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Third of Albertans & majority of UCP voters back Western independence, shyer about going it alone

The percentage of people supporting independence jumps significantly if the other three Western provinces join in.

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A new poll conducted by Mainstreet Research for the Western Standard says more than one-third (36 per cent) of Albertans would vote for independence if all four western provinces moved toward it together, while 59 per cent would vote to remain in confederation.

Albertans were shyer about going it alone without her neighbours, however, with 25 per cent saying they would vote for independence, and 71 per cent voting to stay.

The poll of 1,003 adults has a margin of error of +/- 3.09 per cent and a 95 per cent confidence level.

Mainstreet President and CEO Quito Maggi said the 25 per cent independence support result for Alberta ‘alone’ was higher than previous polls by the company.

“After 2015, support was in the teens, then other polls show it had entered the 20s, but this is the first time at 25 per cent. It’s pretty significant,” Maggi said.

Mainstreet Research poll for Western Standard All rights Reserved.

Maggi said the increase in support for the Western independence was likely due to external factors beyond the control of most Albertans.

“Many Albertans currently don’t feel like they are masters of their own domain or of their future,” Maggi said, adding control over their resource development was likely one of the main factors.

Support for Western or Alberta independence cut sharply along partisan and regional lines.



Unsurprisingly, federalist support was strongest among current NDP voters with 88 per cent opposed to Western independence, and near unanimous opposition to Alberta independence at 95 per cent.

By contrast, UCP voters are sharply divided over the issue, with 45 per cent backing Alberta independence, and 49 per cent opposed. If all four Western provinces voted on independence together, 64 per cent of UCP voters would yes, and 33 per cent would vote no.

Maggi said that Premier Jason Kenney has done a strong job of keeping his party together to date despite the stark divide on the issue, but it remains a major point of risk for him.

Among Wildrose Independence Party voters, 69 per cent would vote for an independent Alberta, and a surprising 30 per cent would vote against. On Western independence, 78 per cent of Wildrose voters would vote to leave, and 21 per cent would vote to stay.

In a poll from the same sample released this past Friday by the Western Standard, UCP support collapsed to 26 per cent while the NDP surged to 41 per cent and the Wildrose to 9 per cent.

Mainstreet Research poll for the Western Standard All rights reserved.

As could be expected, support for independence was strongest outside of the two big cities, and weakest in Edmonton.

Outside of Calgary and Edmonton, support for Alberta independence ran at 35 per cent, and 60 per cent in opposition. The Western independence question was backed by 47 per cent and opposed by 49 per cent.

In Edmonton, just 15 per cent back Alberta independence with 79 per cent opposed, and 25 per cent would support an independent West, and 68 per cent would not.

Calgary as expected was between Edmonton and the regions, with 21 per cent supporting Alberta going it alone and 78 per cent wanting to stay, and 32 per cent backing Western independence, and 64 against.

This is Part Four of a series of Mainstreet polls commissioned by the Western Standard. The full details and methodology of the poll can be found here.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
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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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. working ant

    January 17, 2021 at 7:30 am

    This is an interesting result..Manitobans need to sit up and take notice!

  2. Cytotoxic

    January 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    I’m honestly surprised it’s even that high given the how many of the arguments made for separation are not good and that too many of its supporters are dumb yahoos.

    Not surprised that enthusiasm picks up when you include other provinces, but it’s completely unhelpful. “Western separatism” isn’t a thing. There’s only Albertan separatism and just barely at 25%. The others aren’t leaving any time soon and if they do it’s because someone else ie Alberta goes first and demonstrates that it can be pretty great.

    Further, there is absolutely no benefit to Alberta in unifying with Manitoba or worse Saskatchewan, the latter being a particularly fetid swamp of crown corporations. Those two really don’t bring anything to the game. Sorry guys. At least the Yukon or Northern BC or the right chunk of the territories brings ocean access.

  3. Guest

    January 13, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    I think that’s a good start for Alberta.

    Yes we need more autonomy from Ottawa & the Laureation Elites of Quebec. If Premier Kenney word is good Alberta will have a referendum in 2021 on the despicable wealth transfer process. Followed up by referendums on an Albertan Pension Plan, Alberta Provincial Police Force, Alberta Immigration, Alberta’s own Tax Revenue Department.

    Premier Kenney is on thin ice with many UPC members. So he may not last as Premier and someone else will have to take Alberta to the next step. Maybe Danielle Smith will take a run for the Premiership?

    I am hoping the Alberta Wild Rose Party will continue to grow in Alberta. Looking forward to to Oct 2021.

  4. John

    January 13, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    One reason why support is still low is the MSM still doing everything to villanize the movement or simply ignore the topic.

    • Guest

      January 13, 2021 at 10:56 pm

      Main Stream Media in Alberta do what they are told by the Millionaire owners in Eastern Canada.

      Only way a Conservative can have a debate with the NDP or a Liberal is to bring a box of Kleenex for them.

    • Cytotoxic

      January 16, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      They are villainizing themselves. More intellectuals, fewer yahoos please.

  5. Charles Martell III

    January 13, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Edmonton is a hotbed of the NDP . . . the marxist/socialist party.
    The low intellect handout class . . .

    Those who wish to stay are obviously happy helping fun Billions in bonuses for Keybec . . . as Alberta has done for many, many decades.

    Texas is also kicking around the idea of leaving now that the CCP is about to take over the White House.
    Imagine a new country from Texas to Alaska with many midwest states from Texas to Montana, throw in Alberta, Sask & Yukon . . . it would be unstoppable.

    The coasts could be left to die . . . if you’ve been to LA or Portland or Seattle recently the rot is obvious even to a Leftist.

    • Guest

      January 13, 2021 at 10:54 pm

      Take the Legislator out of Edmonton and put it where it was first suppose to be Conservative Red Deer, Alberta.

    • Cytotoxic

      January 16, 2021 at 2:52 pm

      The coasts are where much of the prosperity and research is. Those midwestern flyover states-besides Texas and Alberta-have really nothing to offer.

  6. godot

    January 13, 2021 at 11:26 am

    If Alberta waits around until all four western provinces agree to Western Independence, it will never happen.
    Most Albertans know that declaring independence is the right course of action. In life, we have to have the courage of our convictions and act accordingly.
    WILDROSE INDEPENDENCE PARTY OF ALBERTA

    • Cytotoxic

      January 16, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      “If Alberta waits around until all four western provinces agree to Western Independence, it will never happen.”

      Probably true.

      “Most Albertans know that declaring independence is the right course of action. ”

      The poll data contraindicates this statement.

  7. Allen

    January 13, 2021 at 9:10 am

    This province has an ideological sickness from within—NDP voters—And I don’t see them changing their opinions. It’s been said that if you’re not a liberal by the time you’re 20, you don’t have a heart, but if you’re not ‘conservative’ by the time you’re 30, you don’t have a brain.

    • Cytotoxic

      January 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm

      1) Stop subsidizing higher education

      2) Start ‘de-nationalizing’ primary and secondary education ex Charter and private schools, homeschooling

      3) Hundreds of millions of immigrants in short order

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CLEMENT: No reason to toast federal tax on non-alcoholic beer

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong.

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Sin-taxes, across all sectors, are fairly excessive in Canada. At almost every turn the government sinks its tax teeth into the process of you purchasing the products you like. This is true for cannabis products, alcohol, tobacco, vaping, gas, and annoyingly so, non-alcoholic beer. Yes, non-alcoholic beer in Canada is not exempt from federal excise taxes.

You read that right. The federal government also extends its sin-tax regime for non-alcoholic beer, at a rate of $2.82/hectolitre.

The application of excise taxes for non-alcoholic beer is problematic for a variety of reasons. The first, and most glaring, is that it is hypocritical given that the federal government has exempted non-alcoholic wine and spirits from the excise tax. Why apply it for beer, but not wine and spirits? Obviously, a more consistent approach would be to simply exempt all non-alcoholic beverages from the excise tax, because the purpose of the sin tax is to recover alcohol-related healthcare costs. That said, there are no alcohol-related healthcare costs at all from non-alcoholic beer, which immediately shows the lunacy of sin-taxing these products.

In addition to correcting hypocrisy, removing the excise tax for non-alcoholic beer would put federal policy in line with how the provinces treat these products. Provincial regulators, including Alberta, don’t require non-alcoholic beverages to be sold at licensed alcohol retail outlets, because they’ve accepted the obvious that these products don’t have alcohol in them and thus shouldn’t be strictly regulated. That is why in Alberta these products are often sold alongside carbonated water and pop. Removing the excise tax would be the federal government following the lead of the provinces in treating non-alcoholic beer differently than beer, because they are in fact different.

On the industry side, the federal excise tax acts as a barrier for product development in Canada, mostly because other beer producing jurisdictions (US,EU,UK) don’t tax non-alcoholic beer. Because of this the domestic industry in those jurisdictions has flourished, offering consumers more choice and at better prices. Their sane tax policy, coupled with increased consumer demand, is in large part why the non-alcoholic beer market is expected to grow to over $4 billion by 2025. These drinks aren’t just for hipsters, designated drivers and pregnant women anymore.

Lastly, and most importantly, is how non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of new products reducing harm for consumers. And while I don’t personally enjoy these drinks, I can see why someone would still want to enjoy a beer with their friends, or at a bar, without the alcohol that comes along with it.

From a harm reduction perspective, it makes perfect sense to have different tax strategies for products that vary in risk. The Trudeau government, at times, has championed harm reduction for illegal drugs but appears to have a blind spot when it comes to legal substances. This is an uncomfortable trend from Ottawa that is perfectly exemplified by the excise tax on non-alcoholic beer. Ottawa has kept the excise tax system for non-smokable THC cannabis products, like edibles and beverages, despite the fact they are significantly less harmful. They’ve sought to ban vape flavours, despite the fact that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, and flavours are an incredibly useful tool for adult smokers trying to quit.

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong. Hopefully, come Budget 2022, they can correct this mistake and remove the excise tax from these products entirely.

David Clement is a columnist for the Western Standard and the North American Affairs Manager with the Consumer Choice Center

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EXCLUSIVE: 2003 hearing ruled Chu’s accuser ‘not to be believed’

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

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The accuser at the centre of the embattled Calgary Coun. Sean Chu controversy told a hearing he sexually assaulted her while holding a gun to her head, according to documents obtained by the Western Standard.

But the presiding officer at the police disciplinary hearing, Insp. Debbie Middleton-Hope, said the then 16-year-old minor’s testimony was not credible and not to be believed.

The sentencing hearing took place Jan. 31, 2003 and lasted eight minutes.

Chu did admit to caressing the woman’s leg while in uniform at the King’s Head pub on Macleod Tr. after meeting her while conducting a walk-through patrol in August of 1997.

After his shift, Chu went home to change into civilian clothes before returning to the pub to meet the girl.

Middleton-Hope said in her statement that Chu provided investigators with intimate details of sexual contact the pair had when they returned to his home.

“I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed,” said Middleton-Hope, a long-serving, well-respected Calgary policewoman, now retired.

The woman, in turn, denied Chu had caressed her leg.

“… her evidence was directed on an aggressive, physical struggle at which time a gun was held to her head,” said Middleton-Hope.

But Middleton-Hope said she found the woman’s testimony “inconsistent.”

“Under cross-examination (the woman) had difficulty in recalling pertinent details,” said Middleton-Hope.

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

Middleton-Hope also addressed the age of the woman, who was 16 at the time.

“I have no evidence before me Const. Chu was aware of this fact. Several witnesses said [the girl] appeared to be 19 to 21 years old,” she ruled.

The accuser also testified she had an interaction with Chu two years previous after an altercation at school. Chu wasn’t the investigating officer, but did speak to the girl on the phone.

“…and [received] a Christmas card from her as a result of that phone call,” Middleton-Hope said.

“No evidence was presented that Constable Chu was aware of her age from this verbal contact.

“I believe Constable Chu to be sincere when he indicates he was unsuspecting of [the accusers] exact age.”

Middletin-Hope then ordered Chu have a letter of reprimand on his file for discreditable conduct for caressing the accuser’s leg while on duty.

Chu was also ordered to undergo six months of ethics training.

Middleton-Hope noted performance reviews in his 10-year police career described Chu as “hard working” and “highly motivated.”

For the third time, Chu was elected on October 18 to be the councillor for Ward 4. He won by 100 votes, winning the advance poll, but losing on election day. Documents over the case had been leaked to the media just days before the election in what Chu called a “political assassination.”

There have been a chorus of demands from other politicians for Chu to resign and a byelection called. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek and most of the incoming council have demanded Chu resign.

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

Dueling protests — one for Chu and one against — are planned in front of city hall on Sunday.

Chu has vowed to not resign and wants to clear his name.

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

Chu admits there was “some touching underneath clothes” in the 1997 incident.

“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.

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

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.

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.”

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

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TV news mistakes leads to censure

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.

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A St. John’s TV station breached newsroom ethics when it put out a report containing mistakes, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The TV station was censured for garbling a handful of facts in a local story.

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.

Correct information “could have been easily verified by the reporter prior to airing the news segment,” wrote the Council.

NTV on its flagship suppertime newscast last April 26 broadcast a story on a local parole case that misstated the year of the crime, the date the killer was convicted, and the number of years the murderer served in the penitentiary.

“This whole story was riddled with inconsistencies,” complained one viewer.

“He was charged and convicted in 2003. They reported 2002.

“These facts were not factual. There were four mistakes in the story.”

NTV management apologized and acknowledged errors were made as the story was “rushed to air” but denied any breach of newsroom ethics.

“Although we do not believe our coverage of this story was in breach of any industry guidelines or codes, we understand every individual may view news material or programming from a different perspective,” wrote station managers.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code Of Ethics states, “It shall be the responsibility of broadcasters to ensure that news shall be represented with accuracy.”

A similar Code Of Journalistic Ethics by the Radio Television Digital News Association states: “We are committed to journalism in the public interest that is accurate and reliable.”

“There was no deliberate attempt by NTV to change the narrative of this story which focused on the revocation of the parole of the convicted murderer,” wrote the Standards Council.

“It is understandable that in a rush to get the story to air, incorrect pieces of information were used.”

“Journalists should strive to verify facts and put them in context. These inaccuracies constitute breaches.”

There are no fines for breaching TV codes. The station must announce the violation on its newscast.

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