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Second UCP MLA backs call for Kenney to resign

Hanson, the UCP MLA Bonnyvile – Cold Lake – St. Paul supported Loewen in a Facebook message Thursday morning.

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Alberta UCP MLA David Hanson has become the first to publically support his colleague Todd Loewen, who called on Premier Jason Kenney to resign.

“Todd, I applaud your courage and stand behind your decision. I hear the same thing from our supporters in my area. I along with many of our colleagues share in your frustration,” Hanson wrote.

“We, along with many Albertans worked too hard to unite Conservatives to hand this province back to the NDP. Thanks for taking a stand.”

A caucus meeting scheduled for later Thursday has been cancelled.

Hanson was first elected in 2015 under the Wildrose banner, alongside Loewen.

 Loewen, UCP MLA for Central Peace-Notley in northwest Alberta published a scathing letter around midnight in the first minutes of May 13, saying Kenney refuses to listen to the public and to caucus members, that his leadership has failed, and that UCP supports have abandoned Kenney specifically.

Loewen used the letter to inform Kenney that he was stepping down as chairman of the UCP caucus effective immediately.

The letter takes direct aim at Kenney’s caucus management, premiership, and leadership over the party.

“I no longer believe that caucus can function properly; meeting have been cancelled without members’ consent, significant decisions of government have been made without notice to members, and our input as elected members is rarely considered,” wrote Loewen. “Additionally, I feel it is best to resign this position [caucus chairman] to be able to speak freely.”

“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.”

Loewen’s remarks also took direct aim at Kenney’s personal leadership.

“The caucus dysfunction that we are presently experiencing is a direct result of your leadership…The people of Alberta have lost trust in this government because youhave not brought needed balance and reason to the discussion. Albertans and our UCP party members deserve better,” he wrote.

“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.

“Along with so many Albertans, our understanding was that we in the UCP had united around our shared principles, integrity, and common-sense approaches to governing – in short, an Alberta “strong and free.” We did not unite around blind loyalty to one man. And, while you promoted unity, it is clear that unity is falling apart. I know that many Albertans, including myself, no longer have confidence in your leadership.

“I thank you for your service, but I am asking that you resign so that we can begin to put the province back together again.”

This story will be updated as developments come in

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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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Josh

    May 13, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    I want to thank these men for their courage and honesty. We have been very fortunate that our restrictions have been very mild in comparison to other areas of the world. This is not only to restore freedom in Canada but lead the rest of the world by example.

  2. Declan Carroll

    May 13, 2021 at 10:09 am

    David Hansen another patriot who does what is good and right by his constituency. Kenney has got to go. The People must decide through an election just how much risk we collectively are willing to take on. It is not the place of unelected doctors to decide on a whim to shut down society because they are afraid of covid.

  3. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    May 13, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Albertan’s never had the opinion the the AHS was the vechile to lead through virus issues.We needed to get to a level higher than the medical doctors and have the issue directed by sceince based individuals who had the expertise to lead from the front and made correctable mistakes and nor acting to protect AHS and the union. Wake up Alberta we do not need doctor television stars.

  4. Andrew Pludek

    May 13, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Another one, great! we need a majority of the caucus to add to this, to stop the tyranny.

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UPDATED: Omicron found in Alberta, BC

But Hinshaw refused to say where the traveller lives over fear it would identify them.

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The tentacles of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have reached Alberta and BC.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said an Albertan returning home from Nigeria, via the Netherlands, has tested positive for Omicron.

Hinshaw said they tested positive a week ago and the person, who traveled alone, is now self-quarantining.

She said medical officials are trying to “delay” the spread of the variant until more research is done.

But Hinshaw refused to say where the traveller lives over fear it would identify them.

Hinshaw also urged people not to take out their frustrations against the family of the infected person nor the countries that are under an Omicron watch.

And she said people shouldn’t “think of this as a reset to Ground Zero.”

In her daily update, Hinshaw said in the last 24 hours, health officials have found 238 new cases of coronavirus. There are 434 people in the hospital with 81 in ICU. Another six people are reported to have succumbed to the virus.

In BC, Der, Bonnie Henry said another traveller coming home from Nigeria had tested positive for Omicron.

That person lives in the Fraser Health region and is isolating. 

On Monday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced 156 Albertans self-quarantining after returning from travel in a country that had been hit with Omicron.

Six confirmed cases of the variant of concern have now been confirmed in Canada so far.

Earlier in the day, Canada added Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt to its Omicron travel ban.

On Friday, the government put restrictions on travellers from South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

“Obviously we’re watching very, very closely the situation with Omicron,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on his way into the cabinet meeting.

“There may be more we need to do and we’ll be looking at it very carefully.”

More to come…

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

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Unvaxxed grounded in Canada

As of November 30, travellers will no longer be allowed to submit a negative test result in place of proof of vaccination to board a plane or train in Canada.

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As of Tuesday, Canadian travellers over the age of 12 will no longer be able to fly or travel by train in Canada without proof of vaccination.

The policy was originally set to come into effect on October 30, however, the federal government announced it would grant a grace period to unvaccinated travellers allowing for a negative COVID-19 test to be provided within 72 hours of the trip.

As of November 30, travellers will no longer be allowed to submit a negative test result in place of proof of vaccination to board a plane or train in Canada.

The new travel restrictions for the unvaccinated come on the heels of the emergence of a new variant of concern (VOC) dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Cases involving the new variant, originally detected in South Africa, have been found in other countries including five cases within Canada.

Although there is not much known about the new variant at this time, the WHO confirmed scientists around the world are working to determine how the highly-mutated variant will affect transmissibility and severity of illness in the population.

Canada, along with other nations, closed its boards and expanded its screening protocols to travellers arriving from affected areas in southern Africa.

The Canadian airline industry welcomed the vaccine mandates when they were announced in October. Air Canada and West Jet have both confirmed they will be asking all travellers to produce proof of vaccination before boarding their carriers as of Tuesday.

While health measures such as masking and screening will still be required, no measures for quarantining individual travellers have been put in place with the exception of those who have travelled through or arrived from southern Africa.

“If you indicate to your airline or railway company that you’re eligible to board, but fail to provide proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 test result, you won’t be allowed to travel and could face penalties or fines,” the government indicated in a statement.

The Canadian government is also warning permanent residents abroad to expect to provide vaccine passports to return home.

The rules don’t apply to commuter trains.

The Government of Canada has created a “reliable way to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination history when travelling internationally and within Canada,” states the government’s website. The document is verified once uploaded to ArriveCAN upon returning to the country.

The website warns travellers are not guaranteed entry to another country with the documents and suggests checking the rules of your destination country and the countries you travel through.

“Today, Canada passed a sad milestone in its history,” said Matt Slatter, a pilot with a major Canadian airline and a founder of Free 2 Fly, a hub that has “Canadian aviation professionals standing with passengers in defence of freedom.”

“No longer can it hold itself as a beacon of freedom and liberal values.”

The Free 2 Fly website encourages passengers and airline workers who “feel strongly that the ability to travel should not be linked to vaccination status,” to sign up and join their movement.

“With the advent of mandates requiring all aviation and rail passengers to be vaccinated, Canada is now effectively a two-tier society,” said Slatter.

“On one tier, compliant citizens are afforded many of the rights they once enjoyed in a free society. While the other tier is essentially relegated to their own localities, with limited exception.

“History suggests this style of governance will only lead to more tragedy and heartbreak. The cure is inevitably worse than the disease. Will Canada learn from the mistakes of the past?”

Currently, there are just under 38,000 signed up on the Free 2 Fly site. One of the goals of the group is to “wage a legal campaign to block, and/or overturn, all vaccination mandates.”

Melanie Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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CRTC trying to hang up on spoof calls

Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

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All those calls from the taxman and Canadian Border Services officials threatening to arrest you could soon be coming to an end thanks to new regulations from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

“Many Canadians are now able to determine which calls can be trusted thanks to a new technology aimed at combating spoofed calls named STIR/SHAKEN. Caller ID spoofing is frequently used in nuisance and fraudulent calls to mask the identity of the caller,” said the CRTC in a release.

“As of today, telecommunications service providers will certify whether a caller’s identity can be trusted by verifying the caller ID information for Internet Protocol-based voice calls. This new technology will help reduce the frequency and impact of caller ID spoofing. As service providers continue to upgrade their IP networks and offer compatible phones to their customers, more and more Canadians will be able to see the effects of STIR/SHAKEN.”

It’s believed up to 25% of all calls in Canada are scams.

The CRTC said Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

“This new caller ID technology will empower Canadians to determine which calls are legitimate and worth answering, and which need to be treated with caution. As more providers upgrade their networks, STIR/SHAKEN will undoubtedly reduce spoofing and help Canadians regain peace of mind when answering phone calls,” said Ian Scott, CRTC CEO.

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We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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