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Emergency group challenges Kenney, Hinshaw to debate over COVID restrictions

The group has asked for the debate to take place before April 5.

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An Alberta Medical and Emergency Management team has challenged Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw to a public debate over the province’s current COVID-19 restrictions.

The group consists of Lt.-CoL. (retired) David Redman, CD1, BEng, MSEE, Dr. Dennis Modry, BSc, MD, MSc, FRSC, FACCP, FACS, Dr. Roger Hodkinson, MA, MB, FRCPC, FCAP, and retired police officer David Dickson said the purpose of the debate is to provide Albertans with a transparent discussion of complete data to date and various strategies used over the last year, today, and in the future.

“This event is being organized as a direct response to ongoing restrictions, the handling of the virus in LTC homes, hospitals, and with other vulnerable demographics, and the negative socio-economic impacts the measures have had on the province,” the group said in a statement.

Modry is one of Alberta’s top heart surgeons – who performed the province’s first heart transplant in 1985 – and gained world-wide attention in December after the Western Standard published his open letter to Kenney – a man whom he considers a long-time friend.

The letter went viral and has now been read hundreds of thousands of times around the world.

Modry said he has thoroughly researched the most recent medical studies from around the world that show lockdowns don’t work, and that any lockdown must come at the very beginning when the virus has only been detected in one or two areas.

The retired surgeon said he agrees with the Great Barrington Declaration – now signed by more than 50,000 medical experts around the world – that calls on governments to get society back to normal and then take steps to protect vulnerable groups like the elderly.

Hodkinson says the virus is no worse than a “bad flu.”

“What I am going to say is lay language and blunt,” Hodkinson said during an Edmonton City Council Community and Public Services Committee meeting in Novemeber, audio of which is currently making the rounds on YouTube.

“There is utterly unfounded public hysteria driven by the media and politicians. It’s outrageous. This is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.”

The topics the group want to cover are, but are not limited to:

1. Actual dangers of SARS CoV-2 by age group and steps taken to protect those in LTC homes and the most vulnerable; age 60 years and older with multiple comorbidities.

2. Absence of Emergency Management process, resulting in absence of due diligence required in an emergency.

3. Identification and review of supporting science and corresponding data that led the province to their conclusions that this approach was appropriate, and not worth revision as the crisis evolved over the past 12+ months.

4. How effective are population-wide stringent restrictions (lockdowns) at controlling the pandemic and are they the best response?

5. What are the priorities in the management of the pandemic and how can we shift the response from fear to confidence?

“For over a year, the Government of Alberta has used a blanket population-wide approach with arbitrary and constantly changing measures that have resulted in unnecessary death of our seniors and collateral damage to our society’s mental health, societal health, children’s education and development, Albertans with other severe illnesses, and our economy,” said the group.

“In the interest of over 4.3 million Albertans, we want to provide all of them with a transparent discussion of data, facts, and alternatives so we can all make an informed, collective decision on how best to move forward with the interests of every demographic in mind.”

The group has asked for the debate to take place before April 5.

The Western Standard has asked Kenney’s office for comment but hasn’t received a reply.

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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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    March 30, 2021 at 9:55 am

    I suspect this will NEVER happen . . .

    Like the Great Gorebull Warming SCAM . . . debates were forbidden, when you base your case on Computer Models & Conjecture . . . facts are inconvenient.

  2. Joni Menz

    March 30, 2021 at 8:56 am

    This would be the greatest debate ever. They won’t accept the invite, which should speak volumes, but the public won’t care.

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News

While calls for Chu to resign grow, the Recall Act still awaits cabinet approval

Bill 52: The Recall Act, now awaiting proclamation, “creates a process that could lead to the recall of elected officials, including members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), municipal officials and school trustees,” states the Alberta Government website.

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Calls from politicians for Calgary Ward 4 incumbent Sean Chu to resign are growing in light of news around dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct against more than two decades ago.

Premier Jason Kenney said the allegations were “appalling” while mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek has called for Chu to step down.

Michelle Rempel Garner, Calgary-Nose Hill MP overlapping Ward 4 said she’s “formally withdrawing her endorsement of Councillor Sean Chu,” adding he’s no longer a member of her Constituency Association.

A new bill allowing Albertans to recall elected officials throughout their term was introduced in the spring of this year and and was passed by the legislature in June.

But Bill 52, the Recall Act, is still awaiting proclamation, leaving it in a state of legislative limbo.

The Western Standard reached out to Government House Leader, Jason Nixon for comment as to when Bill 52 will be proclaimed into law, but no response has been received as of publishing.

According to the Government of Alberta’s website, the bill “creates a process that could lead to the recall of elected officials, including members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), municipal officials and school trustees.”

The process to recall a municipal official involves applying for a petition to recall the politician with the city’s chief administrative officer (CAO). If approved, the applicant is charged with gathering signatures from 40% of eligible voters in the official’s ward within 60 days. If successful, the CAO would make a declaration at the next council meeting and the official would be removed at that time.

According to the bill, an elected official cannot be recalled any earlier than 18-months from the date they were elected, meaning that even if the bill was proclaimed by the Alberta government, Chu would still be ineligible for a recall petition until 2024.

The Western Standard spoke with Chu in an exclusive interview before Monday’s municipal election to discuss the incident referenced in a series of documents leaked from the Calgary Police Service just days before the election.

Chu called the leak of the documents “politically motivated”, stating the timing of the release was “decades after those matters were resolved” and denied any wrongdoing.

In 1997, Chu was investigated for complaints alleging sexual assault and threats. The investigation found no grounds for charges, but Chu did received a letter of reprimand for caressing the leg of a minor while in uniform that he said he believed at the time to have been over 18.

The Western Standard had a follow-up interview with Chu the day after winning Monday’s election in Ward 4 by a mere 52 votes when he reaffirmed his innocence, said he would not resign, and responded to allegations first published by CTV Calgary.

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013 and is now looking at his legal options for a possible defamation suit.

Because Chu was not charged in the incident, it appears any bid to try and remove Chu at this point would fail.

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

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Whistlestop’s Scott launches new anti-COVID lockdown advocacy group

“We never thought we would be in the world that we are in today, yet here we are,” Scott said.

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Whistlestop Cafe owner Chris Scott — who rose to fame fighting Alberta COVID-19 lockdowns — is starting an advocacy group to continue the battle.

The new group, FullSteamAhead, is becoming a non-profit membership association which links individuals and businesses and lawyers affected by government’s plans for forced vaccination for employment in some areas.

Scott said his group has a mission:

• To actively seek out credible information.

• To advocate for those who are mandated out of work.

• To effectively influence change in order to protect Constitutional Rights & Freedoms.

“We never thought we would be in the world that we are in today, yet here we are,” Scott said in a Facebook posting.

“And we want you to know that you are not alone. There are thousands of individuals and businesses across Alberta and Canada that are asking themselves how to navigate this new world.

“We want individuals and businesses to team up with a group of lawyers that are ready to take on the government and companies that are stripping away our rights and freedoms. And we want to help those individuals and businesses that are being discriminated against in order to keep their job or their business running.”

Scott was arrested May 8 after a protest which saw 1,500 people show up in support of his business in Mirror, 50 km east of Red Deer, which has faced repeated crackdowns by the provincial government.

That week saw the RCMP seize all of the establishment’s beer and then days later padlock the restaurant after a dawn raid.

Undeterred, Scott continued cooking pancakes, making burgers and serving coffee to his customers the next day in the parking lot outside his shuttered restaurant. The UCP government had recently banned outdoor patio service for restaurants.

Scott made a solemn promise to Alberta Health Services and the RCMP he would no longer open his establishment.

So when he was inside May 29, cleaning damage up after someone broke the glass in his front door, he was shocked to see AHS and RCMP speed into his parking lot, and re-padlock the restaurant.

Last week saw him receive a $20,000 fine and an 18-month probation period.

The Whistle Stop Cafe has become a flashpoint in resistance to provincial lockdown orders and restrictions imposed by the Kenney government, as Scott defied the orders and “illegally” reopened in mid-January of 2021.

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

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AHS says at least 1,200 employees don’t want the jab

A total of 7% of AHS employees have yet to submit their proof and AHS is “actively working” to confirm their vaccine status.

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Despite Alberta Health Services reporting overwhelming support for their proof of vaccine policy, at least 1,200 AHS staff have requested an exemption.

In a live address to Albertans on Tuesday, AHS President and CEO, Dr. Verna Yiu said, “there is very broad support of the vaccine policy,” referring to AHS requiring all medical staff to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by October 31.   

Yiu said 92% of physicians and nurses have submitted their proof of vaccination along with 97% of all ICU staff.

But 7% of AHS employees have yet to submit their proof and AHS is “actively working” to confirm their vaccine status.

Approximately 1,200 medical staff have asked for vaccine exemptions provided for in the policy with 838 already submitting the necessary paperwork to be considered.

Yiu said those seeking a vaccine exemption, whether medical or religious, account for less than 1% of AHS staff and confirmed only 61 employees have resigned to date.

Any staff who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to do so and “address any concerns they may have with their leader or healthcare provider,” said Yiu.

“We stand by the policy and it will be fully implemented.”

Those without accommodations or proof of full immunization will be placed on unpaid leave at the end of the month.  

AHS says with such low numbers, they don’t anticipate “having any significant impact on our ability to provide care to Albertans.”

Yiu also took the opportunity to thank Albertans for helping to bring case numbers down and “reduce the strain on the healthcare system.”

She also confirmed that with “pressures easing” AHS has been able to allow for more surgeries to return to the hospitals.

“It’s a fine balance and we must ensure that we have adequate ICU capacity should COVID numbers increase again,” said Yiu

There are currently 376 general adult ICU beds available with 75% occupancy. The “surge beds” will be reduced incrementally as volume allows.

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

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We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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No Media Bailouts

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