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NATHANSON: Wildrosers need to stand up to Kenney

“One of the major reasons that former Wildrosers (like myself) were able to accept the merger was that we knew we would have a strong team of current MLAs in place to prevent the party from slipping back into the elitism and corruption run rampant in the previous PC government.”

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“We’re all in this together.”

This is the rallying cry to action political and media types have repeated ad nauseam over the past year, encouraging folks here in Alberta and around the world to accept myriad sacrifices for the greater good in the fight against COVID-19.

In the wake of the Great Snowbird Scandal in Alberta, it has become the most widely ridiculed and mocked phrase since “look in the mirror” [Jim Prentice] and “mistakes were made” [Alison Redford]. 

The Premier’s Office may have an army of communications hacks working overtime to put this scandal in the rearview mirror, but it’s not going away. After initially refusing to do so- the premier issued stiff sanctions against his minister and chief of staff, but only a slap on the wrist to the six other snowbird MLAs. But it has become abundantly clear that the most prominently placed offender in this fiasco will get off scot free: the premier himself.

As other political commentators have pointed out, it is inconceivable that the Premier was not aware that many of these MLAs and staffers had left the country, particularly Minister Allard and his own chief of staff. The premier’s assertion that he was not aware of their departure strains credulity in a way not seen by Albertans since the final scandal-plagued days of the Redford administration. His denial flies in the face of written evidence to the contrary

This is Kenney’s “Sky Palace” moment, and it seems he is enjoying it from the penthouse of his personal Mount Olympus.

This issue – more than any other in recent memory – has undermined the government’s moral authority – but even worse for the UCP – it cleaves straight to the heart of what it means to be a member of the United Conservative Party.

Unlike the Official Opposition NDP – which has always been clear about its roots in and total devotion to the union labour movement – the UCP is a hybrid creature, formed of a merger between the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose. 

That the merger was even possible in the first place was nothing short of a miracle, almost entirely due to Albertans disgust with former NDP Premier Notley’s anti-energy policies and the infamous Bill 6.

One of the major reasons that former Wildrosers (like myself) were able to accept the merger was that we knew we would have a strong team of current MLAs in place to prevent the party from slipping back into the elitism and corruption run rampant in the previous PC government.

Unfortunately, the events of the past month have shown that this has not happened. The Premier has been exposed as a man who will throw everyone around him under the bus to protect his own hide, rather than simply admit the fault for this entire fiasco belongs to him personally. In particular, the almost certainty that he is not telling the truth. 

Even worse, -and I say with all due respect – all of the former Wildrosers in prominent positions are letting him get away with it. I never expected the longtime PC hacks – the people who let Premier Redford run wild – to suddenly discover the courage of their convictions. If these people had any backbone, the Wildrose would never have been necessary in the first place. 

However, I did expect much more of the former Wildrosers now operating in the UCP party. I’m talking about people I have personally donated to and for whom I have knocked on doors. 

The silence from this crew is nothing short of disgusting. Instead of holding their own premier to account, they have chosen to back him unflinchingly as he drives their government into a ditch.

Moving forward – as this government continues to restrict our personal liberties to such a degree that it requires emergency powers to get around our country’s constitution, – don’t come to me with meaningless phrases like “we’re all in this together.”

We’re not. But apparently they are.

Patrick Nathanson is a guest columnist for the Western Standard

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ron Voss

    January 10, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    The Wildrosers in the UCP should join the a Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.

  2. Robert Reive

    January 10, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Our WEC Globalist Federalist Adherent Premier Kenney must be recalled by the current sitting MLAs OR, they must walk the floor to other side to instantly create a sitting Wildrose set of MLAs to show they are principled human beings and are focused on serving Albertans and their local constituents and not themselves.

    The current state of AB government affairs is a disgrace.

    The UCP can expect their current 26% share of the Mainstreet Poll to halve again in the coming months.

    #WEXIT as a 1 to 4 province block (imo MB is less likely as is BC) and cut a bi-lateral deal with the USA
    (or Texas and partners if they secede) as a Western Voting block with only two levels of govt a la Switzerland, Prov. & Municipal with a western block governing council with key governing seats which rotate out , bring in new fresh people, every two years.

  3. Joan

    January 8, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    the thing that scares me the most is NDP could walk back in again and completely finish off this province. I would hopefully think that WildRose party would have acted differently, but the politicians of today (and the last several decades as well) don’t have the honesty, integrity, reliability or strength that the politicians of 40 or so years ago. The old politicians are gone and I am afraid, never to return. I don’t know of anyone that I would want as leader of this province or this country. Somewhere, somehow, there has to be good politicians left that aren’t focused on themselves and what they can get out of it, but genuinely want to support and do whats best for our provinces and the country as a whole

    • burma1234

      January 11, 2021 at 5:36 pm

      WE could end this onslaught of feeble, no-performing, useless dolts, who are MLAs and MPs within our governments, simply by implementing the recall option. As it stands our elected politicians know they are in for a free ride for at least four years, and possibly eight with a golden pension in the offing. Right now they are answerable to no one. Let’s end that right now!

  4. Spaceman Spiff

    January 8, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Hey, if it makes you feel any better, nobody outside the UCP draws any distinction between the former Wildrosers and the former “Redford hacks” you’ve identified. You all wear the same jersey. You’ve pulled off the marriage quite well, to your credit. There are no “factions” within the UCP – you’re very united in purpose and ideology.

    And I should also mention that no one’s thinking that the Wildrose would have handled this any better. To be more exact, the Snowbird Scandal would likely still have happened. The UCP MLAs flew to sunnier climes because, underneath, their individual values held sway. They stared “personal responsibility” in the face and opted for “personal choice.” They chose to take the trips, take the risks because they had the freedom (legally) to do so. Others need not pry into it.

    Those are foundational conservative values – and certainly, nothing to be ashamed of. It’s part of the DNA. Conservatives want less government. Less intervention. Less being told what to do. They’re not team players. That’s fine. That’s their thing. The NDP’s entire caucus were home and accounted for over Christmas because they’re wussy liberals who don’t mind being told what to do. That’s their thing.

    But foundational conservative values have consequences, especially in a pandemic when everyone needs to be on the same page. The Premier executed those consequences … eventually. He was right to do so.

    But no one’s under any illusions that it would have been any different if the Wildrose was in power and Danielle Smith or Brian Jean was our premier. They’d be suspending Wildrose MLAs and stripping them of committee duties. They’d be demoting Cabinet Ministers to the back bench They’d be dealing with entitled conservatives choosing personal freedom over personal responsibility – as the software dudes, like to say, with conservatives it’s a feature, not a bug.

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Opinion

KAY: Suzuki exposed as a fraud who pays lip service to his causes

The wonder is it’s taken so long for the halo to slip. On the evidence, Suzuki was never anything more than a shameless self-promoting huckster, a step-right-up-folks barker in the carnival of climate-change alarmism.

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Reader’s Digest used to do annual polls to discover which prominent Canadians were deemed most trustworthy by the public.

In first place in 2010 for the second year in a row: “eco-champion” David Suzuki, was described on the Reader’s Digest website as “honest, compassionate, and communicating a clear message.”

How could so many Canadians have been so gullible? Long before 2010, it was clear to engaged conservatives one would have to be drinking Suzuki’s own special brand of Kool-Aid to write such a description in good faith.

It may be the Kool-Aid finally lost its magical power. Denunciations of Suzuki poured forth over his recent mischief-making in a supportive address to radical, law-breaking environmental group Extinction Rebellion at the site of a pipeline protest in B.C. Suzuki told the group there “are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.” Quickly realizing from the blowback he had gone too far, Suzuki attempted to walk the threat back with an apology. But unlike in the old days when he could get away with such nonsense, Suzuki’s apology was perceived as too little too late, and didn’t play well with responsible media.

The wonder is it’s taken so long for the halo to slip. On the evidence, Suzuki was never anything more than a shameless self-promoting huckster, a step-right-up-folks barker in the carnival of climate-change alarmism. He always talked like a selfless eco-warrior, but he has never walked the walk. On the contrary. Suzuki’s hypocrisy in all matters he engages with knows no bounds.

He urges us to cut our carbon footprint to near zero, while he enjoys the use of his multiple lavish homes, including one in Australia, which he visits regularly. He wants us to take personal responsibility in our reproductive choices for reducing the global population, while he permits himself the pleasure of five children. (In 2011, Suzuki took them on a visit to French Polynesia, a 25,000 km round trip from Vancouver, paid for by a climate change award’s prize money in 2011.)

He claims the David Suzuki Foundation is a charity, but what kind of charity has a dozen registered lobbyists in Ottawa and another eight in B.C.? He claims his foundation is funded by individual Canadians, but it takes funding from such fossil fuel companies as the Alberta natural gas company ATCO and the pension fund of Ontario Power Generation, which has operated both coal-and-gas-fired plants.

Suzuki wants politicians jailed for “denying the science,” but denounces police when they apply actual laws to eco-extremist blockaders. His family is of Asian provenance, but he complains of immigration from Asian and African countries. He spouts “scientific” nonsense — he once claimed “up to 90% of cancer is caused by environmental factors,” when in fact it is more like between four and 19%, according to the National Cancer Institute — and then admits to the CBC (2013), “I have a lot of personal opinions, but that’s not backed up by anything I know.”

His coarse language and open contempt for media are legendary. Suzuki’s narcissism is so comprehensive that he withdrew scholarship funding at Carleton University because a professor there wrote a tepid review of his books.

He’s the ultimate con man, whose rigid control over communications with audiences or media usually prevents people from learning how ignorant he actually is about issues he claims expertise in.

In September 2013, however, Suzuki was publicly humiliated when he participated as a panel member for the ABC TV program Q & A, in which exchanges were spontaneous and recorded. The audience was largely composed of scientific researchers in the field, one of whom politely, but insistently, rebutted his denial of the then 15-year hiatus in global warning since 1998, as well as falsehoods Suzuki had stated as factual regarding the Great Barrier Reef.

Suzuki was clearly flummoxed by his interlocutor’s question: “Yeah, well, I don’t know why you’re saying that…in fact, the warming continues…Where are you getting your information?” The questioner cited impeccable sources by their acronyms, inside jargon to a layperson that should have been instantly recognizable to anyone self-presenting, like Suzuki, as an expert. Suzuki’s complete bewilderment in the face of the data rebutting his own confidently stated but erroneous statements exposed him in all his inglorious quackademic nakedness.

Since this episode occurred in Australia, the Youtube of the event might never have reached more than a handful of Canadians. It was only because Rebel News made unmasking Suzuki’s charlatanism a priority that interest surged and the episode went viral. Thanks to their relentless, but often entertaining public pursuit of Suzuki, people came to understand that the man they had once deemed “honest, compassionate and communicating a clear message” was in fact dishonest, misanthropic and untruthful. Not to mention more than a little creepy in his open, overtly sexist fascination with young women on college campuses.

I’ve only scratched the surface of Suzuki’s self-serving fecklessness. For a full picture of this mountebank’s abuse of Canadians’ goodwill, from which several of my examples above have been taken, read Sheila Gunn Reid’s meticulously annotated 2018 book, The Case Against David Suzuki: An Unauthorized Biography (free on Kindle).

Reid’s book was published by Rebel Media (full disclosure: Rebel Media also recently published a book I co-authored with Linda Blade.) I promise the indignation aroused by Reid’s continually amplified proof of Suzuki’s cynical disregard for truth or honour, conveyed in crisp, cheeky and wit-filled prose — she describes Suzuki as “the Bernie Madoff of the anti-oil crusade” — will hold you riveted for the few hours required to read from the first page to the last.

Read it, consider the unnecessary fear and self-loathing this feckless shaman has instilled in so many vulnerable Canadian children’s minds, and weep for the naiveté of those Canadians in their millions who have, through their adulation and material contributions to Suzuki’s snake-oil empire, helped build and sustain this hollow man’s ill-gotten fortune and prestige

Barbara Kay is a senior columnist for the Western Standard.
kbarb@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter: @BarbaraRKay

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Opinion

WAGNER: Alberta’s social conservatives should be afraid of an NDP return to power

When it comes to education policy in Alberta, the NDP is adamant that only one view of sexuality will be represented – and it’s not the traditional Christian view – even in schools that were founded with a specifically Christian purpose.

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The increasing possibility of a NDP electoral victory in 2023 should keep conservatives in Alberta awake at night. Much will be at stake if the ‘progressives’ come back to power.

Social conservatives in particular have a lot to lose, especially with regards to education policy. One of the most acrimonious issues during the NDP’s term in government concerned gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in schools. Most noteworthy, a number of private religious schools were on the verge of losing their government funding and accreditation for failing to explicitly embrace GSAs within their school policies. Only the election of Jason Kenney’s UCP saved these schools. On this file, the NDP is likely to pick up where it left off once back in office.

Discussions of this issue have been fraught with misinformation. The NDP and its supporters have portrayed their GSA policies as the one and only way to keep vulnerable students safe in schools. Thus, they imply, anyone with a different view is malevolent, is homophobic, and obviously wants to hurt kids. There’s a strict binary choice at work in the messaging: endorse the NDP’s solution or be labelled a very nasty person. There’s no other possibility. Most of the mainstream media has followed this NDP talking point to the letter.

The fact is, though, private Christian schools are formed and maintained only at great sacrifice by those involved. The parents pay extra fees to have their children attend these schools, and school employees often take lower salaries in order to serve in a religious educational mission. These are people who are making extra sacrifices — often at great personal cost — because they believe a particularly religious environment is what’s best for their children. The idea that they do all this and yet want to hurt kids is absurd.

But according to NDP propagandists, private schools with openly Christian statements on the nature of marriage and sexuality are harmful to vulnerable children. This was the basis of their demand to remove Christian doctrinal statements from school policies. Naturally, such doctrinal positions did not align with many of the social-justice identity politics of the NDP’s ideological makeup. Thus, they had to be forcibly removed.

When it comes to education policy in Alberta, the NDP is adamant that only one view of sexuality will be represented — and it’s not the traditional Christian view — even in schools that were founded with a specifically Christian purpose. The message was explicit: conform to the NDP’s ideology, or close. No diversity of opinion allowed.

As Donna Trimble put it so well at the time: “These schools have two choices. One is they strip their schools of any faith-based perspectives in their safe and caring policies in order to satisfy the government’s demands, and then they are giving up the very foundation and reason for their existence, or, two, they are shut down for their refusal to do so.”

And as Calgary Herald columnist Licia Corbella added, “Perhaps that’s the NDP’s ultimate goal? No choice, no diversity. Just NDP beliefs taught in Alberta.”

Of course, Jason Kenney put an end to the imposition of NDP ideology onto private Christian schools once he took power by passing Bill 8 — the Education Amendment Act — which rolled back the most authoritarian aspects of the NDP’s GSA program.

However, there were other facets to the GSA issue that he left in place, contrary to the wishes of many UCP members. At the UCP convention in Red Deer in May 2018, 57% of delegates voted in favour of parents being notified if their children joined a GSA. But Kenney opposed the resolution and said, “Guess what, I’m the leader. I get to interpret the resolution and its relevance to party policy…I hold the pen.” It did not become policy.

Some parental rights activists have not given up on this issue, however. One group, Bill 10 Court Challenge Organization, has continued to lobby UCP MLAs to strengthen parental notification provisions. It also promotes a petition encouraging the government to amend legislation so that children under 16 must obtain parental permission to join a GSA.

If and when the NDP comes back into power, the GSA issue will once again become front-page news. The acrimony of the NDP’s previous term will return with a vengeance — not because kids are being harmed — but because the NDP cannot tolerate any private Christian schools upholding a traditional perspective on sexuality. Ideological conformity is a central principle of “progressive” thought. This time, the non-government schools will not escape defunding and loss of accreditation.

With most of the mainstream media cheerleading the NDP on this issue as before, social conservatives will again be widely portrayed as sinister throwbacks of the Dark Ages, and their influence in Alberta society will decline even further. The election of an NDP government will not be pleasant for any segments of the province’s conservative/libertarian coalition, but the social conservatives have the most to lose.

Looking towards 2023, it seems like darkness is approaching.

Michael Wagner is a columnist for the Western Standard

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Opinion

SELICK: AHS says it has no documents for its policy of disregarding natural immunity

The firefighters believe once they’ve recovered from COVID-19, they’ve got broad and long-lasting immunity — possibly even superior to that imparted by the vaccine.

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Freedom of Information (FOI) requests have long been a useful tool for journalists, lawyers, and ordinary citizens to gain access to documents the government might prefer them not to see. 

Sometimes, however, there is even greater value in finding out the government doesn’t have a single document in its possession to back up what it’s doing. 

A case in point is the recent FOI request sent to Alberta Health Services by lawyer Derek From. From is counsel for several Alberta firefighters and paramedics who wish to decline, for various reasons, mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. Their application challenging the constitutionality of Alberta Health Services (AHS) policy will be filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench imminently. 

Some of the firefighters have already acquired natural immunity to COVID-19 by virtue of having been sick with the illness and then recovering from it. However, the AHS document entitled Immunization of Workers for COVID-19 Policy 1189, makes no reference whatsoever to individuals with this medical history. Like everyone else, they are required to be “fully vaccinated” by November 30 or lose their jobs. 

The firefighters believe once they’ve recovered from COVID-19, they’ve got broad and long-lasting immunity — possibly even superior to that imparted by the vaccine. They’re therefore extremely unlikely to get COVID-19 again for a long time, and consequently wouldn’t be able to spread it to anyone else. They argue they’ve never seen any evidence indicating an unvaccinated person who has recovered from COVID-19 can actually spread the virus. 

Therefore, they wanted to know exactly what evidence AHS relied upon when preparing its policy. AHS seemed to presume people with natural immunity could pose a danger to others, but did it have any facts to back up that presumption? 

Lawyer From submitted a Freedom of Information request on November 21 asking for “all records of the scientific evidence that AHS relied upon in the development of the policy.” 

The answer came back within a few days: after conducting a comprehensive search, AHS could find no such records in its possession. 

There must be thousands of Albertans by now who are in the same position as the firefighters, having recovered from COVID-19. AHS has never even investigated whether there’s any need for them to be vaccinated. It appears to be oblivious to their condition, their concerns and their wellbeing. 

What’s worse is emerging evidence shows people who’ve developed natural immunity are more likely than other people to experience adverse reactions to vaccination, just as vaccinated individuals are more likely to experience adverse reactions after two doses than after one. The AHS policy of mandatory vaccination therefore puts those with natural immunity at greater risk than the rest of the population, when they are in fact the people who pose the least threat to others. 

It must be apparent to AHS executives that their policy arguably infringes on the constitutional rights of individuals to life, liberty and security of the person under Sec. 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They must know they will be called upon eventually to justify their policy under Sec. 1 of the Charter — in other words, to show the policy is “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

But their cupboard is bare. They don’t possess a single document showing the necessity of vaccinating people who have natural immunity, if their response to the Freedom of Information request can be believed. 

In other words, the policy is a huge bluff on the part of AHS — a despicable pantomime acted out for some unknown purpose, that will wreak havoc on the lives of thousands of Albertans as they scramble to replace their jobs and income, and simultaneously to bring their constitutional challenges before the courts. AHS displays shocking arrogance in continuing to inflict such burdens on the province’s residents when it must know that the policy will likely, eventually, be found unconstitutional.

The AHS is headed up by Chief Executive Officer Dr. Verna Yui, who reports to a board, which in turn is governed by the Alberta Ministry of Health. They proclaim their values include compassion, accountability, respect, excellence and safety. 

In my view, they are failing on several counts. 

Fire them all. 

Karen Selick is a columnist for the Western Standard

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