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NDP motion demanding unity vote dropped again by UCP

Alberta’s government appeared to avoid discussing a motion on racism and another on the independence dilemma on Monday.

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UCP MLAS are filibustering a NDP motion to trying to get the legislature to have an official vote rejecting independence.

The motion, from NDP MLA Rod Loyola, calls for Alberta to back Canada and Confederation.

For the second time, the motion was eventually dropped to the bottom of the order paper, meaning it will not be voted on.

Alberta’s opposition has been adamant in their rejection of separatism and has called on the premier to boot UCP MLA Drew Barnes for repeatedly saying the independence vote needs to be a chip on the bargaining table.

It is no secret that Kenney is an ardent federalist.

This doesn’t surprise the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta’s president, Rick Northey, who said it’s part of the parcel for “Kenney, the Federalist.”

“He doesn’t want to give any credibility or support to anybody that might be on his right flank or advocating ideas that he can contribute to or spearhead. Of course, he’s going to downplay the threat of separatism as an irrelevant political narrative,” said Northey, who finds it interesting that it’s easier to recall city councillors or school board trustees than an MLA. 

Alberta’s government introduced Bills 51 and 52 last week as part of their mandate to grant voters more significant accountability measures in holding their representatives accountable and proposing policy for the province to consider.

Northey says he is most disappointed by the “total sham and the complete manipulation” of Bill 52 and the leadership review’s coincidence – about six months before the next provincial election.

Conservative critics claim that both Bills have benchmarks that make garnering signatures for petitions unfeasible.

“As far as Bill 51 is concerned, and if I’m not mistaken, Kenney’s government wrote the laws such that he gave the provincial cabinet power to decide if it’s binding, non-binding, and even potentially reword the question itself. So I’d like to see them honestly give power to the people that collect signatures on a petition for a referendum. 

“I’d like to see the government monitor the wording of the question and make it binding, not simply manipulate the legislation to reserve all power to the cabinet,” he said.

Alberta’s other separatist party, The Independence Party, was thoroughly disappointed by the “dishonesty” of the premier to claim that the number of Albertans who support independence is small enough for him to ignore. 

“While the number of votes cast for The Independence Party (TIP) in the last election was small, current polls are showing upwards of 40 per cent believe Alberta would be better off outside the Canadian confederation,” said Vicky Bayford, the party’s V.P. Communications.

“Like Mr. Kenney, The Independence Party has no desire to ‘get into an endless debate over separating.’ We believe that when faced with the realities of greater justice, freedom, and prosperity, even more voters will choose to start the 6-year transition to a separate and sovereign nation of Alberta.”

Dhaliwal is a Western Standard reporter based in Edmonton

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Moe calls Unified Grassroots founder

Following the Western Standard article on Ness’ appeal for an audience with the Saskatchewan premier, he gave her a call and talked for more than an hour.

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By LEE HARDING

Unified Grassroots founder Nadine Ness finally got a phone call from Premier Scott Moe, one week and 20,000 YouTube viewers after her online request` to talk.

In a subsequent video posted December 4 entitled simply A Message From Nadine Ness, President of Unified Grassroots, the retired RCMP officer said the premier called her the evening of December 3.

“I’m gonna give credit where it’s due. He did in fact call me last night and we spoke for quite a long period of time. I’m surprised he didn’t brush me off, to be honest. It was a good, productive talk. And I foresee there being more in the future,” Ness said in the video.

Ness said she would reveal more of the content of their conversation in a subsequent Unified Grassroots Facebook post, but told Western Standard the conversation was more than an hour.

“I suspected a lot of people in Saskatchewan felt the way I felt and felt the way a lot of people in our organization feel. And I have to admit, seeing the response of that video kind of confirm my suspicions, that we’re not alone, that the people of Saskatchewan have become really concerned with the direction this province is going with the Christmas holidays approaching,” Ness said in the video.

Ness read some mainstream media headlines where articles recommended households have their own vaccine mandates and gave suggestions for how people could tell their unvaccinated family members they weren’t welcome.

“There’s this big push that maybe you shouldn’t be inviting some of your family members over for Christmas, or maybe you should be telling them they’re unwelcome. I find that really concerning. Is this really we’re where we are right now? A year ago would you have thought that you’d be thinking and feeling the way you’re thinking and feeling right now?” Ness asked.

“It makes me wonder who has taught us to think and feel this way? I can’t help to think but think that mainstream media and news organization and Premier more I’m not not gonna let you off the hook with this one, but you play a big part in this as well.”

The Christmas season was a good time to come together, not split apart, Ness said.

“I highly encourage if you have alienated anyone from your family, maybe it’s a time to call and make amends and say I’m sorry. If we don’t do something now, we’re going to look at ourselves in the mirror a year from now and not recognize who we’ve become.”

Ness, who lives near Langham, Saskatchewan, said Unified Grassroots was hosting a “hamper food / winer clothes drive, along with some Christmas music” at an as yet undecided location on December 12.

“See, that’s the Saskatchewan that I know. The Saskatchewan that I know is the one that raises the most for Telemiracle. It’s the one when a farmer is sick, the entire community comes together and combines his field; the one where we’re if someone’s having a hard time in their family, you’ll get some meals sent to your home. People will bring you food,” said the former New Brunswick native.

“And that’s the Saskatchewan that I fell in love with and decided… to make my home. I really don’t want us to become something we’re going to regret…

“It’s time we recognize that there’s a lot of hurt going on. What if we changed our focus instead of COVID, if we changed it to loving one another or caring for one another? Maybe Maybe Saskatchewan would be a better place and start going in the right direction.”

Harding is a Western Standard contributor based in Saskatchewan

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Bernier given vote of confidence by PPC members

Bernier received the support of 95.6% of members.

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The leadership of Maxime Bernier in the People’s Party of Canada has been given an overwhelming show of support by members.

Party Executive Director, Daniel Tyrie, announced Saturday that with 15,454 votes cast and a voter participation rate of 57.5%, Bernier received the support of 95.6% of members, who had to answer Yes or No to the following question: Do you support Maxime Bernier remaining as Leader of the People’s Party of Canada? 

“I am extremely proud to know I have the support of the vast majority of our members. I believe this vote signals a strong unity within our party around the principles and policies that I have been defending since its founding,” said Bernier.

“We have grown so much over the last three years, but we’re just getting started. I have big plans for the PPC to prepare us for the 45th General Election and I am excited to get to work with this newfound mandate!” 

The leadership review was conducted online in partnership with third-party firm, SimplyVoting. The vote took place between November 12th and December 3rd. All PPC members with active membership by September 20th, 2021 (the date of the 44th General Election) were allowed to vote. Official results from SimplyVoting are available on their website at https://ppc.simplyvoting.com/index.php?mode=results&election=155777&language=en

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Sask Polytech ditches vax policy but burdens unvaxxed with testing costs

The Justice Centre is unsatisfied with the response of Sask Polytech and reiterated its intention to pursue legal action against the institution and against the University of Saskatchewan over its requirement for staff and students to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

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By LEE HARDING

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is unsatisfied with the decision of Saskatchewan Polytech to reverse its vaccination requirement for staff and students because the institute does not recognize natural immunity and imposes testing costs on the unvaccinated.

On November 19, the Justice Centre sent Sask Polytech and the University of Saskatchewan letters demanding they reverse their requirement that all staff and students be vaccinated by January 1, 2022. 

On December 1, Sask Polytech reversed its “vaccinated only” policy but now requires unvaccinated staff and students to comply with testing three times a week at their own expense. In a press release, the Justice Centre called this “unacceptable.”

“Such testing requirements for students are even greater than the Saskatchewan government’s requirements for employees of its ministries. Sask Poly has also failed to recognize the compelling scientific evidence of natural immunity for those who have already recovered from Covid-19 and have proof of antibodies,” reads a JCCF press release on Saturday.

“Testing costs, which could exceed $200 per week, mean that only the wealthy and privileged can bear the burden,” stated Andre Memauri, the Justice Centre’s Saskatoon-based lawyer.

“Sask Poly, which has chosen to impose discriminatory testing requirements for staff and students, has the ability to acquire these tests at wholesale cost.”

The Justice Centre said it would commence legal proceedings against Sask Poly in the Court of Queen’s Bench unless Sask Poly immediately absorbs the testing costs and recognizes natural immunity. 

On October 28, the U of S and Sask Polytech announced mandatory vaccinations for all students, staff and faculty, removing the alternative of twice weekly testing which had been in place since the start of the school year. The Justice Centre will also commence legal action against the U of S for refusing unvaccinated students. 

On November 26, Global News reported a 19-year-old student was hospitalized briefly with breathing problems after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The student’s mother, Michelle Marciniuk, publicly called for the university to reconsider its policy.

The U of S’ policy includes exemptions on medical and religious grounds in accordance with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. But according to the Justice Centre, the university usually rejects exemption requests or does not respond to them for several weeks. Besides this, the university has made itself the arbiter of faith considerations for religious exemptions. Medical exemptions have become a difficult document for patients to receive in Canada, due to regulatory pressure on physicians not to provide them based on their medical judgement except in very rare circumstances.

The U of S crowns itself for academic freedom, diversity, equality, human dignity and a healthy work and learning environment, yet it has harshly terminated faculty for speaking on the hallmark principle of informed consent for Covid-19 vaccination of children,” stated Andre Memauri, a U of S alum. 

“Now, the U of S seeks to exclude and villainize those who decide for various reasons not to be vaccinated…Without question, our community has been through a great deal of difficulty and it requires these institutions to lead as vessels of science not ideology…The Justice Centre demands both schools follow the science and adopt policies that bring students together in the most safe and lawful manner.”

The letters sent to both schools from the Justice Centre on November 19 warned that the schools are seeking to deprive students from education on the basis of vaccination status, contrary to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Sections 2(a), 7, and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Harding is a Western Standard contributor based in Saskatchewan

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