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Kenney calls ‘I want a new base’ story ‘fake news’

“The other day we had this protest up in Bowden and the organizers of that protest … some of the comments that they are making, just tinfoil hat crowd stuff,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney took to social media Tuesday night to deny a Western Standard exclusive story that he told a UCP caucus meeting “I want a new base”, saying he was referring to extremists and “tinfoil hat” attendees a weekend rodeo in Bowden.

Kenney said it was “a completely fake story” and went on to tell listeners a story about his 83-old-mother getting death threats and other commenters who threatened to “execute” him.

While Kenney denies the story, three UCP MLAs that the Western Standard spoke to on condition of anonymity said that it was true.

Kenney used a Sunday virtual caucus meeting to rail against the ‘No More Lockdowns Rodeo’, which attracted approximately 4,000-5,000 attendees over the weekend.

According to the three MLAs, a member of the caucus 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.

Most attendees of the rodeo that the Western Standard spoke to said that they voted UCP, with many backing Kenney during the party’s leadership race.

Kenney contradicted the three MLA’s account of the meeting.

“When I was talking to my caucus recently I told them about a number of death threats that we’ve been receiving. I stepped out of a news conference the other day and got a message from somebody saying ‘You will be executed for your crimes against humanity, Kenney.’ And then shortly thereafter I got a message saying ‘We know where your mother lives.’

“So that was an implicit threat against my 83-year-old widowed mother who lives alone, and I said to my caucus, I talked about that, I talked about some of the insane conspiracy theories and I said ‘these people are not our base.’

“These people, we don’t want people making death threats, people threatening to lock up Dr. (Deena) Hinshaw, people organizing rallies with tiki torches based on the neo-Nazi rally in Virginia. Those are not our supporters. Those are not Alberta conservatives. Those are not mainstream Albertans. Those are the voice of extremism and hatred and no political party wants people who promote violence and that kind of craziness, period.

“I’ve invited and welcomed a widespread debate on COVID. I’ve been viciously attacked by the NDP and others for having permitted and tolerated that kind of debate, even in my own party and caucus.

“What I’m commenting on are people threatening violence and threatening to lock up the Chief Medical Officer. The other day we had this protest up in Bowden and the organizers of that protest … some of the comments that they are making, just tinfoil hat crowd stuff.”

Near the end of his Facebook, Kenney lashed out at rodeo organizer Ty Northcott for some of his social media postings.

“They said ‘We will not stand by idly and watch, as not only our businesses, but our Western heritage, and more importantly, our basic human rights are ripped out of existence by the tyrannical beings of our current world.’ The tyrannical beings? Not even human beings, the tyrannical beings of the current world.

“What the heck does that mean. I mean are these people, is that now merging with …Lizard Man conspiracies. I’m one of the tyrannical beings of the current world? What does that…so I said to my caucus, people who are making death threats against me and members of my family and are talking about the tyrannical beings that have taken over the world. They’re not my base. They’re not Alberta conservatives. They’re not mainstream Albertans. They are people who need to cut way back on caffeine, take off the tinfoil hat and come back to reality.

One of the MLAs speaking to the Western Standard said the “I want a new base” statement was “unbecoming” of the leader who united the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties into their “promised, big blue tent”.

poll last month showed a stunning 75% of Albertans are opposed to Kenney’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including much of the UCP’s voter base opposed to continued lockdowns. The premier has been fighting a caucus revolt against the lockdowns, and a growing movement from rank-and-file members to force an early leadership review.

Last April, Kenney had the support of 80% of Albertans in his handling of COVID-19.

Another UCP MLA told the Western Standard “Kenney believes only a small minority of Albertans take issue with this [lockdowns and other restrictions]”.

On social media on Sunday, Kenney called the rodeo “disturbing.”

“It is disturbing to see large numbers of people gathering this weekend at Bowden in flagrant violation of COVID-19 public health measures,” Kenney said on his Facebook page.

“We are all sick of this. We all want it to end. Thousands of Albertans are following the rules, sacrificing travel and social gatherings to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Not only are gatherings like this a threat to public health, they are a slap in the face to everybody who is observing the rules to keep themselves and their fellow Albertans safe.

“On a personal note, I’m angered and saddened to see so many people selfishly put themselves ahead of others. Rodeo celebrates Alberta’s Western heritage, a key part of which is our community spirit and looking out for others, especially the vulnerable. That’s the opposite of what these folks are doing.”

On Monday, Kenney said that tougher lockdowns and restrictions were coming, driven by Albertans not complying with existing orders.

According to polls, Kenney’s UCP has already begun to see its base shedding support to the Wildrose Independence Party, founded as a merger of the Freedom Conservative Party and Wexit Alberta in June of 2020.

UCP fundraising numbers have also fallen off a cliff, raising just $521,589,86 in the first quarter, half that of the NDP.

The rodeo in Bowden quickly became a flashpoint in Alberta, with progressive media personalities and both NDP and UCP politicians condemning it as large segments of the UCP base rallied to it.

The organizer of the rodeo, Northcott comes from a historic rodeo family and opened up his own livestock ranch in the late ’80s.

But the three Alberta COVID-19 lockdowns have hit his business hard, leaving him with only 50% of his normal stock because the costs of wintering and feeding them depleted his bank account.

He decided to hold the rodeo as a protest to the Kenney government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Northcott, on Sunday afternoon, told the crowd the event was such as success he will hold another one July 1.

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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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Marie Wade

    May 8, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Drs. Modry and Hodkinson, along with David Redman, asked for a public debate into the Covid response in Alberta. I never heard a response from Kenney so I assume he either ignored or declined the invitation. That doesn’t sound like encouraging debate. His approach has been my way or the highway. He seems to be getting a lot of bad advice or ignoring the good advice. Either way put a fork in him and use an extra fork for the Pack of Incompetents at AHS.

  2. Seven-Zero-One

    May 6, 2021 at 12:17 am

    Go back to Ottawa Mr.Kenney

  3. Marcie Clare

    May 5, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    That’s okay – I’m not part of his base anymore. Wildrose here I come 🙂

  4. R3

    May 5, 2021 at 11:06 am

    New base does not include anyone who has their eyes open and dares to see outside the Owellian Canadian/Provincial government “Ministry of Truth and Propaganda”.
    In addition to racist,tin foil hat has been added to the self censoring toolbox.

  5. Dennis Richter

    May 5, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Okay folks, What we’ve had for the past decade or more is not working. It’s time for us Albertans to step up to the plate and become involved in our government. For a small investment of $20 for a membership in the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta you can get involved in shaping the future of Alberta in a way that has never happened before.
    Wildrose.party in 2023. The same old, same old ain’t workin.

  6. Claudette Leece

    May 5, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Kenney crossed the floor May 4 th and joined the NDP and he’s too stupid to realize it, and he’s sealed OTOOLEs fate because who would ever believe a conservative again

  7. Joni Menz

    May 5, 2021 at 8:46 am

    We have not seen any debates on Covid like Kenney says. What we have seen instead is cancelling and silencing dissenting opinions from other experts. So, yeah, nice try liar. Also, calling people Nazis is completely ridiculous, damaging and furthering their divide and conquer narrative that people are actually believing.

  8. Kelly Carter

    May 5, 2021 at 7:58 am

    While I agree no one should be getting death threats the reason Kenney is getting them is because he has completely destabilized so many people who are now having a mental crisis. What is clear is Kenney needs to look up the definition of tyranny and look into the mirror. I don’t know anyone talking about lizard people, but a whole lot are people who will NOT vote for a Kenney lead UCP again. I agree with Kenney that Albertan’s are people who care about each other and their community. So Kenney why do you not care about the people losing their jobs, their businesses, their livelihoods and life savings? Why do you not care about entire industries that will be dead and not coming back because of his COVID restrictions? Why do you not care about the mental distress of everyone and our children? Why do you not care about the increase in suicides and substance abuse and addictions (all of which are technically preventable where COVID is not). So Kenney WHY DO YOU NOT CARE ABOUT ALBERTAN’S? Unlike the idiotic computer models that have been wrong for 14 months, real world data shows restrictions do not work. Even a study done last fall in Fenmark showed that masks do not prevent the wearer from getting COVID, and it happened to confirm all previous research. In fact the “flattest curve” I have looked at comes from Florida who has had no restrictions after the first two weeks. It is time to listen to the real experts (epidemiologists like the many who signed the great Barrington declaration) instead of MD’s who are GP’s and garbage in garbage out computer models. Recall Kenney, fire Dr. Hinshaw, and I also think all the upper management in AHS also need to be fired for their gross negligence in handling our health care for the last year.

  9. John Savard

    May 4, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    Well, he could have said “if they are our base, I want a new base” without meaning “I want a new base”. Perhaps he doesn’t believe that his base really consists of people like those at the rodeo.

  10. Steven Ruthven

    May 4, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    Talking about death threats and his mother is a deflection of the facts at issue here. Premier Kenney was outed by UPC Members. My question to Mr. Kenney is would he take a lie detector test & would he also swear to his statement under oath. We don’t need a better Province…we need a better Premier.

  11. Joc2257

    May 4, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Hey, Kenney, resign now and get the hell out of Alberta and go back east and suck up to your global federalist buddies , we don’t want or need you here

  12. Declan Carroll

    May 4, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Instead on validating the protestors concerns Kenney proceeds to mock their postion by attaching real concerns about global elites expressed intentions to lizard people stories. We must bring this situation to a boil to show the people Kenneys true colours. July is to long of a wait for the next go we need another Rodeo as soon as possible.

  13. Baron Not Baron

    May 4, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Kenney, why don’t you just go? Stop trying to be wanted here in Alberta. We don’t want you here no more. You are a liar and a deceiver. Stop talking, show some decency and go in peace.

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News

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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