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Alberta police warn lockdown protest arrests imminent

The Calgary Police Service and the RCMP issued almost simultaneous news releases Friday night warnings arrest could start happening as early as tomorrow.

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Police forces in Alberta have issued a warning to COVID-19 protesters this weekend – a new court injunction obtained by the AHS has cleared the way for them to start making arrests.

The Calgary Police Service and the RCMP issued almost simultaneous news releases Friday night warnings arrest could start happening as early as tomorrow.

“On May 6, the Court of Queen’s Bench granted a pre-emptive injunction against all planned events in contravention of public health orders. The injunction essentially defines these events as illegal public gatherings that do not comply with masking, attendance limits and physical distancing requirements,” said the RCMP release.

“Law enforcement agencies can act immediately under this injunction, without the necessity of Alberta Health Services attendance. There are a variety of ways to enforce this order, including the ability to issue tickets, fines and criminal charges to individuals who are breaking public health orders by organizing and/or attending these events. This can include arrest and removal of any person who has notice of this Order and chooses to act in violation of it.”

There have been weekly anti-lockdown marches in Calgary for weeks now. But for the most part CPS officers have only watched from a distance, handing out the occasional ticket to protest organizers.

But the CPS, in their statement, also warned of looming arrests.

“Alberta Health Services has obtained a Court of Queen’s Bench Order that applies to gatherings including protests, demonstrations and rallies – this is a significant development,” said the CPS statement.

“This Order imposes new restrictions on organizers of protests and demonstrations requiring compliance with public health orders in effect relating to masking, physical distancing, and attendance limits. In the event of non-compliance, the Order provides enforcement powers, including powers of arrest, for those that are organizing, promoting and attending any public gathering where public health orders are not being followed.”

“We continue to work with our partners and the community to stop the spread of COVID-19. We ask those who may be considering organizing or participating in any outdoor events to ensure they are familiar with public health order requirements and to do their part to prevent further spread of the virus.”

It’s all part of the same order that declared a weekend protest at the Whistle Stop Cafe illegal, even though it hasn’t happened yet.

It was a pre-emptive injunction against, Chris Scott, the owner of Whistle Stop, because the restaurant plans to host a rally over the upcoming weekend called the “Save Alberta Campout Protest.” The injunction was granted at the request of Alberta Health Services (AHS), an agency under Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

Last week, the RCMP raided the establishment and carted away all its booze. On Wednesday, the RCMP and AHS officials showed up en masse and padlocked the building.

Undeterred, Scott continued cooking pancakes, making burgers and serving coffee to his customers in the parking lot outside his shuttered restaurant. The UCP government recently banned outdoor patio service for restaurants.

He and others, outraged by the province’s lockdown regulations, planned to protest the closure with a campout over the weekend adjacent to the restaurant.

But the AHS, which sought the injunction, said the judge ruled it illegal because it would not comply with public health restrictions on mandatory masking, attendance limits, and social distancing.

“AHS has taken this step due to the ongoing risk to Albertans created by those breaching COVID-19 public health restrictions,” it said in a statement.

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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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    May 9, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Why do you suppose the Police don’t investigate the still operating Moosques?

    Would that be racist . . . in their weak minds, in spite of the fact that every race on the planet has followers of izzzzlam!

    https://rairfoundation.com/breaking-video-canadas-war-on-christians-police-arrest-pastor-for-opening-church-mosques-operating/

  2. Left Coast

    May 8, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Anyone with more than 3 functioning brain cells . . . knows that outdoor transmission is rare. We watched the “Peaceful” Protests in Demokkkrat Cities for the last year as they rioted and burned . . . where was the massive outbreak? Didn’t happen . . .

    These tyrants need to be locked up . . . long past time Dumb Canooks woke the hell up . . . our political class are using this Wuhan Flu to play Diktator.

  3. Eli

    May 8, 2021 at 5:42 am

    So…good call guys. They just told everyone that disobedience to this tyranny is mandatory, because at no point when governments overreach do they ever claw back their grabs for power.

  4. Donna Prettegiani

    May 8, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Excuse my language but these unconstitutional orders makes my blood boil.

    Everyone should switch to a car/truck driving protest. At the protest time and date, everyone should drive a specified route and honk their horns where Kenny and Hinshaw can hear the protest. This could go on for hours. Then go to the fake news media outlets too. Nothing illegal about going out for a drive (yet!).

    At the very least the protest routes should go where these dictatorial a**holes can hear the protest (as much as I would like them to go by their homes).

    Also a time of day coordinated horn honking in the cities, would be interesting to hear the results.

    Even nation wide protest could be done this way at the same time/day every week.

    Maybe someone can get this suggestion to organizers that can make a difference. Count me in on any car parade protest / horn honk or organizing effort. Could be coordinated by messages on a web site (western standard and/or rebel :-} ) where people can see the messages on their phones from phone web browser. Could try social media but they will probably block/shadow ban the protest info. Best to go with email/web outside of government control or maybe mass texting (but texting can be blocked too). Final routes with many alternates would be broadcast last minute to avoid/work around the inevitable police state actions.

    Kenny seems to have his head so far up his a** that he has lost his mind up there. He refuses to consider any other medical policy advice from anyone outside of the government bubble. Kenny/Hinshaw will not publicly release all the data/studies/methods and statistics for basis of these insane decisions. This is more like “must protect government bureaucrats” at all costs and cover their a**es.

    Jerry Prettegiani
    Calgary
    no longer a UCP supporter

    PS.
    The following is is not a recommendation or call to action, just my personal opinion.
    If we have too many or the wrong visitors police can now break in our homes and arrest us. If we gather for political protest the police can arrest us. If you play in the park with too many people the police can arrest us. If you try to organize a protest the police can arrest you.
    This IS now personal and I would like to see the driving protests go by their homes just like the dictatorial unconstitutional “rules” have affected our homes and freedoms. This seems like the least we can do to protest considering that Kenny/Hinshaw has now enabled the police break into your home and arrest you on a health order!

  5. Donna Prettegiani

    May 7, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Excuse my language but these unconstitutional orders makes my blood boil.

    Everyone should switch to a car/truck driving protest. At the protest time and date, everyone should drive a route by Kenny’s and Hinshaw’s houses when they are home and honk their horns. This could go on for hours. Then go to the fake news media outlets too. Nothing illegal about going out for a drive (yet!). This IS now personal and the protests should be taken to their homes just like the dictatorial unconstitutional “rules” have affected our homes and freedoms.

    At the very least the protest routes should go where these dictatorial assholes can hear the protest (as much as I would like them to go by their homes).

    Also a time of day coordinated horn honking in the cities, would be interesting to hear the results.

    Even nation wide protest could be done this way at the same time/day every week.

    Maybe someone can get this suggestion to organizers that can make a difference. Count me in on any car parade protest / horn honk or organizing effort. Could be coordinated by messages on a web site (western standard and/or rebel :-} ) where people can see the messages on their phones from phone web browser. Could try social media but they will probably block/shadow ban the protest info. Best to go with email/web outside of government control or maybe mass texting (but texting can be blocked too). Final routes with many alternates would be broadcast last minute to avoid/work around the inevitable police state actions.

    Kenny seems to have his head so far up his ass that he has lost his mind up there. He refuses to consider any other medical policy advice from anyone outside of the government bubble. Kenny/Hinshaw will not publicly release all the data/studies/methods and statistics for basis of these insane decisions. This is more like “must protect government bureaucrats” at all costs and cover their asses.

    Jerry Prettegiani
    Calgary
    no longer a UCP supporter

  6. William

    May 7, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    The rally organizers just have to claim they’re having a black live matter rally and the cops won’t touch it.

  7. Kelly Whitehouse

    May 7, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    This is pure insanity.

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CLEMENT: No reason to toast federal tax on non-alcoholic beer

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong.

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Sin-taxes, across all sectors, are fairly excessive in Canada. At almost every turn the government sinks its tax teeth into the process of you purchasing the products you like. This is true for cannabis products, alcohol, tobacco, vaping, gas, and annoyingly so, non-alcoholic beer. Yes, non-alcoholic beer in Canada is not exempt from federal excise taxes.

You read that right. The federal government also extends its sin-tax regime for non-alcoholic beer, at a rate of $2.82/hectolitre.

The application of excise taxes for non-alcoholic beer is problematic for a variety of reasons. The first, and most glaring, is that it is hypocritical given that the federal government has exempted non-alcoholic wine and spirits from the excise tax. Why apply it for beer, but not wine and spirits? Obviously, a more consistent approach would be to simply exempt all non-alcoholic beverages from the excise tax, because the purpose of the sin tax is to recover alcohol-related healthcare costs. That said, there are no alcohol-related healthcare costs at all from non-alcoholic beer, which immediately shows the lunacy of sin-taxing these products.

In addition to correcting hypocrisy, removing the excise tax for non-alcoholic beer would put federal policy in line with how the provinces treat these products. Provincial regulators, including Alberta, don’t require non-alcoholic beverages to be sold at licensed alcohol retail outlets, because they’ve accepted the obvious that these products don’t have alcohol in them and thus shouldn’t be strictly regulated. That is why in Alberta these products are often sold alongside carbonated water and pop. Removing the excise tax would be the federal government following the lead of the provinces in treating non-alcoholic beer differently than beer, because they are in fact different.

On the industry side, the federal excise tax acts as a barrier for product development in Canada, mostly because other beer producing jurisdictions (US,EU,UK) don’t tax non-alcoholic beer. Because of this the domestic industry in those jurisdictions has flourished, offering consumers more choice and at better prices. Their sane tax policy, coupled with increased consumer demand, is in large part why the non-alcoholic beer market is expected to grow to over $4 billion by 2025. These drinks aren’t just for hipsters, designated drivers and pregnant women anymore.

Lastly, and most importantly, is how non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of new products reducing harm for consumers. And while I don’t personally enjoy these drinks, I can see why someone would still want to enjoy a beer with their friends, or at a bar, without the alcohol that comes along with it.

From a harm reduction perspective, it makes perfect sense to have different tax strategies for products that vary in risk. The Trudeau government, at times, has championed harm reduction for illegal drugs but appears to have a blind spot when it comes to legal substances. This is an uncomfortable trend from Ottawa that is perfectly exemplified by the excise tax on non-alcoholic beer. Ottawa has kept the excise tax system for non-smokable THC cannabis products, like edibles and beverages, despite the fact they are significantly less harmful. They’ve sought to ban vape flavours, despite the fact that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, and flavours are an incredibly useful tool for adult smokers trying to quit.

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong. Hopefully, come Budget 2022, they can correct this mistake and remove the excise tax from these products entirely.

David Clement is a columnist for the Western Standard and the North American Affairs Manager with the Consumer Choice Center

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EXCLUSIVE: 2003 hearing ruled Chu’s accuser ‘not to be believed’

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

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The accuser at the centre of the embattled Calgary Coun. Sean Chu controversy told a hearing he sexually assaulted her while holding a gun to her head, according to documents obtained by the Western Standard.

But the presiding officer at the police disciplinary hearing, Insp. Debbie Middleton-Hope, said the then 16-year-old minor’s testimony was not credible and not to be believed.

The sentencing hearing took place Jan. 31, 2003 and lasted eight minutes.

Chu did admit to caressing the woman’s leg while in uniform at the King’s Head pub on Macleod Tr. after meeting her while conducting a walk-through patrol in August of 1997.

After his shift, Chu went home to change into civilian clothes before returning to the pub to meet the girl.

Middleton-Hope said in her statement that Chu provided investigators with intimate details of sexual contact the pair had when they returned to his home.

“I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed,” said Middleton-Hope, a long-serving, well-respected Calgary policewoman, now retired.

The woman, in turn, denied Chu had caressed her leg.

“… her evidence was directed on an aggressive, physical struggle at which time a gun was held to her head,” said Middleton-Hope.

But Middleton-Hope said she found the woman’s testimony “inconsistent.”

“Under cross-examination (the woman) had difficulty in recalling pertinent details,” said Middleton-Hope.

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

Middleton-Hope also addressed the age of the woman, who was 16 at the time.

“I have no evidence before me Const. Chu was aware of this fact. Several witnesses said [the girl] appeared to be 19 to 21 years old,” she ruled.

The accuser also testified she had an interaction with Chu two years previous after an altercation at school. Chu wasn’t the investigating officer, but did speak to the girl on the phone.

“…and [received] a Christmas card from her as a result of that phone call,” Middleton-Hope said.

“No evidence was presented that Constable Chu was aware of her age from this verbal contact.

“I believe Constable Chu to be sincere when he indicates he was unsuspecting of [the accusers] exact age.”

Middletin-Hope then ordered Chu have a letter of reprimand on his file for discreditable conduct for caressing the accuser’s leg while on duty.

Chu was also ordered to undergo six months of ethics training.

Middleton-Hope noted performance reviews in his 10-year police career described Chu as “hard working” and “highly motivated.”

For the third time, Chu was elected on October 18 to be the councillor for Ward 4. He won by 100 votes, winning the advance poll, but losing on election day. Documents over the case had been leaked to the media just days before the election in what Chu called a “political assassination.”

There have been a chorus of demands from other politicians for Chu to resign and a byelection called. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek and most of the incoming council have demanded Chu resign.

Chu said he would be happy to meet with Mayor-Elect Gondek to discuss the situation.

Dueling protests — one for Chu and one against — are planned in front of city hall on Sunday.

Chu has vowed to not resign and wants to clear his name.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm,” Chu told the Western Standard in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

Chu admits there was “some touching underneath clothes” in the 1997 incident.

“She then said she wanted to go home and I drove her straight there.”

Chu denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

“If there had been a gun involved there would have been charges,” said Chu.

Documents obtained by the Western Standard and other media indicate that the woman claimed the whole process was a “cover-up.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

Now Chu said he is looking at his legal options and a possible defamation suit over some of what he called the false reporting.

“I have always told the truth. My reputation is important to me and now my family is hurting,” said Chu.

Chu said he wouldn’t comment on remarks made by Gondek that she will try and remove him from council.

“I will continue to tell the truth at council and will be a fiscal hawk,” he said.

“The most important thing is I told the truth and the truth will prevail.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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TV news mistakes leads to censure

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.

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A St. John’s TV station breached newsroom ethics when it put out a report containing mistakes, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The TV station was censured for garbling a handful of facts in a local story.

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.

Correct information “could have been easily verified by the reporter prior to airing the news segment,” wrote the Council.

NTV on its flagship suppertime newscast last April 26 broadcast a story on a local parole case that misstated the year of the crime, the date the killer was convicted, and the number of years the murderer served in the penitentiary.

“This whole story was riddled with inconsistencies,” complained one viewer.

“He was charged and convicted in 2003. They reported 2002.

“These facts were not factual. There were four mistakes in the story.”

NTV management apologized and acknowledged errors were made as the story was “rushed to air” but denied any breach of newsroom ethics.

“Although we do not believe our coverage of this story was in breach of any industry guidelines or codes, we understand every individual may view news material or programming from a different perspective,” wrote station managers.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code Of Ethics states, “It shall be the responsibility of broadcasters to ensure that news shall be represented with accuracy.”

A similar Code Of Journalistic Ethics by the Radio Television Digital News Association states: “We are committed to journalism in the public interest that is accurate and reliable.”

“There was no deliberate attempt by NTV to change the narrative of this story which focused on the revocation of the parole of the convicted murderer,” wrote the Standards Council.

“It is understandable that in a rush to get the story to air, incorrect pieces of information were used.”

“Journalists should strive to verify facts and put them in context. These inaccuracies constitute breaches.”

There are no fines for breaching TV codes. The station must announce the violation on its newscast.

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