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UPDATED: Kenney puts Alberta in hard 3-week lockdown

Kenney, in a televised address said the move was needed to “avoid disaster in our hospitals.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has ordered a three-week hard lockdown on the province.

In a televised address, Kenney said the move was needed a “avoid disaster unfolding in our hospitals.

“We will not permit our health care system to be overwhelmed,” he said.

“This is a last resort and a necessary step. With cases continuing to rise, we have no choice but to take serious action now or jeopardize putting the health system at risk. If we don’t do this now, if this doesn’t work, then we’ll need a much longer list of restrictions, which no Albertan wants to see. The best way to get out of this is for all Albertans to follow these new measures and get vaccinated when it’s their turn.”

Kenney had previously been scheduled to give a press conference and take questions from reporters, but it was canceled in favour of the speech soon after the Western Standard published a story about his comments to the UCP caucus following the Bowden rodeo where he said “I want a new base”.

He said as of Tuesday there were 671 people in hospital with 150 in ICU.

Here’s a list of the new regulations:

Schools

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions

  • Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools will transition to online learning, effective May 7.
  • Post-secondary schools will transition to online learning, effective May 5.
  • Childcare facilities can remain open.

Indoor gatherings

  • All indoor gatherings remain prohibited.

Outdoor gatherings

  • All outdoor social gatherings must be limited to no more than 5 people and a maximum of 2 household cohorts.
  • Mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households.

RETAIL

  • Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10% of fire code occupancy (not including staff) or a minimum of 5 customers. This includes individual stores and common areas.
  • Shopping mall capacity limits will exclude common area square footage.
  • Curbside pick-up, delivery and online services are encouraged.

Restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges and cafes

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective 11:59 pm on May 9

  • All in-person dining, including on patios, is prohibited.
  • Only take out or delivery services are allowed.

Indoor activities

  • All indoor sport, performance and recreation activities for youth and adults are prohibited.
  • Indoor fitness and recreation facilities must close, including for 1-on-1 training.

Outdoor activities

  • All outdoor sports and recreation activities are prohibited, except with members of your household, or your two close contacts if you live alone. This includes:
    • all group physical activities, such as team sports, fitness classes, training sessions
    • all one-on-one lessons and training activities
    • all practices, training and games
  • Outdoor recreation facilities can remain open unless specifically closed by public health order.

Professional sport organizations

  • Professional sport organizations that have received an exemption can continue, provided protocols are strictly followed.

Personal and wellness services

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9

  • Personal and wellness services, including hair salons, barbers, nail salons, estheticians, tattoos and piercing, must close.

Places of worship

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective May 5

  • Faith services are limited to 15 in-person attendees.
  • Physical distancing between households must be maintained at all times.
  • Virtual or online services are strongly recommended.
  • Drive-in services where people do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance are allowed.

Funerals

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective May 5

  • 10-people maximum for funerals, including participants and guests.
  • Funeral receptions are not permitted.

Kenney is also doubling the fine for not obeying COVID-19 cabinet orders from $1,000 to $2,000. The maximum fine stays the same at $100,000.

“We will not tolerate those who endanger the health of fellow Albertans,” said Kenney.

Retail spaces will be limited to 10% of capacity.

Outdoor gathering limits will drop from 10 people currently to 5.

Churches have to change from 15% capacity to only 15 people.

Funeral services are having their attendance cut in half from 20-10.

Kenney called on those who can work from home, to do so.

“If you can stay home, do so for the next three weeks,” said Kenney.

Normal procedure for previous lockdowns has been for Kenney to appear in a press conference format – announcing the new restrictions and then taking questions from the media.

But after an exclusive story this afternoon from the Western Standard, the premier’s office changed the Tuesday night event to a televised address where no questions could be asked.

The Western Standard has learned 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.

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.

On Monday, when Kenney announced further restrictions were coming, he noted cases were dropping in BC and Saskatchewan, who have similar restrictions.

“These are people that simply don’t care about COVID,” said Kenney, adding the rodeo crowd believed COVID-19 was a “conspiracy or hoax.

“Too many Albertans are ignoring the rules in place.

“(They have) forced me to take further steps. Stronger health measures will be announced (Tuesday).”

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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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Dennis Richter

    May 5, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Time for Albertans to look to a whole new government “For the People, By the People”. Purchase a membership in the Wildrose Independance Party of Alberta and invest in the future of Alberta. Left or Right? The status quo is not working. It’s time for a change in 2023. https://wildrose.party/

  2. Left Coast

    May 5, 2021 at 8:58 am

    671 people in hospital in Alberta ? ? ?
    Alberta has about 150 hospitals, that 4.4 people per hospital.
    Is the Health System in that bad a shape it can’t handle those tiny numbers?

    People have been avoiding Hospitals for a year now . . . how’s that working out?

    Perhaps no one has explained to this lame Premier that most folks catch the virus indoors ie at home.

    I heard a rumor that Lockdown No. 9 is the key to success . . .

    Meanwhile, Florida, Tenassee, South Dakota, Texas and Sweden are doing fine today . . . how about asking what they are doing correct Mr. Premier?

  3. Kathleen Gust

    May 4, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Canadian economist from Simon Fraser University Douglas Ward Allen published a cost benefit analysis of lockdowns: http://www.sfu.ca/~allen/LockdownReport.pdf

    Douglas Ward Allen’s conclusion: Lockdowns are the “greatest peacetime policy failure” in Canada’s history. https://fee.org/articles/economist-lockdowns-greatest-peacetime-policy-failure-in-canada-s-history/

  4. Robert Lang

    May 4, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Kenney has lost his mind and his base. I caught covid by visiting a hospital emergency ward. Proving wearing a mask didn’t protect me. However, it feels like a very mild cold. Lockdowns are a inexcusable method of controlling what can’t be stopped.

  5. Erik Tarves

    May 4, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Maybe those third world places have it figured out when it comes to bad leadership.

    Get a crowd and do bad things to these scumbag politicans,remind them who they work for

  6. Proudly_Free

    May 4, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    If Comrade Kenney really gave a rip about treating sick people, he would’ve ordered at least 6 truckloads of IVERMECTIN months ago. Then we could all just go the doctor, get a prescription, go home and take the damn things and get better. And we would have at least 80 percent fewer cases of real sick people. This is the move of a clueless, vindictive, petty overgrown child tyrant throwing a temper tantrum over his subject’s exercising their civic duty to protest laws and rules that are utterly antithetical to human flourishing.

    Great way to protect lives and livelihoods by fining us all $100,000 for the “crime” of coming within 5ft of another human being a few times in row! EXCELLENT WORK, COMRADE!! You are well on your way to fulfilling your goal of becoming Supreme Leader of the People’s Republic of Alberta very soon!

  7. John

    May 4, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Kenney said that the Constitution forbids infringement on rights unless it is absolutely necessary and “if it will not overwhelm our health care system “. I don’t recall reading that latter part in the constitution… we each pay 7500 a year into our Heath care system— the only thing we have required/expected is for the government to manage it well. They are admitting they cannot do so.

    I am 48. So far I have paid 360,000 into AB health. And yet I’m told that I cannot live my life normally, because they don’t have room for me to get sick in the public system. The way I see it is that they owe me 350k worth of care. If they don’t understand how to make that work, they’re clearly incompetent.

    , I would like to keep my annual contribution of 7500 and make my own choices, thank you very much. A private doctor would cost me much less than 360K.

    Who is with me?

  8. Kelly Carter

    May 4, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    The only one who does not care about the health of Albertan’s is Jason Kenney. Time to recall Kenney, fire Dr. Hinshaw and put someone in who can understand real world data and the full situation.

  9. DanBC

    May 4, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    Look how many so-called conservatives that get elected, turn into statists and leftists as soon as the job gets tough. Kenney is a grotesque fraud

  10. Declan Carroll

    May 4, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Only one answer to this garbage is to keep your businesses open and get to work planning the next rodeo. This only ends when we make it end!

  11. Rob K

    May 4, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    You got that right.

  12. Baron Not Baron

    May 4, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Kenney has to get the hell out immediately! He doesn’t represent any Albertans. He is the enemy of our province! So get out! Resign now!

  13. K Snyder

    May 4, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    The problem Kenney has is we can read and analyze data ourselves. The numbers don’t lie. Only the socialists support this kind of nonsense. This is nothing but a bully move by a premier on his way out.

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Features

65 signs that you might be an Albertan

Crackmacs, prairie oysters, Stampede, rat genocide, caesars, and weird small town kitsch are just a few of the signs that you might be an Albertan.

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Albertans are a special breed. There’s no one quite like us anywhere else in the world.

What makes us unique as a people? That’s the question the Western Standard Editorial Board has been contemplating since going to a bar after work is illegal.

We spent some time on the project, and with the help of some brilliant friends across the country, came up with a still-growing list of some of the things that make us just a wee bit different.

“Crackmacs” in Calgary

65 – Crackmacs

You should avoid going there.

Prairie oysters

64 – Prairie Oysters

You have to try them before you can become one of us.

63 – Newcomers

You are a more fanatical Alberta patriot if you weren’t born here.

62 – Quebec

You don’t know why, but you really don’t like it.

61 – Saskatchewan

You don’t know why, but you like it.

60 – Newfies

They might talk funny, but they’re the best Albertans around. 

Toronto

59 – Toronto

You may not like Quebec, but you hate Toronto. 

58 – Vancouver 

You both love and hate Vancouver.

57 – Ottawa

A place your money goes to be spent somewhere else.

56 – Getup

You wear a decent pair of cowboy boots, a Stetson, and a pair of Wranglers on at least one day during Calgary Stampede or whatever Klondike days is calling itself these days. 

Cowboy boots


55 – Boots

You can pull off cowboy boots at a downtown office any time of the year. 

54 – Rodeo

It’s not your first one.

53 – Cowboys

You think you’re one because you dressed up for Stampede and have been to the Last Chance Saloon outside Drumheller. 

52 – Calgary Stampede 

It’s redneck Oktoberfest.

51 – K-Days

Something Edmonton does because it doesn’t have Stampede.

A “Rat Patrol” propoganda poster

50 – Rat Genocide

You live in the only place on earth (other than Antarctica) with zero rats because your government has an actual department called the Rat Patrol. Killing them is a civil duty, and you don’t think this is weird at all. 

Main characters of the Trailer Park Boys

49 – Trailer Park Boys

What you think the East coast is really like.

48 – Hail Caesar 

You drink caesars, not bloody Marys. And you drink them with pride knowing they were invented in Calgary by Walter Chell, at the Owl’s Nest in the Westin Hotel.

47 – The Metric System 

You’re still not completely sold on it.

Ginger fried beef

46 – Prairie Chinese food

You’re proud that the best Chinese food in the world comes from the other side of the planet from China: prairie ginger beef.

45 – Chinese and Western

You don’t think there’s anything strange about a small village’s only eatery being a ‘Chinese and Western’ restaurant that serves ginger beef alongside hamburgers and fries. 

44 – Breakfast beer

You don’t see anything wrong with pouring some Clamato in your beer to take the hair off the dog. 

Ian Tyson

43 – Four Strong Winds

You tear up when listening to Four Strong Winds, by Ian Tyson.

42 – Four Strong Winds (II)

You burst into rage after listening to Four Strong Winds, by Neil Young.

41 – Alberta Bound

You’re unable to remain composed or resist singing it at the top of your lungs whenever it comes on. 

Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson (photo credit: Big Sugar)

40 – All Hell for a Basement

You stand up proud at attention as Big Sugar’s Alberta national anthem plays on the radio.

39 – Nickelback

You either want to forget about it, or think that it’s our greatest cultural export. 

kd lang

38 – k.d. lang

When she belted out Hallelujah during the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver, you were sure she’s Alberta’s patron saint. 

37 –Cal-gree”

You know when someone isn’t originally from here, because they pronounce it ‘Cal-ga-ree’ not the proper ‘Cal-gree’.

Banff National Park

36 – Banff

The reason Calgary thinks it’s better than Edmonton.

35 – Jasper

Where Edmontonians go to pretend they’re in Banff.

34 – The River Valley

The reason Edmontonians think their city is better than Calgary. 

33 – Red Deer

It’s neutral meeting ground for Calgarians and Edmontonians. 

Head smashed in buffalo jump

32 Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

An actual place.

31 – Tar Sands

You’ll murder anyone in cold blood who calls them that.

30 – Fracking

Something you do to extract oil and gas, or with your significant other. 

29 – Separatism

You want to separate from Canada when you’re 10 beers deep, but sing O’Canada when you sober up. 

28 – Canada Day

A day off to get ready for the Calgary Stampede

27 – MPs

People we send to Ottawa to forget about.

Courtesy dailiyxtra.com

26 – Anyone named Trudeau

You, your parents, and grandparents hate everyone with the name.

25 – National Energy Program

You will never forget. 

24 – Petro Canada

You remember when for decades the Petro Canada Tower was the largest building in Calgary, and you hated everything it represented. 

23 – The government

You worked for four years to vote out the NDP, and still hate the government.

22 – Federal elections

You, your parents, and grandparents federal voting history is a straight line. 

21 – Your provincial vote

You don’t care that you voted for the Conservatives federally and voted Wildrose or NDP provincially.

Spring camping in Alberta

20 – Spring blizzard camping

You’re so sick of winter that you don’t care if there’s a snow storm when you go camping on the May long weekend. 

19 – Patio season

You take the patio furniture out of the garage and hit the local bar patio as soon as the temperature soars to a high of 10C.

Summer in Calgary. Courtesy CBC

18 – Summer

There is no such thing. Only construction season.

17 – Labour Day

You know Labour Day has been set aside as a CFL Battle of Alberta. And winter starts tomorrow.

16 – Winter BBQ

You don’t think there’s anything strange about firing up the BBQ to grill some steaks when it’s -30C. 

15 – Cabins

You go away for the weekend to a cabin, not a cottage.

Image Credit: CBC

14 – Gun Control

You think ‘gun control’ means being able to shoot a moose at 100 yards with iron sights. 

13 – Lindsay Park

You refuse to call it the Talisman Centre.

The Big Beaver in Beaver Lodge, AB

12 – Weird, giant small-town kitsch 

Your idea of a romantic first date is to drive to Beaver Lodge to see the big beaver. 

11 – Ukrainians

You don’t really know why the Ukrainians in Alberta are the word leaders of weird small-town kitsch, with the giant pysanka (Easter egg) in Vegreville, the World’s largest kielbasa sausage in Mundare, or the massive perogy in Glendon. 

Bow Island Pinto Bean

10 – Pinto Beans

You’ve seen the Bow Island Pinto Bean, and it scared the hell out of you as a child.

The USS Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta (Image Credit: Travel Alberta)

9 – Vulcans

You don’t have to be a Trekie to make pilgrimage to Vulcan and take in the small town’s fanatical devotion to Commander Spock, and its own weird, giant small-town kitsch: a massive model of the USS Enterprise.

8– More Aliens

You know that there’s an actual UFO Landing Pad in St. Paul, and you don’t think there’s anything weird about that. 

UFO Landing Site in St. Paul, AB

7 – French

‘Poutine’ is the extent of it.

6 – The Great Ones

You know who Gretz, Mess, Lanny, Iggy and Kipper are.

The Greatest One

5 – Vegetables

Your potato salad on the side of your beef-on-a-bun is sufficient. 

4 – Brooks

A place where cattle go to die.

3Valhalla 

A place where the glorious dead feast, and a few guys farm wheat. 

T-Rex in downtown Drumheller

2 – Dinosaurs

You think you know all about them because you went to the Drumheller.

1 – Deerfoot Trail

You agree that it is one of the worst-designed roads in the history of Western civilization.

So that’s a less-than-scientific rundown on what makes Albertans. But have we missed any? Let us know at dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com and we will run a list of some reader-inspired “You know you’re from Alberta when …?”

Western Standard Editorial Board

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Loewen predicts Kenney removal before 2023 election

Poll after poll has shown if an election was held today, Rachel Notley’s NDP would sweep back to power with a majority.

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Alberta MLA Todd Loewen – who kicked off a firestorm Thursday by calling on Jason Kenney to resign – thinks there is little chance the premier can survive to lead the UCP into the 2023 election.

“People now distrust him. I don’t think the position that he’s in right now is recoverable,” Loewen told the Western Standard.

“It’s easy to see by the numbers. Premier Kenney is very unpopular in the province. By his actions, he is handing the NDP the next election.”

Poll after poll has shown if an election was held today, Rachel Notley’s NDP would sweep back to power with a majority.

Loewen’s letter on Thursday comes as Kenney’s leadership is already on the ropes. More than a dozen UCP constituency associations have already passed special resolutions demanding a leadership review, however Kenney poured cold water on the idea, pushing the vote to just six months before the next election

On Thursday, just after midnight, Loewen posted a letter to his Facebook account calling on Kenney to resign. One of the things the scathing missive said was Kenney had lost the trust of the Alberta electorate.

During a secret vote the following afternoon, Loewen was expelled from the UCP caucus. Also getting the boot was Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes, who has been a constant thorn in Kenney’s side since the UCP came to power. MLA David Hanson issued a declaration of support for Loewen but he escaped the wrath of colleagues.

Even though it had been brewing for 18 months, it was a cancelled caucus meeting on Wednesday that led to the “gut-wrenching” letter, said Loewen.

“We had two canceled caucus meetings in a row, without any explanation. Why? There are a lot of things going on, a lot of input caucus could have had. That’s not democracy. That’s disrespectful,” he said.

Loewen did say he and Barnes got some support at the virtually caucus meeting

In terms of running as an independent in the next election in 2023, Loewen said a decision hasn’t been made.

“I just know I slept very well last night and I’m sure I will tonight,” he said.

Loewen’s Facebook posting Thursday triggered a firestorm of political intrigue in the UCP.

“The government’s response to a hostile federal government has been perceived as weak and ineffective. Albertans have lost trust in the leadership of our government and are no longer willing to extend to us any benefit of the doubt on most issues,” said Loewen in the letter.

“Albertans perceive our government as out-of-touch and arrogant, and they expect our caucus to bring their issues of concern to the government. Many of us have tried to do so repeatedly, only to be ignored and dismissed. When the Premier chooses not to listen to caucus, is it any wonder why the people choose to stop listening to the government? Our supporters and those I represent can no longer tolerate this. These folks have not abandoned the principles and values of the UCP, but they have abandoned you specifically.”

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

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

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NOW HIRING: Reporters in Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg & Ottawa

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Canada’s fastest growing independent media company is looking for a new senior reporters for the position of bureau chief in Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, and Ottawa.

Position Overview

The Bureau Chief is the manager and chief reporter responsible for overseeing the News Division in a given province or region for the Western Standard.

Bureau Chiefs working outside of the Company’s Calgary headquarters may in some circumstances work from a home office.

The Western Standard produces a high volume of news and opinion content on a daily basis.

Reporting and Parameters

The Bureau Chief reports directly to the Editing News Director. 

He or she will have their performance reviewed on an annual basis. 

Major Duties & Responsibilities                                                                         

  • Write frequent and compelling news copy with a rapid turn-around. 
  • Use the Freedom of Information Act and other tools available to obtain compelling and important content for news copy.
  • Oversee and edit the copy of the employees and contractors in the News Division’s Bureau.
  • Meet with the Editing News Director and subordinate employees and contractors to assess the direction of the News Division’s Bureau, develop short and long-term goals, and ensure compliance with the Western Standard’s Editorial Principles.
  • Listen to the viewpoints and reports of the News Division’s Bureau employees and contractors. 
  • Maintain awareness and knowledge of the Western Standard’s readership and editorial metrics.
  • Maintain a reasonable and professional social media presence.  

Job Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in journalism or communications is preferred but not required.
  • 5-8 years’ industry experience.
  • Passion for writing and editing interesting copy.
  • A portfolio of published copy.
  • Strong knowledge of the media process and industry.
  • Excellent communications and research skills
  • Self-starting

If you believe that this a challenge that is right for you, send your resume and cover letter to careers@westernstandardonline.com.

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