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MORGAN: Has the CPC sold its soul?

Please, Mr. O’Toole, could you toss those of us who want a conservative government a bone here?

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The numbers look promising.

In one short week, the Liberal lead in opinion polls appears to have evaporated. Momentum is on the side of Erin O’Toole and his Conservative party. Cracks are beginning to appear in the Liberal campaign machine as an air of desperation is already setting in.

If trends continue as they have in the first quarter of the campaign, we could very well see a Conservative occupant at 24 Sussex, or wherever we keep the prime minister nowadays. But even if Canada has a Conservative government, will there be any conservatism remaining in the Conservative Party?

The CPC has been inspired by the recent upset victory of the provincial Progressive Conservatives in Nova Scotia. It’s hard not to draw parallels. An entrenched Liberal government called an election with a comfortable lead in the polls. A Progressive Conservative opposition entered the race as an underdog with a new leader and managed to win a surprise majority government. How could the federal Conservative Party not look at that example and feel that they could emulate it?

The problem is, the Progressive Conservatives in Nova Scotia didn’t win much of a mandate for change from any Liberal policies.

The Nova Scotia Progressive Conservatives under leader Tim Houston chose to make problems with health care their core issue and they proposed massive spending increases in order to solve it. Houston promised to outspend both the NDP and the Liberals by increasing the provincial deficit to an eye-popping $1 billion, a huge sum for a small province. Houston also pledged to bring Nova Scotia to an 80% renewable energy generation level and offered to waive all income taxes for people under the age of 30 in the trades up to $50,000 in income. The spending spree worked and Houston won the election. Time will tell if he will be able to actually deliver on those promises.

O’Toole’s shift to the free-spending left is no less dramatic than was Houston’s. O’Toole has promised an extra $6 billion in health transfers per year to the provinces —even though Conservatives theoretically respect provincial jurisdiction— along with cash for corporate welfare subsidies, housing, and a host of other programs. The CPC plan claims to be able to balance the budget within a decade but of course, doesn’t actually chart the path to get there. It will – to borrow a phrase – “balance itself.”

Equally as concerning is the massive interventions being proposed into the private sector. O’Toole bizarrely pledged to require a labour presence on the boards of private corporations that are federally regulated. He also promised to intervene with companies that may be offering executive bonuses if they don’t meet the pension requirements that he feels should be set. Many sectors of Canada’s economy have already become investment pariahs due to excessive government regulations. O’Toole’s proposals won’t be making us look any better for foreign investors.

Among prime flip-flops on the part of the Conservative leader the carbon-tax turnabout was the worst. With O’Toole willing to do such a complete about-face on a promise made less than a year ago, it is hard to believe much else from his leadership campaign. The promise to defund the CBC has now morphed into a commitment to study its mandate, but only the English half. In other words, it won’t happen.

Some of O’Toole’s odd little boutique promises are going to put unnecessary pressure on businesses as well. The proposed one-month GST holiday in December would cause a bookkeeping nightmare not to mention will just cause a dearth of spending in the months of November and January when retailers really need it. In another weird promise, for one month a Conservative government would provide a 50% rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks purchased for dining in at restaurants between Monday and Wednesday. The administration alone of such a program would be crippling.

On September 20 of this year, I not only want to be celebrating the end of the tenure of the Trudeau Liberals, but I also want to be celebrating a victory for limited-government conservatism. It is looking unlikely that I will be enjoying the second part of that wish. Canadian conservatives deserve at least some modest policy victories in exchange for their votes. Instead, an O’Toole win would only change the colour of the team running Ottawa, but little else.

Please, Mr. O’Toole, could you toss a bone here to those of us who want a conservative government?

Cory Morgan is the Alberta Political Columnist for the Western Standard and Host of the Cory Morgan Show

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Donald KEVIN Lafayette

    August 30, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Policy pronouncements like O’Toole has made, are an admission that he does not believe conservatism works. It is that simple.

    If someone claims that a system needs fixing, but does not actually propose or make any changes, then clearly they are lying about their belief that the system is broken.

    We can punish betrayal and lies, or we can reward it. Make your choice.

  2. Susan Grant

    August 28, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Yes we all wnat to know the truth! Plese do tellu s why Michelle would frantically post a video about the Lieberal mudslinging and then when confronted in a restaurant Michelle refuses to answer ?? and her big tough handler gets agressive when she is asked about her time with cheering on Klaus and the WEF. Look here is the video: https://t.me/TerriDahl05/7281
    You see we are NOT going to take the lies from any side anymore! AND we sure are NOT going to be laughed at by you who choose to trust the “NO Science” jab while making fun of us who believe our healthy bodies will fight for us!

  3. secondhandlion@hotmail.com

    August 27, 2021 at 8:38 am

    I like Max & I like his policies but there is one problem; I will never again vote for/elect a PM from Quebec! I think I have to hold my nose and vote CPC simply to get rid of Turdo! BUT ALBERTA SEPERATION IS OUR ONLY CHOICE!

  4. Left Coast

    August 26, 2021 at 9:46 am

    During the leadership race O’Foole outed himself as an Ontario Progressive.
    I don’t believe he is any more of a “Leader” than Justin.
    Best outcome would be a Minority Con Govt. with PPC holding a number of seats to keep them under control. A Conservative Majority would likely be no better than the Liberals.

    Canada is done like dinner . . . never going to recover from 6 years of stupidity.
    If the West has not soon figured out it is time to leave . . . it’s going to be a Long Slide!

    Don’t think Maverick can solve anything . . . we are still playing on the National stage.

  5. berta baby

    August 26, 2021 at 9:24 am

    I would wager my 3rd dose that the conservative government would (if tthey win) cause kenney to bring in a vaccine passport. Old duck bag kenster won’t do anything to jeopardize his buddy’s chance in Alberta.

    But if O tool wins watch the shift .

    Fuck it I’ll put my first and second dose on it too

  6. James Taylor

    August 26, 2021 at 7:50 am

    All “Conservatives” do is conserve leftist authoritarian power structures. The conservative has done nothing but aide the left for 150 years.

  7. Deb

    August 25, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    Yes, Erin Otoole seems to have an if I win, I win, if I don’t I don’t attitude. He isn’t offering us much of anything different. He seems out of touch with what is happening and not offering a different solution.
    My main goal is to get rid of Trudeau, Although I like what the Maverick party or the PPC party are saying and stand for, I don’t think the time is right. I don’t think the Maverick or the PPC parties are set up enough for a take over there will not be enough support in the east to do that. Trudeau has to go in order to save Canada.

  8. Steven

    August 25, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    BARON NOT BARON & COSMO KRAMER I like Max, but I’m going to hitch my vote to the Maverick Party.

    Maverick wants to give a voice to Western Canada in Ottawa. How will voting for Max (PPC) allow that in Ottawa. Max is going to run into the same voter problem of Quebec & Ontario to maintain power. Where the Maverick Party doesn’t want to form government. That’s the change I am looking for a Western Voice in Ottawa – Not beholden to Eastern Canada to stay in power.

    Maverick Party are running candidates West of the Manitoba/Ontario border only.

    https://www.maverickparty.ca/ Go Maverick !

  9. Baron Not Baron

    August 25, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    PPC is the way. Maverick’s Hill just slapped the sh!t, which hit the fan.. and the fan..

    Alberta’s WIPA seems it is our core, here! Ultimately, it won’t matter federally. Separation is our only goal!

  10. Kelly Carter

    August 25, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    I totally agree Cory, and I am so angry at the direction O’Toole is taking. I can not fathom how Pierre Poilievre can stand behind a platform like thins other than he needs the CPC team to become elected. I bet with his name recognition if he switched to PPC or even independant he would still win. However, the CPC offer him a chance at a minister should they form government. I have huge respect for some CPC MP’s, including my own, but there I no way in heck I will vote CPC this time. My vote is Maverick with PPC as a second choice, or a spoiled ballot as my third choice!

  11. Cosmo Kramer

    August 25, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    There is no difference between the CPC and the Liberal parties. The results will be the same if either of them win. Any conservative person should be voting PPC.

  12. Baron Not Baron

    August 25, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    PPC all the way.

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Opinion

MORGAN: Albertans need real recall legislation now

“The UCP needs to bring their recall legislation back to the legislature, correct the flaws in it, and proclaim it into active law as soon as possible.”

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Nobody should have the ability to remove an elected official from office aside from the electors who put them there in the first place. Recalling a politician should never be easy, but it shouldn’t be impossible either.

If some of the allegations against embattled Calgary City Councilor Sean Chu prove to be true, there will be little the constituents of Ward 4 will be able to do about it, other than ask him to step down. Chu doesn’t face any criminal charges nor has he been convicted of any, which would be required for any legal by other councillors to expel him. It would be up to Chu to decide if he wants to continue to sit as city councilor until the end of his term or not.

Even if Chu can provide proof exonerating himself of the acts he has been accused of, a terrible flaw in our electoral system has been exposed. Alberta needs viable voter recall legislation. Citizens need to be empowered to fire elected officials before the end of their term in exceptional circumstances.

Recall legislation was a key promise made by Jason Kenney and the UCP in the last election. While the government did table a form of recall legislation in the last legislative session, it was an anemic, nearly useless bill, and the government hasn’t bothered itself to formally proclaim it into active law yet.

Even if the new recall legislation was active right now, it couldn’t be applied in Chu’s case. The legislation doesn’t allow a recall to be initiated until at least one and-a-half years after the most recent election. While this clause was built in to prevent people from trying to frivolously recall politicians the day after an election, it leaves a gaping hole in the intent. In both Chu’s and Liberal MP George Chahal’s cases for example, allegations of wrongdoing surfaced literally within days of their having been elected.

While the need to recall elected officials is thankfully rare, it happens often enough to demonstrate a need for viable legislation. The Alberta Party had not one, but two of its former candidates convicted of child sex crimes. What would have happened if they had been elected? In 2018, former Wildrose MLA Don MacIntyre was charged with heinous child sex crimes. MacIntyre resigned and was subsequently convicted of sexual interference. Had MacIntyre refused to resign however, the constituents of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake would have had to endure being represented by a convicted and imprisoned child sex predator until the 2019 election.

Many Albertans can remember the bizarre saga of Lethbridge city councilor Dar Heatherington. Heatherington made international headlines when she disappeared from a conference in Montana. She later surfaced in Las Vegas and claimed she had been abducted and raped. An investigation later found Heatherington had fabricated the entire episode along with other stories of a fictional stalker. Heatherington was eventually convicted of mischief which allowed the Lethbridge city council to have her removed from her seat. The issue began with rage, but later turned into pity as it became evident Heatherington was suffering from serious mental illness. Recall would have been an act of mercy for her and her family were she not convicted.

Kenney’s recall legislation is an unworkable bill modeled to pay lip service to the principle of recall but is built in such a way it will likely never be used. The bar for petitioning is set too high, and the timelines for petitioning are far too tight. Even in the most egregious of cases, it would be exceedingly difficult for any elected official to be recalled.

Kenney’s reticence in providing viable recall legislation to Albertans has managed to come back to haunt him. Pressure is being put upon both Kenney and Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver to intervene and somehow block Chu from taking his seat on council. There likely is little the provincial government can do in this case since Chu hasn’t been criminally charged, much less convicted of anything. Chu’s sanctions were from within the police force, not the justice system. Kenney could have taken the pressure off himself if he had given Albertans recall legislation as he had promised. Kenney could have pointed to it today and said the issue was in the hands of the voters of Ward 4.

Adding salt to the wound, is the fact that Kenney has allowed the Recall Act it sit in legislative limbo, unproclaimed into active law despite being long ago passed by the legislature. The cynics among us may suspect he may fear its use against him and his caucus.

We need a mechanism to remove elected officials from office before their term is up if they prove to be unfit for office. We can’t put that power into the hands of other elected officials who would inevitably abuse it. Do we really want to see the premier able to fire elected mayors and councils in Alberta? In looking at how vitriolic and tribal some municipal councils are, could you imagine what would happen if these councils and mayors had the ability to fire each other? Former Calgary Mayor Haheed Nenshi and his gang on Calgary city council likely would have had Jeromy Farkas kicked out of city hall within his first year in office for being a nuisance.

The UCP needs to bring their recall legislation back to the legislature, correct the flaws in it, and proclaim it into active law as soon as possible. The wheel does not need to be reinvented here. Workable recall legislation exists in many jurisdictions. Electors deserve nothing less.

Cory Morgan is the Alberta Political Columnist for the Western Standard and Host of the Cory Morgan Show

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Maskless Maintoba ministers get free pass from top health doc

However, since 99.999% of Manitobans don’t get to go to a ball, let’s look at other indoor situations they regularly find themselves in. 

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Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin essentially leapt to the defense of three cabinet ministers — including the health minister — who appeared maskless at a recent ball.

Roussin gave the ministers a pass for taking a photo wearing no masks at last weekend’s event held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

“For the most part, that mask should be on. There are brief periods where it’s reasonable for it to come off,” said Roussin. “If it was simply to remove a mask for the purposes of getting a photograph, and then you put it back on, then … that’s in keeping with advice we’ve provided.”

Well, it wasn’t quite ‘simply’ that. 

Unmasked Health Minister Audrey Gordon, Minister of Families Rochelle Squires and Minister of Sport, Culture, and Heritage Cathy Cox posed for a photo with three other women. 

Squires posted it to her Instagram page. (Do you think the other two are still talking to her for outing them? Maybe eating at different lunch table at the legislature shooting glare darts in between bites?? Did they unfriend her on social media yet?)

Yes, yes, Gordon and Squires said they were really, very sorry. Gordon and Cox adamantly said they had removed their masks to eat, then spontaneously jumped up only to take the photo. 

Hmmm … is that really the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

It isn’t.

Manitoba COVID-19 public health orders require mask use in all indoor public places, with some exemptions, including temporarily removing masks to eat, drink, give a speech or receive a service that requires them to be removed.

On Monday, Roussin issued a dire prediction that all harsh rules will likely remain in place through to spring.

Roussin said he wasn’t familiar with all of details of what transpired at the ball, so let’s enlighten the good doctor.

Squires posted another photo. She was seated at a table. Gordon and Cox, Winnipeg city Councilor Marcus Chambers, and several other people were standing behind her. No masks. No social distancing. None of that.

Roussin didn’t specifically elaborate on mask protocol while standing and socializing at balls. 

Thankfully, Manitobans can follow the health minister’s lead on acceptable guidelines.

However, since 99.999% of Manitobans don’t get to go to a ball, let’s look at other indoor situations they regularly find themselves in. 

An indoor venue is an indoor venue, right?

Surely the same rules apply to both politicians and regular folk in all indoor situations.

So, go ahead, be like Gordon. If you’re at the grocery store and see people you know, or even people you don’t know, by all means, rip off those cumbersome masks, stand really close, and visit — chat up a storm as long as you like. 

Same applies for acceptable mask protocol in Walmart, Home Depot, the gas station, school hallways, drug stores, the kid’s hockey game, etc.

And if the mask police descend and try to give you a $298 ticket — just whip out a copy of the photo of the health minister doing exactly that at an indoor event when tough COVID-19 mask restrictions are in place.

Remind them in a reasonable, calm manner the ministers have not been slapped with such silly fines. So, you shouldn’t be either.

And go ahead, post photos of the visits on Instagram, Facebook, wherever. Squires did that. So, there’s apparently nothing to hide.

The defense rests, your Honour. 

The only problem is — unlike the cabinet ministers — you probably wouldn’t get a pass.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

SELICK: If the gov’t wants to kick the unvaccinated off healthcare, then give us back our taxes & let us pay for our own

If the unvaxxed are to be excluded from government services, refund their taxes.

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The Ontario Vaccine Contact Centre phoned me bright and early Monday morning to ask whether I’d like information on where I could get vaccinated.

I wanted information, all right — but not about where I could get vaccinated. I wanted to know where they had got my phone number, and what made them select me for such a phone call. My family doctor had retired in March and I didn’t think it was anyone else’s business to keep track of what medical procedures I had undergone since then.

The young lady never got her question answered, but she did answer mine. Her phone call resulted from a project of the Ontario government to correlate vaccination records with OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) coverage. As an Ontario resident, I am of course covered by the government-owned health insurance plan.

They got my phone number from my OHIP records. They’ve been combing through those records looking for individuals who aren’t also in the COVID vaccination database, and that’s why they chose to call me. It’s official now: all unvaccinated Ontarians  can expect such a call eventually.

She had a prepared script for dealing with recalcitrant refuseniks like me. The statutory authority for this intrusive data transfer, she read, is paragraph 37(1)(c) of the Personal Health Information Protection Act. That’s a misnamed statute if ever there was one. I’d call it the Personal Health Information Invasion Act. She even volunteered the phone numbers of the Information and Privacy Commissioner in case I wanted to lodge a complaint.

But she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) tell me whether the intrusions would escalate if I continued to defy the government’s wishes that I be vaccinated.

My suspicion is that my OHIP coverage will eventually be suspended or canceled if I fail to comply. Twitter is already rife with such suggestions, and CTV news seems to be drumming up support for this by commissioning a public opinion poll in which almost two-thirds of Canadians supported the idea of refusing treatment to “threatening or disrespectful patients who are unvaccinated against COVID-19.” CTV apparently believes all unvaccinated patients are by definition threatening and disrespectful, because they didn’t ask how respondents felt about providing treatment to respectful, non-threatening unvaccinated people.

Already, Alberta residents have reported incidents of being denied health care due to their unvaccinated status.

In Colorado, people awaiting kidney transplants were recently notified their applications are being “inactivated” if they’re unvaccinated.

My concern, therefore, is not an idle one. There are many people who’d like to see unvaccinated people denied health care, and they’re pushing governments to implement such policies.

Personally, I’d be willing to forego OHIP coverage under two conditions. First, I shouldn’t have to pay taxes for something I’m not getting. Ontario’s 2020-21 budget shows health care outlays constitute 42% of the province’s base program expenditures. Therefore, if they’d refund 42% of my provincial taxes (income tax, sales tax, gasoline tax, property tax, etc.) plus 42% of the federal transfer payment that came out of my federal taxes, that would provide a tidy sum out of which to pay privately for direct health services and private health insurance.

But condition two would have to be satisfied as well: the government would have to eliminate its monopoly on the provision of health insurance, hospitals, and medical licensure.

Let the unvaccinated have our tax money back to purchase goods and services in a free market, and I’ll gladly let the vaccinated wallow in their decrepit socialist system without troubling them for help. Let dissenting medical doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors and other complementary practitioners practice according to their professional judgment without fear of de-licensing and I’ll take my chances.

In truth, I already do. I hadn’t actually seen my former doctor since June 2019, and I didn’t usually go more than once a year. OHIP was already spending far less on me than on the average person, who makes 2.8 doctor visits per year. As a senior, I’m theoretically entitled to have government-paid prescriptions for any of 4,400 different drugs — but I don’t use a single one of them, unlike the average person in my age who reportedly fills 8.3 drug prescriptions annually.

It’s not mere happenstance that I have fewer ailments than average. I spend my own after-tax dollars on organic food, nutritional supplements, exercise equipment and more exotic health maintenance devices such as infrared light therapy. I also spend many hours keeping informed about the science of wellness and life extension.

I have long resented paying taxes to provide obsolete and often counterproductive “health care” to those less conscientious than I am about their own well-being. My resentment is now reaching new heights, as the ignorant accuse me of causing sickness by not taking an injection which even the CDC now admits doesn’t live up to its promises of near-total prevention of either viral transmission or infection.

Let’s go our own separate ways— vaxxed and unvaxxed. Time will tell who made the smarter decision.

Selick is a Western Standard columnist

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