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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 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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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

Civil service mag promotes immunization passports

Any mandatory scheme would see Canadians required to carry proof of vaccination to eat at a restaurant, visit a shopping mall or go to a baseball game, said the magazine.

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A magazine for Canadian public service managers says the country must introduce vaccine passports, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The immunity of the population is detrimental for the safe reopening of the economy and various jurisdictions across the world are exploring the idea of immunity certificates as an enabler,” said a commentary in Canadian Government Executive, a periodical published for federal public service managers.

“After a rigorous analysis of the issue of immunity certificates, this article concludes the necessity of immunity certificates in Canada as a key enabler for the safe reopening of the society and economy in a post-Covid world.”

Any mandatory scheme would see Canadians required to carry proof of vaccination to eat at a restaurant, visit a shopping mall or go to a baseball game, said the magazine.

“They can also be used to promote economic activities such as workplace safety, tourism etcetera,” said the periodical.

The magazine acknowledged Canadians were divided on the issue and numerous foreign jurisdictions have banned vaccine passports.

“It is important to note in the United States several states such as Florida, Texas, Arizona etcetera have either banned or prevented the mandatory use,” said the commentary.

Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien in a May 19 statement said vaccine passports breached the Privacy Act since they compelled users and non-users alike to disclose personal health information to access public facilities.

“There must be clear legal authority for introducing use of vaccine passports,” said Therrien, adding Parliament would require “a newly enacted public health order or law” before any mandatory scheme could be introduced.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a January 14 podcast called it a divisive issue.

“I think the indications that the vast majority of Canadians are looking to get vaccinated will get us to a good place without having to take more extreme measures that could have real divisive impacts on community and country,” said Trudeau.

“I think it’s an interesting idea but I think it is also fraught with challenges. We are certainly encouraging and motivating people to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. We always know there are people who won’t get vaccinated, and not necessarily through a personal or political choice.

“There are medical reasons. There are a broad range of reasons why someone might not get vaccinated. I’m worried about creating undesirable effects in our community.”

Federal research shows about 12% of Canadians would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine under any circumstances. A total of 26% said they did not trust the Public Health Agency, according to the Statistics Canada report.

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

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Canada Post to make bank on lending operations

The union said loans would be issued in a test project at post offices in Halifax and Bridgewater, N.S. and surrounding rural areas, as well as Calgary and Red Deer by year’s end.

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“A roll of stamps and $30,000 please.”

That will soon be possible as, for the first time in 53 years, Albertans will be able to go to the post office for a loan.

Blacklock’s Reporter said Canada Post on Thursday confirmed outlets in Alberta and Nova Scotia will broker cash loans for the Toronto Dominion Bank.

“The market test goal is to offer the new financial service in over 249 Canada Post locations before the end of 2021,” the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said in a statement.

Post offices would offer Toronto Dominion loans of $1,000 to $30,000 at “competitive rates.”

Post offices currently sell money orders, gift cards and process electronic cash transfers but disbanded deposit-taking postal banks in 1968.

The union said loans would be issued in a test project at post offices in Halifax and Bridgewater, N.S. and surrounding rural areas, as well as Calgary and Red Deer by year’s end.

“CUPW continues to support the creation of an independent postal bank despite our current partnership with Toronto Dominion Bank,” said the union.

“Partnering with a financial institution does not put an end to the goal of an independent postal bank.”

Parliament in an 1867 Postal Act allowed post offices to hold cash deposits and offer cheque-cashing services. Postal banks at their peak in 1908 held the equivalent of a billion dollars on deposit.

A 2016 Department of Public Works survey found 39% of small business owners nationwide, and 44% on the Prairies, said they would use Canada Post banking services if offered.

The department paid $142,137 for the study by Ekos Research Associates Inc.

“I think Canada Post is very open to increased financial services, not necessarily ‘postal banking’,” Brenda McAuley, national president of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association, said in an earlier interview.

“I think the word ‘banking’ scares a lot of people. The banks don’t think it is necessary.

“There are islands in British Columbia where people have to take a ferry to get to a bank. We will look at pilot projects. I’ve got quite a few places on my radar.”

Canada Post in its 2020 Annual Report said it was “reinventing our retail model” at 6,084 post offices nationwide, including “assessing new financial services and options” mainly in rural Canada.

“Our vast retail network of post offices and dealer outlets across the country provides convenient locations and services with many of them offering evening and weekend hours to meet the changing needs of Canadians,” wrote management.

Jessica McDonald, then-chair of the Canada Post board, in 2018 testimony at the Commons government operations committee said the Crown corporation was “very open-minded” on resuming postal bank services.

“Postal banking has been under a tremendous amount of discussion and continues to be,” said McDonald.

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

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Vancouver’s Stanley Park shut down at night because of fire threat

“The closure is being activated in an effort to reduce the fire risk to the park, which is extreme due to the current drought conditions and sustained heat events.”

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The risk of fire is so extreme in Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park, officials are to start closing it on a nightly basis.

“The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation will be temporarily closing all non-essential access to Stanley Park between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am beginning tonight,” said the board in a Friday statement.

“The closure is being activated in an effort to reduce the fire risk to the park, which is extreme due to the current drought conditions and sustained heat events.”

The board said park rangers will set up temporary overnight access control points at five locations.

“The current conditions in Stanley Park are extreme right now and given the size of the park, the risk of a fire breaking out overnight when fewer people may notice it or report it presents a significant threat to the wellbeing of the park, its trees, wildlife, and everyone who relies on the park and its ongoing health,” said Amit Gandha, Director of Park Operations.

“We have been in close contact with our partners at Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services as well as the Vancouver Police Department and they fully support this proactive measure to reduce the risk of a catastrophic fire in the park.”

Vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and anyone who does not require access to the park will be turned around at access control points. 

Anyone requiring entry into the park during the closure, including the #19 bus, emergency services, patrons, and staff of park businesses, will be permitted to enter through the control points. Individuals who remain in the park after the closure begins will have unrestricted access to leave the park through the control points, said the board.

The access control points will be positioned at the following locations:

  • Traffic circle off Georgia St
  • The corner of Barclay and Park Lane
  • The corner of Beach Ave and Park Lane
  • The south exit of the Stanley Park Causeway
  • The north exit of the Stanley Park Causeway

The Causeway will remain open but access to the seawall will be closed.

The temporary closure will be in effect seven days a week beginning Friday, July 30 and will extend indefinitely until the fire risk has been significantly reduced.

Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest urban park, with more than 400 hectares of naturalized West Coast forest. The park has approximately half a million trees – mostly cedar, fir, and hemlock – some of which are hundreds of years old.

Hundreds of wildfires are currently burning across BC.

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

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

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