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O’Toole jumps to Kenney’s defence, blames Trudeau for forcing lockdown decisions

Kenney has yet to comment on O’Toole’s flip-flopping on the carbon tax and plans to campaign on his own version of one. O’Toole announced that April 15.

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Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has launched a defence of embattled Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, saying he had been forced to bring in unpopular COVID-19 lockdowns because of the incompetence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Premier Kenney, like all of our premiers, has been doing yeoman’s service in the absence of leadership from Ottawa,” O’Toole told reporters in Ottawa.

“We are in a third wave with dangerous variants, with rapid community spread, without sufficient vaccine supplies. The dangerous variants are because the border was never fixed by Mr. Trudeau after promises a year ago. We are already hearing some reports of a fourth wave because of the Trudeau failure in vaccines.

“Premier are the ones forced to clean up the mess and I know there’s a challenge when there are restrictions and lockdown with businesses and life being restricted, but I think Premier Kenney, like other premiers, have been trying to balance that while they’ve been waiting months for vaccines.”

Kenney and O’Toole go a long way back together, with the Alberta premier supporting him in the leadership race to become the national Conservative leader.

Kenney has yet to comment on O’Toole’s flip-flopping on the carbon tax and his plans to campaign on his own version of one. O’Toole announced that April 15.

Growing caucus tension with Kenney 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.

Caucus unrest boiled over Thursday with MLA Todd Loewen publishing a letter calling for Kenney to resign.

Loewen’s comments Thursday triggered a firestorm of political intrigue in the UCP, ending with both Lowen and MLA Drew Barnes being kicked out of the UCP caucus.

“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.”

The letter 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

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

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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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Baron Not Baron

    May 16, 2021 at 12:51 am

    Why have just one imbecile when you can have two..

  2. Mars Hill

    May 15, 2021 at 1:22 am

    Vote for the Quebec Cowboy, he’s head and shoulders above any other choice.

  3. Left Coast

    May 14, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    O’Toole is a friggin fool . . .

    Kenny could have look around the world and examined what other jurisdictions were doing.
    Sweden did ZERO Lockdowns and are quite normal today . . .
    Florida did one . . . took great care of their large Seniors Population and you can go to the beech & Disneyland today.

    Kenny kept doing “Lockdowns” . . . although there is ZERO Science that demonstrates locking up healthy people changes anything. All Canadian Premiers all but ignored the senior population . . .

    Lockdowns have created more deaths from Drug Overdoses, Suicides & inability to get prompt Medical Services than the Wuhan Flu.

    Kenny is just as clueless as Trudope & O’Foole . . . 3 peas in a pod ! ! !

  4. Pamela Bridger

    May 14, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    My thoughts exactly. And if O’Toole was overseeing the response, you can bet curfews and other authoritarian crap would have been implemented. These armed forces guys have that stuff hammered into the psyche. I should know. I am an army brat.

  5. Rigpig

    May 14, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    So who’s gonna wear the dress in the pending Kenney/O’toole nuptials???

  6. Baron Not Baron

    May 14, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Yup yup a very dangerous third way. Each one of us has a t least one family on our street who have turned into zombies after they died in their homes (from the variants of course) and then they started roaming our neighbourhoods and contaminating everybody and turning them into zombies and so on. Am I right or am I right????

  7. adam

    May 14, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    I definitely agree with both comments.

  8. John Harvey

    May 14, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    LOL What a great vote of confidence, the captain of one sinking ship praising the captain of the other sinking ship. Misery loves company!

  9. berta baby

    May 14, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    ya O Toole won’t win kenney any support. These 2 men are both bottom of the barrel lying snakes that say whatever they can to win then change their brand to centralists . Polished politicians that never had to do a days work .. Fleck em both

  10. Steven Ruthven

    May 14, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Two of the most despised people in Alberta Kenney & O’Toole.

    O’Toole blaming Trudeau to protect Kenney is laughable. O’Toole & carbon tax flip flop in Alberta is well known and angers many of us here.

    If I were Kenney, the last person I would want to hear from would be Erin O’Toole.

  11. Joell Haugan

    May 14, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Variants are gonna happen regardless…. opening up was the proper strategy. Had O’Toole been in charge we would be exactly where we are today….and in just as much regret.

  12. Declan Carroll

    May 14, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    O’Toole is a liar. He does not represent the wishes of Albertan constituents. His endorsement of Kenney is not going to improve Kenney’s situation. It only further illustrates why Kenney has to be removed as Premier. Any friend of Aron “I Promise No Carbon Tax” O’toole is no friend of Albertans.

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News

Edmonton anchor fuming after pride flag ripped down

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

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An Edmonton news anchor is furious after a Pride flag was ripped down from its pole outside her home.

“I am LIVID right now,” tweeted Breanna Karstens-Smith, a Global anchor.

Karstens-Smith

“This just happened at my house. Someone came and tore down our Pride flag. No one touched it for a year when it was a Canada flag but now that it’s for pride this happens.

“THIS IS WHY WE NEED PRIDE MONTH.”

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

Pride flag torn down

“And they are greatly mistaken if they think we’re not putting another one up. Ordering a new flag pole now. Flag is thankfully fine but we got it from @thequiltbagyeg and would love to see more in our city,” she tweeted.

“Our flag is back up and our house feels right again. Thank you for the kind messages of support. The best part is hearing from people now putting up their own flags. I’d love to see photos of them. Happy Pride.”

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

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Regina chamber CEO calls COVID-19 protesters ‘narrow, dimwitted, racist’

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy,” said John Hopkins.

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Regina Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins denounced COVID-19 protesters and their message in an email sent to the organization’s members.

“The anti-mask group in Regina are a very small but loud group. They have been protesting for months. They believe that they have a right to not wear a mask,” Hopkins wrote.

“Some are of the view that there are tracking devices in the masks and still others believe that this is a global conspiracy.

“…the anti-maskers have crossed the line. They have been harassing business owners, people on the street and now their latest target, kids at schools. In my opinion targeting kids is too far, way too far.

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy. They certainly have the right to say what they want but the same rights and privileges extend to the rest of us….

“Racism is a vicious challenge that we need to address as a country, province and community. The time has come to act and stand up.”

The Western Standard asked Hopkins what harassment had occurred in Regina.

“There’s a candy shop on 13th Avenue,” Hopkins said.

“The business owner asked them to put on a mask and they refused and business owner refused to serve them.”

The incident from May 26 was watched almost 30,000 times on a YouTube video. The would-be customers were standing outside on the deck of the business across from the serving window.

“There has been some altercations between anti maskers and other people, actually on the street, I believe on Albert Street,” Hopkins said.

“And throughout the course of the last 14 months on, generally speaking, it’s just been people on the side of the street.”

Hopkins’ accusation of racism concerned comments made about Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab.

“There were some very troubling remarks about Dr. Shahab that the premier addressed. We were quite concerned about that… as well as other sort of comments on telling people to go home and that type of thing on some of the signs.”

At a December 14 press conference, Premier Moe said the “end was in sight” for COVID-19 restrictions, but he was “embarassed” at “racist”,”foolish”, and “idiotic” comments made by a protester at the legislature. In a video posted days before, a man tried to say Shahab’s name a few times unsuccessfully before commenting, “can’t get these foreigners’ names right.”

Regarding students, Hopkins said, “I’ve heard that they were at a school and that they were talking to kids at a school this past week….and parking in the school parking lot….I just think going to the school is a bit much.”

Hopkins said masks help.

“It blows my mind that somehow when the Chief Medical Officer – not only one, but many across the country, and in fact, globally – are saying, wear a mask, I think it’s pretty straightforward wearing a mask is one of the things that can help people stay safe…Even though we’re making headway against the virus, it’s still out there that masks aren’t doing anything. And I find it just bizarre.”

The email was posted on the Freedom Alliance Facebook page by Kevin Volk.

“Check out this crap that was sent to me,” Volk wrote, urging people to phone the chamber to express their displeasure.

Volk told the Western Standard he had a cleaning business and had been a chamber member “for well over ten years.”

“This is just another slap in the face for business owners. The chamber has been pushing for businesses to remain closed even tho they are supposed to help businesses. They have done absolutely nothing for small businesses owners,” he said.

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

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Canadians hit with millions of dollars of COVID fines

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

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The feds have issued tickets for close to $3 million for COVID-19 scofflaws who have refused to quarantine at hotels after arriving back in the country, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Other tickets handed out include fines for fraudulent COVID-19 test results.

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

“I think it is important that we adhere to the public health advice that we are all getting, that we do our part as Canadians to try and protect our health care system,” Health Minister Patricia Hajdu earlier told reporters.

Records show a total 988 air passengers were each ticketed $3,000 for “refusing to go to government-approved accommodation” on arrival in Canada. The majority of tickets, 621, were issued at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport followed by Vancouver (194 tickets) and Montréal (173).

Cabinet on January 7 passed an order requiring all air travelers to prove they were COVID-19-free with tests taken a maximum 72 hours prior to arrival. An identical order for cross-border drivers was invoked February 22.

The Canada Border Services Agency found 62 travelers with fake tests, said the report, and four were each ticketed $3,000.

Another 9,003 travelers were cited for not having proof of a valid test, including 4,583 drivers and 4,420 air passengers.

“This would include individuals who did not test at all, who were in possession of tests outside the required 72-hour time frame, tests that did not originate from the required country of origin, tests that are suspected fraudulent and other reasons,” wrote staff.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair defended the enforcement.

“Cancel your vacation plans,” Blair told reporters February 12.

“Stay home. Respect the rules. We believe that through these effective measures, appropriate screening and the testing measures in particular that we have put in place coupled with robust and enforced quarantine orders, it is the best way to prevent variants from spreading across our borders into Canada.”

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

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