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Jean says new centrist party needed in Alberta

Jean went on a lengthy Twitterthon Thursday calling out Premier Jason Kenney and NDP leader Rachel Notley.




Alberta needs a provincial party like its neighbours to the east have – the Saskatchewan Party.

Former Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean went on a lengthy Twitterthon Thursday calling out Premier Jason Kenney and NDP leader Rachel Notley.

“ALBERTA NEEDS SOMETHING LIKE THE SASKATCHEWAN PARTY Either the UCP changes to meet this need, or…” Jean started his 23-tweet rant.

“Politics in Alberta isn’t working and Albertans are suffering because of it. We’ve lurched from right to far left, back to far right, and now we’re headed to another NDP majority in a little more than 20 months.

“The UCP government’s leadership and its key activists seem blinded by their loathing of the NDP and treat anyone as an enemy who doesn’t blindly cheerlead for Jason Kenney on every single decision.

“The NDP and its supporters return this blind anger with gusto. Notley’s NDP vocally caters to special interests, public sector union bosses, and radical downtown urbanites. Notley the opposition leader is much less moderate than Notley the Premier ever was. That’s worrying.

“Our politics needs to change to get past this mess. Sadly, both the UCP & NDP have lost the plot. Albertans want their politicians and political parties to care as much about Albertans, as Albertans care about each other. Alberta needs something like the Saskatchewan Party.”

The Saskatchewan Party is a centre-right political party. Since 2007, it has been the province’s governing party; both the party and the province are currently led by Premier Scott Moe. 

“Alberta needs a party that cares about and values Albertans, and cares about and values our communities. Both. At the same time. Alberta needs something like the Saskatchewan Party,” Jean continued.

“While our politicians are stuck dwelling on old animosities, Alberta’s people and places, and the people who make those places special, are feeling ignored.”

“It doesn’t have to be this way. It wasn’t this way when small town conservatives and small town liberals created the Saskatchewan Party to deal with Saskatchewan’s failed politics.

“The Saskatchewan Party was set up to value free enterprise while also understanding that protecting Saskatchewan’s towns and communities is a central part of its mission.

“Getting this balance right is so important, and to his credit, Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall did this very well. Wall ran a government that found a way to put both these equally important caring objectives to work in the service of the people of his province.”

Wall served as premier from Nov. 21, 2007 until Feb. 2, 2018.

“Wall’s government listened to its caucus and cabinet and understood the needs of its citizens. Wall led a less ideological, less angry government than we had in Alberta or in Ottawa. Wall’s government changed Saskatchewan for the better,” Jean tweeted.

“If a party cares about people, it respects their individuality, and their sense of responsibility. It understands that capable, committed, responsible individuals are important for creating prosperity. It values how hard work or entrepreneurial spirit can create success.

“And, if simultaneously, a party cares about communities it understands that rugged individualism isn’t enough. People find meaning in community. We care about the places we are from. We care about the people we work with.

“We care about those who dedicate their lives to serving others. Albertans want each other to succeed. When a party recognizes that communities matter deeply, it understands that people want to invest in their communities and in the people that make those communities great.

“When a party understands these things, it opens the door to doing things differently. To reject how the angry left and the angry right are currently doing things. This opens the door to inviting people to vote FOR things rather than voting AGAINST things.

“It brings us closer to the politics of Lougheed and Klein, who respected their opponents and worked on reminding Albertans that we had to work together to solve our common problems.

“Never forget that when the Klein government turned the corner on Alberta’s finances, they did so by working with all Albertans and by enacting a plan that was fundamentally identical to that of Laurence Decore’s Alberta Liberals.

“Klein invited our public sector workers to join him in acting on the mandate that Albertans had given him. He emphasized that Alberta’s problems were faced by ALL Albertans and would have to be solved by ALL Albertans.

“A similar path to a civilized and caring politics is available to Albertans today. Like in 1993, reasonable people can agree that we have problems which need to be solved. If we work together to solve them, we can make progress.

“And, we can do so in a way that values individual Albertans but also cares about and protects their communities. The policy solutions Albertans need are available if we can change our political approach. If we can get a govt that makes caring rather than anger its focus.

“This is the path to fixing our politics. The UCP can and should still become this type of party. If it doesn’t, Albertans will need to create one.

“Albertans are facing significant challenges. Alberta can’t achieve its promise if our politics is dominated by blind rancour and bad manners. To succeed, we will need a political approach that emphasizes what Albertans have in common.

“We will need an approach that pushes us to work together, rather than pulls us apart. Alberta needs something like the Saskatchewan Party.”

Jean was leader of the Wildrose Party when it merged with the Progressive Conservatives to form the United Conservative party of Alberta. He ran, but lost to Kenney in the subsequent leadership race.

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. Pamela Bridger

    August 20, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    I do agree that a new path forward will be required because the political polarization isn’t healthy for our long term well-being. But creating umpteen political parties isn’t the solution. Getting rid of Statists and electing people who value libertarian principles is the way Alberta will succeed and show the way for others.

  2. Joell Haugan

    August 20, 2021 at 11:37 am

    The Sask Party lost the plot during the lockdowns and starting looking like red tories. Very disheartening. They have been captured by the left even though their supporters are firmly on the right.

  3. Dennis

    August 20, 2021 at 9:10 am

    Brian Jean, we already have that party you speak of. You are quoting from the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.

  4. Andrew Red Deer

    August 20, 2021 at 7:37 am

    We need another party like a hole in the head. We just need FREEDOM, freedom from fear, freedom from tyranny, freedom from restrictions, freedom from the vaccine, freedom from the mask. As one Father of the US Constitution said. Those who govern best are those who govern LEAST. Just leave us alone.

  5. RW

    August 19, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    Let’s be clear.
    UCP are left leaning CINOs.
    Brian’s new even lefter party would target both NDP & UCP voters.
    Thus splitting the left vote. Yay!
    So go ahead Brian and thank you.

  6. Al

    August 19, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    In other words: what’s happening is polarization like in the U.S with two parties drifting further in opposite directions. Never good, we end up voting against the other party out of spite rather than for a party that should be on our side but oftentimes isn’t.

  7. Andrew

    August 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Brian who?

  8. berta baby

    August 19, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    Is this guy on crack? We don’t need central government that’s UCP… UCP far right?? Lol huh? Fuck off jean you had your turn

  9. Kelly Carter

    August 19, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    I respect Brian Jean, and mostly agree. I want to be voting for someone with a vision and a path forward. I won’t be voting UCP again as long as Kenney is leader.

  10. Bryan

    August 19, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    The UCP is a ‘rightist’ party? Maybe somewhere, but certainly NOT in Alberta! Wake up, Brian! Kenney is nothing but a ‘statist’. The way he acts, he cares nothing about Alberta conservatives, and is ONLY interested in the Premiership of Alberta, as a BASE to run for the role of Prime Minister of Canada.

    Ceterum autem censeo Justinius True-dope-us esse delendam

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Alberta chiefs say ‘no’ to drug decriminalization amid opioid crisis

The chiefs said a modernized public policy framework was needed before decriminalization could be seriously considered.




The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP) says the province is not in a position to welcome decriminalization of illicit drugs due to lack of existing supports. 

In a press conference, Calgary Chief Constable Mark Neufeld, Chair of the AACP; Medicine Hat Police Service Chief Mike Worden; and Blood Tribe Police Service Chief Brice Iron Shirt, stated decriminalization would create additional community problems, such as homelessness, mental health issues, overdoses, and poverty.

The chiefs said they felt it was necessary to be proactive with their stance amid applications in other Canadian jurisdictions and decision makers’ ongoing discussions in Alberta on whether or not to decriminalize some drugs. 

“We simply aren’t ready to do this.” Neufeld said adding he was concerned about “single-issue advocacy” indicating the need for “complex solutions to complex problems.”

In an earlier news release the chiefs said “law enforcement in Alberta does not criminalize addiction. We recognize that addiction and substance abuse are complex public health issues, and we are committed to working with all stakeholders to address the needs of our communities.” 

The chiefs said a modernized public policy framework was needed before decriminalization could be seriously considered. 

“Provincial regulations need to be established around key concerns such as consumption around minors, public consumption and disorder regulations, and operation of vehicles. This must be done by balancing the needs of the individual, with the needs of the broader community,” said the chiefs. 

The chiefs said a cross-government approach was a necessary prerequisite. 

“We cannot support a broadly implemented policy of decriminalization until a modernized public policy framework is created involving a thoughtful and integrated approach with all levels of government and across all ministries,” said the release. 

In 2021, Alberta suffered its deadliest year ever for deaths by drug poisoning. The first 10 months of the year saw 1,372 overdoses. 

“Decriminalization on its own will not reduce addiction or overdose rates. There must be clear and working pathways pre-established between law enforcement and public health systems to lead to recovery, with a thoughtful approach on addressing the needs of rural and diverse communities,” said the chiefs. 

Worden said rural communities face additional challenges related to accessing supports like local health and social services. Iron Shirt said First Nations lack funding and resources. 

Gosselin is a Western Standard reporter

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Kenney says Alberta may have reached Omicron peak

Kenney said wastewater test results from 19 areas across the province — including Calgary and Edmonton — shows COVID-19 declining in 15 of them.




Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says it’s likely Alberta has now reached the peak of the Omicron surge.

And he said COVID-19 restrictions across the province could be lifted “hopefully soon.”

He said it would take a “sustained decline in hospital pressures” and a similar drop in new cases.

But he warned now is not the time to let the guard down.

Kenney said wastewater test results from 19 areas across the province — including Calgary and Edmonton — shows COVID-19 declining in 15 of them.

And Kenney added the positivity rate for COVID-19 is also dropping. He said last week it was sitting at 41% while on Wednesday it was 33%.

Kenney noted Alberta is now in the fifth week of the Omicron surge, adding jurisdictions around the world have seen peaks after four weeks.

“Hospitalizations continue to rise, but we have the benefit of seeing how Omicron has played out in other jurisdictions. That is why we are taking decisive action now to help our healthcare system respond to the growing demand rising Omicron cases will bring,” said Kenney.

He said more than 1,000 people remain in Alberta hospitals, with 45% of them not admitted primarily for COVID, while 40% were.

Alberta reported 3,527 new cases on Wednesday, and eight more deaths.

Starting Jan. 24 or sooner, if required, some beds in pandemic response units will be opened at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic (KEC) in Edmonton and South Health Campus (SHC) in Calgary, Kenney said.

He said the government’s community resources plan will be put into place to start helping Albertans deal with moderate and low-level cases of COVID-19 to recover at home.

Kenney then blasted Health Canada for the long time it’s taking to get already European-approved rapid test kits into the country.

And Kenney made an impassioned plea to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reverse course on the quarantine orders for unvaxxed truck drivers.

He said Trudeau must “use some common sense” on the trucker issue with Canadians facing surging inflation and supply chain issues.

He also called for more healthcare money to be granted from the feds to provinces.

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Saskatchewan unions beg for more COVID restrictions

“Quebec has had the most extreme lockdowns policies in Canada since before Christmas, and their current rates are about 40 hospitalizations and 3.3 ICU admissions per 100,000 population – more than double Saskatchewan’s rates.”




Six of Saskatchewan’s largest unions, representing 113,000 front-line workers, are demanding stricter COVID-19 regulations.

Union leaders in the healthcare and education sectors are demanding the province implement a gathering limit of 10, creation of a new public health order to limit non-essential contacts, establishing a “consistent bubble,” and enforce reducing non-essential travel between communities.

Tracy Zambory, president of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, says workers are stretched thin and health-care facilities don’t have staff or space for more patients.

Involved organizations include the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union, and the Service Employees International Union West.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahad said a peak in cases could come in the next two weeks, in light of record-high positivity.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe denounced lockdowns last week, and continues to provide justification for that decision. He caught COVID-19 the next day.

“ICU admissions and COVID-19 related deaths remain significantly lower than other provinces that have strict lockdown policies in effect,” said Moe on Twitter.

“Omicron is spreading across Canada and around the world, whether there are lockdown policies in place or not, so we are not going to impose new restrictions and lockdowns that cause significant harm for no clear benefit.”

Moe pointed out there have been zero COVID-19 deaths in the province in nearly two weeks, compared to more than 700 COVID-19 related deaths in Quebec this month.

“Saskatchewan’s current hospitalization rate is 16 per 100,000 population and our current ICU rate is 1.5 per 100,000 population,” said Moe.

“Quebec has had the most extreme lockdowns policies in Canada since before Christmas, and their current rates are about 40 hospitalizations and 3.3 ICU admissions per 100,000 population — more than double Saskatchewan’s rates.”

The Saskatchewan government has not responded to the union demand or updated restrictions since January 12.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard

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