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Chretien says Alberta’s Equalization referendum will change nothing, accuses province of ‘complaining’

“Because you need a change in the Constitution, and to do that you need seven provinces to agree. Good luck,” he said.

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Former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien has accused Alberta of just “complaining” and says a referendum on Equalization has no chance of changing anything.

Speaking on CTV Sunday, Chretien called Premier Jason’s Kenney’s Equalization referendum on October 18 “a waste of time completely.

“Because you need a change in the Constitution, and to do that you need seven provinces to agree. Good luck,” he said.

The 87-year-old Chretien said prime ministers have to deal with provinces “complaining,” as part of the nature of the federation.

“If you’re a mayor and you have a problem, what do you do? You blame the provincial government. If you’re a provincial government and you have a problem, what do you do? You blame the federal government. We cannot blame the Queen and so once in a while we blame the Americans,” he said.

The final results of the referendum will be released tomorrow but the Western Standard projects it will pass by a 60%+ margin.

Meanwhile, Chrétien said Sunday when he was minister of Indian Affairs, he never heard anything about abuse happening in residential schools. 

“This problem was never mentioned when I was minister. Never,” said Chrétien, of his time in the department from 1968 to 1974.

During the French interview with the Radio-Canada talk show, Tout le Monde en Parle, Chrétien compared his own experience going to a college boarding school to that of Indigenous children who were forced to attend residential schools.

“I ate baked beans and oatmeal. And to be sure, it was hard living in a boarding school, extremely hard,” he said.

“In Shawinigan, we didn’t have a college. We had to go to Trois-Rivières or to Joliette. We had no choice. It was hard but my parents insisted I go to university and I had to do it.”

Chrétien said while he didn’t like sleeping in a dorm with 200 others, he “never had a problem.”

And in Chrétien’s autobiographical book, he recounts an anecdote where he advised Queen Elizabeth II not to apologize to the Maori people of New Zealand for the harm done to them by the British colonial administration.

“Your Majesty, if you start [apologizing] I will have to bring you to Canada and, since we have several hundred Indigenous communities, you will be on your knees for at least two years,” Chretien wrote.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. David

    October 26, 2021 at 4:19 am

    Actually, Chretien is both right and wrong. The referendum on it’s own will change nothing.

    However, the referendum is a constitutional advice from the people of Alberta requesting a constitutional change. If the Federal government fails to make the requested change, that failure is good cause to call for a referendum on independence. Legally speaking, Alberta can declare independence unless the requested constitutional change is made.

    Of course, Alberta could have gone straight to a vote on independence without this trouble, but observing the legal niceties and having just cause stated and up front is always preferable.

  2. Andrew Red Deer

    October 25, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    He is right, our nation is broken, when one area can tyrannize another. With the complicity of ALL governments. The referendum was just so Kenney can say he tried….

  3. Baron Not Baron

    October 25, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    On the other hand, Chretien is right about the apology part. We, here, now, have nothing to do with that past, as history is manipulated, rewritten, according to the current needed ink.

  4. Baron Not Baron

    October 25, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    BS. Chrétien is a cretine.

    Here how it is: you don’t need permission from your (ex-now) spouse, to divorce. Conclusion: one letter that informs everyone else that Alberta is done with giving its life away. Done.

  5. Dennis

    October 25, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Well, he’s absolutely right on one thing and that is the fact that Kenny’s referendum will change nothing.
    As for the complaining statement, No problem, Pull the plug on this dysfunctional, corrupt system and there will be no more COMPLAINING from Alberta. You want our Energy, Pay for it like everyone else or Freeze in the Dark.

    Wake up Alberta, it time. Go to Wildrosenation.com but your membership, make your tax deductible donation, get involved with the future of Alberta. Wildrosenation.com in 2023.

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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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