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Where were the leaders during the debate?

That the leaders even had to debate the lack of access to clean drinking water on some First Nations is a disgrace.

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The main thing missing from Wednesday’s leadership debate was someone who remotely resembled a masterful leader.

No one on that stage emerged as the desperately needed deliverer with the right stuff to lead Canada out of the debt-ridden, divided, confused mess this country is in.

In fact, many policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are largely responsible for much that severely ails Canada.

But there he stood, boldly pitching his tarnished wares alongside Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, and Green Party Leader Annamie Paul.

There was predictable finger-pointing that failed to achieve the desired dramatic effect. There was debate, sort of. It’s impossible to have a knock-down, passionate debate when you’re all in basic agreement on the main issues.

Climate change is bad. COVID-19 vaccinations are good. Health care needs to be funded. Many guns owned by law-abiding citizens must be banned. Childcare is really, very important. All leaders say aye!

These hopefuls pining to get their mail delivered to 24 Sussex Drive certainly breathed a huge sigh of relief when People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier was banished from the debates. The Leaders Debates Commission decided Canadian voters don’t get to hear from him. Our loss. Bernier, who cares not about being politically correct to win votes, would have lit a fire on that tepid stage.

Instead, 30 million voters outside of Quebec got a lack-luster debate in French, one of two of three in all, to appease eight million francophones.

The winner in debates such as this is pre-determined by whom the biased Liberal media favours. The one who delivers the best rehearsed one-liners wins points. The loser is Canada.

Moderator Patrick Roy opened with a question about the chances of another snap election if the September 20 election brings another minority government.

Seriously? Yes, Trudeau decided for his own personal benefit to call an election two years early during a pandemic. Yes, Canadians are furious. How many times must the other leaders express dismay? O’Toole said he’d commit to a four-year interval. Singh called it an “egotistical” decision, but, like Trudeau, wouldn’t commit to a yes or no.

End of discussion. Time to move on.

Did the questions shift to issues Canadians deserve answers to? Well, no.

While Canadians remain trapped in Afghanistan, not a peep about the Liberal’s incompetent failure to heed warnings starting years ago and escalating in recent months from military personnel to get citizens and allies at risk out.

Why did Trudeau stand behind Women’s Minister Maryam Monsef when she called the Taliban terrorists “our brothers?” Is Canada planning to formally recognize these thugs who brutally seized control of Afghanistan? How much money is Canada sending them?

No mention of whether Catherine McKenna — who is leaving politics — will be held accountable for no evidence of 20,000 projects said to be representing half of the Infrastructure Ministry’s $187-billion budget.

What about the Liberal government’s assaults on freedom of speech through Bill C-10 and Bill C-36?

When will 40,000 Canadian veterans — some waiting for years — get their disability pensions?

Why is the Liberal government hellbent on destroying Alberta?

The debate focused on a handful of issues including deficits, healthcare, the environment and Indigenous issues.

That the leaders even had to debate the lack of access to clean drinking water on some First Nations is a disgrace.

How many times has this been debated? How many promises were made? Yet countless indigenous children are still deprived of clean drinking water. Sickening! Trudeau, hungry for the indigenous vote, had years to fix this. The best he could come up with is there’s work to be done.

As for mandatory vaccines creating a two-tiered system in Canada, well, Trudeau stuck to his tyrannical ‘your body, my choice’ stand. O’Toole remains wishy-washy. Where’s Bernier when you need him?

Climate change and the environment debate was predictable, with O’Toole being the only one to promise to create jobs in the energy sector while also working to reduce emissions. Singh would electrify transportation. Paul would end federal support for the fossil fuel industry.

Everybody’s on board wooing votes with big child care promises. Trudeau defended his plan to invest billions. O’Toole would move to a system of tax credits to help parents pay for child care. Paul lost credibility when she played the woman card, saying because she’s female she should get to talk about child care issues.

Speaking of childish, Trudeau got a tad cross and almost hollered at the Bloc’s Blanchet. Apparently, there’s a contest going on to see who is more devoted to Quebec. “You do not have a monopoly over Quebec. You do not get to accuse me of not being Quebecker enough,” said Trudeau.

Maybe Trudeau will be comforted to know no one outside of Quebec would ever be delusional enough to accuse him of such a thing.

All in all, a bit of a waste of time. It comes down to who voters distrust the least. Sad.

Hopefully, the September 9 English debate — held in Quebec — will bring fresh questions.

But don’t hold your breath.

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

Linda Slobodian is the Manitoba Senior Columnist for the Western Standard. She has been an investigative columnist with the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, and Alberta Report. lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dennis

    September 10, 2021 at 7:20 am

    Good article Linda and comment by left coast. Now, when the smoke clears after this charade on the 20th, Albertans need to take stock and refocus on getting our house in order with the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta in 2023.
    Wildrose.party

  2. Left Coast

    September 9, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    With the Covid Insanity and these feckless useless politicians . . . we are watching in Slo Motion the Destruction of Western Democracies.

    None of these Debate Clowns is capable of turning the Disaster that is Canada around in the next 4 years or EVER. The USA is led by a Senile incompetent as well and fading fast.

    Not much hope for Britain, France or the rest of Europe either, except maybe Poland & Hungary who have mostly figured it out.

    If you value your Freedom and want your Children to not grow up in a country that resembles Communist China . . . Vote For Max Bernier and Freedom.
    The others will make you a Covid Slave!

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NDP support holding strong across Alberta

That’s enough of a lead to form a majority government, say pollsters.

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The UCP would be gutted and Rachel Notley back as premier if an election were held today, an exclusive new poll done for the Western Standard shows.

The Mainstreet Research poll shows Notley’s NDP currently has the support of 41% of Albertans with Jason Kenney’s UCP well back at 25%

That’s enough of a lead to form a majority government, say pollsters.

Courtesy Mainstreet Research

The upstart Wildrose Independence Party collect 11% support in the new poll, with 5% siding with the Alberta Party, with the Liberals and Greens at 1% each. A total of 14% of voters were undecided.

Wildrose leader Paul Hinman polls best among people who are refusing to get vaccinated. When they were asked, 34% chose Wildrose, 29% for the UCP and only 2% for the NDP.

If the undecided are removed from the poll, the NDP checks in with 45%, the UCP with 29%, the WIP with 13% and the AP with 6%

In that poll, the NDP is also leading in Alberta’s two major cities. In Edmonton, the NDP has 62% support with the UCP at 21% In Calgary, the NDP leads with 48% support and the UCP at 31%.

Rural areas seem split. Northern rural areas favour Kenney 34% to 29% for Notley. Southern rural areas like Notley at 32% with Kenney at 29%.

Courtesy Mainstreet Research

“Things are looking pretty grim for Kenney,” said Mainstreet CEO and President Quito Maggi.

“It’s 18 months until the next election, and that can be an eternity, but numbers in this realm for the better part of a year, with no positive movement, shows the trouble he is in.”

Maggi said he was a little surprised by the lead of Notley in Calgary, normally a Conservative bastion.

“It speaks of the personal unpopularity of Jason Kenney himself. The policies of the NDP probably aren’t supported in Calgary but they are willing to vote for the candidate that will defeat Kenney,” he said.

Maggi noted Kenney is now getting it from both sides of the political spectrum and the WIP is taking enough to leave Notley with a majority victory. He predicted an NDP victory would only be by one or two seats.

The analysis in this report is based on the results of a survey conducted on October 12-13 2021 among a sample of 935 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in Alberta. The survey was conducted using automated telephone interviews (Smart IVR). Respondents were interviewed on landlines and cellular phones. The survey is intended to represent the voting population in Alberta. 

The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.2% at the 95% confidence level. Mar- gins of error are higher in each subsample. 

Totals may not add up 100% due to rounding. 

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People not getting COVID jabs a diverse group

Deonandan predicted Canada will not achieve “herd immunity” against COVID-19 until at least 91% of eligible citizens are fully vaccinated. The rate is currently 81%, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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Canadians against getting a COVID-19 jab are not just a group of crazed, anti-vaxxers, says a leading epidemiologist.

Four million Canadians who’ve declined a COVID-19 are an assorted lot, said the executive editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal Of Health Sciences .

“The unvaccinated are a diverse group,” Dr. Raywat Deonandan, of the University of Ottawa, told Blacklock’s Reporter.

“They include the hardcore anti-vaxxers. They include the vaccine-hesitant who are just afraid of the vaccine.”

“They include those who want to get vaccinated, but can’t get time off work or get child care. And they include the apathetic. The apathetic tend to be the young people who think the disease is not serious to them. Vaccine passports really do well on that group.”

Speaking during a webinar with a federal union, the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, Deonandan said he generally supported domestic vaccine passports, likening them to a driver’s licence, but strongly opposed mandatory immunization of young children.

“Vaccine mandates are controversial,” said Deonandan, adding compulsory shots for children under 12 “just creates far too much distrust in the population and doesn’t rub people the right way.

“I have a small child. I’m not happy about injecting him with strange things. I will if his mother agrees. But it does not fill me with comfort to do so. I get it.”

Deonandan said he thought compulsory vaccination for federal employees was legally defensible, but acknowledged it would draw protest.

“The weakness is our democracy,” he said.

“Our biggest value is our freedom and our democracy. That is the thing that’s our Achilles’ heel here. Authoritarian governments do better with COVID because they control the messaging and compel behaviour. We don’t want to be that. So we need to empower the citizens to think more rationally to their own ends.”

Deonandan predicted Canada will not achieve “herd immunity” against COVID-19 until at least 91% of eligible citizens are fully vaccinated. The rate is currently 81%, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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Freeland says Canada has to stop cutting business taxes

The Liberal Party has proposed $4.2 billion a year in new taxes mainly on corporations.

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Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada has to put a stop to cuts to corporate taxes, calling it a “race to the bottom.”

Blacklock’s Reporter noted the Liberal Party proposed $4.2 billion a year in new taxes, mainly on corporations.

“Part of building an equitable recovery is strengthening international tax fairness, ending the global race to the bottom in corporate tax and ensuring that all corporations, including the world’s largest, pay their fair share,” said Freeland.

“We will stem the world tendency to reduce the corporate tax rate.”

The Party’s August 25 campaign document, Asking Financial Institutions To Help Canada Build Back Better, proposed an increase in the corporate tax rate from 15 to 18% on banks and insurers with revenues more than a billion dollars a year.

It also proposed an unspecified Canada Recovery Dividend to be “paid by these same large banks and insurance companies in recognition of the fast-paced return to profitability these institutions have experienced in large part due to the unprecedented backstop Canadians provided to our economy through emergency support to people and businesses.

“The allocation of this dividend between applicable institutions will be developed in consultation over the coming months with the Superintendent of Financial Institutions,” continued the document.

It would be “applied over a four year period.”

Cabinet estimated all new taxes, including a new charge on tobacco manufacturers and tighter collections on offshore accounts, would generate $4,241,000,000 next year and nearly twice as much, more than $8.2 billion, by 2025.

The figures were calculated by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

“Big banks got a windfall,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters August 25.

“So as we rebuild we’re going to ask big financial institutions to pay a little back, to pay a little more, so that we can do more for you.

“Big banks and insurance companies have been doing very well over these past many months. Canada’s biggest banks are posting their latest massive profits of billions of dollars.

“Everyone else had to tighten their belt. We’re going to ask them to do a little bit more.”

New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh said September 21 he expected cabinet to raise corporate taxes with support from his caucus.

“People are worried about who’s going to pay the price for the pandemic,” said Singh.

“We don’t believe it should be small business,” said Singh. “We remain resolute that it should be the ultra-rich.”

The New Democrat platform proposed a general increase in the income tax rate on all large corporations from 15% to 18%, not just banks and insurers, and a hike in the top federal income tax rate from 33% to 35% for individuals earning more than $216,500 a year.

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