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Trudeau Foundation alumni says ‘No question’ West oppressed

Donald Savoie believes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stands in opposition to his father who spoke passionately against special rights for Quebec.

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A leading Canadian constitutional expert is “flabbergasted” at the lack of pushback on Quebec’s Bill 96 and believes the federation is in trouble.

On May 15, Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced he would amend the constitution to make his province a nation within Canada and French its official language.

Donald Savoie, Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance at the University of Moncton, was less surprised by the announcement than by how little pushback it received.

“What I find amazing, truly amazing is the rest of Canada – it’s like a big yawn. Twenty years ago, that would have been front pages, that would have been top of the news, that would have been debated. This time around, it’s like a big yawn. Oh, go ahead, do whatever you want to do. I think there’s fatigue in this country with those issues. I don’t think Canadians understand fully,” Savoie said in an interview with Western Standard.

“It may have resonated in some quarters in Western Canada, but certainly in Atlantic Canada, you don’t hear an outcry…You don’t see it in the province of Ontario. It’s like…Quebec is doing that, what else is new, Quebec always wants to play at the margin and kind of push the envelope as much as it can.”

Savoie believes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stands in opposition to his father who spoke passionately against special rights for Quebec.

“I suppose his son would say Canada has evolved and they will evolve with Canada and we can’t refer to Mackenzie King or Pierre Trudeau. I don’t think you can deal as easily with language rights or cultural rights, human rights as easy as that. You either have you either apply human rights or you don’t,” he said.

Savoie, who was born in 1947, said the fact Canadians don’t care about what the Quebec premier announced suggests they may not care to save Canada itself if another referendum were held.

“If I were sitting in Ottawa, I’d say there’s an alarm bell here. We need to worry. Because Atlantic Canada and Western Canada, they say, ‘Well, you fix it the way you always fix things. We don’t have the say,’” he said.

Savoie, the founder and executive director of the Canadian Institute for Research on Regional Development, says this is “the old story that you impose a cow on the map of Canada. It eats in Western Canada, it’s milked in Ontario and Quebec, and it s—- on the Atlantic provinces.”

It’s rare commentary for an alumni of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation.

“Western Canada has, since the dawn of confederation, has had the short end of the stick. There’s no question that Western Canada has and continues to be screwed. No question about that,” he said.

The ignorance was illustrated for Savoie by a recent debate in the House of Commons.

“David McGuinty, a Member of Parliament for Ottawa, got up in the House of Commons and accused Alberta MPs of being too regional in their perspective because they want to talk about the energy sector. Now, let me tell you what the energy sector means for Newfoundland, for Nova Scotia, for Saskatchewan, for Alberta, British Columbia, and certainly for New Brunswick. But [he said] that’s regional. And then he talked about a national issue, the auto sector. The auto sector is only present in Ontario, but that’s national [in his mind],” he said.

Savoie believes the unwillingness for Wilfrid Laurier to create the province of Buffalo as a western Canadian rival to Ontario shows that this country has long favoured central Canada.

“We are the only Federation in the world that doesn’t have an upper house to speak on behalf of the regions….And yet, we have the second largest country in the world…Australia has the Westminster model, and they have an upper house to speak on behalf of the regions,” Savoie pointed out.

“No other federation in the world would put up with that… this country being designed for Ontario and Quebec by Ontario and Quebec, with the public service centered in Ottawa… I could go through a whole litany that Western Canada frankly has been taken advantage of.”

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan

Lee Harding is the Saskatchewan Political Columnist for the Western Standard. He is also a Research Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and is the former Saskatchewan Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. John Lankers

    May 27, 2021 at 8:29 am

    I wish the WS would bring back the ‘like’ button, the many intelligent comments here shouldn’t be left unrecognized.

  2. Left Coast

    May 27, 2021 at 8:14 am

    A lot of good points Rick !

    What few Canooks understand is the influence of the Alphabet Folks today.
    In the late 70s they started to infiltrate Media, Politics, Teaching Profession complete with an agenda. Today even the Psychiatrists who a few years ago decided that Gender Confusion was Real came from this segment. A recent 60 Minutes segment showed a boy who thought he was gender confused got a Tranny for a councillor, that is friggin insane.
    Today they are “grooming” our children in grade school . . .

    Anyone remember the Bath Houses in San Francisco before AIDS? They would hand out free memberships at the local high schools . . .

  3. Steven Ruthven

    May 27, 2021 at 3:35 am

    Does any party in this lame Parliament “speak for Canada?” Quote from Rex Murphy National Post 21 May 2021.

    Canada’s Constitution was written on toilet paper if this farce from Quebec goes through. Quote from Steven Ruthven 27 May 2021.

  4. Rick Johnson

    May 26, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    I don’t think the West, let alone Alberta, can pull separation off. Danielle Smith saw the writing on the wall when she tried to convince the social conservatives within the Wild Rose to capitulate to the progressive demands for same-sex marriage. The Social Conservatives held their ground which pissed off Smith who stormed off across the floor. Since then, Conservatives have lost one hill after another through capitulation, deplatforming, shadow-banning, cancelling and under-bus tossing. Now no one can seem to get elected unless they agree to undergo LGBTQ sensitivity programming…a prerequisite to being allowed to march in their parades…which is necessary to not have a province wide smear campaign launched against you. The squeaky wheel always gets the grease and nobody squeaks louder than Notley’s Deluded People(NDP), especially since they’re enjoying a perpetual orgy with legacy media, academia and labour unions in both public and private sectors.
    I think Alberta’s future is within the control of the Chinese Communist Party, to be quite frank.

  5. Barbara

    May 26, 2021 at 11:31 am

    CHRIS SKY IN EDMONTON TODAY

    EDMONTON FREEDOM RALLY TODAY AT THE LEDGE!!!

    3pm LIVE MUSIC
    4PM OFFICIAL START TIME

  6. Tom

    May 26, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Time for Western separation. Nothing will ever change under the current model!

  7. Susan Grant

    May 26, 2021 at 9:54 am

    How can Quebec amend something THEY have never signed?

  8. Left Coast

    May 26, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Lets face it folks . . . Canada is done like dinner . . .

    What Donald Savoie fails to recognize is the fact that almost 1/2 of Canooks today were NOT born in Canada, this is the result of over 50 years of out of control immigration, which started under Trudeau I, with the goal to de-anglicized Canada. It has worked . . .

    The Maritimes have been passengers for over 100 years . . . they care little as long as the cheque keeps coming.

    David McGuinty . . . now there a name I recognize, brother to Ontar-i-owe Premier Dalton, who single handedly flushed the Ontario Manufacturing & Economy. And the good people of the Province only took 15 years to figure it out.

    The West needs to wake the hell up and leave this sinking turd . . . the likely alternative is to become a colony of China.

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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.

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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.”

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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
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com

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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.

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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.
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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