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Kenney slams Nenshi and Coun. for keeping mask bylaw in place

Kenney said not following the province’s lead, would “only create confusion when what we need is clarity.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says it’s “unfortunate” Calgary isn’t dropping its mask bylaw at the same time as the province, on Canada Day.

Kenney attacked Mayor Naheed Nenshi and his council colleagues who voted 8-7 on Monday to keep the mask bylaw in place until July 5. It is currently set to be on the books until the end of the year.

“We have tried to work closely with municipalities…I don’t think it’s helpful,” Kenney said at a Wednesday press conference.

Kenney said not following the province’s lead, would “only create confusion when what we need is clarity.”

The premier noted Calgary is leading the province with a vaccination rate of 76% and the number of people receiving their second dose is expected to hit 40% by Canada Day.

He accused council of “listening to the angry voices on Twitter…who beat the drum of fear.”

Kenney said people who continue to wear masks are welcome to do so and urged Albertans not to start “judging people.”

Alberta reported only 57 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

On Monday, Nenshi said he’s “super optimistic” about Alberta’s COVID-19 recovery, but “are we going to get there by July 1 … what we’re really talking about is a couple of weeks.”

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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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Luigi

    August 30, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Re: Baron Not Baron

    I couldn’t have worded it better myself..
    Kenney has burned his bridge in the west. Go back to Ontario!

  2. Bryan

    June 26, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    ‘Justin’ Kenney is like a broken clock.

    A broken clock is correct twice daily, but wrong the rest ofvthe time. On this, he is correct.

  3. Steven Ruthven

    June 24, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Remember what Premier Kenney & Hinshaw giveth they can taketh away just as easy. I agree, NOT jumping back on the Kenney bus. Wildrose member now.

    I’d rather the City of Calgary fully open on July 1st like the rest of the province. People who what to wear a mask, wear it. Those who don’t won’t.

    Mayor Nenshi has an ego & it’s on display for all to see again. The big question is, will the Mayor of Calgary & Edmonton run for Federal Liberal seats in the coming election? Will they be more dangerous to all Albertans then more so then just at the city level of government?

  4. Joell Haugan

    June 24, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Why is he surprised that people are reacting the VERY SAME WAY he wanted to people to react a month ago?

  5. Vincent Landry

    June 24, 2021 at 10:55 am

    How dare dictator Nenshi say “what we’re really talking about is a couple of weeks”, when 15 months ago we were told they needed “two weeks to flatten the curve”!

  6. K

    June 24, 2021 at 8:36 am

    All for show. He thinks he’s winning fans. They are ALL garbage. Don’t forget what they’ve done to you for 1.5 years. You can’t get that time back.

  7. Joc2257

    June 24, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Screw you Nenshi and the othe r 7 members of council that voted to keep this BS bylaw in place, as much as my support for the Kenney and the UPC has dwindled to nothing. My support for these socialists/communist that have been slithering around city hall for well over the last decade is even lower. Farrell, Nenshi, and they backroom cohorts are not telling me how top live my life, these people are only councilors nothing more

  8. Richard

    June 24, 2021 at 8:08 am

    You Go, Mr. Kenney!
    Next start building that firewall.

  9. Baron Not Baron

    June 23, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Kenney, go back to Ontario and screw around there. But be by yourself and don’t screw the Ontarian people, either! Liar. You have a lot of Albertan blood on your hands. You’re less than a POS. Soulless.

  10. Tony

    June 23, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    This is a debate about nothing. Of course the pompous windbag Nenshi will take a position contrary to his nemesis; it is poltitically expedient to do so. Hearing Kenney decry the politics of fear and uncertainty is also ironic. The big picture is missed in all of this…..that being neither of these craven and feckless “leaders” would relent on socially and economically destructive polices of widespread lockdowns, long after it had become clear these were ineffective against a virus that only posed a threat to an easily identifiable, and easily protectable, group of people. Read the ideas of Buchanan and Tullock, Public Choice Theory…..in our dysfunctional political system, leader’s incentives are to act against our interests and to protect theirs.

  11. Barbara

    June 23, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    Really? Can he con conservatives so easily? Take advantage of the summer to let the public know.
    Vaccine passports are on the agenda.

  12. Nb

    June 23, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Not enough JK.

  13. Rose

    June 23, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Nope, NEVER getting back on the Kenny bus.

  14. Andrew

    June 23, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    Another politicking Kenney fail in response to creatures of the province. Healthcare delivery is currently provincial jurisdiction per law.

  15. berta baby

    June 23, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Alright everybody back on the kenney bus

  16. Liliana Brown

    June 23, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    I haven’t been a bit fan of Kenney lately, but I DO appreciate him standing up for Calgarians on this issue.

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News

Canada-Europe take action over COVID variant Omicron

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

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With the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC) named Omicron in South Africa, the Canadian government is taking steps to limit the risk to Canadians.

Travellers arriving from countries of concern within the last 14 days will be required to quarantine pending negative COVID-19 tests. Countries of concern include South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

On Friday, Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the federal government will impose five measures in an effort to limit its spread in Canada.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam took to Twitter on Saturday to share her concerns over the VOC.

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” wrote Tam.

The WHO has labelled Omicron as a variant of concern due to its high number of mutations and reports that early evidence suggests it could be more infectious than other variants.

Meanwhile, during a news conference on Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will take “targeted and precautionary measures” after two people tested positive for the Omicron variant.

One case was identified in Brentwood, a town in southeastern England while the other case was located in the central city of Nottingham. Both individuals are linked and had travelled from southern Africa. The two individuals are self-isolating along with their households and authorities are working on contact tracing.

Johnson confirmed travellers arriving in England will be required to take a PCR test and self-isolate until a negative test result is provided. Those that test positive for the new variant will have to self-isolate, along with any of their close contacts, for 10 days regardless of vaccine status.

He also said masks will be required in shops and other public spaces and indicated they will “boost the booster campaign.”

“Right now this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximize our defences,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the new rules will be reviewed in three weeks when scientists know more about the variant.

On Friday, the British government added Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to the country’s travel red list. By Saturday, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were also added to the list.

Other countries are adding restrictions on travellers coming from various southern African countries including the US, Japan, Brazil, and Australia while cases have also been reported in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong.

Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic have also reported suspected cases related to travellers arriving from South Africa.

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

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Road closures as British Columbians brace for more rain

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday.

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As BC braces for additional rain, the government has ‘proactively’ closed a number of highways for travel.

“We are actively responding, monitoring and assessing the many highway closures due to flooding and will continue to do so as we work with local and emergency service partners,” said the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Safety is our top priority while we deal with a rapidly changing and difficult situation.”

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday. The ministry said the time and duration of the closures will be weather-dependent.

“The highway infrastructure in these areas is extremely vulnerable following recent storms, and more heavy rain in the forecast poses an additional risk,” said the ministry in a press release.

“The closures of these three highways will be re-evaluated on Sunday morning, with the highways reopened when it is safe to do so.”

The release said Highway 1 will be closed between Popkum and Hope on Saturday afternoon as BC Hydro plans a reservoir release, “crucial to protect the Jones Lake Reservoir, which is also being affected by the heavy rains.”

The release explains the reservoir release will discharge water towards areas of Highway 1 that were affected during the November 14 storm.  

“This additional flow – combined with the increased precipitation and already high stream flows – poses a risk of impact to Highway 1 in the Laidlaw area.”

The ministry is bracing for further damage to Highway 1 in this area and said the reopening time cannot be determined at this stage but will be assessed by crews “when it is safe to do so.”

Highway 7 between Mission and Hope remains open with travel restrictions in place. Essential purposes for travel are defined in the travel restrictions order through the Emergency Program Act

Weather statements are in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Squamish to Whistler and the Sunshine Coast into next week. Storms are expected to bring more rain which has resulted in high streamflow advisories for all regions of the coast by the River Forecast Centre.

Ongoing road and travel updates are available on the ministry’s website.

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

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Bill to aid jurors traumatized by testimony up for vote … again

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling.”

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For the third time in three years, legislators will attempt to pass an aid bill for jurors traumatized by graphic testimony in criminal courts.

“When we ask citizens to be a juror we don’t ask them to be a victim,” said Quebec Senator and bill sponsor Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu.

“There is no excuse not to adopt that bill.” 

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling,” said Blacklock’s Reporter.

Two identical bills, S-207 and C-417, lapsed in the last two Parliaments.

“That kind of bill should be a government bill, not a private bill,” said Boisvenu.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of private interest. It’s a matter of national interest.”

In 2017, the Commons justice committee recommended the Criminal Code amendment after hearing testimony from former jurors who said they quit jobs, suffered marriage breakdown and were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being compelled to watch crime scene videos and hear testimony from coroners.

“Everyone’s mental health matters,” Ontario Senator Lucie Moncion said Thursday.

“Yet from a legal point of view, jurors are part of a special category of people who are denied complete health care. The secrecy rule prohibits a juror from disclosing information related to deliberations to anyone including a health care professional. This needs to change.”

Moncion was a juror in a 1989 murder trial and said the experience left her with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“They show you the whole autopsy,” said Moncion.

“It was very difficult. This is still very difficult for me.”

Alberta Conservative MP Michael Cooper, a member of the 2017 Commons justice committee that recommended reforms, said delays were inexcusable.

“It should have been a no-brainer for the government to have brought this bill forward,” said Cooper indicating the bill has been “studied thoroughly.”

“There have literally been no arguments tendered against this piece of legislation.”

Cooper, in 2019, sponsored a similar bill – C-417 – that lapsed. MPs at the time noted U.S. jurors were free to discuss their experience with friends, family, psychiatrists or media.

“In the United States once a trial is over jurors are generally free to discuss the events of the trial and jury deliberations unless a specific court order bars them from doing so,” said Ontario Liberal MP Arif Virani, then-parliamentary secretary for justice.

“What that means is that jurors in the United States can talk with nearly anyone about juror deliberations including a talk show host on national television or across the Internet. This approach, which offers limited protection for juror privacy, is significantly different from the Canadian model.”

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