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WATCH: Alberta Mounties raid Whistlestop cafe, seize beer

In scenes not seen since the Prohibition, an RCMP officer packed up all the Whistlestop’s booze and carted it away.

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RCMP officers along with Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) inspectors have raided the Whistlestop Cafe – one of the first establishments in Alberta to defy the provincial COVID-19 lockdown order in January.

During a Friday morning raid, officers seized beer from the establishment in Mirror.

The AGLC had previously taken away their liquor licence.

In scenes looked like the prohibition era, an RCMP officer packed up all the Whistlestop’s beer without the owner’s consent and carted it away.

“We are interpreting the Act differently,” said owner Chris Scott to the RCMP officer.

“You are saying I’m guilty of not following the Liquor Act until I can prove myself innocent.”

Scott and the AGLC official argued over the situation and the official made it clear the order was coming from the top of his organization – vice president Dave Barry.

Scott said he sent a letter to AGLC officials more than a week ago outlining what actions he was going to take in relation to booze, but noted he hadn’t received a reply.

“I offered compliance,” said Scott.

The woman who was videotaping the incident told the officials they “haven’t sold any liquor since the licence was taken away. There are no ads for it.”

Undeterred, the RCMP officer packed up all the booze in a paper evidence bag.

Scott told the officer to keep it.

“I waive my right to have it returned to me. Once you remove it from the fridge it’s yours,” Scott said.

Scott and patrons then discussed ordering booze in and enjoying it outside the restaurant in a park.

“I’m just doing my job,” said the RCMP officer, as people muttered “Nuremberg” in the background.

After the officials left, Scott realized they had missed some booze in the back, so he collected it and ran it out to them while they were still in the parking lot.

Scott decided to defy provincial lockdown orders and restrictions introduced by the UCP government and opened his restaurant on Jan. 21. He said he has received overwhelming support, and daily visits from the Mounties.

Scott is the only gas station/cafe in the town of about 500, 50 km northeast of Red Deer, and now he’s getting people from all over the province stopping in.

“The law is garbage – it”s doing more harm than good,” said Scott in an earlier interview with the Western Standard.

“It’s also a financial issue, my sister and I were just sitting back and watching our savings dwindle.”

“If they want to throw me in jail for trying to earn a living, go ahead,” said Scott, who could face a raft of penalties from fines, loss of his liquor licence and even jail.

Scott has owned the cafe since July 2019, but it has been a fixture in town since 1967.

More to come…

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 Editor 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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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Steven Ruthven

    May 5, 2021 at 9:55 am

    AHS & the Premier are laser focused on – A church, a small business, the person. Why? Intimidation?

    I’ve never heard AHS or the Premier taking on the large corporate businesses concerning COVID-19. You know, the big box stores. How many checks have AHS done to ensure compliance of these establishments? Have any enforcement actions been taken? Is there a web page for enforcement action taken?

    Something is wrong at AHS. Why didn’t the Premier replace the NDP appointed Hinshaw? Alberta might be a different more free place now under a less socialists attitude.

    I see Mr. Kenney’s career dissipation light is blinking. Only 36 hours drive time to Ottawa Jason & I think many Albertans are hoping you head back East sooner then later.

  2. Baron Not Baron

    May 1, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    Canadians are ballsless. Fact. You accept all the bullshit and more to come. You all deserve it, unless you change.

  3. Kevin

    May 1, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Just doing your job?? Your pension is more important than upholding the citizens charter rights in your own community? You took an oath.

  4. Bob

    April 30, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    We exist at the whims of government bureaucrats as there is no justice system anymore. If they say it is true then it must be true. If King Kenney of Nottingham wants to send thugs to steal your property then he just does it. What happens when there are no more tax dollars to pay these jerks, will they become pillagers and rapists, will debtors prison make a comeback, are we reverting to the Dark ages of history?

  5. John Lankers

    April 30, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Does nobody realize that many of the top bureaucrats in Alberta, incl. Dr. Hinshaw, have been appointed by no other than Rachel Notley. I’m betting my last donut she is still pulling the strings, ….. and even Premuer Jason Kenney is only a puppet in this game.

  6. Left Coast

    April 30, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Treating a town of 500 the same as Edmonton & Calgary is friggin insane . . .

    Health officials continually demonstrate their complete lack of wisdom and most have never met reality or Science. Almost 14 months after this Corona Virus hit and still the Govt doesn’t have a clue what it is doing . . . Politicians as a rule are some of the dumbest amongst us . . . they have learned almost nothing in the last year!

  7. Patricia Anderson

    April 30, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    They took the booze from the Whistle Stop? What’s next? The hymnals from Grace Life church?

  8. R3

    April 30, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Most Canadians are complacent, gullible and unwilling to stand up to this tyranny.
    Does anyone know if there is a protest planned for Monday at Hinshaw’s office on Jasper Av and 100 St?

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News

Third pastor arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID lockdowns

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon.

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A Calgary baptist preacher has become the third religious leader arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID-19 regulations over church attendance.

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon. He had been the subject of repeated warnings from Alberta Health Services for having too many people at his services.

Earlier this month, on the church’s website, Stephens vowed to contiue services.

“Our actions are borne out of theological commitments to the Lordship of Christ and his instruction to the church as revealed in Scripture,” wrote Stephens.

“This, above all, is the reason why we have been gathering and will continue to gather … the consequences may be severe. But we stand before Christ rather than bend before consequences.”

Pastor James Coates, of the GraceLife Church, outside Edmonton, spent a month in jail after he was arrested by the RCMP for breaking lockdown regulations repeatedly. His case is still before the courts.

Last week, Pastor Art Pawlowski was arrested in Calgary for continuing to flout the regulations at his street chruch.

Calgary police at the AHS issued a joint statement saying Stephens was “arrested this afternoon for organizing a church service that was held today at Fairview Baptist Church, located at 230 78 Ave. S.E., that did not comply with public health orders, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. Police did not enter the church during today’s service.

“CPS has received repeated calls from concerned citizens regarding church services held at Fairview Baptist Church over the past several weeks. Last weekend, Pastor Stephens was proactively served a copy of the Court of Queen’s Bench Order obtained by AHS,” the statement said.

“The pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today’s service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask-wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees.

“For several weeks, AHS has attempted to work collaboratively with leadership at Fairview Baptist Church to address the ongoing public health concerns at the site. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action.

“Once again, CPS acknowledges it is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we are still in a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”

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

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News

LETTER: Hypocrisy in high school rodeo approval

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

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RE: Hinshaw grants approval for high school rodeos

Dr. Hinshaw approved school rodeos after Premier Kenney thought the rodeo near Bowden was a bad idea. It’s the mixed messaging these two are giving that is making me mad. A lockdown with very minimum exemptions is what I thought Hinshaw wanted, but apparently not. A school rodeo can bloody well wait until after the lockdown is completed!! Let up on the Whistle Stop Cafe then, Dr. Hinshaw. What a bully.

It’s a real kick by Hinshaw, at the Whistle Stop Cafe owner. With his cafe now in chains, while Dr. Hinshaw gives out approvals during this so-called circuit breaker lockdown.

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

Steven Ruthven
Calgary, AB

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News

Opposition calls for crackdown on animal activists

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

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By EMMA GREGORY

A coalition of federal Conservatives, NDP and Bloc MPs want to increase punishment for animal rights activists trespassing on farms, because they might make the animals sick.

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

Chief Veterinary Officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said there are no proven instances of an animal rights activists spreading a disease to animals while protesting at a farm.

“To our knowledge, there are not many documented cases from trespassing or from people having demonstrations. The one that I heard is the one in Quebec, but I’m not actually sure if there is evidence of transmission from the activists to the pigs. So in the scientific literature, we have not seen much evidence of transmission of disease from these activities,” said Dr. Jaspinder Komal, to the agriculture committee earlier this month.

The one instance Komal mentioned was an allegation made by Porgreg, a pig breeding facility in Saint Hyacinthe, Que.

The activists involved in that protest, members of the group Direct Action Everywhere, are charged under the Criminal Code with breaking and entering and mischief. Whether or not they gave pigs rotavirus is a matter before the court.

Rotaviruses are common amongst pig herds and typically are transmitted from pig to pig, via the fecal-oral route.

If a human were to spread a novel rotavirus to a pig it would be in a similar fashion.

When asked if she or any of her associates pooped in the barn, activist Jenny McQueen said, “No.”

Komal said the CFIA does not police activists.

“The CFIA enforces the Health of Animals Act and regulations which address disease and biological, chemical, physical agents that may affect animals or be transmitted to persons and in the same way to protect animals from these risks…CFIA inspectors are public officers they are not peace officers… In contrast, peace officers are generally police officers, their powers include the ability to detain or arrest individuals. Peace officers may also be armed where public officers such as inspectors are not,” he said.

There are several new provincial laws that seek to lay blame for disease outbreaks in farmed animals on activists.

The Canadian Biosecurity Guideline lists an intentional act of contaminating animals with a disease is considered a possible threat of bioterrorism.

Gregory is a Vancouver-based freelance reporter

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