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SLOBODIAN: Sask. Liberal says: ‘It’s all Trudeau’s fault’

Trudeau’s merit in Saskatchewan could well rank below the plague of grasshoppers that swept through the province this summer.

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Liberal candidate Katelyn Zimmer admitted the biggest obstacle to the Liberal Party’s success this election in Saskatchewan is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Stay focused brave Liberal, keep walking to the light…

When asked who her political hero is, the candidate for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan named three women “who have run before me” – Canada’s first female prime minister, Kim Campbell, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Darn. Lost her. A brief, shining moment, then that.

Campbell’s most noted recent contribution to politics was in 2019 when she sent out a filthy tweet calling former U.S. president Donald Trump a “mother..”

Freeland is… oh, there’s just way too much to even try to unpack here.

Clinton, whom Zimmer merely called “polarizing” has so far managed to avoid jail despite a trail of explosive scandals dogging her and that Lolita Express frequent-flying hubby Bill for decades.

But, when it comes to heroes, each to her own. And it remains a free country, barring a September 20 majority government win for Trudeau who’ll resume his quest to push through Bill C-10, Bill C-36, and whatever else he’ll surely devise to crush free speech.

Zimmer, a 38-year-old veterinarian, responded to a questionnaire sent out by the Moose Jaw Express/Moose Jaw Today.com to each candidate in the riding.

It asked: What is the biggest issue facing your party’s chance at success?

No, it isn’t that she’s a rookie running in a Conservative stronghold for a party Saskatchewan shut out of all 14 ridings last federal election.

With former Saskatchewan-born leader Andrew Scheer at the helm, Conservatives won 64% of the provincial vote, the NDP 19.6%, and the Liberals trailed at a paltry 11.7%.

That’s small stuff compared to Trudeau’s scandals and failures, baggage weighing even more heavily on Saskatchewan Liberals this time around.

“In Saskatchewan, it’s the leader. There are many reasons why people vote the way they do (the party, the leader, the local candidate) and I’m hoping people will think about voting for me on my own merit,” said Zimmer.

Trudeau’s merit in Saskatchewan could well rank below the plague of grasshoppers that swept through the province this summer. To put it delicately, Saskatchewan can’t stand him.

Zimmer later said she fully supports the prime minister.

Another question: What is your party leader’s biggest flaw?

Now how does a rookie candidate honestly answer that and not get booted out of the party?

“A he-said/he-said relationship with Premier Scott Moe,” said Zimmer. “I can’t help but think that Saskatchewan would benefit from having a Liberal member of Parliament once again. Someone who genuinely loves this province, is not self-interested and who can cooperate with the provincial government to affect change.”

It’s no secret Moe and Trudeau aren’t besties. Moe’s criticism of Trudeau and his federal cronies has been both relentless and warranted.

He took the federal government to court over the carbon tax. They’ve locked horns over gun control, equalization, anti-COVID-19 lockdowns. It goes on.

Most recently, Moe blasted Trudeau over his unfair treatment regarding private MRI clinics. Trudeau’s campaign said if he wins, he’ll claw back health fund transfers if MRI charges in Saskatchewan aren’t eliminated. Moe pointed out Quebec and Ontario have private MRI clinics operating, but Trudeau hasn’t threatened cuts to health funding in those provinces.

Zimmer, who is currently vice-president of the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, listed health, well-being and support of families; vitality of farming and small cities/communities; and climate change and the environment as her top three issues. 

She is adamantly pro-COVID-19 vaccination and “annoyed by anti-vaxxers” and protesters who support alternative treatments. 

Investing in research and development to provide opportunities to grow local industry and ensure Saskatchewan is at the “forefront of innovation” is a priority.

Zimmer is bold to run in a riding that elected Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski with 71% of the vote in 2019. 

Lukiwski isn’t seeking re-election so it’s a four-way race among Zimmer, CPC’s Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie, PPC rail service company manager Chey Craik, and NDP lawyer Talon Regent.

Advance polls opened across Canada Friday. Elections Canada said more than 182,000 Saskatchewan voters cast an early vote – an increase of 20% compared to 2019.

Circling back to Trudeau, the Conservative Party would have been negligent to not have seized on and tweeted a response to Zimmer’s analysis of the prime minister’s impact on her campaign. 

“Even Liberals know, it’s time for change,” the CPC tweeted.

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

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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.

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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
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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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.

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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
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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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.

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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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Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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