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Former top Kenney aide says some UCP MLAs have ‘insane ideas’

Katy Merrifield lambasted members in the caucus who have protested some of Kenney’s COVID-19 lockdown measures.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The headline on this story was updated at 10:17 (MST)

A former key member of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s inner circle says some UCP MLA’s “wouldn’t be able to govern a lemonade stand on a hot summer day.”

Katy Merrifield made the withering comments about members of the UCP caucus on the CBC West of Centre podcast on May 13.

For 20 months, Merrifield was Kenney’s director of communications and planning and handled the COVID-19 provincial plan rollout.

Katy Merrifield, left, with Jason Kenney

She made the comment when asked whether the UCP should move up their leadership review , currently planned for 2022, just six months before the next election.

Merrifield lambasted members in the caucus who have protested some of Kenney’s COVID-19 lockdown measures.

“What these dissidents want is not to be listened to, they want their at times insane ideas to be made into official public policy. The premier has given folks the platform to put their ideas on the table, they are thoughtfully considered, some of them are put into practice, but I’m sorry, some of these ideas that folks want government to incorporate are insane,” said Merrifield.

“Witness the COVID letter that was sent a month ago as Alberta was ballooning into a third wave. These are not good substantive policy ideas. They are detrimental to the party and to the people of Alberta.

“I have the greatest respect for about 80% of the UCP caucus, but some of these folks wouldn’t be capable of governing a lemonade stand on a hot summer day.”

Merrifield left Kenney’s office in November and is currently the vice president of Wellington Advocacy in Vancouver.

Before joining Kenney she was a senior advisor to the BC Liberal Party.

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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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Woodrow George

    May 24, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Sneaking around behind our backs with coal-mining companies in southern Alberta is what really pissed me off. WTF was that all about, Kenney? We want transparency – not a hidden agenda that includes taking care of corporate buddies.

    We should not be sending coal to China. China is our enemy. And stop buying Made-in-China crap, Albertans!

  2. waynethornton@yahoo.com

    May 21, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Katy Merrifield. What are you talking about? There are mountains of evidence and hundreds of jurisdictions that prove that masks and lockdowns are nonsense. ‘Dissidents’ isn’t quite the word you should be using. Could I suggest, ‘elected mla’s’? Hellooo? I hear China or the NDP are accepting applications. Away you go.

  3. JONATHAN DIXON

    May 21, 2021 at 11:48 am

    The best that Jason and his gang can do is to hurl insults at people, belittle their intelligence, and call them names. You cannot engage these people in any form of intelligent conversation or discussion, as Dr. Dennis Modry discovered. Compare this with the intelligent, truth based, sound scientific discussions that are going on in the State of Texas in the Senate Committee on State Affairs, regarding COVID-19 in general, and regarding the COVID-19 vaccinations in particular. Here’s the link: https://tlcsenate.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=15926

  4. Earl Hildebrand

    May 21, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Remember when Christy Clark, the Premier of BC was driving a wedge between Alberta and BC for political gain? Katy was Director of Communications to the Premier. She has helped cause so much damage to Alberta and Canada, her opinion at this point should be irrelevant. Why Kenney would pick such a toxic person for his inner circle shows the character of the man.

  5. Richard

    May 21, 2021 at 8:51 am

    OMG I subscribed to the whiny Wildroser-forever news site that united into the UCP but didn’t.
    I am very conservative and closely watching the Alberta independent parties but this news site is nothing more than a forum of axe-grinding back-stabbers led by a disgruntled ex-MLA.
    …. Wish I could get my moola back ….?

  6. Left Coast

    May 21, 2021 at 8:49 am

    Merifield is confusing and confused at best . . .

    So the Jurisdictions around the Planet that had NO Lockdowns like say Sweden or South Dakota . . . how are they doing today?

    Regions like Florida that just had ONE Lockdown . . . how are they doing today?

    They are all doing much better than Alberta or ANY Province in Canada. Why is that?

    We knew a YEAR ago that the vast majority of the folks who were likely to die were the in Seniors’ Homes and those with co-morbidities. So how does locking down the under 60 Healthy Population fix that?

    Who is less competent than our Elected Officials? Why the people who Work in Govt., especially the ones who have never had a Private Sector Job, and they want to give advice?

  7. Claudette Leece

    May 21, 2021 at 7:34 am

    Well said to you Eddy

  8. Claudette Leece

    May 21, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Well said

  9. Claudette Leece

    May 21, 2021 at 7:31 am

    Steve my reply was suppose to say insentive both times, didn’t see it till I read it back.. No insentive to do better

  10. Claudette Leece

    May 21, 2021 at 7:29 am

    Steve last thing AHS wants is a review how things were handled. That’s the problem with socialized healthcare, no I sent I’ve to do a better job, Canadian government spent $63B on hospitals last year, thats 36% of all health expenditures, was more than physicians -22%- so their paid a lump sum whether they do a good job or not. No I sent I’ve to improve, how many new treatments did you hear for Covid, other than hospitalizations and vaccines. They changed the benchmark on hospitals continuously , because as soon as they became too low they couldn’t carry on the scare tactics. Our health system is broken has been for many years, and this socialized medicine model Canada brags about has been a failure on many fronts. The wave of folks that will need treatment from being turned away at hospital, mental health was the biggest failure during Covid and Canada will pay for Covid for years to come, in many more ways than just money

  11. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    May 21, 2021 at 7:17 am

    Katy; the bleat of a lamb is a cry for help .plse seek the help from the mind doctors before your in the paddock lockdowns .

  12. Chris

    May 21, 2021 at 4:31 am

    “Merrifield lambasted members in the caucus who have protested some of Kenney’s COVID-19 lockdown measures.”

    “Merrifield left Kenney’s office in November …… Before joining Kenney she was a senior advisor to the BC Liberal Party.”

    I have a sense of hope and satisfaction knowing our Wildrose UCP members have no common ideology with Kenney and his liberal advisors.

  13. Mars Hill

    May 21, 2021 at 2:41 am

    Following interview hit the nail on the head on this matter…
    https://rumble.com/vhdh2x-take-five-pastor-artur-pawlowski.html

  14. Steven Ruthven

    May 20, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    “I have the greatest respect for about 80% of the UCP caucus, but some of these folks wouldn’t be capable of governing a lemonade stand on a hot summer day.” says Katy Merrifield

    Sounds like she was describing the punted & remaining 20 % Wildrose Party members, who actually have done a good job at holding Premier Kenney’s feet to the fire.

    Wildrose!! it’s time to move. Over to the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.

  15. Steven Ruthven

    May 20, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Merrifield was Kenney’s director of communications and planning and handled the COVID-19 provincial plan rollout. Now that is very interesting. Will Premier Kenney call an Open & Public review of how the UCP & AHS have handled COVID-19, say by April 2022?

    Let’s get Katy Merrifield on the hot seat, under oath, and go through her accusations & weigh them in the open.

  16. Eddy

    May 20, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    The beauty of being a “former Comms” person to Kenny as Ms Merrifield was – is that she can throw this kind of mud at MLA’s and still have plausible deniability that she is NOT acting for the Premier.

    But these comments may as well be coming directly from Kenney’s mouth and probably are.

    One of the criticisms of so many of Kenney’s Political Staff was that after their requisite “Western Tour” they can return to Ottawa to work for “Red Tory’s” or take their burnished credentials as “Alberta Conservatives” to the poor benighted CINO’s PC party’s that are all that remains in the rest of the country.

    In this case Merrifield can enjoy her time working for the provincial/federal Liberals in BC. Her slurs should be regarded as a Red Badge of Courage for true conservatives after the shambles Kenny has left behind in Finance, Economic Policy, Healthcare, Federal Affairs and Public Safety.

    IMHO the only portfolio that seems to have made some progress is Education.

  17. berta baby

    May 20, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    interesting… liberal conservative its all politics and paths to power…gross

  18. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    May 20, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    Katy; How can you criticize elected UCP members for their views as they never got input that was handed over to the unelected AHS and the unions so as to protect the high paid morons that has drove Alberta into bancrupsy.Head over to the NDP you are showing your colours. Get one of their head bands.

  19. D Burkj

    May 20, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    I’ll gladly take the inept Koolaid stand managers over Kenney any day. They are smart enough to serve it and collect the cash. Not to drink it.

  20. Matt C

    May 20, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    President Trump’s initial take on Covid was that it was “like the flu”. If he had trusted his instincts and not listened to experts like Fauci, there may not have been mail-in ballots and Trump might still be president.
    Trump had Fauci…. Kenny has Hinshaw.

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News

Kenney says leadership review now would be ‘grossly irresponsible’

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney last night rejected any calls for an immediate leadership review of him as “grossly irresponsible.”

Kenney has been under withering attacks for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Alberta, which led to the “resignation” Tuesday of Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

A UCP caucus meeting is set for Wednesday and Kenney’s leadership is expected to be the main point of discussion.

Dozens of grassroots UCP constituency associations have joined forces to call for an early leadership review of Kenney. The party currently has one scheduled in late 2022, only six months before the next provincial election.

UCP VP of policy Joel Mullan wrote an open letter in the Western Standard Tuesday called for Kenney to go immediately.

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

“My responsibility is to look at the reality — not wish it away — and take the necessary steps to protect the health care system,” Kenney said.

“Let’s deal with those things at the right time, after this crisis.”

Kenney was asked if the internal turmoil within the UCP was what led to the resignation of Shandro.

“I am focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID, not politics,” Kenney said.

“We have to protect the health care system to prevent needless deaths — we will not allow politics to distract us.”

Kenney said he knew when he brought in the fourth wave of COVID-19 lockdowns last week and flip-flopped on his promise not to bring in vaccine passports there would be internal grumblings.

He said the COVID-19 cabinet committee has had 12 hours of “respectful” meeting time with the full UCP caucus.

Kenney pointed out the People’s Party of Canada, which ran on an anti-vaccination platform, took 8% of the vote in Alberta in the federal election.

“Let me be blunt, those people likely voted for me in the last provincial election,” Kenney said.

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

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News

Kenney said shuffle was ‘time for a fresh start’

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

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Tyler Shandro wasn’t fired as health minister, he resigned, says Premier Jason Kenney.

Answering questions after Tuesday’s cabinet shuffle, Kenney said he accepted the resignation from Shandro from the health portfolio.

“Tyler’s dedication to the job has never been questioned. He brought his heart to the job,” Kenney said.

“It’s time for a fresh start.”

Kenney denied the shuffle was done to appease critics in the UCP caucus clamouring for action.

“We are focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID-19, not politics,” said Kenney.

Kenney promoted Labour Minister Jason Copping to health and put Shandro in his old portfolio in labour.

Kenney said bringing in vaccine passports has had a dramatic effect on the number of people getting vaccinated.

A total of 23,000 people were vaccinated on Monday with 78,000 jabs being given out in the last few days.

A total of 81.4% of people have received at least one vaccine with 72.8% having two jabs.

Since they were made available on Sunday, more than two million Albertans printed out their vaccination passports, Kenney said.

He said Alberta Health Services has expanded the number of ICU beds in the province to 337.

Copping said he was honoured to be named health minister in this “pivotal time.”

He said he has three goals: to increase hospital capacities permanently, educate the unvaccinated on why they should get jabs and to prepare the hospital system for any future waves of COVID.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans had died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

She said the province had identified 1,500 new cases in the last day from 13,600 tests for an 11.1% positivity rate.

There are 996 people in hospital as of September 21 with COVID, and 222 in ICU.

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

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News

Jean thinking about Fort Mac by-election run

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mic with a graphic of the riding.

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Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean is musing whether or not to run in a by-election in Fort McMurray.

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mike with a graphic of the riding behind him.

“There is a byelection coming soon in my old riding in Fort McMurray. Should I run?” he asks Facebook followers.

“Let me know in the comments. Sign up on my webpage for updates.”

The riding was left vacate recently when UCP MLA Laila Goodridge resigned to run for the federal Conservatives. She easily won the riding capturing 67% of the vote.

Jean was the leader of the original Wildrose and was leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2017.

He ran for the leadership of the UCP, but lost the race to Jason Kenney.

Jean has been increasingly slamming Kenney from the sidelines over his handling of numerous issues.

He called on Kenney to resign after his infamous Sky Palace dinner.

Jean, called on Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to resign in the wake of the Sky Palace Scandal.

“FOR THE GOOD OF THE UCP, FOR THE GOOD OF ALBERTA, IT IS TIME FOR JASON KENNEY TO RESIGN,” Jean wrote in capital letters on his Facebook page.

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

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