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Singh says opposition to lockdowns linked to ‘right-wing extremism’

Protests against lockdowns took place across the country over the weekend in Calgary, Regina and Mirror, Alberta, where 1,500 people gathered.

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Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says there is a connection between protesters opposed to lockdowns and mandatory masks, far-right extremism.

“To brazenly not follow public-health guidelines puts people at risk and that is something that we’ve seen with extreme right-wing ideology, ” he told reporters Monday in Ottawa.

Protests against lockdowns took place across the country over the weekend in Calgary, Regina and Mirror, Alberta, where 1,500 people gathered.

Protest organizers, including Chris Scott, in Mirror, were put in handcuffs by the RCMP and hauled away. In Calgary, Pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested in the middle of a busy street and in Regina, People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier received a $2,800 fine.

Singh told reporters he sees a link between protesters and the ideologies of the extreme right because both show a disregard for the well-being of others and put people at risk. 

“There is a connection, certainly.”

On the weekend, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi called opponents of lockdowns “thinly-veiled white nationalist supremacists.”

Nenshi made the comment on the Global TV current affairs show, The West Block.

“Those people at those anti-mask protests, let’s not kid ourselves. They’re not people who [are protesting because they] need to eat. They are people who are marching in thinly-veiled white nationalist supremacist anti-government protests,” he said.

He pointed specifically to people “coughing and hacking and saying they have bronchitis.”

“We’re not that stupid,” he said.

In March he took a similar run at protesters in Calgary who brought tiki torches to a gathering.

“It has been increasingly clear to me over the last several months that these marches that pretend they are about lifting the lockdown — there is no lockdown by the way, shops are open, schools are open, restaurants are open, people have the ability to go out and do many, many things that they normally would have done — have increasingly become forums for hatred, for white nationalist groups and others to attach themselves to this conversation, such that the original discussion is completely lost.

“So when we see people with torches marching through the downtown core, we know what that means. It’s not about heat, it’s not about light, don’t be ridiculous. When we see people advertising these marches using pictures from Charlottesville, we know what that means, we know who that’s meant to intimidate, and I will tell you right now as a person of colour in this city, I will never be intimidated by that.” 

Premier Jason Kenney has also blasted protesters.

“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,” Kenney said.

“Those are voices of extremism and hatred.”

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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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    May 11, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Singh is from the cult of the Air India Bombers . . . last guy to have any credibility at hurling accusations.

    In fact many of the protesters on the Left Coast are Canooks of Indian extraction. As a group many are angry at the corruption and police state tactics.

    I suspect there are far more Sikh extremists . . . Singh is such a dope he must be NDP!

  2. Leonard Peacock

    May 11, 2021 at 7:38 am

    Singh and Nenshi throw out the white extremist label with no actual proof. It is intended to scare you and put you in your place because in their world you have no right to freedom of expression or thought unless it is in line with their ideology.

  3. Steven Ruthven

    May 10, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    10 May 2021
    Big difference where our rights & freedoms are concerned.

    You the same people complaining that your rights are being stepped on by people not following pandemic restrictions? Are you the same people lining up outside of the large box stores, waiting inline for your turn to shop? While small business are sacrificed? Your hypocrisy along with Premier Kenney’s is extreme in itself.

    Ask Premier Kenney about his alignment to Ordered Liberty: “Freedom limited by the need for order in society”. Where anyone in authority can take a civil liberty/freedom away on a whim. That sound like Alberta?

    Well known that AHS puts out a lot of data, but won’t let that data proceed to a challenge in a court of law. AHS wants people to believe in it’s pandemic messaging. Then AHS has to present the data being requested by the Lawyers challenging them. Instead of hiding behind delaying court proceedings.

  4. Notta Commie

    May 10, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    This article was nothing but propaganda. Shameful

  5. CodexCoder

    May 10, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    “To brazenly not follow public-health guidelines puts people at risk and that is something that we’ve seen with extreme right-wing ideology. There is a connection, certainly.”

    I have only two words for Mr. Singh: PROVE IT!

    Anyone can make a claim in public that sounds like it might be right, but without proof, it is simply verbal bovine excrement and should be considered to be a meaningless sound bite, particularly from a politician. Show me proof, Jagmeet, that not following current public health guidelines puts people at risk. The AHS has had 7 months to make that case and have still declined to do so in court and on the record, per John Carpay at JCCF. Further, show me proof that extreme right wing ideologues are always putting people at risk.

    If you don’t have the proof, Mr. Singh, shut up and peddle your papers elsewhere. Stop slandering your fellow Canadians

  6. Earl Hildebrand

    May 10, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    Nenshi is right (for once), I haven’t gone hungry. But it’s a very shallow human that let’s their neighbors business fail, because they aren’t personally impacted. It’s a horrible human that let’s someones rights be trampled because it makes them more comfortable or at the very least, it doesn’t impact their comfort.

    Now regarding the lockdowns that don’t exist, what makes a liquor store more important to the community than a barbershop or gym? Why are nail salons shut down, but a rub and tug remains operational? Why is it that the opium for the masses never stops yet the very things that allow people to live independent lives are impacted?

  7. Eldon

    May 10, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Standing up for rights and freedoms. Is NOT right wing extremism!!
    It should be close to the heart of all Canadians! Too many men fought and died defending our freedoms. For us to casually give them up.
    For the generation to lose thier freedoms. Never see it again.

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Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.

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The Alberta government’s new vaccine mandates for businesses, entities and events are in effect.

Each organization must follow one of two options: implement the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) requiring proof of vaccination or negative test result, plus mandatory masking, to continue operating as usual, or comply with all public health restrictions as outlined in Order 42-2021.

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.

The REP allows operators to avoid the majority of public health restrictions with the implementation of a proof of vaccination program, although vaccine requirements for staff are at the employer’s discretion. Face mask mandates are still required in all indoor spaces.

The program doesn’t apply to those under 12 years of age and businesses that need to be accessed by the public for daily living purposes, including all retail locations. As well, employees, contractors, repair or delivery workers, volunteers or inspectors will be permitted access to spaces without requiring a vaccine passport.

To enter spaces participating in the REP, adults need to provide valid photo identification that matches their paper or digital vaccine record showing name, vaccine type and date of administration. From now until October 25, proof of partial vaccination (one dose) will suffice, however after that date, proof of full vaccination (two doses) will be required. Those under 12 will only need to show vaccination paperwork.

Indoor entertainment, event and recreation facilities that don’t implement the REP will be limited to one-third capacity of their fire code occupancy and attendees must be in household cohorts or with up to two close contacts if they live alone.

Outdoor events and facilities have no capacity restrictions, but attendees must maintain a two-metre distancing between households.  

Restaurants that don’t follow the REP cannot offer indoor dining, and outdoor dining will be limited to six people per table from one household, and liquor sales will have to end by 10 p.m. with consumption cut off by 11 p.m.

Retail, shopping malls and food courts aren’t eligible for the REP, therefore will be reduced to one-third capacity of fire code occupancy and are required to stop all in-person dining, switching to take out only.

Indoor private social gatherings will be permitted for those that are vaccinated to a maximum of two households up to 10 (vaccine eligible) vaccinated people. There are no restrictions for children under 12. For those who are unvaccinated, indoor social gatherings are not permitted.

Private outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 200 people who are socially distanced.  

Churches will be limited to one-third of fire code capacity and masks and social distancing are still mandatory in places of worship.

Employees are mandated to work from home unless their physical presence is required for their duties.

Proof of vaccination will not be required to enter a polling place for Monday’s federal election although physical distancing, masking and other transmission reducing measures will be in place.

For more information on the Restriction Exemption Program, click here.   

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

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Hockey arena backs down on banning unvaccinated kids

Within hours of the Western Standard posting the exclusive story, Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy.

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Public pressure has brought minor hockey out of the penalty box in Cochrane.

Following an exclusive story by the Western Standard on Saturday, along with mounting pressure from the community, a Cochrane sports facility has revamped its vaccine passport policy.  

The Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) and Hockey Alberta were not mandating a vaccine passport system, but Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) announced it would be requiring proof of vaccine status for anyone 12 and up.

Within hours of the story being posted, CMHS President Cory Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy with this statement: “Youth between the ages of 12 (vaccine eligible) to 18 years of age are exempt from the REP vaccination requirement to enter the facility for the purpose of participating in a youth organized sport organization. Examples include (but not limited to) Cochrane Minor Hockey, Ringette, Cochrane Minor Soccer, Lacrosse, Cochrane Figure Skating Club, Comets, Junior Lifeguard Club, etc.”

Although youth may access the facility without being vaccinated, all adult spectators, coaches, volunteers and organizers of any youth activity “must show proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test, or medical exemption to gain entry to SLSFSC premises.”

“Although this helps our kids get on the ice in Cochrane, it’s still an issue at lots of other facilities, especially in larger facilities in Calgary and Airdrie,” Oaten said.

Oaten, who works in the insurance industry, points out the “huge liability issue” this poses to his and other sports organizations.

“Originally, Spray Lakes pushed us to collect this medical documentation from our members,” he said.

The CMHA board consists of 18 volunteer members.

“They can’t put those expectations on a board of volunteers. It’s a big legal issue for us,” Oaten said, adding he and his board refuse to take responsibility for requiring proof of vaccine or the collection of their members’ private medical information.

Oaten was informed the SLSFSC will now have its own security checkpoints set up in the facility and will take responsibility for checking the vaccine status of anyone 18-plus entering the building.

Oaten anticipates families will still pull their kids from hockey and other sports programs as those who remain unvaccinated will not be permitted in the facility to accompany their child.

Hockey Alberta stated on their Facebook page they are working with the Alberta government on how last Wednesday’s announcement will affect hockey for Alberta players. Oaten has asked his members to hold off on making a decision to pull their child from the program until Hockey Alberta comes forward with their updated season plan.

The Western Standard reached out to the SLSFSC for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

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

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