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MORGAN: Kenney’s ‘Closed for Fall’ was entirely avoidable

“Now that we are 18 months into this pandemic and into our fourth wave, what people should be asking is ‘why our health care system remains so fragile'”




Kenney’s “Best Summer Ever” lasted just two-and-a-half days into September when forced-masking and restrictions reappeared into the lives of Albertans. While the summer of 2021 was markedly better than the summer of 2020, it may have been a bit of a stretch to say it was the “Best Summer Ever” by any means. But such is the nature of political sloganeering.

We are now well into the fourth wave of COVID-19. People are beginning to ask themselves how many waves we may have to endure before if and when this waking pandemic nightmare ends. Spoiler: there will be more.

The impact of government restrictions upon the spread of COVID-19 has been negligible at best. The curves of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in states and provinces with heavy government restrictions look little different than those with light restrictions. Australia has finally admitted that their COVID-zero approach is unreasonable after a year and a half of virtually imprisoning their population. It is becoming accepted that we simply can’t hide from COVID-19 nor legislate it away.

Still, people keep demanding that their governments do something – anything – to stop the spread. Premier Jason Kenney’s latest round of restrictions and regulations are modeled more to appear to be doing something than to actually have any real impact. He could no longer afford to lay low while opposition NDP and activist doctors worked to lay every death by COVID-19 at his feet.

While the numbers do indicate that vaccination does reduce hospitalization and deaths for people, it has not managed to reduce the spread of infections nearly as much as hoped. The number of people fully vaccinated is stubbornly stuck at around 70% and it is doubtful that Kenney’s bizarre attempted bribe with $100 gift cards will change that much. It is clear that he is becoming desperate.

Now that we are 18 months into this pandemic and into our fourth wave, what people should be asking is ‘why our health care system remains so fragile’. Every time we near 500 hospitalizations or 100 ICU cases we are warned that our system is on the verge of total collapse. In a province of 4.6 million people with 161 hospitals, we would expect that we would be able to withstand the periodic pressures of a few hundred additional people to treat.

We have dramatically increased health care funding since the pandemic began, beyond its already massive levels. In December of 2020, COVID-19 hospitalizations were at nearly the exact same levels as they are today. The UCP government at the time was speaking of setting up field hospitals to increase capacity. Beds and ventilators were purchased. Why on earth are we still as vulnerable to infection surges today as we were then? Will we learn from any of these surges or will we keep simply hoping that each one of them will be our last one?

When Premier Kenney and Dr. Hinshaw grandly announced that we were open for summer last June, they also said that the opening would be permanent. They told us that COVID-19 was endemic and that we would have to learn to live with the disease rather than try to eliminate it. In accepting that COVID-19 would always be with us, shouldn’t that have meant that we would change our health care system in order to accommodate the surges that we knew would be coming? Aside from being exhausted and more deeply indebted, we don’t appear to be any better equipped to deal with COVID-19 today than we were nearly a year ago.

Why have we not moved to provide elective medical services in outside facilities so that they won’t be as badly impacted when there are COVID-19 outbreaks in acute care facilities? Why haven’t we been able to set up specialized COVID-19 treatment wards where staff and patients can be better quarantined without as much impact on the rest of the hospital? I understand that these things can’t be done overnight, but it doesn’t look like we have even started on such moves. If we are going to accept life with COVID-19 being endemic, we will need to change our medical practices in order to do so.

The government will move in whatever direction that the public pushes it hardest. While masks likely won’t do a anything thing to reduce infections, they will provide a visible sign that the government has mandated something.

I attended an anti-mask protest in front of city hall in Calgary last week. It was perhaps 100 people at best, and many of them were fringe characters. It was not an indication of a groundswell of public opposition to government restrictions or forced-masking, unfortunately. The rally wasn’t the sort of thing that will make the government sit up and take notice.

Pressure for the government to impose restrictions is strong and well organized. Unions and partisan doctors dominate the news while citizens continue to demand that the state do something, even if they aren’t exactly sure what. While the masks are annoying and early bar closures will drive young folks into attending crowded house parties, at least we haven’t shut down the hospitality industry or large gatherings yet. Small consolation.

If we are going to learn to live with COVID-19, we will actually need to change some things within our health care system in order to do so. When the 5th or 6th wave hit, the government needs to be able to confidently point to how we are treating the cases as effectively as possible while the rest of the world keeps on rolling. Right now, Kenney’s worst nightmare is a vision of people literally dying because hospitals have become overwhelmed.

More forced-masking mandates or bribes for vaccines won’t prevent that risk of hospital collapse. We need to change our health care system. That is something that politicians have shied away from in Canada since the days of Tommy Douglas.

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

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  1. Claudette Leece

    September 8, 2021 at 7:11 am

    Great article Cory

  2. Josh

    September 7, 2021 at 11:03 am

    We need to stop protesting in groups and just live our lives with out restrictions. There is no one that can stop all those people spread out. Plus you reach more people.

  3. Baron Not Baron

    September 7, 2021 at 9:51 am

    I am starting to question Kenney’s mental health fitness at this point.

  4. Left Coast

    September 6, 2021 at 9:50 am

    When will the Health Ministry actually advise the citizens of Alberta about Therapeutics?

    As we approach Year TWO . . . they have not yet offered any advice on how to Prevent serious Illness and they have Silenced any Alberta Dr. who might mention things that are proven to have worked in other jurisdictions. Are they shillin for Big Pharma?

    Zinc and Vit D/C help keep your immune system in tune . . . and Ivermectin & HCQ can rout the Virus especially if taken early. May even keep you out of Hospital.

    What about treatments for the Wuhan Virus why do you suppose none of our Canadian Health Authorities mentioned Preventative mitigation that would have likely kept 1000s out of Hospitals?

    The Candace Owens Show: Dr. Stella Immanuel


    Canada . . . . 37 Million & 27,000 deaths !

    These African countries did much better . . . . WHY you ask?

    Congo 178 deaths out of 92.3 Million
    Burkina Faso 169 deaths out of 21.4 Million
    South Sudan 120 deaths out of 11.3 Million
    Western Sahara 1 death out of .6 Million
    Tanzania 21 deaths out of 59.7 Million

    Death rates in countries that rely on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the treatment of Covid-19 appear to be dramatically lower than death rates in countries that discourage the use of the drug. A new study claims that the death rate in the countries that used HCQ early on was 79% lower than in countries where the drug was not used. (c19study.com).

  5. John Lankers

    September 6, 2021 at 8:45 am

    To be honest, I believe that the covid numbers are hugely manipulated and inflated.
    Eat and live healthy and take zinc and Vitamin D supplements instead of the government prescribed poison.

  6. Left Coast

    September 5, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Right from the Mouth of the mRNA Gene Therapy inventor himself . . . Dr. Malone !

    Natural Immunity Is 20X More Effective Than The Vaccine

  7. Left Coast

    September 5, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Kenny proves once Again . . . he is NO Leader.

    Average age of the Wuhan Victims in Alberta is close to 80 . . .

    An intelligent person would look after the Elderly & those with Health Issues . . . but hey Common Sense & Intelligence is a RARE Commodity in 2021, especially among Politicians.

    Chances of anyone health under 70 dying from Wuhan Flu is less than .5% and that number gets smaller with every decade down to 18 where it becomes close to ZERO!

  8. Cytotoxic

    September 5, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    “The curves of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in states and provinces with heavy government restrictions look little different than those with light restrictions.”

    That is categorically false, regardless of the insanity of ‘COVID zero’.

  9. Jennifer Dyck

    September 5, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    India dispensed free ivermectin to millions of their citizens with dramatic results: “Ivermectin is a cheap drug that is prescribed as an anti-parasitic. It has been gaining in popularity for preventing COVID-19. The WHO and FDA are not approving Ivermectin but many doctors and scientists believe Ivermectin is effective. There is the claim that the Indian States that used Ivermectin had far better outcomes and far fewer COVID deaths than the Indian states that did not use Ivermectin.

    Among the most prominent examples include the Ivermectin areas of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Goa where cases dropped 98%, 97%, 94%, and 86%, respectively. By contrast, Tamil Nadu opted out of Ivermectin. As a result, their cases skyrocketed and rose to the highest in India. Tamil Nadu deaths increased ten-fold.

    In a test of over 4000 people in India (3000+ took Ivermectin) and over 1000 did not. The results were that 2% Ivermectin takers had PCR test confirmed COVID and 11.7% non-takers had PCR test confirmed COVID. The people were given two 21 mg doses of Ivermectin. This costs less than 1 penny per person.

    Advocate Dipali Ojha, lead attorney for the Indian Bar Association, threatened criminal prosecution against Dr. Swaminathan “for each death” caused by her acts of commission and omission. The brief accused Swaminathan of misconduct by using her position as a health authority to further the agenda of special interests to maintain an EUA for the lucrative vaccine industry.” – Brian Wang, Next Big Future, June 24, 2021

  10. John

    September 5, 2021 at 11:46 am

    “Every time we near 500 hospitalizations or 100 ICU cases we are warned that our system is on the verge of total collapse. In a province of 4.6 million people with 161 hospitals, we would expect that we would be able to withstand the periodic pressures of a few hundred additional people to treat.”

    That is worth repeating!

  11. Declan Carroll

    September 5, 2021 at 10:59 am

    It is long past time we shot the sacred cow of “free healthcare”. Like all socialist programs it has been an unmitigated failure.

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MORGAN: Big labour wants big government in Calgary’s civic election

“Calgary’s Future used to be called “Calgarians for a Progressive Future” and the Canadian Union for Public Employees pumped nearly $1.4 million into the group in 2019 alone.”




Alberta’s civic election fundraising laws used to be pretty ‘wild west’. There were no contribution limits for candidates. Disclosure requirements on contributors were loose and candidates could spend contributions on whatever they pleased.

Just think about how ridiculous that was. A person, company, or union could give tens of thousands of dollars to a candidate and we were supposed to pretend that it wouldn’t impact how they govern. There was no formal campaign period, so fundraising could happen during the entire term of the councillor. The official didn’t have to actually spend the funds on their campaign. They could and did build surpluses in their campaign accounts. It was a perfect system for (soft) bribery and money laundering, and let’s not pretend that it never happened.

Campaign accounts could be used as retirement funds for city councillors. Upon leaving office, whatever surplus funds were in the campaign account could go to the councillor as a tax-free gift.

Ward 11 councilor Barry Erskine was so flagrant in his abuse of the system, he can at least be credited for helping spur the reform of it. In 2004, Erskine claimed $67,000 in election expenses while he was acclaimed. How do you spend so much on a campaign against nobody? In 2007, Erskine pretended an intent to run right up until a couple of days before the deadline. He then dropped out of the race, pocketed whatever campaign funds were in his account, and rode off into the sunset. While the act was grossly unprincipled, it was entirely legal.

Multiple campaign finance reform bills have been passed since the unregulated days of 2007. Unions and corporations can no longer donate to candidates and the maximum that anybody can donate to a campaign is $5,000 per year.

Campaign finance reforms have not stopped the influence of well-heeled groups, however. Rather than donating directly to candidates as they used to, organizations have formed a myriad of Third-Party Advertiser (TPA) groups and have been funneling a lot of money into them. Most of these groups have modest funding. A TPA called “Calgary’s Future” is an exception and is sitting on a $1.7 million campaign war chest.

While contributions to TPAs are capped at $30,000 now, there was no limit on contributions to them prior to 2021. Calgary’s Future used to be called “Calgarians for a Progressive Future” and the Canadian Union for Public Employees pumped nearly $1.4 million into the group in 2019 alone.

Calgary’s Future may have dropped the term “progressive” from their name, but their leftward slant isn’t hard to see on their website. Every candidate that they have endorsed is running on a progressive platform. The group gives an impression of transparency but no organizers or principles behind the organization are disclosed beyond first names. It is hardly a secret that they are a creation of government unions.

We can try to cork the bottle when it comes to campaign funding, but big money will always find another way to influence candidates. Having nearly $2 million in union dues directed towards promoting a specific set of candidates is surely going to impact the election. There is no TPA with a budget even close to Calgary’s Future. No other TPA has the paycheques of thousands of union members to tap for funding either.

If any of the candidates being backed by Calgary’s Future do get elected, they will have more than a little bias in favour of labour unions when contract negotiations with civil service unions are done. We are in a period of fiscal crisis and need councilors who will stand up to organized labour as opposed to being beholden to it.

We clearly needed to fix our unregulated campaign funding system; but have we now created a monster worse than what we had to begin with? Things are less transparent than ever and the dollars are bigger. Interest groups with multi-million dollar budgets will be supporting campaigns while the average voter doesn’t even realize it. It is more difficult to tie a candidate to who their backers may actually be. The money is still there, but now it is indirect.

It is too late to change the campaign funding system for 2021, but we should work to expose it. Organized labour is funding a large campaign for a small number of candidates. Calgary needs councilors who are working for the interest of the city as a whole rather than the labour unions for city employees. If Calgarians want the city to return to fiscal responsibility, they need to look at the list of candidates being endorsed by Calgary’s Future and choose not to vote for them.

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

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Allison: Official bilingualism creates a regional power imbalance

Westerners must join the elite minority of bilinguals by learning a second language or be left behind when it comes to rising the ranks of Canada’s federal institutions.




Bilinguals make up only 18% of our population, yet they dominate our federal institutions.

The reason for this is no secret. Canada’s official bilingualism, legally enshrined in the Official Languages Act (1969), gives a distinct advantage to one class of Canadians; bilinguals, over all others. The Act requires that federal institutions provide services in both French and English. The result is that 40% of federal public service jobs are “designated bilingual.” This means that some 300,000 jobs which make up our federal bureaucracies are available only to 18% of Canadians and closed to the other 82%

What does this mean for regional representation in our federal institutions? It means overrepresentation from Quebec and underrepresentation from the West. About 45% of Quebecers are bilingual whereas only 7% of those in the prairie provinces are bilingual. Thus, the pool of qualified candidates for federal public service jobs is going to be overwhelmingly filled with Quebecers while having scarcely any Westerners. As spokesman for Canadians for Language Fairness, Gordon Miller, writes: “The Official Languages Act has allowed this group [the “Laurentian elite”] to dominate the federal government bureaucracy and further entrench the dominance of the Eastern provinces in federal affairs.”

The Laurentian elite does dominate the federal public service. A total of 67% of the federal public service is made up of Quebecers and Ontarians and only 11% are from the prairie provinces. Of course, official bilingualism is not the only cause that has explanatory power in the case of this discrepancy. The federal capital being located on the border between the two most populous provinces also plays a significant role in determining the regional makeup of the federal public service (a separate and distinct advantage that the Laurentians have over Westerners in controlling federal institutions). In fact, 42% of federal public service employees live in the National Capital Region in Ottawa-Gatineau.

But, when it comes to those who rise the ranks in Canada’s federal bureaucracy, official bilingualism provides an explanation for its overwhelmingly Quebecer makeup. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard Wagner, the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal Marc Noël, the Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson for the National Film Board of Canada Claude Joli-Coeur, the Director and CEO of the Canada Council of the Arts Simon Brault, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Stéphane Perrault, and the Director of CSIS David Vigneault are all Quebecers. The board of directors for the CBC, is also made up of 33% Quebecers with only one member hailing from the prairie provinces — Jennifer Moore Rattray from Manitoba. As Washington Post columnist, J.J. McCullough, suggests: “It is really hard to argue that by some massive coincidence the most qualified people for all of these jobs just happen to be Quebecers.”

Indeed, it is no coincidence. Since all federal institutions must provide services in both French and English, it is likely to have a bilingual in charge of these federal bureaucracies in order to ensure that these institutions run smoothly. As a result, Quebecers with their disproportionate number of bilinguals, have come to dominate the highest ranks of these bureaucracies.

Official bilingualism lays the groundwork for these regional disparities in Canada’s federal bureaucracies. Quebecers are overwhelmingly more likely to be bilingual than Westerners. As such, Westerners must join the elite minority of bilinguals by learning a second language or be left behind when it comes to rising the ranks of Canada’s federal institutions.

Andrew Allison is a PhD philosophy student at the University of Calgary

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SLOBODIAN: Doug Ford’s daughter could teach her father a thing or two about freedom

Daughter champions freedoms, daddy seizes them. Some who despise Premier Dad’s authoritarian decrees say the wrong family member heads Ontario.




Krista Ford Haynes, daughter of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, is going to make for some interesting Thanksgiving Dinner family conversation.

On Tuesday, Krista issued another dire warning against governments forcing vaccine passports, urging people to “collectively wake up” and not be obedient and unquestioning.

The following day, her father, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, launched COVID-19 vaccine passports, forcing people to choose between taking the jab, or losing many of their most basic freedoms. He claimed the passports are temporary.

Sure, they are. And 14 days would flatten the curve. No government relinquishes control it grabs. When COVID eventually passes, the newly established government powers will be turned elsewhere.

Daughter champions freedoms, daddy seizes them. Some who despise Premier Dad’s authoritarian decrees say the wrong family member heads Ontario.

Ford family get-togethers can’t be fun. Hopefully, they’re amicable. That’s not always the case.

Polarizing COVID-19 views about forced-masking, lockdowns, vaccines, and mandatory vaccine passports are dividing and destroying families and friendships.

Screaming matches and brawls over masks and social distancing aren’t confined to the aisles of Walmart among strangers.

Loved ones nearly, or maybe do, come to blows at dinner tables before the soup gets cold. That only happens when the government permits them to visit in between intermittent lockdowns.

Everyone’s ready to fall on their swords, convinced that their side — whichever it is — is solely righteous and right.

Haynes, 30, is an anti-vax crusader. Insults are hurled at her. The indignant demand she is reported. She’s been called “ignorant.” She makes people’s “blood boil.”

The feisty Haynes won’t back down from views some declare extreme.

Haynes, with thousands of followers, delivered her latest message in a video posted to Instagram after the federal election.

“Good morning, everyone. Happy Tuesday. As we could have all expected, the Liberal government won last night with a minority government,” said Haynes.

The Liberals will carry on “stripping our freedoms away one day at a time,” she said.

Haynes has long warned that forced masking was a steppingstone to vaccine passports. She was mocked. Few are laughing now.

The passports are here. Alberta succumbed, despite Premier Jason Kenney’s solemn vow to gallantly fight the feds if they forced them. Then he did a 180 and imposed them with a vengeance.

Now Haynes warns vaccine passports are a steppingstone to more controls and lost freedoms.

“When I posted in May or June of last year about the upcoming mask mandates and not to comply, this is why I wanted people, urged people, not to comply,” she said.

“We found out right away that masks weren’t very effective at all based on how people were wearing and revising them, and it actually could have made things a lot worse for some people and are making things a lot worse for certain age groups today.”

“That was one, but we complied, we complied. We could have put our foot down collectively, and we didn’t.”

So, the worst of it has arrived?

“You think it’s just going to be movie theatres, restaurants, gyms. That’s the first step. The first step. They’re going to take it all. They’re going to take it all and we’ve allowed it.”

Australians wore their masks and obeyed ‘temporary’ lockdown orders. The former penal colony turned into one of the freest countries, has become an effective police state. Citizens face the most extreme lockdowns globally. Wednesday, police fired rubber bullets into a crowd of 400 unarmed and peaceful protestors against severe lockdowns and vaccine passports.

Chaos erupts around the world. People fear pandemic “mandates” have morphed into a sinister grab for complete control over their lives to advance ever-greater government control.

Many are losing their jobs for no good reason.

Citizens are enraged their children suffer abuse, being forced to wear masks with little proof they effectively prevent transmission of COVID.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s booster (third) shot six months after full immunization for the elderly and high-risk. It rejected an application to approve booster shots for all Americans 16 and older. They’ll circle back to that.

Haynes urged people to ask questions, discuss, research. She, like others who advocate this, are ridiculed, attacked, discredited, even fired.

Their critics just want everyone to comply with the latest orders and shut up.

Fear, anger and distrust over this curse called COVID-19 prevail. There’s little common ground.

Doctors who question the official doctrine are dismissed, shamed, and now, being fired in some cases.

Asking questions is a good thing. Blindly complying isn’t.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard

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