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SLOBODIAN: WATCH: Pastor finally out of jail while maskless Manitoba ministers escape sanctions

Gordon’s apology for posing in one photo with her cabinet colleagues and three other women — all maskless — seems disingenuous.

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Manitoba Pastor Tobias Tissen, who allegedly didn’t abide by public health rules, was released Wednesday after sitting in a Winnipeg Remand Centre jail cell for two nights.

Three provincial cabinet ministers, including Health Minister Audrey Gordon, who definitely didn’t abide by public health rules, will continue to sit in the legislature and anywhere else they please.

After appearing virtually in court, Tissen was released. 

Tobias, whose arrest in front of his family Monday night was captured in a heart-wrenching video, has never tried to downplay what he’s doing.

It appears Gordon did. 

So much about this is offensive to any clear-thinking person’s sense of justice.

Gordon, along with Minister of Families Rochelle Squires and Minister of Sport, Culture, and Heritage Cathy Cox were maskless at a weekend fundraising ball at Winnipeg’s Art Gallery. 

The proof lies in photos Squires posted to her Instagram page. When outed, Gordon and Squires said sorry for violating health orders dictating people in public places must wear a mask which can be removed when seated and eating or drinking. 

Oh well then, move on now. Crickets from interim Premier Kelvin Goertzen’s office and the PC party.

“I got up and joined the group in the photo, neglecting to wear my mask. It’s unfortunate and it was wrong, and it should not have happened and for that, I deeply apologize,” said Gordon. “I do believe as minister of health, I should be held to a higher standard, and I have always upheld that standard.”

Gordon’s apology for posing in one photo with her cabinet colleagues and three other women — all maskless — seems disingenuous. 

Proof lies in another photo posted by Squires showing her seated at a table with former Winnipeg Mayor Susan Thompson. 

In the background, several people stand socializing, including Gordon. All but a couple of them, including Gordon, are maskless.

Obviously, Gordon doesn’t believe wearing a mask in public is necessary to avoid contracting COVID-19. That’s her right — one I’ll fiercely defend. 

The problem is, her government’s mandated masks and double vaccines are denying others their rights, costing them jobs and, like Tissen, freedom.

Gordon said she hasn’t been fined or reprimanded.

Tobias and his Church of God Restoration in Steinbach face $53,000 in fines on 16 tickets for violating health orders during protests and both in-person and drive-in services.

Steinbach, a city of 16,000, has had a high rate of COVID-19 test positivity. There’s never been an outbreak among Church of God members.

Yet they, as Christians, have been relentlessly hounded. 

It’s called persecution from egos in the province who appear to dislike taking a backseat to God. 

Why is it we never hear of non-Christian worship places where crowds freely gather getting fined?

“We have boldly and unashamedly proclaimed Christ as head of the Church, not (former premier) Brian Pallister or Kelvin Goertzen,” Pastor Heinrich Hildebrandt told Western Standard

“The state does not have jurisdiction to order churches to place limits on how the Gospel is preached. We have not been silent on that topic, and they are trying to suppress that.”

“Canada’s on a very dangerous path right now. Our leaders are abandoning the foundation of our nation ‘whereas Canada was founded on principles that recognize the supremacy of God’ that are codified in our Constitution. The Dominion of Canada was founded with the inherent knowledge that’ He shall have dominion from sea to sea’ not petty tyranny, kings or queens.”

“As we drift from that we are seeing the grave effects of that in our society. May we withstand the forces of evil that want to rob us of our God-given freedoms.”

Tobias was robbed of his freedom when picked up on an outstanding warrant when the family arrived at their home. His crying mother and wife Elizabeth, holding their sons aged four and two in her arms, helplessly watched.

The pastor offered no resistance, only repeatedly asked to hug his mother, who is moving to Austria, goodbye. He was denied. They kissed through the glass of the cruiser.

How do you explain to frightened children why dad’s up against a cruiser, being searched, handcuffed, then taken away?

“Tell papa goodbye,” said a sobbing Elizabeth. “It’s OK Silas, it’s OK. The Lord will take care of papa.”

Thank goodness for that. Few have stepped up to support him. 

Other church leaders? Mostly meek mouses, except for a mere seven Manitoba churches that united to fight Manitoba’s health restrictions curtailing the freedom to worship. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms argued in court the restrictions requiring vaccinated attendees and severely reduced capacity are unjustified violations of charter-protected freedoms. 

The Church of God has long warned: Today it’s our pastors, tomorrow it’s you.

Politicians? Some quietly expressed support. Others who staunchly stand behind enforcing health mandates traipse about the ball maskless.

After appearing virtually in court, Tissen was released. 

“The authorities relented on the conditions and agreed to put no limitations on his ministry, church gatherings, or his duties as a pastor. He was not willing to sign any such conditions when pressured to do so on Tuesday.”

Tissen is expected to appear in Steinbach Provincial Court in November.

“We ask that Christians would pray for Tobias’ strength, wisdom, and release, as well as for his wife and sons,” said Hildebrandt.  “May God bless this situation unto His own glory, as the heathen rage.”

Amen to that.

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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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Claudette Leece

    October 21, 2021 at 6:24 am

    They must gives apology classes now for politicians, there’s been at least one a day from all parties since Covid started

  2. Jerry Terpstra

    October 20, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    You know when the system is so corrupt that the ones that should be leaders do what they want and jail the ones that do what they do.. at least 20 people at the party. Not one wearing a mask. And we cant have a thanksgiving meal with family.

  3. Baron Not Baron

    October 20, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Ho”s

  4. Bryan

    October 20, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    “Laws are for the little people, doncha know.”

    Knew a guy a few years ago (2 BC – two years “before covid”), who moved from Russia, and he told me how much more free Russia was. I now tend to agree with him.

  5. Barry Williams

    October 20, 2021 at 11:46 am

    I saw mommy kissing Santa Clause and jeepers there’s a pack of liars in the Power That Shouldn’t Be club.

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Opinion

BRADLEY: No Central Bank Digital Currency can stack up to Bitcoin

Why Bitcoin will always be the superior digital currency.

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These days, many countries are considering introducing their own Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

The Bank of England recently released a research paper discussing the possibility of creating its own digital currency, saying it has “not yet made a decision on whether to introduce CBDC”.

In July 2021, the Bank of Canada issued a discussion paper called “The Positive Case for a CBDC”, citing it “could be an effective competition policy tool for payments” and “could also support the vibrancy of the digital economy.”

But no country is moving faster on this front than China.

The Central Bank of China has already introduced a digital yuan, which is expected to eliminate physical cash and provide a centralized payment-processing network.

As China continues to expand its CBDC implementation beyond its trial run in some cities, more of its citizens will be forced into using the government’s app to identify themselves, store their wealth and make everyday purchases. That means the Chinese government will be able to track purchases and even freeze or close personal accounts, for whatever reason they see fit.

That is a terrifying prospect – and it highlights one of the many reasons bitcoin will always be superior to any currency issued and controlled by any government.

The Bitcoin network uses blockchain technology to track the status of the network, including user balances and transactions. This allows transparency and decentralization by nature. Perhaps most importantly, this means that the system cannot be controlled or influenced by any one person, company or government.

China’s digital yuan – and any CBDC under consideration – have the complete opposite fundamentals. With a CBDC, one central bank has ultimate control and power over the currency, not to mention the ability to track and even reverse everyday purchases.

It’s a particularly worrisome situation in China, where its government has been pushing a social credit system that, at its core, rewards or punishes people for their economic and personal behaviours. As the country implements its digital yuan more broadly, there are fears China could use its CBDC to extend control over even more of its citizens’ rights and freedoms.

We don’t face that threat in western countries yet, but that’s not to say we are immune from the possibility. If Meta’s recent announcement that it’s shutting down the face recognition system on Facebook is any indication, our society is definitely not keen on being monitored, controlled, or surveilled in any way.

From 2013 to 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice ran Operation Choke Point to monitor and crack down on payments for what the government deemed “high-risk activities”, ranging from online gambling and payday loans to pornography and surveillance equipment sales. These activities were not illegal but they offended the government’s moral compass – a slippery and scary slope.

Most recently, in October 2021 U.S. President Joe Biden and his government backed down from requiring the IRS to collect data on every bank account with more than $600 in annual transactions. 

Infringements like these on our privacy are unacceptable. But the likelihood of them happening will grow exponentially if, and when, western governments introduce their own CBDCs.

Aside from a potential loss of personal freedom and privacy, CBDCs would introduce another undesirable outcome: even greater inflation than we’re experiencing today. Governments, including our own here in Canada, are printing money faster than ever, which simultaneously drives inflation and devalues personal wealth.

As Saifedean Ammous writes in his fantastic book, The Fiat Standard: The Debt Slavery Alternative to Human Civilization, “CBDCs would allow for the implementation of…inflationist schemes with high efficiency, allowing for increased central planning of market activity. Government spending would proceed unabated by whatever little discipline credit markets currently exert. Real-world prices are likely to rise, which would lead to more control over economic production to mandate prices.”

To sum this up, CBDCs could lead to higher inflation, less personal autonomy, and more government meddling. For those reasons, whenever I’m asked if the introduction of CBDCs will kill bitcoin and its relevance, my answer is a resounding, “No.”

Central bank digital currencies are not the same thing as bitcoin. They aren’t even competitors with bitcoin, nor will they ever replace bitcoin. They are a distraction. In my opinion, CBDCs will only create greater demand for bitcoin and its many advantages.

Bitcoin offers individuals the profound ability to own sound money, protect their wealth from inflation and keep governments from micro-managing their finances. That is certainly not what CBDCs will do, and it’s why we should all be very apprehensive about giving central banks the ability to issue, oversee and control digital currencies.

No CBDC can, or ever will, stack up to bitcoin.

Guest Column from Dave Bradley, Chief Revenue Officer at Bitcoin Well
@bitcoinbrains on Twitter

Sponsored by Bitcoin Well

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Opinion

ROYER: Canada ignores Alberta. Because it can

The only conclusion is that Canada is not a functioning, modern federal democracy. It caters almost exclusively to the needs of the two primary provinces.

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Crickets. That is the sound of Canada’s response to Alberta’s request to consider revisions to the equalization program over a month ago. What does the deafening silence say about Canada?

Trudeau brushed off the referendum saying that he couldn’t unilaterally address the issue, although he clearly can. His government has several bilateral agreements with provinces other than Alberta.  He can agree to change the equalization formula to drain less wealth from Alberta and Saskatchewan in the first place.

The federal Conservative Party’s silence is due to their leader Erin O’Toole’s decision to pander to Ontario and Quebec, taking the West for granted.

The silence has made one thing absolutely clear: Alberta has no voice in Canada. Voting against the Liberals hasn’t worked. Voting in a couple of Liberal MPs hasn’t helped. Relying on protection provincial sovereignty under the constitution has proven to be useless; Trudeau’s government intercedes into those defined powers with impunity.

All that remains is to look at the big picture. Alberta had no democratic input into decisions that dramatically diminished its economy. Wealth continues to be drained from the province and it has no means to stop it. A referendum — the ultimate expression of democratic rights — is ignored. What does this make Canada?

First, it clearly is not a modern democratic nation. Modern democracies give voice to minorities and seek compromise.

We do not have a federal government. There is no structural input from the far reaches of the country in the nation’s decision-making process. It is a central government, serving only the centre.

We are not really a federation either. Rights of the lesser provinces are extinguished at the whim of the central government. Those intrusions are dutifully upheld by the Supreme Court, an institution with a majority of judges from central Canada. The Senate is completely ineffective in protecting the federation. It over-represents Quebec and Atlantic Canada, is appointed at the sole discretion of the prime minister and has very limited powers to disagree with him. Alberta’s attempt to introduce democracy into the selection of Senators has been ignored by the prime minister.

Power is extremely concentrated. Trudeau’s emissions cap on hydrocarbon production is just the most recent example. No discussion with Parliament or the provinces was taken; he just made the decision with his personal staff, and announced it

He has this power because hyper-partisanship, strict party discipline and the overly centralized government concentrates power. We’ve abandoned our historic Westminster Parliamentary system of government and taken on an American style constitutional system with judicial supremacy, but with an all-powerful prime minister that lacks the checks-and-balances placed upon an American president.

The only respectful response to Alberta came from Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe. He called for his province to become a nation within a nation, a status effectively granted Quebec. Neither the federal structure nor the national parliament protect the outlying provinces. They now need to gain near national powers in order to protect themselves from the central government.

The only conclusion is Canada is not a functioning, modern federal democracy. It caters almost exclusively to the needs of the two primary provinces: Ontario and Quebec. The concentration of power and the malleability of federal sovereignties has makes the prime minister effectively an elected dictator. The only check on the prime minister’s power is in an occasional national election, the results of which are determined almost entirely in Ontario and Quebec.

So, what is Canada? It is a country in which the central provinces in conjunction with the central government have dominion over the outlying provinces, and those central provinces elect a prime minister who is given near royal prerogative.

Our country is called (at least officially) the Dominion of Canada, a constitutional monarchy. By the word dominion are we saying that the centre has dominion over the rest of the country? And does constitutional democracy say that the constitution concentrates power into the hands of a single person?

We can do better.

Randy Royer is a Western Standard columnist

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Energy

VENKATACHALAM & KAPLAN: Oil and gas production is essential to BC’s economy

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors.

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Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan of the Canadian Energy Centre

British Columbia has been producing oil and natural gas since 1952. In fact, as of 2018, BC produced 32% of Canada’s natural gas production and 2% of Canada’s conventional daily oil production. British Columbia collects royalties from oil and gas development, supporting the economic prosperity in the province.

Want to know how important the oil and natural gas industry is to the BC economy? Using customized Statistic Canada data from 2017 (the latest year available for this comparison), it turns out oil and gas in BC  generated about $18 billion in outputs, consisting primarily of the value of goods and services produced, as well as a GDP of $9.5 billion.

As for what most of us can relate to — jobs — the BC oil and gas industry was responsible for nearly 26,500 direct jobs and more than 36,100 indirect jobs (62,602 jobs in total) in 2017. Also relevant: The oil and gas sector paid out over $3.1 billion in wages and salaries to BC workers that year.

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors. That included $600 million from the finance and insurance sector, $770 million in professional services, and $2.8 billion from the manufacturing sector, to name just three examples.

Spending by the oil and gas sector in BC is not the only way to consider the impact of the industry. Given that a large chunk of the oil and gas sector is next door in Alberta, let’s look at what Alberta’s trade relationship with its westerly neighbour does for BC.

BC’s interprovincial trade in total with all provinces in 2017 amounted to $39.4 billion. Alberta was responsible for the largest amount at $15.4 billion, or about 38%, of that trade.

That share of BC’s trade exports is remarkable, given that Alberta’s share of Canada’s population was just 11.5 percent in 2017. Alberta consumers, businesses and governments buy far more from BC in goods and services than its population as a share of Canada would suggest would be the case. Alberta’s capital-intensive, high-wage-paying oil and gas sector is a major reason why.

If Alberta were a country, the province’s $15.4 billion in trade with BC would come in behind only the United States (about $22.3 billion in purchases of goods and services from BC) in 2017. In fact, Alberta’s importance to B.C. exports was ranked far ahead of China ($6.9 billion), Japan ($4.5 billion), and South Korea ($2.9 billion)—the next biggest destinations for BC’s trade exports.

BC has a natural advantage for market access in some respects when compared to the United States. For instance, BC’s coast is near to many Asian-Pacific markets than are U.S. Gulf Coast facilities. The distance between the U.S. Gulf Coast and to the Japanese ports of Himeji and Sodegaura is more than 9,000 nautical miles, compared to less than 4,200 nautical miles between those two Japanese ports and the coast of BC.

The recent demand for natural gas in Asia, especially Japan (the largest importer of LNG) and price increase for natural gas, presents an exciting opportunity for BC oil and gas industry. The IEA predicts that by 2024 , natural gas demand forecast in Asia will be up 7% from 2019’s pre-COVID-19  levels. 

Be it in employment, salaries and wages paid, GDP, or the purchase of goods and services, the impact of oil and natural gas (and Alberta) on BC’s economy and trade flows is significant.

Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan are with the Canadian Energy Centre

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