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Trudeau Sr. secretly backed Cold War protesters, say documents

And Trudeau’s ministers were concerned that letting the Americans test their cruise missiles in Alberta would cost his Liberals public support, the declassified documents show.




When he was prime minister in 1984, Pierre Trudeau was privately on the side of Cold War protesters, say secret cabinet documents uncovered by Blacklock’s Reporter.

And Trudeau’s ministers were concerned that letting the Americans test their cruise missiles in Alberta would cost his Liberals public support, the declassified documents show.

Cabinet Minutes showed senior Liberals were sharply divided over “Reaganite militarism.”

“The Prime Minister indicated he was concerned about losing public opinion and Liberal following as a result of the government’s position,” said Minutes.

“He noted how in the U.S. the results of a referendum showed 85 per cent of the population for nuclear disarmament.”

In 1983, Trudeau’s cabinet agreed to permit the United States Air Force to test unarmed cruise missiles in Canada. A total 23 tests were conducted over a decade. Missiles launched from airborne B-52 bombers were flown to Alberta’s Cold Lake Air Weapons Range.

It sparked mass protests in cities nationwide – one in Vancouver rally drew 64,000 people. Demonstrators in Ottawa formed a human chain around Parliament’s Centre Block and erected a makeshift “peace camp” below the Peace Tower.

“Several Ministers were of the opinion the shabby Peace Camp degraded the quasi-sanctity of Parliament, that there were public complaints concerning this eyesore, that Parliament belongs to all Canadians and it is an infringement for people to set up installations for days or a year, and that the group had time to make its point and should now leave,” said Minutes of a confidential April 12, 1984 meeting.

“Other Ministers thought this is a form of protest exercising the right of freedom of speech, that any rule will be hard to explain and will create an issue to the detriment of the good image of this government,” said Minutes.

Trudeau refused to order the camp removed.

“Having lived with the sight of the Peace Camp for the last ten months and recalling having questioned the reasons for being expelled from the Plains of Abraham as a youth, he noted he personally was prepared to stand (it),” said Minutes.

The records show sharp divisions within cabinet over cruise missile testing.

Ministers called it “dangerous” for the Liberal Party: “It would be difficult to ensure a united front because of the position taken by some Liberal backbenchers.”

“One Minister was concerned the government may appear to come out too strongly on the cruise missile issue,” said Minutes.

“He indicated he had received a lot of correspondence on this subject, not only from conscientious objectors but also from many who advanced articulate positions.

“Several Ministers expressed concern about the increasing prominence of the disarmament issue in Canada. The disarmament movement was taking on a depth and breadth which was difficult to assess. It was apparently not concerned with nuances of the issue, but rather reflected a growing deep fear among people about the prospects of a nuclear war.

“In Canada attention was fixed on the cruise missile as a symbol of international insecurity, and a campaign to ‘stop the cruise’ was gaining momentum.

“It was important to recognize that the participants in this were not fanatics or extremists, but were ordinary Canadians who were deeply concerned. They were uncomfortable about Canada’s apparent support for Reaganite militarism, and they did not believe that the U.S. was serious in its disarmament negotiations.”

Records of a July 7, 1983 cabinet meeting concluded: “The problem really lay in differences in the thinking of various Ministers on this particular problem.”

The documents said newspaper editorials generally supported the tests while CBC coverage appeared too sympathetic to peace protesters.

“Mr. Trudeau thought it might be appropriate for his office to draw to the attention of the CBC his disappointment with contrived and sensational reporting,” said Minutes.

The Liberal cabinet never revoked its approval of winter missile testing at Cold Lake. A Conservative cabinet in 1985 ordered RCMP to dismantle the Parliament Hill peace camp. A federal judge in 1989 dismissed a Charter Of Rights challenge of the order.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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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Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.




The Alberta government’s new vaccine mandates for businesses, entities and events are in effect.

Each organization must follow one of two options: implement the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) requiring proof of vaccination or negative test result, plus mandatory masking, to continue operating as usual, or comply with all public health restrictions as outlined in Order 42-2021.

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.

The REP allows operators to avoid the majority of public health restrictions with the implementation of a proof of vaccination program, although vaccine requirements for staff are at the employer’s discretion. Face mask mandates are still required in all indoor spaces.

The program doesn’t apply to those under 12 years of age and businesses that need to be accessed by the public for daily living purposes, including all retail locations. As well, employees, contractors, repair or delivery workers, volunteers or inspectors will be permitted access to spaces without requiring a vaccine passport.

To enter spaces participating in the REP, adults need to provide valid photo identification that matches their paper or digital vaccine record showing name, vaccine type and date of administration. From now until October 25, proof of partial vaccination (one dose) will suffice, however after that date, proof of full vaccination (two doses) will be required. Those under 12 will only need to show vaccination paperwork.

Indoor entertainment, event and recreation facilities that don’t implement the REP will be limited to one-third capacity of their fire code occupancy and attendees must be in household cohorts or with up to two close contacts if they live alone.

Outdoor events and facilities have no capacity restrictions, but attendees must maintain a two-metre distancing between households.  

Restaurants that don’t follow the REP cannot offer indoor dining, and outdoor dining will be limited to six people per table from one household, and liquor sales will have to end by 10 p.m. with consumption cut off by 11 p.m.

Retail, shopping malls and food courts aren’t eligible for the REP, therefore will be reduced to one-third capacity of fire code occupancy and are required to stop all in-person dining, switching to take out only.

Indoor private social gatherings will be permitted for those that are vaccinated to a maximum of two households up to 10 (vaccine eligible) vaccinated people. There are no restrictions for children under 12. For those who are unvaccinated, indoor social gatherings are not permitted.

Private outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 200 people who are socially distanced.  

Churches will be limited to one-third of fire code capacity and masks and social distancing are still mandatory in places of worship.

Employees are mandated to work from home unless their physical presence is required for their duties.

Proof of vaccination will not be required to enter a polling place for Monday’s federal election although physical distancing, masking and other transmission reducing measures will be in place.

For more information on the Restriction Exemption Program, click here.   

Risdon is a reporter at the Western Standard

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Hockey arena backs down on banning unvaccinated kids

Within hours of the Western Standard posting the exclusive story, Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy.




Public pressure has brought minor hockey out of the penalty box in Cochrane.

Following an exclusive story by the Western Standard on Saturday, along with mounting pressure from the community, a Cochrane sports facility has revamped its vaccine passport policy.  

The Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) and Hockey Alberta were not mandating a vaccine passport system, but Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) announced it would be requiring proof of vaccine status for anyone 12 and up.

Within hours of the story being posted, CMHS President Cory Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy with this statement: “Youth between the ages of 12 (vaccine eligible) to 18 years of age are exempt from the REP vaccination requirement to enter the facility for the purpose of participating in a youth organized sport organization. Examples include (but not limited to) Cochrane Minor Hockey, Ringette, Cochrane Minor Soccer, Lacrosse, Cochrane Figure Skating Club, Comets, Junior Lifeguard Club, etc.”

Although youth may access the facility without being vaccinated, all adult spectators, coaches, volunteers and organizers of any youth activity “must show proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test, or medical exemption to gain entry to SLSFSC premises.”

“Although this helps our kids get on the ice in Cochrane, it’s still an issue at lots of other facilities, especially in larger facilities in Calgary and Airdrie,” Oaten said.

Oaten, who works in the insurance industry, points out the “huge liability issue” this poses to his and other sports organizations.

“Originally, Spray Lakes pushed us to collect this medical documentation from our members,” he said.

The CMHA board consists of 18 volunteer members.

“They can’t put those expectations on a board of volunteers. It’s a big legal issue for us,” Oaten said, adding he and his board refuse to take responsibility for requiring proof of vaccine or the collection of their members’ private medical information.

Oaten was informed the SLSFSC will now have its own security checkpoints set up in the facility and will take responsibility for checking the vaccine status of anyone 18-plus entering the building.

Oaten anticipates families will still pull their kids from hockey and other sports programs as those who remain unvaccinated will not be permitted in the facility to accompany their child.

Hockey Alberta stated on their Facebook page they are working with the Alberta government on how last Wednesday’s announcement will affect hockey for Alberta players. Oaten has asked his members to hold off on making a decision to pull their child from the program until Hockey Alberta comes forward with their updated season plan.

The Western Standard reached out to the SLSFSC for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard

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