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Guilbeault used info by lobby group paid by his department to defend Internet restrictions

Guilbeault’s department approved a $375,000 grant to the Coalition for the Delivery of Cultural Expressions of Montréal prior to its endorsement of Bill C-10, which critics say will give the Liberals the power to censor online content.

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In his defence of regulating the Internet, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault used claims from a lobby group that was paid $375,000 by his own department, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Guilbeault’s department approved the grant to the Coalition for the Delivery of Cultural Expressions of Montréal prior to its endorsement of Bill C-10, which critics say will give the Liberals the power to censor online content.

Guilbeault in the Commons mentioned an April 28 news release from the group accusing the bill’s critics of “fearmongering” and fake news.

The group would not say if Guilbeault asked them to issue the statement. The Coalition’s five-year $375,000 grant was approved by the Department of Heritage in 2019.

Bill C-10 would impose federal regulations on YouTube, including homemade content uploaded by everyday users. It is the first legislation of its kind to censor user-generated Internet content.

The Coalition, in a news release headlined C-10 And Social Media: Let’s Get The Facts Straight, said criticism of the censorship bill was “factually incorrect and dangerously misleading,” and singled out the Official Opposition by name. “The Conservative Party of Canada has made clear its opposition to the bill,” wrote the Coalition.

Guilbeault raised the group’s claim in the Commons without mentioning his department had subsidized the Coalition.

“I have in front of me a press release from the Canadian Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions which says, regarding Bill C-10, these characterizations are factually incorrect and dangerously misleading,” said Guilbeault.

At the Commons heritage committee, Conservative and Bloc Québecois MPs attempted to question the Justice department on whether the bill complies with the Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, but a majority of Liberal and New Democrat MPs adjourned debate on the issue by a 6-5 vote.

“I realize the Liberals want to rush this through and they want to get it done,” Conservative MP Scott Aitchison (Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ont.) said during the Friday debate.

“This is fundamental to our democracy, our way of life, and to ask a Liberal justice minister for a review of it I think is a very reasonable compromise.”

MPs reported they were swamped with calls, e-mails and letters from constituents opposed to YouTube censorship.

“I’ve had literally 200, 300 calls and emails this week from constituents really worried about the rights and freedoms of Canadians,” said Conservative MP Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon-Grasswood).

“This is a huge issue,” added Conservative MP Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, Alta.).

“The statement has been made by the governing party that Canadians should never worry. There would never be an imposition on their freedom and what they post on social media.”

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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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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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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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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