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McEachern carries Goodale Liberal torch in Regina-Wascana

This fall marks the first time since 1988 that someone besides Ralph Goodale has run for the Liberals in the Regina riding.

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If anyone could fill Ralph Goodale’s shoes, it’s Sean McEachern. He will carry the Liberal banner in Regina-Wascana, the riding Goodale represented from 1993 to 2019. McEachern served in Goodale’s Regina office from 2003 to 2006 and managed his 2011, 2015, and 2019 campaigns.

“I have a pretty good handle on this constituency and things that work and don’t work when it comes to campaigning and definitely it’s a change from being a campaign manager to being a candidate and I’m slowly getting over some of those hurdles,” McEachern told the Western Standard.

“Working with Ralph for a number of years, and being a close friend, he was a tremendous mentor in terms of teaching me about the skills of being a good Member of Parliament, someone with integrity, someone who is involved in community, engages, listens, and works really hard to advocate on behalf of their constituents….

“On the doorstep with people, I share that connection, but I’m also very clear that I’m not Ralph Goodale. I’m Sean McEachern, and I’m my own person.”

In 2015, Regina Wascana was the final Liberal island in a prairie sea, as Ralph Goodale’s 23,552 votes outpaced Conservative Michael Kram’s 12,931. In 2019, the roles reversed as Kram took the riding with 22,418 votes, besting Goodale’s 15,242. Projections by Canada338 for this year’s election are a toss-up, with McEachern and Kram tied at 37% support, the NDP at 19%, the PPC at 4.7%, and Greens at 2.5%.

McEachern says his campaign centres on “community, connection, and commitment.”

The father of two is the executive officer to a Deputy Chief Monitor with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. 

Prior to that, McEachern spent 12 years at the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association—including five years as SUMA’s girector of policy and communications. McEachern said he believes the Liberals have done a good job helping local governments.

“The federal government since 2015 invested a tremendous amount of infrastructure money into municipalities, whether it be for roadways, water, wastewater systems and so on, and have worked alongside municipalities to address issues around homelessness,” said McEachern.

“Minister Amarjeet Sohi, who was a former councillor in Edmonton, really understood the municipal sector and worked really hard to build a strong relationship and advocate on their behalf to make sure that the programs the federal government put in place were there to help municipalities grow.”

McEachern said he’s heard a wide range of issues at the doors including roads, recreational facilities, climate change, health care, the pandemic, and mandatory vaccinations. He said his supporters come from diverse backgrounds.

“A Liberal voter in Regina-Wascana is someone that focuses on issues around health care, climate change, affordability for families, whether it’s around additional support and childcare. They want to see programs the government puts in place that helps to support them [and] allows them to live prosperous lives in the best way that they can,” he said.

McEachern knows some voters stand against his party, but he says most of them are OK to deal with.

“Most people are very cordial. Any political candidate will tell you I don’t care from whatever party you’re always going to run across one person that’s going to be a little ornery, right? And, when I engage with people that perhaps are a little bit more aggressive on issues, I simply just explain: ‘I’m here as a local candidate trying to identify my supporters, spreading the word of the Liberal federal policies that are going to benefit Canadians,’ and we just leave it at that. 

“There are people at the door that want to discuss things and I’m more than willing to have those discussions within a cordial and kind manner. And most often those conversations are very healthy, good, healthy debate – and that’s an important point. An important foundation of our democracy is the ability to have debates with people respecting each other’s differing opinions. And at the end, you may leave to agree to disagree, but at least you have that discussion, right?”

Click here to see the article on Regina Wascana’s Conservative and PPC candidates and return to Western Standard for an article on the riding’s Green candidate coming soon.

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1 Comment

  1. Left Coast

    September 8, 2021 at 9:33 am

    So the good people of Regina have not been damaged enough by the Federal Liberals and still want to elect one. That makes ZERO sense.

    I always saw Goodale as a grifter, lifer politician who wallowed at the Taxpayer Trough. A guy who was on the wrong side of most important issues going all the way back to the 70s.

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Independent Alberta MLAs call for emergency debate on forced vaccinations

And the pair said they will not be revealing their own vaccination status, calling it a personal issue

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Alberta’s two Independent MLAs are asking for an emergency debate in the Legislature over the issue of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies, especially for health workers and the RCMP.

Drew Barnes, MLA for Cypress-Medicine, joined his colleague Todd Lowen, MLA for Central-Peace-Notley in making the call to Premier Jason Kenney.

And the pair said they will not be revealing their own vaccination status, calling it a personal issue.

Barnes said he was particularly worried about the impact on the RCMP, especially in rural detachments where he claimed few officers had been vaccinated.

More than 33,000 RCMP officers and support staff have signed an open letter to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki opposing mandatory vaccinations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said all federal workers, including the RCMP, must be vaccinated of face job consequences. But government memos say two-thirds of the civil service could be exempt.

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Vax deadline for BC health-care workers looms overhead

In BC, roughly 5,500 unvaccinated health-care workers will be stripped of their jobs on October 26 if they do not get their first shot.

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Health-care workers have been praised for their efforts surrounding COVID-19 for nearly 20 months, however, the ephemeral display of gratitude comes to an end tomorrow.

On October 26, roughly 5,500 unvaccinated health-care workers in British Columbia will be stripped of their jobs, as set forth in a public health order.

The order demands workers provide proof of having received one dose of vaccination against COVID-19 by the aforementioned date.

If they get their first shot before November 15, workers will be permitted employment seven days afterwards, provided they follow extra safety precautions until they get a second dose — which must be administered within 35 days of the first.

“We’re hopeful, of course, that people will move to get vaccinated and comply with the upcoming order,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

The roughly 5,500 employees do not include the unvaccinated long-term and assisted living facility workers who were forced out of their jobs by the province on October 12.

Similar policies have been rolled out across the country, but not without resistance.

In August, Alberta Health Service (AHS) announced that all employees, volunteers, and contracted health-care providers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Last week, the deadline was pushed until November 30.

Similarly, Quebec extended its proof-of-vaccination timeline for health-care workers by one month, with the new deadline falling on November 15.

BC’s deadline — which looms a mere hours away — seems to be fixed in its place.

“The government forcing health-care workers to become vaccinated is really problematic because — for one reason — these are the people most likely to have natural immunity,” Dr. Steven Pelech, chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee at the Canadian Covid Care Alliance told the Western Standard.

“This is the way the health-care system treats them… a year ago they were heroes for helping save lives, now they are discarded for being unvaccinated.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Chu sworn in as Calgary Ward 4 councillor

Chu was sworn in by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Rooke. Earlier Calgary mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek had said she would refuse to swear Gondek in over his actions in 1997 with a 16-year-old girl.

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Embattled Calgary Coun. Sean Chu has been officially sworn in again to the represent the area despite allegations of a 24-year-old sex scandal that erupted just before election day.

Chu was sworn in by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Rooke. Calgary mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek earlier said she would refuse to swear Gondek in over his actions in 1997 with a 16-year-old girl.

Gondek did not even mention Chu’s name during the ceremony.

In a media scrum following in the swearing-in ceremony, Gondek said council will be focusing on looking at the biggest priorities for each councillor in each ward and which councillor will be serving on the various committees, boards and commissions.

When asked why she chose not to swear councillor Chu in, Gondek said, “I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to swear him in.”

“I’m focused on working with new members of council and one that have returned and letting them enjoy this day of being sworn in. All of us are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished and we are looking forward to celebrating this day as ours. So I’m choosing to focus on that today,” said Gondek when asked if she plans to take Chu up on his invitation to speak with him in person about the resurfaced allegations.

“The future will dictate that. Today I’m incredibly focuses on my family and my collegues who’ve achived a great success,” Gondek said about meeting with Chu at a later date.

Gondek became the first female mayor of Calgary in history. Eleven new councillors and two former ones were also sworn in Monday.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek was presented with the Chain of Office by her husband Todd. Justice John Rooke is on the left.

The Chu allegation involved an incident where he met the girl at the King’s Head Pub. After hitting it off, the pair agreed to meet later when Chu was off-duty and in civilian clothes.

The pair went to Chu’s house where he admits they engaged in consensual sexual foreplay. The girl then asked Chu to drive her home, which he did.

The girl later filed a complaint alleging Chu sexually assaulted her.

According to documents obtained by the Western Standard, Chu’s accuser said he had sexually assaulted her while holding a gun to her head.

However, Insp. Debbie Middleton-Hope, the presiding officer at the disciplinary hearing in 2003, said testimony from the then 16-year-old minor was not credible and not to be believed.

“I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed,” said Middleton-Hope, a well-respected, now-retired, Calgary policewoman, in transcripts provided to the Western Standard.

“Under cross-examination (the woman) had difficulty in recalling pertinent details,” said Middleton-Hope.

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

Middleton-Hope also confirmed there was no evidence that would have indicated Chu was aware the woman was underage stating, “several witnesses said [the girl] appeared to be 19 to 21 years old.”

Although allegations of sexual misconduct were thoroughly investigated and dismissed over the investigation, Chu had a letter of reprimand added to his file for discreditable conduct for caressing the accuser’s leg while on duty and was ordered to undergo six months of ethics training.

Gondek and Premier Jason Kenney, along with most of the incoming council have called for Chu to resign.

Chu offered to meet with Gondek in person to discuss the situation and has vowed not to resign.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm,” Chu told the Western Standard in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

“I have always told the truth. My reputation is important to me and now my family is hurting,” said Chu.

Chu is now looking at his legal options and a possible defamation suit over some of what he called “false reporting.”

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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