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St. Albert cancels Canada Day fireworks

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.




The city of St. Albert has become the first municipality in Alberta to cancel some Canada Day 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.

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.

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. Cosmo Kramer

    June 21, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    With the clueless and incompetent St. Albert mayor and city council, I wonder if they realize that Father Albert Lacombe (one of St. Albert’s founders) was a metis (through his grandmother) and because of this he had a great love of native culture and working with native peoples who also in turn had a great love and respect for him.

  2. Cosmo Kramer

    June 21, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    This has all the markings of a psyop. Trudeau and his fellow criminals to do not care about conditions on reserves such as the quality of drinking water and the tragic situation of violence against indigenous women. It could be used to further sow division amongst people (indigenous, asians, africans, whites) so people are not united against these elites. Also, serves to change the news cycle on how both federal and provincial governments have abused the covid crisis to implement their agendas.

    Keep in mind that the residential school system was developed by the Canadian government and the contracted out churches (Catholic, Anglican, and United) to run them. The Catholic church has foolishly and stupidly accepted ownership over this whole history which is being used as battering rod against Christianity.

    If one looks at the history of Alberta there are unmarked graves here as well. With the building of the railroad there were multiple deaths and there are unmarked cemeteries in the rockies and foothills. As mentioned below, untreated wooden crosses will deteriorate and last only up to 50 years. To this day archeologists still find early buildings (and graves) belonging to early settlers.

    The media presents it as “unmarked mass grave”. The average TV viewer will get a mental image of a large pit where teachers through bodies of children into after they were abused and then covered with dirt. Even the worst priests would never do this. A proper Christian funeral would have been done and the bodies placed in coffins. With Spanish flu, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases bodies were not sent back (a slow process in those days anyways). Look at today where governments have restricted funerals.

    I also do not believe that this cemetery was just discovered. They no doubt always knew where it was. Be prepared for more “discoveries”.

    Yes, the residential school system should not have been implemented. However, this was done by the Canadian government and churches only acted on a contract basis. I am sure many of them meant well but there were no doubt abuses. This is a wound that is constantly being ripped open and exploited by a truly malicious and hostile government with their owned media.

  3. Andrew

    June 21, 2021 at 10:52 am

    Province could step in…

  4. Susan Grant

    June 20, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    #BoycottStampede and instead #BUYcott Small TOWN Alberta!

  5. Susan Grant

    June 20, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Its time for an Alberta Independence Day. We need to gather extend our hands to our First Nations bands here in Alberta and celebrate Alberta in a new way. Without the greed of the EAST. Independent Strong & Free! Then we need to get away from the Stampede not becasue it is BAD but because it too has been blessed that special favor that Kenney gave himself by dining at Sky Palace while trying to shame the rest. We need to take the Stampede back to its roots in Small Town Alberta. Why should privilege be given to this and Hockey and CFL after ALL the destruction to small business and families across this beautiful place?

  6. Left Coast

    June 20, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Another “Woke” Mayor . . . stepping up without any FACTS!
    Peering back into history thinking everything was always like 2021 . . . these people are some of the stupidest walking amongst us.
    We have no idea what the cause of death of even one of these people . . . yet our idiot politicians are cancelling events that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the situation.

    Canada’s so-called “First Nations” . . . have lived off the Taxpayers of Canada for over 125 years, costing untold 100s of Billions.

    When the CCP take over Canada . . . and they are today . . . will these people be treated like the Ughers or Falun Gong?

  7. Rose

    June 20, 2021 at 10:21 am

    A lot of old churches had grave yards that buried everyone from the surrounding community. Grave markers were often made of wooden crosses in those days, which commonly decayed with time. The decay rate of untreated wood is only 5-25 years depending upon the type of wood used. It would be the churches responsibility to maintain the grave sites, markers & records, which they neglected to do apparently. However, it’s pure speculation, at this point, to blindly assume the radar images are solely those of residential children. This cannot possibly be known without exhumation & DNA testing.

    In addition to the church, we must also investigate the motives, identities, and agendas of those actively seeking to villainize & punish all Canadians, and destroy & rewrite our history. Most likely, the woke media-mob’s narrative is all part of the UN’s plans for their Great Reset and UNDRIP.


    June 20, 2021 at 6:58 am

    Can anyone say for sure if the bodies of 215 people are really there? I don’t doubt that it’s possible that 215 people perished at this residential school, but before we destroy what’s left of the Canada that I grew up in (e.g. Canada Day fireworks), is it too much to ask for proof that these bodies are really there?

  9. Westcanguy

    June 19, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    What a pantload…

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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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