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UPDATED: Catholic church set alight on Alberta reserve

The incident comes after three BC churches were set ablaze over the weekend, bringing the total to six churches targeted on First Nations land in one week.

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An arsonist has set fire to a Catholic church on the Siksika Nation.

The incident comes after three BC churches were set ablaze over the weekend, bringing the total to six churches targeted on First Nations land in one week.

The spate of fires follows the news of hundreds of bodies discovered in unmarked graves near former residential schools in Saskatchewan and BC.

“At 12:30 a.m., on Monday June 28, 2021, Gleichen RCMP responded to complaint of a structure fire located on Map 8 of the Siksika Nation,” said RCMP in a release.

“Preliminary investigation indicates that unknown person(s) deliberately started a fire at the Siksika First Nation Catholic Church.

“The Siksika Fire Department was able to put out the fire before any significant structural damage was caused. No one was in the church at the time of the incident and no one was injured as a result of the fire. 

“The Provincial Fire Investigator and the Gleichen RCMP continue to investigate.”

The first BC church hit on the weekend, which was abandoned, was set afire on Gitwangak Indian Band’s land.

The call came into New Hazelton RCMP on June 26 at 1:15 a.m. saying there was a fire in the entryway of an abandoned Anglican church on Church Road in Gitwangak.

The church sustained minimal damage and remains intact.

“The RCMP are treating this fire as suspicious and are looking to determine what, if any, connection there may be to the recent church fires in the South Okanagan, within First Nation communities,” said Staff Sgt. Darren Durnin, of New Hazelton RCMP.

A few hours later, Princeton, BC RCMP received a call at 3:52 a.m., the caller saying St. Ann’s Catholic Church on the Upper Similkameen Indian Band (USIB) was in flames.

Less than an hour later, at 4:45 a.m., the Keremeos BC RCMP got a call the Chopoka Catholic Church on the Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) was on fire.

That fire spread to nearby brush but was extinguished by BC Wildfire crews before spreading further, said RCMP.

Both churches were destroyed.

“The RCMP are treating both of these fires as suspicious and are looking to determine any possible connection to the church fires in both Penticton and Oliver on June 21, 2021”, said Sgt Jason Bayda, Media Relations Officer for the Penticton South Okanagan RCMP.

“The investigations into the previous fires and these two new fires are ongoing with no arrests or charges.”

The fires – which took place during a heat wave, and could have easily spread beyond control – have been condemned by First Nations leaders.

On May 31, St. Joseph’s church in Kamloops was vandalized with the words “banished” and “crime scene” spray painted on the walls. The chief of the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc, Rosanne Casimir, condemned the vandalism.

On June 12, vandals wrote “release the records” and “killers” on the front entrance of St. Augustine’s Church in Vancouver, and St. Joseph’s Parish in Port Moody was also found vandalized the morning of June 13.

A statue of Pope John Paul II outside the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Edmonton was vandalized with red paint on Saturday, June 26, 2021.

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Baron Not Baron

    July 1, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Matt C,

    There no evidence in any bibliography about the “Spanish flu” to have happened. If that indeed was an event a that time, there should be a lot to be said about that, in hystorical books.. but there’s no mentioning about this named so event before 2017. It was made up, to prime the populations that a p(l)andemic actually happened before. In the hundreds of books read and many about bibliography, there was no mentioning. It never happened – just like many things they claim and benefit from.

  2. Left Coast

    July 1, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Interesting comment from an expert . . .

    “The annual federal report by Dr. Peter Brice, the Chief Medical Officer for Indian Affairs in 1906, outlined the extent of the Aboriginal health crisis. He noted: “the Indian population of Canada had a mortality rate of more than double that of the whole population”. In his 1909 report, Dr. Bryce stated that he had undertaken a detailed examination of 243 students at seven residential schools, and concluded that there was a marked presence of tuberculosis among all age groups. He reported, “there was not a child that showed a normal temperature”. Tuberculosis was not the only epidemic during these years, there were others, such as the devastating Spanish flu in 1918. There were no inoculations available to stem the deaths. Neither were anti-bacterial drugs such as penicillin and anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs available at that time. It is significant that by 1948, the death rate of indigenous children in the schools had substantially decreased. Prior to 1948, student illness or death was high and the subsequent lower death rate can be attributed to medical developments.”

    While these conditions are very poor, conditions were likely much poorer on Reservations in that era.
    Of course today’s slow thinking radicals likely don’t understand facts or history!

  3. Left Coast

    June 29, 2021 at 8:50 am

    The FakeStream Media and our Federal Govt are stoking these fires . . . and the Natives are so easily provoked . . . Facts no longer matter in today’s “Woke” world!

    I remember a little over a decade ago they found a few bones on a construction site at the bottom of Granville St. The local Natives were all out protesting . . . when I drove by they were even out in the street. I asked a group that were on the road near my car, “Did you guy all take a day off work to come down here?” . . . sure got them excited . . . lol

  4. K

    June 29, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Your benevolent government strikes again! As JONATHAN DIXON stated above, more divide and conquer tactics by the biggest organized crime syndicate known to man.

  5. JONATHAN DIXON

    June 28, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    I suspect that racial tensions in Canada are being deliberately stoked in an effort to divide and conquer.

  6. Chris

    June 28, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/09/11/up-to-400-children-who-died-at-a-catholic-orphanage-are-buried-in-an-unmarked-mass-grave-scottish-investigation-reveals.html

    Good read about the reality of how “white children’s” bodies were dealt with in facilities such as residential schools and orphanages during the turn of the century. When those who have no interest in you take guardianship you can expect they do the bare minimum after you die.

    If the truth wants to come out autopsies can clearly indicate if these children at these residential schools had stab marks which would still be visible on their bones. There are small bones in your neck which are easily broken and would indicate if someone was choked or suffocated. Teeth show the nutrition these children would have received. All this could be easily identified postmortem autopsy. Although the truth is likely not as juicy as the story of these residential schools and the “murder” of 1000’s of children as the hands of white people. Not sure the liberal media wants to resolve this one.

  7. Matt C

    June 28, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    If you go to any old cemetery you will find unmarked Graves.
    When a pandemic such as the Spanish flu went through a community and there were too many bodies to deal with, mass Graves with a single marker were used. How long does a wood cross that isn’t being maintained last? Probably less time than your average government-built home on a reservation lasts.
    Partial facts are being presented as usual by the bottom-feeders in the main-stream media to paint a narrative…. to achieve division.

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BC removes capacity limits in some areas, but only if you’re double vaccinated

The change comes into effect October 25, and it applies to indoor sporting events, concerts, theatres, weddings, funeral receptions outside of a funeral home, and organized parties.

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British Columbia will be seeing some restrictions eased for those who have can prove two doses of vaccination against COVID-19.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Tuesday that capacity limits for events and gatherings throughout much of the province — where proof-of-vaccination is required — will be lifted.

The change comes into effect October 25, and it applies to indoor sporting events, concerts, theatres, weddings, funeral receptions outside of a funeral home, and organized parties.

Health officials will also be removing the requirement to stay seated at restaurants.

The changes do not apply to regional restrictions in effect in Interior Health, Northern Health, and eastern Fraser Valley.

Personal gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, are restricted to fully vaccinated people throughout the Northern Health region, with the exception of Terrace, Kitimat, Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Stikine, and the Nisga’a areas.

Indoor mask requirements remain in effect for all indoor gatherings and events.

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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WORLD WATCH: U.K. warns of new COVID variant as cases rise yet Japan numbers plummet

Experts are taking a close look at AY.4.2. to see how much of a threat it may pose, but say it is not yet considered a “variant of concern”.

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News reports out of the U.K. are linking an uptick in cases to a new variant that “could be 10 times more infectious than Delta,” yet Japan is seeing some of their lowest case counts since this time last year.

According to the latest official data out of the U.K., an increase in COVID-19 cases includes a genetically sequenced variant labelled AY.4.2 accounting for 6% of new cases.

Graph courtesy worldometers.info

The new strain, some call “Delta Plus”, is said to contain mutations that could give the virus “survival advantages” and could make it more contagious.

Experts are taking a close look at AY.4.2. to see how much of a threat it may pose, but say it is not yet considered a “variant of concern”.

Meanwhile, reports from Japan say a very different narrative where cases have mysteriously plummeted over the last two months.

Low case rates have not been the norm in Japan throughout the pandemic. However, despite the 2020 Summer Olympics being postponed to the summer of 2021 and Japan seeing some of the highest COVID-19 case rates in the world at times, the country has never implemented any full lockdowns.

Over the last two months, rates in Japan went from over 26,121 new cases recorded on August 22 to 494 new cases as of Monday.

Graph courtesy worldometers.info

Some are crediting the incredible turnaround to a late but rapid uptake in vaccinations. Others say it could have something to do with bad August weather in the latter part of the month that kept people home.

Officials are still trying to determine the cause of the huge decline in cases and experts are warning Japan could face another surge with the gradual waning of vaccine efficacy as well as heading into the colder winter months.

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

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News

EXCLUSIVE: Chu vows not to resign, apologizes and speaks out on allegations

Chu speaks out after allegations against him come to light.

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Embattled Calgary Councillor Sean Chu says he has no intention of resigning, but has apologized to a woman he had a sexual encounter with 24 years ago.

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

City of Calgary officials confirmed Chu won the election race in Ward 4 by a mere 52 votes after allegations surfaced last week of his involvement in August of 1997 with a girl who was just 16 at the time.

“This was nothing but a political assassination,” said Chu.

Chu, who has represented Ward 4 since 2013, also fired back at some media reports which he claims were completely wrong.

Chu said he met the unidentified girl at a pub near Macleod Tr. and 94 Ave. S and not the Husky House restaurant downtown that some media had reported.

“Because it was a licensed establishment I thought the girl was at least 18 years old,” said Chu, who was in uniform with his partner at the time.

“I was single at the time and I thought some girl liked me.”

The Western Standard cannot confirm at this time if there is documentary evidence the encounter was at the Husky House or at the pub on Macleod Tr.

At some point in their interaction, Chu caressed the girl’s leg, an incident that later earned him a letter of reprimand on his file.

Chu said the girl seemed interested in him so when he was off duty he changed into civilian clothes and went back to the pub to meet the girl.

The evening continued with Chu and the girl eventually heading to his home.

Once there, the pair “started kissing and hugging, but there was no intercourse,” said Chu.

Chu admits there was “some touching underneath clothes”.

“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.

At one point Chu said he owned a shotgun, but denied that weapon was ever produced or shown in any way that night.

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

The Western Standard has not seen any documents that indicate the presence or absence of a firearm on the evening in question.

Chu said he does not drink alcohol, but added he didn’t know if the girl had been drinking.

After the incident, the girl reported the case to city police claiming she was sexually assaulted. That lead to nine years of investigations, court battles and appeals, with news of the case only leaking last week, days before the civil election.

There were never any sexual assault or weapons charges laid, and Chu says the letter of reprimand was the only discipline that came out of the entire process.

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.

Chu is now at the centre of a political storm with friends and supporters deserting him.

Premier Jason Kenney described the allegations as “appalling” but said he didn’t think there was any way for the province to remove a councillor who han’t been convicted under the Criminal Code.

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

Kenney said as much of the legal documents are under seal, it’s up to Chu to prove his innocence.

Calgary-Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner tweeted her disgust at the incident.

“I have supported Mr. Chu in the past, but firmly withdraw all such support in light of these reports. Believing women means walking the talk,” she tweeted.

“In light of the disciplinary action, as a result of inappropriate contact with a minor which has been reported by CBC Calgary, MP Rempel Garner is formally withdrawing her endorsement of Councillor Sean Chu and he is no longer a member of her Constituency Association.”

Rempel Garner tweet

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.”

It appears any bid to try and remove Chu would fail because he was not charged or convicted criminally.

Calgary police released a statement Monday about its investigation in 1997. It states:

“We want to reassure Calgarians that when this matter came to light in 1997 it was taken seriously by the Service and managed in accordance with the Police Act. This has been a complex legal matter with multiple complaints and investigations as well as appeals to the Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board. One of those decisions was overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeal. Ultimately, one allegation of misconduct was sustained through our internal disciplinary process.”

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

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

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