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Barnes defiant after expulsion from Tory caucus

“Is this the party of grassroots conservatives or not? Today, that question was answered clearly by the expulsion of myself and Mr. Loewen from caucus.”

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Newly minted independent MLA Drew Barnes spoke out Thursday night two hours after he and Todd Loewen were expelled from the United Conservative Party Caucus.

“I am saddened by today’s events, but not surprised”, wrote Barnes. “Many members of caucus have tried, in vain to help the Premier make better decisions in recent weeks and months. I am also disappointed that the vote was not conducted by secret ballot. Moving forward, I continue to believe Alberta can and should be the most prosperous and free jurisdiction in North America, and I will continue to use my voice to advance this cause.

“The United Conservative Party was meant to be a team, but the leader of a team must also respect the rest of the team. I supported unity, and continued to work within the parameters of the caucus to represent my constituents. However, the views of my constituents were ignored, and the man who campaigned on servant leadership no longer exist.”

Barnes, who was first elected as a Wildrose MLA in 2012 also took aim at Kenney’s democratic credentials.

“Instead of MLAs representing the views of their constituents to caucus, MLAs are expected to represent the views of the Premier to their constituents. I could never abide by this – this is not why I entered into politics – and this is not how a grassroots political party is meant to work.”

In the first minutes of May 13, Barnes’ colleagues published a scathing letter calling on Kenney to resign. Barnes pointed to it in his own statement

“For me, the question at the core of this letter was simply this: Is this the party of grassroots conservatives or not? Today, that question was answered clearly by the expulsion of myself and Mr. Loewen from caucus.”

“Today, the Premier’s promises of servant leadership, grassroots democracy and political transparency were again abandoned in favor of caucus discipline above all else. However, I am no longer shackled by the chains of caucus discipline, especially when the goals of the Premier do not align with those of my constituents. I will continue to speak as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Cypress-Medicine Hat. I will continue to stand on the principles and beliefs that the United Conservative Party was elected to govern under and has since abandoned.”

The Western Standard has not yet received a statement from Loewen.

Barnes has increasingly clashed with Kenney over the last year.

Nearly a year ago, Barnes published a dissenting report on the Fair Deal Panel, saying that it does not go far enough and should independence on the table. Barnes was also an outspoken critic of continued lockdowns imposed by the Kenney government.

Todd Loewen’s comments earlier in the day triggered a firestorm of political intrigue in the UCP.

“The government’s response to a hostile federal government has been perceived as weak and ineffective. Albertans have lost trust in the leadership of our government and are no longer willing to extend to us any benefit of the doubt on most issues,” said Loewen in the letter.

“Albertans perceive our government as out-of-touch and arrogant, and they expect our caucus to bring their issues of concern to the government. Many of us have tried to do so repeatedly, only to be ignored and dismissed. When the Premier chooses not to listen to caucus, is it any wonder why the people choose to stop listening to the government? Our supporters and those I represent can no longer tolerate this. These folks have not abandoned the principles and values of the UCP, but they have abandoned you specifically.”

The letter comes as Kenney’s leadership is already on the ropes. More than a dozen UCP constituency associations have already passed special resolutions demanding a leadership review, however Kenney poured cold water on the idea, pushing the vote to just six months before the next election

Growing caucus tension also bubbled to the surface when 17 UCP MLAs signed an open letter condemning Kenney for putting Alberta back under a third lockdown. Kenney’s dismissal of the letter led to a series of leaks from the UCP caucus, with several MLAs telling the Western Standard the premier threatened them with an early election if they did not have confidence in his leadership.

Soon after the rogue rodeo in Bowden, Alta. to protest the third lockdown, UCP MLAs told the Western Standard Kenney said in reference to the attendees, ““If they are our base, I want a new base.”

Kenney denied the story as “fake news” and said that the comments were only referring to people making death threats against him, but UCP MLAs told the Western Standard Kenney was “lying.”

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    May 14, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Kenny is just another Eastern Progressive . . . like O’Foole !

    He has demonstrated he has no ability to LEAD or to absorb Science to modify his radical Chinese style approach to the CCP Virus.

    Numerous other jurisdictions have been open for months, some for over a year . . . and Kenny has made no effort to learn from them. But he does apparently call Justin Trudope regularly to ask for advice. Justine is the Second Dumbest Leader on the Planet, China Joe Biden being No. 1 . . . Kenny is in the running for No. 3 !

  2. Amma

    May 14, 2021 at 10:02 am

    Well Kenney, you have really blown it!!The anger towards you is palpable in my area. You’re done, your ego just keeps going. To have a public vote shows you have no guts nor morals. So afraid the truth may come out?? Well I’m from “your base” and I will be doing a lot of letter writing to get rid of you!

  3. Wesley

    May 14, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Mike P. you couldn’t be more wrong. Barnes and Lowen do represent the majority of the true conservative Albertans. Kenney had 80% approval last November and now has 23%. An amazing reversal
    as he took the more progressive approach aligning himself up with the NDP and liberal media wishes. This is also what the previous PC government would have done and they are now basically extinct.
    The majority of Albertans are looking for true Conservative leaders who will follow through on those values!

  4. Baron Not Baron

    May 14, 2021 at 9:34 am

    The UCP has bet on the dead horse. Probably they don’t want to ever win another election in AB.

  5. John Lankers

    May 14, 2021 at 8:02 am

    Barnes stepped forward to fight an uphill battle against Redford’s corrupt regime, he didn’t fall for Jim Prentice fake promises (may he rest in peace) and he didn’t sell out to the corrupt Kenney regime either. Pastor Artur from Calgary hits the nail on the head in his latest interview with Rebel where he calls out Jason Kenney and AHS for what they are.

  6. Claudette Leece

    May 14, 2021 at 7:47 am

    Kenney has let power go to his head, he’s never been in a position in his political career, where his ideas were questioned. Thank you to Drew and Todd, gives small comfort to see there are a few MLA willing to stand for their constitutes, not to sell their leader. Time for you to go Kenney, because if NDP get in, you can look in the mirror

  7. Mike P

    May 14, 2021 at 7:24 am

    Glad to see them expelled. The clear majority of Alberta is not aligned with the opinions of these nitwits, and they have the potential to tear down the party.

    Despite loud cries from a small vocal minority, Alberta is, at its core, a centre-right political landscape. People like Lowen and Barnes will never lead the province, but could well usher it right back into the hands of Notley.

  8. Kelly Carter

    May 14, 2021 at 6:35 am

    Barnes and Lowen show true leadership and have earned my respect for their determination to properly represent their constituents. I am disappointed that more MLA’s did not stand behind Barnes and Lowen and stand up to Kenney.

  9. berta baby

    May 14, 2021 at 3:53 am

    Drew and Lowen are where they need to be, I have tried and tried to have the Mla’s from sherwood park take a stand , the move to make the vote open was a power move by kenney to know who was against him… only 4 MLA’s spoke out against lower publicly …. that says a lot and im glad Nate Glubish was not among them.

    Wildrose here we come , Either of these two would make great leaders but so would Brian … someone who is actually from and for Alberta

  10. Mars Hill

    May 13, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Drew is an Alberta Patriot, he had served the province well and will continue to do so.

  11. Josh

    May 13, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    I’m glad to see there “was” some good in the UCP.

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News

Truckers: ‘We are not separatists or terrorists’

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks-alone- going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks.

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Truckers on the Freedom Convoy are rejecting characterizations they are “separatists” and “terrorists.”

“A small team of Alberta truckers, their family members and friends, came to the decision that the Government of Canada has crossed a line with implementing COVID-19 vaccine passports and vaccine mandates. As of today, we now have the support of millions of Canadians from across the country,” group organizers said in a press release.

Demands from the Freedom Convoy to the federal government are:

  • Terminate all vaccine passports, including inter-Canada passport systems.
  • Eliminate mandatory programs of vaccination and contact tracing.
  • Respect the rights of those who wish to remain unvaccinated.
  • Cease the divisive rhetoric attacking Canadians who disagree with government mandates.
  • Cease limiting debate through coercive measures with the goal of censoring those who have varying or incorrect opinions.

“A unified and free Canada can be our future, and it starts now with reminding the government they serve the people,” stated the truckers.

“We have an opportunity for all of us to come together irrespective of our differences and do what is needed to ensure our freedoms are protected now and for future generations.

Statements claiming the convoy participants are ‘separatists’ or ‘terrorists’ are “categorically false and an attempt to smear” the movement, organizers said.

“It is saddening this kind of rhetoric is coming from Prime Minister Trudeau and his government. Instead of protecting our basic freedoms outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Justin and his government seek to do the opposite. He is continually issuing defamatory comments and maligning large segments of the population. If history has taught us anything, these are actions that cannot be ignored. We are peaceful, hard-working Canadians who love our country and want the betterment for all Canadians.”

The organizers said due to the mass support of the movement, they can no longer guarantee the average Canadian will not be disrupted by the protest.

“For that, we are truly sorry, and we will do our very best to limit the disruptions to your lives. We ask that Canadians remember we are fighting for everyone’s freedoms and it’s the political class that has abandoned us all,” said the release.

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks. One driver going the opposite direction told the Western Standard he measured the convoy at 100-km long as it approached Winnipeg.

Some supporters are unable to commit to the whole trip, but are finding ways to still participate.

“A lot of vehicles just join the parade while it’s close to their homes and then peel off later, so it’s dynamic,” Martin Halvorson, a driver in the convoy, told the Western Standard.

“The amount of people is unknown because we are not counting … The numbers are big,” convoy organizer, Andy Draaistra, told the Western Standard.

“All the support is unbelievable, we hope the overpasses will hold the tons of people,” said Draaistra.

via risex100, Twitter
Via Basia Porter, Twitter

The protest is against federal COVID-19 mandates and is scheduled to arrive in Ottawa January 30 and then hold a mass demonstration the next day, Monday, when Parliament reumes.

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

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China changes Fight Club ending to cops busting anarchists

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

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The classic film Fight Club has been changed for viewers in China, with a ‘happy ending’ that complies with domestic censorship rules.

An altered version of the 1999 film was released on streaming platform Tencent Video in China over the weekend.

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

Many in China had seen the original film pirated online and were surprised when streaming the newly released version.

Instead of buildings exploding at the end, the version shows authorities step in and win. 

Original closing scene of Fight Club

In the closing scenes of the original the narrator kills off his imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden and then watches multiple buildings explode with Marla Singer, suggesting his character’s plan to bring down modern civilization is underway.

In the censored version released in China, the narrator still kills off Durden, but the exploding buildings scene is replaced with a written message on black screen.

“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding.”

As well as Tyler, figment of the narrator’s imagination was sent to a ‘lunatic asylum’ for psychological treatment and later discharged.

Revised ending to Fight Club

China is home to some of the strictest rules regarding censorship, and only a handful of foreign films are released each year.

In the past Hollywood has created alternative cuts in order to comply with Chinese censorship rules, in hopes to access millions of viewers in the country.

It is unclear if the cut was made by western movie producers, or the Chinese government.

Tencent did not comment on the matter.

Authorities under President Xi Jinping have been working to eliminate society of influences classified as unhealthy, including within movies, television, computer games.

This effort was also extended to cracking down on the country’s local celebrities for perceived immoral behaviour.

The Cyberspace Administration of China announced earlier this week an organized month-long ‘clean’ web campaign to create a ‘civilized and healthy’ online atmosphere.

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

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Butt launches Twitter tirade on Scheer for supporting truckers

“It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened?”

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The former top aide to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has launched a Twitter broadside against former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer after he supported the truckers’ convoy rolling across Canada to protest vaccine mandates.

“Thank you Truckers! Trudeau is attacking personal liberty and threatening everyone’s ability to get groceries because of his overreach on vaccine mandates. He is the biggest threat to freedom in Canada,” Scheer tweeted.

Scheer tweet

That was enough to set Butts off.

“A breathtakingly irresponsible thing for a former Leader of the Opposition to say. Calling the prime minister — any prime minister — the biggest threat to Canadian liberty? This isn’t a dog whistle. It’s a welcome mat,” he tweeted.

“Politics is a rough business and not for the thin of skin or faint of heart. But the people in these enormously important offices have to respect those offices, even if they don’t like each other.”

Butts tweet

In a later tweet, Butts said: “Have been thinking about Mr Scheer’s comments all day. It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened? I almost wish I were a Conservative, so I could fight for my party’s soul.”

On the weekend, Butts took a run at organizer Tamara Lich in an attempt to cast doubt on the integrity of Convoy For Freedom 2022.

“An Alberta separatist has collected almost a million bucks on a GoFundMe page to ‘support’ trucker protests. Where will the money go?” asked Butts in a tweet. 

More than $4.5 million has been raised to date as thousands of truckers are expected to descend on Ottawa this weekend.

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