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UCP MLA demands Kenney resign as premier

“I know that many Albertans, including myself, no longer have confidence in your leadership.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s leadership was dealt another serious blow as the first MLA in his own caucus called for him to step down.

Todd Loewen, UCP MLA for Central Peace-Notley in northwest Alberta, published a scathing letter around midnight in the first minutes of May 13, saying Kenney refuses to listen to the public and to caucus members, that his leadership has failed, and UCP supports have abandoned Kenney specifically.

Loewen used the letter to inform Kenney he was immediately stepping down as chairman of the UCP caucus.

First elected in 2015 under the Wildrose banner for Grand Prairie-Smokey, Loewen is a popular figure in the caucus and normally maintains a low profile.

The letter takes direct aim at Kenney’s caucus management, premiership, and leadership over the party.

“I no longer believe caucus can function properly; meetings have been cancelled without members’ consent, significant decisions of government have been made without notice to members, and our input as elected members is rarely considered,” wrote Loewen. “Additionally, I feel it is best to resign this position [caucus chairman] to be able to speak freely.

“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.”

Loewen’s remarks also took direct aim at Kenney’s personal leadership.

“The caucus dysfunction that we are presently experiencing is a direct result of your leadership. The people of Alberta have lost trust in this government because you have not brought needed balance and reason to the discussion. Albertans and our UCP party members deserve better,” he wrote.

“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.

“Along with so many Albertans, our understanding was we in the UCP had united around our shared principles, integrity, and common-sense approaches to governing – in short, an Alberta ‘strong and free.’ We did not unite around blind loyalty to one man. And, while you promoted unity, it is clear that unity is falling apart. I know that many Albertans, including myself, no longer have confidence in your leadership.

“I thank you for your service, but I am asking that you resign so that we can begin to put the province back together again.”

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.”

Story will be updated as it develops

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Claudette Leece

    May 13, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Agree Declan but Alberta’s biggest danger is the apathy from so many, they expect the government to save them from themselves, which is so scary, it makes me shake. Kids are not learning about history and what happens to countries that have dictators at the helm and now provinces. .Well they were learn quick when inflation becomes an everyday word for thenm and freedoms they have are chipped away until there gone. I truly see no reason to get up everyday, to look forward to what. A communist country to tell us what to say, what to do, and how to do it. Wake up people get on your phones and let your MLA there days are numbered if they continue to support this man, who obviously has had some kind of breakdown

  2. Claudette Leece

    May 13, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Well thank good and congratulations to you for having the guts , to say out loud what I know many MLA feel. But Kenneys bullying tactics and his hostage taking of Albertans along with his shetrrif Hinshaw, complete with her own tactical force is killing our once proud province. I am embarrassed to say I live in an Alberta where pastors are dragged like mass murders along a busy highway, then a warden decides, he’s not letting him out. What the hell is going on here. Kenney has turned his back on his voters, and no we’re not tin foil conspirators, we’re everyday people who go to work and pay the taxes you need Kenney so Alberta is not completely bankrupt. You have done nothing to better tAlberta since Covid, your bipolar actions, are showing us everyday you were not mentally fit to run this province. We need to keep pressuring our MLA, who hide behind Kenney to grow some because if Imdo nothing else I will ensure every MLA that has chosen to be quiet will go down . You represent us, we pay your wages and when you go off rogue and so unpredictable time for a long vacation Kenney. UCP members call your MLA and let them know we didn’t vote for them, to end up with a male Notley. You caved to her, to the unions, we know about there threats of job action, because they don’t care what happens to small businesses, they pick up their fat paychecks, with all their benefits every two weeks and can’t see why us little people are making such a fuss. Thank you Cory, Derrick , Dave for giving us the truth what’s happening out there. Our freedoms and rights have become the whim of a corrupt justice system and when that happens, they need to change Canada’s name to match China and you sit back people and demand nothing from these power hungry politicians

  3. Declan Carroll

    May 13, 2021 at 8:25 am

    Todd is a man of courage and does right by his constituency. Kenney on the other hand has worn out his welcome. He needs to resign his position and we need a new election. The UCP candidate must be pro liberty and the other pro lockdown. The People must decide their future. No one took a vote on this lockdown garbage and it is in direct violation of the constitution. Who said living in a free society was “safe”. There are always risks associated with freedom. Besides this has been going on for a year and we have the numbers. We know one has a 99 percent chance of surviving the disease. Enough of the lies and the ridiculous covid charade. “KENNEY you’re fired” !

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News

UCP MLAs: ‘Let unvaxxed post-secondary students get back to class’

“With no evidence to show that it has made their campuses any safer, colleges and universities are denying unvaccinated Albertans the opportunity to receive a higher education,” said the letter.

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A letter questioning Alberta post-secondary institutions on policy banning unvaccinated students’ from campuses while unvaxxed healthcare workers are now permitted to rapid test has been sent to campuses across Alberta by two UCP MLAs.

MLA for Cardston-Siksika and Deputy Government House Leader Joseph Schow and Peace River MLA Dan Williams signed the letter dated Thursday addressed to eight post-secondary presidents including the universities of Lethbridge, Alberta, Calgary, Mount Royal, MacEwan, SAIT and NAIT and Bow Valley College.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, along with the Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides and the Minister of Health Jason Copping were each cc’d in the letter.

The letter outlines the change to COVID-19 measures adopted by many Alberta post-secondary institutions in September requiring all students and staff to be fully vaccinated to attend in-person and online learning.

Letter from UCP MLAs to Alberta post-secondary institutions – pg 1

“Although these post-secondary institutions have based their protocols on direction from the Government of Alberta, they have chosen to exclude the option of providing a negative PCR or rapid test,” said the letter.

“There is little to no evidence showing that universities and colleges benefit from limiting in-person learning to those who are vaccinated.”

The letter claims institutions have failed to demonstrate how students on campuses banning the unvaccinated are any safer from COVID-19 than students on campuses allowing for rapid testing instead of proof of vaccination.

“With no evidence to show that it has made their campuses any safer, colleges and universities are denying unvaccinated Albertans the opportunity to receive a higher education,” said the letter.

“Many students opportunities vanish for making a personal health choice.”

Letter from UCP MLAs to Alberta post-secondary institutions – pg 2

The letter references Albert Health Services’ recent update to its mandatory vaccination policy in December allowing unvaccinated healthcare workers the option to rapid test and return to work.

“With that in mind, we have a simple question,” said the letter.

“What makes so many university campuses in Alberta more risk-averse than a hospital or other healthcare facility?

“If Alberta healthcare workers, who are likely exposed to COVID-19 daily are permitted to rapid test, why are post-secondary students being denied the same opportunity? These students are being held to a higher standard, a standard that will unfairly deprive many young Albertans of their future.”

The letter describes Alberta’s position to “lead the country in economic growth” moving forward and suggests a “highly skilled and educated workforce” will be needed.

Both Schow and Williams request all Alberta post-secondary institutions remove their “backward-thinking COVID-19 vaccine mandates” and “allow all students the option to rapid test so they can return to school, complete their education and help build a strong Alberta.”

The Western Standard did not hear back from either MLA for comment before publishing.

Although the Alberta government has not made vaccinations mandatory for any post-secondary institutions, many have adopted the policy on their own resulting in thousands of unvaccinated students not being permitted to access in-person or remote learning.

The University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge earlier this month extended online learning until after the February reading break.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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News

Trucker freedom convoy GoFundMe raises over $1M

“It’s our duty as Canadians to put an end to this mandates. It is imperative that this happens because if we don’t our country will no longer be the country we have come to love.”

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Canadians are responding enmasse to help the country’s truckers.

A GoFundMe to help the truckers surpassed the $1 million mark on Friday afternoon, after only being established six days ago.

Money donated is to be dispersed among truckers to aid with journey costs.

Truckers and supporters alike have gathered in a cross-country convoy drive in protest of mandatory vaccinations for their industry.

Donations go towards the cost of fuel, then food and lodgings along the journey.

Our current government is implementing rules and mandates that are destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries and livelihoods,” the donation page says.

“It’s our duty as Canadians to put an end to this mandates. It is imperative that this happens because if we don’t our country will no longer be the country we have come to love. We are doing this for our future Generations and to regain our lives back.”

Truckers Freedom Convoy 2022 has 3 main routes departing from Vancouver, BC, Sarnia, ON, and Enfield, NS, all meeting in Ottawa on January 29, 2022.

Smaller chains will drive to meet with the main convoy from more rural locations across Canada.

You can find all the routes of the convoy here.

“We are a peaceful country that has helped protect nations across the globe from Tyrannical governments who oppressed their people, well now its happening to us. We are taking our fight to the doorsteps of our Federal Government and demanding that they cease all mandates against its people. Small businesses are being destroyed, homes are being destroyed, and people are being mistreated and denied fundamental necessities to survive,” the group says.

The GoFundMe page has a goal of $1,100,000.

“But it’s a small price to pay for our freedoms. We thank you all for your Donations and know that you are helping reshape this once beautiful country back to the way it was,” says the page.

Truckers were previously deemed “essential,” however the federal government green-lit the loss of 12,000-16,000 (10-15%) of cross-border commercial drivers by making vaccinations mandatory, as anticipated by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).

“This number may not sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but in cross-border areas such as Vancouver or Windsor, there’s a lot of drivers who will cross the border five or six times a day. That’s a lot of loads in a year that no longer have a way of coming up,” Colin Valentim told the Western Standard.

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

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Energy

IEA recognizes Canadian oil industry as the environmental world leader

In 2018, oil and gas companies also invested $3.6 billion in environmental protection initiatives, recognized by the IEA as by far the largest environmental protection spend of any industry in the country.  

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Canada is doing great but should take measures to continue its reputation as a preferred oil and gas supplier on the global market, says the International Energy Agency.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol is a big advocate for net zero targets, but still recognizes the reliance on oil and gas that will persist into the future.

He said he prefers oil supply to come from “good partners” like Canada, he told a press conference.

“Canada has been a cornerstone of global energy markets, a reliable partner for years,” said Birol.

“We will still need oil and gas for years to come… I prefer oil is produced by countries … like Canada (that) want to reduce the emissions of oil and gas.” 

The same IEA report included recommendations for Canada to incentivise moves away from oil production, yet the director still recognizes Canada’s contribution to the global market.

World oil consumption returned to pre-pandemic levels and natural gas demand surpassed levels pre-COVID-19 last year, according to IEA data.

Yet Canada only supplies 6% of the current world market.

Consumption of both oil and gas is expected to continue rising even as more renewable energy sources come online. 

A Russian-caused natural gas crisis in Europe has many looking to Canada as a great alternative.

“The world needs reliable partners,” said Birol, of the European situation.  

Canada is the fourth-largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and home to the third-largest oil reserves.

“This creates employment for Canadians and secure and reliable oil and gas for both domestic and global markets,” the IEA said.  

The IEA recommends that remaining competitive in global oil and gas markets requires further emission reductions, to ensure the sector remains a major driver of the Canadian economy beyond 2050.

Emission reduction has already been steadily implemented in Canada, analysts praised the oil and gas industry’s “strong track record” of reducing emissions intensity.

The oilsands by have decreased emissions by 32% since 1990 and further reductions of up to 27% are expected by 2030. 

Canadian oil and gas companies spend an average of $1 billion per year on clean energy technology, in addition to billions in environmental protection.  

In 2018, oil and gas companies also invested $3.6 billion in environmental protection initiatives, recognized by the IEA as the largest environmental protection spend of any industry in the country.  

“Canadian oil and natural gas producers are leveraging their improving environmental, social and governance performance and Canada’s stringent environmental regulations to build a global competitive advantage.”

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

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