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EXCLUSIVE: Kenney tells UCP caucus: ‘I want a new base’

Kenney used the Sunday virtual caucus meeting to go on a tirade about the No More Lockdowns Rodeo in Bowden.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told a closed-door UCP caucus meeting on Sunday “I want a new base” as he slammed the rogue anti-lockdown rodeo in Bowden, the Western Standard has learned

Kenney used the Sunday virtual caucus meeting to rail against the ‘No More Lockdowns Rodeo’, which attracted approximately 4,000-5,000 attendees over the weekend.

Three UCP MLAs, who spoke to the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity, said another MLA spoke up and reminded Kenney that the people who went to the rodeo were the “base” of the UCP’s support.

“If they are our base, I want a new base,” Kenney told the meeting, according to the three MLAs.

One of the MLAs speaking to the Western Standard said that it was “unbecoming” of the leader who united the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties into their “promised, big blue tent”.

A poll last month showed a stunning 75% of Albertans are opposed to Kenney’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including much of the UCP’s voter base opposed to continued lockdowns. The premier has been fighting a caucus revolt against the lockdowns, and a growing movement from rank-and-file members to force an early leadership review.

Last April, Kenney had the support of 80% of Albertans in his handling of COVID-19.

Another UCP MLA told the Western Standard “Kenney believes only a small minority of Albertans take issue with this [lockdowns and other restrictions]”.

On social media on Sunday, Kenney called the rodeo “disturbing.”

“It is disturbing to see large numbers of people gathering this weekend at Bowden in flagrant violation of COVID-19 public health measures,” Kenney said on his Facebook page.

“We are all sick of this. We all want it to end. Thousands of Albertans are following the rules, sacrificing travel and social gatherings to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Not only are gatherings like this a threat to public health, they are a slap in the face to everybody who is observing the rules to keep themselves and their fellow Albertans safe.

“On a personal note, I’m angered and saddened to see so many people selfishly put themselves ahead of others. Rodeo celebrates Alberta’s Western heritage, a key part of which is our community spirit and looking out for others, especially the vulnerable. That’s the opposite of what these folks are doing.”

On Monday, Kenney said that tougher lockdowns and restrictions were coming, driven by Albertans not complying with existing orders.

According to polls, Kenney’s UCP has already begun to see its base shedding support to the Wildrose Independence Party, founded as a merger of the Freedom Conservative Party and Wexit Alberta in June of 2020.

UCP fundraising numbers have also fallen off a cliff, raising just $521,589,86 in the first quarter, half that of the NDP.

The rodeo in Bowden quickly became a flashpoint in Alberta, with progressive media personalities and both NDP and UCP politicians condemning it as large segments of the UCP base rallied to it.

The organizer of the rodeo, Ty Northcott comes from a historic rodeo family and opened up his own livestock ranch in the late ’80s.

But the three Alberta COVID-19 lockdowns have hit his business hard, leaving him with only 50% of his normal stock because the costs of wintering and feeding them depleted his bank account.

He decided to hold the rodeo as a protest to the Kenney government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Northcott, on Sunday afternoon, told the crowd the event was such as success he will hold another one July 1.

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 Editor 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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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Steven Ruthven

    May 12, 2021 at 2:37 am

    Yup 👍🏻 Wildrose Independence Party, member also.

    It didn’t take the pandemic to change my vote from UCP to Wildrose. That happened when Premier Kenney decided to let Albertans know he was a staunch Federalist, AFTER HE WAS ELECTED 😡 !! ‘The liar 🤥 & the Pretender” should be the name of his new book.

  2. Left Coast

    May 5, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Today’s chuckle . . .

    2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s jockey John Velazquez turned down a White House invite today saying:

    “If I wanted to see a horse’s ass I would of came in second.”

  3. JONATHAN DIXON

    May 5, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Previous comment by R3: “Hey Jason, we are all okay with your sexuality. Don’t let them blackmail you. We already know.” Dear R3, I’ve read Cathy O’Brien’s book, “Trance Formation of America,” and I can tell you that politicians don’t get blackmailed just for being gay. They get blackmailed because they are video-taped performing unspeakably evil actions — actions that are so cruel and evil that the average person cannot even imagine them.

  4. Baron Not Baron

    May 4, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    Kenney, why don’t you go lock yourself somewhere alone. Forever! Not just apparently, you never had a base, since you are a liar and you came with your own being a puppet agenda. Get away from this place! You are polluting Alberta with your air.

    W I L D R O S E I N D E P E N D E N T P A R T Y O F A L B E R T A !!!

  5. Joell Haugan

    May 4, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    All his base now belong to …well, anyone else actually.

  6. Arty

    May 4, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Then he should move back to Ontario.

  7. Raymond Goertzen

    May 4, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    He got my vote. Once. Now. He’s acting like a hard line Democrat. He’s No conservative. #WIPA. #SEPARATION. Go Away!

  8. Seven-Zero-One

    May 4, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    🌹Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta🌹

  9. John Lankers

    May 4, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    Kenney can split the vote with his new base in the NDP next election, he’s not gonna get it from Conservatives. He is worse than the Redford PCs were.
    #WIPA

  10. Left Coast

    May 4, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    Kenny . . . maybe it’s time you found a new Party . . . you’re no Conservative.

    People who are Conservative LEARN from life experiences . . . they don’t repeat the same stupid actions Over & Over and expect the results to be Different.

    Time to end the insane Lockdowns . . .

  11. R3

    May 4, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    Hey Jason, we are all okay with your sexuality. Don’t let them blackmail you. We already know.

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News

Third pastor arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID lockdowns

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon.

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A Calgary baptist preacher has become the third religious leader arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID-19 regulations over church attendance.

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon. He had been the subject of repeated warnings from Alberta Health Services for having too many people at his services.

Earlier this month, on the church’s website, Stephens vowed to contiue services.

“Our actions are borne out of theological commitments to the Lordship of Christ and his instruction to the church as revealed in Scripture,” wrote Stephens.

“This, above all, is the reason why we have been gathering and will continue to gather … the consequences may be severe. But we stand before Christ rather than bend before consequences.”

Pastor James Coates, of the GraceLife Church, outside Edmonton, spent a month in jail after he was arrested by the RCMP for breaking lockdown regulations repeatedly. His case is still before the courts.

Last week, Pastor Art Pawlowski was arrested in Calgary for continuing to flout the regulations at his street chruch.

Calgary police at the AHS issued a joint statement saying Stephens was “arrested this afternoon for organizing a church service that was held today at Fairview Baptist Church, located at 230 78 Ave. S.E., that did not comply with public health orders, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. Police did not enter the church during today’s service.

“CPS has received repeated calls from concerned citizens regarding church services held at Fairview Baptist Church over the past several weeks. Last weekend, Pastor Stephens was proactively served a copy of the Court of Queen’s Bench Order obtained by AHS,” the statement said.

“The pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today’s service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask-wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees.

“For several weeks, AHS has attempted to work collaboratively with leadership at Fairview Baptist Church to address the ongoing public health concerns at the site. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action.

“Once again, CPS acknowledges it is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we are still in a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”

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

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News

LETTER: Hypocrisy in high school rodeo approval

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

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RE: Hinshaw grants approval for high school rodeos

Dr. Hinshaw approved school rodeos after Premier Kenney thought the rodeo near Bowden was a bad idea. It’s the mixed messaging these two are giving that is making me mad. A lockdown with very minimum exemptions is what I thought Hinshaw wanted, but apparently not. A school rodeo can bloody well wait until after the lockdown is completed!! Let up on the Whistle Stop Cafe then, Dr. Hinshaw. What a bully.

It’s a real kick by Hinshaw, at the Whistle Stop Cafe owner. With his cafe now in chains, while Dr. Hinshaw gives out approvals during this so-called circuit breaker lockdown.

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

Steven Ruthven
Calgary, AB

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News

Opposition calls for crackdown on animal activists

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

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By EMMA GREGORY

A coalition of federal Conservatives, NDP and Bloc MPs want to increase punishment for animal rights activists trespassing on farms, because they might make the animals sick.

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

Chief Veterinary Officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said there are no proven instances of an animal rights activists spreading a disease to animals while protesting at a farm.

“To our knowledge, there are not many documented cases from trespassing or from people having demonstrations. The one that I heard is the one in Quebec, but I’m not actually sure if there is evidence of transmission from the activists to the pigs. So in the scientific literature, we have not seen much evidence of transmission of disease from these activities,” said Dr. Jaspinder Komal, to the agriculture committee earlier this month.

The one instance Komal mentioned was an allegation made by Porgreg, a pig breeding facility in Saint Hyacinthe, Que.

The activists involved in that protest, members of the group Direct Action Everywhere, are charged under the Criminal Code with breaking and entering and mischief. Whether or not they gave pigs rotavirus is a matter before the court.

Rotaviruses are common amongst pig herds and typically are transmitted from pig to pig, via the fecal-oral route.

If a human were to spread a novel rotavirus to a pig it would be in a similar fashion.

When asked if she or any of her associates pooped in the barn, activist Jenny McQueen said, “No.”

Komal said the CFIA does not police activists.

“The CFIA enforces the Health of Animals Act and regulations which address disease and biological, chemical, physical agents that may affect animals or be transmitted to persons and in the same way to protect animals from these risks…CFIA inspectors are public officers they are not peace officers… In contrast, peace officers are generally police officers, their powers include the ability to detain or arrest individuals. Peace officers may also be armed where public officers such as inspectors are not,” he said.

There are several new provincial laws that seek to lay blame for disease outbreaks in farmed animals on activists.

The Canadian Biosecurity Guideline lists an intentional act of contaminating animals with a disease is considered a possible threat of bioterrorism.

Gregory is a Vancouver-based freelance reporter

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