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WS EXCLUSIVE: UCP Caucus meeting to discuss reintroducing masks, restrictions right now

UCP MLAs tell the Western Standard that the government caucus is meeting to discuss reimposing restrictions right now.

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CALGARY, AB: Multiple sources inside Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) Caucus tell the Western Standard that it is meeting to discuss the reintroduction of COVID-19 restrictions.

Two MLAs that spoke with the Western Standard on condition of anonymity said that the Priorities & Implementation Cabinet Committee (PICC) met August 1 to discuss potential measures to combat rising COVID-19 cases.

According to one of the sources, Health Minister Tyler Shandro presented PICC with three options: maintain Alberta’s reopening plan with no restrictions, reimplement forced-masking mandates with voluntary social gathering restrictions, and reimplement forced-masking mandates with mandatory social gathering restrictions.

The information provided by the UCP MLAs is based on their first hand knowledge and not yet proven.

Both MLAs told the Western Standard that PICC was sharply divided on the path forward and decided to put the matter to the government caucus at a meeting September 2 between 10:00 am MST and 1:00 pm MST.

The MLAs say that the meeting will take place at Calgary’s McDougall Centre and near or at the Alberta Legislative Assembly, connected by video conferencing.

The reintroduction of mandatory COVID-19 restrictions would come with considerable controversy for the UCP government after Alberta Premier Jason Kenney declared the province “Open for Summer” before the Calgary Stampede. The premier announced on June 18 that all restrictions in Alberta would be lifted as of July 1st and “our lives will get back to normal.”

Kenney was adamant that the lifting of restrictions were not temporary, but permanent.

“This is an important milestone and a great achievement, but we will not stop here. We will keep administering first and second doses [of vaccines] as quickly as possible so we’re not just open for summer, but open for good.”

Since then, several municipalities have begun to reimpose restrictions on their own, with Edmonton City Council reimposing forced-masking on August 30.

Both MLAs that spoke with the Western Standard said that reimposing restrictions would constitute a broken promise from Jason Kenney and reignite opposition to his leadership and the party, especially in rural Alberta.

“It would be madness. Just pure madness to backtrack” said one of the MLAs. “If he [Kenney] does this, it the insurrection is back on.”

Kenney and the UCP have been mired in low approval ratings since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, however declining voter support for the UCP accelerated early in the New Year when large numbers of UCP MLAs and cabinet ministers were found to be flouting their government’s own lockdown and travel restrictions while vacationing in sun destinations like Hawaii and Mexico.

Resistance to lockdowns and other restrictions continued to boil over in Alberta with growing protests and even an ‘End the Lockdowns’ Rodeo in May, an event condemned by Kenney and NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley as “dangerous” and “selfish”.

No COVID-19 cases were proven to be linked to the rodeo.

In June, Jason Kenney and ministers Tyler Shandro, Jason Nixon, and Travis Toews were photographed dining atop the ‘Sky Palace’ in defiance of their own COVID-19 restrictions.

The crisis came to a head on May 13 when UCP MLA Todd Loewen called for Kenney’s resignation. Loewen and fellow MLA Drew Barnes were both expelled from the government caucus later that day.

Kenney has been able to quiet discontent with his leadership and the party in the months since as restrictions were lifted.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    September 6, 2021 at 9:45 am

    https://welovetrump.com/2021/08/08/heres-your-sweden-update-the-mainstream-media-refuses-to-talk-about/

    According to Worldometer, Sweden recorded 12 COVID-19 deaths in the month of the July.

    And Sweden has zero recorded COVID-19 deaths thus far in August.

    Sweden continues to trend down the list of deaths per capita.

    On the Worldometer page, Sweden is now 39th in deaths per capita.

    That’s lower than strict lockdown countries such as France, Spain, Italy, and United Kingdom.

    Maybe everyone took the experimental COVID-19 jabs?

    Did that lead to the dramatic decline in COVID-19 deaths?

    According to Our World in Data, 44% of the Swedish population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

    That’s a lower vaccination rate than the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Israel, Greece, Denmark, Ireland and numerous other countries.

    So, that argument goes out the window.

    The mainstream media will continue to ignore Sweden because they didn’t follow the mask & lockdown narrative in 2020.

    While nearly half of the population received the experimental COVID-19 jab, vaccination rates remain lower than most Western European countries.

    And despite circulating variants, the laxed policies remain in place.

  2. Lee Morrison

    September 3, 2021 at 11:18 am

    I feel sorry for Kenney et al. They rolled the dice by removing all restrictions and it has come back to bite them with more than a third of the active Canadian COVID cases here in Alberta. (BTW, I fully supported the move.) Now, if they man up, admit their mistake and reimpose some restrictions, they’ll be branded as liars by those who value social media claims about events in Wheresitstan more than what they see going on around them. In a society populated by ideologues the UPC is probably doomed and we will be able to “enjoy” a second term of the NDP.

  3. Bill Mccann

    September 3, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Masks would be bad enough. I’m hearing bar closures etc. Political suicide for sure if he goes back down that road again.

  4. MD

    September 3, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Wildrose Independence Party 2023!

  5. Left Coast

    September 3, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Time to tell these low intellect “Politicians” to just Go To H*ll and keep on keeping on.
    If everyone ignores them . . . what are they going to do?

    In BC 80,000 Business said they Won’t Play . . .

  6. Dennis

    September 3, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Okay folks, remember this in 2023. The Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta is the ONLY party that has meaningful Recall Legislation in it’s constitution. Go to Wildrose.party, take a serious look at WIPA and decide who is best for Alberta and Albertans. This madness has to end. We are a better society than this.

  7. R3

    September 3, 2021 at 8:34 am

    United Non Compliance.

  8. Kelly Carter

    September 3, 2021 at 5:42 am

    Sad to see Kenney living up to my expectations. I didn’t believe his “new attitude” would last 30seconds into the fall and certainly would end with the first COVID related sneeze at school. With Notley flapping her gums the last week about we must do something I figured Kenney would be reinstating lock down measure in 1-2 weeks (he can’t be seen as a puppet of Notley after all). So looks like we are back to the same failed policies that did not prevent anything last year, and will not change anything this year. Meanwhile any jurisdiction who had the guts to not do any of the COVID policies (Florida, Sweden, and a few others) have long ago moved past this. They have basic “herd immunity” with and without the vaccine and COVID deaths now remain low, and hospitalizations more than manageable. But here in Canada we must remain panicked. Vaxx passports next guys because if we do the masking better and harder then we can prevent lock downs, but the passport… That is the ultimate ain’t lockdown policy 🙄. I refuse to participate anymore in this nonsense. They can find me and ticket me and see you in court… I prefer to look after my lungs and I refuse to participate in the rest of the BS.

  9. Josh

    September 2, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    Why waste your breathe UCP. No ones gonna follow your restrictions ever again.

  10. Seven-Zero-One

    September 2, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    The level of Incompetence by UCP is incredible. What ever unhinge NDP announced UCP is following.
    2023 🌺Wildrose🌺

  11. Pamela Bridger

    September 2, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Maybe when Kenney does an about face and shows even more of his true colours, even his most ardent supporter will understand they are doomed at election time while he remains Manager (I do not consider him to be a leader in any sense of the word).

  12. K

    September 2, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    ‘OPEN FOR SUMMER’ HUH? Yeah, ONLY summer. I told you all. Absolutely insane. Goodbye Cana-duh. Goodbye freedom.

  13. Left Coast

    September 2, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    More complete insanity from our Politicians who have learned absolutely NOTHING in the last 18 months.
    1918 – Spanish Flu – 50 Million dead
    1918 – World Pop. – 950 Million (est)
    1918 – 5.26% worlds pop. died! Experts: Tragic! Event

    2018 – Seasonal Flu – 650,000 dead
    2018 – World Pop. – 7.5 Billion (est)
    2018 – .009% worlds pop. died! Experts: TYPICAL

    2020 – Covid 19 – 488,729 dead and counting
    2020 – World Pop. – 7.7 Billion (est)
    2020 – .006% worlds pop. has died Experts: THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END . . . RUIN the Economy!

    1% of the World’s Pop. right now would be 77 Million Dead.
    Now if 5.26% is TRAGIC and .009% is NO BIG DEAL, What the Hell are we doing?

  14. Andrew Red Deer

    September 2, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    ABSOLUTELY NOT, DO YOU KEN…..NEY!!!
    ABSOLUTELY NOT, DO YOU KEN….NEY?
    YOU WILL NOT GET MY BODY.

  15. Cosmo Kramer

    September 2, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Another lie by Jason Kenney. How many of us would be tolerated if we lied to our family, friends, place of work? The word of these politicians mean nothing.

    An election is less than 2 years away. Hopefully the UCP can anger enough Albertans to put the Wildrose Independence Party over the target.

  16. Andrew

    September 2, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    “Kenney has been able to quiet discontent with his leadership and the party in the months since as restrictions were lifted.”

    Wrong, that’s not what I’m hearing.

  17. Rose

    September 2, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Since when is voting out an unpopular political party called an insurrection?

  18. j n

    September 2, 2021 at 11:23 am

    No surprise from a bunch a LIARS

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News

Independent Alberta MLAs call for emergency debate on forced vaccinations

And the pair said they will not be revealing their own vaccination status, calling it a personal issue

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Alberta’s two Independent MLAs are asking for an emergency debate in the Legislature over the issue of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies, especially for health workers and the RCMP.

Drew Barnes, MLA for Cypress-Medicine, joined his colleague Todd Lowen, MLA for Central-Peace-Notley in making the call to Premier Jason Kenney.

And the pair said they will not be revealing their own vaccination status, calling it a personal issue.

Barnes said he was particularly worried about the impact on the RCMP, especially in rural detachments where he claimed few officers had been vaccinated.

More than 33,000 RCMP officers and support staff have signed an open letter to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki opposing mandatory vaccinations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said all federal workers, including the RCMP, must be vaccinated of face job consequences. But government memos say two-thirds of the civil service could be exempt.

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Vax deadline for BC health-care workers looms overhead

In BC, roughly 5,500 unvaccinated health-care workers will be stripped of their jobs on October 26 if they do not get their first shot.

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Health-care workers have been praised for their efforts surrounding COVID-19 for nearly 20 months, however, the ephemeral display of gratitude comes to an end tomorrow.

On October 26, roughly 5,500 unvaccinated health-care workers in British Columbia will be stripped of their jobs, as set forth in a public health order.

The order demands workers provide proof of having received one dose of vaccination against COVID-19 by the aforementioned date.

If they get their first shot before November 15, workers will be permitted employment seven days afterwards, provided they follow extra safety precautions until they get a second dose — which must be administered within 35 days of the first.

“We’re hopeful, of course, that people will move to get vaccinated and comply with the upcoming order,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

The roughly 5,500 employees do not include the unvaccinated long-term and assisted living facility workers who were forced out of their jobs by the province on October 12.

Similar policies have been rolled out across the country, but not without resistance.

In August, Alberta Health Service (AHS) announced that all employees, volunteers, and contracted health-care providers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Last week, the deadline was pushed until November 30.

Similarly, Quebec extended its proof-of-vaccination timeline for health-care workers by one month, with the new deadline falling on November 15.

BC’s deadline — which looms a mere hours away — seems to be fixed in its place.

“The government forcing health-care workers to become vaccinated is really problematic because — for one reason — these are the people most likely to have natural immunity,” Dr. Steven Pelech, chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee at the Canadian Covid Care Alliance told the Western Standard.

“This is the way the health-care system treats them… a year ago they were heroes for helping save lives, now they are discarded for being unvaccinated.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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News

Chu sworn in as Calgary Ward 4 councillor

Chu was sworn in by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Rooke. Earlier Calgary mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek had said she would refuse to swear Gondek in over his actions in 1997 with a 16-year-old girl.

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Embattled Calgary Coun. Sean Chu has been officially sworn in again to the represent the area despite allegations of a 24-year-old sex scandal that erupted just before election day.

Chu was sworn in by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Rooke. Calgary mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek earlier said she would refuse to swear Gondek in over his actions in 1997 with a 16-year-old girl.

Gondek did not even mention Chu’s name during the ceremony.

In a media scrum following in the swearing-in ceremony, Gondek said council will be focusing on looking at the biggest priorities for each councillor in each ward and which councillor will be serving on the various committees, boards and commissions.

When asked why she chose not to swear councillor Chu in, Gondek said, “I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to swear him in.”

“I’m focused on working with new members of council and one that have returned and letting them enjoy this day of being sworn in. All of us are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished and we are looking forward to celebrating this day as ours. So I’m choosing to focus on that today,” said Gondek when asked if she plans to take Chu up on his invitation to speak with him in person about the resurfaced allegations.

“The future will dictate that. Today I’m incredibly focuses on my family and my collegues who’ve achived a great success,” Gondek said about meeting with Chu at a later date.

Gondek became the first female mayor of Calgary in history. Eleven new councillors and two former ones were also sworn in Monday.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek was presented with the Chain of Office by her husband Todd. Justice John Rooke is on the left.

The Chu allegation involved an incident where he met the girl at the King’s Head Pub. After hitting it off, the pair agreed to meet later when Chu was off-duty and in civilian clothes.

The pair went to Chu’s house where he admits they engaged in consensual sexual foreplay. The girl then asked Chu to drive her home, which he did.

The girl later filed a complaint alleging Chu sexually assaulted her.

According to documents obtained by the Western Standard, Chu’s accuser said he had sexually assaulted her while holding a gun to her head.

However, Insp. Debbie Middleton-Hope, the presiding officer at the disciplinary hearing in 2003, said testimony from the then 16-year-old minor was not credible and not to be believed.

“I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed,” said Middleton-Hope, a well-respected, now-retired, Calgary policewoman, in transcripts provided to the Western Standard.

“Under cross-examination (the woman) had difficulty in recalling pertinent details,” said Middleton-Hope.

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

Middleton-Hope also confirmed there was no evidence that would have indicated Chu was aware the woman was underage stating, “several witnesses said [the girl] appeared to be 19 to 21 years old.”

Although allegations of sexual misconduct were thoroughly investigated and dismissed over the investigation, Chu had a letter of reprimand added to his file for discreditable conduct for caressing the accuser’s leg while on duty and was ordered to undergo six months of ethics training.

Gondek and Premier Jason Kenney, along with most of the incoming council have called for Chu to resign.

Chu offered to meet with Gondek in person to discuss the situation and has vowed not to resign.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm,” Chu told the Western Standard in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

“I have always told the truth. My reputation is important to me and now my family is hurting,” said Chu.

Chu is now looking at his legal options and a possible defamation suit over some of what he called “false reporting.”

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

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