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UCP to hold spring leadership review of Kenney

“I have spoken with the premier who specifically asked that we make this change so that we could deal with any leadership issues well in advance of the next election.”

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The UCP will hold a leadership review of Premier Jason Kenney in the spring.

The party made the announcement after Kenney had been under intense pressure to step down after bringing in a fourth set of COVID-19 lockdowns and a vaccine passport plan, something he vowed never to do.

A leadership review had been set for the party in the final quarter of 2022, but that’s only six months before the next provincial election.

I am writing to share with you our intention to schedule the 2022 Annual General Meeting, and the accompanying leadership review vote next spring,” said Ryan Becker, president of the United Conservative Party of Alberta, in an e-mail to members.

“I have spoken with the premier who specifically asked that we make this change so that we could deal with any leadership issues well in advance of the next election. 

“We are all aware that recent government decisions on responding to the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused anger and frustration among some party members and there is a growing desire to hold a leadership review,” said Becker.

“We have determined the best way for members to be heard at this time and for our party to uphold our member-driven, grassroots tradition is for the 2022 AGM and leadership review to take place in the spring. Our board will work to secure the necessary date and venue to make this a reality.”

Earlier this week, the Western Standard published an exclusive story that country music star George Canyon would be running for the presidency of the UCP on a platform of triggering an earlier leadership review of Kenney.

Several sources in the party told the Western Standard Canyon will make the announcement this week.

The UCP will hold its annual general meeting November 19-21 at the Grey Eagle Resort, where members present will elect a new board of directors for the party.

Dozens of grassroots UCP constituency associations have joined forces to call for an early leadership review of Kenney.

UCP VP of policy Joel Mullan wrote an open letter in the Western Standard Tuesday that called for Kenney to go immediately.

“My responsibility is to look at the reality —not wish it away — and take the necessary steps to protect the health care system,” Kenney said.

“Let’s deal with those things at the right time, after this crisis.”

He said any move to hold a leadership race now would be “grossly irresponsible.”

Kenney was asked if the internal turmoil in the UCP was what led to the resignation of Shandro.

“I am focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID, not politics,” Kenney said.

“We have to protect the health care system to prevent needless deaths — we will not allow politics to distract us.”

One UCP MLA says Kenney would rather “blow up” the government than admit he was wrong about COVID-19 and resign.


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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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Clash

    September 24, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Hinshaw doesn’t care how many lives, businesses, marriages that she destroys. She’s a Notley destroyer, that is why Notley chose her. Kenney must go now ASAP. Where are the True Blue Conservatives in this province.

  2. Claudette Leece

    September 24, 2021 at 7:07 am

    He could be giving away free cars and I would never vote for this comma party

  3. Audjlizard

    September 24, 2021 at 6:46 am

    So they can give us only 4 days warning for lockdowns and prick passes but they take months to review the criminal responsible. They need to be reminded that they are ‘public Servants’ not public Rulers!

  4. Susan Grant

    September 24, 2021 at 6:07 am

    SPRING IS TOO LATE! KENNEY WILL HAVE US UNDER MARTIAL LAW BY THEN JUST LIKE AUSTRALIA. DISGUSTING!

  5. John Lankers

    September 23, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Everybody has to watch and share this very revealing interview with a ICU nurse at the Red Deer Hospital. Kenney and the entire top management at AHS has to go now!
    https://rumble.com/vmuf4r-icu-manager-in-alberta-speaks-out-against-vaccine-passports-pandemic-respon.html

  6. Eldon

    September 23, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    On a different note. Being an Albertan who is watching the undeniable rise of the Wildrose Independence Party in the province. I’d like to thank the gutless ucp party, thier leaders and mla’s for making it all happen. You talk a good line. But in the end, you are all gutless!

  7. Eldon

    September 23, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    If Kenny truly wanted to ‘save the health care system ‘. He would have brought in outpatient treatment. There are 100’s of studies that prove home treatment prevents covid hospitalizations.
    Kenny and Hinshaw have to go now! Or this province is doomed.

  8. John Lankers

    September 23, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Holy smokes! When next spring, June? Another 6 months to find a new leader 5 months before the 2023 election, this is ridiculous!

  9. Cosmo Kramer

    September 23, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Spring will be too late and this no doubt is by design.

    Kenney will serve the full term and put Alberta further into the abyss. They are implementing an agenda and are content with their government being destroyed by the time of the next election. They are beyond saving at this point.

    Well meaning UCP grassroots members will have to give their support to WIPA.

  10. Andrew A

    September 23, 2021 at 10:41 am

    “Protect the healthcare system” ?

    What about fix it?

  11. Alex Lucas

    September 23, 2021 at 10:29 am

    6 more months of ‘grossly irresponsible’ governance? Good luck to the party surviving that. Torches and pitchforks will be out long before then. An immediate removal of Kenney was the UCP’s only chance at salvaging next election, IMO.

  12. Mark Apshkrum

    September 23, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Too late !

  13. Baron Not Baron

    September 23, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Just came back from the downtown area – the number of “for lease” signs is overwhelming. This criminal must be held accountable

  14. Josh

    September 23, 2021 at 9:46 am

    That will be to late.

  15. KR

    September 23, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Why wait ’til spring?

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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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