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Pallister to retire at end of mandate

He was first elected as the 22nd premier of Manitoba in 2016, and again in 2019 – securing majority wins both elections.




Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election. 

“The honour of my life has been serving you as premier,” said Pallister, 67.

“I believe now is the time for a new leader and a premier to take our province forward. Accordingly, a new leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba will lead our party into the next election,” he said.

Pallister made the announcement in Brandon after a Progressive Conservative Party Caucus retreat.

He was first elected as the 22nd premier of Manitoba in 2016, and again in 2019 – securing majority wins in both elections.

Pallister, who entered politics in 1992 and was elected leader of the party in 2012, did not say when he will step down.

The next provincial election will be held October 2023.

“Today, Manitoba is incredibly well-positioned to springboard into a stronger economic future with even greater social progress. That is why I believe this is the right time for me personally to turn the page and allow a new leader and premier to go that next step and lead Manitoba into a new chapter of progress,” he said.

The premier pointed to achievements under his leadership, including the first balanced budget in 11 years, the creation of the largest ongoing per person investment in health care, education, and family services of any province. 

“We did this while lowering the tax burden on every working person and family, more than any other province, to keep making things more affordable for Manitobans,” he said.

“Most important of all, we did what we said we would do. We are a clean government with integrity. I am most proud of that.”

Pallister noted that Manitobans “faced an extraordinary challenge” throughout COVID-19.

“Our government had to make difficult, unprecedented decisions each and every day; decisions to keep people safe, protect our hospitals and the health teams who work in them, and support businesses, communities and individuals,” he said.

Pallister has faced intense criticism for the draconian measures he implemented during the pandemic.

The premier was fiercely condemned by indigenous leaders and others for remarks he made on the heels of statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth 11 being toppled in Winnipeg on Canada Day.

He said the people who came to Canada before and after it was a country didn’t come to destroy, but came to build.

His indigenous relations minister resigned, two indigenous members quit, and members of the party withdrew their support.

“By stepping aside at the midpoint in our second mandate, I believe this will provide sufficient time not only for party members to choose a new leader, but for Manitobans to get to know that new leader and premier,” Pallister said.

“It is not easy to make the decision to leave, but the question I guess has been answered – I don’t think there is a better time than now for me to step aside.”

In a statement posted to Twitter, Tom Weibe, PC party president, said he was notified of Pallister’s decision earlier Tuesday.

“In the coming days, I will convene a meeting of our party executive council to determine rules for a leadership election,” he said in a statement. 

Pallister thanked his family, his supports and professed his love for both Canada and Manitoba.

He did not take questions from the media.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard


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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  1. Left Coast

    August 11, 2021 at 9:46 am

    “His indigenous relations minister resigned, two indigenous members quit, and members of the party withdrew their support.” ? ? ?

    Obviously they drank the “first nations” Kool-Aide . . .

    The idea that the “natives” were peaceful caretakers of the land or benevolent tenants couldn’t be further from the truth. The various tribes right across Canada warred on each other constantly. They were violent. Want proof? Ask the Hurons … oh, that’s right you can’t. The Iroquois’ wiped them out.

    How about slavery that was rife among all the first nation tribes until the Europeans came and freed the slaves and put an end to this “valued cultural tradition”. Is slavery peaceful and humane?

    The idea that we “stole” this land from them is also ridiculous. A more technologically advanced and numerous culture invaded and conquered. This is exactly what has been happening since the dawn of humanity all around the globe. To say we “stole” their lands is just plain wrong. That is akin to saying the Saxons should return England to the Angles. Or maybe we should launch a campaign to have the Roman descendants give Italy back to the Etruscans.

    The only way to fix this situation is to bring them into society as equals. Getting jobs and paying taxes like the rest of us because in reality, they are no more special than any of the other numerous cultures that now call Canada home.

  2. Left Coast

    August 11, 2021 at 9:37 am

    I wonder if Pallister knows that in the country of Congo only 178 people died of the Wuhan Virus? The population was 92 Million. Tanzania had 21 deaths, population 59.7 Million.

    Manitoba like most Western Democracies chose the “Chinese” approach, lockdown insanity, stopped just short of welding your doors shut as they did in Wuhan.
    Only a few hundred miles South of Manitoba, South Dakota had a much better outcome and treated their population as Adults, warned them of the coming Flu and protected the Elderly & infirm.

    So how was it that these African countries were so much more successful than Manitoba & Canada? Every Sunday most citizens took one 200 mg of HCQ the anti Malaria drug.
    Why do you suppose our Leaders and our Drs. didn’t tell us to do the same?

  3. Dave Joslin

    August 11, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Pallister- another red Tory drunk with power and worshipper of big government.

  4. K

    August 11, 2021 at 7:43 am

    He deserves a lot worse than a walk of shame.

  5. Andrew Red Deer

    August 11, 2021 at 6:52 am

    Agree with all of the above, and ditto all cowards in Alberta politics too.

  6. Declan Carroll

    August 10, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    History will not look kindly on Pallister. He will go down in history as the most destructive Premier to the Manitoban economy and society that ever stepped foot in
    the provincial legislature. Take your 50 pieces of silver and beat it you traitor!

  7. SaskFreedom

    August 10, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    He gets to just retire?!?! After what he did. Manitobans are running around with vaccine passports and this traitor just gets to go retire.
    Justice is lost. This jerk needs to be in an international court for crimes against humanity. But, ok, he’ll just retire while patting himself on the back, and everyone is cool with that.
    Instituting a two tier citizenry based on experimental vaccine for a virus less deadly than the flu without proper short term trials and zero long term trials!
    All I can say to Manitoba that if there are any of you with common sense left, you better move west (but not too far west), because Alberta and Saskatchewan sure as heck aren’t taking the most communist Province with us when we break free based on geography. Bloody hell Manitoba.

  8. John Lankers

    August 10, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    I hope Manitobans wake up and kick him to the curb long before 2023, this man is evil.


  9. berta baby

    August 10, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    Good what a filthy communist

  10. Bryan

    August 10, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Good riddance to yet another CONservative. His ‘best before’ dat has long since expired by many years. One can only hope that ‘Justin’ Kenney and especially ‘Shamefully Shameless’ Shandro follows suit.

  11. francis witzel

    August 10, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Gee I wonder why , he knows he will never get re-elected anyway , but he’s got that big fat pension and now that he’s distroyed that province . COWARD

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Kenney leadership review to be held April 9 in Red Deer, in convention-style vote

The UCP board decided not to listen to demands from 22 constituency associations that wanted a review by March at the latest, said a Western Standard source close to the board.




Editor’s note. Due to a typo, the initial version of the story said the review would be April 6. Sources say the vote will take place April 9.

A pay-to-vote leadership review of United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney will be held April 9 in Red Deer, the Western Standard has learned.

The UCP board decided not to listen to demands from 22 constituency associations that wanted a review by March at the latest, said a Western Standard source close to the board.

The source said the board felt it was “being generous” to the 22 rebel ridings by holding a review in April.

Details on how much it will cost to go to the conference are still being worked out, but it will be a system where you have to pay to vote, the source said.

Those details are expected to be announced in January.

While the board meeting was “friendly,” pro-Kenney factions later held long discussions to plan strategy, said the source.

A convention-style review appears to favour Kenney as opposed to a one-vote-per-party-member system as Kenney is famed for his political organizing power.

His office came under fire last month for allegedly using money from third-party political action committees (PACs) to send people to the UCP AGM which turned into a Kenney love-fest that left the leader smiling.

Kenney denied knowledge of the PAC money.

“I’m not involved in third party organizations, but third party political organizations are free, within the law, to be involved in politics,” said Kenney.

Prior to the AGM Airdrie-Cochrane UCP MLA Peter Guthrie sent Kenney a letter which said the party was on the verge of collapse. 

“Public opinion continues to wane, and we may be at a point where this party cannot be salvaged,” writes Guthrie, in the letter obtained by the Western Standard.

“Membership has fallen from 150,000 to less than 10,000 and fundraising is evaporating along with our credibility.”

Much of the UCP grassroots frustration has come on the heels of controversial COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Kenney also brought in a vaccine passport scheme he vowed never to introduce.

Another scandal that infuriated UCP members was when the infamous pictures were published of Kenney holding an outdoor dinner on the balcony of the “Sky Palace” in contravention of the government’s of laws, regulations, and guidelines.

In April, a UCP MLA told the Western Standard they are “100% certain” Kenney would 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.

But the expected caucus revolt failed to materialize.

At one point the caucus booted MLAs Todd Loewen and Drew Barnes for dissension.

Editor’s note. Due to a typo, the initial version of the story said the review would be April 6. Sources say the vote will take place April 9.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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YouTube cancels Western Standard for reporting news story

“Your channel now has one strike,” said YouTube in the e-mail, adding Western Standard’s account has been suspended for one week.




YouTube issued one strike against the Western Standard for reporting on a Calgary police officer who was put on leave for refusing the COVID-19 vaccinations.

YouTube sent the notification via e-mail to Derek Fildebrandt, president and CEO of the Western Standard, on Wednesday, and stated the video included in the story violates YouTube’s “medical misinformation policy.”

“YouTube doesn’t allow claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO),” said the e-mail.

“YouTube banned our account for sharing content that contradicted the advice of the WHO and local health authorities,” said Fildebrandt.

“But the WHO and local health authorities contradict themselves. One such health authority, Alberta Health Services (AHS), had to contradict itself after the Western Standard caught them lying to Albertans about which they falsely claimed was a COVID-19 death of a child.”

The notice indicated YouTube had removed the video stating, “We know this might be disappointing, but it’s important to us that YouTube is a safe place for all.”

In the video, an emotional Const. Brian Denison, a 24-year veteran with the Calgary Police Service (CPS), explained the turmoil he has faced for refusing to be vaccinated by the December 1 deadline set out by the CPS.

Denison, one year from retirement, called the vaccine policy a “farce” and said the CPS is “bullying” staff. He also described the segregation of society into the “vaccinated and unvaccinated” as similar to Hitler’s Nazi regime.

The Western Standard’s News Editor Dave Naylor covered the story in an unbiased fashion and included the video of Denison.

“Your channel now has one strike,” said YouTube in the e-mail, adding Western Standard’s account has been suspended for one week.

The YouTube team further warned a second strike will result in a two-week suspension and three strikes within a 90-day period would result in the channel being permanently removed.

“YouTube — like other big tech and big social corporations — is so terrified of being regulated by the government that it over-regulates itself,” said Fildebrandt.

“In time, these monopolies will destroy themselves.”

The Western Standard has already submitted an appeal to YouTube and contacted their press department, as well as moved the video in question to Rumble.

“Of all the social media giants, YouTube has the weakest monopoly,” said Fildebrandt.

“They can ban the Western Standard and other media from posting legitimate news content all they like, and we’ll just put it on other platforms. That’s why we’ve been making a concerted effort to utilize platforms with a greater respect for free speech, like Rumble.”

The Western Standard did not receive a response from YouTube’s press department in time for publishing.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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Canada joins growing diplomatic boycott of Chinese 2022 Olympics

The countries say the move is to protest the human rights record of the Chinese government, especially when it comes to the minority Uyghur Muslim community.




First, it was the US. Then Australia. Now Canada has joined the list of countries refusing to send diplomats or high-level officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics next year.

The countries say the move is to protest the human rights record of the Chinese government, especially when it comes to the minority Uyghur Muslim community.

Canadian athletes will still be allowed to compete.

“For months, we have been coordinating and discussing the issue with our allies,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Wednesday.

“As many partners around the world, we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government.

“This should not come as a surprise” to the Chinese regime, said Trudeau.

“(The athletes) need to have one thing in mind and that’s representing the country to the best of their ability and winning a gold medal for Canada,” he said.

Earlier this year, the House of Commons passed a motion calling the violence directed at religious minorities in China’s Xinjiang province as “genocide.” Trudeau and his cabinet were absent for the vote.

In a statement, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) said it “understands and respects” the decision and applauds the effort to “draw an important distinction between the participation of athletes and the participation of government officials.”

Canada’s last Olympic boycott was in Russia in 1980, protesting that country’s invasion of Afghanistan.

The US announced its decision on Monday.

“U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the [People’s Republic of China]’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can’t do that,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing.

Chinese officials have already said the US will pay for its boycott.

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