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PARKER: Kenney’s leadership appears headed for a disastrous end

“Jason Kenney has been promoted beyond his capabilities and Alberta is paying the price for it.”




There is no doubt Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is one of the best political organizers in Canada today. 

With the NDP in power in 2015, Progressive Conservatives were desperate to retake government, and Wildrosers understood the necessity of replacing the NDP at the first opportunity. 

Kenney was a star minister from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet who had been credited with the “ethnic strategy” that gave the CPC their majority government in 2011. He was an incredibly competent minister with a resume of success. It was concluded by organizers and voters alike that he was the man to restore the Alberta Advantage and stop Alberta’s slide towards socialism.

The first sign that Kenney was not up to the top job was after he won the leadership of the UCP and began consolidating his power by directly meddling in local nominations. He pushed out otherwise loyal and capable MLAs, exclusively from the Wildrose side of the new party. Since then, Kenney has consistently marginalized the very allies who brought him to power in favour of sycophants and temporary transactional alliances. 

With the right united and a landslide election victory, Kenney believed his political power was unquestionable and he proceeded to banish anyone who questioned his authority into political exile. 

Kenney was an incredible number two, but after two years in the premier’s chair he’s proven he does not have the necessary skill set to be the top boss. He served Harper with a keen eye to political strategy and managed his portfolios with enough precision and skill to make him one of Harper’s most trusted lieutenants. But carrying out orders as a lieutenant and leading the entire government are very different jobs. His time as premier has been a disaster in caucus management, communications, policy execution, and trust. Alberta needs a leader, not a political lieutenant. 

The very talents that make him a great political organizer and minister are what led to Kenney’s near-demise. He is a micromanager; as everything is effectively run by three or four ministers (all male). No decision is made without Kenney’s approval. This works when an individual can focus on a single portfolio or an election strategy, but it falls apart when trying to run a government. 

Jason Kenney’s political career appears to be headed for a disastrous end. Already two ministers (including his deputy leader, who owes her job as an MLA entirely to him) have called for him to apologize for the hypocrisy of his Sky Palace Party Scandal. He’s already lost three caucus members with two more publicly calling for him to apologize. These are not the actions of people who have faith in his leadership. Whether he holds on until the next election and loses to Rachel Notley, or if his hand-picked caucus eventually overthrows him in the interest of their own political survival, is irrelevant. His legacy will be that of a man who rose above his abilities. 

In business, as well as in politics, there is a rule known as the Peter Principle. It states people will continue to be promoted in an organization until their skill set no longer matches their position, then they will fail at executing that role. Like Icarus, their strengths raise them into their weaknesses. 

Jason Kenney has been promoted beyond his capabilities and Alberta is paying the price for it.   

Guest Column from David Parker, executive director of Parker and Associates 

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  1. Jeff Lenglet

    June 9, 2021 at 10:57 am

    Independants, that’s where I’ll be placing my vote. If people had any sense, they’d at least vote Wildrose and show big brands they have to act vs wrap themselves in a label.

  2. Russell Barnett

    June 8, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    I would not leave my name on that column either. Better than nutley who should be washing dishes.

  3. Baron Not Baron

    June 8, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta – FREEDOM!

  4. Steven Ruthven

    June 8, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    The point was made in the article, Alberta needs a leader, not a political lieutenant.

    So who is Jason Kenney’s Capitan then ? Erin O’Toole? Wouldn’t that be the blind leading the blinder.

    I whole heartedly agree with this comment in the article. “Jason Kenney has been promoted beyond his capabilities and Alberta is paying the price for it.”

    No to AB NDP No to AB UCP

    YES to the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta From UCP to WIPA for me.

  5. MD

    June 8, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    The writing is on the wall. The caucus needs to overthrow Jason Kenney because the survival of their political careers depend on it. Alberta depends on it. The destroyer cannot be the fixer. He is so out of touch with the liberty of every individual and humanity as a whole. When law abiding citizens have to fight for their fundamental freedoms and can’t get a fair trial in court, that’s when you know things are really bad. What JK has created in our province is a disgrace!

  6. berta baby

    June 8, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    Old can’t charge me kenney has 2 faces one that jails pastors and the other that destroys Everything he touch’s , can’t wait for him to lie and cheat his way through another 2 years

  7. K

    June 8, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Good. Paul Hinman is better in every way.

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OPEN LETTER: Health care workers against mandatory vaccinations

The letter was signed by 3,544 health care workers including 73 physicians, 1,111 nurses, 227 paramedics and thousands of allied health professionals, pharmacists, dentists, lab workers, psychologists and counselling professionals, medical students, AHS administrative and support staff and other health care professionals.




An open letter penned by Alberta Health Services (AHS) workers was sent to AHS on Monday by Calgary constitutional lawyer Carol Crosson.

The letter was signed by 3,544 health care workers including 73 physicians, 1,111 nurses, 227 paramedics and thousands of allied health professionals, pharmacists, dentists, lab workers, psychologists and counselling professionals, medical students, AHS administrative and support staff and other health care professionals.

Dear Dr. Verna Yiu:

This open letter is in response to your announcement of mandatory full vaccination for all AHS staff by Oct 31, 2021. We represent a wide range of vaccinated and unvaccinated health care professionals from multiple disciplines, who are deeply concerned about these mandatory vaccinations.

There are many reasons why we stand against mandatory vaccination and highlight some of them below. These concerns are supported by peer-reviewed publications and statements by established organizations:

• These mRNA vaccines have not been proven to prevent disease uptake nor disease transmission supported by the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report August 6, 2021 / 70(31);1059-1062 (among other reports) where it is stated “Real-time RT-PCR Ct values in specimens from 127 fully vaccinated patients (median = 22.77) were similar to those among 84 patients who were unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or whose vaccination status was unknown (median = 21.54)”. Asymptomatic unvaccinated people have never been proven to be more infectious or transmit more disease than vaccinated individuals.

• The overall survival rate from COVID is approximately 99.7% and varies by age and underlying health status.

• The vaccine is showing weakened efficacy after only a few months. AHS’s own data shows currently approximately 25% of all new cases are in fully vaccinated patients and over 18% of hospitalizations are also fully vaccinated with percentages increasing as weeks go by.

• The United Kingdom and Israel – two highly vaccinated countries have extremely high percentages of hospitalized patients being fully vaccinated. Indeed, the Israeli Public Health Department recently estimated the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine had fallen to 39% against the Delta variant and another recent study from the Mayo clinic had similar numbers at 42%

• Historically, scientific consensus has been that natural immunity is superior to vaccine immunity. Many health care workers are already Covid recovered and immune. What evidence does AHS have for mandatory vaccines in those individuals?

As front-line health care workers, we have witnessed serious adverse events, including deaths, that were temporally, closely associated from the administration of these vaccines.

• As per VAERS data (US vaccine injury database), Aug. 27, 2021, at least 650,077 people in the US have been injured and 13,911 people have died soon after the administration of the Covid vaccine. These numbers could actually be 10-100x higher as a Harvard study showed only 1-10% of all adverse events are actually recorded. The Harvard study’s findings are corroborated by our experience that the vast majority of temporally related adverse events are not being correlated and reported by healthcare workers. If we don’t correlate these temporally related events and report them, the data will never be there to accurately assess causality and truly ensure safety, which is the bedrock to obtaining proper informed consent.

We believe that the proposed vaccine mandate is contrary to section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms “freedom of conscience and religion” as well as section 7, “the right to life, liberty and the security of the person and the right to not be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

Based on our experience, the above arguments (plus others not listed in this letter) and our evaluation of the current literature, we decisively conclude that we are in strong opposition to mandatory vaccination. As of Nov 1, 2021, or earlier, AHS’s decision to implement such a mandate will prevent many dedicated health care workers and other AHS staff from performing the jobs they have done valiantly over the past eighteen months. This will put our currently severely strained health care system under further undue and needless pressure and put more Albertans at risk due to our inability to provide care for our patients. We respectfully request that the vaccine mandate be rescinded immediately so that AHS Health care workers can continue to provide care for Albertans.

cc. Dr. Laura McDougall, Senior Medical Officer of Health, AHS
Dr. Francis Belanger, Vice-President of Quality and CMO, AHS
Dr. Debrah Wirtzfield, Associate CMO, Physician Health, Diversity & Wellness, AHS
Patrick Dumelie, Covenant Health
Dr. Owen Heisler, Covenant Health

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AHS investigating Western Standard for restrictions, vaxport non-compliance

The AHS employee responded, “Some of these [regulations] are good, and some of these are, you know…”




Update from the Publisher

This isn’t a regular news story since its about ourselves; so rather than drink our own bathwater and send this to one of our reporters, I’ve decided to publish this as an update from the publisher.

At 10:25 a.m. MST, the Western Standard received a telephone call from Alberta Health Services (AHS) on our office line. The AHS official — whom I will not name — dialed through to speak with yours truly.

He informed me that AHS had received a complaint that the Western Standard was not complying with government-ordered restrictions and vaccine passports. I responded plainly: “That is correct.”

He was silent for a moment, not quite knowing how to respond to my admission of guilt. He inquired further, asking the same question another way.

Please forgive me the indulgence of quoting myself.

“I take the health of my employees and those around us seriously. I and my employees take COVID seriously. I would be happy to review any recommendations that you may have for us, but I do not recognize the right of the government to tell me how I must run my own office space. Any government official wishing to enter the property must produce a warrant, otherwise they will not be permitted entry.

“Western Standard employees are free men and free women, and as such, I trust them to make responsible decisions about their own risk tolerances. Any Western Standard employee that feels that they would be unsafe in the office has only to inform me and we will make reasonable accommodations.”

The AHS employee was a perfect gentleman and handled himself well. He was just a little taken aback at my answer.

We also discussed the Alberta vaccine passport orders, and the Calgary mayor and city council’s decision to ban non-vaxport compliant “non-essential businesses.”

My response again was simple.

“Media is an essential service and I do not recognize the right of the government to decided if we are essential or not.”

The AHS employee responded: “Some of these [regulations] are good, and some of these are, you know…”

Fair enough.

So AHS is investigating to see if we are deserving of a visit from them and the police or not. We’ll see what comes of it.

One way or another, our policy will not change:

  • Employees are free to make their own choices about their personal enforcement of restrictions;
  • Employees may work from home if they feel that they are at unreasonable risk;
  • Employees must work from home if they are sick or anyone they are in close contact with contracts COVID-19;
  • And, employees are encouraged, but free to make their own informed choices about vaccines.

I suspect that the complaint came from a crank on Twitter that’s upset with my not-so-secret policies as it concerns compliance with government orders.

We take COVID-19 seriously. This isn’t some made-up conspiracy of a mysterious cabal in a dark and smokey room. I personally trust my doctor’s advise on COVID-19 vaccination, and got my jab as soon as I possibly could. I have always encouraged an open dialogue about vaccines with those in my social and professional circles, encouraging it, but never, ever demanding or requiring it.

Alberta’s ICUs are facing incredible pressure right now and necessary “elective surgeries” are being postponed. This is driven by the fact that Alberta’s government has not built up the necessary ICU capacity — despite having one of the most expensive health care systems on the planet — and 19 months since COVID-19 landed to do it. Lockdowns and vaxports will not solve this problem.

COVID-19 will continue to mutate and evade efforts to eradicate it. Alas, it may be with us for a long, long time. Even locked-down island nations like Australia cannot eradicate it, despite turning that once-free country into a veritable police state.

Despite my hopes the vaccines would eliminate it, COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon. There appears to be no way around the fact that COVID-19 is going to tear its way through the population until it burns itself out. The cost is, and will be, terrible. But there appears to be no way to stop it, even with a never-ending cycle of lockdowns, and the positive effects of vaccines.

All we can do is build our health care capacity to deal with predictable surges, as the fourth wave was, protect those who are genuinely vulnerable, and make the best of a bad situation.

And as we struggle through this, we cannot lose what is most important in life. We cannot surrender our long-fought freedoms for short-term security. We cannot take away the best years of our children’s lives. We cannot forbid loved ones from mourning their dead at funerals. We cannot outlaw family and friends from gathering for weddings. We cannot forcibly segregate people from these events because of their private medical decisions, even if we disagree with them.

Which brings me back to AHS’s investigation of the Western Standard. I care more about our employees than any government official will. We will be responsible and take necessary precautions, but as we see fit as free men and free women capable of making our own decisions.

Any government official who thinks otherwise had better get a warrant.

Derek Fildebrandt is Publisher of the Western Standard

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

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