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Kenney takes dig at Speaker for signing letter dissenting on third COVID lockdown

Kenney’s dig came as he was fighting back against a “defamatory” remark by opposition NDP MLA Thomas Dang.




Alberta Premier Jason Kenney took a shot at Speaker Nathan Cooper during debate Thursday afternoon after he was one of 17 signatories to a letter taking the government to task for a return to lockdowns.

Kenney’s dig came as he was fighting back against what he believed was a “defamatory” remark by opposition NDP MLA Thomas Dang.

Dang asked for the identity of the letter’s authors to be stated for the record to make public the “COVID deniers.”

“The member just reiterated a falsehood. He accused a member of this place of having signed letters instructing people not to follow the law. Mr. Speaker, that is manifestly untrue,” said Kenney.

“You, yourself, should know that Mr. Speaker, because you signed the letter.”

While Kenney has publicly stated that he allows his MLAs to speak publicly about their disagreement with a return to lockdowns, the Western Standard reported on Thursday that that morning, the premier threatened the UCP Caucus with an early election if they did not have confidence in him.

Mounting frustrations come after other members of the government caucus also denounced the “division” sowed by the letter.

“Driving a wedge through caucus with this letter is not productive and shakes the confidence of those who look to our government for leadership,” said Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie.

Expressing his frustrations, he asked his colleagues to keep the best interests of his constituents in mind and not to heel to pressure.

“To me, that would be a mistake. To me that shows weakness not strength.”

Dhaliwal is an Edmonton reporter for the Western Standard

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Claudette Leece

    April 12, 2021 at 8:12 am

    Absolutely hope these MLA own the b…. to call a leadership review this summer, or their going down with the ship. He is the worst leader I have seen in my 64 yrs. when he looks in the mirror he sees Notley staring back at him. He spouts he’s all for his MLA to speak their minds, then like a two year old, he stamps his feet and cries because he didn’t think those folks, would dare show their dislike for his leadership. If UCP hopes to even have a chance in next election, they had better toss out this complete failure, he’s more liberal than Notley. And next one they need to toss is Premier Hinshaw, when she talks it’s like nails on a chalkboard, pathetic. Pick up Kenney is electric car Stanley.

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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.




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

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LETTER: Hypocrisy in high school rodeo approval

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?




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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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.





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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