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Many UCP constituency associations want earlier Kenney review

Kenney has been under fire for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta and the repeated lockdowns he has put the province in.

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Numerous United Conservative Party constituency associations (CA) are calling for an earlier review of embattled leader, Premier Jason Kenney.

Last month, a reported caucus vote against Kenney failed to materialize, but party officials did move up the date for a leadership review from fall 2022 to April.

But that’s not quick enough for some CAs who want it held as soon as possible. Kenney has been under fire for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta and the repeated lockdowns he has put the province in.

Joel Mullan, who was recently expelled as VP of policy for the party, told the CBC at least 10 constituency associations have adopted a motion for a review to happen before March 1.

A Western Standard source on Friday said the actual number is 16, with more CAs to vote next week.

“We just want this done sooner than later. They told us February was no good because the legislature is in session and MLAs would be busy. But this isn’t an MLA issue, it’s a members’ issue,” said the source.

“They also said there weren’t any venues in March.”

The source said some CAs who previously voted against an early review changed their minds and endorsed the motion.

A total of 22 CAs need to get on board for the early review to happen.

A ThinkHQ poll released Monday shows Premier Jason Kenney has the support of only 22% of people in the province.

Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt tweeted: “Despite (the) decision of the UCP to hold a leadership review on April 8-9, 2022, there are plenty of members of the party (MLAs and CAs) that want it expedited to before March 1, and ideally in December 2021.

“A detailed motion (process and timelines) is currently being circulated among UCP Constituency Associations. I have been informed that the number of CAs who have signed it is in the double digits, but not yet at the 22 required to trigger it.

“The documents also show a concern the leadership process not be controlled by the party executive (which some view as puppets of Kenney) and reveals some fears stemming from the 2017 UCP leadership race (such as PINs).”

The UCP’s director of communications, David Prisco, told the CBC the April leadership review “is booked and planning is underway. In order to vote in the review, members must register and attend the AGM in-person as per the party constitution.”

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Kieran

    October 9, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    There is more and more chances for NDP to win next election. As Kenney hadn’t live in the province earlier, he didn’t learn lessons from 2015 PC defeat, and repeating their mistakes again and again

  2. David

    October 9, 2021 at 9:18 am

    If the UCP want to win the next election, they have to get rid of everyone who supports medical tyranny not just in their own party, but in the civil service as well.

    That is the only thing that will unite the right. Grow a set and get it done, or the Socialists will laugh at your stupidity for not clearing their operatives out.

  3. Pamela Bridger

    October 9, 2021 at 8:29 am

    The UCP needs a leader without personal baggage that can allow them to be extorted because this is the problem we have now with many currently occupying leadership chairs in this country.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I am not happy knowing Chinese provocateurs are in positions that allow for this shit to go on. Come on Western Standard, do your job! Or haven’t you noticed AHS is killing people.

  4. Dennis

    October 8, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    The only review he deserves is in a court of law for murder.

  5. John Lankers

    October 8, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    Tyrants never go voluntarily?

  6. K

    October 8, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    And then he’ll just shuffle his cabinet again, fire the naysayers, and bring on more loyalists. This puny but fat, closet-gay has been suckling on the tit of tyranny for 1.8 years and he LOVES it.

  7. Dominic Ieraci

    October 8, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    this piece of crap won’t leave until he meets his pfizer sales quota

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Ottawa press gallery discusses letting Chinese propaganda agency in

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

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Officials with the Parliamentary Press Gallery held a behind closed doors meeting on Tuesday to talk about letting reporters from Xinhau, the Chinese Community Party’s propaganda agency, into the club, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The gallery is not bound by any outside political considerations,” said gallery president Catherine Levesque of the National Post. 

“We are doing our due diligence to ensure Xinhua meets certain criteria and we will be making a decision shortly.”

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

“Membership in the Parliamentary Press Gallery allows access to the secure physical buildings of the parliamentary precinct and the opportunity to directly question individuals who drive and shape public policy,” gallery directors wrote in a 2020 code Journalistic Principles And Practices.

“As a result, accreditation is a privilege, not a right.”

Xinhua had been a member until 2020 when its press pass lapsed.

The Department of National Defence in 2012 blacklisted the agency from attending its press briefings, and a Xinhua correspondent in 2012 disclosed he was asked to maintain surveillance on Chinese dissidents in Canada.

The gallery would not discuss the Xinhua application but the gallery code states members must “respect the rights of people involved in the news.”

The Commons by a unanimous 266-0 vote last February 22 condemned China for human rights atrocities including the genocide of its Uyghur Muslim community. MPs also voted to petition the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2022 Winter Games from Beijing.

“We need to move forward, not just as a country but as a world, on recognizing the human rights violations that are going on in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

“This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies on taking it seriously.”

Xinhua was originally granted Press Gallery membership in 1964 at the request of then-Foreign Minister Paul Martin Sr.

“It is a step in the direction of mutual understanding between Canada and mainland China,” Martin said at the time. Membership was approved in a press credentials swap that saw the Communist Party permit the Globe & Mail to open a Beijing bureau.

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PHA head says cellphone snooping fears unwarranted

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

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The president of the Public Health Agency (PHA) says Canadians need not fret over the fact his organization snooped on 33 million cellphone users, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

“No personal information was asked or was received,” Kochhar told the Commons health committee.

“No individually identifiable data is contained in any part of the work.”

The Commons ethics committee last Friday voted 10-0 to examine the data collection program using cellphone tower tracking. The PHA said it sought the information to monitor compliance with lockdown orders.

“The actual reason why we collected this data is reliable, timely and relevant public health data comes out of it for other policy and decision making,” said Kochhar.

“This is population-level mobility data analysis. This is what we have collected.

“That would help us to understand the possible link between the movement of populations within Canada and the impact on COVID-19. We did that in terms of a very clear way of getting that open and transparent means of collection. We never, ever actually know when we use that information that it is individually identifiable. It is aggregated data.”

MPs on the ethics committee earlier noted cellphone users were never told the PHA was collecting the cellphone tracking data. Conservative MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.), noted the scope of the monitoring was only detailed when the Agency issued a December 17 notice to contractors to expand the program.

“It becomes increasingly concerning that government is seemingly using this pandemic as a means and a cause for massive overreach into the privacy rights of Canadians,” said Brassard.

“As parliamentarians, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we protect those rights, that there is proper scrutiny and oversight.”

“The Public Health Agency was collecting data without the knowledge of Canadians, effectively doing it in secret. We need to know what security measures were in place to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

“It is vital we do not allow the COVID response to create a permanent backslide of the rights and freedoms of Canadians including their fundamental right to privacy.”

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Health Minister Duclos has no info on $150-million COVID contract to SNC-Lavalin

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

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SNC-Lavalin was given a $150-million sole-source contract to provide “urgently” needed field hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic — but Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos doesn’t seem to know much about it, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The field hospitals were never used.

“This is obviously in support of the needs at the request of provinces and territories,” said Duclos.

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

“What is the status of the mobile field hospitals SNC-Lavalin was contracted to produce?” asked Conservative MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman (Hastings-Lennox, Ont.).

“It was an example of the significant level of preparation that we did throughout the crisis,” replied Duclos.

“Why have the field hospitals from SNC-Lavalin not been deployed?” asked Kramp-Neuman.

Duclos replied he had no information on “the exact nature of the state of that equipment.”

“Did the Prime Minister’s Office approve of this?” asked MP Kramp-Neuman.

“That’s a public works question,” replied Duclos.

“We’re not getting a lot of clarity here,” said MP Kramp-Neuman, adding: “The buck stops with you. Sadly, I recognize you don’t have all the answers to everything, but it doesn’t seem like we’re getting a lot of answers to anything.”

An unidentified Department of Public Works manager finalized the SNC-Lavalin contract on April 9, 2020 without notice to other bidders.

“A public call for tenders was not issued due to the urgency of the need as a result of the pandemic,” said an internal e-mail.

However, as late as Sep. 9, 2020, the Québec contractor had still not fixed a delivery date, according to staff emails.

Paul Thompson, deputy minister of public works, Tuesday said he knew little of the contract details.

“I personally don’t have all the details at my fingertips,” said Thompson.

SNC-Lavalin was paid to supply field hospitals equipped with 200 hospital beds, ventilators, masks, medical gowns and ten days’ worth of medication, back-up generators, water and oxygen tanks, X-ray machines, shower bays and latrines.

“The self-sufficiency of the unit makes it extremely flexible for deployment where the need is greatest in Canada,” said a memo.

Internal records dated Oct. 13, 2020 disclosed no one wanted the field hospitals.

The department said spending included $2 million for design work and millions more on warehousing medical supplies for presumed future use.

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