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NDP proposing changes to give recall bill teeth

The NDP proposal would lower the number of signatures required to 25% and kill the “recall vote” currently in the UCP bill.




Alberta’s NDP is introducing motions to try and toughen up the UCP’s recall bill.

“Jason Kenney thinks he can deceive Albertans simply by passing a bill that says ‘recall’ on it, but he can’t,” said Irfan Sabir, NDP Critic for Justice, in a Thursday release.

“This is a fake bill that protects MLAs with impossibly high requirements and unnecessary extra steps.”

The NDP said Kenney’s bill requires citizens to gather signatures from 40% of the entire voters list within 60 days, “a nearly impossible feat.”

For example, Albertans seeking to recall Health Minister Tyler Shandro in Calgary-Acadia would have to gather 13,852 signatures, even though Shandro was elected with only 12,615 votes in 2019 after six months of campaigning, said the NDP.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in the last decade there has been no successful recall petition in any U.S. state or Canadian province with a 40% requirement. 

“Then, even if that 40% threshold was achieved, under Kenney’s proposal there is an additional step. Constituents would have to win a “recall vote,” and, if that vote was also successful, only then would there be a by-election campaign. Kenney’s bill does not include the gratuitous “recall vote” campaign for municipal councillors or school trustees,” said an NDP release.

The NDP proposal would lower the number of signatures required to 25% and kill the “recall vote” currently in the UCP bill.

“Kenney’s phony bill also has no set date to come into force, meaning Canada’s most disliked premier could wait as long as he wanted before proclaiming it. Alberta’s NDP will propose that the bill come into effect on July 31, 2021,” said the NDP.

“Jason Kenney has told his own UCP supporters they will have to wait more than a year for a party review of his leadership, but we are demanding much better on behalf of all Albertans,” Sabir said.

“The Premier should not be able to wait to see if his popularity improves before putting this recall legislation into force.”

Heather Sweet, NDP Critic for Democracy and Ethics, called the current bill “a complete fake.”

“Kenney designed it to be impossible to use because he knows a genuine recall act would put many UCP MLAs in danger — including himself. We will propose amendments to give Albertans the real power to remove MLAs who have broken the public trust,” Sweet said.

“If UCP MLAs vote these down, then they are clearly terrified of being accountable to the Albertans they are supposed to serve.” 

In question period, Kenney accused NDP Leader Rachel Notley of being against recall legislation when she was premier.

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. Joc2257

    May 28, 2021 at 8:35 am

    These socialist/facist/communist NDP are all for this idea, which isn
    t a bad thing but as soon as they wee back in power they would repeal this Recall Act and nullify it. This is how sleazy the NDP are, they have proven it time and aagin

  2. Zeb

    May 28, 2021 at 12:59 am

    Bring it on. We can get rid of nutly right after that liebrano plant kenny

  3. Kelly Carter

    May 27, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    A pleasant surprise coming from the NDP considering Notley was against this kind of legislation. I bet she sees it as a way to oust Kenney, which would not be a bad thing at this point. The NDP need to remember that this kind of legislation would properly make them accountable to the people as well.

  4. Claudette Leece

    May 27, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Agree with you Erik, while she claps her hands in glee, she forgets that Bill can be used to remove her. But we know that will never happen, their conjoined twins, the NDP and unions

  5. berta baby

    May 27, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    The NDP in their lust and passion not only cut kenneys throat but also their own ….. insert dr evil laugh here….. thanks Rachel that feeling when you got yourself a good handful of kenneys nuts and your squeezing them like the oilfield …. this move gets a slow clap

  6. Erik Tarves

    May 27, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    I actually agree with the NDP on this…although they should be carful what they wish for, it could be used on them one-day

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SLOBODIAN: Decade long investigation into Manitoba residential school involves nearly 100 officers and 700 interviews

The First Nation recently undertook a search of the site using ground-penetrating radar technology but has not released the results.




A “large and complex” decade-long investigation by RCMP has been underway into allegations of sexual abuse at a former residential school in Manitoba’s Sagkeeng First Nation.

The Fort Alexander Residential School opened in 1905 on Sagkeeng First Nation, located 120-km north of Winnipeg. In 1970 it was converted to a day school that operated for several years.

Manitoba RCMP issued a press release Tuesday confirming the major crimes unit began looking into allegations of abuse in February 2010, then launched a formal criminal investigation the following year.

RCMP began by gathering information, including reviewing archival records in both Ottawa and Manitoba. They went through thousands of documents such as student and employee lists and quarterly returns.

This involved more than 80 officers who interacted with more than 700 people across North America in an effort to find possible victims and witnesses.

“After compiling and collating all this data, investigators developed an investigative plan that began with the canvassing of people whose names had been identified in the documents as well as a door-to-door canvas in the Powerview/Fort Alexander area, where the school had been located,” said the statement.

The criminal investigation launched in 2011 involved 75 formal witnesses and victim statements.
Recently, Sagkeeng Chief Derrick Henderson said elders and survivors have long spoken about abuse at the school and children that went missing.

The First Nation recently undertook a search of the site using ground-penetrating radar technology but has not released the results.

“Violation of the privacy rights of those involved in this investigation will not only cause further trauma to everyone involved, but also potentially compromise this highly sensitive investigation,” said Henderson. “We ask that the trauma our community has experienced and continues to live every day is respected and that those affected are afforded their privacy at this time.”

RCMP are working closely with First Nations leaders and no other criminal investigations into former residential schools are underway in Manitoba, said RCMP.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard  lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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BC increases vaccine efforts amid slowing rates, including ‘vax vans’

“Over the next two weeks, BC will push hard to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible.”




BC health officials want more people rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 shot, and say they will be increasing efforts in the coming weeks to do just that.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Dr. Penny Ballem addressed BC’s vaccine roll-out plan during a Tuesday morning news conference.

Among their announced efforts are “walk-in Wednesday” which will take place August 4 when 20,000 jabs will be made available with no need to book in advance.

Walk-in Wednesday is part of the “Vax for BC” campaign.

“I’d like to begin by thanking each and every one of the millions of British Columbian’s, like me, who have stepped up to be vaccinated,” said Henry.

“Because of this small act, we have been able to re-open our province.

“While we have made tremendous progress with our immunization plan, there is of course more work to do. We know that some people still struggle to find a convenient time in their day to get immunized, and others may still have questions, and be hesitant about the vaccine.

“So starting today, we are making it even easier for people to get vaccines. To help protect themselves, and their loved ones against COVID-19.”

Henry said the province will be introducing “custom vax vans” so people will be able to get vaccinated on their lunch break or “while cooling off at a lake.”

The province is also reducing the wait time between first and second doses from eight weeks to seven weeks.

There are currently 906,772 eligible people who have not received a dose, roughly 19.6% of the population older than 12, according to data from July 23.

Interior health has an un-vaccinated population of 26.2% while Northern health has 32.5% without a first shot.

On Monday, the Surrey Board of Trade wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Health Minister of Canada Patty Hajdu, BC Premier John Horgan, and Minister of Health Adrian Dix urging them to “implement a proof-of-immunization model.”

“We support a centralized, Canada-wide approach to COVID-19 proof-of immunization that could be easily used to confirm vaccination status for international and domestic use,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“Without inter-provincial harmonization, Canada risks a piecemeal approach, making life more difficult and unpredictable for individuals and employers during an already uncertain time.”

Last week, YVR airport implemented separate lines for vaccinated and un-vaccinated individuals prior to reaching customs.

The separation of lines – which was put in place as a federal policy – has since been removed following extensive public push-back.

As for enforcing proof-of-immunization policies at concerts, night clubs, and sporting events – an increasing number of British Columbian’s are cozying up to this idea.

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard

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Feds silent on $120M loan to company not ‘worthy of taxpayers’ largesse”

Both CMHC and the Department of Social Development declined to respond to questions.




Federal agencies yesterday remained mum about a $120 million housing loan to one of Canada’s wealthiest developers, after Cabinet earlier defended the loan as critical, said Blacklock’s Reporter.

“This project will help over 300 local families find rental housing units,” Ahmed Hussen, minister responsible for housing, told reporters. “That’s why the government is taking action to increase the supply of rental housing through projects like the one we’re announcing.”

Cabinet on July 19 announced the $120 million loan to build 302 apartments in Brampton, Ont. The developer is Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. The company’s CEO was paid $3 million in salary and benefits last year, according to corporate filings.

“This project will help over 300 local families find rental housing units,” Hussen’s department said in a statement. “A solid and reliable supply of rental housing is critical to ensuring more Canadians have access to housing that is affordable.”

Choice Properties is owned by George Weston Ltd. The developer’s 2020 net income totaled $451 million. The loan was approved through a federal program, the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, that extends 10-year, easy-term credit “for certainty during the most risky periods of development,” according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Both CMHC and the Department of Social Development declined to respond to questions. The news website Press Progress cited data from Canada Mortgage and Housing that of 302 apartments in the Brampton project, as few as 61 would rent at below-market rates. The building is scheduled for completion by 2023.

“We know that finding an affordable place to live is a challenge for many Canadians in communities across the country,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the time. “Today’s announcement is great news for families in Brampton. The Government of Canada will continue to invest to increase affordable housing options.”

George Weston Ltd. reported net earnings of $1.6 billion last year. It also operates the Loblaw Companies Ltd. supermarket chain that in 2019 received a $12 million federal grant to install new freezers. “Canadians might wonder why the Liberals handed over $12 million to Loblaw’s, one of Canada’s richest companies,” Conservative MP Mark Strahl (Chilliwack-Hope, B.C.) earlier told the Commons.

The freezer grant was paid under a Low Carbon Economy Fund. A now-disbanded ecoEnergy program similarly paid grants to large corporations in the name of energy efficiency.

Sobeys Inc. received $1.48 million in ecoEnergy grants in the period from 2006 to 2013. Loblaw Companies received $801,000. A total $207,968 was paid to McDonald’s Restaurants and $153,960 to Sears Canada.

“These companies are flush,” Liberal MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, Ont.) said in an interview at the time. “Companies, given their financial statements, don’t seem to be worthy recipients of taxpayers’ largesse.”

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.

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