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MORGAN: Time for Nenshi, Iveson to end mask bylaws with the rest of Alberta

“If the cities maintain their mask bylaws beyond the July 1st provincial reopening, they will be unfairly be putting their businesses at a competitive disadvantage and prolonging the misery of their citizens.”




On July 1st Albertans will be able to breathe a great, unmasked sigh of relief as the province lifts its pandemic restrictions. That is unless you live in one of the two major cities. In that case, citizens may still end up legally obligated to wear stifling face coverings while indoors until the end of July or even possibly the end of 2021. The mayors of both Edmonton and Calgary appear to be intransigent when it comes to lifting the mask bylaws in the cities in concert with the rest of the province. If Edmonton and Calgary maintain their mask bylaws beyond July 1st, their local businesses will pay the price.

Both Edmonton and Calgary are surrounded by bedroom communities that compete for the consumer dollars from the cities. Large retail complexes such as CrossIron Mills mall and Costco have set up locations just outside Calgary’s city limits in order to escape high city taxes and draw city customers. In maintaining mask mandates beyond July 1st, cities will be giving the businesses outside of their boundaries a huge competitive advantage. Business owners in communities such as Cochrane and Okotoks will be thrilled with this of course, but struggling urban business owners may be pushed over the edge. Alberta summers are notoriously short and to be at a competitive disadvantage for the entire month of July would be crippling.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi and his faction within Calgary’s city council have never been terribly sympathetic to the plight of businesses within the city. In 2019, Calgary’s small business owners were pushed to desperation due to massive city tax hikes. It spawned a rally outside of city hall that forced a reluctant city council to relent on business tax hikes for the short term. Calgary’s city council and administration are hopelessly tone-deaf to the needs of the business community.

The COVID-19 pandemic is in full retreat within Alberta right now by every measure. Alberta is in a much better position than Texas was in when that state dropped all restrictions. Doomsayers howled from the rooftops that Texas had opened too early and that disaster was inevitable. The disaster never came and Texans have been enjoying normal, free living for months. There is no rational reason for Alberta not to follow the lead of Texas now.

The motivation to maintain mask bylaws in Edmonton and Calgary is likely a political one, rather than a health or safety one. Mayor Nenshi and Mayor Iveson both have ideological differences with Premier Jason Kenney. Premier Kenney has put a lot of political capital into the long-delayed – on again, off again – reopening strategy. He has promised Albertans “the best summer ever”. While they certainly don’t want to see a reemergence of the pandemic, the mayors of Edmonton & Calgary would be content if Albertans had a miserable summer at Kenney’s expense. Keeping citizens masked in the stifling heat of summer would go a long way towards achieving that political end. Albertans are already less than enthralled with the UCP. Nenshi and Iveson would profit politically from keeping it that way.

Most people despise wearing masks. Aside from the discomfort in wearing them, they are a dehumanizing symbol of arbitrary state-imposed controls. The benefits of mask mandates are highly questionable at the best of times. With the rest of the province dropping the mask laws, it will be very difficult to convince city dwellers to carry on wearing masks. This puts businesses in a difficult position as we will see an increasing number of people defying the bylaws and entering businesses showing their faces. Employees do not want to be put into the position of being bylaw enforcers, yet that’s exactly what happens under city bylaws. A business can be fined if it appears that they have let people patronize them without forcing them to wear masks. Staff and owners don’t deserve to be put into this untenable position.

Pandemic control is outside of the jurisdiction of municipal governments. With the state of local emergency now having been lifted within Calgary, public health laws should be considered to be outside of municipal authority. Fines issued under the mask bylaw will assuredly be challenged in court and likely will be dismissed once the provincewide regulation is lifted. Do we really need to pressure our courts further on this point of principle?

I am looking forward to shopping without a mask. I can’t wait until I go to the washroom in a restaurant without going through the idiotic motions of masking up between my table and the door. It is going to be fantastic to be able to see people’s facial expressions again as we interact. I am willing to take my business outside of the city’s limits in order to enjoy all of these things and we can rest assured that many other Albertans feel the same way. While some people may not have the will or ability to leave the city in order to do business, many will choose to stay at home and get products delivered rather than deal with masked transactions. It’s a win for Amazon.com, but not for local businesses.

There is nothing to stop business owners from maintaining their own mask policies even after the bylaw is lifted. People who prefer to wear masks are more than welcome to carry on with them. Those who believe that it is unreasonably dangerous to open the world back up can stay locked within their homes if they choose. Businesses and people within Alberta’s major cities must be able to make the same choices as those in the rest of the province.

Calgary City Council is meeting this week in order to discuss options for their mask mandate. They have three options before them. They can repeal the bylaw on July 1st with the rest of the province, they can drag the bylaw out until the end of July, or they can let the bylaw go until its scheduled lifting at the end of 2021.

If the cities maintain their mask bylaws beyond the July 1st provincial reopening, they will be unfairly be putting their businesses at a competitive disadvantage and prolonging the misery of their citizens. City councils will be well served to end the bylaw on July 1st as they will be facing the electorate this fall.

Cory Morgan is the Alberta Political Columnist for the Western Standard and Host of the Cory Morgan Show

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  1. Penny4YourThouhts

    June 24, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    There are multiple studies that state masks do absolutely NOTHING for respiratory viruses. Oddly enough, these were all done PRIOR to this planned-emic and are now difficult to find if you don’t know where to look.

    Nenshi and his merry band of fascist fools are all power-hungry proponents of Communist control. I am more than happy to drive out of Calgary to shop and yes, I do feel bad for business owners here in the city, but they have to start speaking up if they want things to change.

  2. @josh:unixhosting.cloud

    June 22, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    For anyone that is interested in joining a group of people from around the world about spreading the truth of Covid-19.

    With fall coming and the liberals internet censorship bill forcefully being pushed through its time to look at decentralized communication options.

    Matrix group:

  3. Ken Shackleton

    June 22, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    I do not see how any municipal bylaw can have any authority at all without the express permission of the province. If the province removes any requirement for a mask, that would nullify any municipal bylaw for same. Municipalities only have the powers that the province grants them…and I think that Kenney should make a clear statement that opening up and removing all restrictions will apply to all municipalities as well.

  4. Lisa

    June 22, 2021 at 9:09 am

    IF masks kept everyone safe, why do we repeatedly catch our leaders being photographed without them on? Because they KNOW they are unnecessary, and do not work! This was a sign of compliance. A way to prove they had the power, and we were obedient fear filled slaves! For those of us that know better, we MUST speak out and spread truth while we can, because our freedom to breath will be threatened again in the fall when the next “variant” i.e. flu season arrives.

  5. Kelly Carter

    June 21, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Left coast, I don’t know where you found that study, but it is something I have been arguing for a year! Masks are great collectors of bacteria and fungi and other opportunistic pathogens. It seemed to me re-breathing these would put the wearer at increased risk of pneumonia’s and other lung issues. Probably a bad thing when there is a serious disease going around that affects the lungs. No one wanted to listen, and I can’t tell you had many people said I was a moron for sounding the alarm. Add to that there were some masks that were sluffing graphine particles (not exactly healthy for your lungs either). Masks should never have been mandatory. I am hoping someone thinks to do some analysis on COVID outcomes re masking. It has been my hypothesis that at the least masking did nothing to “slow the spread” and may have increased spreading and potentially increased the number of adverse health outcomes if you did get COVID. So far the “flattest” curve I have seen from North America was Florida. Hmmmm….. Also the most open with the least restrictions. More interestingly they had the same COVID outcomes as other states (better than Quebec and Ontario), and better outcomes in the higher age brackets. Says something about no restrictions and getting outside!

  6. Shanon

    June 21, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    Not with only 20% fully vaccinated in the entire Country, I’m not talking one dose either. I say if the Province can actually keep businesses open for a entire year without shutdown then they can talk about the masks coming off but until then everyone should be wearing one.

  7. Steven Ruthven

    June 21, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Why did the City of Calgary open up then? If some of the City of Calgary Councilors are still afraid of COVID-19 then why didn’t they tie down Stampede until next year?

    Now these same people nip at the heals of people wanting our freedoms back. It’s their opinion their desire to protect you, their force of will to impose more on you. That’s bloody Socialism 101. These Councilors are not Doctors, but they are pretending they are. Pretending they care, but its about control more then saving lives at this point in time.

    Calgary, Alberta should be open for business 1 July 2021.

  8. Left Coast

    June 21, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    This is what our kids are wearing at school . . . where’s the Media ? ? ?

    The analysis detected the following 11 alarmingly dangerous pathogens on the masks:
    • Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia)
    • Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis)
    • Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis, sepsis)
    • Acanthamoeba polyphaga (keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis)
    • Acinetobacter baumanni (pneumonia, blood stream infections, meningitis, UTIs— resistant to antibiotics)
    • Escherichia coli (food poisoning)
    • Borrelia burgdorferi (causes Lyme disease)
    • Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria)
    • Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires’ disease)
    • Staphylococcus pyogenes serotype M3 (severe infections—high morbidity rates)
    • Staphylococcus aureus (meningitis, sepsis)
    Half of the masks were contaminated with one or more strains of pneumonia-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with one or more strains of meningitis-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. In addition, less dangerous pathogens were identified, including pathogens that can cause fever, ulcers, acne, yeast infections, strep throat, periodontal disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more.
    The face masks studied were new or freshly-laundered before wearing and had been worn for 5 to 8 hours, most during in-person schooling by children aged 6 through 11. One was worn by an adult. A t-shirt worn by one of the children at school and unworn masks were tested as controls. No pathogens were found on the controls. Proteins found on the t-shirt, for example, are not pathogenic to humans and are commonly found in hair, skin, and soil.

  9. Amal Chaaban

    June 21, 2021 at 10:06 am

    “This puts businesses in a difficult position as we will see an increasing number of people defying the bylaws and entering businesses showing their faces. Employees do not want to be put into the position of being bylaw enforcers, yet that’s exactly what happens under city bylaws. A business can be fined if it appears that they have let people patronize them without forcing them to wear masks. Staff and owners don’t deserve to be put into this untenable position.”

    Exactly this. I wrote to my city councilor and repeated what I told him at the beginning of this mask mandate, it isn’t up to some minimum wage retail employee (who has no choice but to follow the rules) to police your bylaw. You want us to wear masks everywhere and you want it enforced? Best put a bylaw officer on every single street corner.

    Good luck getting anyone to wear a mask after July 1st. Hopefully Iveson can be outvoted on the council

  10. K

    June 21, 2021 at 8:41 am

    “…Aside from the discomfort in wearing them, they are a dehumanizing symbol of arbitrary state-imposed controls.” THIS. It’s never been about whether these are negatively impacting our health or not (they are), it’s always been about psychological conditioning into a slave state. Making your people do this in sweltering heat, when they are not sick, is psychotic.

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SLOBODIAN: Former general slamms Trudeau ‘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.




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

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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.




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

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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?




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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