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Kram to face Milanovski, but not Goodale in Regina-Wascana re-election bid

“Last time, people wanted to get rid of Trudeau and this time people really want to get rid of Trudeau,” Kram told the Western Standard.




In Regina–Wascana, Conservative incumbent Michael Kram will face People’s Party candidate Mario Milanovski again, but not former MP Ralph Goodale. Regardless, Kram said he will approach this campaign like any other.

“In election campaigns and life in general, I tend to not worry about things that are beyond my control. Whoever the other parties put up is whoever the other parties will put up, but I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing [and what] I’ve done in the past, which is to knock on lots of doors and have lots of good conversations with the voters,” Kram told the Western Standard.

“When you’re on an election campaign, you have to talk with the people and listen to their concerns and talk about why the Conservative Party is the best party to lead the country. So it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Kram lost to Goodale in 2011 and 2015, but received 22,418 votes in 2019. Goodale took only 15,242 votes to surrender the riding he represented for almost 26 years. A post-Goodale pandemic election means a different terrain on which to fight the current campaign.

“I certainly had a lot of people telling me on the doorstep last time that they didn’t like Trudeau, and they didn’t like the Liberal Party, but they’d been voting for Ralph Goodale for the past 20 years. And so certainly the Goodale factor is no longer in the equation,” Kram said.

“Nobody talked about a worldwide Coronavirus pandemic two years ago, and now people certainly are. But I haven’t noticed much change in people’s voting intentions or people’s sentiments for Justin Trudeau. Last time, people wanted to get rid of Trudeau and this time people really want to get rid of Trudeau.”

Regina residents can no longer hope for one of their own to become prime minister. Regina Qu’Appelle MP Andrew Scheer is out as leader, but Kram said voters will warm up to his successor.

“I think that the more people see of Erin O’Toole, the more they’re going to like of him. He has a military background and a business background and he has a good head on his shoulders. And I think Mr. Trudeau called this election as a cynical ploy to try and get a majority. I would not be at all surprised if it backfires on him and we get Erin O’Toole as prime minister on September 20.”

Milanovski, who received 450 votes last election, said many voters are skeptical of O’Toole and his chances of victory.

“They’re not happy with Mr. O’Toole, and they can’t see [the] Conservative Party winning this election… And Mr. O’Toole does not believe in conservatism in this country,” Milanovski said in an interview. 

“He moved way too left because he’s trying to make, well, not exactly [a] socialist party out of [the] Conservative Party, but close enough. And he’s trying to please the East too much, and he’s looking for what’s popular. And that’s why he’s pushing [a] carbon tax.”

Milanovski likens the recent Parliament to a “one party system with four different names” and says his party is different.

“PPC will never mandate vaccines or tests because we do believe that Canadians are smart enough to decide for themselves what’s the best thing for their health,” said Malinovski. 

Another difference between Milanovski and Kram is that the latter voted for Bill C-6 to ban conversion therapy. The legislation, which did not pass before Parliament dissolved, defines conversion therapy as “practices, treatment or services designed to change an individual’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender or to reduce non-heterosexual sexual attraction or sexual behaviour.”

Kram lost some social conservative voters to the PPC over the vote, but Kram told Western Standard: “I want to point out that that ban was on forced conversion therapy. And I did get a lot of feedback in my office. And the feedback was very consistent that no one is in favor of forcing people to do things against their will. And that includes conversion therapy.”

Although one prohibition in C-6 bans “therapy against their will,” another prohibits “causing a child to undergo conversion therapy,” which could include therapies to help a child reconcile their gender identity with their natal sex. It would also “authorize courts to order the seizure and forfeiture of advertisements for conversion therapy or order their removal from computer systems.”

Milanovski believes a ban on conversion therapy has the same problem as mandatory vaccination because it takes away people’s options.

“Conversion therapy should be available for all people if they choose to do so because by removing choices in this country, we’re going into tyranny,” Milanovski said.

Milanovski, who works as an IT analyst, says Canada is starting to look like the land he fled from in 1998.

“We can see economic instability and grouping of people, [just like] Yugoslavia and I would hate to see this country end up the same way because there’s a lot of good people, they are just blinded by current politicians…We’ve lost sight [of] how democracy is supposed to work because people should be telling government what’s the best for them, not the other way around.”

Lee Harding is a Regina correspondent for the Western Standard. Tomorrow the second article in this series will profile Goodale’s Liberal successor in the riding, his former assistant and campaign manager Sean McEachern.

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  1. mm

    Lee Harding

    September 9, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Goodale was first elected in 1974 in Assiniboia, so he served the first Trudeau as well.

  2. Left Coast

    September 7, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Ole Ralph Goodall has finally retired. He was always First to the Trough . . . likely enjoying his Fat Pension. He first got elected during the Trudough I years . . . no thinking jurisdiction would send the same clown to Ottawa for 40 years would they?

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Chu wants meeting with Gondek ‘to tell the truth’

Mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek told a city hall press conference she will not swear Chu in, when council meets for the first time on Monday.




Embattled Calgary Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu wants to sit down with incoming mayor Jyoti Gondek to plead his case about a sexual incident 24 years ago.

Gondek said Thursday she will refuse to swear in Chu during the first council meeting on Monday.

“I want her to hear the whole truth. I will provide that to her,” Chu told reporters at a press conference.

Chu also offered to sit down with other incoming council members — most of whom are calling for him resign — to explain his side of the story.

“I always work with anybody but they have only heard media reports … some of which has been untruthful,” said Chu.

“I will sit down in private with them and answer any question they have.”

He added he thought it would be a judge who does the swearing-in.

“I was duly elected by the people of Ward 4. I told the truth,” he said, adding was surprised at the amount of support he has received from Ward 4 voters in e-mails and letters.

Chu said this would be his last election as he was a proponent of term limits for councillors at three terms.

“The Sean Chu situation continues to get more disturbing,” Gondek said prior to the press conference.

“This is a travesty for the young woman that was courageous enough to come forward … she needs to have this taken seriously, and he needs to resign in order for that to happen.

“[Chu] can absolutely show up. He won’t be sworn in by me.”

In his only interview so far, Chu had told the Western Standard on Tuesday he had no intention of resigning, but did apologize to a woman he had a sexual encounter with 24 years ago.

Since then, pressure has mounted with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Gondek, most of the incoming council, and even local Conservative MPs all saying Chu should resign.

At the press conference, Chu apologized to the woman who was involved in the original incident and his family.

“My daughter is crying a lot. My children are going through a lot,” Chu said, asking for his family’s privacy.

“I’ve had CTV camping out at my house.”

Chu confirmed other details he told the Western Standard during the exclusive interview on Tuesday.

City of Calgary officials confirmed Chu won the election race in Ward 4 by a mere 52 votes after allegations surfaced last week of his involvement in August of 1997 with a girl who was just 16 at the time.

“This was nothing but a political assassination,” said Chu.

Chu, who has represented Ward 4 since 2013, also fired back at some media reports which he claims were completely wrong.

Chu, then a serving Calgary Police Services officer, said he met the unidentified girl at a pub near Macleod Tr. and 94 Ave.

At some point in their interaction, Chu caressed the girl’s leg, an incident that later earned him a letter of reprimand on his file.

Chu said the girl seemed interested in him so when he was off duty he changed into civilian clothes and went back to the pub to meet the girl.

The evening continued with Chu and the girl eventually heading to his home.

Chu “categorically” denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

He said at the home, the two had consensual foreplay before she asked to go home.

Chu also addressed a 2008 fight with his wife that ended with police responding and seizing a firearm.

The incident happened in February 2008, when Chu was running in a provincial election for the Progressive Conservatives in Calgary-Buffalo.

He said his wife ran to a neighbour’s after a verbal argument. Chu said his now ex-wife never intended to call police, but the neighbour did.

After consultation with the Edmonton Crown, no charges were laid.

“This was at the lowest point of my life,” Chu said, adding he sought mental health help after it.

“I have never threatened or harmed my wife or children.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

During the investigation, Chu underwent a lengthy lie detector test asking him questions about consent and if a weapon was used. Chu said he passed all the tests.

Premier Jason Kenney described the allegations as “appalling,” but said he didn’t think there was any way for the province to remove a councillor who hasn’t been convicted under the Criminal Code.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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WATCH: Vancouver restaurant served closure order for non-compliance with ‘Public Health Act’

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the closure order.




Another BC restaurant has been ordered to close its doors in the name of public health.

“I’m a mother of four,” restaurant owner Rebecca Matthews pleaded with health officials and police.

Corduroy Restaurant — nestled in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood — has been offering service to customers without checking their vaccination status against COVID-19.

Under the BC Vaccine Card, people are required to show proof-of-vaccination against COVID-19 in order to access a variety of settings, such as dining.

In response to Corduroy having potentially committed the crime of serving unvaccinated customers, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) sent environmental health officer Ryan Hammel — accompanied by Vancouver police — bearing a closure order for non-compliance on Wednesday.

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the order, whilst listing off several more “health hazards,” such as “failing to comply with the Face Coverings Order.”

The closure order — signed by VCH medical officer, Dr. Michael Schwandt — says the establishment must remain closed until authorized by a medical officer.

Matthews told the Western Standard health officials showed up at her restaurant on Tuesday morning to “investigate some complaints.”

On Wednesday, Hammel served the closure order.

WATCH: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVQ1f8nhN2m/

“They wouldn’t even discuss anything with me,” said Matthews.

“We reduced our hours, we started doing counter service … these are all things that are — according to the provincial health orders — considered safe.”

Matthews said she’s looking into the closure order to determine how best to proceed.

“I have a family, but at the same time we still want to create a space for people that don’t have anywhere else to go … so we’re just trying to navigate the next steps in the best way for everybody, including my family. Our plan is not to just go away,” she said.

Wednesday is not the first time Corduroy has taken a hit for defying provincial health orders, as its license was suspended six months ago for offering in-person dining, when no such thing was permitted.

During a September 20 staff forum, the Chief Medical Health Officer of VCH, Dr. Patricia Daly, said vaccine passports in settings such as Corduroy’s are not intended to prevent transmission.

“The vaccine passport requires certain people to be vaccinated to do certain discretionary activities such as go to restaurants, movies, gyms … not because these places are high risk,” said Daly.

“We’re not actually seeing COVID transmission in these settings, it’s really to create an incentive to improve our vaccination coverage.”

A Go Fund Me has been set up for Matthew’s by a verified third party to cover legal fees so Corduroy can “continue to stand up for the rights of their patrons, their medical privacy and choice.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard

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Gondek appoints controversial Carter as chief of staff

He received $130,000 in severance for his six months as chief of staff for Alison Redford.




Incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek has appointed Stephen Carter, formerly Premier Alison Redford’s chief of staff and Naheed Nenshi campaign manager, as her own chief of staff.

Carter masterminded Gondek’s campaign and saw her come from well back in early election polls to an eventual easy victory over rival Jeromy Farkas.

Carter in February also threatened to sue the Western Standard when it published a story about a former Calgary city councillor filing an official complaint with Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer alleging Gondek used third-party funds to pay for a city-wide brochure mail-drop.

Almost immediately after publishing, Carter threatened Western Standard News Editor Dave Naylor with a lawsuit. He tweeted:

“That was quick: Ok. You will be getting a letter from our lawyer shortly. Straight to Jono? Does he defend you as well?”

We told Carter that any further correspondence should be directed to our lawyers. 

He then took to Twitter to brag about his impending lawsuit to shut the Western Standard up. 

Carter never followed through on his threats.

Carter was once famously referred to as “Chief of Stiff” by the Calgary Sun after he become embroiled in a scandal where he didn’t pay his bills.

The Sun reported a company owned by Carter, Carter McRae Events, “owes more than $600,000, most of it to the University of Calgary, and hasn’t coughed up a cent in court-ordered judgments.”

He resigned from Redford’s staff and received $130,000 in severance for his six months work.

Stephen Carter (photo credit: Calgary Sun)

“If that’s the full amount, that’s still pretty eye-popping,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith at the time.

“A six-figure severance for six months worth of work? An employee who voluntarily leaves should not get severance at all. This certainly doesn’t happen in the private sector.”

Carter, who had been Redford’s strategist in the 2011 Tory leadership race, became her chief of staff when she took office in October of that year.

He was also the mastermind behind Nenshi’s unexpected election victory 11 years ago.

Gondek also announced Amie Blanchette as deputy chief of staff, Catherine Seymour as operations manager and Allison Bates as communications advisor.

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