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McCORMACK: We must fight against COVID restrictions

Where do these limitations on our freedoms end? If we don’t oppose these mandates, or make the powers that be justify them, government imposition and exploitation will know no limits.

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Guest Column: Ann McCormack is a People’s Party candidate in the Alberta Senate nominee election

My husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary last evening by dropping off our youngest kid at her regular sports class and then ordering our food from a nice, family-owned restaurant in Lloydminster, Alta. The food was great, but the ambiance was “lacking.”

With the COVID-19 segregation, we knew we wouldn’t be allowed to eat with the general population without disclosing our vaccination status, so we did take-out. Since we live on a farm an hour’s drive from Lloyd, my husband packed up a table, chairs, tablecloth, cutlery, and even crystal drinking glasses. He had planned that we could at least have a sit-down meal in the parking lot before having to pick up our kid, but alas … it poured rain. We enjoyed a very nice meal on our laps, in the car.

I stand in opposition to COVID-19 restrictions not because I oppose being healthy, or that I object to other people making decisions about their own health. I strongly oppose these measures because they are imposed to coerce citizens into injecting a material into their body that has no long-term safety data. The heavy-handedness applied across the country to this COVID-19 campaign is unprecedented in Canadian history.

Many of us have contemplated moving to a freer country. But which one? We are no longer allowed to fly or sail without the medical papers to do so. Not because of foreign impositions, but because our own government is keeping us captive in Canada “for our own safety.” Freedoms of movement and association are so severely limited we’re even told we can’t invite our loved ones for Thanksgiving dinner without fear of government intervention, let alone drive, fly, or sail from our own borders.

How have these mandates been passed without going through the House of Commons or Senate, and not even been the subject of significant debate? They overrule civil liberties. Our prime minister makes up mandates on a whim during press conferences. And no, I don’t buy that it’s all due to emergency measures. Our health officers can’t and won’t prove their actions are demonstrably justified. They aren’t pressed to do so.

In Ontario, we see municipalities mandating full vaccination before marriage licenses are granted, and Saskatchewan doesn’t want young people to be able to have their first driver’s licenses without being fully vaxxed. This is a ghoulish coercion of a young and healthy population. There is very little chance that a young, healthy person will suffer life-threatening symptoms from COVID.

Who should decide what information you should have access to? The Internet censorship bill is before the Senate now, and the question is: do you trust Trudeau to decide what the truth of any issue is? Should his government be granted the right to determine what information is legitimate, and what is not?

The Senate is also debating a “hate speech” bill. We already have hate speech laws in this country. Do you want Trudeau to decide what the word “hate” means? What if we disagree with him?

Where do these limitations on our freedoms end? If we don’t oppose these mandates, or make the powers that be justify them, government imposition and exploitation will know no limits. We are coerced, have no medical privacy, and our freedom to associate and move is threatened.

It’s time to take a stand, and send some PPC common sense to the Senate in defence of our freedoms.

Guest Column: Ann McCormack is a People’s Party candidate in the Alberta Senate nominee election

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Eldon

    October 12, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Follow the money. If an investigation were to be done. I’d bet the politicians and medical officials are being paid handsomely to see that the population is jabbed.
    They need to swing for the crimes against humanity that thier have committed.

  2. David

    October 12, 2021 at 7:51 am

    There is no officially published short term safety data on those MRNA treatments. Yet we do know from the Israeli data that these treatments are not effective. And we do know that deaths have increased in every country that has introduced the shots.

    What do these facts suggest? That governments around the world are coercing people into taking a shot they know is not effective and not safe.

    It is time to resist by any means.

  3. Dennis

    October 12, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Left Coast, I had a lot to say here and you stole my thunder. Well said thank you.
    When is the average person going to wake up and see that we are being lied to by incompetant politicians.

  4. jgl

    October 12, 2021 at 6:38 am

    What does one do when you come to the realization that many individuals that run our governments and institutions are corrupt. The truth is they are there for themselves not for the people.
    We must demand they be held accountable for their crimes.
    We know their names.

  5. Mars Hill

    October 12, 2021 at 1:44 am

    Getting there….we’re at war against the cabal folks. Buckle up your bonnets buttercups. Thank God for Q
    https://rumble.com/embed/vkzi99/?pub=cppvg

  6. Tyson

    October 11, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    That’s a good summary of what has gone on for nearly the last two years, Left Coast. All the measures that have been taken seem to have been done for the purpose of getting the most people possible to take the shots. Irrationally, governments almost across the board have pushed them with such fervency, and now coercion, despite the obvious concerns with the mysterious, new mRNA technology.

  7. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    October 11, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    The Canadian media is as much to blame as Trudeau and his henchman .The NDP in Alberta was very clever in appointing key AHS leaders and those key positions have done a great job of making the UCP like a flock of unattended sheep. Will any common-sense prevail in the near future. Alberta needs to clean house of all present politicans even the ones who have a rare stiff of being a politician.

  8. Left Coast

    October 11, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Nailed it Ann . . . our Low Intellect Politicians have all turned into Despots.

    We knew 21 months ago that the Senior Population, especially those with comorbidities were at Risk. So our inept Political Class & the feckless Health Departments locked up the entire Population when we knew that under 70s had only a .5% chance of dying from the Wuhan Virus. Under 40 was 1/2 of that and under 18 was practically ZERO. Now going through our 4th or 5th cycle of idiocy and we see VAXED Covid Patients starting to pile up in Hospital beds in Israeli, British, Australian & some NE States in the USA. Likely coming here as Flu Season is just beginning now. Will they attempt to cover it up?

    The Media has been preaching “Fear & Scare” since day one shouting about “Cases” which are created by the PCR Test that we now know cannot tell one Corona Virus from the many others. When did our Provincial Health Authorities tell the public about Therapeutics to help keep them well and out of Hospitals? That would be NEVER!

    Today in most jurisdictions . . . the Average age of those who died from the Virus is Higher than the Life Expectancy. The Experimental VAX has had more problems & deaths than ALL OTHER VAXES in the last 30 years ALL ADDED Together!

    Yet our Idiot Politicians soldier on with insane restrictions & continue to push the Experimental Vax . . . the FACT that Drs., Nurses, Commercial Pilots & others are walking away from their Careers rather than take the JAB does not seem to register with them.

    This is what happens when you elect the Stupidest Amongst Us . . . to run your Province or Country.

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Opinion

The Western Standard at two years old

Western Standard Publisher Derek Fildebrandt on the journey from scrappy-startup to one of the most-read media platforms in Western Canada.

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Today marks two years since the Western Standard was reestablished and returned to publication. It has been a wild ride and has succeeded far beyond my expectations.

In August 2019, I began putting together a business plan for a new media company that would speak for Western Canadians who do not see themselves reflected in the priorities of the large legacy media outfits. I wanted to build something that would carry the mantel of the old Western Standard and the Alberta Report before it.

I consulted with some of the best in the business, and while their advice was critical to launching us on a solid footing, the outlook for success was far from certain.

As the plan began to come together, the opportunity presented itself to purchase the rights to the old Western Standard brand from an employee of the original company, Matthew Johnston. The Western Standard was far-and-away my favourite magazine to read between Marxist theory classes while I attended Carleton University in the mid-2000s. I remembered Mark Steyn’s back-cover columns forcing me to the ground as I rolled in laughter.

We had a name at least, even if it had been forgotten by many.

Media is a hurting industry in Canada. Even with a generous $600 million bailout subsidy from Ottawa, legacy media are struggling to keep their heads above water. Newsrooms across Canada are a macabre, pale reflection of their former glory. How would we break into an already dying industry and succeed without accepting the federal cash? It was a daunting prospect.

The one good thing going for us was that, unlike many other businesses, an online media company could get started with remarkably little upfront capital.

With a few thousand dollars and dozens of hours of YouTube tutorials, we managed to put together the basics of the technology required.

With no other capital available, we needed an innovative way to pay reporters, columnists, and other contributors. So instead of paying a salary, wage, or for each submission from writers, the decision was made to pay them based on a combination of revenues generated by the company, relative to how many readers each received on their contributions.

Those revenues wouldn’t be very significant for some time to come. We had no investors. We had no advertisers. We couldn’t put in place a paywall and expect people to pay for something that they knew nothing about. For the first while, it would take reporters and columnists willing to do this as a labour of love.

On Oct. 23, 2019 we launched. It was just two days after the federal election that saw Justin Trudeau re-elected with a minority government. Westerners were incredulous that a self-righteous woke Liberal could be returned to power after a flood of pictures showing him in racist blackface was made public. Overnight, the WEXIT movement caught fire as many Westerners — especially Albertans and Saskatchewanians — began to believe Canada was a futile project designed to serve the interests of the East. With particular insight into what was driving these people — and who these people were — the Western Standard was in pole position to cover the movement.

Within our first week, Dave Naylor joined the team as news editor. It was a fateful moment for our growth as an organization. Dave brought with him 30 years of experience as a respected newsman at the Calgary Sun. From there, he built a small but mighty news division in the organization that would break a disproportionate number of exclusive stories and put the Western Standard on the map.

By January 1, 2020, we were already on track to be one of the most-read media platforms in Alberta, with promising signs that we could replicate this in the other Western provinces.

2020 was a long, hard year for us. We continued to slog away at delivering a high-volume of news and opinion content, but on a shoestring budget. We were still too new and unproven to attract major advertisers, and we had only a voluntary donation option to receive support from readers. Reporters, columnists and other contributors were all chronically underpaid, we worked from home, and had little in the way of a budget to professionalize our operations.

Some of the Western Standard staff in the Calgary Office, September 28, 2021

All of this began to turn around in December 2020. Advertisers began to take notice of the Western Standard. Readership reached new heights. And investors began to show interest.

March 2021 was the decisive month when the Western Standard began to move from a scrappy startup, to a professional media platform capable of challenging some of the biggest players in the Western media market.

Firstly, we implemented a soft paywall for readers. That is, we allowed readers to continue to consume a high volume of Western Standard content, but would eventually require those readers to pay if they read a lot. We were extremely hesitant to do this. There was no way that we could grow to where we wanted to be without asking readers to contribute towards our editorial work, but we wanted to keep our content open to as many readers as possible. That’s why we settled on a “soft-paywall.” The results were incredible. Readers signed up in huge numbers, and we reinvested every dollar back into professionalizing our editorial and operational capacities.

Those operational capacities included investments into our website (ending the constant crashes whenever we posted big breaking stories), renting sufficient office space, and building a professional studio to provide high-quality video and podcasts.

Investment in our editorial capacity was also significant. Staff and freelance contributors were actually paid fairly for their work. This incentivized them to provide content of a higher quality, and at a higher volume.

Daily Readership, October 2019-September 2021

The result was a continuing increase in Western Standard readership. In the period between January 1 and Sept. 30, 2021, the Western Standard had 9.5 million readers, triple that of the same period in 2020.

Much of this is driven by our focus on issues and angles that are too often ignored or not understood by the older legacy media. Our news division is professional and includes several veterans of the industry, but it looks at stories from perspectives not shared by a majority of reporters.

Probably the most obvious example of this is in our coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Legacy media have almost exclusively taken the view that governments must — as a default — exercise extraordinary powers to eliminate the virus through the imposition of lockdowns, forced-masking, vaccine passports, and other coercive measures. Those concerned with retaining their liberties are portrayed as a bunch of cranky, conspiracy theorist hillbillies.

The Western Standard took a different approach. We have taken COVID-19 seriously and covered government and medical pronouncements as fairly and objectively as we can, and we have had a zero-tolerance policy for giving credibility or a platform to conspiracy theories. But we have also not drank the Kool-Aid of accepting everything the government tells us. We have applied a critical lens to government actions and their justifications for them. We have done our very best to provide readers with a perspective that simultaneously takes the science around COVID-19 seriously, as well as the protection of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

As we complete our second year of operations, I’m immensely grateful to our staff, freelance contractors, advertisers, and individual members who have allowed us to get this far. We have gone from an idea on a piece of paper in 2019, to a well-read garage startup in 2020, to a professional media outlet that we can all be proud of in 2021.

We have big plans for 2022, and I hope that you will be a part of that journey with us.

Derek Fildebrandt is Publisher, President & CEO of Western Standard New Media Corp.

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Opinion

MORGAN: Albertans need real recall legislation now

“The UCP needs to bring their recall legislation back to the legislature, correct the flaws in it, and proclaim it into active law as soon as possible.”

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Nobody should have the ability to remove an elected official from office aside from the electors who put them there in the first place. Recalling a politician should never be easy, but it shouldn’t be impossible either.

If some of the allegations against embattled Calgary City Councilor Sean Chu prove to be true, there will be little the constituents of Ward 4 will be able to do about it, other than ask him to step down. Chu doesn’t face any criminal charges nor has he been convicted of any, which would be required for any legal by other councillors to expel him. It would be up to Chu to decide if he wants to continue to sit as city councilor until the end of his term or not.

Even if Chu can provide proof exonerating himself of the acts he has been accused of, a terrible flaw in our electoral system has been exposed. Alberta needs viable voter recall legislation. Citizens need to be empowered to fire elected officials before the end of their term in exceptional circumstances.

Recall legislation was a key promise made by Jason Kenney and the UCP in the last election. While the government did table a form of recall legislation in the last legislative session, it was an anemic, nearly useless bill, and the government hasn’t bothered itself to formally proclaim it into active law yet.

Even if the new recall legislation was active right now, it couldn’t be applied in Chu’s case. The legislation doesn’t allow a recall to be initiated until at least one and-a-half years after the most recent election. While this clause was built in to prevent people from trying to frivolously recall politicians the day after an election, it leaves a gaping hole in the intent. In both Chu’s and Liberal MP George Chahal’s cases for example, allegations of wrongdoing surfaced literally within days of their having been elected.

While the need to recall elected officials is thankfully rare, it happens often enough to demonstrate a need for viable legislation. The Alberta Party had not one, but two of its former candidates convicted of child sex crimes. What would have happened if they had been elected? In 2018, former Wildrose MLA Don MacIntyre was charged with heinous child sex crimes. MacIntyre resigned and was subsequently convicted of sexual interference. Had MacIntyre refused to resign however, the constituents of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake would have had to endure being represented by a convicted and imprisoned child sex predator until the 2019 election.

Many Albertans can remember the bizarre saga of Lethbridge city councilor Dar Heatherington. Heatherington made international headlines when she disappeared from a conference in Montana. She later surfaced in Las Vegas and claimed she had been abducted and raped. An investigation later found Heatherington had fabricated the entire episode along with other stories of a fictional stalker. Heatherington was eventually convicted of mischief which allowed the Lethbridge city council to have her removed from her seat. The issue began with rage, but later turned into pity as it became evident Heatherington was suffering from serious mental illness. Recall would have been an act of mercy for her and her family were she not convicted.

Kenney’s recall legislation is an unworkable bill modeled to pay lip service to the principle of recall but is built in such a way it will likely never be used. The bar for petitioning is set too high, and the timelines for petitioning are far too tight. Even in the most egregious of cases, it would be exceedingly difficult for any elected official to be recalled.

Kenney’s reticence in providing viable recall legislation to Albertans has managed to come back to haunt him. Pressure is being put upon both Kenney and Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver to intervene and somehow block Chu from taking his seat on council. There likely is little the provincial government can do in this case since Chu hasn’t been criminally charged, much less convicted of anything. Chu’s sanctions were from within the police force, not the justice system. Kenney could have taken the pressure off himself if he had given Albertans recall legislation as he had promised. Kenney could have pointed to it today and said the issue was in the hands of the voters of Ward 4.

Adding salt to the wound, is the fact that Kenney has allowed the Recall Act it sit in legislative limbo, unproclaimed into active law despite being long ago passed by the legislature. The cynics among us may suspect he may fear its use against him and his caucus.

We need a mechanism to remove elected officials from office before their term is up if they prove to be unfit for office. We can’t put that power into the hands of other elected officials who would inevitably abuse it. Do we really want to see the premier able to fire elected mayors and councils in Alberta? In looking at how vitriolic and tribal some municipal councils are, could you imagine what would happen if these councils and mayors had the ability to fire each other? Former Calgary Mayor Haheed Nenshi and his gang on Calgary city council likely would have had Jeromy Farkas kicked out of city hall within his first year in office for being a nuisance.

The UCP needs to bring their recall legislation back to the legislature, correct the flaws in it, and proclaim it into active law as soon as possible. The wheel does not need to be reinvented here. Workable recall legislation exists in many jurisdictions. Electors deserve nothing less.

Cory Morgan is the Alberta Political Columnist for the Western Standard and Host of the Cory Morgan Show

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Maskless Maintoba ministers get free pass from top health doc

However, since 99.999% of Manitobans don’t get to go to a ball, let’s look at other indoor situations they regularly find themselves in. 

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Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin essentially leapt to the defense of three cabinet ministers — including the health minister — who appeared maskless at a recent ball.

Roussin gave the ministers a pass for taking a photo wearing no masks at last weekend’s event held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

“For the most part, that mask should be on. There are brief periods where it’s reasonable for it to come off,” said Roussin. “If it was simply to remove a mask for the purposes of getting a photograph, and then you put it back on, then … that’s in keeping with advice we’ve provided.”

Well, it wasn’t quite ‘simply’ that. 

Unmasked Health Minister Audrey Gordon, Minister of Families Rochelle Squires and Minister of Sport, Culture, and Heritage Cathy Cox posed for a photo with three other women. 

Squires posted it to her Instagram page. (Do you think the other two are still talking to her for outing them? Maybe eating at different lunch table at the legislature shooting glare darts in between bites?? Did they unfriend her on social media yet?)

Yes, yes, Gordon and Squires said they were really, very sorry. Gordon and Cox adamantly said they had removed their masks to eat, then spontaneously jumped up only to take the photo. 

Hmmm … is that really the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

It isn’t.

Manitoba COVID-19 public health orders require mask use in all indoor public places, with some exemptions, including temporarily removing masks to eat, drink, give a speech or receive a service that requires them to be removed.

On Monday, Roussin issued a dire prediction that all harsh rules will likely remain in place through to spring.

Roussin said he wasn’t familiar with all of details of what transpired at the ball, so let’s enlighten the good doctor.

Squires posted another photo. She was seated at a table. Gordon and Cox, Winnipeg city Councilor Marcus Chambers, and several other people were standing behind her. No masks. No social distancing. None of that.

Roussin didn’t specifically elaborate on mask protocol while standing and socializing at balls. 

Thankfully, Manitobans can follow the health minister’s lead on acceptable guidelines.

However, since 99.999% of Manitobans don’t get to go to a ball, let’s look at other indoor situations they regularly find themselves in. 

An indoor venue is an indoor venue, right?

Surely the same rules apply to both politicians and regular folk in all indoor situations.

So, go ahead, be like Gordon. If you’re at the grocery store and see people you know, or even people you don’t know, by all means, rip off those cumbersome masks, stand really close, and visit — chat up a storm as long as you like. 

Same applies for acceptable mask protocol in Walmart, Home Depot, the gas station, school hallways, drug stores, the kid’s hockey game, etc.

And if the mask police descend and try to give you a $298 ticket — just whip out a copy of the photo of the health minister doing exactly that at an indoor event when tough COVID-19 mask restrictions are in place.

Remind them in a reasonable, calm manner the ministers have not been slapped with such silly fines. So, you shouldn’t be either.

And go ahead, post photos of the visits on Instagram, Facebook, wherever. Squires did that. So, there’s apparently nothing to hide.

The defense rests, your Honour. 

The only problem is — unlike the cabinet ministers — you probably wouldn’t get a pass.

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

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

**your signature**



The Western Standard will never accept government bailout money. By becoming a Western Standard member, you are supporting government bailout-free and proudly western media that is on your side. With your support, we can give Westerners a voice that doesn\'t need taxpayers money.

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