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SLOBODIAN: Meet the man deciding what election news you read

Don’t expect this column to last too long on Facebook

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Kevin Chan gets to decide what news Canadians headed to the polls next month are allowed to see.

And Kevin has determined that less is better.

This noble decision, of course, is for our own personal good, for the good of the nation, maybe even for all of humanity. 

Bless you, Kevin, bless you!

Kevin apparently thinks Canadians are too stupid to make their own informed decisions about important things like who is most capable of governing Canada, their health and COVID-19, etc.

So, he’s gallantly stepped up to help us and will filter news and opinion, anything that strikes his fancy, so that our feeble minds aren’t polluted with things he and whoever’s bidding he’s doing disagree with.

Who is Kevin Chan to wield so much power?

He’s in charge of Facebook’s Canadian operations and something called Facebook’s Canadian Election Integrity Initiative.

Kevin said there’ll be less political content on Facebook feeds and he will not hesitate to take down posts providing what Facebook determines to be misinformation.

In fact, those posts will automatically disappear.

Even, or perhaps especially, certain politicians and candidates will see non-approved posts vanish from social media if they violate Kevin’s Facebook’s rules.

“Politicians are not exempt from enforcement against breaches of our harmful misinformation policy,” Chan told CBC.

“So, if people, anybody on Facebook is saying things about the coronavirus that can lead to physical harm, we will remove it.”

Posts that claim COVID-19 vaccines kill or seriously harm people? Gone. The same applies to claims – even those backed up by legitimate, respected medical experts – that wearing masks doesn’t prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Odd, how these issues highlighted by opposition parties – People’s Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada – will top Facebook’s censorship list.

Kevin assures us that anyone not happy with the removal of a post will be able to appeal to a Facebook independent oversight board. How comforting.

Kevin said the Canadian Election Integrity Initiative will keep in mind the need to respect free speech. Now there’s an oxymoron. 

“One of the things we are doing, and we’ve been doing since February, is looking at ways in which we kind of reduce the distribution of political content on Facebook,” he said.

“That’s not to say that we are removing political content. All that is still there, it is just a question of whenever people say that they want to see five or six things in a session, they have to be ranked some way.”

Kevin said the rules will apply to all political posts, regardless of political party.

Sure Kevin.

This has the stench of the Trudeau Liberal government all over it.

And it is sinister.

There is so much room for abuse. In fact, it’s designed to abuse free speech.

Just look to the last U.S. election when social media giants took it upon themselves to filter news.

The most disturbing example is the censorship of the hard evidence of Hunter Biden’s drugged sexual escapades and the corrupt dealings – into the billions of dollars – he had with foreign governments that enriched the Biden family.

After the election, when the news filtered out, more than 30% of Americans who helped elect Joe Biden in as president said they wouldn’t have voted for him had they known.

Will posts by candidates who refer to Justin Trudeau’s questionable dealings and ethics violations disappear?

Count on it.

In the meantime, a few things come to mind. Rumble, Parler, Gab, etc.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
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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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Declan Carroll

    August 19, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Another CCP operative strategically placed in a position of authority over the lives of Canadian citizens. Shocking lol!

  2. Clash

    August 19, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Thank you Kevin for keeping us on the the true road to Communist happiness. By the way Kev who do you think is the bigger Communist, SheJingPing or Mark SuckaBird?

  3. Claudette Leece

    August 19, 2021 at 6:50 am

    Left Coast first thing I thought reading this, how fitting the nationality of this guy, to decide what’s free speech. Does he even know what that means considering who he is?

  4. Tony

    August 18, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    Give the video platform Odysee a try. I avoid Youtubed ever since they began banning perfectly reasonable people who questioned the Corona catechism.

  5. Left Coast

    August 18, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    How Long has Kevin been employed by the CCP . . . ?

    There was a time when the USA knew how to deal with these clowns . . . remember the Rosenbergs?

  6. Steven

    August 18, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Is this like Twitter leaving the Taliban alone on Twitter while banning former President Trump methodology?

    Good to know Facebook is in the capable hands of the Chinese. I feel more safe then ever now. Cringe!

  7. berta baby

    August 18, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    I left Facebook years ago. Communists not even trying to hide anymore

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Honourable Mounties fight mandatory vaccinations

These Mounties are doing the nation a great service — one that could turn the tide and set us on the right path again.

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So far, about 33,000 Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers and support staff have signed a letter to Commissioner Brenda Lucki protesting the federal government’s mandatory vaccination policy.

That leaves precious few who haven’t signed.

The October 21 communication — Mounties for Freedom: Open Letter to RCMP Commissioner — challenges the legality, constitutionality, and harm posed by mandating COVID-19 vaccinations.

It calls upon Lucki to remember who her allegiance should be to, and to do her job — actual investigative police work.

“Commissioner Lucki, we ask that you represent the best image of the RCMP by remaining loyal to the Charter and Bill of Rights and not to any particular public figure. Our job as Mounties is to preserve the peace. If we continue down this road of segregation and discrimination, we risk repeating past mistakes. The divide in our society is quickly leaning toward a level of national security,” the letter reads.

“We ask that you open an investigation to ensure no criminal acts were committed in the dissemination of information from federal and provincial health authorities or public figures in positions of trust. We ask you to send investigators to collect statements from medical professionals (and other reliable witnesses) who allege they had been silenced — putting lives at risk.”

They demand the investigative results be made public.

“As Canada’s national police force, we are unique in our ability to conduct a large-scale cross-country investigation, which must be transparent to regain trust in the government.”

These are hardly idle demands. What do the Mounties know?

They asked Lucki to challenge the threat to send the unvaccinated home without pay, a loss of manpower that could endanger Canadians.

“We respectfully submit this open letter to express our most sincere concerns and resolute stand against the forced coercive medical intervention of Canadians, and against the undue discrimination experienced by those exercising their lawful right to bodily autonomy.

“We are not against vaccinations, but as law enforcement officers, we cannot in good conscience willingly participate in enforcing mandates that we believe go against the best interests of the people we protect.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned civil servants refusing his “unequivocal” order to take the jab “there will be consequences.” 

Trudeau surely wasn’t expecting this “consequence” — an explosive backlash from the RCMP. 

The Mounties standing up to politicians and health officials imposing their will on Canadians are diverse.

“We come from various ranks, levels of experience, communities, cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, and vaccination statuses. Together we are the Mounties for Freedom.”

Fortunately, the RCMP are backed by their union, the National Police Federation, that supports their right to refuse vaccinations. Too many others agonizing over taking the jab or losing their jobs have been forsaken by spineless managers and union heads. 

These brave Mounties, who expertly handle incredible challenges daily, refuse to meekly obey an order that impedes their ability to carry out duties, and isn’t based on sound science, law or constitutional rights. The letter offers sound reasons why.

“As Canadians, our constitutionally protected freedoms precede the government, and may only be temporarily limited if the majority of evidence justifies such infringements as reasonable, provable, and guided by law. If presented with all available evidence in a court, we firmly believe the government implemented mandates would not hold up under scrutiny.

“As experienced investigators, we look past what information is provided and focus on how the information is presented.

“Why, then, is there little to no tolerance for free and open debate on this matter? Many credible medical and scientific experts are being censored. Accordingly, we rightly have concerns about ‘the science’ we are being coerced to ‘follow.’” 

Enforcing the vaccine mandates has taken a toll on RCMP officers of whom Canada asks much.

“As representatives of our communities within the RCMP and representatives of the RCMP in our communities, we have never witnessed such division in our country. This sense of “Us versus Them” will be further fueled by having a police force consisting only of ‘vaccinated’ people, while serving communities consisting of ‘unvaccinated’ people, which goes against the community policing model the RCMP has strived to achieve.”

“As law enforcement officers, we already face higher levels of stress and mental illnesses due to the nature of our work. These have been compounded — considerably — by mandates that we believe are deeply unethical, threatening our livelihood, and dividing society.”

The lengthy letter addressed many issues including the law, science, censorship, discrimination, and physical and mental health.

Canadians know something has gone terribly awry regarding freedoms we cherish. Most feel helpless to stand up to the helter-skelter, confusing and increasing dictates imposed. Others are threatened, coerced and silenced. 

By taking this stand, by demanding truth, Mounties for Freedom may be opening a Pandora’s box.

These honourable Mounties are doing the nation a great service — one that could turn the tide and set us on the right path again.

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

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Opinion

MORGAN: Anti-Chu protest degenerates into anti-police striptease

“Chu should by no means be let off the hook yet, but allegations this serious deserve to be taken with seriousness demanding evidence.”

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The first thing that caught my eye after I parked my car south of Calgary’s city hall to cover the Sean Chu protest, was a billowing black plume of smoke straight north of me.

My first thought was that some lunatic had set off a bomb.

I ran as fast as my middle-aged body would allow to try and get to the scene and find out what was happening. I arrived wheezing and gasping at the intersection of Macleod Trail and 6 Ave. just in time to see the Calgary fire department putting out a blazing SUV in the middle of the intersection. Police cars were flying up and down the roads in all directions with sirens blaring.

A automobile burning nearby Calgary City Hall (Image Source: Cory Morgan for Western Standard)

It turns out, somebody had pulled up, parked the SUV, set it on fire, and ran. Police arrested somebody shortly afterward. As far as I could ascertain, it had nothing to do with the pro and anti-Sean Chu rallies that I was actually down there to cover, so I moved on.

My day was off to an odd start, and it didn’t get any better as the rallies developed.

I first checked in at city hall where the anti-Sean Chu demonstration was to be held. I was early and little was happening yet. A handful of organizers were milling about and I saw plastic bags full of sidewalk chalk at their feet. When you see the sidewalk chalk, you know it’s going to be a progressive barn burner.

I crossed the street to Olympic Plaza where the pro-Sean Chu forces were rallying. Organizers were having trouble with their sound system. Apparently, they couldn’t get a rally permit from the city, and so couldn’t get direct power for their amplifiers. Many people were arriving, predominantly from the Asian community, and they were offered signs to display. Instructions were being read out from a portable loudspeaker in several languages. The plaza itself was treacherously icy, causing attendees to stand quite a distance from the speakers on the stage area. The atmosphere was a bit chaotic, but the attendees tended to be peaceful and calm.

The homeless people who reside within Olympic Plaza were none too impressed with this disruption to their Sunday morning. A clearly inebriated gentleman in a bathrobe approached the main organizer’s table, grabbed the hand sanitizer bottles, and smashed them on the ground. Their surprise that this could happen leads me to think the event organizers haven’t spent much time downtown lately. This sort of experience with Calgary’s street people is par for the course these days.

A homeless man not pleased to see pro-Chu protestors at Olympic Plaza. (Image Source: Cory Morgan for Western Standard)

He told someone else from the Western Standard that he was actually an engineer.

The man then grabbed a microphone away from a Global News reporter and offered an expletive-laden, incoherent rant to their camera until a nearby police officer called him away. I suspect the footage will not have made the evening news.

Eventually, roughly two hundred pro-Sean Chu supporters were assembled. After a few false starts in getting O’Canada going, the speakers began.

Pro-Chu protestors at Olympic Plaza (Image Source: Cory Morgan for Western Standard)

A number of people from Chu’s ward took to the microphone and expressed their support for his remaining in office. They related personal stories of their interactions with him as a councillor and said they had been well served by him.

Their arguments mostly boiled down to pointing out that the Chu incident was settled decades ago, he had been disciplined appropriately, and it was time to move on. It was a polite and sedate affair.

I then crossed the street again to check out the anti-Chu gathering.

Anti-Chu protestors at Calgary City Hall (Image Source: Cory Morgan for Western Standard)

The sidewalk chalk was being liberally applied and an Albertan flag decorated with a Black Lives Matter symbol was on display. What BLM had to do with the Chu controversy, I can only guess.

As I walked among the gathering crowd in my Western Standard jacket, a number of people expressed their desire to see me go copulate myself (paraphrasing.) I found their expression to be gratifying. While they were not big fans of the Western Standard or myself, they clearly followed us closely. As the humble publication has reached its second anniversary, to have earned such recognition and vitriol from Calgary’s extreme left is quite an accomplishment. It usually takes much longer to earn such fear and loathing. As long as they keep reading, our advertisers are happy.

Not interested in self-fornication at this time, I wandered back to see how the pro-Chu event was coming along. Their speakers were wrapped up and they were preparing to parade in front of the anti-Chu demonstrators. I had been joined by the Western Standard’s James Finkbeiner and we rushed out to set up on the street to see how well the parade would be received.

As we set up our camera, we could hear Black Lives Matter activist Taylor McNallie ranting at the microphone about the evils of white people. We chuckled. I covered it when McNallie disrupted Dr. Joe Vipond’s pro-lockdown rallies last summer as she refused to mask up and delivered an obscenity-laced tirade to his gathered supporters. I could see the attendees in the anti-Chu crowd beginning to squirm uncomfortably as McNallie raged on and on about how all cops are bastards and white supremacists. It had nothing to do with the point of the rally, and I am certain Sean Chu would make a terrible white supremacist. No woke demonstrator is going to dare to interrupt a person of color as she speaks, however.

The appearance of the pro-Chu parade allowed elements of the crowd to break away from McNallie’s tirade. I am certain that some in the anti-Chu camp saw this distraction as a blessing. Police officers lined Macleod Tr. and kept the opposing protesters to each side of the street. Pro-Chu supporters marched and waved signs while the anti-Chu demonstrators screamed Chu was a child rapist while berating police officers as being pigs among other things. The patience shown by officers as they dealt with the barrage of hatred from the belligerent extremists in the anti-Chu crowd was impressive.

Eventually, most of the attendees on both sides of the street tired of shouting and waving signs at each other. All of the pro-Chu demonstrators dispersed and the majority of the anti-Chu demonstrators left. The fun wasn’t quite over yet though. The next act of this circus was just about to begin.

Street preacher Art Pawlowski began setting up his weekly luncheon for the homeless next to Olympic Plaza. As his supporters set up a crucifix and a Jesus Saves banner along with food tables, the remaining anti-Chu protesters went wild. They resumed their screaming with most of it involving calling Pawlowski a white supremacist. Police again had to intervene as the lineup of homeless people (mostly non-white) began to get upset with the protesters. Whatever one may think of Pawlowski, he feeds a lot of vulnerable people downtown and they appreciate him for it. While the anti-Chu protesters may claim to hate the police, it was the Calgary police force that saved them from likely being terribly beaten by some of the more animated homeless people.

Pawlowski always has music playing at his lunch line. The anti-Chu protesters believe that some hip-hop was in order to drown him out. Things were almost surreal as gangster rap blared from across the street and the remaining protesters began suggestively twerking at the folks assembled at the street church. Some began lifting their shirts and flashing their breasts when they failed to draw enough attention with their dancing. It was an unintentionally entertaining spectacle that I won’t soon forget.

Anti-Chu protestors dance and strip their clothes off (Image Source: Cory Morgan for Western Standard)

People gathered to defend young women from sexual predation twerking to gangster rap known for normalizing the objectification and abuse of women was a creative combination. The anti-Chu gang appeared blissfully unaware of the irony.

I had seen enough by then and made my way home.

I can’t write seriously about these protesters because they aren’t serious people. Right or wrong, the pro-Chu side made their case calmly and went home. The anti-Chu side was made up of the usual suspects you find at every lefty protest. They are angry, confused, and obscene. There are some serious concerns to be discussed regarding Chu’s time on the police force and the police response to it. That discussion should take place with facts, evidence, and testimony. No serious discourse was to be found at the protests though.

There were about four hundred people gathered to demand the resignation of Sean Chu. I had expected more on a nice sunny day considering the rage demonstrated on Twitter. I should have known better than think online outrage reflects people in the real world. Despite paid advertising for the rally on the part of the union-funded Calgarians for a Progressive Future, they couldn’t draw average Calgarians out to their rally in any significant numbers.

The Western Standard the day before published an exclusive story indicating the person who had been accusing Chu of impropriety was found to be not consistent or believable by investigators, by the presiding (female) inspector. Perhaps that has inspired concerned Calgarians to sit back on this issue and wait until the full story comes out. It’s clear we don’t know all the facts yet. Chu should by no means be let off the hook yet, but allegations this serious deserve to be taken with seriousness demanding evidence.

Chu is going to be sworn in as the Ward 4 councilor on Monday no matter what Calgary’s organized progressives may think. Chu was found to have broken no laws and there is no legal mechanism for blocking him from taking the role he was elected to. Protests can be effective tools for people to express opposition to things and they often make decision-makers think twice on issues. The anti-Chu protesters didn’t indicate any kind of groundswell of opposition to the swearing-in of Chu as a city councillor.

We need to be patient and watch for the full story to unfold. Perhaps Premier Jason Kenney will get around to proclaiming his promised recall legislation into active law one day, and people will be able to start petitioning to have Chu removed from office. Until then, it’s time to let Chu get on with his role as the elected councillor for Ward 4, and for the media to continue to unearth evidence that can decide his fitness for office one way or another.

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

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Former general slams Trudeau ‘stupidity’

Canadian taxpayer’s millions go directly into the Taliban’s blood-soaked hands. No one’s on the ground to ensure it helps Afghans they terrorize and slaughter.

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There’s truth, duty, and valour — the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada’s motto the honourable live by as they strive to keep promises made.

Then there’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s broken promises to thousands of Afghans stuck in a potential death trap, as hopes of evacuation to safety rapidly fade.

Afghans helped the Canadian military during their 2001-2104 Afghanistan mission, believing Canada’s promise to bring them here to safety if necessary. 

It’s years past necessary. Promises broken. They’re hiding in terror with their children — Lord help the little girls — from Taliban predators. 

“There’s a bunch of people running around with sharp knives looking for them. They wouldn’t be brought before a court. The Taliban would take their heads off,” retired Maj.-Gen. Clive Addy, former Land Force Western Area commander, told the Western Standard.

Faithful translators proved invaluable. 

“They were very good at passing information to soldiers to prevent them from getting bombed out, or things like that. There’s a myriad of human services they provided. It required a heck of a lot of skill, camouflage, truth. It was that kind of courage they showed on our behalf that we must show for them,” said Addy.

“Truth, duty, and valour. The truth is, the Taliban took over. They’re criminals. Now they’ve got the place. The people to whom we made a vow, we have the duty to fulfill it. And valour, we’ve got to have the guts to do it.” 

“I cannot, having served my country, sit here and watch us walk away from such an important commitment. We’re walking away.”

It’s not that Trudeau isn’t shovelling money into Afghanistan. He pledged an initial extra $50 million for humanitarian aid, topping $27.3 million allocated for 2021.

Recently, Trudeau gave $1.7 million to the Afghanistan Strategic Evacuation Team (ASET), a group of Canadians and Afghans overseen by the Veterans Transition Network (VTN), helping Afghan interpreters.

Of the 10,000 Afghan translators and their families they’ve identified, 1,760 are hiding in safe houses used since the U.S. withdrawal in August. 

The $3 million spent to date, at $20,000 a day, was donated by private citizens and corporations. 

Funds run out November 5. 

Shockingly, Trudeau stipulated the $1.7 million couldn’t be used for safe houses, only logistics.  

ASET is overseen by three retired Canadian major generals — Dean Milner, David Fraser, and Denis Thompson — all RMC graduates.

Bureaucrats, obediently wagging their tails for Trudeau, tell these military greats, all former task-force commanders in Afghanistan, where to spend money.

Canadian taxpayer’s millions go directly into the Taliban’s blood-soaked hands. No one’s on the ground to ensure it helps Afghans they terrorize and slaughter.

Trudeau’s foolishly hoping the devious Taliban — seeking cash and recognition as a legitimate government — will be good little terrorists keeping a promise to behave.

“I’m just shaking my head. I don’t know how they come up with this stupidity. The Taliban asked for support, and we’ve got immigration going through the UN prepared to give them money. But they’re not prepared to give money to people under threat,” said Addy.

“The Taliban have the gall to say ‘Our people are hungry, send money to the UN.’ We’re supporting that. I’m sure there’s some hungry Taliban that Canada might help. The rest of the people are starving.”

On the campaign trail, Trudeau said Canada would welcome 20,000 Afghan refugees. Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, a former Navy commander, doubled it to 40,000 at the UN General Assembly in September.

At an October G20 meeting, Trudeau proclaimed humanitarian assistance must continue, but urged the Taliban to respect rights of women and children. Urge away, it’ll never happen.

Trudeau also urged other countries to take in more refugees.

So far, Canada says it welcomed 3,700 Afghans. That disputed number’s likely 3,000. Many had already left Afghanistan and were ‘evacuated’ from safe countries. Less than 20% were interpreters and families.

Addy recently penned a letter to ministers and MPs to be signed by RMC alumni, outlining a blueprint of what Trudeau must do.

It stated the need to expedite funds to ASET; remove barriers restricting funds from being used for safe houses; remove documentation obstacles eliminating the need for passports by issuing single use travel documents to valid resettlement applicants allowing them to obtain Pakistan e-visas; issue facilitation letters to support the travel documents; and fund air charters for evacuation.

Addy, Milner, Fraser and Thompson aren’t the only retired commanders criticizing the government.

In August, retired general and former chief of the defence staff Rick Hillier told CBC the evacuation operation is “cluttered” by bureaucratic clumsiness, inefficiency, and paperwork. Former lieutenant-general and Liberal MP Andrew Leslie echoed concerns.

Trudeau said the Taliban seized power so quickly, Canada couldn’t evacuate more people. Nonsense.  Military personnel and NGOs have fought for years to get interpreters out.

“I spent three years trying to bring in one of my good Afghans and family members. His file was in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada longer. No movement. Zero, with me picking on them daily, getting lawyers to help,” said VTN’s Milner.

“He was almost killed. The Taliban had his phone. He was a fighter. The Taliban wanted him big-time. We were able to sneak him and his seven lovely children out…They’re in Canada.”

The government, rightfully, says Afghans must be vetted. Hence, the delay. 

The VTN already vetted thousands, people they know well.

Who better to vet? A bureaucrat perusing applications? Or Canadians these Afghans fought beside?

The clock’s ticking Trudeau. 

It’s about truth, duty and valour, right Garneau? Being a RMC graduate, did you forget that part? 

Get them out.

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

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