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SLOBODIAN: Bernier vows ‘I’ll be back’ after Manitoba arrest

“I’ve been told they were Mounties from Winnipeg. I’m pretty sure they were from Winnipeg and following an order from the politicians, from the premier. Absolutely.”

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The disturbing reception Maxime Bernier received from a welcoming committee – Mounties that tracked, ticketed, handcuffed and jailed him – during a recent visit, won’t deter him from visiting Friendly Manitoba again.

And before his scheduled July 27 court date.

“I can tell you that I’ll be back in Manitoba. I’ll be back before my hearing for sure. We’ll do rallies like I’m doing everywhere,” the leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC), told Western Standard.

Non-essential travel, due to COVID-19 restrictions, is restricted in Manitoba.

But while visitors like “cast, crew, and other persons directly involved in film production” are exempt from 14-day self-isolation requirements, political opponents aren’t.

Bernier, with the End the Lockdown Caucus, is holding rallies across Canada to protest the severe emotional and economic impact, and denial of Charter of Rights freedoms lockdowns present.

He’s convinced his arrest had little to do health concerns.

It’s no secret the rallies aren’t the only purpose of his travels. Bernier’s lining up PPC candidates to run in the anticipated fall federal election.

“I strongly believe that Mr. (Premier Brian) Pallister didn’t want to have any political opponent that will speak the truth about these draconian lockdowns and draconian measures they’re imposing in Manitoba,” said Bernier. 

“I believe it was political repression. I believe that because the day before I arrived the premier did a press conference and said that I wasn’t welcome and if I’m going to Manitoba, they’ll empty my wallet.”

He also received a letter from the health department of health warning him to self-isolate.

“I answered on my Titter account that I won’t surrender my Constitutional rights,” said Bernier.

He was arrested and charged on June 11 in the village of St-Pierre-Jolys, about 50 km from Winnipeg, under the Public Health Act for breaching COVID-19 health orders – assembling at an outdoor gathering and failing to self-isolate.

Manitoba Justice said the arrest was also to “prevent further offences related to attending, participating, and organizing public gatherings throughout the province.”

Bernier held a political meeting before his arrest.

“I was outside with five people, socially distancing, speaking with my riding association executives. We are in the process of selecting our candidates.”

He was warned by RCMP that if he went ahead with meetings, he risked being arrested.

He called his lawyer and was assured that, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he had the right to peaceful assembly outside and to freedom of speech. 

“I’m looking forward to that hearing in court. I can tell you we will win that for sure,” said Bernier.

“It’s too bad this is happening in Canada in 2021. You see that in China or in Russia when you want to arrest your political opponent. They wanted to stop me and the only way to stop me from doing what I wanted to do was put me in jail,” he claimed.

Bernier was tossed behind bars at the local detachment and denied a request to call his wife.

He once asked what time it was. A Mountie merely said: “I don’t know.”

Most police officers use discretion in dealing with detainees. Others are petty. Refusing to tell a leader of a political party and former Conservative federal cabinet minister the time is petty.

A judge ordered Bernier to pay $1,000 cash, but quashed conditions Manitoba Justice demanded.

“They didn’t want me to use social media, they didn’t want me to communicate, to speak against lockdowns. The judge decided $1,000 was sufficient with one condition to respect the law.”

A volunteer arrived with cash.

“They said: ‘We cannot accept cash anymore. Our procedures changed last week. We’ll have to drive to Winnipeg…So go back in your cell and in two hours when Winnipeg has received the cash, we’ll free you,’” he said.

Bernier believes this was a ruse to keep him behind bars as along as possible.

“My agenda was public. They knew I had a couple of other meetings that night,” he said.

“After eight hours I was free. But the police told me: ‘We will follow you in Manitoba and our advice to you is to leave the province as soon as possible.’”

Everything from his arrest to his release was handled by the two Mounties in jeans, whom Bernier believes weren’t local, while other members in full uniform in stood back. 

Did members of the detachment call for outside help? Was help sent?

“I’ve been told they were Mounties from Winnipeg.  I’m pretty sure they were from Winnipeg and following an order from the politicians, from the premier. Absolutely.” 

When asked about that, a provincial media spokesman tersely said: “Talk to the RCMP.” 

The RCMP didn’t respond to calls or an email.

Perhaps the mystery will be solved in court.

Bernier noted the PPC’s the only party protesting lockdowns.

“The COVID-19 lockdowns must end this summer. I’m scared that early in fall, the provincial governments can come back with another lockdown. I’ll continue to fight,” said Bernier before vowing to return to Manitoba.

Canadians, weary of questionable lockdowns, might agree that shouldn’t be deemed non-essential travel. 

Slobodian is a Western Standard columnist based in Manitoba.

 

Linda Slobodian is the Manitoba Senior Columnist for the Western Standard. She has been an investigative columnist with the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, and Alberta Report. lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    June 30, 2021 at 9:39 am

    @ Rand . . .

    There are ZERO studies that demonstrate that masks work to stop a Virus . . .

    Read the Stanford Study & the MIT Study . . . puts it all in Context for you.

    Masks are completely Useless, Dangerous but a Sign that You OBEY !

  2. Left Coast

    June 29, 2021 at 9:17 am

    @ Rand . . . interesting point . . . but seriously FLAWED ! ! !

    When you add in the increased Number of Drug Overdoses, Suicides, folks who died because they could not get Medical Attention for existing conditions, diagnostics not done and the elephant in the room . . . THE DESTROYED ECONOMY. Likely 2 or 3 times the number of Wuhan Virus deaths . . . and we don’t yet know all the damage from Closed Schools, this could got on for a decade.

    South Dakota had far fewer casualties than has Manitoba and did a far better job of looking after their citizens.

  3. Aynus Rand

    June 28, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    If you can’t trust a guy with a briefcase of classified information, you can’t expect him to understand the importance of wearing a mask.

    Don’t worry, Maxime… your doltish supporters will pay your legal fees!

  4. Aynus Rand

    June 28, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    How nice to see all of you disregarding the # of covid infections & deaths.

    E.g.
    South Dakota – population of 885,000; 124,000 cases; 2,030 deaths.
    Manitoba – pop’n of 1.36l9M; 56,000 cases; 1,139 deaths.

    Per capita # of infections in South Dakota is 3.42 times that of Manitoba, & per capita # of covid deaths in SD is 2.75 times that of MB.

    Oh well! Time to put your tin foil hats on tighter!

  5. Bill Mccann

    June 28, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Max and the PPC are the “only” party that are for the people and upholding the constitution.

  6. Economic Refugee

    June 27, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Here in the East, Maxime Bernier, Derek Sloan, and Randy Hillier are just about the only politicians fighting for the people.

    And they get targeted by the Federally Funded media every damned day. When arrests like this are reported, there is no outrage against stunningly political police action. The narrative is to paint these brave men as troublemakers who deserve the full attention of law enforcement.

    This is not the country I was born into. In retrospect, I can see the changes were a long time in the making, but the way our lives have deteriorated since 2015 is horrific!

  7. David

    June 27, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    But we have a PM that looks and acts like Fidel Castro’s bastard. Surely that’s good enough for CCP liberals to claim “Canada is the envy of the world”

    Who cares if Justine has the brain of a roadkill squirrel?

  8. Left Coast

    June 27, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Bernier noted the PPC’s the only party protesting lockdowns.

    Why you ask?
    Because the other “Political Parties” are led by Fools who have learned absolutely NOTHING in the last 16 months. Perfect example is Pallister in Manitoba, still using the CCP tactics that have never worked anywhere in North America. But he, like Ford, Kenny, Horgan & others never figured that out.
    One thing even the most shallow thinking citizen has figured out by now . . . we are being Led by some of the least intelligent people in the Country and when you throw in the Health Depts. staffed by Govt Lifers it gets even worse.

    Bernier is the only Bright light in the political realm today . . .

    Funny how a few hundred miles south of Winnipeg, Gov Noam of South Dakota told the population 16 months ago to be careful and use flu season precautions . . . while she looked after Seniors’ Homes and those with Co-morbidities. Their numbers were typical of a bad flu season and they didn’t Destroy their Economy as ALL of Canada DID ! ! !

    Neither Pallister, or Kenny or Horgan were interested . . . they were committed to the CCP Protocols . . . just be glad they didn’t Weld your Doors Shut !

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Opinion

MORGAN: Trudeau’s radical new environment minister prepares to kill the West’s energy sector

“Justin Trudeau never made a secret of his ambitions to be known to posterity as The Prime Minister Who Saved The World from Climate Change.”

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The world is in the grips of an energy crisis.

Decades of well-meaning but naive energy transition efforts in developed nations have created a fragile world energy grid that is now faltering.

While Germany was once celebrated as a world leader in renewable green energy, coal has returned to the top spot as their source of electricity generation, while electricity prices have risen 500% in Europe. India and China are increasing coal production and are in a bidding war for Russian natural gas. Energy price spikes are feeding a rising cost of living, which in turn is impacting the standard of living for the entire planet.

It’s not even winter yet.

So how is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responding to this looming energy catastrophe? Will he help facilitate the production and export of ethical Canadian energy products in order to ease the burden on our European and Asian customers? Will he ease regulations on Canada’s petrochemical sector in order to mitigate domestic inflationary pressures as energy production increases? Will Trudeau applaud Western Canadian energy production as a means of employing Canadians while paying for COVID-19 measures?

Of course not.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his new cabinet appointments to signal that he is declaring an all-out war upon conventional energy generation in Canada. In appointing radical enviornmentalist Steven Guilbeault to the position of environment minister, Trudeau is making it clear he has no interest in allowing Canada’s petrochemical sector to continue upon its path to net-zero emissions. The prime minister wants to shut down the fossil fuel industry altogether — and he wants to do it soon.

For those unfamiliar with Steven Guilbeault’s history, he has been involved in extreme environmental actions for decades. In 2001, Guilbeault was arrested and charged for hanging from the CN Tower in Toronto in a Greenpeace protest. His act put emergency responders in real danger. Guilbeault was involved with a group of protestors who terrorized then Alberta Premier Ralph Klein’s family as they climbed upon the roof of the premier’s home as a protest stunt in 2002. Guilbeault is not a run of the mill environmental activist; he is from the extreme fringe of activists.

Government cabinets are very carefully selected. The people chosen to fill cabinet roles represent the direction the government plans to go in. Justin Trudeau never made a secret of his ambitions to be known to posterity as The Prime Minister Who Saved The World from Climate Change. The cabinet selections of Tuesday make clear that Trudeau no longer wants to just talk and tax about climate change; he wants to act. Westerners had best take heed.

With six years in office as prime minister, Trudeau has little he can point to as an established legacy besides a crippling debt that will last generations. The clock is ticking and if nothing changes, he will be remembered as being little aside from a vacuous placeholder with a famous name in the Prime Minister’s Office. Justin Trudeau’s almost debilitating vanity is well established. He does not want to go out that way, and he plans to make battling climate change his legacy.

While battling climate change could be accomplished though mitigating efforts such as carbon-capture and selling clean burning natural gas to the world, in appointing Guilbeault as Canada’s environment minister Trudeau made it clear he wants to fight climate change through shutting down Canada’s fossil fuel and petrochemical sector. Guilbeault has expressly stated that it is is goal, and it was no mistake that Trudeau gave him the authority to do it.

Trudeau has been candid in stating he doesn’t pay attention to monetary policy and fiscal issues. He doesn’t care that the world is in an energy crisis and doesn’t understand what shutting down Canada’s petrochemical industry will do to the economy. Trudeau’s foresight doesn’t extend beyond his own nose and all he’s envisioning is being enshrined as the crusader who defeated the hated oil industry.

Alberta should be the leading province standing up for and defending the energy sector against an ideologically driven federal government. Unfortunately, Premier Jason Kenney has proven himself to be long on talk and short on action when it comes to standing up to Ottawa. Kenney is also now distracted with a breaking sexual harassment lawsuit against one of his cabinet ministers. He won’t have the time to mount a spirited defense of Alberta’s industries, nor does he have the public support to be taken seriously in such a defence. Western Canadian energy companies and workers are vulnerable and Trudeau knows it.

There will be no help coming from our new federal natural resources minister either. Minister Jonathan Wilkanson comes from a history of renewable energy development. He will be tickled pink to see petrochemical companies driven from Canada’s economy.

The chill is already happening. Getting investment into Canadian conventional energy projects was already a tough task due to Ottawa’s hostility towards the sector. In light of the new federal cabinet in Ottawa, finding investment will be nearly impossible. Would you invest in a Canadian energy project when the prime minister has appointed a cabinet determined to shut down the industry?

The only advice I can offer to Canadians right now is to buckle in and get ready for a rough ride. Trudeau will be attending the 26th UN Climate Conference in Glasgow next week and he will be strutting. You can imagine Trudeau will be bragging to them all about how he will be setting up Canada as an example on how to battle climate change. Trudeau has always had trouble being taken seriously by other world leaders. He sees this as an opportunity to set himself up as a player on the world stage.

When Justin Trudeau gets back from the Glasgow summit, watch out. He has loaded the gun with his new cabinet. He will be fired up and ready to shoot and the first target will be Alberta.

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

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Manitoba Tory election about substance, not gender

Stefanson appears to be the favorite, having garnered the backing of the majority of caucus before Glover entered the race.

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Manitoba’s next premier will be named Saturday when the governing PC party’s new leader is chosen.

Candidates Shelly Glover, 54, and Heather Stefanson, 51, are both seasoned politicians.

Much breathless ado has been made over the fact the province’s next premier will be a woman; which is somewhat baffling considering that glass ceiling was already shattered with subsequent performances offering not a lot to boast about.

Think Alberta and Ontario. But that can be attributed to party affiliation and accompanying destructive policies, as much as abysmal leadership failure that harmed both provinces.

It’s about substance, not gender.

Roughly 24,000 Manitoba PC party members eligible to vote cast their ballots by mail or delivery to the party’s Winnipeg office.

The results will be announced during an in-person event at Winnipeg’s Victoria Inn, allowing limited attendees who all must be fully vaccinated. So, to be clear, unvaccinated votes are most welcome, but those who cast them, stay away.

And that brings us to a core issue the candidates differ on that is paramount in the minds of voting members: getting through COVID and mandates in place.

“I believe no one should lose their job because of their personal health decision,” said Stefanson — who served as health minister until she bailed to run for the leadership — in reference to vaccination requirements.

Yet she staunchly supports the strict COVID mandates and compulsory vaccinations she helped put in place that are causing people, including front-line health workers, to lose their jobs.

Glover said alternatives must be found to mandatory vaccinations because reducing the number of employees caring for patients isn’t an option.

Shelley Glover. Courtesy CBC

She promised no more vilifying or firing the unvaccinated, or blanket lockdowns for small and medium-sized businesses.

In fact, Glover said former premier Brian Pallister’s “tyranny is over” for both Manitobans and MLAs he kept on a tight leash.

Stefanson appears to be the favorite, having garnered the backing of the majority of caucus before Glover entered the race. However, political pundits opine Glover shouldn’t be counted out.

On the surface the race has been amicable. There was a wee back and forth over Stefanson’s claim that Glover would fire or try to oust MLAs who didn’t support her. Glover challenged her to prove it. She didn’t.

Stefanson, the establishment candidate, was first elected in Tuxedo in 2000. She has served as deputy premier, justice minister, minister of families, and most recently as health minister when appointed January 2021.

Glover, embraced as the grassroots candidate, is a 28-year Winnipeg Police Service veteran.

She was elected as a member of Parliament in the 2008 federal election and served the Saint Boniface riding until 2015. She was a member of the Privy Council of Canada and served as heritage minister.

The membership also weighed both candidate’s stands on strengthening the economy, education, and health care systems; building better relations with the province’s indigenous groups; and supporting business.

The winner, to be sworn in at a later date, will replace interim Premier Kelvin Goertzen who took over when Pallister resigned as premier September 1.

Whoever emerges victorious faces the formidable task of reviving support for a party losing ground to the NDP.

And regaining the trust of Manitobans.

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

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Opinion

MAKICHUK: Trudeau shows true colours with transfer slap in the face to Alberta

The Eastern Laurentian elites will continue to screw us over. It will never stop. 

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He mocked us.

He mocked us, he mocked us.

That Jack-in-Office at the PMO threw dirt as good, hard-working, God-fearing Albertans trundled off to the polls to have their say on transfer payments that have soaked us dry of billions of oil patch dollars for decades.

The very man who, in recent years, has spent more time in the ethics office than any other politician in Canada, had the absolute gall to marginalize our province, and our premier, by saying the issue was “incredibly political.”

Regardless of how they voted (Elections Alberta reported 61.7% of voters said “yes,” to ending Equalization, with 38.3% checking “no”), they had a fair, democratic right to choose.

“To eliminate equalization, which is what’s proposed in Jason Kenney’s referendum, is something that cannot be done by the federal government,” Justin Trudeau said with a sardonic smile.

“It needs to be done by the federal government working with seven provinces or territories representing over 50% of the Canadian population.”

Sorry pal, that’s not true and you know it.

If Alberta wants to opt-out, it can opt out … and praise God, someday that will happen. 

That Ottawa-based baboon can’t stop us if we wish to go our own way. Especially if we embark on a balanced journey of provincial autonomy over the next decade. 

To borrow a quote from his father — who had cajones — “Just watch (us)!”

The entire issue was summed up by the increasingly leftist Globe & Mail, with a disgustingly overbearing and insulting headline that read: “Don’t take Alberta’s referendum seriously.”

I won’t offer any further details, the headline was enough. 

Between the Globe and the federal freeloaders in Ottawa, it’s not hard to figure out the West will never, ever be taken seriously or treated fairly and equally with the bully boys: Quebec and Ontario and their media cronies.

The Eastern Laurentian elites will continue to screw us over. It will never stop. 

And you know as well as I do, with the rapidly increasing national debt, it ain’t gonna get better.

Not for you, me, or the generations to come.

Columnist Rex Murphy summed up Alberta’s plight very well, in a 2019 piece in the National Post:

The Suzukis, the Sierra Clubs, the always railing Greenpeacers, the fund-raising behemoths of the eco-industry, and the swarms of petty NGOs, self-appointed activists, and trippy climate celebrities — Bill Nye the Foolish Guy may stand for them all — have feasted on the portrayal of Alberta energy as world-damaging, nature-offending and planet-despoiling.

It was and is a gang-up on a global scale. One fragment, one singular project of an entire world industry in a little corner of Alberta has been painted as the villain of planetary disaster. Under the specious umbrella of “we must save the planet”  and “global warming is an existential crisis” the energy industry of a single province has endured a vicious, unfair and fanatic assault.

A while back, I was having a beer at one of my favourite establishments, the Border Crossing, down on 17 Ave. S.E.

They make an escargot dish with melted cheese and toast that is to die for and a nice deck in the back where a guy can enjoy a nice Cuban cigarillo in peace. 

Anyway, I was chatting with a fellow who did time in the “Big House.”

He seemed a good, hard-working fellow who made a mistake, paid the price and learned from it and then moved on.

I asked him what was it like in there?

‘You don’t wanna go there, man … you don’t,” he said. The serious look on his face added to that sentiment.

“But let me tell you something. If you ever do end up there, the biggest, toughest guy in the joint is going to come up to you and set you straight.

“And you can’t back down, you have to show no fear and stand up to him.”

Terrible images raced through my head.

“But what if he’s way bigger than me and tougher?” I pleaded.

“Doesn’t matter,” he said. “If you don’t stand up to him then, you are done for.”

The reality of that discussion never left me. Knock on wood, I don’t ever end up in the clink!

But this, my friends, is exactly how we must deal with the pin-striped snakes in Ottawa.

We can’t be afraid, we can’t back down … we look them in the eye, and fight back with every peaceful but effective, and hopefully legal means in our toolbox, and with every ounce of strength we can garner.

They are nothing but a bunch of overpaid federal nabobs, led by the trumped-up party boy himself and backed by Mountie strong arm men.

Recently, I was chatting with an esteemed friend of mine on Facebook — a man much more accomplished than I.

He told me that the mere mention of Alberta with Eastern friends conjures up vitriolic hate and derision as if we were the bad guys.

Other friends have told me the same.

Well, that’s just fine, I don’t mind playing the part of Jack Palance in Shane, I don’t give a damn if they hate us. I really don’t.

But damn it all to hell, one day they might just respect us and fear us.

Take our money in transfer payments but block our pipelines and demonize us? 

Sure, go ahead and embrace token Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s so-called Green restart. 

See where that gets you. See if it pays your mortgage, your car payment, your daycare and your groceries.

One day, mark my words, the West will rise. As forceful and beautiful as the early morning light on the Alberta foothills.

To quote the great Winston Churchill, “Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning.”

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the military editor for the Asia Times.
makichukd@gmail.com

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