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Motion to increase number of ridings needed for a leadership review fails at UCP AGM

This week, it was announced the current threshold of having 22 constituency associations calling for a review of Kenney’s leadership had been met.




A motion at the United Conservative Party AGM to increase the number of ridings needed to force a leadership review of Premier Jason Kenney from 22 to 29 has been defeated.

Delegate Becky Lee, from Drayton Valley-Devon, blasted the proposal and said there “was a “ton of unethical” happenings surrounding the AGM.

She noted there were dozens of empty seats in the room as people from the northern part of the province were still making their way to the conference.

She also said delegates were being hampered from getting in by anti-Kenney protesters outside.

But George Clark, of Calgary East, countered 22 seats was too low a threshold.

This week, it was announced the current threshold of having 22 constituency associations calling for a review of Kenney’s leadership had been met.

But the constituency of Edmonton-Northwest has managed to get a motion approved for debate calling for the bar to be raised for a leadership review from 22 constituency associations to 29.

The motion to expand the requisite number of constituency associations would require an amendment to the party bylaws in order for it to pass. That would take the approval of 75% of delegates at the AGM to vote in support.

Of the 670 votes cast, 385 vote yes but 285 said no, only 58%, failing to meet the 75% threshold.

Earlier, Kenney called the motion at this weekend’s UCP AGM calling for the number of ridings needed to call a leadership review increase by 32% is nothing “but a minor change to party bylaws.”

“(The motion) is certainly worth debate, it’s a minor change in party bylaws. That’s what happens, that’s the process, it’s a democratic process, a fully transparent process.”

Before the convention started, a group of 50 protesters, led by Calgary street preacher Artur Pawlowski demonstrated for Kenney’s arrest outside the Grey Eagle Event Centre.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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  1. Ben Wilson

    November 20, 2021 at 10:30 am

    We have a leadership vote happening in April already. Why rush to change it to March. Technically, we have no other options to vote for at this time.

    I understand a leadership vote is required, but why is there such a pannic. I am concerned about all the forced Vax mandates these days too, but I need to hear what a new leader would do.

    This Pannic lacks logic. This concerns me. What is motivating this Pannic. Is the corrupt Left just wanting JK out because he brought forward the Allen report that unearths all the foreign funded funny business that goes on in Canada. Does JK have more funny business to unearth and the Left is panicking. I don’t know.

    I guess time will tell.

  2. Baron Not Baron

    November 20, 2021 at 9:11 am

    JK get packing boy, the East is calling!! You got a long way to go and short time to get there!!!!

  3. Dennis

    November 20, 2021 at 7:11 am

    100% Bryan. It’s time for Albertans to come alive and fix this problem for once and for all. Let’s not be fooled again.


  4. Ryun Kenney

    November 20, 2021 at 6:17 am

    Will never vote for a conservative provincially or federally that support forced medical procedures, vax mandates, vax passports, no free choice & a 2 tiered society. Where did all the conservatives go??

  5. Mars Hill

    November 19, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    We’re at a point where a lot of folks could care less what happens to Kenney, probably plenty who in a macabre way hope he hangs to power because they know that’s the best for their new loyalties. Don’t think the tipping point has been reached for these folks to realign back to the UCP but it’s really close, some are lost already for sure, but I don’t think the bulk. We’ll see if the UCP has any Alberta roots left soon enough.

  6. Bill Mccann

    November 19, 2021 at 10:27 pm


  7. Andrew

    November 19, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    Escort Kenney to the Alberta border and cross the floor to the Wildrose Independence Party!! We are talking government in 2023!!

  8. Bryan

    November 19, 2021 at 7:23 pm


    LET’S GO KENNEY! And the camel you rode in on! Get back into your pick ’em up truck, point it East and put the ‘pedal to the metal’, and fork off back to Ontario, where you belong!

    WIPA, the ONLY political party that CARES about ALBERTA!

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Maskless teen student with asthma ostracized at Calgary Catholic school

“Kids in my class called me an ‘outsider’ which made me feel worse than I already felt,” said 14-year-old Darius.




A Calgary Catholic school has segregated and since banned a student from attending school for not wearing a mask, says the student’s parents.

And before that, teachers had even taped off an area around the boy’s desk “like a crime scene.”

Darius Lynn, a Grade 9 student at St. Helena Junior High School in Calgary, suffers from asthma and was permitted to go maskless at his desk during the 2020-2021 school year.

When Darius returned to St. Helena for the 2021-2022 school year, without his parents’ knowledge, he was advised he would be required to wear a mask full time.

He complied for the first few months but eventually reported to his parents in late November he was struggling to breathe while wearing the mask.

“I had no idea he was told to wear a mask again this year,” Darius’ mother Stephanie told the Western Standard.

“My husband and I just assumed he wasn’t needing to wear a mask again this year.”

Stephanie said she and her husband Paul reached out to the new principal and Darius’ teachers to request they allow their son the same exemption as the previous year.

They were told he would need a doctor’s note, which Stephanie said they have been unable to acquire.

“Mask exemptions are impossible to get,” said Stephanie.

“Right now, doctors are just too scared to write them.”

Stephanie said the school’s solution was to, “move my son’s desk into the hallway.”

Darius also spoke with the Western Standard and said the teenagers in his class referred to him as an “outsider” after he was moved into the hallway.

“When they did group projects, they would just send me to the library and I had to work on my own,” said Darius.  

“Kids in my class called me an ‘outsider’ which made me feel worse than I already felt.”

Stephanie said she and her husband tried to appeal to the principal, but “she wouldn’t budge,” so they reached out to the superintendent.

“We begged for her to let Darius back into the classroom but he ended up sitting out there for two weeks where he was discriminated against and basically ridiculed so we contacted the superintendent,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie said she emailed Chief Superintendent Bryan Szumlas with the Catholic School Board who helped the Lynns get their son moved back into his classroom.

“So, he was moved back into the classroom, which was good, but what we didn’t know was that his teachers taped off the floor around his desk like a crime scene,” said Stephanie.

“After they put tape on the floor around my desk, some of the kids in my class would step past the tape and pretend they couldn’t breathe,” said Darius, explaining the teasing he endured.

Darius said his teachers had witnessed some of the teasing, but said, “most of the time the teachers didn’t do anything about it.

“They (teachers) also made me wait a few minutes before I could move to my next class because there were basically a bunch of students in the halls.”

“It was just awful what they were doing to him. They were treating him like a walking disease and visibly segregating him,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie said Darius had to stay within his taped boundaries for about a week until Christmas break.

“After the break, the principal notified us that Darius wouldn’t be welcome back if he wasn’t willing to wear a mask,” said Stephanie.

“In fact, one of the communications with the school referred to his asthma as his ‘apparent asthma’ like we were making it up or something.

“They said he could move to the online schooling system or do their D2L system from home,” said Stephanie referring to a web-based learning system offered throughout the school division.

“He doesn’t do well online so we are just trying to do the best we can. He’s in Grade 9, he should be able to be with his peers to finish off his last year in middle school.”

Darius said he has mixed feelings about not returning to school.

“I’m just really upset that I don’t get to see my friends anymore, but I also feel like I have less distractions at home,” said Darius.

Stephanie said it’s been a hard year for Darius as he also had to walk away from community hockey due to the vaccination mandates and additional costs associated with frequent rapid testing.

“He is totally destroyed,” said Stephanie.

The Lynns have two other sons — both attending Notre Dame High School — one in Grade 11 who is special needs and one in Grade 12.

“The real kicker for us is that we have a special needs son who has never worn a mask, doesn’t social distance and we have never been required to show a doctor’s note for him,” said Stephanie.

“They have totally humiliated my son and I’m angry. We just want our son to be treated with dignity and compassion. He has lost hockey because of the mandates and now he isn’t allowed to go to school.”

The family has since been referred to Area Director Deana Helton with regard to their son’s situation.

The Western Standard has contacted the school principal along with Helton but hasn’t heard back yet.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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Copping strikes EMS advisory committee amid system strains, red alerts

The Alberta Provincial EMS Advisory Committee will provide recommendations on a provincial EMS service plan by May.




Health Minister Jason Copping has appointed MLAs R.J. Sigurdson (Highwood) and Tracy Allard (Grande Prairie) to co-chair a new EMS committee to address “unprecedented” demands on the healthcare system.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is also rolling out a 10-point plan to maximize EMS system capacity.

The government listed many aggravating factors driving the system strains including “EMS staffing fatigue and illness, hospital offload delays, more requests for patient transfers, delays in receiving new ambulances and specialized vehicle parts caused by global supply issues.”

The province has seen a plethora of “red alerts” reported by EMS members and tweeted by the Union of Health Care Professionals @HSAAlbertaEMS. A red alert is when there are no available ambulances for emergency calls.

The government also reported a 30% increase in 911 calls in recent months. There was no mention of personnel shortages caused by the government’s COVID-19 mandate.

“Alberta’s government has been supportive of EMS throughout the pandemic. As we approach the peak of Omicron cases, we know the EMS system is seeing significant strain, which impacts service. We recognize this is a challenge and are taking immediate steps to improve emergency care access while we explore longer-term solutions,” said Copping.

AHS will immediately hire more paramedics, transfer low-priority calls to other agencies, and stop automatic ambulance dispatch to motor vehicle accidents with no injuries. AHS is also “launching pilot projects to manage non-emergency inter-facility transfers, and initiating an ‘hours of work’ project to help ease staff fatigue.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of AHS is confident these actions “will allow us to better support our EMS staff and front-line paramedics, and in turn this will ensure our patients receive the best care possible.”

Additionally, AHS will issue a request for proposals in February to conduct a third-party review of Alberta’s provincewide EMS dispatch system.

“The objective review by external health system experts will provide further opportunities to address ongoing pressures, improve effectiveness and efficiency through best practices, and provide the best outcomes for Albertans who call 911 during a medical event,” the government said.

The Alberta Provincial EMS Advisory Committee will provide recommendations on a provincial EMS service plan by May. Committee representatives include “contracted ambulance operators, unions representing paramedics, municipal representatives and Indigenous community representatives.”

Sigurdson said the committee will consider taxpayers’ needs.

“Albertans expect that when they call 911 in their time of greatest need, EMS will always answer. The committee’s goal will be focused around ensuring and improving service to Albertans while supporting the most critical piece of that equation: our EMS staff across all of Alberta.”

Amber Gosselin is a Western Standard reporter.

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WATCH: O’Toole will not be welcoming the truckers in Ottawa

“It’s not for the leader of the Opposition to attend a protest on the Hill or a convoy, it’s up to politicians to advocate for solutions, in a way that’s responsible and respectable to the health crisis we are in.”




Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was asked six times during a Monday press conference about his stance on the truckers Freedom Convoy 2022, before giving a vague answer.

“We have been talking with the Canadian Trucking Alliance for several months,” said O’Toole told reports.

“We’ve seen a crisis in the supply chain coming for several months and we’ve proposed policies to try to help alleviate that. The most important of which is vaccines. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

O’Toole press conference

Other specific. questions on the truckers’ comments were left with vague answers.

But the end of the conference O’Toole said it’s not his place to get involved.

“It’s not for the leader of the Opposition to attend a protest on the Hill or a convoy — it’s up to politicians to advocate for solutions, in a way that’s responsible and respectable to the health crisis we are in,” O’Toole said.

“We’ve been trying to tackle the supply chain crisis, encourage vaccination, not ignore problems and divide the country like Mr. (Justin) Trudeau does.”

O’Toole said policies cannot be put in place which could contribute to supply chain issues, as Canadians are already worried about their grocery bills.

O’Toole said he was focused on the economic strain Canadians are having, with record inflation, cost of living, 30% higher gas prices and the housing market’s rising costs,.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard

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