fbpx
Connect with us

Opinion

ANDERSON: Kenney shoots the messenger

“Former Wildrose MLAs have approached the government repeatedly to raise such concerns, only to be dismissed out of hand.”

mm

Published

on

Guest Column: Nathan is a longtime communications specialist and member of the UCP and Wildrose Party.

Three years ago, shortly after taking the reins as interim leader of the newly formed United Conservative Party, now Alberta Legislature Speaker Nathan Cooper made an astute observation.

“Unity,” he said, “is not the outcome of a vote. It is a process that must continue today, tomorrow, and every day moving forward.”

Jason Kenney wasn’t listening.

For months now, conservatives have been warning Kenney that he is losing public and party support. Longtime volunteers are leavingDonations are drying up. MLAs, like the people they represent, were demanding change. They were ignored.

Yesterday, hoping to jolt the Premier out of a cocoon of self-delusion, Kenney’s own caucus chair resigned. Rather than face the realities caused by his aloof leadership style, Kenney opted to kill the messenger.

MLA Todd Loewen thought he was simply fulfilling his duty to represent both frustrated caucus members and angry constituents. You see, Loewen comes from the former-Wildrose wing of the UCP, and that is a philosophy that Kenney fundamentally opposes.

The Wildrose commitment to grassroots democracy wasn’t a marketing slogan. It wasn’t just another talking point. It was a principle embedded into the very DNA of the movement. If the Wildrose Party had its own 10 commandments, the first three commandments were all the same:  “The first duty of an MLA is to represent his or her constituents.”

UCP leadership candidate Kenney – back when he was getting decent advice – at least paid lip service to this notion with his “Grassroots Guarantee.” While that guarantee went out the window the moment after Kenney’s leadership victory, it was one of the key commitments that made unity possible in the first place.

However, about year into Kenney’s first term as premier it became clear that his idea of grassroots democracy begins and ends with whatever is convenient for him personally.

Unlike Alberta governments of the past, Kenney’s government would not seek caucus input or approval for new initiatives. For example, when the government announced its $10 billion “stimulus” spending plan in the summer of 2020, caucus was not even informed of the details until after it had been announced publicly. 

Kenney sees no reason for caucus to weigh in on such initiatives, and MLAs only have an opportunity to represent their constituents during votes in the legislature. 

The idea that MLAs might have some expertise to contribute to such policies, or that the grassroots might have some thoughts on such matters isn’t even an after thought for Kenney’s government. After all, this is not how democracy worked in Ottawa during Kenney’s time in government.  The federal Conservatives regularly relied on massive omnibus budget bills to implement a wide variety of policy changes, often with no input from caucus or the grassroots whatsoever.

Is this how democracy is supposed to work? Kenney thinks so. In fact, he thinks he is running the most transparent government in a generation. 

Many Albertans, particularly those who turned their back on the former PC Party in favour of the Wildrose, do not. 

Former Wildrose MLAs have approached the government repeatedly to raise such concerns, only to be dismissed out of hand. Even as public support for the UCP falls well behind the NDP, and even as fundraising dries up, the government refuses to accept input from those who got them elected in the first place.

This is ultimately what makes Jason Kenney so dangerous to the future of the conservative movement in Alberta. His brand of democracy is incompatible with the ideals of a wide swath of the conservatives he purports to lead.

Unlike the last provincial election, the next one will not be a referendum on the leadership of Rachel Notley. It will be a referendum on Jason Kenney.

For the first time since Kenney came back from Ottawa, Alberta conservatives will be forced to ask themselves a simple question: Does Jason Kenney share my values?

After watching Kenney outspend the previous NDP government, sideline caucus members, barricade churches, arrest pastors, kowtow to Trudeau, and vilify many of the people who voted for him in 2019, today we are forced to ask ourselves the same question.

For me, the answer is no. Jason Kenney does not share my values.

If unity is a process, that process is dead. Jason Kenney killed it. 

For the UCP to be re-elected, Jason Kenney must resign.

Guest Column: Nathan is a longtime communications specialist and member of the UCP and Wildrose Party.

Continue Reading
6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Baron Not Baron

    May 15, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    Kenny is agitated, infuriated, desperate, by his own failure, by his own oath to the wrong entity. The state of mind associated with that, is making this individual reckless. He will further fail, doing worse in his possessed mind. He’s not “a man of God”. He’s an anti-Christ servant, as he’s punishing Christianity.

  2. Barbara

    May 14, 2021 at 8:53 am

    The MLAs who voted out Barnes and Loewen could have stopped Kenny but chose not to.
    The only reason Kenny can do what he does is because we/they let him.
    If you can’t call your mlas and tell them you’re angry Or that you are leaving the party you can’t blame them.

    They could still make statements like Loewen did today. It’s quite simple really if people would act.

  3. Earl Hildebrand

    May 14, 2021 at 8:33 am

    I gave up trying to defend the guy last November on government policy as he always changed course. It was frustrating to say the least. I can’t imagine being an MLA with the same amount of knowledge as Joe Voter trying to explain to his constituents what the hell the government is doing. Just the sheer lack of respect for your caucus to even let them know what you’re doing is enough to be shown the plank

  4. Joni Menz

    May 14, 2021 at 8:29 am

    I thought that Alberta would be the beacon to all of Canada and reject lockdowns. I truly believe that pro-lockdown people are a minority now. And the fact that our leaders are not listening to us is aggravating to say the least. We give them data and they double-down on their power with no proof. Ignoring the proof that lockdowns are more damaging to us. Kenney had the opportunity to show his unified leadership and has shown us that he is just another power hungry bureaucrat.

  5. Josh

    May 14, 2021 at 8:00 am

    If Kenney really wanted to start clearing his name he would take his hands off the covid situation and get his government out of the way. Nothing would damage the NDP more then everything going back to normal. We know she is gonna try making things more strict and worse but that will be near impossible if people have had time to adjust to the way things were. People hopefully this time won’t just hand their freedom over on a silver platter.

  6. Claudette Leece

    May 14, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Great article and spot on, if Kenney even lasts long enough to get that vote. Kenney doesn’t know how to play well with others

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

GIEDE: The legacy of residential schools still haunts us

There is a palpable sense of anger and grief in nearly every quarter, but I am deeply skeptical about the possibility of concrete action and change.

mm

Published

on

The 215 children’s bodies uncovered in Kamloops, BC, on the grounds of the Indian Residential School have shocked us all. Calls for action have ensued, Facebook has provided frames, and both church as well as state authorities have expressed their regrets. There is a palpable sense of anger and grief in nearly every quarter, but I am deeply skeptical about the possibility of concrete action and change.

Indeed, the death of innocents in Canada is often used by our political class to double-down on their own agendas. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will continue to not fulfill promises of clean drinking water on reserves. BC Premier John Horgan has twisted this tragic moment of history into a justification for the continued clear-cut logging of our old-growth forests – an impressive non-sequitur even for him.

Policies and initiatives that would end the Third World reality experienced on reserves, help protect indigenous women and girls at home and in transit, or create more economic opportunities for all status, non-status, Metis, and Inuit regardless of location will not be enacted, despite having sat on the desks of our politicians for decades. In short, these solutions would cost money, and talk is far cheaper.

Ironically, no one was counting the cost of building and staffing the residential school system when it was debated and developed in the 19th Century. Every political movement – from child welfare groups to land speculators who wanted First Nations out of the way – viewed the use of education to assimilate aboriginal children as the most progressive method at hand to solve the centuries-old “Indian problem.”

The residential school system was conceived within the Indian Act of 1876, but did not fully mature until 1894, when an amendment made day school attendance mandatory for aboriginal children. There is no denying schools were built far away from the traditional territories of First Nations which helped facilitate assimilation. Yet these locations were also chosen because of the realities of staff and supplies.

Education was almost the exclusive purview of churches at our founding, so it only made sense for churches to extend their role along with the widening borders of Canada. Large government contracts were appreciated by all denominations involved, as these served to fund missions both at home and abroad. Ottawa provided the bricks and mortar – Christianity provided the staff inside these buildings.

Non-aboriginal children were also sent to these schools. Unlike America, using excess capital to enforce segregation was too costly for our leaders, whatever discriminatory attitudes they might have held. For some of my fellow aboriginal agitators it may be distraction from their preferred narrative, but the truth is that the non-indigenous children at residential schools were just as likely to suffer abuse and neglect.

To the point of abuse and neglect, there is no excuse. Those who committed sins willfully or by omission are worthy of the stiffest penalties that our justice system can mete out. There must be transparency as to who attended and staffed the residential schools – if those records are not surrendered willingly, the power of the courts must be utilized. People have a right to their history – even to the darkest parts of it.

But the central fact remains the Canadian political class was willing to expend what must equate to billions of dollars today on assimilating aboriginals for over a century. Why, now we know what would actually help solve the challenges faced by the First Nations, are those in charge unwilling to pay the cost? How much more expensive could it be to build up a new generation with intelligent policies?

Empty apologies and payouts withheld for years will neither undo the damage nor create a better tomorrow. For those who have made Western sovereignty their rallying cry, there is a mutual enemy of the federal government ready in the form of we, the First Peoples of Canada. If Ottawa refuses to fix what their policies broke, then provincial authorities should step in, creating alliances with aboriginals.

Mourning and grief are appropriate responses to the news we’ve received. And while transparency about the past must happen in order for healing to occur in the present, we must not allow more commissions or committees to take the place of real change. Clean drinking water, economic opportunity, education, safe means of travel: let these be the demands First Nations make in honor of the 215 children long lost.

Nathan Giede is the BC Political Columnist and the host of Mountain Standard Time

Continue Reading

Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Fed up Canadians mobilizing to take our country back

They’re stomped on by a smug woke crowd too dumb to know they’re merely useful idiots in a cunning plan to steal our freedoms and privacy.

mm

Published

on

A movement to take Canada back is on solid ground.

It’s fueled by Canadians fed up with being pushed around. 

People are targeted if they attend church or synagogue (not mosques though), question the brain-washing garbage their children learn in school, ask Saint Theresa Tam hard questions about COVID-19, call boys boys and girls girls, keep businesses open, or play in the park.

They’re stomped on by a smug woke crowd too dumb to know they’re merely useful idiots in a cunning plan to steal our freedoms and privacy. 

Even politicians cower at the woke crowd that weaponizes social media. All 12 of them – each with multiple Twitter accounts creating the illusion they are legion – will come at you screeching like a crazed (because they are) herd of banshees.

The time’s ripe for a movement.

Canadians are hungering for a leader who’ll save us from this madness. 

Sadly, the inept have secured top management positions in every federal political party. 

They keep good politicians tethered.

But MPs with all parties, like countless Canadians, abhor late-term abortion, disagree with same-sex marriage not being motivated by hatred but by religious beliefs, are aghast that children undergo sex changes, want to lift COVID-19 lockdowns, wonder why twerking Drag Queens ‘entertain’ kids in libraries, support police, admire how former President Donald Trump strengthened America, and rue globalists running/ruining Canada. 

They obediently lose their moral compasses when told to shush. Not shushing destroys political careers, they’re warned. 

Even worse, the Trudeau CBC Fan Club will hate them. 

Honest, open debate is forbidden.

Just look what happens to one who dares to defy the shush rule! 

Derek Sloan was pummeled and banished for, largely, expressing his moral beliefs, although no one was honest enough to admit that.

But the MP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington had the courage and conviction to carry on. 

He’s still standing.

Sure, he’s not standing in the same place since he was booted out of the Conservative caucus in January – but he’s still fighting for the unwashed Canadians few politicians have the guts to fight for.

Sloan was wrongly portrayed as an LGBTQ hater and a white supremacist sympathizer because someone dug deep to find some nut job made an obscure $131 donation to his campaign. 

The ‘racist’ Sloan was accused of hating every Chinese person on the planet because he dared question public health officer Tam’s ties to the World Health Organization when she parroted COVID-19 lies it fed us. Well, well, don’t recent revelations vindicate Sloan now?

Canadians wonder if there’s hope of salvaging the life we cherish in this good and beautiful country.

Maybe. 

There’s a movement underway that’s building momentum.

Freedom loving Canadians have united to build a viable option, hopefully in time for the next election.

It’s too premature to “expose” the many groups and political parties involved, or provide more details, says Sloan. That’ll come soon though.

“I have been working actively to forge all of those elements together into a credible sort of political movement. That’s still in the formation stages but I want everyone to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” he says in an interview with the Western Standard.

Sloan says “hundreds of thousands of people” across Canada receive his communications and in the past six months he has gotten “tens of thousands” of emails.

“Many of them are saying: ‘Derek, I can get behind you just tell me what to do,’” says Sloan.

Canadians are “begging” for a party willing to take a strong stand.

The woke mob may screech the loudest, but it’s not the true Canadian voice.

“They are a minority of people that are pushing an agenda. There is a strong groundswell of dissent to that. But there’s also a lot of Canadians kind of in the middle-of-the-road that don’t know what to believe and need a real alternative,” he says. 

The Conservative strategy to play it safe, hoping people will like them, is backfiring.

“The Conservatives have every ability to stand strong on whatever issue they want. If they’re not willing to do it now, we certainly can’t expect that they would do that if given the chance to govern,” he says.

Sloan, a member of the end the lockdown caucus comprised of current and former politicians, says the “biggest elephant in the room” is dealing with the response to COVID-19.

“If COVID went away tomorrow there’s still many issues. We’re dealing with a fanatical embrace of critical theory, whether it’s critical race theory, whether it’s critical gender theory. We’re dealing with a fanatical embrace of climate alarmism,” he says.

“We’re dealing with very aggressive ideologies that don’t believe in free speech, that don’t believe in dissent, that don’t believe in democracy unless it suits their own ends.”

Combined forces are moving quickly to change Canada into a “debt-ridden, freedom-stricken, second-tier country.”

Canada needs an option that shows them the way to go, says Sloan who feels an obligation to serve Canadians.

“I believe personally that one day I’ll have to account to God for how I used my time on this earth. I hope, when that time comes, God looks at me and says as He did to others ‘Well done good and faithful servant.”

Countless Canadians will get this.

Others will cackle and mock, dismissing Sloan as a religious fanatic. 

They foolishly dismiss the movement at their peril.

Slobodian is a Western Standard columnist based in Manitoba
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

Continue Reading

Opinion

CARPAY: Bad ruling against a church’s charter rights begs for an appeal

“Judge Shaigec has gone off the judicial rails, not regarding the facts, but in failing to apply a proper two-step Charter analysis.”

mm

Published

on

The dismissal of the Charter freedoms of Pastor James Coates by Alberta Provincial Court Judge Robert Shaigec on June 7, 2021, is crying out to be appealed.

As any first-year law student can tell you, Charter claims are judged in two simple steps.

First, the court rules on whether a government action (law, policy, health order, arrest, charge, fine, prosecution, imprisonment etc.) violates one of more of the Charter freedoms to associate, assemble, worship, express oneself, travel, and move about freely without facing house arrest or prison. For the past 39 years the Charter has been part of Canada’s constitution, courts have ruled that charges, fines, tickets, arrests and prosecutions clearly qualify as “government action.” The moment that a citizen is charged with violating a federal, provincial or municipal law (whether the penalty is jail time or only a fine) is the moment when that citizen’s Charter rights and freedoms are impacted. The existence of a particular law, and being charged with violating that law, are one and the same.

Next, if the answer is ‘yes’ and some form of government action violates one or more Charter rights or freedoms even in a small way, the court must make a separate assessment as to whether the violation of that Charter freedom is “reasonable” and “demonstrably justified” with compelling evidence “in a free and democratic society.” At this second step of the process, the government is obligated to put forward medical and scientific evidence to try to justify its public health orders, or to justify whatever other law, policy, ticket, fine, arrest or prosecution is violating Charter freedoms.

The facts of this case are not disputed, apart from some minor details. 

In early 2020, when Premier Jason Kenney compared COVID-19 to the Spanish Flu of 1918, everyone in Alberta became terrified of the new virus. Governments across the globe believed the dire predictions of Dr. Neil Ferguson of Imperial College of London, who also warned that we were dealing with a virus as deadly as the 1918 Spanish Flu, which killed 50 million people at a time when the world population was barely one fourth of what it is today.

Pastor James Coates and the GraceLife Church congregation initially complied with all public health orders. However, as the “two weeks to flatten the curve” turned into the permanent violation of our human rights and Charter freedoms, the church members (like so many other Canadians) observed the politicians’ ongoing fearmongering was simply not based on facts. 

In our 15th month of lockdowns, the government’s own data and statistics show COVID-19 is harmless to 90% of Canadians, and has a 99.77% survival rate. Death rates in Canada in 2020 were in line with those of 2019, 2018, 2017 and prior years. Statistics show COVID-19 has not had any significant impact on population life expectancy. This isn’t the Spanish Flu of 1918. Not even close. 

To date, politicians have not put forward evidence to back up their repeated claims lockdowns save lives. Lockdowns harm the mental and physical health of millions of children and adults. The Manitoba government’s own expert witness, Dr. Jared Bullard, admitted in court under oath that PCR testing for COVID-19 is not accurate 56% of the time.

Governments and media dishonestly use ‘case’ numbers to keep Canadians in a state of permanent fear. But children are as likely to die of lightning strikes as they are to die of COVID-19. Canadians under 70 should be more afraid of dying in a motor vehicle accident than dying of COVID-19.

After significant research, deliberation and reflection, Coates and his congregation eventually ceased to comply with Kenney’s irrational and unscientific public health orders. Since the fall of 2020, they have held normal, regular church services. The government has not presented any evidence in court that GraceLife’s full church services have caused any harm to anyone.

Judge Robert Shaigec has gone off the judicial rails, not regarding the facts, but in failing to apply a proper two-step Charter analysis.

Public health orders obviously violate Charter freedoms. This is further confirmed by the 35 days Coates spent in jail.

Limiting church attendance to 15% of fire code capacity obviously violates citizens’ freedoms of association, religion and peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Charter. Public health orders that make it illegal for people to hug each other and sit next to each other obviously violate the Charter-protected freedom of association. A legal requirement to cover one’s face is an obvious violation of the Charter’s rights to liberty and to express oneself freely, and for many individuals this law also violates the Charter-protected security of the person. Whether these limits are reasonable, necessary, and producing more good than harm is an entirely separate legal question, to be answered at the second stage of Charter analysis: is the violation of the Charter freedom “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society?”

Unfortunately, Shaigec ignored the obvious impact of public health orders on the Charter freedoms of religion, association, expression and peaceful assembly. He instead embarked on a hair-splitting exercise that finds no support in 39 years of established Charter jurisprudence. 

Strangely, Shaigec ruled the enforcement of public health orders did not violate the Charter freedoms of Coates. This is a mystifying finding, and entirely misses the point. The Coates case involves a constitutional challenge to the health orders themselves, not their enforcement. If a law is unconstitutional, that law’s enforcement is also unconstitutional.

Shaigec cites seven reasons for his conclusions, none of them supported by case citations from other court rulings: Alberta Health Services and the police were acting under the authority of the Public Health Act; GraceLife Church was not “targeted” by government; similar restrictions applied to “secular” activities and gatherings; health bureaucrat Janine Hanrahan acted reasonably and professionally; the RCMP did their best not to disturb church services; the police acted on reasonable grounds in issuing the ticket; the police did not obstruct a religious service (prohibited by section 176 of the Criminal Code.)

None of these seven reasons shed any light on the judge’s outlandish and bizarre thesis that law enforcement does not qualify as “government action” to which the Charter applies.

Shaigec suggests that citizens’ Charter rights are not violated when they are threatened, intimidated, ticketed, fined and jailed; he seems to believe that as long as the enforcement of a law is carried out in a reasonable manner, there are no Charter violations. Amazing. 

It will be interesting to find out whether the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench agrees upon hearing the appeal that will be filed by the Justice Centre.

John Carpay is a Columnist for the Western Standard. He is also president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (jccf.ca) which represents Pastors James Coates and Tim Stephens, and other Canadian challenging lockdowns in courts across Canada

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Share

Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

9 signatures

No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

**your signature**



The Western Standard will never accept government bailout money. By becoming a Western Standard member, you are supporting government bailout-free and proudly western media that is on your side. With your support, we can give Westerners a voice that doesn\'t need taxpayers money.

Share this with your friends:

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard New Media Corp.