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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.




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

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  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



    3pm LIVE MUSIC

  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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CLEMENT: No reason to toast federal tax on non-alcoholic beer

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong.




Sin-taxes, across all sectors, are fairly excessive in Canada. At almost every turn the government sinks its tax teeth into the process of you purchasing the products you like. This is true for cannabis products, alcohol, tobacco, vaping, gas, and annoyingly so, non-alcoholic beer. Yes, non-alcoholic beer in Canada is not exempt from federal excise taxes.

You read that right. The federal government also extends its sin-tax regime for non-alcoholic beer, at a rate of $2.82/hectolitre.

The application of excise taxes for non-alcoholic beer is problematic for a variety of reasons. The first, and most glaring, is that it is hypocritical given that the federal government has exempted non-alcoholic wine and spirits from the excise tax. Why apply it for beer, but not wine and spirits? Obviously, a more consistent approach would be to simply exempt all non-alcoholic beverages from the excise tax, because the purpose of the sin tax is to recover alcohol-related healthcare costs. That said, there are no alcohol-related healthcare costs at all from non-alcoholic beer, which immediately shows the lunacy of sin-taxing these products.

In addition to correcting hypocrisy, removing the excise tax for non-alcoholic beer would put federal policy in line with how the provinces treat these products. Provincial regulators, including Alberta, don’t require non-alcoholic beverages to be sold at licensed alcohol retail outlets, because they’ve accepted the obvious that these products don’t have alcohol in them and thus shouldn’t be strictly regulated. That is why in Alberta these products are often sold alongside carbonated water and pop. Removing the excise tax would be the federal government following the lead of the provinces in treating non-alcoholic beer differently than beer, because they are in fact different.

On the industry side, the federal excise tax acts as a barrier for product development in Canada, mostly because other beer producing jurisdictions (US,EU,UK) don’t tax non-alcoholic beer. Because of this the domestic industry in those jurisdictions has flourished, offering consumers more choice and at better prices. Their sane tax policy, coupled with increased consumer demand, is in large part why the non-alcoholic beer market is expected to grow to over $4 billion by 2025. These drinks aren’t just for hipsters, designated drivers and pregnant women anymore.

Lastly, and most importantly, is how non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of new products reducing harm for consumers. And while I don’t personally enjoy these drinks, I can see why someone would still want to enjoy a beer with their friends, or at a bar, without the alcohol that comes along with it.

From a harm reduction perspective, it makes perfect sense to have different tax strategies for products that vary in risk. The Trudeau government, at times, has championed harm reduction for illegal drugs but appears to have a blind spot when it comes to legal substances. This is an uncomfortable trend from Ottawa that is perfectly exemplified by the excise tax on non-alcoholic beer. Ottawa has kept the excise tax system for non-smokable THC cannabis products, like edibles and beverages, despite the fact they are significantly less harmful. They’ve sought to ban vape flavours, despite the fact that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, and flavours are an incredibly useful tool for adult smokers trying to quit.

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong. Hopefully, come Budget 2022, they can correct this mistake and remove the excise tax from these products entirely.

David Clement is a columnist for the Western Standard and the North American Affairs Manager with the Consumer Choice Center

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EXCLUSIVE: 2003 hearing ruled Chu’s accuser ‘not to be believed’

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”




The accuser at the centre of the embattled Calgary Coun. Sean Chu controversy told a hearing he sexually assaulted her while holding a gun to her head, according to documents obtained by the Western Standard.

But the presiding officer at the police disciplinary hearing, Insp. Debbie Middleton-Hope, said the then 16-year-old minor’s testimony was not credible and not to be believed.

The sentencing hearing took place Jan. 31, 2003 and lasted eight minutes.

Chu did admit to caressing the woman’s leg while in uniform at the King’s Head pub on Macleod Tr. after meeting her while conducting a walk-through patrol in August of 1997.

After his shift, Chu went home to change into civilian clothes before returning to the pub to meet the girl.

Middleton-Hope said in her statement that Chu provided investigators with intimate details of sexual contact the pair had when they returned to his home.

“I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed,” said Middleton-Hope, a long-serving, well-respected Calgary policewoman, now retired.

The woman, in turn, denied Chu had caressed her leg.

“… her evidence was directed on an aggressive, physical struggle at which time a gun was held to her head,” said Middleton-Hope.

But Middleton-Hope said she found the woman’s testimony “inconsistent.”

“Under cross-examination (the woman) had difficulty in recalling pertinent details,” said Middleton-Hope.

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

Middleton-Hope also addressed the age of the woman, who was 16 at the time.

“I have no evidence before me Const. Chu was aware of this fact. Several witnesses said [the girl] appeared to be 19 to 21 years old,” she ruled.

The accuser also testified she had an interaction with Chu two years previous after an altercation at school. Chu wasn’t the investigating officer, but did speak to the girl on the phone.

“…and [received] a Christmas card from her as a result of that phone call,” Middleton-Hope said.

“No evidence was presented that Constable Chu was aware of her age from this verbal contact.

“I believe Constable Chu to be sincere when he indicates he was unsuspecting of [the accusers] exact age.”

Middletin-Hope then ordered Chu have a letter of reprimand on his file for discreditable conduct for caressing the accuser’s leg while on duty.

Chu was also ordered to undergo six months of ethics training.

Middleton-Hope noted performance reviews in his 10-year police career described Chu as “hard working” and “highly motivated.”

For the third time, Chu was elected on October 18 to be the councillor for Ward 4. He won by 100 votes, winning the advance poll, but losing on election day. Documents over the case had been leaked to the media just days before the election in what Chu called a “political assassination.”

There have been a chorus of demands from other politicians for Chu to resign and a byelection called. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek and most of the incoming council have demanded Chu resign.

Chu said he would be happy to meet with Mayor-Elect Gondek to discuss the situation.

Dueling protests — one for Chu and one against — are planned in front of city hall on Sunday.

Chu has vowed to not resign and wants to clear his name.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm,” Chu told the Western Standard in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

Chu admits there was “some touching underneath clothes” in the 1997 incident.

“She then said she wanted to go home and I drove her straight there.”

Chu denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

“If there had been a gun involved there would have been charges,” said Chu.

Documents obtained by the Western Standard and other media indicate that the woman claimed the whole process was a “cover-up.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

Now Chu said he is looking at his legal options and a possible defamation suit over some of what he called the false reporting.

“I have always told the truth. My reputation is important to me and now my family is hurting,” said Chu.

Chu said he wouldn’t comment on remarks made by Gondek that she will try and remove him from council.

“I will continue to tell the truth at council and will be a fiscal hawk,” he said.

“The most important thing is I told the truth and the truth will prevail.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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TV news mistakes leads to censure

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.




A St. John’s TV station breached newsroom ethics when it put out a report containing mistakes, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The TV station was censured for garbling a handful of facts in a local story.

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.

Correct information “could have been easily verified by the reporter prior to airing the news segment,” wrote the Council.

NTV on its flagship suppertime newscast last April 26 broadcast a story on a local parole case that misstated the year of the crime, the date the killer was convicted, and the number of years the murderer served in the penitentiary.

“This whole story was riddled with inconsistencies,” complained one viewer.

“He was charged and convicted in 2003. They reported 2002.

“These facts were not factual. There were four mistakes in the story.”

NTV management apologized and acknowledged errors were made as the story was “rushed to air” but denied any breach of newsroom ethics.

“Although we do not believe our coverage of this story was in breach of any industry guidelines or codes, we understand every individual may view news material or programming from a different perspective,” wrote station managers.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code Of Ethics states, “It shall be the responsibility of broadcasters to ensure that news shall be represented with accuracy.”

A similar Code Of Journalistic Ethics by the Radio Television Digital News Association states: “We are committed to journalism in the public interest that is accurate and reliable.”

“There was no deliberate attempt by NTV to change the narrative of this story which focused on the revocation of the parole of the convicted murderer,” wrote the Standards Council.

“It is understandable that in a rush to get the story to air, incorrect pieces of information were used.”

“Journalists should strive to verify facts and put them in context. These inaccuracies constitute breaches.”

There are no fines for breaching TV codes. The station must announce the violation on its newscast.

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