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AHS finally forces defiant Olds pub owner to shutter business

Slowly, but surely, the AHS ramped up their campaign against him before Scott van de Pypekamp was forced the throw in the towel.

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The Alberta Health Services finally wore down pub owner Scott van de Pypekamp.

For six days after Jason Kenney ordered the COVID-19 lockdown closures of all restaurants, the owner of the Olds Tracks Pub fought to keep his establishment open.

Slowly, but surely, the AHS ramped up their campaign against him before van de Pypekamp was forced the throw in the towel.

“They were threatening to close the business entirely. I lasted six days, but it was time to bail,” said van de Pypekamp said.

“I mean they put Chris in jail.”

Chris Scott, the owner of the Whistle Stop cafe in Mirror, was arrested by the RCMP on May 8. He had kept the restaurant open after being ordered closed. AHS and RCMP ramped up enforcement that eventually saw the Cafe raided and booze seized followed by a dawn raid that saw the building padlocked.

He was finally jailed after 1,500 people from across the province showed up on his land for a lockdowns protest.

van de Pypekamp said there were initially 40 restaurant owners, who together vowed to fight the lockdown and stay open. But they were all eventually whittled out.

With patios still allowed to be open at that point, van de Pypekamp then invested $6,000 to build one for Tracks.

But as COVID-19 cases continued to spike in the province, Premier Jason Kenney and health officials ordered patios to close as well.

van de Pypekamp said it’s only his other job in the oilpatch that enables him to keep Tracks open.

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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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Mars Hill

    May 17, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Kenney and his ilk area minions for the cabal. Lawsuits, tribunals are coming….

    As soon as this nonsense is over we’ll come out too Olds and visit your establishment, keep er going

  2. Steven Ruthven

    May 17, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Bryan, I agree & your comment is spot on!!

    I though Jason Kenney was the real deal. Said the right things, promised the right things, stroked Albertan’s anger against Ottawa. Now it appears Jason Kenney got the gold & Albertans got the shaft.

  3. Bryan

    May 17, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    All my life I’ve voted ‘conservative’ but in almost 60 years on this planet, I’ve never belonged to a political party. I must congratulate ‘Justin’ Kenney on convincing me to finally join a political party.

    Because of his actions and attitude toward we, the ‘little people’ of Alberta, I’ve now joined the Wildrose Independence Party. Perhaps even more surprising, I spent the first 30 years of my life in Ontario!

    Unlike ‘Justin’ Kenney, I DON’T see Alberta as a base to build national political power, I see it as HOME! I see it as STRONG and FREE! Unlike ‘Justin’ Kenney, I am NOT a carpetbagger, looking to leech Alberta!

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Alberta chiefs say ‘no’ to drug decriminalization amid opioid crisis

The chiefs said a modernized public policy framework was needed before decriminalization could be seriously considered.

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The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP) says the province is not in a position to welcome decriminalization of illicit drugs due to lack of existing supports. 

In a press conference, Calgary Chief Constable Mark Neufeld, Chair of the AACP; Medicine Hat Police Service Chief Mike Worden; and Blood Tribe Police Service Chief Brice Iron Shirt, stated decriminalization would create additional community problems, such as homelessness, mental health issues, overdoses, and poverty.

The chiefs said they felt it was necessary to be proactive with their stance amid applications in other Canadian jurisdictions and decision makers’ ongoing discussions in Alberta on whether or not to decriminalize some drugs. 

“We simply aren’t ready to do this.” Neufeld said adding he was concerned about “single-issue advocacy” indicating the need for “complex solutions to complex problems.”

In an earlier news release the chiefs said “law enforcement in Alberta does not criminalize addiction. We recognize that addiction and substance abuse are complex public health issues, and we are committed to working with all stakeholders to address the needs of our communities.” 

The chiefs said a modernized public policy framework was needed before decriminalization could be seriously considered. 

“Provincial regulations need to be established around key concerns such as consumption around minors, public consumption and disorder regulations, and operation of vehicles. This must be done by balancing the needs of the individual, with the needs of the broader community,” said the chiefs. 

The chiefs said a cross-government approach was a necessary prerequisite. 

“We cannot support a broadly implemented policy of decriminalization until a modernized public policy framework is created involving a thoughtful and integrated approach with all levels of government and across all ministries,” said the release. 

In 2021, Alberta suffered its deadliest year ever for deaths by drug poisoning. The first 10 months of the year saw 1,372 overdoses. 

“Decriminalization on its own will not reduce addiction or overdose rates. There must be clear and working pathways pre-established between law enforcement and public health systems to lead to recovery, with a thoughtful approach on addressing the needs of rural and diverse communities,” said the chiefs. 

Worden said rural communities face additional challenges related to accessing supports like local health and social services. Iron Shirt said First Nations lack funding and resources. 

Gosselin is a Western Standard reporter

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Kenney says Alberta may have reached Omicron peak

Kenney said wastewater test results from 19 areas across the province — including Calgary and Edmonton — shows COVID-19 declining in 15 of them.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says it’s likely Alberta has now reached the peak of the Omicron surge.

And he said COVID-19 restrictions across the province could be lifted “hopefully soon.”

He said it would take a “sustained decline in hospital pressures” and a similar drop in new cases.

But he warned now is not the time to let the guard down.

Kenney said wastewater test results from 19 areas across the province — including Calgary and Edmonton — shows COVID-19 declining in 15 of them.

And Kenney added the positivity rate for COVID-19 is also dropping. He said last week it was sitting at 41% while on Wednesday it was 33%.

Kenney noted Alberta is now in the fifth week of the Omicron surge, adding jurisdictions around the world have seen peaks after four weeks.

“Hospitalizations continue to rise, but we have the benefit of seeing how Omicron has played out in other jurisdictions. That is why we are taking decisive action now to help our healthcare system respond to the growing demand rising Omicron cases will bring,” said Kenney.

He said more than 1,000 people remain in Alberta hospitals, with 45% of them not admitted primarily for COVID, while 40% were.

Alberta reported 3,527 new cases on Wednesday, and eight more deaths.

Starting Jan. 24 or sooner, if required, some beds in pandemic response units will be opened at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic (KEC) in Edmonton and South Health Campus (SHC) in Calgary, Kenney said.

He said the government’s community resources plan will be put into place to start helping Albertans deal with moderate and low-level cases of COVID-19 to recover at home.

Kenney then blasted Health Canada for the long time it’s taking to get already European-approved rapid test kits into the country.

And Kenney made an impassioned plea to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reverse course on the quarantine orders for unvaxxed truck drivers.

He said Trudeau must “use some common sense” on the trucker issue with Canadians facing surging inflation and supply chain issues.

He also called for more healthcare money to be granted from the feds to provinces.

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Saskatchewan unions beg for more COVID restrictions

“Quebec has had the most extreme lockdowns policies in Canada since before Christmas, and their current rates are about 40 hospitalizations and 3.3 ICU admissions per 100,000 population – more than double Saskatchewan’s rates.”

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Six of Saskatchewan’s largest unions, representing 113,000 front-line workers, are demanding stricter COVID-19 regulations.

Union leaders in the healthcare and education sectors are demanding the province implement a gathering limit of 10, creation of a new public health order to limit non-essential contacts, establishing a “consistent bubble,” and enforce reducing non-essential travel between communities.

Tracy Zambory, president of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, says workers are stretched thin and health-care facilities don’t have staff or space for more patients.

Involved organizations include the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union, and the Service Employees International Union West.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahad said a peak in cases could come in the next two weeks, in light of record-high positivity.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe denounced lockdowns last week, and continues to provide justification for that decision. He caught COVID-19 the next day.

“ICU admissions and COVID-19 related deaths remain significantly lower than other provinces that have strict lockdown policies in effect,” said Moe on Twitter.

“Omicron is spreading across Canada and around the world, whether there are lockdown policies in place or not, so we are not going to impose new restrictions and lockdowns that cause significant harm for no clear benefit.”

Moe pointed out there have been zero COVID-19 deaths in the province in nearly two weeks, compared to more than 700 COVID-19 related deaths in Quebec this month.

“Saskatchewan’s current hospitalization rate is 16 per 100,000 population and our current ICU rate is 1.5 per 100,000 population,” said Moe.

“Quebec has had the most extreme lockdowns policies in Canada since before Christmas, and their current rates are about 40 hospitalizations and 3.3 ICU admissions per 100,000 population — more than double Saskatchewan’s rates.”

The Saskatchewan government has not responded to the union demand or updated restrictions since January 12.

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

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