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Alberta demands changes to federal COVID airport detentions

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Justice Minister Kaycee Madu wrote a letter to their federal Liberal courtparts saying two Western Standard stories had them concerned about “the lack of clear communication [that] created confusion and fear about ‘unlawful detention.'”

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Two Alberta cabinet ministers have fired off a letter to the feds demanding changes to how they detain people in COVID-19 isolation centres.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Justice Minister Kaycee Madu wrote a letter to their federal Liberal counterparts saying two Western Standard stories had them concerned about “the lack of clear communication [that] created confusion and fear about ‘unlawful detention.'”

Addressed to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Health Minister Patty Hajdu, the letter implored the federal government to disclose detainment facilities’ locations and provide those detained with an opportunity to contact a family member immediately before taken to any designated quarantine facility.

Two recent cases highlighted in Western Standard stories had family members in tears at the Calgary airport as their relatives were whisked away in a van to undisclosed locations where they were held until obtaining a negative COVID-19 test. Families were not allowed to communicate with their loved ones.

Rebekah McDonald‘s experiences, a Red Deer mother, and Nikki Mathis, an Edmonton woman, stirred up anger across the West to the situation.

Premier Jason Kenney tweeted calling for the feds to show more transparency.

McDonald and Mathis both received incorrect COVID-19 tests while stateside and were forced to isolate at an undisclosed hotel, under guard, despite showing no symptoms related to the respiratory illness.

Travellers who did not know their PCR test results within 72 hours of their departure were transferred to acting federal quarantine facilities for three nights at their expense.

While acknowledging airports are a clear jurisdiction of the federal government, Alberta’s letter said the pandemic “has strained everyone’s patience and tested the very foundation of Canada’s peaceful, democratic society.

“With the federal government’s coming expansion of air travel quarantine requirements, clear communication will become even more important – especially being that some Canadians who left our country earlier may be returning to a much different airport screening regime,” said the letter read.

“On behalf of the people of Alberta, we respectfully request that the federal government ensures that it clearly communicates the federal quarantine requirements for travellers arriving in Canada, as well as the consequences for travellers who do not comply with those federal requirements.”

Dhaliwal is the Western Standard’s Edmonton based correspondent

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Conservatives remove Twitter ad after outrage

The ad was an attack on the Justin Trudeau government’s vaccine rollout across the country.

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Erin O’Toole has admitted the Conservative Party was behind a social media ad that drew howls of disgust.

He confirmed the party took down the ad at the height of the outcry.

Conservative ad

The ad was an attack on the Justin Trudeau government’s vaccine rollout across the country.

This week, in the latest setback, several provinces announced they were halting second injections of the AstraZeneca vaccine over fears of blood clots.

The ad showed people celebrating summer after having two shots of vaccine entitled “Two Dose Summer.”

That photo was placed atop of one called “Trudeau Summer” showing what appears to be a COVID-19 victim in rough shape in hospital.

“I didn’t think attack adds in Canada could go lower than the infamous Chrétien “face ad”…they may have just done so,” said a Twitter user identified as Red Moose.

“Long ago I reached the conclusion that the CPC doesn’t want the electorate to take them seriously. Why can’t Canada have a credible opposition?” said Wally Kibler.

“When this is all over and we are finally able to live a normal life remember that Erin O’Toole and his team mocked our collective efforts, as a society, with childish and mean attack ads in an effort to score a political point,” said Adam Bolt.

When question Friday, O’Toole didn’t say whether or not he personally approved the ad.

But he did say the tweet detracted the serious discussion about vaccine supply and reopening plans, which is why it was removed

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

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BREAKING: CBC loses lawsuit against CPC for using clips in ads

The lawsuit alleged CBC clips used in CPC ads were “taken out of context and are edited and relied on to make partisan points for the benefit” of the party.

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The CBC has lost its lawsuit against the Conservative Party of Canada over its use of CBC material in ads during the 2019 federal election.

In October 2019, the CBC served notice it wanted the Conservative Party of Canada and its executive director, Dustin Van Vugt, to acknowledge the party “engaged in the unauthorized use of copyright-protected material.”

The lawsuit alleged CBC clips used in CPC ads were “taken out of context and are edited and relied on to make partisan points for the benefit” of the party.

The clips were taken from The National and from the “Power Panel” segment of Power and Politics.

“The CBC has not established that it has suffered some adverse impacts from the Respondents’ use of its Works in the ‘attack ads’, nor should such adverse impacts be assumed,” said the ruling by Federal Court Justice Michael L. Phelan.

“The CBC expresses concern that its material is being used in a non-partisan way which affects its journalistic integrity and damages its reputation for neutrality.

“There is no objective evidence of the likelihood of any reputational damage. After all the years of political coverage in multiple democracies, there was no evidence presented that a broadcaster’s segment disclosed in a partisan setting reflected adversely on the broadcaster.

“The role of the CBC itself has been a political topic. There may be situations in the future where the manner of use and distribution of CBC material may adversely affect the CBC – however, that is not the case here.

“Given the Court’s findings that the Respondents’ use of CBC copyrighted material was for an allowable purpose and was “fair dealing”, this matter must be dismissed with costs at the usual scale.”

The ruling delighted Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre.

“CBC was supposed to cover the Conservative Party fairly during the election. Instead, CBC was launching a failed lawsuit against the party. Today, CBC lost that lawsuit. They should apologize for launching it & reveal the legal bills they charged taxpayers,” he tweeted after the ruling.

“CBC sued to stop Conservatives from using footage showing Trudeau in a bad light. The state broadcaster was protecting Trudeau, not copyright. Remember that next time you see another glowing CBC story about the Prime Minister.”

You can read the courts full judgement here.

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

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NDP slam UCP for keeping Legislature closed

Speaker Nathan Cooper said the ongoing closure was because of “ongoing health concerns arising from the pandemic.”

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Alberta’s NDP is blasting the UCP government of Premier Jason Kenney for extending a shutdown of the legislature because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While millions of Albertans continue to go into work, Jason Kenney and his UCP MLAs are refusing to show up,” said NDP House Leader Christina Gray in a statement.

“We’re in the midst of a crisis and we have critical work to do.”

Debate in the house was set to resume Wednesday after an earlier shutdown, but the UCP pushed back the date until May 25.

Speaker Nathan Cooper said the continuing closure was because of “ongoing health concerns arising from the pandemic,” Cooper said in a memo.

“The opportunity for Members to vote virtually may be possible upon the resumption of the Spring Sitting the week of May 25th. To facilitate this, I will be hosting a number of training sessions next week. Further details will be provided to you on Friday.”

Earlier during the spring sitting, the province amended the standing orders to allow the option to adjourn the Assembly in response to public safety concerns.

The shutdown is in contradiction to what Kenney said in April.

“Millions of Albertans, thank God, still have jobs, show up every day and they expect us, their elected representatives, to do the same thing,” he said in the Legislature.

Kenney in April

The UCP Cabinet will continue to meet virtually and Legislative committees will also continue their work with MLAs participating remotely. 

If an emergency arises, MLAs can be called back.

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

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