Cochrane UCP MLA Peter Guthrie said in December Barnes’ plan is nothing but “self-interest” and will cause “divisiveness.”

“All MLAs and all political staff understand the current situation and the Alberta government have worked hard to control operational spending, however, the pandemic has made the situation challenging,” said Guthrie in an interview with CochraneNow.

“A cut to the extent of 20 per cent for all bureaucrats, including those in health care, social services, and education, would cause serious issues in retaining quality staff at a time when we need them most. So, in the midst of a pandemic, making a move like this would jeopardize the province’s ability to address ongoing and pressing issues.

“To me, MLA Barnes is demonstrating a pattern of behaviour which undermines government efforts and consists mainly of self-interest and divisiveness.

“I would encourage MLA Barnes to offer more reasonable solutions to Albertans to help us get through the pandemic,” he told CochraneNow.

Alberta MLAs cut their pay by 5 per cent in 2019, and UCP political staff took a seven per cent rollback earlier this year.

Barnes has been a regular thorn in Kenney’s side, publicly disagreeing with government policy on numerous occasions.

No other MLA, MP or councillor has followed Barnes lead.

“This is good leadership by MLA Barnes,” said Franco Terrazzano, the Alberta Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“Politicians are asking us to give up a lot, but most don’t seem willing to make the same sacrifice. The rest of Alberta’s politicians and highly-paid top bureaucrats should follow Barnes’ lead, help share in the burden and take a 20 per cent pay cut.”

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 Editor 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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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Mars Hill

    January 19, 2021 at 11:15 am

    I for one am not impressed with Drew donating his salary, but I’m impressed with his knowing that the virus will probably be over on Jan 20th.

  2. John

    January 16, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    👍🏻👍🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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Police on the hunt for armed killer who gunned down man in Coquitlam Park

Dozens of witnesses potentially saw the shooting occur.

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Police are calling on the public to help them locate the person responsible for killing a 20-year-old man next to a basketball court, where there may have been more than a dozen witnesses.

On April 19, about 6:30 p.m., Coquitlam RCMP members rushed to Town Centre Park to investigate calls of a shooting.

When police arrived, they found Bailey McKinney lying on the ground. He was pronounced dead at scene.

“We believe this was a case of an individual being targeted for murder and not the park itself,” said Sgt. Frank Jang, of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

“Unfortunately, we know too well that these types of events can happen in any community.”

IHIT has control of the investigation and is working closely with the Coquitlam RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Services and the B.C. Coroners Service to gather evidence.

Now police are looking for anyone who might have seen something, or has other information that would help Mounties nab a suspect.

“We are aware that there were several people in the immediate area when the shooting occurred,” Jang said.

“Many of them fled the scene, understandably, from the shock of having witnessed a shooting. However, if you were one of those people, we need you to come forward now.”

McKinney was known to police, and cops said he had conflict with certain individuals who may be responsible for his murder.

McKinney was due to be in court next month for a litany of charges — including drug charges and assault with a weapon, to using a firearm during a criminal offence, and uttering threats to kill or cause bodily harm — acquired late September when he was involved in crimes in Coquitlam.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the IHIT Information Line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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They’re home! Police give pupdate on stolen bulldog babies

Three American Bulldog puppies were stolen April 10 during a break and enter.

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With dogged determination, Surrey Mounties have recovered the last two of three puppies stolen 10 days ago.

Three American Bulldog puppies were stolen April 10 during a break and enter at a home in the 17400 block of 8 Avenue.

One of the three stolen pups was quickly returned to the owners two days later, on April 12, when officers, acting on public tips, located one of the puppies that had been sold to an unwary attendee at a car show in Mission, BC.

Then, four days ago, Surrey RCMP Property Crime Target Team found the remaining two puppies. The wee pooches were returned to their owner and then reunited with their mom.
 
RCMP did not give details of the rescue, but did note the owners are very grateful to the public.

“Everyone feels good about being able to return these little pups to their family, and it was made even better by the fact we did it with help from the public,” said Cpl. Dan Barrows, of the Surrey RCMP Property Crime Target Team, said in a release.

“This was a rewarding investigation for our officers.”

The puppies — valued at about $3,000 apiece — were last seen snuggling their mom.

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard. mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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B.C. father of transgender girl to appeal sentence and fine

The father reached a plea bargain deal for a 45-day sentence and 18 months probation – but B.C. Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen decided to sentence C.D. to six months in jail.

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The B.C. father of a teenaged girl given male hormones against his wishes will appeal his sentence and fine for criminal contempt of court.

C.D., as he was known in court documents, pleaded guilty to the charges last week and was sentenced on Friday. He defied orders not disclose details that would reveal his child’s identity or that of the doctors responsible for cross-gender treatment. 

The father reached a plea bargain deal with prosecutors who recommended a 45-day sentence and 18 months probation. However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen decided instead to sentence C.D. to six months in jail.

C.D.’s lawyer Carey Linde told the Western Standard he hopes to get his client out on bail while he appeals the sentence.

“We’re doing the bureaucratic steps to try to get him out,” Linde said.

“It depends on what the Crown’s position is going to be. And they’re not going to take a position until they can read the judgment. And the judgment has not been posted yet.”

Linde believes the sentence is excessive, especially given the plea deal.

“The responses that I’m getting from lawyers who are criminal lawyers say that…it’s absurd,” Linde said.

In his decision, Tammen said: “I do not accept (the father’s) intention was otherwise than to attempt to undermine the authority of the courts and overall administration of justice… Moreover, I expressly reject (the father’s) sworn assertion … that he had no desire to share information that would harm (the child).”

Linde said: “The judge has gone off the deep end of law and order. Why? He gave a very reasoned argument, if you agree with him…justifying draconian measures.”

In his decision, Tammen said: “No member of the public can decide when, in what circumstances and which court orders to follow… Unless and until successfully appealed, court orders must be obeyed. They are part of the legal fabric of society and, thus, the law. Without the ability to enforce court orders, and if citizens were free to disregard them at will, there would not be democracy but anarchy.”

Linde believes Tammen never grasped what his client tried to do.

“He never understood it. He kept coming back and talking about you can’t avoid punishment, people aren’t free to go out and break the law because they think it goes against their conscience. But that’s not what civil disobedience is, Civil disobedience, says, ‘I do this in the knowledge and the acceptance of being punished.’ So my client always knew that he would get something.”

In court, C.D. said, “I’ve never once gone after my child for the choice she made wanting to be a male…I only tried to prevent her from making a medical choice she might regret later.”

When asked if he planned to continue his campaign in the future, the father said he had already done his part, adding, “I pass the torch on.”

Tammen granted C.D.’s 46 days jailed in pre-trial custody to count towards the 180-day sentence. C.D.’s crowdfunding website, which contained materials in breach of the court orders, had raised more than $50,000. Tammen instructed the father to donate $30,000 to a children’s charity within six months of his release from jail. Linde also plans to appeal the fine.

Linde said his client’s goal was to raise public awareness on “the school programs [that teach gender fluidity and transgender concepts]; the Infants Act, which allows doctors to do what they’re doing legally; and rapid onset gender dysphoria…You and I are talking, where we wouldn’t have two years ago. These things are moving.”

When asked about his client’s mood following the long sentence, Linde said,

“Obviously, he’s not happy, he would rather it didn’t happen…He doesn’t object to being sentenced…[but feels] he’s been singled out somehow, misunderstood…

“He pled guilty. And his evidence was that he had accomplished what he set out to accomplish. He never asked for any of this. He was a defendant…And he just wants to go back to live as much as he can the life he had before all this happened to him.”

Harding is a Western Standard reporter based in Saskatchewan

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