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UCP’s Barnes says scathing letter to Kenney a sign of the party grassroots awakening

The letter just sent to Kenney said those who signed it are currently sitting, or have recently sat, on UCP constituency association boards across the province.

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A renegade UCP MLA who has repeatedly butted heads with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says a blistering letter sent by senior party officials to the premier demanding he resign, shows the power of of a grassroots movement.

“I have been honoured and grateful to represent Cypress-Medicine Hat since 2012,” UCP MLA Drew Barnes told the Western Standard.

“In the 2012 election Albertan’s voices were extremely loud wanting grassroots democratic reform and change. This movement has been quieter since I was initially elected as a Wildrose.

“Alberta families and communities deserve greater involvement and this appears to be Albertans again insisting their needs and concerns are heard.”

It’s part of a brewing party revolt that’s seen at least nine constituency associations demand a review of Kenney’s leadership, and 17 of his MLAs publicly break ranks against his third COVID-19 lockdown.

Barnes has repeatedly been a thorn in Kenney’s side, opposing the party’s moves on everything from centralizing EMS dispatch to the current COVID-19 lockdowns.

The letter just sent to Kenney said those who signed it are currently sitting, or have recently sat, on UCP constituency association boards across the province.

“We are not signing this letter on behalf of our boards, but as individuals who have given our time, our efforts, and our hard‐earned money to this party. We are the volunteers and your former supporters. However, it has become increasingly clear to us that you will not allow a proper review of your leadership in a timely manner. Party leadership has resorted to procedural tactics and strong‐arming to prevent any sort of meaningful change in this party and grassroots control,” reads the letter to Kenney obtained by the Western Standard.

The UCP constituency association for Drayton Valley-Devon joined at least eight others earlier this month, demanding an early vote on whether or not Kenney should continue to lead the party.

“Jason Kenney is obviously not going to pivot – these are not the acts of a man who is going to change,” Drayton Valley-Devon UCP board member Tim Cameron told the Western Standard.

He said Kenney’s move to put the province in a third lockdown – along with the raid and barricading of GraceLife Church outside Edmonton – has incensed the party’s grassroots.

“He is now straight, bold-faced lying to us,” said Cameron.

The recent letter to Kenney continued: “Therefore, we realize the time for discussing your leadership has come to an end. We believe that as members of the UCP and especially as board members, we have two main duties: to ensure that the values and principles as created by the membership are upheld and to work towards getting UCP candidates elected so that we may form a majority government.

“Mr. Kenney, we appreciate some of the things you have achieved and some of the promises you have fulfilled, but it has become clear to us that you have failed the party on both those priorities to which we are dutifully bound. You have not upheld the core grassroots principles of the party, particularly by repeatedly violating our Statement of Principles in attacking free enterprise, personal responsibility, freedom of worship, freedom of assembly, and the free use of private property. You have not controlled government spending or protected Albertan families from excessive government intrusions. Even the attempts to protect public safety with COVID‐19 restrictions have resorted in a number of secondary harms which have been ignored and trivialized.”

“Furthermore, we do not believe you have the moral authority or trustworthiness to lead this party into the next election or to continue to deliver on important conservative priorities. It has become difficult to defend a number of recent decisions and mistakes. We are concerned that your personal association with government policy, even in matters that do align with our principles, is a liability. Once you have lost trust, it can never return. Your personal unpopularity will only result in defeat.

“In closing, we wish to reiterate that we did believe in this party and the promises we were given. We worked diligently for you and the entire UCP. We sacrificed and gave ourselves to the cause of a ‘strong and free’ Alberta. Mr. Kenney, for the sake of a strong and free Alberta and for the well-being of the conservative movement in this province, we ask that you do the proper thing and resign.”

It’s all a part of a growing rebellion amongst UCP constituency associations to force a leadership review of Kenney.

According to the UCP constitution, a total of 22 constituency associations are needed to petition for the review for it to go ahead. Kenney has been meeting with rebellious local boards in an attempt to keep the number below the 22 threshold.

In March, 17 UCP MLAs signed an open letter that said Kenney was going down the wrong path by putting the province under a third lockdown and was breaking his commitment to the phased reopening plan based on measurable targets.

The Western Standard exclusively reported Kenney threatened the UCP Caucus with an early election if they did not fall into line over public disagreement with continued lockdowns and other restrictions.

The Western Standard has contacted Kenney’s office for comment on the letter but so far hasn’t received a reply.

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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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Baron Not Baron

    April 25, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Unfortunately, after believing the “UCP story” and after I voted for Kenney-the-liar, now I only see one single solution: Albertans united under one Independence common goal roof and move Alberta towards autonomy, self-sufficiency. Separation, more exactly. There will not be another “conservative party” – conservative, again. The globalist arm got them all by the nuts and they all pull towards the same goal – complete annihilation of all freedoms, all rights, and the private property, as a concept. The history is being rewritten, with a fake past. It’s been done this way, always.
    I hear a lot of discussion about what the UCP should “do” to get its game straightened. In general, the public is taking the imbecilic road, by convincing itself and “finding” all the reasons to keep beating that dead horse, the UCP. Isn’t there enough evidence to understand and see that for over 115 years nothing has changed? It is like a tennis game – the spectators are insane and look at the ball flying from one field into another, while making the same comments after every four years, with the illusory hope that “in ANOTHER four years things will get right”..
    Independence of Alberta or.. they will bury you.

  2. DAVID

    April 24, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    Kenney’s work ethic and the content of his speeches inspired so much hope when he was running for the party leadership. Such a tragic disappointment. When I read about the huge fundraising lead held by the Nasty Partisan Destruction party, I fear for the future of Alberta, and for Canada.

  3. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    April 24, 2021 at 10:14 am

    barnes has my support how. strange he listens to the voters.is there even a remote chance this will catch on?

  4. Claudette Leece

    April 23, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    Pick up Kenney, has driven off the Cliff and now we find ourselves led by the federalist Kenney, who’s ear seems tuned to Notleys rant and his obsessive ideas to follow Premier Hinshaw blindly. He has failed to stand up to Trudeau and his lack of action, to stand up to OToole and tell him to stuff his carbon tax, the one he promised not to do, is just another knife in the back and most of us are tired of these knives. And he was going to stand up to the unions and make them do their part during these tough times is laughable. He hasn’t got the spine to defend the folks who voted for him, and time for him to step down and let someone like Barnes lead. Someone who recognizes our rights are being stepped all over. Sure there’s a job for Kenney in Ottawa, maybe he could take the tools place because lord knows the conservatives, shot themselves in the foot with this carbon tax boondogle. It’s too bad because I think had pick up Kenney had kept the jeans on and got rid of the Ottawa suit, he would of done great things for Alberta

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News

NDP support holding strong across Alberta

That’s enough of a lead to form a majority government, say pollsters.

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The UCP would be gutted and Rachel Notley back as premier if an election were held today, an exclusive new poll done for the Western Standard shows.

The Mainstreet Research poll shows Notley’s NDP currently has the support of 41% of Albertans with Jason Kenney’s UCP well back at 25%

That’s enough of a lead to form a majority government, say pollsters.

Courtesy Mainstreet Research

The upstart Wildrose Independence Party collect 11% support in the new poll, with 5% siding with the Alberta Party, with the Liberals and Greens at 1% each. A total of 14% of voters were undecided.

Wildrose leader Paul Hinman polls best among people who are refusing to get vaccinated. When they were asked, 34% chose Wildrose, 29% for the UCP and only 2% for the NDP.

If the undecided are removed from the poll, the NDP checks in with 45%, the UCP with 29%, the WIP with 13% and the AP with 6%

In that poll, the NDP is also leading in Alberta’s two major cities. In Edmonton, the NDP has 62% support with the UCP at 21% In Calgary, the NDP leads with 48% support and the UCP at 31%.

Rural areas seem split. Northern rural areas favour Kenney 34% to 29% for Notley. Southern rural areas like Notley at 32% with Kenney at 29%.

Courtesy Mainstreet Research

“Things are looking pretty grim for Kenney,” said Mainstreet CEO and President Quito Maggi.

“It’s 18 months until the next election, and that can be an eternity, but numbers in this realm for the better part of a year, with no positive movement, shows the trouble he is in.”

Maggi said he was a little surprised by the lead of Notley in Calgary, normally a Conservative bastion.

“It speaks of the personal unpopularity of Jason Kenney himself. The policies of the NDP probably aren’t supported in Calgary but they are willing to vote for the candidate that will defeat Kenney,” he said.

Maggi noted Kenney is now getting it from both sides of the political spectrum and the WIP is taking enough to leave Notley with a majority victory. He predicted an NDP victory would only be by one or two seats.

The analysis in this report is based on the results of a survey conducted on October 12-13 2021 among a sample of 935 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in Alberta. The survey was conducted using automated telephone interviews (Smart IVR). Respondents were interviewed on landlines and cellular phones. The survey is intended to represent the voting population in Alberta. 

The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.2% at the 95% confidence level. Mar- gins of error are higher in each subsample. 

Totals may not add up 100% due to rounding. 

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News

People not getting COVID jabs a diverse group

Deonandan predicted Canada will not achieve “herd immunity” against COVID-19 until at least 91% of eligible citizens are fully vaccinated. The rate is currently 81%, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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Canadians against getting a COVID-19 jab are not just a group of crazed, anti-vaxxers, says a leading epidemiologist.

Four million Canadians who’ve declined a COVID-19 are an assorted lot, said the executive editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal Of Health Sciences .

“The unvaccinated are a diverse group,” Dr. Raywat Deonandan, of the University of Ottawa, told Blacklock’s Reporter.

“They include the hardcore anti-vaxxers. They include the vaccine-hesitant who are just afraid of the vaccine.”

“They include those who want to get vaccinated, but can’t get time off work or get child care. And they include the apathetic. The apathetic tend to be the young people who think the disease is not serious to them. Vaccine passports really do well on that group.”

Speaking during a webinar with a federal union, the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, Deonandan said he generally supported domestic vaccine passports, likening them to a driver’s licence, but strongly opposed mandatory immunization of young children.

“Vaccine mandates are controversial,” said Deonandan, adding compulsory shots for children under 12 “just creates far too much distrust in the population and doesn’t rub people the right way.

“I have a small child. I’m not happy about injecting him with strange things. I will if his mother agrees. But it does not fill me with comfort to do so. I get it.”

Deonandan said he thought compulsory vaccination for federal employees was legally defensible, but acknowledged it would draw protest.

“The weakness is our democracy,” he said.

“Our biggest value is our freedom and our democracy. That is the thing that’s our Achilles’ heel here. Authoritarian governments do better with COVID because they control the messaging and compel behaviour. We don’t want to be that. So we need to empower the citizens to think more rationally to their own ends.”

Deonandan predicted Canada will not achieve “herd immunity” against COVID-19 until at least 91% of eligible citizens are fully vaccinated. The rate is currently 81%, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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News

Freeland says Canada has to stop cutting business taxes

The Liberal Party has proposed $4.2 billion a year in new taxes mainly on corporations.

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Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada has to put a stop to cuts to corporate taxes, calling it a “race to the bottom.”

Blacklock’s Reporter noted the Liberal Party proposed $4.2 billion a year in new taxes, mainly on corporations.

“Part of building an equitable recovery is strengthening international tax fairness, ending the global race to the bottom in corporate tax and ensuring that all corporations, including the world’s largest, pay their fair share,” said Freeland.

“We will stem the world tendency to reduce the corporate tax rate.”

The Party’s August 25 campaign document, Asking Financial Institutions To Help Canada Build Back Better, proposed an increase in the corporate tax rate from 15 to 18% on banks and insurers with revenues more than a billion dollars a year.

It also proposed an unspecified Canada Recovery Dividend to be “paid by these same large banks and insurance companies in recognition of the fast-paced return to profitability these institutions have experienced in large part due to the unprecedented backstop Canadians provided to our economy through emergency support to people and businesses.

“The allocation of this dividend between applicable institutions will be developed in consultation over the coming months with the Superintendent of Financial Institutions,” continued the document.

It would be “applied over a four year period.”

Cabinet estimated all new taxes, including a new charge on tobacco manufacturers and tighter collections on offshore accounts, would generate $4,241,000,000 next year and nearly twice as much, more than $8.2 billion, by 2025.

The figures were calculated by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

“Big banks got a windfall,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters August 25.

“So as we rebuild we’re going to ask big financial institutions to pay a little back, to pay a little more, so that we can do more for you.

“Big banks and insurance companies have been doing very well over these past many months. Canada’s biggest banks are posting their latest massive profits of billions of dollars.

“Everyone else had to tighten their belt. We’re going to ask them to do a little bit more.”

New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh said September 21 he expected cabinet to raise corporate taxes with support from his caucus.

“People are worried about who’s going to pay the price for the pandemic,” said Singh.

“We don’t believe it should be small business,” said Singh. “We remain resolute that it should be the ultra-rich.”

The New Democrat platform proposed a general increase in the income tax rate on all large corporations from 15% to 18%, not just banks and insurers, and a hike in the top federal income tax rate from 33% to 35% for individuals earning more than $216,500 a year.

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