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FILDEBRANDT: Sky Palace patio party aborts Kenney’s political recovery before it begins

“It’s naked gaslighting. They did break the law. Their own law, that they continue to enforce on rodeo hosts, Christian pastors, churches, and small businesses.”

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Roughly two weeks ago, I wagered with a senior Conservative politician a bottle of good Riesling that Kenney’s political recovery would not be swift following the lifting of lockdowns and other COVID-19 restrictions. Said Conservative bet me once things were set to return to normal, Kenney would see most of his erstwhile base return, and his popularity would respectably recover .

At 2:10 pm on June 2, my friend texted me a picture of Jason Kenney and several of his key ministers enjoying a very un-socially distanced round of drinks on the rooftop of one-time Premier Alison Redford’s Sky Palace.

At 3:26 p.m., my friend sent me another text: “That Riesling is going to be expensive. I made the bet assuming he’d be smart.”

My prediction that Kenney’s popularity wouldn’t quickly recover wasn’t based on events getting in the way. It was based on a belief those who fled the UCP banner over Kenney’s on-again-off-again lockdowns, are deeply upset. And like a lover scorned, are harder to win back than to win over the first time.

Alberta support and opposition to lockdowns by party voters, May 2021 Shareable with credit and hyperlink.

In a recent Mainstreet Research poll ,conducted for the Western Standard, 57% of those who voted UCP in 2019 say that they disapprove of Kenney’s handling of COVID-19, mostly because of what they see as his draconian and overly harsh reaction.

Whatever my gloomy predictions, Kenney did have a path back. His reopening plan was bold, at least relative to other Canadian premiers who seem determined to cling to lockdown-theory as long as possible. While a good many Albertans may continue to resent how long it took him to get there, his jailing of Christian pastors, closure of churches, and raiding of businesses, the reopening for summer would still be a hugely welcome relief. If Kenney could follow through on the pledge – and not backtrack again – he stood a chance at political recovery.

But, I’m now owed an expensive bottle of Riesling.

When a picture began circulating on social media of Kenney, ministers Jason Nixon, Tyler Shandro and Travis Toews, and four others sitting around a nice table enjoying whiskey and wine on the rooftop patio of the Sky Palace, social media caught fire. When social media gets angry, that doesn’t necessarily mean that social media is correct. The Twitter mob can work itself into a headful of steam over very little.

The Western Standard’s original story on the controversy played the matter down until we had the facts. But get the facts we did. The next day, News Editor Dave Naylor published a thorough fact check.

In his defence, Kenney claims they didn’t break the rules, but it was under the category of an “outdoor social gathering,” and not “patio dining.” The Sky Palace’s rooftop patio is not the premier’s private residence – despite the best efforts of Allison Redford – and it’s licensed to serve alcohol and food. It might not be a commercial rooftop patio bar, but its a distinction without a difference.

But even Kenney’s defence that it was technically an outdoor social gathering lands him in clear hot water with his own temporary restrictions, now entering their 15th temporary month. By our count, even if it was the kind of gathering Kenney claims, he, his ministers, and the others in the photo are guilty on eight counts of violating their government’s own guidelines, and 16 counts of violating their own legally-binding regulations.

These kinds of gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people, however the guidelines strongly encourage those people be limited to a maximum of two households. As far as we know, all eight people pictured live in separate households. That’s eight violations of their own guidelines.

These outdoor social gatherings also require “mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households.”

It doesn’t take an engineer to see from the picture every single last person in the photo is well within the two meter distance requirement. In most cases, very well within two meters. That’s eight violations of their own government’s orders.

Their regulations also require they “must not have an indoor component (movement in/out of homes is not permitted.”) The Sky Palace’s rooftop patio is about 12 storeys up. Unless Kenney and the cabinet parachuted onto the roof, they all came through the elevator and the door. The picture even shows two unidentified men with the group walking towards the forbidden door. That’s another eight violations of their own regulations.

For those keeping score, that’s eight violations of the guidelines, and 16 violations of the regulations.

Kenney’s response was the same as it was when a large portion of his caucus was caught traveling to warm, oversees destinations with no restrictions after locking down Alberta over Christmas.

“Nobody broke the law. Nobody should be upset. This is only the NDP playing politics.”

Well, words to that effect. Instead, he sent Nixon and Shandro out to say it for him.

It’s naked gaslighting. They did break the law. Their own law, that they continue to enforce on rodeo hosts, Christian pastors, churches, and small businesses.

Even if it was an outdoor social gathering – and not patio dining as the premier claims – they are still in violation of the eight guidelines and 16 regulations noted above. But these men make the rules. They don’t necessarily have to follow them.

Kenney is also playing a dangerous game if he believes only NDP partisans are unhappy with the matter. Indeed, New Democrats see an opportunity to score some goals – or at least let the Tories score on their own net – and they do seem to insist lockdowns remain in place for the foreseeable future.

But many a conservative is less than impressed by the impervious display atop the legendary Sky Palace, a coin termed and immortalized by Canadian Press reporter, Dean Bennett.

Longtime UCP member and Alberta Institute President, Peter McCaffery tweeted a picture of the gathering with the caption, “The Last Supper.”

If it was a 21st Century Alberta recreation of the Last Supper, one has to wonder if there was a Judas sitting around the table, as internal challenges to the premier’s leadership continue to roil.

McCaffery was also the miscreant who blew the whistle on Environment Minister Jason Nixon’s plan to spy on Alberta campers over the summer with drones. It was deliciously ironic that in all likelihood, it was a spy drone that captured the picture seen round Wildrose Country.

This is potentially much more damning than the Snowbird travel scandal of the New Year. In that case, it was only one cabinet minister and a series of backbenchers putting up their nose at their government’s own restrictions and lockdowns. Kenney dismissed it at first, but later had to discipline them.

In this case, he is at the centre of the action, and he can’t possibly discipline himself and most of his senior cabinet ministers. There’s just nobody else to let take the fall.

And unlike the Great Snowbird Scandal of 2021, the issue isn’t a series of words pecked out by reporters, but a photograph displaying it for the world to see. Every Albertan can look at it and make his or her own decision. There’s just no spinning his way out of it for the premier.

Kenney’s best course of action is to accept responsibility, apologize, and immediately repeal all regulations that he himself isn’t prepared to abide by.

You hold your breath while I sip my Riesling.

Derek Fildebrandt is the Publisher of the Western Standard

Derek Fildebrandt is the Publisher, President & CEO of Western Standard New Media Corp. He served from 2015-2019 as a Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly in the Wildrose and Freedom Conservative parties. From 2009-2014 he was the National Research Director and Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. dfildebrandt@westernstandardonline.com

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    June 4, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Where have we seen this behaviour before?

    California Gov Newsome . . . who while Californians were locked down went to the Napa Valley with a dozen of his friends to dine at the Extravagant French Laundry.

    Gov Witless Whitmore in Michigan quietly flew off to Florida to live like a Normal Person while her constituants in Michingan were under strict lockdowns and then denied she went.

    This is a behaviour pattern of the “Elites” . . . Kenny thinks he is an “Elite”, so appropriate he got caught at the Redford Sky Pallace.

  2. John

    June 4, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Jason Kenney is Allison Redford’s evil twin and let’s not kid ourselves, Notley would have done the same to Alberta and Albertans, or worse.

  3. Westcanguy

    June 4, 2021 at 7:28 am

    The Wildrose Independence Party should be sending Kenny a thank you note for boosting membership in their party. This graduate of the Jim Prentice school of political leadership needs to figure out his next career move. This one is done.

  4. Steven Ruthven

    June 4, 2021 at 12:20 am

    In the old days, Jason Kenney would be tied up gaged and put on a train heading east; in an open air box car, with a sign around his neck that says feed me and push me off at Ottawa.

    Resign Jason Kenney your goose is cooked.

  5. Zeb

    June 3, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    Maggots

  6. Baron Not Baron

    June 3, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Pieces of sh!t. All of them, lizard servants.

  7. Seven-Zero-One

    June 3, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    UCP MLA’s are disgrace for Alberta

  8. Kelly Carter

    June 3, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    I don’t care much about Kenney’s breaking of rules probably because I refuse to follow them. This photo shows too things to me…. 1) the old PC elites are running the province led this time by Kenney. It is Redford and Stalmach all over again. 2) Kenney’s COVID regulations are so convoluted and complicated no one can really keep track of them all Eden Kenney. For a while they were changing almost weekly. It was at that time I started refusing to be a good government minion, and stopped any attempts to follow the rules.

    I am furious over 3 pastors arrested and jailed, and what they have done to the Whistle Stop owners. The smearing of the rodeo and Tye Nortcott was also unforgivable. I will not be forginving Kenney.

  9. Jean Stewart

    June 3, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Kenney can not admit to mistakes. He will bumble through, not admitting that he’s become an embarrassment to his base. Albertans will judge him for being unfair and entitled. Jameson is his cheap whisky, which is a smack up the head for everyone who has been out of work or stuck at home or sick.

  10. Bobbi Potyok

    June 3, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Kenney will not make an apology or repeal restrictions. I’d bet a Riesling on that.

  11. Cecil Jenkinson

    June 3, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Jason Kenny you have a responsibility “ to Man Up”.You are the Premier of one of the best provinces in Canada. Be a Man with character and integrity. Someone to look up to not a mirror of our incompetent Federal Leader . Stand up and admit your regulations are over the top and unnecessary. I don’t care if this event and your response about cheap whiskey is your idea or some of your colleges-make it right. I believe that you still have some character and you know what is right. So now do it or you will regret it . I am a senior citizen who has as others experienced making a bad decision with no one calling you out so you can fix it . Eat your pride because in the it is worthless.

  12. berta baby

    June 3, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Ya between the NDP and the standard I’m guessing lock downs are a thing of the past that we won’t forget

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Former general slamms Trudeu ‘stupdity’

Canadian taxpayer’s millions go directly into the Taliban’s blood-soaked hands. No one’s on the ground to ensure it helps Afghans they terrorize and slaughter.

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There’s truth, duty, and valour — the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada’s motto the honourable live by as they strive to keep promises made.

Then there’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s broken promises to thousands of Afghans stuck in a potential death trap, as hopes of evacuation to safety rapidly fade.

Afghans helped the Canadian military during their 2001-2104 Afghanistan mission, believing Canada’s promise to bring them here to safety if necessary. 

It’s years past necessary. Promises broken. They’re hiding in terror with their children — Lord help the little girls — from Taliban predators. 

“There’s a bunch of people running around with sharp knives looking for them. They wouldn’t be brought before a court. The Taliban would take their heads off,” retired Maj.-Gen. Clive Addy, former Land Force Western Area commander, told the Western Standard.

Faithful translators proved invaluable. 

“They were very good at passing information to soldiers to prevent them from getting bombed out, or things like that. There’s a myriad of human services they provided. It required a heck of a lot of skill, camouflage, truth. It was that kind of courage they showed on our behalf that we must show for them,” said Addy.

“Truth, duty, and valour. The truth is, the Taliban took over. They’re criminals. Now they’ve got the place. The people to whom we made a vow, we have the duty to fulfill it. And valour, we’ve got to have the guts to do it.” 

“I cannot, having served my country, sit here and watch us walk away from such an important commitment. We’re walking away.”

It’s not that Trudeau isn’t shovelling money into Afghanistan. He pledged an initial extra $50 million for humanitarian aid, topping $27.3 million allocated for 2021.

Recently, Trudeau gave $1.7 million to the Afghanistan Strategic Evacuation Team (ASET), a group of Canadians and Afghans overseen by the Veterans Transition Network (VTN), helping Afghan interpreters.

Of the 10,000 Afghan translators and their families they’ve identified, 1,760 are hiding in safe houses used since the U.S. withdrawal in August. 

The $3 million spent to date, at $20,000 a day, was donated by private citizens and corporations. 

Funds run out November 5. 

Shockingly, Trudeau stipulated the $1.7 million couldn’t be used for safe houses, only logistics.  

ASET is overseen by three retired Canadian major generals — Dean Milner, David Fraser, and Denis Thompson — all RMC graduates.

Bureaucrats, obediently wagging their tails for Trudeau, tell these military greats, all former task-force commanders in Afghanistan, where to spend money.

Canadian taxpayer’s millions go directly into the Taliban’s blood-soaked hands. No one’s on the ground to ensure it helps Afghans they terrorize and slaughter.

Trudeau’s foolishly hoping the devious Taliban — seeking cash and recognition as a legitimate government — will be good little terrorists keeping a promise to behave.

“I’m just shaking my head. I don’t know how they come up with this stupidity. The Taliban asked for support, and we’ve got immigration going through the UN prepared to give them money. But they’re not prepared to give money to people under threat,” said Addy.

“The Taliban have the gall to say ‘Our people are hungry, send money to the UN.’ We’re supporting that. I’m sure there’s some hungry Taliban that Canada might help. The rest of the people are starving.”

On the campaign trail, Trudeau said Canada would welcome 20,000 Afghan refugees. Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, a former Navy commander, doubled it to 40,000 at the UN General Assembly in September.

At an October G20 meeting, Trudeau proclaimed humanitarian assistance must continue, but urged the Taliban to respect rights of women and children. Urge away, it’ll never happen.

Trudeau also urged other countries to take in more refugees.

So far, Canada says it welcomed 3,700 Afghans. That disputed number’s likely 3,000. Many had already left Afghanistan and were ‘evacuated’ from safe countries. Less than 20% were interpreters and families.

Addy recently penned a letter to ministers and MPs to be signed by RMC alumni, outlining a blueprint of what Trudeau must do.

It stated the need to expedite funds to ASET; remove barriers restricting funds from being used for safe houses; remove documentation obstacles eliminating the need for passports by issuing single use travel documents to valid resettlement applicants allowing them to obtain Pakistan e-visas; issue facilitation letters to support the travel documents; and fund air charters for evacuation.

Addy, Milner, Fraser and Thompson aren’t the only retired commanders criticizing the government.

In August, retired general and former chief of the defence staff Rick Hillier told CBC the evacuation operation is “cluttered” by bureaucratic clumsiness, inefficiency, and paperwork. Former lieutenant-general and Liberal MP Andrew Leslie echoed concerns.

Trudeau said the Taliban seized power so quickly, Canada couldn’t evacuate more people. Nonsense.  Military personnel and NGOs have fought for years to get interpreters out.

“I spent three years trying to bring in one of my good Afghans and family members. His file was in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada longer. No movement. Zero, with me picking on them daily, getting lawyers to help,” said VTN’s Milner.

“He was almost killed. The Taliban had his phone. He was a fighter. The Taliban wanted him big-time. We were able to sneak him and his seven lovely children out…They’re in Canada.”

The government, rightfully, says Afghans must be vetted. Hence, the delay. 

The VTN already vetted thousands, people they know well.

Who better to vet? A bureaucrat perusing applications? Or Canadians these Afghans fought beside?

The clock’s ticking Trudeau. 

It’s about truth, duty and valour, right Garneau? Being a RMC graduate, did you forget that part? 

Get them out.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Canada dithers while girls get beheaded for playing volleyball

If Taliban thugs unleash demonic rage on a girl because she was involved in sports, imagine what awaits Afghans who helped Canadian soldiers — keeping many alive — during the 2001-2014 mission in Afghanistan.

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Mahjabin Hakimi was beheaded by the Taliban who then posted gruesome photos of her severed head on social media as a menacing warning to others. 

Why? The girl played volleyball.

Hakimi, a star player on the girls’ national team, was slaughtered in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul.

If Taliban thugs unleash demonic rage on a girl because she was involved in sports, imagine what awaits Afghans who helped Canadian soldiers — keeping many alive — during the 2001-2014 mission in Afghanistan.

Time is running out for 1,760 Afghan translators and their families who’ve been kept safe only because of an effort led by retired Canadian top military commanders and carried out by non-governmental agencies and others.

For courageously risking their lives, Afghans were promised refuge in Canada if needed. They remain indefinitely trapped, betrayed by the Trudeau government. 

Despite endless political platitudes and promises, it isn’t the government doggedly working to get them out. 

About 10,000 Afghans who helped Canadians, identified by the Veterans Transition Network (VTN), are targets of vengeful marauding medieval assassins hunting for them.

The VTN oversees the provision of emergency funds for shelter and support of the 1,760 during an agonizing wait for evacuation through the Afghanistan Strategic Evacuation Team comprised of Canadians and Afghans.

The $20,000 a day cost since the Taliban seized power in August when the U.S. pulled out, has been manageable due to private and corporate donations.

Funds are running out. The lifeline’s gone in two weeks. 

Aman Lara, a Canadian non-governmental organization, works closely with the VTN. 

Retired Canadian lieutenant-colonel Eleanor Taylor, who is chief of staff, notified the Afghans Friday: “Due to the complexity of the situation in Afghanistan, Aman Lara regretfully has to scale back accommodation support to Afghans in need of evacuation by November 5.

“We had expected that applications would be processed in a timely manner and evacuations would be swifter. Unfortunately, our ability to finance the accommodations has diminished and time has run out.”

Three retired major-generals — Dean Milner, Denis Thompson and David Fraser — have been working feverishly since July to evacuate these Afghans. They’re all former task-force commanders in Afghanistan.

On Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau assured Fraser the government is working on air charter evacuation flights to Pakistan and elsewhere and will investigate the problematic documentation process. 

He intends to pass along the VTN’s concerns to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino.

However, not much can be done until the October 26 cabinet shuffle, said Garneau. Then the new cabinet must settle in and Parliament won’t resume until November 22.

So, the federal government — and its cumbersome bureaucratic process that creates obstacles — continues along its useless path going nowhere.

Despite grand promises from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and cabinet ministers evacuation efforts are sluggish.

“They all keep saying they’re going to support us. When?” asked Milner.

Months ago, Trudeau pledged to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees.

“Where are they coming from? Tell me. The Afghans that need to be supported are those in Afghanistan.”

The government claims it has evacuated 3,700 Afghans. 

“I think it’s over 3,000. Anything they said, I take it with exaggeration. No more than 20% were interpreters and their families,” said Milner.

That leaves embassy staff and Afghans already safe in other countries. 

“We don’t want the low-hanging fruit of other countries. The ones that did the work for us, that worked closely alongside us, are still stuck in miserable Afghanistan,” said Milner.

“We have over 10,000 Afghans in our group who still need to be evacuated. We’ve managed to bring a little over 300 through the border into Pakistan. We have a lot more to do,” said Milner.

That would include finding money to keep Afghans in safe houses. VTN asked the government for funding.

“We’ve been asking constantly. We’re getting support from many people. But the government still hasn’t bitten. They gave $1.7 million two weeks ago to keep us quiet. We couldn’t use that for safe houses. That was actually part of the policy.”

That money must be used to cover other expenses.

“That’s a drop in the bucket when you’re taking care of this many people. We’re paying to transport people across the country to Pakistan. We’re paying for buses. We’re paying for Afghans that are supporting us. We’re supporting a team trying to operationalize this and make it work. It doesn’t take much to eat up money.”

“Volunteers like me, I don’t need money,” said Milner.

Individual Canadians and “outstanding” companies like McCain Foods and Sobeys, donated nearly $3 million racked up in expenses so far.

“It has cost $20,000 a day since August for the safe houses. That’s not counting other life support and transportation costs.”

VTN is exploring ways to evacuate Afghans by land and on charter flights from Mazar-i-Sharif Airport, in Afghanistan’s fourth-largest city.

“We’d like to get going with charter air flights. The Taliban are now allowing flights into Afghanistan.”

But the $750,000 cost of one charter would “eat up” the safe house money left.

Why isn’t the government running charter flights?

No one’s flying out yet and the Taliban’s on the prowl. 

“There’s still an absolute danger. The Taliban are unpredictable. You can’t trust them. That’s why we fought them. Here they are now in power. They don’t like fun, they don’t like women, they don’t like school, they don’t like sporting activities.” 

“We get absolutely awful stories. We’re not going to stop until we get these Afghans out. We see it as a moral obligation. They supported us over there. They’re great people.”

TOMORROW: Truth Duty Valour vs. Trudeau’s broken promises.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

WAGNER: The left ignores growing support for Alberta independence at its peril

Angus Reid released its poll showing that over half of Albertans believed the province would be better off if it left Canada. Were those results just another Postmedia trick?

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A recent poll conducted by Mainstreet Research for the Western Standard showed new heights of support for Alberta independence. This demonstrates the movement is alive and not running out of steam. Just because the issue is out of the headlines for the moment does not mean it’s far from the thoughts of a great many Albertans.

The poll found 40% support for Alberta independence with 45% preferring to remain in Canada, and another 15% undecided. If the undecideds are removed, support for independence rises to 47% versus 53% for the status quo.  

Previous Mainstreet Research polls commissioned by the Western Standard showed growing — but demonstrably weaker — support for independence. A July 6, 2020 story entitled “Alberta leads the West in wanting independence” found only 20% of Albertans favouring independence. Another story from Jan. 13, 2021, “Third of Albertans & majority of UCP voters back Western independence, shyer about going it alone,” found 25% favouring Alberta independence if the province struck out on its own, but 36% support for an independent country comprising other Western provinces.

The polling results seem to indicate a growing trend of support for independence. That’s obviously good news for those favouring that option.

It seems, however, that Alberta’s progressives have a blind spot when it comes to acknowledging popular support for independence. This has been evident in recent years, even as Justin Trudeau has driven many Albertans into the sovereigntist camp.

With Trudeau aggressively preventing pipeline construction and resource development, support for independence gained considerable strength towards the end of 2018. Indeed, early in 2019, the Angus Reid Institute released its own poll indicating independence sentiment was quite strong in Alberta. The article reporting the results stated: “More than half Albertans (52%) say they believe the west would be better off if it left Canada.”

Yet, just a few weeks earlier, prominent leftist blogger Dave Cournoyer wrote, “Reading the pages of the Postmedia newspapers or the #ableg hashtag on Twitter you might believe that Albertans from roughneck Fort McMurray to trendy Kensington are calling for Independence and rising up in arms against their political overlords in Ottawa. Nope.”

He went on to state that “… it is difficult to believe there is any real appetite for Albertans to leave Canada, and the consequences that would follow.” And he assured his readers that “support for separation remains consistently low.” The occasional demand for Alberta independence, Cournoyer wrote, “is the political equivalent of a toddler’s temper tantrum.”

Shortly after Cournoyer’s piece appeared, another prominent leftist blogger, David Climenhaga, also downplayed the independence movement. Climenhaga’s unique contribution to the discussion is his claim the Alberta independence movement is a smoke-and-mirrors trick perpetrated by Toronto-based Postmedia.

Writing of the surge in support for independence towards the end of 2018, Climenhaga claimed that, “The whole thing was almost entirely ginned up in a couple of weeks by a parade of political commentators at Postmedia’s newspapers, basically providing background music for the campaign of United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney.” That is, Postmedia was trying to create a political climate to aid Jason Kenney in his dispute with Justin Trudeau.

Climenhaga went on to assure his readers that by the beginning of 2019, “the Alberta independence ‘threat’ will be fading into history, again, worth a chuckle or two, like Ur-Western-separatist Gordon Kesler, and taken seriously by almost nobody – or perhaps I should say, nobodies.” Apparently, in his view, only “nobodies” take Alberta independence seriously. That would probably mean a lot of Western Standard readers would be “nobodies” by Climenhaga’s standard – like Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables.”

His main point, though, was public controversy over Alberta independence was just a big show that had come to an end: “But the squall is over, folks. Watch for Postmedia to start backing away as soon as they start to realize how little traction this partisan claptrap has.”

Yet, just a few weeks after he wrote that, Angus Reid released its poll showing over half of Albertans believed the province would be better off if it left Canada. Were those results just another Postmedia trick?

Albertans had grievances with the federal government for generations. These grievances are accumulating and generating increasing discontent with the province’s place in Canada. The support for independence revealed by the new Western Standard poll reflects the unhappiness of many Albertans. They are beginning to realize the status quo is not going to change and the only positive alternative is for Alberta to leave Canada.

Nevertheless, progressives appear to be blind to the legitimate concerns of these Albertans and dismiss them as “nobodies” who are throwing a “temper tantrum.” If support for Alberta independence continues to grow, progressives may have to do more than simply demean its proponents.

The causes underlying growth in sovereignist sentiment are not going away and as a result, the movement is here to stay.

Michael Wagner is a Western Standard columnist

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