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Paul Hinman wins WIP leadership

Hinman took 92.7% of the ballots cast in a yes or no vote.

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The Wildrose Independence Party has a new leader – Paul Hinman.

Hinman took 92.7% of the ballots cast in a yes or no vote.

Hinman was the founding leader of the old provincial Wildrose and was been a longtime MLA.

Hinman was the only candidate running for the leadership but it is not enough to be uncontested — to win one must possess 50 percent of the vote plus one to be confirmed as the new leader. Hinman has been the interim leader of the WIP since July 17 2020 but this win marks his official debut as party leader.

The results were better than Hinman expected, and hopefully situates him and the WIP for what he hopes to be “a massive win for Alberta in 2023.”

“There’s two things that you worry about — one that you’re kind of lukewarm, 60 or 70%, and two is that only a few hundred people show up to vote. I was extremely pleased with the 1,651 votes and 93% support. It’s invigorating, and really allows a person to go out there and represent those people that voted for you,” he said Wednesday.

Hinman has big goals for the WIP moving forward – to incorporate constituency associations into a more prominent role by connecting with more people and wants to show Albertans they can and should demand better from their federal leadership.

After a troubling COVID-19 filled season, Hinman is looking forward to interacting with people face to face again.

“It just goes to show how much Albertans want to change and realize that the status quo is to our demise,” he said.

Three of Hinman’s biggest goals for himself and the party are the protection of individual rights, the restriction and shrinking of government, and an increased focus on transparency and accountability in government. Hinman plans to run his party by being “transparent, with the books open and competitive bidding for government things.”

“It’s about good government, accountability, protecting the individual, and restraining the size and growth of government — which is what we’ve been focused on for the last year,” he said.

Sovereignty has also been a major sticking point for Hinman and the WIP. He said he’s looking forward to a potential sovereignist movement encompassing not only Alberta but most of Western Canada.

“In order to become a sovereign nation, it has to be done province by province. I certainly see Saskatchewan and BC wanting to join us, possibly Manitoba. I would hope that we can bring on the Yukon, the Northwest territories,” he said.

“I see a sovereign and free Western Canada down the future, but Alberta will have to lead and be the first one to take those steps before it’ll give confidence to other groups.”

Hinman says that although equalization is typically at the forefront of most Alberta-centric discussions, he believes it is a red herring for some of the more pressing issues facing Alberta — namely getting products such as oil to the national and global markets in an efficient way. The main focus of the WIP according to Hinman is not so much equalization as sovereignty.

“Equalization is kind of a red herring in the group in that it’s a small part of the problem, but it isn’t the problem. The NDP and the UCP act and talk like equalization is the problem… Environmental oppression that we have here in Alberta here from Ottawa is the problem,” he said.

“The fact they won’t allow us to have our constitutional rights to get our products to tidewater is the problem… The equalization is just such a small part of the overall problem, it just isn’t where we’re focused on. We’re focused on becoming a sovereign nation, that’s the only hope we have in the future.

“Just the size of the debt that Canada has taken on and pretty much doubled in the last year and going to carry on this year is unsurmountable for Albertans.”

According to Hinman, Alberta needs to focus internally rather than engaging with Ottawa as most of what our current government is moving towards is “not in Alberta’s best interests.”

“The federal government as a whole. They vote to oppress us to basically shut down our business our lifestyle. The antagonism towards Alberta is incredible to me. Those that aren’t antagonistic towards us are ambivalent to what’s going on,” he said.

“This is characteristic in broken and dysfunctional relationships — other people stand by and they don’t see it. It’s the same with bullying. You can say it’s wrong, but then when you put names to it or you’re there you look the other way quickly.”

Hinman pointed out the consistent hypocrisy of the eastern attacks against the Alberta oil industry.

“We have a bunch of hypocrites out east that think that it’s fine to dump sewage and fly all over the world in their private jets, they’re happy to buy oil from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria, but somehow they see us as the demons of the world when in fact they’re using it always,” he said.

“These so-called ‘environmentalists’ — these hypocrites — they use it, but they tell us that we can’t have it. They want to shut down Alberta, and the reason I believe it is is the animosity and the jealousy. They think nothing of buying oil from Saudi Arabia but won’t buy ours.”

Specifically speaking about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Hinman said he believes Trudeau is looking to put in place a public policy to benefit him personally.

“Our prime minister has said that he wants to take advantage of the COVID, to shoot towards the global reset. He wants to be able to — I believe — declare bankruptcy, and to come under the thumb of the International Monetary Fund the World Economic Forum. All of those things are his agenda and that’s not in Alberta’s best interests. Our only hope is to get out,” he said.

“We can’t be contributing to Ottawa, and Ottawa thinking that we are the ones that are going to pay off that debt. Canada is the titanic, it’s hit the iceberg, and our captain is declaring that the ship is unsinkable.”

Hinman’s main goal for himself and his party — especially if given the chance to form the Alberta he wants — “would be a sovereign, free [Albertan] nation.”

Hinman specified he prefers to use the term “sovereign” as opposed to “independent” because independence isn’t enough anymore.

“The big goal is to exercise our full autonomy, to have our own tax Alberta revenue agency, to have our own police force, our own pension plan, our own employment insurance plan, our own immigration policies,” he said.

“Most important, to be governed by our own environmental act and then to exercise that full autonomy from Ottawa and then allow Albertans to vote for sovereignty. That we can be prosperous and free and have something to hand down to our children and grandchildren.”

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

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Dmitry Orion Ford

    July 15, 2021 at 9:33 am

    The emphasis MUST be on INDEPENDENCE. The Reform party emphasized Unity, and it FAIED! This is Alberta’s ONLY path Forward!

  2. Baron Not Baron

    July 14, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    Excellent news !!!

    WILDROSE INDEPENDENCE PARTY OF ALBERTA !!

  3. Steven

    July 14, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    Paul Hinman will make a far better Alberta Premier then Jason Kenney, far better.

    Congratulations !!

  4. Kyle MacPherson

    July 14, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
    “You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.” “There is a point beyond which they must not advance.”
    “We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”
    -Ronald REAGAN

  5. Andrew

    July 14, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    Welcome back to the team Paul!

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Loophole benching minor hockey in Cochrane

Within hours of sending out the e-mail, Oaten confirmed between 30 and 40 kids had withdrawn from the program.

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Although new restrictions announced this week allow for recreational sports to continue for youth under 18 without proof of vaccination, one minor detail is benching minor hockey players in Cochrane.

Thursday morning, Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) President Cory Oaten, was sent an e-mail from Hockey Alberta stating: “…based on Hockey Alberta’s interpretation of current information, minor hockey games and practices can continue, subject to the updated temporary measures that came into effect at 12:01 am this morning.”

However, Friday morning, Oaten was notified by his local facility, Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, it would be requiring proof of vaccination for those 12 and older entering the building.

That morning Oaten notified families registered with CMHA of the new requirement and included a provided statement from the facility and assured families the decision was not that of Hockey Alberta or CMHA.

“… all persons entering the Cochrane Arena or SLSFSC (ages 12+) must show proof of full vaccination, proof of a single dose as long as the dose was given more than two weeks ago, a negative test result or a medical doctor approved medical exemption.”

“Tonnes of kids are withdrawing,” Oaten said.

Within hours of sending out the e-mail, Oaten confirmed between 30 and 40 kids had withdrawn from the program.

“I’m not against the vaccines, but I’m pro-choice,” Oaten said.

The Western Standard spoke with one father who pulled his CMHA player as a result of the facility mandates. He requested to remain anonymous.

“Obviously the government is just passing the buck on this and it’s the businesses that are going to take the brunt,” he said.

A father of four children under the age of 12, he was also in line to coach his son’s team, but will not be permitted inside as he is not vaccinated.  

“We’re not the type of parents that are just going to drop our kids off at a facility and leave them unsupervised,” he said, adding those decisions effectively ended his kids’ participation in CMHA’s sports programs.

He said he also has concerns for the liability involved with those businesses being ill-equipped to manage peoples’ sensitive health records.

“Forget the legality of all this. Morally, we just can’t support businesses that take this approach.”

Alberta Country Singer and former health care worker at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Paul Brandt, took to Facebook on Friday to express his thoughts on the vaccine passport issue.  

Facebook post

“I want to be clear, I am not against vaccines,” his post confirms. “What is troubling to me is this: Why aren’t people who have had COVID and recovered being included in the conversation?”

Brandt’s son is a CMHA player. Both have recovered from COVID-19.

“Why are we not being recognized as people who have adequate immunity?

As of today, my son has also been told by the arena that hosts his hockey association he will not be allowed to participate in sports unless he is vaccinated—even though he has immunity to COVID-19, and is of no greater risk to his peers than anyone else.”

Oaten pointed out that players who have yet to be vaccinated will be eliminated from the important tryouts happening now and, because of wait times between doses and the 14-day waiting period to be considered fully vaccinated, many will miss a chunk of the season.

“It’s about the kids,” said an emotional Oaten.

“What makes me upset is kids are going to have to quit hockey because they don’t want to have to choose a medical procedure in order to play.”

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

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WS EXCLUSIVE: UCP vice-president calls for emergency meeting to initiate leadership review

“I think we need to carefully consider the option of initiating a leadership review. I believe the future of our party may be at stake.”

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The Western Standard has obtained an email from the vice-president (policy) of Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) calling for an emergency meeting of the province-wide board of directors to discuss a leadership review of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Joel Mullan e-mailed the party’s board of directors at 8:33 pm MST September 17, under the subject line “Leadership review—request for meeting.”

“In light of events this past week, I believe we should meet and therefore request a meeting,” wrote Mullan.

“Specifically, I think we need to carefully consider the option of initiating a leadership review. I believe the future of our party may be at stake.”

The Western Standard spoke to a member of the party’s board of directors who received the e-mail who said—on condition of anonymity—a timely review of Kenney’s leadership has “become inevitable.”

As of publishing it’s not known if the request for an emergency meeting has been accepted by party president Ryan Becker or the board at large.

One day before, the Western Standard reported the UCP constituency association (CA) in Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills voted almost unanimously to trigger a prompt leadership review of Kenney.

The party currently has a review scheduled for late 2022, but that could be within six months of the next election, and for local CA president Robert Smith, that’s not good enough.

By a vote of 27-1, the CA’s board voted to send a letter to the party demanding a review before that as soon as possible, but before next March, said Smith.

“We would love for it to happen tomorrow,” Smith told the Western Standard.

“In talking to people, mainly rural people, it’s fair to say we have no confidence in the premier.”

While the letter was sent on the heels of controversial new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions introduced by Kenney—including the imposition of a vaccine passport—Smith stressed the letter wasn’t as a result of that, but had been brewing for months.

But he said those restrictions could help the momentum to reach the mark of 22 ridings needed to spark a leadership review.

Smith said he gets a sense in talking to other constituency association leaders “critical mass of 22 ridings could have been reached now.

“I feel confident in saying that target can now be met. I’m surprised it hasn’t been met before,” he said.

Clockwise, Jason Nixon, Tyler Shandro, Jason Kenney, Travis Toews, and an unidentified guest on the rooftop patio of the “Sky Palace”

One of the biggest concerns for the board was when the now infamous pictures f Kenney holding an outdoor dinner on the balcony of the “Sky Palace”—in contravention of the government’s of laws, regulations, and guidelines—were published.

“The entitlement and the double standard incensed the board,” said Smith.

In April, a UCP MLA told the Western Standard they are “100% certain” Kenney will be the subject of an early party leadership review.

“Caucus is in total chaos,” said the MLA, who spoke with the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity.

The Western Standard reported earlier there are at least eight ridings now on board for a review.

Even earlier this week there were signs of dissension with the UCP Caucus.

During a tense meeting of caucus Tuesday, three MLAs told Kenney they had “no confidence” in his continued premiership of the province and leadership of the party, multiple sources told the Western Standard.

Sources inside of the caucus told the Western Standard the emergency meeting saw sharp polarization around the issues of putting the province under another lockdown, a potential mandatory vaccine passport, and firing healthcare workers who did not agree to be vaccinated.

According to the MLAs who attended the caucus meeting, three MLAs openly told Kenney they had “no confidence” in him, and several others implied as much using softer language.

The sources all gave the same three names, but none of the three MLAs responded to request for comment or confirmation from the Western Standard.

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THOMSON: An Alberta solution to the drug poisoning crisis

A regulated drug supply is the best deal on offer to shrink public health costs and enforcement budgets and repossess the drug market from organized crime syndicates, while creating good jobs and preserving the lives of thousands of working-age Albertans.

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Dr. Euan Thomson is an entrepreneur, scientist and director of EACH+EVERY, a coalition of over 100 Alberta businesses calling for policy action to end the overdose crisis.

Drug poisoning is the leading cause of death among working-age Albertans, claiming more than 1,800 Albertan lives since the beginning of 2020. Almost all of these people were between the ages of 15 and 60, and people in the trades are vastly overrepresented.

These tragedies are more accurately called poisonings because people typically cannot be certain what they’re taking when they consume illegal drugs. Surviving through an unregulated drug supply is its own small miracle, particularly as elephant-strength synthetic opioids like carfentanil now slip through our sieve-like borders.

Let’s face it: synthetic opioids have extinguished any hope of “winning” the war on drugs, given the entire 2016 American fentanyl supply could fit into a dozen oil drums.

Albertans are free thinkers, and this crisis calls for a made-in-Alberta solution that centres personal autonomy, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility, and a healthy irreverence toward federal power. A century into drug prohibition with nothing to show but accelerating body counts, it is time to regain control through a regulated market.

The idea that in a regulated market, we would walk into corner stores and find crystal meth between the Mentos and Tic Tacs would be laughable if it wasn’t so widely cited. For experimenting adolescents, alcohol is at least as hard to obtain as illegal drugs precisely because its access is controlled—a distinction that also encourages open conversations and harm reduction measures. We can implement regulatory barriers as needed to keep kids safe, but only once we control the supply. For adults, the question is much simpler: shouldn’t we be allowed to put what we want in our bodies?

Decriminalization is the first step toward a legal market. Since decriminalizing drugs 20 years ago, Portugal has among the lowest youth drug use rates in Europe and effectively left its drug poisoning crisis behind. Our federal parties are short on details around their vision for ending Canada’s crisis, but the Western Standard Editorial Board recently gave the federal NDP’s platform section on drug policy the only A-grade for endorsing decriminalization and other measures emphasizing personal autonomy and freedom from harassment by authorities. (For the record, it was one of the only high-scoring parts of the NDP platform from the Western Standard.)

It turns out, people across the political spectrum agree after a hundred years, criminalization has failed to even slow down drug use, let alone end it.

While personal autonomy and market philosophy are intuitive drug policy cornerstones, the fiscal argument is at least as compelling. The Cato Institute reports ending the War on Drugs would eliminate $27 billion USD a year from American enforcement budgets and siphon $40 billion a year from organized crime. For Canada, this translates to billions cut from our enforcement, judicial and incarceration balance sheet and billions added to taxable sales. Meanwhile, reducing hospital visits due to drug poisonings could single-handedly solve the chronic ambulance shortages squeezing our emergency response capacity.

A regulated drug supply is the best deal on offer to shrink public health costs and enforcement budgets and repossess the drug market from organized crime syndicates, while creating good jobs and preserving the lives of thousands of working-age Albertans.

How can we propel this plan against the drag of federal inaction?

First, set up a province-wide exemption from Section 56 of the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to abolish police enforcement of drug possession laws.

Next, support Albertan pilot projects to prescribe safe supply options to encourage more widespread access and choke off the demand for a street supply. Non-profit compassion clubs would cover those who cannot afford their prescriptions, as we saw during cannabis prohibition.

Finally, establish the first provincial Section 55 exemption to allow for drug manufacturing and distribution here at home, a move that would instantly benefit a Lethbridge-based operation and their partners in the nearby Blood Tribe. Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis already looks after compliance for legal drugs; we can apply similar stringency around labelling on the new products so people know what they’re taking.

Then watch as other provinces struggling with the same crisis adopt this updated, evidence-based Alberta Model; one that aligns compassion for people who use drugs with core values shared by so many in this province: personal autonomy, free enterprise, and fiscal responsibility.

While we’re at it, we can thumb our collective nose at a century of bad federal policy—all together, on brand for Alberta.

Tell your local federal and municipal candidates, as well as your provincial MLA, you want to see your values reflected in our drug policies.

Dr. Euan Thomson is an entrepreneur, scientist and director of EACH+EVERY, a coalition of over 100 Alberta businesses calling for policy action to end the overdose crisis.


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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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