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O’Toole blames Bernier for boosting support because of pandemic

The PPC finished second in numerous ridings across the country, seemingly taking votes away from the Tories. They ran on an anti-mandatory vaccine platform.

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People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier used the health crisis to pad his popularity and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used the COVID-19 crisis as “a wedge issue,” says Conservative leader Erin O’Toole.

“There were two people that used health in this pandemic for political gain, Mr. Trudeau and the PPC,” O’Toole told reporters in Ottawa.

Trudeau had “divided the country and actually made health a wedge issue.”

“People are frustrated that we were in a pandemic election, that Mr. Trudeau was using the pandemic to divide people.”

The PPC finished second in numerous ridings across the country, seemingly taking votes away from the Tories. They ran on an anti-mandatory vaccine platform.

“Some people expressed their frustration in that way. That’s part of our exercise on how we make sure we can learn, and make sure that we can close those small gaps that you mentioned, and win in those seats where we were close, where we had gains in many cases, but didn’t close the deal,” said O’Toole.

“In about 30 ridings we came within 2,000 votes of the Liberals. We are building towards victory next time. I am disappointed that we’ve lost some members and I’ve already initiated a post-election review to examine what went right, what went wrong, and what we can do better to win in 18 months.”

The Monday election really didn’t change a thing, giving Trudeau a minority government. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Tories had gained four seats in Atlantic Canada and one in Ontario, while losing four in B.C. and three in Alberta.

Elections Canada was still counting mail-in ballots on Wednesday.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Royden Yuill

    September 25, 2021 at 10:02 am

    If you didn’t want to lose the last conservative voters, why did you campaign using all of Trudeau’s policies and platforms? Almost everyone I talk to have realized that if conservative is in the name it’s just Liberal Lite.

  2. Mars Hill

    September 23, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    Max has free rent in O’tool’s head. PPC was the only party talking about controlling spending and getting this country back on track. CBC want to know why Max didn’t know how many women and LGBTQ people were running in the PPC, he responded “because I don’t care”

  3. Mark Cameron

    September 22, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    For someone that is all for strict gun laws, O’Toole somehow managed to shoot himself in the foot dismissing all the social conservatives and libertarians…lukewarm conservatism doesn’t appeal to me.

  4. K

    September 22, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    GTFO of here babyface

  5. Bill Mccann

    September 22, 2021 at 11:58 am

    The PPC did not run on an anti-vaccine program. They ran on a free choice program.

  6. Bill Mccann

    September 22, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Boo hoo hoo

  7. Deb

    September 22, 2021 at 11:48 am

    The problem was, it you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing. There was no backbone, just jelly rolling around to match the Liberal stance. There was nothing different here. Note much choice Liberal or Liberal light. Think you, O’Tool sealed your fate.

  8. Josh

    September 22, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Stop calling it antivax its anti gene therapy drug

  9. Wesley

    September 22, 2021 at 11:08 am

    O’toole is not smart enough to be a leader if he cannot figure the real reason he lost the election. Conservatives want a real Conservative party not a liberal clone!

  10. berta baby

    September 22, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Anti vaxxin is so disparaging…. It’s anti lock down, freedom to be an individual.

    The vaccine don’t work , the lock downs don’t work the government doesn’t work.

    O toole is a disgusting individual and he kicked out all the people who voted PPC , he should be resigning because obviously no one liked him enough to vote for him … losing more seats than schemer won.

    Pathetic

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News

Canada-Europe take action over COVID variant Omicron

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

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With the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC) named Omicron in South Africa, the Canadian government is taking steps to limit the risk to Canadians.

Travellers arriving from countries of concern within the last 14 days will be required to quarantine pending negative COVID-19 tests. Countries of concern include South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

On Friday, Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the federal government will impose five measures in an effort to limit its spread in Canada.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam took to Twitter on Saturday to share her concerns over the VOC.

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” wrote Tam.

The WHO has labelled Omicron as a variant of concern due to its high number of mutations and reports that early evidence suggests it could be more infectious than other variants.

Meanwhile, during a news conference on Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will take “targeted and precautionary measures” after two people tested positive for the Omicron variant.

One case was identified in Brentwood, a town in southeastern England while the other case was located in the central city of Nottingham. Both individuals are linked and had travelled from southern Africa. The two individuals are self-isolating along with their households and authorities are working on contact tracing.

Johnson confirmed travellers arriving in England will be required to take a PCR test and self-isolate until a negative test result is provided. Those that test positive for the new variant will have to self-isolate, along with any of their close contacts, for 10 days regardless of vaccine status.

He also said masks will be required in shops and other public spaces and indicated they will “boost the booster campaign.”

“Right now this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximize our defences,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the new rules will be reviewed in three weeks when scientists know more about the variant.

On Friday, the British government added Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to the country’s travel red list. By Saturday, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were also added to the list.

Other countries are adding restrictions on travellers coming from various southern African countries including the US, Japan, Brazil, and Australia while cases have also been reported in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong.

Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic have also reported suspected cases related to travellers arriving from South Africa.

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

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Road closures as British Columbians brace for more rain

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday.

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As BC braces for additional rain, the government has ‘proactively’ closed a number of highways for travel.

“We are actively responding, monitoring and assessing the many highway closures due to flooding and will continue to do so as we work with local and emergency service partners,” said the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Safety is our top priority while we deal with a rapidly changing and difficult situation.”

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday. The ministry said the time and duration of the closures will be weather-dependent.

“The highway infrastructure in these areas is extremely vulnerable following recent storms, and more heavy rain in the forecast poses an additional risk,” said the ministry in a press release.

“The closures of these three highways will be re-evaluated on Sunday morning, with the highways reopened when it is safe to do so.”

The release said Highway 1 will be closed between Popkum and Hope on Saturday afternoon as BC Hydro plans a reservoir release, “crucial to protect the Jones Lake Reservoir, which is also being affected by the heavy rains.”

The release explains the reservoir release will discharge water towards areas of Highway 1 that were affected during the November 14 storm.  

“This additional flow – combined with the increased precipitation and already high stream flows – poses a risk of impact to Highway 1 in the Laidlaw area.”

The ministry is bracing for further damage to Highway 1 in this area and said the reopening time cannot be determined at this stage but will be assessed by crews “when it is safe to do so.”

Highway 7 between Mission and Hope remains open with travel restrictions in place. Essential purposes for travel are defined in the travel restrictions order through the Emergency Program Act

Weather statements are in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Squamish to Whistler and the Sunshine Coast into next week. Storms are expected to bring more rain which has resulted in high streamflow advisories for all regions of the coast by the River Forecast Centre.

Ongoing road and travel updates are available on the ministry’s website.

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

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Bill to aid jurors traumatized by testimony up for vote … again

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling.”

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For the third time in three years, legislators will attempt to pass an aid bill for jurors traumatized by graphic testimony in criminal courts.

“When we ask citizens to be a juror we don’t ask them to be a victim,” said Quebec Senator and bill sponsor Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu.

“There is no excuse not to adopt that bill.” 

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling,” said Blacklock’s Reporter.

Two identical bills, S-207 and C-417, lapsed in the last two Parliaments.

“That kind of bill should be a government bill, not a private bill,” said Boisvenu.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of private interest. It’s a matter of national interest.”

In 2017, the Commons justice committee recommended the Criminal Code amendment after hearing testimony from former jurors who said they quit jobs, suffered marriage breakdown and were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being compelled to watch crime scene videos and hear testimony from coroners.

“Everyone’s mental health matters,” Ontario Senator Lucie Moncion said Thursday.

“Yet from a legal point of view, jurors are part of a special category of people who are denied complete health care. The secrecy rule prohibits a juror from disclosing information related to deliberations to anyone including a health care professional. This needs to change.”

Moncion was a juror in a 1989 murder trial and said the experience left her with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“They show you the whole autopsy,” said Moncion.

“It was very difficult. This is still very difficult for me.”

Alberta Conservative MP Michael Cooper, a member of the 2017 Commons justice committee that recommended reforms, said delays were inexcusable.

“It should have been a no-brainer for the government to have brought this bill forward,” said Cooper indicating the bill has been “studied thoroughly.”

“There have literally been no arguments tendered against this piece of legislation.”

Cooper, in 2019, sponsored a similar bill – C-417 – that lapsed. MPs at the time noted U.S. jurors were free to discuss their experience with friends, family, psychiatrists or media.

“In the United States once a trial is over jurors are generally free to discuss the events of the trial and jury deliberations unless a specific court order bars them from doing so,” said Ontario Liberal MP Arif Virani, then-parliamentary secretary for justice.

“What that means is that jurors in the United States can talk with nearly anyone about juror deliberations including a talk show host on national television or across the Internet. This approach, which offers limited protection for juror privacy, is significantly different from the Canadian model.”

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