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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.




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

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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  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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CLEMENT: No reason to toast federal tax on non-alcoholic beer

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong.




Sin-taxes, across all sectors, are fairly excessive in Canada. At almost every turn the government sinks its tax teeth into the process of you purchasing the products you like. This is true for cannabis products, alcohol, tobacco, vaping, gas, and annoyingly so, non-alcoholic beer. Yes, non-alcoholic beer in Canada is not exempt from federal excise taxes.

You read that right. The federal government also extends its sin-tax regime for non-alcoholic beer, at a rate of $2.82/hectolitre.

The application of excise taxes for non-alcoholic beer is problematic for a variety of reasons. The first, and most glaring, is that it is hypocritical given that the federal government has exempted non-alcoholic wine and spirits from the excise tax. Why apply it for beer, but not wine and spirits? Obviously, a more consistent approach would be to simply exempt all non-alcoholic beverages from the excise tax, because the purpose of the sin tax is to recover alcohol-related healthcare costs. That said, there are no alcohol-related healthcare costs at all from non-alcoholic beer, which immediately shows the lunacy of sin-taxing these products.

In addition to correcting hypocrisy, removing the excise tax for non-alcoholic beer would put federal policy in line with how the provinces treat these products. Provincial regulators, including Alberta, don’t require non-alcoholic beverages to be sold at licensed alcohol retail outlets, because they’ve accepted the obvious that these products don’t have alcohol in them and thus shouldn’t be strictly regulated. That is why in Alberta these products are often sold alongside carbonated water and pop. Removing the excise tax would be the federal government following the lead of the provinces in treating non-alcoholic beer differently than beer, because they are in fact different.

On the industry side, the federal excise tax acts as a barrier for product development in Canada, mostly because other beer producing jurisdictions (US,EU,UK) don’t tax non-alcoholic beer. Because of this the domestic industry in those jurisdictions has flourished, offering consumers more choice and at better prices. Their sane tax policy, coupled with increased consumer demand, is in large part why the non-alcoholic beer market is expected to grow to over $4 billion by 2025. These drinks aren’t just for hipsters, designated drivers and pregnant women anymore.

Lastly, and most importantly, is how non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of new products reducing harm for consumers. And while I don’t personally enjoy these drinks, I can see why someone would still want to enjoy a beer with their friends, or at a bar, without the alcohol that comes along with it.

From a harm reduction perspective, it makes perfect sense to have different tax strategies for products that vary in risk. The Trudeau government, at times, has championed harm reduction for illegal drugs but appears to have a blind spot when it comes to legal substances. This is an uncomfortable trend from Ottawa that is perfectly exemplified by the excise tax on non-alcoholic beer. Ottawa has kept the excise tax system for non-smokable THC cannabis products, like edibles and beverages, despite the fact they are significantly less harmful. They’ve sought to ban vape flavours, despite the fact that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, and flavours are an incredibly useful tool for adult smokers trying to quit.

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong. Hopefully, come Budget 2022, they can correct this mistake and remove the excise tax from these products entirely.

David Clement is a columnist for the Western Standard and the North American Affairs Manager with the Consumer Choice Center

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EXCLUSIVE: 2003 hearing ruled Chu’s accuser ‘not to be believed’

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”




The accuser at the centre of the embattled Calgary Coun. Sean Chu controversy told a hearing he sexually assaulted her while holding a gun to her head, according to documents obtained by the Western Standard.

But the presiding officer at the police disciplinary hearing, Insp. Debbie Middleton-Hope, said the then 16-year-old minor’s testimony was not credible and not to be believed.

The sentencing hearing took place Jan. 31, 2003 and lasted eight minutes.

Chu did admit to caressing the woman’s leg while in uniform at the King’s Head pub on Macleod Tr. after meeting her while conducting a walk-through patrol in August of 1997.

After his shift, Chu went home to change into civilian clothes before returning to the pub to meet the girl.

Middleton-Hope said in her statement that Chu provided investigators with intimate details of sexual contact the pair had when they returned to his home.

“I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed,” said Middleton-Hope, a long-serving, well-respected Calgary policewoman, now retired.

The woman, in turn, denied Chu had caressed her leg.

“… her evidence was directed on an aggressive, physical struggle at which time a gun was held to her head,” said Middleton-Hope.

But Middleton-Hope said she found the woman’s testimony “inconsistent.”

“Under cross-examination (the woman) had difficulty in recalling pertinent details,” said Middleton-Hope.

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

Middleton-Hope also addressed the age of the woman, who was 16 at the time.

“I have no evidence before me Const. Chu was aware of this fact. Several witnesses said [the girl] appeared to be 19 to 21 years old,” she ruled.

The accuser also testified she had an interaction with Chu two years previous after an altercation at school. Chu wasn’t the investigating officer, but did speak to the girl on the phone.

“…and [received] a Christmas card from her as a result of that phone call,” Middleton-Hope said.

“No evidence was presented that Constable Chu was aware of her age from this verbal contact.

“I believe Constable Chu to be sincere when he indicates he was unsuspecting of [the accusers] exact age.”

Middletin-Hope then ordered Chu have a letter of reprimand on his file for discreditable conduct for caressing the accuser’s leg while on duty.

Chu was also ordered to undergo six months of ethics training.

Middleton-Hope noted performance reviews in his 10-year police career described Chu as “hard working” and “highly motivated.”

For the third time, Chu was elected on October 18 to be the councillor for Ward 4. He won by 100 votes, winning the advance poll, but losing on election day. Documents over the case had been leaked to the media just days before the election in what Chu called a “political assassination.”

There have been a chorus of demands from other politicians for Chu to resign and a byelection called. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek and most of the incoming council have demanded Chu resign.

Chu said he would be happy to meet with Mayor-Elect Gondek to discuss the situation.

Dueling protests — one for Chu and one against — are planned in front of city hall on Sunday.

Chu has vowed to not resign and wants to clear his name.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm,” Chu told the Western Standard in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

Chu admits there was “some touching underneath clothes” in the 1997 incident.

“She then said she wanted to go home and I drove her straight there.”

Chu denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

“If there had been a gun involved there would have been charges,” said Chu.

Documents obtained by the Western Standard and other media indicate that the woman claimed the whole process was a “cover-up.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

Now Chu said he is looking at his legal options and a possible defamation suit over some of what he called the false reporting.

“I have always told the truth. My reputation is important to me and now my family is hurting,” said Chu.

Chu said he wouldn’t comment on remarks made by Gondek that she will try and remove him from council.

“I will continue to tell the truth at council and will be a fiscal hawk,” he said.

“The most important thing is I told the truth and the truth will prevail.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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TV news mistakes leads to censure

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.




A St. John’s TV station breached newsroom ethics when it put out a report containing mistakes, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The TV station was censured for garbling a handful of facts in a local story.

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.

Correct information “could have been easily verified by the reporter prior to airing the news segment,” wrote the Council.

NTV on its flagship suppertime newscast last April 26 broadcast a story on a local parole case that misstated the year of the crime, the date the killer was convicted, and the number of years the murderer served in the penitentiary.

“This whole story was riddled with inconsistencies,” complained one viewer.

“He was charged and convicted in 2003. They reported 2002.

“These facts were not factual. There were four mistakes in the story.”

NTV management apologized and acknowledged errors were made as the story was “rushed to air” but denied any breach of newsroom ethics.

“Although we do not believe our coverage of this story was in breach of any industry guidelines or codes, we understand every individual may view news material or programming from a different perspective,” wrote station managers.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code Of Ethics states, “It shall be the responsibility of broadcasters to ensure that news shall be represented with accuracy.”

A similar Code Of Journalistic Ethics by the Radio Television Digital News Association states: “We are committed to journalism in the public interest that is accurate and reliable.”

“There was no deliberate attempt by NTV to change the narrative of this story which focused on the revocation of the parole of the convicted murderer,” wrote the Standards Council.

“It is understandable that in a rush to get the story to air, incorrect pieces of information were used.”

“Journalists should strive to verify facts and put them in context. These inaccuracies constitute breaches.”

There are no fines for breaching TV codes. The station must announce the violation on its newscast.

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