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UCP caucus rift grows over Kenney’s COVID lockdown

Medicine Hat UCP MLA Michaela Glasgo has joined colleagues Todd Loewen, Dave Hanson, Ron Orr, Angela Pitt and Drew Barnes in condemning current regulations.

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More cracks are developing in Premier Jason Kenney’s UCP caucus after four more MLAs have come forward blasting the government’s current COVID-19 lockdown policies.

Medicine Hat UCP MLA Michaela Glasgo has joined colleagues Todd Loewen, Dave Hanson, Ron Orr, Angela Pitt and Drew Barnes in condemning current regulations.

“I’ve heard loud and clear the frustration from Albertans, and my own constituents, since (Monday’s) announcement of delayed reopenings and partially lifted restrictions. Know that I am listening, I hear you, and I believe that you have every right to feel this way — I do too,” Glasgo wrote on her Facebook page.

“Many people have questions about some of the inconsistent rules and moving goalposts. I know this and other issues have shaken the trust of Albertans. I committed to building trust with you, my constituents and intend to continue that.”

Michaela Glasgo. Courtesy Twitter

“I have always supported the regional approach to COVID. We have done an exceptional job with municipalities reaching and maintaining zero cases. We know there are physical and mental health benefits to safely opening more activities in gyms and allowing families and friends to spend time together.

“You have made considerable sacrifices on all levels. As an MLA, I learned about (the) announcement the same time and way as most Albertans did: on Facebook live. I will take the concerns of my constituents back to my government colleagues in hopes it will make a difference.”

It was the exact same post as the one put up by Loewen, UCP MLA for Centrel Peace-Notley.

“(EDIT: For those wondering, I discussed this post with several MLAs and staff before I posted it. After I posted it, other MLAs reached out to me to see if I would mind if they used it or shared it. I happily obliged. I hope more who share the views expressed here will also feel comfortable using and sharing it.) Loewen wrote.

The Calgary Sun’s Rick Bell reported MLAs Dave Hanson and Ron Barr are also opposing the restrictions.

Barnes and Pitt have also joined the “End the Lockdown Caucus” a group of politicians from across the country who are working to see the regulations are removed.

Angela Pitt. Courtesy Twiiter

Kenney announcement of only libraries and gyms being allowed to resume some operations in Phase 2 caught many by surprise because the province has already exceeded many benchmarks to have started Phase 3.

Barnes said his Cypress-Medicine Hat constituents are “suffering extreme fatigue” because of the restrictions.

“Some of my colleagues (in caucus) are finally starting to push back – it’s going to be an interesting few weeks in politics,” Barnes said in an interview with the Western Standard.

“The government has lost the trust of some people here. The benchmarks were set and met. Albertans have done the hard work. But now the mental and economic crisis is just as bad as the COVID crisis.”

When questioned by reporters Wednesday on caucus criticism, Kenney said MLAs were free to speak their minds.

“I’m not at all surprised Albertans have a range of opinions,” Kenney said.

“We welcome the input of ideas from all MLAs.”

“The government cannot wish these things away. We can’t let politics get in the way.”

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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Proudly_Free

    March 5, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Hey Kenney,
    Nobody’s asking you to let politics get in your way. What we are asking is for has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the economic, mental, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual health of EVERY SINGLE ALBERTAN. I, nor anyone else asking for an end to this needless totalitarianism don’t give a damn what political party anyone belongs to. YOU’RE THE ONE who is making this political, NOT US! Addictions, loneliness, job losses, domestic violence, isolation, lack of education and the inability of people of faith to worship fully and freely don’t discriminate between left and right. They affect us ALL. EVERY. SINGLE. ALBERTAN. Get that through your fat, ego-inflated melon, open this province up and purchase a robust of therapeutic medicines designed specifically to treat COVID (Yes, they do exist and are HIGHLY EFFECTIVE). No more lockdowns and face diapers. Herd immunity, medicines and healthy living (which the current ISN’T) are how we defeat this virus.

    P.S. After you open up, fire Hinshaw and then yourself and let these apparently much more competent and caring MLAs lead this province.

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Truckers: ‘We are not separatists or terrorists’

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks-alone- going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks.

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Truckers on the Freedom Convoy are rejecting characterizations they are “separatists” and “terrorists.”

“A small team of Alberta truckers, their family members and friends, came to the decision that the Government of Canada has crossed a line with implementing COVID-19 vaccine passports and vaccine mandates. As of today, we now have the support of millions of Canadians from across the country,” group organizers said in a press release.

Demands from the Freedom Convoy to the federal government are:

  • Terminate all vaccine passports, including inter-Canada passport systems.
  • Eliminate mandatory programs of vaccination and contact tracing.
  • Respect the rights of those who wish to remain unvaccinated.
  • Cease the divisive rhetoric attacking Canadians who disagree with government mandates.
  • Cease limiting debate through coercive measures with the goal of censoring those who have varying or incorrect opinions.

“A unified and free Canada can be our future, and it starts now with reminding the government they serve the people,” stated the truckers.

“We have an opportunity for all of us to come together irrespective of our differences and do what is needed to ensure our freedoms are protected now and for future generations.

Statements claiming the convoy participants are ‘separatists’ or ‘terrorists’ are “categorically false and an attempt to smear” the movement, organizers said.

“It is saddening this kind of rhetoric is coming from Prime Minister Trudeau and his government. Instead of protecting our basic freedoms outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Justin and his government seek to do the opposite. He is continually issuing defamatory comments and maligning large segments of the population. If history has taught us anything, these are actions that cannot be ignored. We are peaceful, hard-working Canadians who love our country and want the betterment for all Canadians.”

The organizers said due to the mass support of the movement, they can no longer guarantee the average Canadian will not be disrupted by the protest.

“For that, we are truly sorry, and we will do our very best to limit the disruptions to your lives. We ask that Canadians remember we are fighting for everyone’s freedoms and it’s the political class that has abandoned us all,” said the release.

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks. One driver going the opposite direction told the Western Standard he measured the convoy at 100-km long as it approached Winnipeg.

Some supporters are unable to commit to the whole trip, but are finding ways to still participate.

“A lot of vehicles just join the parade while it’s close to their homes and then peel off later, so it’s dynamic,” Martin Halvorson, a driver in the convoy, told the Western Standard.

“The amount of people is unknown because we are not counting … The numbers are big,” convoy organizer, Andy Draaistra, told the Western Standard.

“All the support is unbelievable, we hope the overpasses will hold the tons of people,” said Draaistra.

via risex100, Twitter
Via Basia Porter, Twitter

The protest is against federal COVID-19 mandates and is scheduled to arrive in Ottawa January 30 and then hold a mass demonstration the next day, Monday, when Parliament reumes.

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

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China changes Fight Club ending to cops busting anarchists

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

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The classic film Fight Club has been changed for viewers in China, with a ‘happy ending’ that complies with domestic censorship rules.

An altered version of the 1999 film was released on streaming platform Tencent Video in China over the weekend.

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

Many in China had seen the original film pirated online and were surprised when streaming the newly released version.

Instead of buildings exploding at the end, the version shows authorities step in and win. 

Original closing scene of Fight Club

In the closing scenes of the original the narrator kills off his imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden and then watches multiple buildings explode with Marla Singer, suggesting his character’s plan to bring down modern civilization is underway.

In the censored version released in China, the narrator still kills off Durden, but the exploding buildings scene is replaced with a written message on black screen.

“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding.”

As well as Tyler, figment of the narrator’s imagination was sent to a ‘lunatic asylum’ for psychological treatment and later discharged.

Revised ending to Fight Club

China is home to some of the strictest rules regarding censorship, and only a handful of foreign films are released each year.

In the past Hollywood has created alternative cuts in order to comply with Chinese censorship rules, in hopes to access millions of viewers in the country.

It is unclear if the cut was made by western movie producers, or the Chinese government.

Tencent did not comment on the matter.

Authorities under President Xi Jinping have been working to eliminate society of influences classified as unhealthy, including within movies, television, computer games.

This effort was also extended to cracking down on the country’s local celebrities for perceived immoral behaviour.

The Cyberspace Administration of China announced earlier this week an organized month-long ‘clean’ web campaign to create a ‘civilized and healthy’ online atmosphere.

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

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Butt launches Twitter tirade on Scheer for supporting truckers

“It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened?”

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The former top aide to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has launched a Twitter broadside against former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer after he supported the truckers’ convoy rolling across Canada to protest vaccine mandates.

“Thank you Truckers! Trudeau is attacking personal liberty and threatening everyone’s ability to get groceries because of his overreach on vaccine mandates. He is the biggest threat to freedom in Canada,” Scheer tweeted.

Scheer tweet

That was enough to set Butts off.

“A breathtakingly irresponsible thing for a former Leader of the Opposition to say. Calling the prime minister — any prime minister — the biggest threat to Canadian liberty? This isn’t a dog whistle. It’s a welcome mat,” he tweeted.

“Politics is a rough business and not for the thin of skin or faint of heart. But the people in these enormously important offices have to respect those offices, even if they don’t like each other.”

Butts tweet

In a later tweet, Butts said: “Have been thinking about Mr Scheer’s comments all day. It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened? I almost wish I were a Conservative, so I could fight for my party’s soul.”

On the weekend, Butts took a run at organizer Tamara Lich in an attempt to cast doubt on the integrity of Convoy For Freedom 2022.

“An Alberta separatist has collected almost a million bucks on a GoFundMe page to ‘support’ trucker protests. Where will the money go?” asked Butts in a tweet. 

More than $4.5 million has been raised to date as thousands of truckers are expected to descend on Ottawa this weekend.

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