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Kenney calls rodeo ‘disturbing’, not the cowboy way

On Saturday, the Alberta Health Services announced a record daily toll of 2,433 COVID-19 cases. The total dropped on Sunday to 1,731. A total of 648 people are hospitalized. with 155 in ICU.




Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has gone on a tirade against the No More Lockdowns Rodeo – calling it the exact opposite of the cowboy spirit.

Kenney called the rodeo, attended by about 4,000 people over the weekend, “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 Saturday, the Alberta Health Services announced a record daily toll of 2,433 COVID-19 cases. The total dropped on Sunday to 1,731.  A total of 648 people are hospitalized. with 155 in ICU.

Rodeo action. Photo courtesy Northcott Rodeo

“The reason we are at this critical stage of the pandemic in Alberta, with record high daily case counts and intensive care numbers, is precisely because too many Albertans are ignoring the rules we currently have in place,” said Kenney.

“If we do not begin to bend the curve, our health care system could very well be overwhelmed in a matter of weeks. I again implore Albertans to get vaccinated when it’s your turn and to follow the rules in your area. To those of you already doing this, thank you. To those who aren’t, please smarten up. The more people we have flouting the rules, the longer this pandemic will last.”

The organizer of the rodeo, Ty 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 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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  1. Left Coast

    May 3, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    Lockdowns May Be Canada’s Biggest Policy Failure in History, Report Says
    BY ANDREW CHEN May 3, 2021 Updated: May 3, 2021biggersmaller Print
    Lockdowns have had little effect on bringing down COVID-19 deaths and could be one of Canada’s biggest policy failures in history, a professor wrote in a research paper published this month.

    Douglas W. Allen, economics professor at Canada’s Simon Fraser University, reached the conclusion after examining over 80 papers on the effects of lockdowns implemented worldwide by governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy forced the closure of businesses, supply chains, various sector activities, among other activities in daily life.

    “Lockdowns have had, at best, a marginal effect on the number of Covid-19 deaths,” Allen wrote in his report (pdf).

    Allen’s own cost/benefit analysis is based on the calculation of the “life-years saved” which determines “how many years of lost life will have been caused by the various harms of lockdowns versus how many years of lost life were saved by lockdowns.”

    “The benefit of lockdown, therefore, was the avoidance of this extra 22,333 years of lost life. However, the cost of lockdown, as noted, was 6,300,000 years of lost life.”


  2. Eric Mills

    May 3, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Rodeo is condemned by EVERY animal welfare organization in North America due to its inherent cruelty. For most of the animals, the rodeo arena is merely a detour en route to the slaughterhouse, all in the name of a bogus, mach “entertainment.” Rodeo was outlawed in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) back in 1934. Can Canada and the U.S. be far behind?


  3. Left Coast

    May 3, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Kenny . . . if “Lockdowns” WORKED . . . why do we keep doing them?

    Kenny is just another uninformed Politician . . . not even smart enough to look around the Continent or the Globe to see what other jurisdictions are doing right.

    The are still marching out the “Cases” numbers . . . not “Sick” people but the results of PCR tests that are a complete FRAUD !

  4. Joni Menz

    May 3, 2021 at 9:24 am

    What happened to ‘live and let live’ and ‘to each their own’? I agree with Declan. You need to do what is right for you. If you are afraid, stay home and isolate yourself. Selfish is not doing whatever you want, it is forcing others to do whatever you want.

  5. Lee Morrison

    May 3, 2021 at 9:14 am

    This is childish bullshit. Time to protect the the general public by slapping the organizers with a few $5,000 fines. Sure, open air events are relatively safe compared to. for example, crowded church services, but spectators sitting close together can be spreaders. Keep exercising your “independence” folks, and we’ll still be fighting the virus for months, until most sane people have been protected by vaccination.

  6. Dennis Richter

    May 3, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Time for Albertans to become part of the solution. Get your membership in the fastest growing party in the country, get involved with your local constituency association. Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta Make it happen in 2023. https://wildrose.party/

  7. Ed Ward

    May 3, 2021 at 8:04 am

    Show us the “scientific and medical evidence” you have used to justify your unconstitutional lockdowns over the past year! It does not exist or you would not be having your lawyers attempt to have the case against Grace Life adjourned for 7 more weeks…..You wanted Alberta to be a stepping stone for you on your way to 24 Sussex and you have the nerve to explain “the Cowboy way”….? Back to Ottawa with you Jack A**!!!!

  8. Joc2257

    May 3, 2021 at 7:47 am

    It is time to elect a party that knows exactly what the Cowboy lifestyle is not some passive obedient servant looking for a government hand out to exist. There is very little difference in the Kenney UPC and the Notley NDP governments, at least we knew what street the NDP totalitarians were walking down, Kenney just talks out of the two sides of his face, a trick he learned in his time in Ottawa.
    It’s time the citizens of this great and freedom loving province get behind a party that will always pull the citizens freedoms, social responsibilities and economical progression ahead of anything or anyone else. Get behind the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta, join today and help vote in a leader you believe will stand for these ideals at wildrose.party

  9. Robert Lang

    May 3, 2021 at 6:57 am

    To Kenney: More to come. In larger capacities. Get used to full mass non-compliance to lockdowns.

  10. Tony

    May 2, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    I naively hoped early on in the “crisis” that Kenney would emerge as a Canadian version of DeSantis or Noem. Instead we got a Cuomo/Newsom/Whitmer. And guess what Jason??? The establishment media and permanent political class whose validation you so desperately crave still treat you with disdain. Give it up….step aside and let this party be lead by someone other than a career politician. The alternative is a Notley majority on the back of a 30% popular vote and low voter turnout among anyone who does not belong to a public sector union or living at the public trough.

  11. Baron Not Baron

    May 2, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Kenney is the death of everything. You should see it by now.

  12. francis witzel

    May 2, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Kenny should step down , he’s lost confidence in the people who elected him . Kenny must go now

  13. Tracey

    May 2, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    What the hell would you know eastern city boy? Your all hat and no cattle you pos.

  14. John Stirling

    May 2, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    Call a leadership review Kenney! You have lost the support of Albertans and your own party! We’ll show you the cowboy way!

  15. tomanynamesgone@aim.com

    May 2, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Kenny is wrong. Let people live. I don’t fear this virus but I fear government that don’t listen to the people. Fear and politicians drive this insanity.

  16. Rosie B

    May 2, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    As if Jason Kenney has any concept of “the cowboy way.” When did a lifestyle synonymous with freedom become one about following government rules? Such bullsh**.

  17. Declan Carroll

    May 2, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    He should be putting the rodeo on every weekend enough is enough. If your scared then stay home. Life is for the living and it is not the role of government to try to save everyone by taking away their liberty.

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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.




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

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LETTER: Hypocrisy in high school rodeo approval

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?




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.





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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