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Penticton joins list of cities cancelling Canada Day celebtations

The mayor reached out to Chief Greg Gabriel of the Penticton Indian Band, to ask how council could support the local First Nations community following the Kamloops discovery.




The city of Penticton has become the second municipality in BC to cancel Canada Day festivites.

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

“When we heard what happened in Kamloops and they found the 215 unmarked graves of those children, we thought it was appropriate to hold back and wait to see what the federal government was going to announce,” Mayor John Vassilaki told CBC.

The mayor reached out to Chief Greg Gabriel of the Penticton Indian Band, to ask how council could support the local First Nations community following the Kamloops discovery.

“The Chief also made a note that if we were to cool down the celebrations this year, it would be greatly appreciated by the Penticton Indian Band,” said Vassilaki. 

“And we wanted to show respect and reconciliation with what happened in Kamloops.”

St. Albert this weekend became the first city in Alberta to cancel celebrations.

“In respect of our community members who have experienced and continue to experience the effects of intergenerational trauma due to the residential school system, the City of St. Albert will not be hosting its annual Canada Day fireworks display this year,” it said in a tweet.

The city of Victoria was the first out of the block when they cancelled their Canada Day programing last week.

“As First Nations mourn and in light of the challenging moment we are in as a Canadian nation following the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Kamloops Residential School, Council has decided to take the time to explore new possibilities, instead of the previously planned virtual Canada Day broadcast,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in a media statement.

City council, who voted unanimously to change its plans for July 1, noted everyone will celebrate Canada Day in their own way.

“The City of Victoria aims to take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it means to be Canadian in light of recent events and what we already know from our past,” says the City of Victoria in a release.

Helps also made headlines in 2018 when she had a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald – one of the central figures involved in bringing residential schools into Canada – removed from the front of Victoria City Hall.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended residential schools between the 1860s and 1996, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Kamloops Industrial School (later known as the Kamloops Indian Residential School) was opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890 before growing into the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system.

While several Catholic bishops across Canada have apologized and requested the release of documents in response to the discovery in Kamloops, the Vatican has yet to issue an apology or release documents.

As for the Canadian government, 15 tons of paper documents related to the residential school system between 1936 and 1944, including 200,000 Indian Affairs files, were destroyed by Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s government, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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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  1. Left Coast

    June 21, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    Richard . . . “Potential” ? ? ?

    Only a fool decides on the issue before the FACTS are present. You & the Mayor have a lot in common it seems . . .

    Do a little research man, in the 19th Century 50 was Old . . . most people died not make it past 50 something.
    My Grandmother’s siblings, there were 8, 4 died before they were 13. And she grew up in a very civilized country at the time . . . not on a Cdn Reservation where life in the late 19th and early 20th century was very primitive.
    Same Grandmother homesteaded near the Winnipeg River in about 1910 . . . used to feed an indian family squatting on land a mile down the road.

    Today not much has changed . . . Indian Act is a racist document . . . at one time the Chinese & Japanese in Canada were not treated any better. One Friend told me how the McKenzie King Government stole his Grandfathers Farm in Richmond back in the 1940s.

    You appear Richard to have Way too Much Emotion and way to little Critical Thinking . . . something common in Canada today. We knew about this situation 5 years ago and nothing has been done to this day . . . like so many things our FakeStream Media and our Kum-by-yaw lieberals attach themselves too . . . reality will be much less dramatic.

    How about a movement to FIX the Canada’s blight, the Indian Act. A piece of land, and a cheque for each adult and a citizenship document making them equal and responsible citizens for the first time in their lives. Of course there would be 1000s out of work in Ottawa . . .

  2. Sandy Beech

    June 21, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    To Richard:

    Asking questions is not “hatred”. Questions are key to the door of truth. All anyone is saying is; let’s get the FACTS before we condemn a whole nation of people because of the actions of their government and school board. I think even the First Nations peoples have expressed this sentiment.

    The two most used and abused words in the english language today are “Love” and “Hate”. I doubt most people even know their real meaning any more. Some confuse love with sex and even love inanimate objects while others confuse hate with disagreement.

    A person tells their mate, as if by rote, that they love them. They then see a car on the TV and with outrageous joy proclaim how much they love that car. I have seen this countless times with my own eyes. Sex and love have nothing to do with each other. Sure you can have sex with someone you love but you don’t necessarily love who you are having sex with.

    I don’t agree with what you are saying; therefore I “hate” you? In what sane universe does that apply?

    Hate and love are strong human emotions and should not be bandied about outside their true meaning.

  3. Sandy Beech

    June 21, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    We don’t even know who these people were yet, when they were buried or what they died from. It’s a church so undoubtedly there will be a grave yard there. Jumping to conclusions, yet again, and reacting instead of acting while assuming a lot. Who are they actually? When was each one buried and by whom? If the worst is proven to be true; do you really think that the people had any knowledge of these events? Canada was sparsely populated and communication was sporadic. Even in modern days I doubt most people knew about this. The first time I heard about it was in the 1980s. I was totally shocked and horrified that a government and educators could do such a thing. And let’s not kid ourselves it was the acts of a few people that set this in motion; NOT the citizens.

    Ground piercing radar cannot detect bone; especially if it has been buried for decades. The bones absorb the surrounding minerals etc and become like the soil. It appears that what they are detecting are metal coffins, or coffins with metal on them. If these people were just dumped in a grave; would they have a coffin? The reports of a “mass grave” are totally over the top; and said mainly to invoke rage. Just as the misinformation printed by a newspaper in Tulsa Oklahoma sparked the already tense racial rift in that city. Again one city, not the whole country; a city in a state run by Democrats/Liberals. As demonstrated on Oak Island; this radar is ambiguous at best.

    History we DO know. John A MacDonald was a LIBERAL! With the passage of the British North America Act in 1867, and the implementation of the Indian Act (1876), the government was required to provide Indigenous youth with an education and to assimilate them into Canadian society. Egerton Ryerson was an educator who promoted and laid out the ground work. Ryerson was Ontario’s chief superintendent of schools from 1842 to 1876. Students were isolated and their culture was disparaged or scorned. Remember it was the government and school board that agreed to this.

    More recently the Trudeau (Liberal) government and the superintendent of schools are doing the exact same thing in schools today with their digressive policies. They have isolated the children, under the pretence of a pandemic, and are teaching the students to disparage or scorned their culture and their gender. Parents are under threat to conform or they will take their children from them if they resist the indoctrination of their children into the New World Order. They have resurrected their sins from the past and learned absolutely nothing the last one hundred plus years except how to be authoritarian and crueler.

    If the government hadn’t gotten involved; maybe things would have been different. Look at all the government run institutions back then; mental institutions, prisons, work houses, etc. All were dehumanizing and poorly run. Funds that were allocated to these facilities were sucked up by the bureaucrats and unscrupulous employees leaving nothing for the inmates of these government run institutions.

    Pierre Eliot Trudeau’s statue should be razed too. He did nothing for the first nations people and wrote his “White Paper”; which you should read. Trudeau junior has followed in his father’s footsteps and has done nothing for these people; even though he promised he would. As time passes we can see how empty his promises are; unless you are the New World order.

    We are being guilted and shamed about something the government did; not the citizens.

  4. Richard

    June 21, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Left Coast. Stop trying to make excuses for potential murder of children. It is you that is making huge assumptions before an investigation. Re, “Mortality Rate of Native Children was living on reserves in the 19th and early 20th Century? Likely 30% or higher . . .”

    Geez Man. You are the most insensitive person I have crossed with on any forum so far. You are way off base trying to justify your hatred. I too am totally frustrated (pissed) with FN politics, hand-outs, corruption of leaders and the FN criminals that get off (nearly) free. But this is one story that rises above all and is, for now, untouchable.

  5. Richard

    June 21, 2021 at 11:51 am

    I assume all city staff will be working the July 1 holiday and/or will not receive holiday pay?

  6. K

    June 21, 2021 at 8:38 am

    What good does this do? How will reactions to the past benefit our dying society? All distractions and further exercises in demoralizing an already deracinated public.

  7. Tony

    June 20, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    To paraphrase Hannah Arendt, when we are all made to feel guilty, no one is guilty and confessions of collective guilt are the best way to safeguard against discovering real culprits and the magnitude of the crimes. All of these empty performative gestures and attempts to make us all feel responsible for the past make existing problems worse. The reason I don’t get excited about Canada Day anymore is because Canada has devolved into a collection of competing groups who seek to live at the expense of others.

  8. GonadTheRuffian

    June 20, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Yet another “Progressive” practising the ancient Leftist art of virtue signaling.

  9. Left Coast

    June 20, 2021 at 10:55 am

    This is just so insane . . . we have know about this situation for 5 years!

    Are these Mayors all brain friggin dead?
    How about have the investigation and then deal with FACTS?

    Anyone check and see what the Mortality Rate of Native Children was living on reserves in the 19th and early 20th Century? Likely 30% or higher . . .

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SLOBODIAN: Decade long investigation into Manitoba residential school involves nearly 100 officers and 700 interviews

The First Nation recently undertook a search of the site using ground-penetrating radar technology but has not released the results.




A “large and complex” decade-long investigation by RCMP has been underway into allegations of sexual abuse at a former residential school in Manitoba’s Sagkeeng First Nation.

The Fort Alexander Residential School opened in 1905 on Sagkeeng First Nation, located 120-km north of Winnipeg. In 1970 it was converted to a day school that operated for several years.

Manitoba RCMP issued a press release Tuesday confirming the major crimes unit began looking into allegations of abuse in February 2010, then launched a formal criminal investigation the following year.

RCMP began by gathering information, including reviewing archival records in both Ottawa and Manitoba. They went through thousands of documents such as student and employee lists and quarterly returns.

This involved more than 80 officers who interacted with more than 700 people across North America in an effort to find possible victims and witnesses.

“After compiling and collating all this data, investigators developed an investigative plan that began with the canvassing of people whose names had been identified in the documents as well as a door-to-door canvas in the Powerview/Fort Alexander area, where the school had been located,” said the statement.

The criminal investigation launched in 2011 involved 75 formal witnesses and victim statements.
Recently, Sagkeeng Chief Derrick Henderson said elders and survivors have long spoken about abuse at the school and children that went missing.

The First Nation recently undertook a search of the site using ground-penetrating radar technology but has not released the results.

“Violation of the privacy rights of those involved in this investigation will not only cause further trauma to everyone involved, but also potentially compromise this highly sensitive investigation,” said Henderson. “We ask that the trauma our community has experienced and continues to live every day is respected and that those affected are afforded their privacy at this time.”

RCMP are working closely with First Nations leaders and no other criminal investigations into former residential schools are underway in Manitoba, said RCMP.

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

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BC increases vaccine efforts amid slowing rates, including ‘vax vans’

“Over the next two weeks, BC will push hard to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible.”




BC health officials want more people rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 shot, and say they will be increasing efforts in the coming weeks to do just that.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Dr. Penny Ballem addressed BC’s vaccine roll-out plan during a Tuesday morning news conference.

Among their announced efforts are “walk-in Wednesday” which will take place August 4 when 20,000 jabs will be made available with no need to book in advance.

Walk-in Wednesday is part of the “Vax for BC” campaign.

“I’d like to begin by thanking each and every one of the millions of British Columbian’s, like me, who have stepped up to be vaccinated,” said Henry.

“Because of this small act, we have been able to re-open our province.

“While we have made tremendous progress with our immunization plan, there is of course more work to do. We know that some people still struggle to find a convenient time in their day to get immunized, and others may still have questions, and be hesitant about the vaccine.

“So starting today, we are making it even easier for people to get vaccines. To help protect themselves, and their loved ones against COVID-19.”

Henry said the province will be introducing “custom vax vans” so people will be able to get vaccinated on their lunch break or “while cooling off at a lake.”

The province is also reducing the wait time between first and second doses from eight weeks to seven weeks.

There are currently 906,772 eligible people who have not received a dose, roughly 19.6% of the population older than 12, according to data from July 23.

Interior health has an un-vaccinated population of 26.2% while Northern health has 32.5% without a first shot.

On Monday, the Surrey Board of Trade wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Health Minister of Canada Patty Hajdu, BC Premier John Horgan, and Minister of Health Adrian Dix urging them to “implement a proof-of-immunization model.”

“We support a centralized, Canada-wide approach to COVID-19 proof-of immunization that could be easily used to confirm vaccination status for international and domestic use,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“Without inter-provincial harmonization, Canada risks a piecemeal approach, making life more difficult and unpredictable for individuals and employers during an already uncertain time.”

Last week, YVR airport implemented separate lines for vaccinated and un-vaccinated individuals prior to reaching customs.

The separation of lines – which was put in place as a federal policy – has since been removed following extensive public push-back.

As for enforcing proof-of-immunization policies at concerts, night clubs, and sporting events – an increasing number of British Columbian’s are cozying up to this idea.

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard

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Feds silent on $120M loan to company not ‘worthy of taxpayers’ largesse”

Both CMHC and the Department of Social Development declined to respond to questions.




Federal agencies yesterday remained mum about a $120 million housing loan to one of Canada’s wealthiest developers, after Cabinet earlier defended the loan as critical, said Blacklock’s Reporter.

“This project will help over 300 local families find rental housing units,” Ahmed Hussen, minister responsible for housing, told reporters. “That’s why the government is taking action to increase the supply of rental housing through projects like the one we’re announcing.”

Cabinet on July 19 announced the $120 million loan to build 302 apartments in Brampton, Ont. The developer is Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. The company’s CEO was paid $3 million in salary and benefits last year, according to corporate filings.

“This project will help over 300 local families find rental housing units,” Hussen’s department said in a statement. “A solid and reliable supply of rental housing is critical to ensuring more Canadians have access to housing that is affordable.”

Choice Properties is owned by George Weston Ltd. The developer’s 2020 net income totaled $451 million. The loan was approved through a federal program, the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, that extends 10-year, easy-term credit “for certainty during the most risky periods of development,” according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Both CMHC and the Department of Social Development declined to respond to questions. The news website Press Progress cited data from Canada Mortgage and Housing that of 302 apartments in the Brampton project, as few as 61 would rent at below-market rates. The building is scheduled for completion by 2023.

“We know that finding an affordable place to live is a challenge for many Canadians in communities across the country,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the time. “Today’s announcement is great news for families in Brampton. The Government of Canada will continue to invest to increase affordable housing options.”

George Weston Ltd. reported net earnings of $1.6 billion last year. It also operates the Loblaw Companies Ltd. supermarket chain that in 2019 received a $12 million federal grant to install new freezers. “Canadians might wonder why the Liberals handed over $12 million to Loblaw’s, one of Canada’s richest companies,” Conservative MP Mark Strahl (Chilliwack-Hope, B.C.) earlier told the Commons.

The freezer grant was paid under a Low Carbon Economy Fund. A now-disbanded ecoEnergy program similarly paid grants to large corporations in the name of energy efficiency.

Sobeys Inc. received $1.48 million in ecoEnergy grants in the period from 2006 to 2013. Loblaw Companies received $801,000. A total $207,968 was paid to McDonald’s Restaurants and $153,960 to Sears Canada.

“These companies are flush,” Liberal MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, Ont.) said in an interview at the time. “Companies, given their financial statements, don’t seem to be worthy recipients of taxpayers’ largesse.”

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.

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