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EXCLUSIVE POLL: Opposition to lockdowns on the rise in Alberta

While opposition to lockdowns in Alberta has grown from 39% to 45% since January, the number of hardcore opponents has more than doubled.

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An exclusive Mainstreet Research Poll commissioned by the Western Standard shows opposition to continued lockdowns and other COVID-19 restrictions are on the rise, and there are sharp divisions in the province over the issue.

Of the 1,010 Albertans surveyed, 52% said that they supported continued lockdowns and 45% said they should be ended immediately.

While those in support had a slight edge in overall support, the intensity of those who were fiercely opposed was more than twice that of those who were strongly supportive.

The poll was conducted between May 19-20, 2021 with a scientifically-weighted sample size of 1,010 adults living in Alberta. Respondents were interviewed on landlines and cell phones and the results have a margin of error of +/- 3% with a confidence level of 95%.

Most of those who said they were opposed (25%) agreed “The lockdown and all restrictions should be ended immediately,” and another 20% agreed with the statement: “The lockdown should end immediately with some restrictions to be kept in place temporarily.”

The 52% of survey respondents who said they supported continued lockdowns were markedly less adamant. Of those respondents, 41% agreed: “The lockdown and all restrictions should continue until Public Health officials say it is safe,” while just 11% agreed with the statement: “The lockdown and all restrictions should continue until COVID−19 vaccination of the entire Alberta population.”

While the proportion of Albertans supporting continued lockdowns continues to hold a slim majority, that majority has slipped markedly since the same questions were polled in early January 2021. That poll showed that a combination of hardcore and softcore lockdown supporters added up to 57%, now down to 52%.

Alberta support and opposition to lockdowns, Jan and May 2021 Shareable with credit and hyperlink.

By contrast, combined hardcore and softcore lockdown opponents have increased from 39% to 45%. Of note is the massive increase in hardcore opposition from just 12% in January, to 25% in May.

Support for, and opposition to, lockdowns also cuts clearly along partisan lines.

Among current NDP voters, 85.3% said that lockdowns should continue, including 18.7% who were hard pro-lockdown. Just 11.8% of NDP voters support ending lockdowns.

Among current UCP voters, 55.3% said they were opposed to continued lockdowns, including 25.4% who were hard anti-lockdown. This number is significantly higher among those who voted UCP in 2019, however, with a combined 62.6%, including 38.3% who are hard anti-lockdown supporters.

Mainstreet Research President Quito Maggi pointed to Alberta Premier Kenney’s COVID-19 policies as a key driver of plummeting UCP support.

Alberta support and opposition to lockdowns by party voters, May 2021 Shareable with credit and hyperlink.

“It’s a near-impossible task for Jason Kenney in terms of how he handles the pandemic,” said Maggi. “When we look at why people don’t approve of how he’s handling [COVID-19], you have a mix of people on the left who say he’s not strict enough, and people on the right who say the lockdown must end. That’s what’s driving that vote.”

That poll released yesterday saw the UCP trailing the NDP in second place, at 28% and 35% respectively, and the Wildrose Independence Party growing to 16% support.

Wildrose voters were even more likely than UCP voters to oppose continued lockdowns, with a combined 88.3%, and 69% which were hard anti-lockdown. Just 11.7% of Wildrose voters said they support continued lockdowns.

The poll’s data also found deep regional divisions across Alberta.

Support for continued lockdowns was highest in Edmonton, with a combined 63.8%, and 33.7% opposed. In Calgary, support for lockdowns was still in the majority at 58.7%, but a growing 37.5% in opposition.

The “rest of Alberta” – which includes both rural areas and smaller urban areas – deviated sharply from the two big cities. There, 58.9% said the lockdown should end immediately, with 36.5% in the hard anti-lockdown camp. Pro-lockdown support in the “rest of Alberta” made up 37.7%.

Alberta support and opposition to lockdowns by region, May 2021 Shareable with credit and hyperlink.

The debate over COVID-19 lockdowns and other restrictions is driving a large shift in the Alberta political landscape. In the same survey, Albertans were asked which party they voted for in the last election, and which party they would vote for if an election were held today.

The NDP lead the pack with 35% among decided and leaning voters. The UCP is in second with 28%, and the Wildrose Independence Party has pushed itself into a competitive third place at 16%. 

Another 7% of voters were undecided; with 5% for the Alberta Party, 3% for the Liberals, 2% for the Greens, and 3% for “other.” 

Maggi said Alberta’s political environment is quickly becoming a three-party system as the unpopularity of Kenney weighs heavily on UCP support.

“My advice federally to Conservatives is to not be within a mile of Jason Kenney right now. His performance on the pandemic – on both ends of the spectrum – is putting a taint on all Conservatives. This is causing an uptick in Maverick Party support, and Wildrose support.

“Being a three-way race [outside the two big cities], you’re talking three seats for Wildrose Independence, minimum. I’m sure some of the modellers are going to look at these numbers and release seat projections. The more important number is those in Calgary and Edmonton, because they come one-for-one from UCP support.”

The UCP, NDP and Wildrose are locked in a tight three-way race outside of the two big cities, at 31.7%, 23.0%, and 23.1% respectively.

“The most surprising number provincially is the Wildrose Independence support in both Edmonton and Calgary being in the double digits”, said Maggi. 

The NDP hold a slight edge in Calgary at 36.6%, followed closely by the UCP at 32.6%, and the Wildrose at 10%.

In Edmonton, the NDP have a commanding lead at 49.1%, far ahead of the UCP at 19.4%, and the Wildrose at 12.3%.

While the NDP leads province-wide, the numbers don’t necessarily point to an NDP majority government.

“The only path to a majority (NDP leader) Rachel Notley has is a sweep of Edmonton, a sweep of Calgary, and a handful of rural seats.” 

Asked what’s driving the shift in party support, Maggi pointed primarily to Kenney’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It’s the performance of the UCP on the pandemic. When very few strongly approve of Kenney’s handling of the pandemic, and a huge number strongly disapprove. There’s your answer right there.”

Just 48% of those who voted UCP in 2019 say they intend to do so again. The NDP has held 86.9% of its 2019 support, and picked up 12.3% of those who voted UCP, and 31.3% of those who voted Alberta Party. 

The Wildrose has consolidated much of the support from the smaller rightist/sovereigntist parties in 2019, and picked up 23.7% of those who voted UCP, and 23.1% of those who voted Alberta Party. The Alberta Party has retained just 35.2% of those who voted for them in 2019. 

Maggi was not optimistic when asked if Kenney can reclaim most of the wayward Wildrose voters.

“It’s hard to say right now. I’d have to see what things look like in a year. But when you look at how many want Kenney to step down as premier, including those who voted UCP, it didn’t all go to the Wildrose, but some has gone to the NDP.

“Once a vote intention changes like that, it tends to be sticky. It’s hard to win it back. When a party is losing moderates to the NDP, and conservatives to the Wildrose, it’s hard to imagine coming out of that nosedive. It’s a pretty daunting task.”

Maggi says the news could get worse for Kenney once Wildrose elected a permanent leader and develops a personal brand, “but it depends on who that leader is.” 

The Wildrose Independence Party is currently holding a leadership race with the only declared candidate so far Paul Hinman, the founding leader of the original Wildrose Alliance Party. As the only candidate in the race, he will face an up-or-down vote by party members on August 28.

Growing tension in the UCP 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 a 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 the comments were only referring to people making death threats against him, but UCP MLAs told the Western Standard Kenney was “lying.”

Last week Kenney moved to expel two rebel MLAs from the UCP Caucus after Todd Loewen published a letter calling for the premier’s resignation. 

The move comes as the caucus and party has been wracked by internal infighting over issues of Kenney’s “Fair Deal Panel,” and most significantly the government’s reaction to COVID-19.

Western Standard Staff
news@westernstandardonline.com

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    May 23, 2021 at 10:31 am

    In India they approached things a little different . . . .

    All adults in Goa will be given Ivermectin, irrespective of their vaccination status, to prevent complications arising out of Covid-19 infection. Ivermectin is a drug used to treat many types of parasite infestations, and it does not prevent Covid-19, but can help reduce the severity, said state health minister Vishwajit Rane.

    “I have given instructions for immediate implementation of prophylaxis (action taken to prevent disease) treatment,” Rane said.

    “People will be given Ivermectin 12mg for a period of five days. Expert panels from the UK, Italy, Spain and Japan, found a large, statistically significant reduction in mortality, recovery time, and viral clearance in Covid-19 patients treated with Ivermectin,” Rane said on Monday. — Hindustan Times

    Cases and fatalities came down almost immediately.

    Just three weeks after adding Ivermectin, Delhi now leads India out of the deadly second surge of the COVID pandemic. Cases that had peaked at 28,395 on April 20 plummeted nearly 80% to just 6,430 on May 15. Deaths peaked May 4, and now they are also down 25%.
    Meanwhile, three other Indian states have followed Goa’s lead in adding Ivermectin: Uttarkhand, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh. And, as expected, they have seen a drop in new daily cases as well, with Uttar Pradesh down nearly 75% from a peak of 37,944 just four days after they began following the April 20 AIIMS guidance to just 10,505 on May 16.

    Why do you think Canadian Drs & Politicians are too friggin Stupid to do the same ? ? ?

  2. berta baby

    May 23, 2021 at 6:32 am

    Ya never having a majority government again would be okay with me… communist kenney and his weaponized courts and police state can definitely count on me to not vote for UCP ever again

  3. Baron Not Baron

    May 23, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Hint: the lockdowns will never end, until you get used to it, as the “new norm” – unless you really retaliate. I never saw a totalitarian regime falling because it decided to fall.. it actually always required sacrifice, blood shed.. you know, the usual.
    If you ever believed that a parasite will leave the host on its own, you were making a mistake.

  4. Dave Lindsay

    May 22, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    If Trudope goes ahead with C-10, I see a CLEAR Wildrose Win come Election Time

  5. Left Coast

    May 22, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    “52% said that they supported continued lockdowns” ? ? ?

    Followup Question: Which lockdown do you think is going to work? Number 10 in 2023?

    Are 52% of the folks really this dumb? Or, is this the fault of the FakeStream Media who have bombarded them with Fear & Scare for over a year now?

    Instead of reporting that those under 60 and healthy have a 99% + chance of surviving the virus. The FACT that the vast Majority of the deaths in Alberta are the Elderly & those with Co-morbidities.

    When did the all-knowing Dr. Hinshaw inform the folks how to treat the Virus before you are too sick to remain at home and have to go to the hospital? Didn’t happen . . .

    Ivermectin, Zinc, Vit C & D, and HCQ all help if taken early . . . but no one got that message from the so-called “Experts” . . .

  6. Steven Ruthven

    May 22, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Just wondering how many of the pro lockdown folks are actually staying staying at home? How many are leaving the cities & heading to the campgrounds for the long weekend? Who earlier complained about a rodeo near Bowden, AB or the forced closure of the Whistle Stop Cafe or forced closure of a couple of church’s.

    The hypocrisy here is that, these same people will go out to the big box stores. With just as many people around them. So I say to AHS, why is there lockdowns for a certain class of businesses while other classes of businesses are given freedom with apparently little AHS oversight?

    That’s the way I see it.

  7. Baron Not Baron

    May 22, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    I can clearly see an exodus to the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta, from UCP and even from NDP!
    There is an absolute advantage to be sovereign, from every point of view. We, Albertans, are to decide what is best for us – no more need to ask a bunch of foreigner from Ottawa when we should breath, eat, pay all we have – to them, pee, or how to!
    Freedom of life.

  8. K Snyder

    May 22, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    The key is focusing on the demographic who supports lockdowns because they believe those in charge know what they are doing. If the UCP has a chance they need to stop going after the never-conservatives (NDP) and update the narrative on covid – specifically ICU and deaths are low, and “cases” are just positive tests, not necessarily sick, so drop that stat from updates, it’s not relevant. Give those who cannot look at data pragmatically a narrative that comforts them (the truth) and stop the lockdown now….. Or welcome in the wildrose….

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News

Penticton joins list of cities cancelling Canada Day celebtations

The mayor reached out to Chief Greg Gabriel of the Penticton Indian Band, to ask how council could support the local First Nations community following the Kamloops discovery.

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The city of Penticton has become the second municipality in BC to cancel Canada Day festivites.

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

“When we heard what happened in Kamloops and they found the 215 unmarked graves of those children, we thought it was appropriate to hold back and wait to see what the federal government was going to announce,” Mayor John Vassilaki told CBC.

The mayor reached out to Chief Greg Gabriel of the Penticton Indian Band, to ask how council could support the local First Nations community following the Kamloops discovery.

“The Chief also made a note that if we were to cool down the celebrations this year, it would be greatly appreciated by the Penticton Indian Band,” said Vassilaki. 

“And we wanted to show respect and reconciliation with what happened in Kamloops.”

St. Albert this weekend became the first city in Alberta to cancel celebrations.

“In respect of our community members who have experienced and continue to experience the effects of intergenerational trauma due to the residential school system, the City of St. Albert will not be hosting its annual Canada Day fireworks display this year,” it said in a tweet.

The city of Victoria was the first out of the block when they cancelled their Canada Day programing last week.

“As First Nations mourn and in light of the challenging moment we are in as a Canadian nation following the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Kamloops Residential School, Council has decided to take the time to explore new possibilities, instead of the previously planned virtual Canada Day broadcast,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in a media statement.

City council, who voted unanimously to change its plans for July 1, noted everyone will celebrate Canada Day in their own way.

“The City of Victoria aims to take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it means to be Canadian in light of recent events and what we already know from our past,” says the City of Victoria in a release.

Helps also made headlines in 2018 when she had a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald – one of the central figures involved in bringing residential schools into Canada – removed from the front of Victoria City Hall.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended residential schools between the 1860s and 1996, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Kamloops Industrial School (later known as the Kamloops Indian Residential School) was opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890 before growing into the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system.

While several Catholic bishops across Canada have apologized and requested the release of documents in response to the discovery in Kamloops, the Vatican has yet to issue an apology or release documents.

As for the Canadian government, 15 tons of paper documents related to the residential school system between 1936 and 1944, including 200,000 Indian Affairs files, were destroyed by Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s government, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report.

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

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News

St. Albert cancels Canada Day fireworks

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

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The city of St. Albert has become the first municipality in Alberta to cancel some Canada Day celebrations.

“In respect of our community members who have experienced and continue to experience the effects of intergenerational trauma due to the residential school system, the City of St. Albert will not be hosting its annual Canada Day fireworks display this year,” it said in a tweet.

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

The city of Victoria was the first out of the block when they cancelled their Canada Day programing last week.

“As First Nations mourn and in light of the challenging moment we are in as a Canadian nation following the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Kamloops Residential School, Council has decided to take the time to explore new possibilities, instead of the previously planned virtual Canada Day broadcast,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in a media statement.

City council, who voted unanimously to change its plans for July 1, noted everyone will celebrate Canada Day in their own way.

“The City of Victoria aims to take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it means to be Canadian in light of recent events and what we already know from our past,” says the City of Victoria in a release.

Helps also made headlines in 2018 when she had a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald – one of the central figures involved in bringing residential schools into Canada – removed from the front of Victoria City Hall.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended residential schools between the 1860s and 1996, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Kamloops Industrial School (later known as the Kamloops Indian Residential School) was opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890 before growing into the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system.

While several Catholic bishops across Canada have apologized and requested the release of documents in response to the discovery in Kamloops, the Vatican has yet to issue an apology or release documents.

As for the Canadian government, 15 tons of paper documents related to the residential school system between 1936 and 1944, including 200,000 Indian Affairs files, were destroyed by Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s government, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report.

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

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News

BREAKING: Alberta to drop all COVID restrictions on Canada Day

Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday the province has reached the targets to launch Stage 3 which was a vaccination rate of 70.2% in the province.

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It’s all systems go for Alberta to launch into Stage 3 of its COVID-19 recovery plan.

Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday the province has reached the targets to launch Stage 3, which included a vaccination rate of 70.2% in the province.

He said Alberta will drop all COVID-19 regulations on July 1 and “our lives will get back to normal.”

That means:

  • All restrictions lifted, including ban on indoor social gatherings
  • Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures in continuing care settings remain

“This is a great day for Alberta! Thanks to the diligence of Albertans and the decision of 2.7 million folks to get vaccinated, we are now just two weeks away from getting our lives back to normal,” said Kenney at a Friday press conference.

“This is an important milestone and a great achievement, but we will not stop here. We will keep administering first and second doses as quickly as possible so we’re not just open for summer, but open for good.”

Kenney said the general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but masking may still be required in limited and specific settings.

And the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton have said they may continue with their municipal mask bylaws.

“With more than 70% of eligible Albertans now vaccinated with a first dose and more receiving second doses every day, the end of this pandemic is near,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

“Thank you to the Albertans who have rolled up their sleeves to get protected. For those who are still thinking about getting a shot, you have only one week to get your shot before we draw for $1 million and other great prizes.”

Anyone in Alberta aged 18 and over can still enter the first Open for Summer Lottery draw for a chance to win $1 million. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on June 24 and proof of vaccination will be required to claim the prize. The winner will be announced on July 1.

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

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