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SLOBODIAN: Queens shall return in Manitoba

Manitoba politicians – unlike cowardly politicians elsewhere who vote to remove or won’t replace a toppled statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald – won’t let thugs win.

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Questions remain unanswered about hundreds of unmarked graves recently discovered on former residential school sites in Saskatchewan and B.C.

Who is buried there? Are they all children? Are they all indigenous? How did they die? Are these genocidal mass graves? Or graveyards? Or both? 

Some don’t care about answers to critical questions. A couple of hundred of them roam free despite having destroyed statues in Manitoba while police obeyed a stand-down order.

Canadians, including indigenous Canadians, watched in disgust as a mob toppled statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth ll at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg on Canada Day.

The effort to erase allegedly wicked white colonialist symbols using depraved Marxist tactics was in vain.

The queens shall return.

Manitoba politicians – unlike cowardly politicians elsewhere who vote to remove or won’t replace a toppled statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald – won’t let thugs win.

Six Conservative Manitoba MPs and a senator sent a letter to the premier demanding the statues be restored and replaced.

Premier Brian Pallister said it may be in another location, but they’ll be back.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs doesn’t want them back. Not anywhere ever.

The system, that tore 150,000 indigenous children away from their communities over a 100-year span, then subjected many to abuse and neglect, is a shameful stain on Canada’s history. 

Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth ll are not. 

In the letter to Pallister, MPs expressed “shock and dismay,” and condemned the destruction of public property and threat to public safety. 

It called for the statues to be restored and replaced ASAP.

“Vandalism at the Legislature and the burning of places of worship in provinces across Canada are criminal acts contrary to reconciliation,” stated the letter. 

About two dozen Churches have been destroyed or damaged by fire or vandalized across the West.

Raquel Dancho, MP for Kildonan-St. Paul, led the initiative. She understands “most Canadians are reeling’ from the discovery. She also understands the gravity of destroying statues.

“They’re important symbols of our democratic institutions. They represent part of our British history,” Dancho told Western Standard.

“I was very disheartened to see the very destructive, violent actions of a few people to undemocratically, unlawfully and unceremoniously rip down these statues, spit on them, decapitate one and throw it in the river,” said Dancho.

“My concern is if we validate that by not putting them back up, what does that mean for the churches being burned down? If you validate this, you’re giving a green light for this to happen again.” 

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) was displeased that the MPs “took it upon themselves to direct a formal letter” to the premier without consulting First Nations.

Former Grand Chief Arlen Dumas responded with a letter stating he took “great exception” to their demands.

“Replacing these statues with the very same colonial figureheads, whilst bypassing any First Nation engagement or consideration on what statues best teach the history of this province is tone deaf, ignorant and beyond disrespectful,” wrote Dumas.

He didn’t mention the mob or criminal activity. 

“What was our peaceful ‘No Pride in Genocide’ march down the streets of Winnipeg and simultaneous marches throughout the country in solidarity with First Nations for?”

Dumas said the world is demanding reconciliation.

 “So, why would we simply repeat colonial and tragic history by re-erecting the same colonial representations?” wrote Dumas.

Interim AMC Grand Chief Leroy Constant called it “a step back” for reconciliation.

“I think it wrong for them to re-erect the statues,” the chief of York Landing First Nation told Western Standard

Pallister insisted Manitoba’s committed to reconciliation. 

“I want to be very clear, the statues will go back up,” said Pallister, noting those who came to Canada didn’t come to destroy, but to build.

“We need to respect our heritage just as we need to respect one another. Not to find fault. Not to tear down, not to highlight every failure, but rather to realize that we’re a complex country as we’re made up of complex people.” 

There is hope.

Divided as they are on the royal statues; the MPs and the AMC agree that statues of indigenous heroes and leaders must join the lone sculpture of Manitoba founder and Metis leader Louis Riel.

Immediate discussion should start on displaying indigenous culture on Legislative and Parliamentary grounds within the next couple of years, said Dancho.

Constant agreed this would be a “good step” for Manitoba to honour its many indigenous heroes.

“It could go across the board from sports heroes to Elijah Harper. We can look at Tommy Prince. We can look at all these different figures. They all have a really significant place in Manitoba history,” said Constant.

The late politician Harper was a champion of human rights. The late Prince was a war hero. Both survived the residential school system.

All who survived, and those who didn’t, must be remembered with reverence.

“We need to honour these children,” said Constant.

Absolutely. But by building, not tearing down.

Slobodian is a Western Standard columnist based in Manitoba

lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Steven

    July 11, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Manitoba Police obey a “Stand Down Order”?? What the hell??

    Rule of Law in Canada is now subjective to the political classes will. At least now I know what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t behind bars now. Politicians can play the Ace Card to keep themselves out of jail.

    Anyways, Rule of Law in Canada means the politicians keep their damn hands off enforcement & allow the police & court system to do their jobs. Else, we are nothing by a banana republic with a Moron like Trudeau as it’s dictator.

  2. Lee Morrison

    July 11, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    LP: I’d go for honouring Dumont but I’m tired of Riel-worship. Riel’s activities in Manitoba led to creation of the Province of Manitoba, and he would have been honoured of a “father of confederation” if he hadn’t gone along with the stupidity of Thomas Scott’s execution. As leader in the Northwest Rebellion in the Territories he was not only grossly incompetent but nutty as a fruit cake, with immediate responsibility for the relative ease of the Métis defeat.

  3. L P

    July 10, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Did I miss something? Was there a war that we fought and lost overnight by which we are now a subjugated, defeated people that must beg the permission of our conquerors before we may honour or mark our history? I won’t be surprised if our new overlords decree all our statues be torn down to make room for new ones of Gabriel Dumont and Colton Boushie.

  4. Lee Morrison

    July 10, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Since when do the leaders of a small minority have the specific right to be consulted on the nature of public art in a Canadian city? I’m beginning to get sick of the tail wagging the dog. Compared to the herd of vagabonds, lechers and killers that have occupied the British throne in years gone by, Victoria and Elizabeth II stand out as remarkable people deserving of popular recognition.

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Hockey arena backs down on banning unvaccinated kids

Within hours of the Western Standard posting the exclusive story, Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy.

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Public pressure has brought minor hockey out of the penalty box in Cochrane.

Following an exclusive story by the Western Standard on Saturday, along with mounting pressure from the community, a Cochrane sports facility has revamped its vaccine passport policy.  

The Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) and Hockey Alberta were not mandating a vaccine passport system, but Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) announced it would be requiring proof of vaccine status for anyone 12 and up.

Within hours of the story being posted, CMHS President Cory Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy with this statement: “Youth between the ages of 12 (vaccine eligible) to 18 years of age are exempt from the REP vaccination requirement to enter the facility for the purpose of participating in a youth organized sport organization. Examples include (but not limited to) Cochrane Minor Hockey, Ringette, Cochrane Minor Soccer, Lacrosse, Cochrane Figure Skating Club, Comets, Junior Lifeguard Club, etc.”

Although youth may access the facility without being vaccinated, all adult spectators, coaches, volunteers and organizers of any youth activity “must show proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test, or medical exemption to gain entry to SLSFSC premises.”

“Although this helps our kids get on the ice in Cochrane, it’s still an issue at lots of other facilities, especially in larger facilities in Calgary and Airdrie,” Oaten said.

Oaten, who works in the insurance industry, points out the “huge liability issue” this poses to his and other sports organizations.

“Originally, Spray Lakes pushed us to collect this medical documentation from our members,” he said.

The CMHA board consists of 18 volunteer members.

“They can’t put those expectations on a board of volunteers. It’s a big legal issue for us,” Oaten said, adding he and his board refuse to take responsibility for requiring proof of vaccine or the collection of their members’ private medical information.

Oaten was informed the SLSFSC will now have its own security checkpoints set up in the facility and will take responsibility for checking the vaccine status of anyone 18-plus entering the building.

Oaten anticipates families will still pull their kids from hockey and other sports programs as those who remain unvaccinated will not be permitted in the facility to accompany their child.

Hockey Alberta stated on their Facebook page they are working with the Alberta government on how last Wednesday’s announcement will affect hockey for Alberta players. Oaten has asked his members to hold off on making a decision to pull their child from the program until Hockey Alberta comes forward with their updated season plan.

The Western Standard reached out to the SLSFSC for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

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

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Nearly $400 million in commemorative holiday events planned for fed employees only

The Department of Canadian Heritage promises “large-scale commemoration events” for a September 30 holiday for federally regulated employees only.

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It’ll cost hundreds of millions of dollars with federally regulated employees getting ready to party like it’s 2021, all on the public teat.

The Department of Canadian Heritage promises “large-scale commemoration events” for a September 30 holiday for federally regulated employees only.

Blacklock’s Reporter says the holiday will cost $388.9 million, by official estimate.

“The department will collaborate with national organizations for large-scale commemorative events on September 30,” staff wrote in a briefing note. It is the first federal observance of its kind.

The Senate on June 3 passed Bill C-5 An Act To Amend The Bills Of Exchange Act that designates September 30 as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The paid holiday applies only to federal employees including the RCMP and Canadian Armed Forces, and federally-regulated private sector workers at job sites like airports, banks, grain mills, marine shippers, radio stations and railways.

“This new annual statutory holiday on September 30 will ensure public commemoration of the tragic history and legacy of Residential Schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process,” said the briefing note National Day For Truth And Reconciliation. Costs of planned events were estimated at $2.7 million.

Parliament passed the holiday bill without a dissenting vote though senators in final debate questioned its usefulness. “What could long-term, dedicated and stable funding mean for food security, for closing the infrastructure gap which is huge, for finally ending boiled water advisories, for dealing with acute housing shortfalls in Indigenous communities?” asked Senator Dennis Patterson (Nunavut).

“It is hard for me to hear about the hundreds of millions of dollars that will go to provide federal employees a paid day off when I think about how an ongoing commitment of what we have heard today would be $388.9 million per annum for this holiday,” said Patterson.

“It would be an insult to my family members, to my friends and to the memories of those survivors I have lost along the way if this day were to become yet another paid day at the cottage for federal workers,” said Patterson. “It needs to truly be a day of remembrance and learning.”

The Treasury Board said direct costs were $165.9 million in the federal public service. “Most of that is in lost productivity,” Stephen Diotte, executive director of human resources, told the Senate June 3.

“The balance of it is payments required for employees in 24/7 work environments like corrections or Canada Border Services or ships’ crews and officers in the Department of National Defence and Department of Fisheries,” said Diotte.

The $165.9 million figure did not include holiday pay or overtime for Crown corporation employees. “I don’t have those figures,” said Diotte.

The labour department said airlines, marine shippers and other federally-regulated private sector companies would pay another $223 million annually.

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City of Edmonton mandates COVID jabs

The e-mail did not contain what disciplinary actions the city would take against staff who don’t get jabbed.

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City of Edmonton employees have less than a month to get jabbed against COVID-19, officials said in a new mandatory vaccine policy announced Monday.

City Manager Andre Corbould said in an e-mail to all staff they will have to be vaccinated by November 15.

“Last week, I shared the results from the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Disclosure Policy (A1700) with you. The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) used this information to determine if additional steps were necessary to protect you, keep our facilities safe and operational, and stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Corbould.

“According to the disclosure results, 72% of employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In the context of the fourth wave in Alberta and rising cases in our own employees, that level is not high enough to give us confidence that we are minimizing the hazard of COVID-19 in the workplace to the greatest extent possible.

“As a result, the City of Edmonton is introducing a COVID-19 vaccination policy for all City of Edmonton employees effective today, September 20, 2021. All employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after receiving the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine) by Nov. 15, 2021.”

Courbould said he realizes the decision is bound to set off a storm of controversy.

“While I recognize this decision may be difficult for some, I expect everyone to behave respectfully to one another as this decision is implemented. ELT made this decision, not your supervisor. We will not tolerate disrespectful or abusive behaviour or communications,” he wrote.

“This is a significant step for our organization, and an essential safety measure for keeping our workplaces safe.”

The e-mail did not contain what disciplinary actions the city would take against staff who don’t get jabbed.

Earlier this month, the City of Calgary also instituted a mandatory vaccination requirement.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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