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EXCLUSIVE: Shandro says he ordered officials to go after high profile lockdown breakers

Those people likely involve Chris Scott, Ty Northcott, and pastors James Coates, Tim Stephens and Art Pawlowski.

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Health Minister Tyler Shandro told the UCP caucus Thursday morning that the government has told officials to go after high profile breakers of COVID-19 lockdown rules, according to a UCP MLA who spoke to the Western Standard on condition of anonymity.

Those people likely involve Chris Scott, Ty Northcott, and pastors James Coates, Tim Stephens and Art Pawlowski.

The source says that Shandro made the statement when he was updating the UCP caucus on the COVID-19 situation in the province.

It is rare, and analysts say dangerous, for politicians to get directly involved with the justice system.

“The purpose of law in a free and democratic society is to liberate, not to restrain. Our legal system and its independence from political interference helps contribute to a just society where power is constrained so that freedom and safety are available to all,” wrote lawyer Michael Spratt for Canadian Lawyer.

“But this is a fragile system, built on trust in its legitimacy. That, however, has not stopped politicians from trying to place their thumbs on the scales of justice.

“The message to those seeking to interfere in the administration of justice must be clear. Take your stinking paws off the justice system you damn, dirty politicians.”

The Kenney government has repeatedly said that it does not direct prosecutors for individual cases. 

On May 5, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said the government will take “concrete action” on those flagrant cases, though he did not give specifics.

“It’s become clear that there are a small few who refuse to comply with reasonable and legitimate public health orders. As minister of justice and solicitor general, it troubles me to see the rule of law being eroded in this way. Action must be taken,” Madu said.

A new working group made up of representatives from Alberta Health Services, police and police chiefs, Crown prosecutors, Occupational Health and Safety, and Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis was set up to help deal with the problem, Postmedia reported.

“Enforcement is expected to be timely and escalate through the ladder of enforcement actions quicker than normal. It is important to note that the individual/organizations have already established a blatant willingness to ignore directions or other initial enforcement actions,” reads the framework obtained by Postmedia.

Madu said he has not directed any local police not to enforce orders or issue tickets.

Chris Scott is the owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, 50 km east of Red Deer. He has kept his establishment open despite repeated warning from Alberta Health Services. The Whistle Stop was raided by the RCMP, had it’s alcohol seized and was finally padlocked.

Ty Northcott is the Bowden-area rancher who held the No More Lockdown’s Rodeo on the May 1 weekend. The event drew 4,000 people and Northcott was charged days later by the RCMP.

The last straw for authorities was when 1,500 people went to his property on ?? for an anti-lockdown rally. At the end of the day Scott was handcuffed by RCMP, charged under the Public Health Act (PHA) and spent the week in jail.

Coates spent 30 days in jail after being arrested by the RCMP for repeatedly flouting COVID-19 regulation by having packed church services. Alberta currently limits church attendance to ?? of the building’s capacity. He faces PHA charges.

Stephens was arrested last Sunday at his Fairview Baptist Church for repeatedly breaking COVID-19 rules. He was released Tuesday and faces PHA charges.

Pawlowski has been part of numerous lockdown protests in Calgary and police have tried and failed to enter his church. He has been charged under the PHA after being arrested in the middle of 17. Ave. S.E.

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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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    May 23, 2021 at 10:34 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 ? ? ?

    How many 1000s died in Canada needlessly ? ? ?

  2. Woodrow George

    May 21, 2021 at 11:29 am

    CTV Edmonton supper news showed 100s of pro-Hamas supporters that were not socially distancing. Any fines handed out? No! Not a chance of that happening.

    By the way, CTV Edmonton supper news carries very little news about Edmonton, Alberta or even western Canada. I don’t GAFF about what’s happening in Ontario, Québec or Nova Scotia et cetera.

  3. Claudette Leece

    May 21, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Left Coast, when you have as incompetant leader of AHS as Yu is why in the world would you worry about a smart Health Minister. I think Kenney just put a bunch of names in a hat and picked first one that came out for that position. And where’s Madu in all this, you think the Justice Minister would let these folks know to keep their noses out of interfering with lawmakers

  4. John

    May 21, 2021 at 7:08 am

    Making life better than what? Does the rest of his sign read “than being in jail?” Or how about:
    Making life better unless you disobey.
    Making life better (not really, just wait…)
    Making life better someday…
    Making life better after we flatten the curve

  5. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    May 20, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    Shandro; I hope you have a plan for your future when your stint in politics in Alberta will be short.Albertains have long memories . There will be openings in NDP in BC or join the cloud in Ottawa, Good fit .

  6. Josh

    May 20, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    Why doesn’t this guy just promote early treatment for covid 19? Does he wanna see hospitals and ICUs fill up and people die?

  7. Baron Not Baron

    May 20, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    What is the reason we are still tolerating these impostors? Why? I refuse to continue like this, with these criminals governing.. Out with them! This is not governance. This is plain tyranny. One criminal empowering more criminals to impress you and “correct” you with their arrogance. There a fact: the shit doesn’t last forever! They will find themselves falling on their faces.

  8. Wesley

    May 20, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    This is outrageous! Tyler Shandro needs to be put behind bars. This is not supposed to be a dictatorship but I guess someone hasn’t advised him.

  9. francis witzel

    May 20, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    So if this is illegal , when all these cases end in court , dismissals will be in order, and then bring on the lawsuits , every single person with a fine should file , hey a class action suit in every province . Sounds like a good idea to me.

  10. Left Coast

    May 20, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Health Minister Tyler Shandro is a JOKE ! ! !

    Too bad he did’t put as much effort into keeping the Senior Population & those with Co-morbidities safe as they did in Florida where they have the highest & of Seniors on the continent.
    Tyler was too busy worrying about Churches . . . the fool was OK with 1000s wandering through Costco, BestBuy, Safeway and other Big Chain Stores, but don’t dare sit 6 feet apart in a Church . . . it’s dangerous you know . . . LOL

    The average age of those who died in Alberta is likely north of 70 . . . where was Shandro and Alberta Health? Trolling the rodeo or a church parking lot . . .

  11. John Lankers

    May 20, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    Why would I trust a government, federal and provincial, and a health authority that repeatedly fail to produce any! scientific evidence to justify these lockdowns and the associated hardships.
    There are a lot of countries around the world that are doing just fine without mass vaccinations and lockdowns because they use common sense and make science based decisions.

  12. berta baby

    May 20, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Kenney and his number two , when a political leader tells enforcement to do something how is that not an authoritarian government…. the AHS is kennels own secret police and the RCMP are nothing more than political muscle who care nothing about the constitution ( I mean what is that any ways) they only do the abusing.

    they should drop the U and just go with there true name Communist Party…. not even Notley would have done this.

  13. K

    May 20, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    You’re declaring a war on God’s people. You don’t fight God and win, fools.

  14. Seven-Zero-One

    May 20, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    Shandro proved.He is UCP Communist

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News

Canada-Europe take action over COVID variant Omicron

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

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With the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC) named Omicron in South Africa, the Canadian government is taking steps to limit the risk to Canadians.

Travellers arriving from countries of concern within the last 14 days will be required to quarantine pending negative COVID-19 tests. Countries of concern include South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

On Friday, Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the federal government will impose five measures in an effort to limit its spread in Canada.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam took to Twitter on Saturday to share her concerns over the VOC.

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” wrote Tam.

The WHO has labelled Omicron as a variant of concern due to its high number of mutations and reports that early evidence suggests it could be more infectious than other variants.

Meanwhile, during a news conference on Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will take “targeted and precautionary measures” after two people tested positive for the Omicron variant.

One case was identified in Brentwood, a town in southeastern England while the other case was located in the central city of Nottingham. Both individuals are linked and had travelled from southern Africa. The two individuals are self-isolating along with their households and authorities are working on contact tracing.

Johnson confirmed travellers arriving in England will be required to take a PCR test and self-isolate until a negative test result is provided. Those that test positive for the new variant will have to self-isolate, along with any of their close contacts, for 10 days regardless of vaccine status.

He also said masks will be required in shops and other public spaces and indicated they will “boost the booster campaign.”

“Right now this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximize our defences,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the new rules will be reviewed in three weeks when scientists know more about the variant.

On Friday, the British government added Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to the country’s travel red list. By Saturday, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were also added to the list.

Other countries are adding restrictions on travellers coming from various southern African countries including the US, Japan, Brazil, and Australia while cases have also been reported in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong.

Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic have also reported suspected cases related to travellers arriving from South Africa.

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

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Road closures as British Columbians brace for more rain

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday.

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As BC braces for additional rain, the government has ‘proactively’ closed a number of highways for travel.

“We are actively responding, monitoring and assessing the many highway closures due to flooding and will continue to do so as we work with local and emergency service partners,” said the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Safety is our top priority while we deal with a rapidly changing and difficult situation.”

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday. The ministry said the time and duration of the closures will be weather-dependent.

“The highway infrastructure in these areas is extremely vulnerable following recent storms, and more heavy rain in the forecast poses an additional risk,” said the ministry in a press release.

“The closures of these three highways will be re-evaluated on Sunday morning, with the highways reopened when it is safe to do so.”

The release said Highway 1 will be closed between Popkum and Hope on Saturday afternoon as BC Hydro plans a reservoir release, “crucial to protect the Jones Lake Reservoir, which is also being affected by the heavy rains.”

The release explains the reservoir release will discharge water towards areas of Highway 1 that were affected during the November 14 storm.  

“This additional flow – combined with the increased precipitation and already high stream flows – poses a risk of impact to Highway 1 in the Laidlaw area.”

The ministry is bracing for further damage to Highway 1 in this area and said the reopening time cannot be determined at this stage but will be assessed by crews “when it is safe to do so.”

Highway 7 between Mission and Hope remains open with travel restrictions in place. Essential purposes for travel are defined in the travel restrictions order through the Emergency Program Act

Weather statements are in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Squamish to Whistler and the Sunshine Coast into next week. Storms are expected to bring more rain which has resulted in high streamflow advisories for all regions of the coast by the River Forecast Centre.

Ongoing road and travel updates are available on the ministry’s website.

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

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Bill to aid jurors traumatized by testimony up for vote … again

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling.”

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For the third time in three years, legislators will attempt to pass an aid bill for jurors traumatized by graphic testimony in criminal courts.

“When we ask citizens to be a juror we don’t ask them to be a victim,” said Quebec Senator and bill sponsor Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu.

“There is no excuse not to adopt that bill.” 

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling,” said Blacklock’s Reporter.

Two identical bills, S-207 and C-417, lapsed in the last two Parliaments.

“That kind of bill should be a government bill, not a private bill,” said Boisvenu.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of private interest. It’s a matter of national interest.”

In 2017, the Commons justice committee recommended the Criminal Code amendment after hearing testimony from former jurors who said they quit jobs, suffered marriage breakdown and were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being compelled to watch crime scene videos and hear testimony from coroners.

“Everyone’s mental health matters,” Ontario Senator Lucie Moncion said Thursday.

“Yet from a legal point of view, jurors are part of a special category of people who are denied complete health care. The secrecy rule prohibits a juror from disclosing information related to deliberations to anyone including a health care professional. This needs to change.”

Moncion was a juror in a 1989 murder trial and said the experience left her with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“They show you the whole autopsy,” said Moncion.

“It was very difficult. This is still very difficult for me.”

Alberta Conservative MP Michael Cooper, a member of the 2017 Commons justice committee that recommended reforms, said delays were inexcusable.

“It should have been a no-brainer for the government to have brought this bill forward,” said Cooper indicating the bill has been “studied thoroughly.”

“There have literally been no arguments tendered against this piece of legislation.”

Cooper, in 2019, sponsored a similar bill – C-417 – that lapsed. MPs at the time noted U.S. jurors were free to discuss their experience with friends, family, psychiatrists or media.

“In the United States once a trial is over jurors are generally free to discuss the events of the trial and jury deliberations unless a specific court order bars them from doing so,” said Ontario Liberal MP Arif Virani, then-parliamentary secretary for justice.

“What that means is that jurors in the United States can talk with nearly anyone about juror deliberations including a talk show host on national television or across the Internet. This approach, which offers limited protection for juror privacy, is significantly different from the Canadian model.”

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