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Trudeau shuffles cabinet as poll shows majority in sight

Trudeau makes key cabinet changes following Navdeep Bains decision to retire from politics

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made three key changes to his cabinet Tuesday morning during a virtual ceremony with Governor General Julie Payette, following the resignation of minister of industry, innovation, and science Navdeep Bains (Liberal MP Mississauga).

Bains said in a video posted Tuesday on social media that he plans to spend more time with his family, and has decided not to run in the next election.

Foreign affairs minister François-Philippe Champagne will replace Bains as industry minister.

Transport minister Marc Garneau was moved to foreign affairs, becoming Canada’s top diplomat.

Mississauga MP Omar Alghabra, previously the parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade diversification, will take over Garneau’s former post as minister of transport in his first cabinet level appointment.

Former natural resources minister and Winnipeg MP Jim Carr will be returning to cabinet as a minister without a portfolio and special representative for the Prairies.

The cabinet shuffle is viewed by some as a move toward addressing tensions with China, Huawei and the airline industry, in preparation for a spring election.

Champagne will assume responsibility for reviewing foreign investments such as Huawei and predatory takeover attempts amid the pandemic.

Garneau will take over handling Canada’s tense relations with China. This will include working with the incoming Biden administration on key files, such as securing the release of the “Two Michaels”, now detained by China for more than two years in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

Alghabra will be dealing directly with the airline industry as it continues to push for government aid amid the coronavirus pandemic, and on the issue of refunding the costs of cancelled flights to Canadian travelers.

Alghabra said his life experience, arriving in Canada from Saudi Arabia as a student with only one cousin in the country, as a Syrian Muslim and an engineer, has positioned him well to provide insight at the cabinet table with this opportunity to “serve along giants.”

Carr was one of only a handful of Liberals re-elected in the Prairies during the 2019 election, which heightened tensions across Western Canada over resource sector issues and lack of political representation in Ottawa.

In a statement, Carr described the job as being Trudeau’s “eyes and ears in the West, I’m a lifelong westerner and have a deep attachment to the region, Many western Canadians are feeling frustrated. I will work with them, listen to them and advocate for a strong West in a united Canada.”

The latest cabinet occurs amidst rumours of a spring election, and in the wake of new polling conducted by Ipsos for Global News, suggesting that the Liberals may be approaching a level of support needed to win a majority.

The Ipsos results indicate the Liberal handling of the pandemic to date has placed them close to majority territory – as Conservative support drops, particularly in the key electoral background of Ontario – with the Liberals at 36 per cent support among decided voters nationally (up from 35 per cent in December) and the Conservatives dropping to 29 per cent support (a drop of three per cent since last December).

Ken Grafton is the Western Standards Ottawa Bureau Chief. He can be reached at kgrafton@westernstandardonline.com

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Charles Martell III

    January 19, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    China approves Justin’s message . . . and will give him their full support . . . like they did with China Joe!

    Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe concluded in his post-election report that China interfered in the 2020 presidential election. But career U.S. intelligence operatives refused to back Ratcliffe up in his assessment.

    “They do not see this China threat, like we do tonight, and that’s our problem,” said Lt. General Thomas McInerney, a retired U.S. Air Force general who spoke during the broadcast.

    If the votes had been tabulated accurately, Lindell said he believes Trump received approximately 79 million votes and Biden no more than 68 million.

    The Western Democracies are in their Last Days folks . . .

  2. warrenzoell

    January 13, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Trudeau will call a spring election and win a majority because he knows full well what a weak, feckless opposition he has in O’Toole. It’s as simple as that.

  3. Charles Martell III

    January 13, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    The last two Elections in Canada were Suspect . . . .

    Now with O’Tool doing his best impersonation of Lieberal Light . . . and a few Dominion Voting Machines in Ontario & Keybec . . . the unimpressive Crime Minister could win forever !
    You get to see the massive budget after the election . . . lol

  4. Mars Hill

    January 12, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    President Trump will come to the rescue, MCGA … JT better hope he’s not connected to those Dominion servers in Toronto, conspired with the ccp in the American election or involved in pedophilia…any involvement and he’ll be the Prime Minister of the jailbird bingo club or worse.

  5. GonadTheRuffian

    January 12, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    Meanwhile in Alberta; if the polls are correct; the NDP will win the next provincial election. If this happens the Globalists will rapidly take Alberta from its citizens. The majority of Canadians and Albertans are SO DUMB.
    Say goodbye to your money, freedom, and your childrens future!!!!!

  6. Guest

    January 12, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    Alberta needs a Premier who isn’t a committed Federalist now more then ever! Trudeau and another liberal majority federal government will slaughter western Canada’s 🇨🇦 Resource industry, but Trudeau will still extort our resource revenue for Quebec to live high off the hog.

  7. godot

    January 12, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    Trudeau knows that the NDP is struggling to stay relevant, and the CPC has a weak new leader.
    From 25th – 29th January, the World Economic Forum will hold virtual meetings to discuss the road map of the Great Reset.
    https://thenewamerican.com/the-great-reset-deep-state-globalists-taking-over-the-world-and-you/
    Trudeau has already announced to the world that he is on board with the Great Reset.
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/trudeau-great-reset-remarks-resurface-as-canada-finances-global-covid-19-vaccine-plan
    All the indications are that the Liberals will win a majority in a spring election. Trudeau will consolidate his power and put in place the remaining pieces to turn Canada into a totalitarian state.
    Have a nice day.

    • Sanford Thompson

      January 12, 2021 at 6:42 pm

      The billionaires will decide how to redistribute the wealth of the middle class and consolidate power in corporate monopolies. Turn off the TV and cooperate with your neighbors. If we can see past hegel’s dialectic I think they may have over committed themselves.

  8. Allen

    January 12, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    Elections are selections, nothing more. This was already suspected, but the states just confirm that. We will continue marching ever further towards global government, with this soap-dropping puppet playing the role of piper.

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Vulnerable Albertans 18+ can receive fourth COVID booster

Eligible individuals can begin booking fourth dose appointments beginning January 20 with AHS or at participating pharmacies by using the Alberta vaccine booking system or by calling 811.

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Those 18 and older who have specific immunocompromising conditions can now book their fourth booster five months after receiving their third dose, said Alberta Health.

The decision announced on Tuesday in the provincial COVID-19 address is in line with recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and the Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization (AACI).

“We remain committed to protecting Albertans from the Omicron variant, and vaccinations continue to be our best tool in preventing severe outcomes,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a statement.

“We continue to rely on the latest research to guide our decision-making, and with evidence showing immunocompromised individuals benefit from a fourth dose, we are pleased to provide them.”

Eligible individuals can begin booking fourth dose appointments beginning January 20 with AHS or at participating pharmacies by using the Alberta vaccine booking system or by calling 811.

“I know that the approximately 80,000 Albertans who live with immunocompromising conditions will be relieved to receive these additional doses,” said Minister of Health Jason Copping.

“At the same time, the best way for all of us to protect ourselves and one another is to continue getting whatever dose we are eligible for. I encourage all Albertans to continue to sign up for their booster doses as soon as they can.”

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the fourth COVID-19 dose will help “individuals with certain immunocompromising conditions” and will provide “additional protection” against the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

Qualifying conditions include:

  • Transplant recipients, including solid organ transplants and hematopoietic stem cell transplants.
  • Individuals with malignant hematologic disorders and non-hematologic malignant solid tumors prior to receiving or receiving active treatment (chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy or having received previous COVID-19 vaccines while on active treatment), excluding individuals receiving solely hormonal therapy, radiation therapy or a surgical intervention.
  • Individuals being treated with an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody such as Rituximab.
  • Individuals with chronic kidney disease on dialysis.
  • Recipients of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy.
  • Individuals with moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
  • Individuals with Stage 3 or advanced HIV infection and those with acquired COVID-19 immunization.
  • Individuals undergoing immunosuppressive therapies (e.g., anti-B cell therapies, high-dose systemic corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, or tumornecrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologic agents).
  • Individuals on certain medications for autoimmune diseases, including rituximab, ocrelizumab and ofatumumab.

“Youth ages 12 to 17 with the preceding conditions continue to be eligible for third doses. Fourth doses have not yet been approved for this age group,” said the release adding, “third doses have not been approved for youth under the age of 18.”

Hinshaw said the province has recorded 3279 new cases within the last 24 hours while 8995 tests were recorded for a positivity rate of 39%. Hinshaw has earlier stated actual cases are likely 10 times higher due to lack of testing.

Hinshaw also confirmed 1,089 are currently in hospital — 51% of those hospitalized are due to COVID-19 while 49% are cases with COVID-19. Currently, there are 104 people in ICU — 74% due to COVID-19 while 26% are cases with COVID-19. Nine deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

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

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AHS uses undercover agents to bust restaurant for accepting dog photos instead of QR codes

The test shoppers entered the restaurant at different times on January 11 and were permitted access after showing a photo of a dog and their personal identification.

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Alberta Health Services (AHS) has shut down a Red Deer restaurant for allowing patrons to show dog photos in place of proof of vaccination.

The Granary was ordered closed to indoor dining on Friday after complaints to an AHS executive officer resulted in two test shoppers busting staff for accepting photographs of a dog instead of scanning vaccine passport QR codes.

The test shoppers entered the restaurant at different times on January 11 and were permitted access after showing a photo of a dog and their personal identification. It was reported a staffer pretended to scan QR codes with a tablet.

The owners have been told the indoor dining area is to remain closed until they produce a written plan on how they plan to implement the restriction exemption program moving forward.

The owners will also have to provide confirmation they have trained staff about the program and will be required to attend an administrative hearing with Environmental Public Health.

The restaurant took to its Facebook page on Friday to explain the circumstances to its patrons and offered up free coffee for all to-go orders throughout the weekend.

“To our valued guests, we had an unfortunate circumstance at our front door which involved one of our underage hostesses, and the requirements for the REP program.  We are taking the weekend to retrain and regroup,” it said.

“We look forward to serving you again as soon as we are ready to reopen.  In closing, we would like to remind everyone of the tremendous pressure being placed on front staff, and please remember to be kind.”

The restaurant has since opened again and is currently offering free rapid testing on site.

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

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MLA Barnes demands greater punishment for corrupt politicians

“This suspension is a staggering under reaction designed to shield one of the Premier’s cronies,” said Barnes.

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Independent Alberta MLA Drew Barnes is outraged that Justice Minister Kaycee Madu was only being suspended after he called Edmonton’s police chief about a ticket he received.

That action led to Madu being suspended Monday night by Alberta Primer Jason Kenney.

“This suspension is a staggering under reaction designed to shield one of the Premier’s cronies,” said Barnes, the MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat.

“It is inexcusable that any minister’s first instinct upon receiving such a ticket is to swing influence in an attempt to get his ticket fixed. It’s just another indicator that the culture of Redford-era cronyism remains alive and well within Premier’ Kenney’s inner circle.”

After being fined $300 for speeding in an Edmonton playground zone, Madu phoned Dale McFee, the city’s chief of police, to discuss the ticket with him. 

“It is particularly galling that this minister is currently overseeing changes that will deny procedural fairness for thousands of Albertans when they face similar traffic fines,” said Barnes.

This follows the removal of traffic courts in Alberta, the previously most accessible part of the justice system now no longer available to citizens.

“Under this minister, you are considered guilty until proven innocent, unless, of course, you happen to have the local police chief on speed-dial,” said Barnes.

“It seems the minister, like the Premier, considers himself above the law. Albertans deserve better. The real question is, why hasn’t he been fired yet?”

“Over the past year, Premier Kenney has repeatedly punished both ministers and MLAs for daring to question his leadership, but when a real case of misuse of power comes along concerning one of his handpicked cronies, the fix is in. That’s not justice; that’s cronyism.”

McFee said he received the call about the ticket from Madu, saying Madu brought up the issue of racial profiling by police to stop drivers.

“This is the Minister who continues to encourage legal action against pastors and small business owners for allegedly violating the very same health restrictions that the Premier and his cronies violated on the Sky Palace patio,” said Barnes.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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