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23 Canadian churches and counting under attack

As of publication, there have been almost 23 attacks against churches – including at least five completely destroyed by fires, at least three damaged by fires, and more than 15 vandalized to varying degrees.

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Churches in the West – and increasingly across Canada – are on fire.

A spree of arson and other acts of destruction have been occurring against Christian churches, focused mostly on Indigenous Catholic congregations. The acts range from petty vandalism to lighting fires in or around the churches, destroying many.

As of publication, there have been almost 23 attacks against churches – including at least five completely destroyed by fires, at least three damaged by fires, and more than 15 vandalized to varying degrees.

The rash of attacks comes on the heels of several discoveries of mass unmarked graves at former residential schools, and several activists openly calling for the burning of churches.

Most RCMP units investigating the fires have been hesitant to officially link the discovery of the gravesites with the attacks, but have labelled the fires and other attacks as “suspicious.”

The most destructive fires have mostly been occurring across Western Canada, but there have been other minor fires and acts of destruction towards Christian in the East.

The attacks were condemned by federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not condemn the attacks for several days until asked about them by reporters on Wednesday June 30 – a full week after some of the first fires began on June 21.

Indigenous leaders have condemned the attacks and called for more peaceful approaches to process the strong feelings of rage, frustration, and pain brought on by the recent discoveries of the unmarked graves.

“To burn things is not our way,” said Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. “Our way is to build relationships and come together.”

The most damaging attacks were in Alberta and British Columbia. These Western provinces saw five separate churches set ablaze and destroyed.

St. Ann’s Catholic Church: Princeton, BC

  • 3:52 am June 26 Princeton RCMP received a call saying the church was on fire
  • The church was destroyed

Chopaka Church: Keremeos, BC

  • 4:45 am Keremeos RCMP got a call that the church was in flames
  • The church was destroyed

L’église de Saint-Jean-Baptiste: Morinville, AB

  • Historic church, more than a century old, of significant importance to Alberta’s Francophone community
  • The church was destroyed

Sacred Heart Church: Indigenous band lands in Penticton, BC

  • Built in 1911
  • RCMP spotted the fire while on patrol at 1:22 am
  • The church was destroyed

St Gregory’s Church: Osoyoos Indigenous Band Land near Oliver, BC

  • Built in 1910
  • Oliver RCMP received a tip at 3:10 am that the church was on fire
  • The church was destroyed

In all cases, the RCMP have stated that the fires are “suspicious”. Oliver RCMP said they are “sensitive to the recent events, but won’t speculate on a motive.”

A number of churches were also set on fire, but not destroyed.

Siksika First Nation Catholic Church: Siksika First Nation 60 km east of Calgary, AB

  • RCMP responded to a tip at 12:30 am on Monday June 28 about a structural fire on Map 8 of the Siksika Nation
  • Siksika Fire Department put out the fire before any significant structural damage could be caused to the structure
  • The church was empty at the time, no one was injured as a result of the fire

Siksika Anglican Church: Gleichen, AB

St Kateri Tekakwitha Church: Sipekne’katik First Nation 64 km north of Halifax, NS

  • Set on fire at 4:20 am June 30 but sustain only minimal damage

Concerns about the fires are especially amplified in BC, where summer forest fires are of heightened concern during the dry season and higher than usual temperatures.

The following churches have been vandalized – mostly with red paint to symbolize blood – in some way over the past week:

  • St. Joseph’s in Kamloops, BC was branded with spray painted words “banished” and “crime scene” on its walls.
  • St. Augustine Church in Vancouver, BC had “release the records” and “killers” written on its walls in red.
  • St. Joseph Parish in Port Moody, BC was vandalized on the morning of June 13.
  • Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Edmonton, AB had their statue of Jesus targeted with red paint on June 26.
  • Sacred Heart Church in Calgary, AB also had their statue of Jesus get red paint thrown on it.
  • St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Calgary, AB
  • Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church in Calgary, AB
  • Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Calgary, AB
  • Grace Presbyterian Church in Calgary, AB
  • Saint Luke’s Parish in Calgary, AB
  • Holy Trinity Church in Calgary, AB
  • All Nations Full Gospel Church in Calgary, AB
  • Saint Anthony’s Catholic Parish in Calgary, AB
  • Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Calgary, AB
  • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church in Calgary, AB

As of publication, several individual Catholic diocese have issued apologies to the Indigenous community, including Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Ottawa Archbishop Marcel Damphousse, and Calgary Bishop William McGrattan.

The Vatican has yet to issue an official apology or release its residential school records, however on June 30 Pope Francis stated he will be meeting with Indigenous leaders soon.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the church burnings “unacceptable.”

“The Government of Alberta unequivocally condemns recent arson attacks that have targeted Christian churches across Canada and Alberta,” said Kenney.

“This is unacceptable in Alberta. It is unacceptable in Canada. These attacks targeting Christian churches are attempts to destroy the spiritual sites that are important to people of faith across Alberta, including many indigenous people.

“The Canada we know is not one where hate-motivated arson attacks targeting religious communities are common place or allowed to continue.”

In an attempt to combat these acts, Premier Kenney announced he will be doubling funding for the Alberta Security Infrastructure Program from $1 million annually to $2 million, which had previously been focused on religious minority communities.

Jackie Conroy is a Correspondent for the Western Standard
jconroy@westernstandardonline.com

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. GS Uddin

    July 21, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Christians and Whites must look at their own behaviour to understand why they are so hated by so many groups.
    Maybe the genocide and abuse of Natives, enslavement of blacks, attacks on Mosques and Muslim women (so common in Conservative Christian ALBERTA!) and invasions of Muslim countries, racist attacks on Asians, bombings and harassment of Abortion providers and other attacks by Conservative Whites Christians and White Nationalists is responsible for this backlash?
    Nah, it’s the fault of left-wing professors at Berkeley. No critical thinking allowed!

  2. Andrew

    July 6, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    This is horrible to see in Alberta.

  3. Matt C

    July 6, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    Comments like: “The Vatican has yet to issue an official apology or release its residential school records…”, which are frequently included in articles on the residential schools, are used for the same purpose as the term “mass graves” has been frequently repeated…. and that is, to imply guilt without providing facts.

    As Fr Moyle pointed out, the Vatican would not have been given records pertaining to specifics of residential school operations. How can the Vatican turn over what it doesn’t have?
    An example of misleading comments (thinly veiled accusations) and/or lazy reporting.

  4. K

    July 5, 2021 at 7:42 am

    More Hegelian Dialectic at play. Problem, reaction, solution. Problem: Residential Schools Reaction: Burning churches Solution: TBD

  5. K

    July 5, 2021 at 7:41 am

    Yet a hideous pride sidewalk defaced with accidental skid marks would garner more outrage from these devils.

  6. Fr. Tim Moyle

    July 5, 2021 at 6:43 am

    “The Vatican has yet to issue an official apology or release its residential school records…”

    The Vatican wouldn’t possess any such records! The Catholic Church does not have some sort of giant centralized archive from every diocese in the world. Only those dioceses that participated directly in the Residential Schools Program would have any records and virtually all of them were already handed over to the Federal Government. The only exception that I am aware of is with the Oblates and that’s because they recently amalgamated their Canadian ‘provinces’ and have only recently discovered that they still possess some unreleased records. They have requested help from the Federal government’s archivists to help organize and find any records that have been overlooked.

    The facts are that the Federal government is the one organization that has destroyed the records from 1936-1944 and has gone to court to obtain a mandate to destroy more of them. To date they have shredded or burned 200,000 ‘Indian Affairs’ records. Here’s a paragraph taken from another news source dealing with this issue:

    “Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the academic director at the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at the University of British Columbia, stated that the records from the Kamloops residential school had not been provided to the Truth and Reconciliation group. However, she admits that the “churches handed over most residential school records, but in a few cases, the narratives were withheld, notably at Kamloops and St Annes (in Ontario)” So the Church records, like the children’s bodies were and are hiding in plain sight. The fact that no one has acted on them is probably the story that should be pursued. “

  7. Matt C

    July 5, 2021 at 12:40 am

    Every great lie has a seed of truth. Did abuses take place in the residential schools? Yes. Was corporal punishment meted-out beyond what is considered acceptable today? No doubt. Did sexual abuse take place? No doubt. Were the residential schools run by serial killers? Are there mass graves full of murdered indigenous children? Were the schools a form of genocide? I don’t think so.

    There are bad apples in every bunch.

    The goal of the media is clearly not to expose truth and correct past wrongs… it is to smear and marginalize anyone and everyone who poses a threat to their agenda…. which I believe is, to remove God from society.

    The media is selective of what facts to present and who to target (just compare the non-stop smears directed at President Trump and the gloss-over coverage about Jack Layton getting caught getting a rub-and-tug).

    Who are the continous targets of the media?
    White, Christian, traditionally-minded, heterosexual and male.
    Why? Answer: If I want to push a nefarious agenda and re-shape society, I need to break the existing power structure. That involves bullying people into compliance…. marginalizing fathers….labeling white people as bigots … etc.

  8. Fred Monninots

    July 3, 2021 at 9:00 am

    The mob has been mobilized against Whites and their institutions, aided and abetted by wokester politicians and a do-nothing police force.

  9. William

    July 2, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Trudeau has gotten a lot more upset over a mosque getting spray painted.

  10. Left Coast

    July 2, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Canada is just as full of Idiots as any other country today . . .
    We are home today to every Gang on the friggin planet, some linked to the CCP. Our Media & many Politicians are on the take . . . some outright fans of the CCP, like the Crime Minister.

    When the FakeStream Media and the PM come out and create a Fictional Narratives over a number of 100+ year old cemetaries . . . and then act surprized when bad things happen?
    This is no different from the Antifa/BLM affiliated Demokkkrats we have watched in the USA for the last few years creating destruction & mayhem.

    And today our Feckless RCMP are getting maybe “Suspicious” that something might be going on . . . way past friggin Insane !

    NONE of this is Accidental Folks . . . these are our Bolsheviks/Antifa in Action working hard for the Lieberal Party of Canada.

  11. Baron Not Baron

    July 2, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    Kenney is the last one to have any right to talk on behalf of Christians, since he proved himself an enemy of Christianity! I believe he’s rather quite happy about what is going on. He’s Godless and his religion is money.

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These Yellowstone-Alberta memes capture the soul of Wild Rose Country

The Montana-based violent drama has found its way into the hearts of Albertans — it even mentioned the friendliness of the Calgary Stampede — with a new meme circulating on Facebook.

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The Paramount Network smash-hit Yellowstone is wildly the most popular show on cable and streaming on Amazon Prime.

Although the network blockbuster starring Kevin Costner drew more than 11 million viewers for its fourth season finale earlier this month, without streaming, it has gone virtually unnoticed by award shows until Wednesday — receiving its first major nomination for a Screen Actors Guild award.

The Montana-based violent drama has found its way into the hearts of Albertans — it even mentioned the friendliness of the Calgary Stampede — with a new meme circulating on Facebook.

The meme depicts show characters as a representation of towns and small cities throughout Alberta.

The character Beth Dutton played by Kelly Reilly is captioned with Alberta’s St. Paul and has the most comments of all the characters listed in the meme, likely due to her merciless, tougher-than-tough, bad-ass nature.

“She’s a Cockroach. A Superhero Without the Cape,” said Reilly reflecting on her character Beth in a recent article in Esquire.

Tanya Hollasch — calling herself a Beth look-a-like — commented on Ms. Dutton’s image with an attached picture of herself — bright purple shiner and all.

“I’ve been told I’m a Beth look-a-like from Bonnyville🙈 ….I’m just not bad-ass enough 🤣 just a boring story of a horse mishap😂”

Many of the main characters from the show are featured in the meme including Costner representing Nanton.

Hundreds of people have chimed in from picture to picture either agreeing wholeheartedly with each character’s related Alberta location or have inserted their own suggested location comparison.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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MAKICHUK: Unholy alliance: America faces a formidable two-front crisis

That might be the diplomatic view, but two against one was never a fair fight.

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The year is 2065.

Russia and China have combined their space programs and now have a functioning, expansive joint lunar station.

Advanced Chinese shuttle landers are making regular visits to the base, which has pioneered major mining projects below the lunar surface with the use of robot devices.

The station generates its own food, water and oxygen, and the landers regularly deliver workers and supplies and return shipments of valuable minerals.

America, a once-great power in space could not keep up with the expanding space gap, nor the military gap, or even the technology gap and now trails the two nations that formed a strong alliance early into the new century.

Back on earth, China, with Russian help, invaded Taiwan and now controls the former democratic island, enforcing a strict Communist crackdown on the helpless populace. 

The US, a country racked by crumbling infrastructure, runaway poverty and deep political divisions and now dwarfed by the Sino-Russian alliance, did nothing — except to place more useless sanctions on Beijing.

This may sound like a dream, or perhaps even a nightmare, depending on what your perspective is.

Could it happen? Nobody knows, of course. But the way things are going an alliance of this nature appears to be growing with each day, week and month.

The more the US and its allies place pressure on China for its perceived sins, the more they push the Red Dragon into an unholy alliance with the Russian bear.

Beware of such a development, because it will change the world.

According to a report in the New York Times, the militaries of both countries have stepped up joint exercises and even operations, including in the air and for the first time in October, naval patrols in the Pacific. They have also pledged to explore space together.

Analysts say that an important factor in Russian-Chinese ties is the personal chemistry between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, both men in their late 60s who have consolidated control over their countries’ political systems, NYT reported. 

Xi has addressed Putin as his “old friend,” while the Russian president called his Chinese counterpart both his “dear friend” and “esteemed friend.”

There is still plenty of historical friction between Russia and China, onetime adversaries that share a land border stretching more than 4,200 km.

But on trade, security and geopolitics they are increasingly on the same page, forming a bloc trying to take on American influence as both countries’ confrontations with the US deepen, the NYT reported.

For Putin, a recent congenial video summit between the two comes at a high-stakes moment in his brinkmanship over Western influence in Ukraine.

The imposing Kremlin leader, facing threats of crushing Western sanctions if Russian forces attack Ukraine, heard Xi propose that Russian and China cooperate to “more effectively safeguard the security interests of both parties.”

Meanwhile, China has come under US and European criticism for human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region and its suppression of political freedoms in Hong Kong as well as its alarming military activity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Make no mistake, the mere thought that two of the strongest military powers in the world may join forces against the US and its allies will send shockwaves through the corridors of Western powers — for the basic fact, it is a two-front crisis that US President Joe Biden can’t win.

And while the two countries have not signed anything official and neither of the leaders can really be trusted further than you can toss a chihuahua, this can’t be ignored.

Yet, the US appears blind to the fact it is pushing China into a corner, with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin rejecting so-called “red-lines” in Ukraine and Taiwan — tough talk, but it might just be another hollow gesture.

Words don’t stop tanks, fighter jets, missiles or amphibious landing craft.

Citing human rights concerns, the US, Canada and Australia have declared diplomatic protests over the upcoming 2022 Beijing Summer Games (athletes will still attend), while Putin was the first major leader to RSVP his attendance.

This week, the Biden administration added China’s top military medical research institute to an export blacklist in response to concerns about Beijing’s use of emerging technologies such as biometrics and brain-control weapons.

All that aside, Ukraine is not a member of NATO and does not receive Article 5 protections from the alliance, Defense One reported. But the country does receive regular rotations of US troops and sales of weapons to bolster its self-defense. 

Taiwan is recognized by the Taiwan Relations Act, under which the US provides weapons and training to Taiwan so it too can defend itself. But neither is guaranteed US military protection in case of an attack.

The US, meanwhile, plans to channel US$7.1 billion in defence spending to the Indo-Pacific region in the next financial year, the South China Morning Post reported.

It is turning its entire military might — the Navy, Marines, the Air Force and the Army — toward the Indo-Pacific theater. Even the CIA is following suit, with the creation of a new China mandate, abandoning its Bush-era war on terror.

Zhao Tong, a senior fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy in Beijing, told the SCMP the funding indicated the US was determined to confront China head-on.

“Beijing is driven by its goals for national rejuvenation and Washington understands that it’s impossible for them to change China’s political mindset, which is counter to the one recognized by the Western world,” Zhao said.

The winds for a perfect storm are howling in both Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific just as the Biden administration is reeling from the effects of a chaotic withdrawal from a 20-year war in Afghanistan and a persistent pandemic that has exacerbated sharp political divides at home, Newsweek reported.

“This is a time when democracies are being challenged — some being challenged from within, others being challenged from without,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe press conference. 

“And there is a contest between autocracies and democracies, and as President Biden has spoken to on numerous occasions, that is a fundamental contest of our time.”

That might be the diplomatic view, but two against one was never a fair fight.

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

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MAKICHUK: Secret war: China, US in AI tech dogfight

“It is the future of combat.”

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A war is being waged — but nobody is getting killed or injured and nobody really knows much about it, except for the insiders.

It is without doubt that artificial intelligence, or AI, is the foundation of China’s People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) mission to become a world-class military, capable of rivalling its main adversary, the United States.

It is the future of combat.

Unveiled in 2017, Beijing’s New Generation AI Development Plan established China’s goal to become “the world leader” in AI by 2030 — and this obviously extends to military affairs.

In a major development in this field, for the first time on record earlier this year, an artificial intelligence system reportedly beat one of the PLA’s top fighter pilots in a simulated dogfight, according to a report by research analyst Ryan Fedasiuk for Breaking Defense

Chinese state media outlet, The Global Times, hailed it as a watershed moment in the country’s military modernization. 

An aviation brigade affiliated with the PLA Central Theater Command Air Force held a training simulation in early summer in which Fang Guoyu, a group leader of the brigade, was shot down in a mock aerial battle against an AI aircraft in a simulator, the PLA Daily reported.

“The AI has shown adept flight control skills and errorless tactical decisions, making it a valuable opponent to hone our capabilities,” Du Jianfeng, commander of the brigade, was quoted as saying. 

But almost as significant was the fact that it came just months after the US military had achieved the same milestone.

In a 5 to 0 sweep, an “AI pilot” developed by Heron Systems beat one of the Air Force’s top F-16 fighter pilots in a simulated aerial dogfight contest held by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) .

The three-day trials showed that AI systems can maneuver an aircraft in a simple, one-on-one combat scenario and shoot its forward guns in a classic World War Two-style dogfight.

For years, experts have written of China’s plan to wield AI for battlefield advantage but cited US advantages in hardware and workforce development as sources of US strength.

As tensions mount between the US and China, and some experts warn of an impending crisis over Taiwan — China claims the democratic island nation as its own under the “One China” policy — US policymakers and defense planners are faced with the challenge of taking steps to defend the United States’ edge.

This past week, H-6J strategic bombers armed with anti-ship missiles practiced “island bombing” as the PLA Navy (PLAN), projected its nascent power in the disputed South China Sea.

More broadly, China appears on the edge of joining the tiny group of states that possess a nuclear triad.

According to a Department of Defense report, Beijing has accelerated its nuclear expansion, which may enable the China to have up to “700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027 and likely intends to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030.”

On top of that, China “is building hundreds of new ICBM silos, and is on the cusp of a large silo-based ICBM force expansion comparable to those undertaken by other major powers.”

China’s navy, the PLAN, is now larger than that of the United States Naval forces, by a large margin — and getting stronger and more powerful by the day.

Meanwhile, China’s efforts to build an “intelligentized” force was recently detailed in a new report for Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), co-authored by Fedasiuk.

Many of the AI projects identified in the study are explicitly focused on degrading and countering systems at the heart of the US military’s Joint Warfighting Concept, using techniques like adaptive radar jamming and vulnerability fuzzing, Fedasiuk writes. 

Research papers from China’s defense universities even discuss using machine learning systems to counter specific US drone swarm projects like Locust and Gremlins.

What’s more, the PLA is backing up its ambitious AI development goals with significant investment. 

Despite the several-hundred-billion-dollar difference in the topline budgets of the US and Chinese militaries, countries are investing about the same amount in AI for military use — in the low billions of dollars each year, Fedasiuk says. 

Between April and December 2020, more than one in 20 public contracts awarded by the PLA’s main service branches were related to AI or “intelligent” equipment. 

In particular, the PLA is investing in AI capabilities meant to jam, blind, and hack the C4ISR systems (Command, Control, Communications, Computers Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) that bind US assets together. 

PLA units and state-backed research institutions have also awarded contracts for “microwave reconnaissance jamming drones” and “electromagnetic weapon” payloads that can be attached to swarms of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and flown into enemy airspace, Fedasiuk says. 

China is clearly not alone in the relentless push for AI weaponization — US technology is also racing ahead and it’s a lead it does not want to relinquish.

This week, for example, US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the service hopes to give the secretive new Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider stealth bomber a drone sidekick.

“The B-21 is a very expensive aircraft. It has a certain payload and range. We’d like to amplify that capability it has to penetrate, which is valuable,” Kendall said during a Defense One event.

The Air Force has floated the idea of a “Loyal Wingman”-style drone that would accompany fighter jets into combat and operate with some level of artificial intelligence. 

The service is developing an autonomy module under the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Skyborg program and has already integrated and flown that system with the uncrewed Kratos UTAP-22 Mako and General Atomics’ MQ-20 Avenger.

But despite the PLA’s significant progress in adopting AI-enabled systems, there are at least two clear vulnerabilities in its blueprint, Fedasiuk points out.

First, while Chinese military leaders plan to exploit weaknesses in US sensor and communication networks, it is not clear how they plan to build resilient, cloud-based networks of their own. 

While the US military is susceptible to information manipulation and data poisoning, the so-called “Achilles’ heel” of the US joint all-domain command and control strategy, in a potential conflict, the PLA itself would also likely struggle to ensure the integrity of data used to train its own AI systems — to say nothing of the inherent fragility of AI-based computer vision and object recognition systems. 

SecondChina’s “intelligentization” strategy is entirely predicated on access to AI chips designed by US companies and manufactured in Taiwan and South Korea. The supply of these high-end microelectronics, however, is far from guaranteed. 

Both the US and its allies have already adopted several measures to starve Chinese military companies of the chips required to train advanced machine learning models.

China’s technology giants have been pushing to develop their own chips, with the goal to become self-reliant in the critical technology.

In reality, China is still a long way off even if it’s one step closer to self-sufficiency.

US Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered some perspective on China’s technological advancements and subsequent rise to power in an interview this week with Breaking Defense.

“If you look at again, 40 years ago, they had zero satellites. Look at what they’ve got today. They had no ICBMs. Look at what they’ve got today. They had no nuclear weapons. Look at what they’ve got today,” he said.

“They had no fourth or fifth generation fighters or even more advanced fighters, back then. Look at what they’ve got today. They had no navy. Look what they have today. 

“They had no sub force. Look at what they have today.

“We’re witnessing, in my view, we’re witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geostrategic power that the world has witnessed.”

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 Calgary correspondent for ChinaFactor.news
makichukd@gmail.com

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

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

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