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Sun-seeking, absentee MLA back in the UCP caucus

Rehn was one of numerous UCP snowbird MLAs who jetted out of the province over the holidays tweeting a picture of himself from a cave in Mexico, one of the moves that kicked off the entire scandal.

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Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn is being welcomed back into the UCP fold.

He was punted from caucus in January after fleeing the chilly climes of Alberta for some sun and sand in Mexico at a time when the rest of the province was shut down from COVID-19, with a travel advisory over everyone’s head.

Before the UCP Snowbird Scandal, Rehn was already in trouble with some of his constituents – with the mayor and entire council of Slave Lake calling on their MLA to resign in an open letter.

Rehn was one of numerous UCP snowbird MLAs who jetted out of the province over the holidays tweeting a picture of himself from a cave in Mexico, one of the moves that kicked off the entire scandal.

Kenney’s letter at the time stated he fired Rehn and that he will not be allowed to seek a UCP nomination in the future, however, the UCP constitution states that removal from caucus is a power for the caucus as a whole, not the leader, and that disqualification for a nomination must be made by the party, not the leader alone.

Kenney’s statement did not cite the Snowbird Scandal as a contributing reason for his removal, only that he was absent from his constituency.

He said Rehn “has made no meaningful effort to be more present in his constituency or to properly represent his hard-working constituents.”

Kenney said Rehn had “ignored” calls to be more present in Slave Lake.

But UCP Caucus Chair Nathan Neudorf said Rehn has worked “tirelessly to rebuild trust with local families, businesses, elected officials and indigenous leaders.”

Neudorf said caucus was presented with letters of support – including from several municipalities and the Lesser Slave Lake Constituency Association – requesting Rehn be allowed to rejoin caucus.

“Pat has been doing an incredible amount of work to rebuild trust and get things done in his constituency. He has learned to apply the skills that made him so successful in business to his job as MLA, and he has reminded all of us why he was elected in the first place,” Neudorf said.

Rehn said: “The past six months have been eye-opening to me, as I worked to regain the trust and confidence of my constituents. It was clear that I was not living up to expectations in representing Lesser Slave Lake, and for that I am sorry.

“I am humbled that people are willing to give me a second chance, and I will not let them down.”

In a withering letter to Rehn in January, the Slave Lake council alleged a litany of problems they have had with him.

The town, with a population of 6,500, 255 km northeast of Edmonton, made public a laundry list of complaints against Rehn, including missed meetings and failure to represent the area for economic development.

They claim Rehn, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake, doesn’t even live in Alberta (or Canada), saying he resides in Texas.

“When COVID-19 began and the Canadian government said Canadians need to get home, you were in the United States. Since that time, you have made multiple trips abroad. In fact, right now, as our businesses suffer and many of our people aren’t working, you still aren’t here.,” said the letter signed by Mayor Tyler Warman and six other councilors

In fact, the council claims the UCP government was aware of Rehn’s performance and had asked other MLAs to pick up his work.

In the letter, the council alleged the following problems with Rehn:

•    Shortly after you were elected MLA, you decided to no longer reside in the constituency.

•    Lack of time spent in the constituency engaging with residents and elected leaders. In fact, you have yet to even meet with some of the region’s elected leaders.

•    Since your election, you have spent more physical time managing your business in Texas than being physically present in our Region.

•    Multiple missed meetings and lack of preparation for meetings that do happen.

•    Missing a meeting with local leaders and the justice minister (regarding a spike in local crime) so you could attend an oilfield expo in Fort McMurray for your business.

•    Missed a meeting with the housing minister for a $4 million housing project that has been years in the works, but again, you could not be bothered to show up on our behalf to help move the project forward. This meeting was scheduled by your government.

The council’s note concludes “we have an MLA that does not represent the people of this region. This lack of representation can be directly attributed to the fact that you don’t reside here, spend little time here, and have failed to “know” the people you represent. 

“As such, we have lost faith that you have the ability and the desire to undertake the work which is required of an MLA. On behalf of the Town of Slave Lake and those we represent, we are asking for your resignation as MLA for the Lesser Slave Lake constituency.”

Rehn put up a Facebook statement defending himself.

“It’s disappointing to see some municipal officials seizing on this to try and sow political division at this difficult time,” Rehn wrote

“To be clear, I have residences in Slave Lake and Edmonton. I do not own any property in Texas whatsoever. Yes, I do continue to own businesses; businesses that are fully disclosed and compliant with Alberta’s Ethics Commissioner. And yes, I have needed to travel to Texas within the past year to address essential business matters.

“I, of course, complied with all health requirements when doing so. It is the honour of a lifetime to represent a region I have lived and worked in since I bought my first quarter-section of trees and also my first sawmill in Wabasca using every penny I had in the bank. I will continue representing Lesser Slave Lake, the region I love and call home.”

The full letter from Slave Lake council can be found here.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby769

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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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Claudette Leece

    July 16, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Sounds like someone you want to represent you, another loser UCP,like Garth Roswell, he’s so silent, ten people in town couldn’t name him. Must of been slim pickingwhen election was held. But good old Kenney has suchaforgivi g heart,unless your a pastor, then it’s hell for you.

  2. Steven

    July 15, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    15 July 2021 at 5 pm CTV Calgary had a segment on this. It’s a numbers game ??

    Turns out former Prime Minister Harper has been advising the UCP. Turns out that with four kicked out former UCP members sitting as independents. It would only take one more to get the boot or quit to shift the balance of power. Looks like Premier Kenney is indeed in the back pocket of the CPC & controlled by the CPC headshop. Prove me wrong. Autonomy for Alberta? Not under Kenney.

    I am quite sure now that leaving the UCP to join the WIPA was a very good move.

  3. Left Coast

    July 15, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Rehn thinks he is a “Chief” . . . condo in Texas while collecting a salary in Canada.

  4. Westcanguy

    July 14, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    Another fine example of why Kenney is such a weak leader. I expect they will lose that seat.

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News

Truckers: ‘We are not separatists or terrorists’

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks-alone- going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks.

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Truckers on the Freedom Convoy are rejecting characterizations they are “separatists” and “terrorists.”

“A small team of Alberta truckers, their family members and friends, came to the decision that the Government of Canada has crossed a line with implementing COVID-19 vaccine passports and vaccine mandates. As of today, we now have the support of millions of Canadians from across the country,” group organizers said in a press release.

Demands from the Freedom Convoy to the federal government are:

  • Terminate all vaccine passports, including inter-Canada passport systems.
  • Eliminate mandatory programs of vaccination and contact tracing.
  • Respect the rights of those who wish to remain unvaccinated.
  • Cease the divisive rhetoric attacking Canadians who disagree with government mandates.
  • Cease limiting debate through coercive measures with the goal of censoring those who have varying or incorrect opinions.

“A unified and free Canada can be our future, and it starts now with reminding the government they serve the people,” stated the truckers.

“We have an opportunity for all of us to come together irrespective of our differences and do what is needed to ensure our freedoms are protected now and for future generations.

Statements claiming the convoy participants are ‘separatists’ or ‘terrorists’ are “categorically false and an attempt to smear” the movement, organizers said.

“It is saddening this kind of rhetoric is coming from Prime Minister Trudeau and his government. Instead of protecting our basic freedoms outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Justin and his government seek to do the opposite. He is continually issuing defamatory comments and maligning large segments of the population. If history has taught us anything, these are actions that cannot be ignored. We are peaceful, hard-working Canadians who love our country and want the betterment for all Canadians.”

The organizers said due to the mass support of the movement, they can no longer guarantee the average Canadian will not be disrupted by the protest.

“For that, we are truly sorry, and we will do our very best to limit the disruptions to your lives. We ask that Canadians remember we are fighting for everyone’s freedoms and it’s the political class that has abandoned us all,” said the release.

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks. One driver going the opposite direction told the Western Standard he measured the convoy at 100-km long as it approached Winnipeg.

Some supporters are unable to commit to the whole trip, but are finding ways to still participate.

“A lot of vehicles just join the parade while it’s close to their homes and then peel off later, so it’s dynamic,” Martin Halvorson, a driver in the convoy, told the Western Standard.

“The amount of people is unknown because we are not counting … The numbers are big,” convoy organizer, Andy Draaistra, told the Western Standard.

“All the support is unbelievable, we hope the overpasses will hold the tons of people,” said Draaistra.

via risex100, Twitter
Via Basia Porter, Twitter

The protest is against federal COVID-19 mandates and is scheduled to arrive in Ottawa January 30 and then hold a mass demonstration the next day, Monday, when Parliament reumes.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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News

China changes Fight Club ending to cops busting anarchists

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

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The classic film Fight Club has been changed for viewers in China, with a ‘happy ending’ that complies with domestic censorship rules.

An altered version of the 1999 film was released on streaming platform Tencent Video in China over the weekend.

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

Many in China had seen the original film pirated online and were surprised when streaming the newly released version.

Instead of buildings exploding at the end, the version shows authorities step in and win. 

Original closing scene of Fight Club

In the closing scenes of the original the narrator kills off his imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden and then watches multiple buildings explode with Marla Singer, suggesting his character’s plan to bring down modern civilization is underway.

In the censored version released in China, the narrator still kills off Durden, but the exploding buildings scene is replaced with a written message on black screen.

“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding.”

As well as Tyler, figment of the narrator’s imagination was sent to a ‘lunatic asylum’ for psychological treatment and later discharged.

Revised ending to Fight Club

China is home to some of the strictest rules regarding censorship, and only a handful of foreign films are released each year.

In the past Hollywood has created alternative cuts in order to comply with Chinese censorship rules, in hopes to access millions of viewers in the country.

It is unclear if the cut was made by western movie producers, or the Chinese government.

Tencent did not comment on the matter.

Authorities under President Xi Jinping have been working to eliminate society of influences classified as unhealthy, including within movies, television, computer games.

This effort was also extended to cracking down on the country’s local celebrities for perceived immoral behaviour.

The Cyberspace Administration of China announced earlier this week an organized month-long ‘clean’ web campaign to create a ‘civilized and healthy’ online atmosphere.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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News

Butt launches Twitter tirade on Scheer for supporting truckers

“It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened?”

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The former top aide to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has launched a Twitter broadside against former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer after he supported the truckers’ convoy rolling across Canada to protest vaccine mandates.

“Thank you Truckers! Trudeau is attacking personal liberty and threatening everyone’s ability to get groceries because of his overreach on vaccine mandates. He is the biggest threat to freedom in Canada,” Scheer tweeted.

Scheer tweet

That was enough to set Butts off.

“A breathtakingly irresponsible thing for a former Leader of the Opposition to say. Calling the prime minister — any prime minister — the biggest threat to Canadian liberty? This isn’t a dog whistle. It’s a welcome mat,” he tweeted.

“Politics is a rough business and not for the thin of skin or faint of heart. But the people in these enormously important offices have to respect those offices, even if they don’t like each other.”

Butts tweet

In a later tweet, Butts said: “Have been thinking about Mr Scheer’s comments all day. It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened? I almost wish I were a Conservative, so I could fight for my party’s soul.”

On the weekend, Butts took a run at organizer Tamara Lich in an attempt to cast doubt on the integrity of Convoy For Freedom 2022.

“An Alberta separatist has collected almost a million bucks on a GoFundMe page to ‘support’ trucker protests. Where will the money go?” asked Butts in a tweet. 

More than $4.5 million has been raised to date as thousands of truckers are expected to descend on Ottawa this weekend.

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