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FILDEBRANDT: Kenney says rebels should sheath their swords while he’s takin’ care of business

Kenney lives to fight again another day, but as the members voted this weekend, that fight will come on the terms of the rebels, not the premier. 

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s time at the mic at this weekend’s UCP convention was one of his last big chances to make the case to rebellious party members that he should keep his job. He entered the room about half-an-hour late after losing some early rounds of the fight the night before. 

On Friday night, Kenney’s proxies moved forward two amendments to the party’s constitution that would shore up his position; both failed badly. 

The first amendment would have raised the bar from 22 to 29 for the number of constituency associations required to trigger a recall of the leader. This understandably raised a few eyebrows, as just days earlier, 22 UCP constituency associations announced that they had passed such a special resolution that would trigger a recall vote on Kenney’s leadership. Said vote would be held by all members of the party, and not just a few hundred able to shell out roughly $400 to show up to a convention in Calgary. 

To pass, that amendment to the party’s constitution required a super-majority of 75% of delegates. It fell well short, in the low 50s. The failure of the Kenney loyalists to move the goalposts means that the premier is now on track for an early vote on his leadership, and not just well-heeled and PAC-funded delegates get to vote. 

The second amendment put forward by the premier’s allies was to further-centralize control over local nominations under the central party’s tutelage. With his caucus in open revolt and his nemesis Brian Jean gunning for a UCP nomination on an explicit anti-Kenney platform, the premier has his reasons for cleaning house. The amendment to give him that power failed decisively. 

Kenney strode to the podium with BTO’s ‘Takin’ Care of Business‘ pounding as his power song. It was telling of his speech’s main theme: his critics — left and right — are small-minded and playing politics while he makes the tough decisions. He’s, well, takin’ care of business. 

His critics on the left — the NDP, certain media — aren’t his real immediate threat. They were against him before, they are again his now, and they will be against him forever. The real threat, the one he faces right now, is on his right flank. Many of them were in the room with him. 

The boss managed to eke out the words “mistake” and “imperfect” by way of acknowledging criticism of his handling of COVID-19; understatements of the decade. 

He told his critics that he hears them, but they are wrong. They are ideologues. They would have caused tens of thousands of deaths if they had been in charge. He’s proud that Alberta has so many people who distrust government, but they need to trust it when he’s in charge of it. 

He made the case that he has governed well, has fired up the economy, and by all rights should be popular. That he isn’t, is due to the NDP taking advantage of the situation for political gain. Who could have foreseen a political party taking advantage of a political situation for political gain?

Going back to Kenney’s greatest hits, he warned of a revival of the old Trudeau-Notley alliance, less than a week after Kenney stood side-by-side with Trudeau to announce Alberta’s capitulation to federal meddling in provincial control over daycare. He didn’t get around to mentioning that part. 

He warned revolting conservatives that as angry as they may be with his own see-saw lockdowns and vaccine mandates, Rachel Notley would be much worse. 

This isn’t quite true. Kenney has in fact implemented nearly every single last COVID-19 proposal and demand put forward by Rachel Notley, just one-to-two weeks after she would have. 

Kenney tells his intramural rebels that they will have their chance to vote on his leadership, but that he asks them to keep their griping behind closed doors and sheath their swords in the meantime. He asks them to not get in the way of his governing Alberta while the clock ticks down to the vote. This plea is unlikely to be heeded by the rebels, however. It is precisely because they strongly disagree with how he governs Alberta that they want him gone. It’s doubtful that they will shut up and quietly wait out the vote. 

The room didn’t erupt with catcalls and fistfights on the floor as some media had anticipated. It mostly applauded at the applause lines. It largely stood up when cued to stand up, but there was notable dissent in the room. A not insignificant number of delegates sat on their hands when expected to clap for the leader. It’s likely a great many more went with the peer pressure and clapped politely, but were quietly less supportive than they might appear. Many delegates that stopped to chat at the Western Standard’s press table certainly gave that impression. 

Kenney lives to fight again another day, but as the members voted this weekend, that fight will come on the terms of the rebels, not the premier. 

Derek Fildebrandt is Publisher of the Western Standard
dfildebrandt@westernstandardonline.com

Derek Fildebrandt is the Publisher, President & CEO of Western Standard New Media Corp. He served from 2015-2019 as a Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly in the Wildrose and Freedom Conservative parties. From 2009-2014 he was the National Research Director and Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. dfildebrandt@westernstandardonline.com

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    November 22, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Boy that Kenny is a great organizer he can make the sun appear the moon .a real danger to Alberta as we know it.

  2. Dennis

    November 21, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Barbara, Problem is, there are Lots of Sheeple like this relative of mine. This was his reply when I sent him a copy of that story in the NP. Sad but True.

    For Christ’s sake don’t get vaccinated or you will drop fucking 💀 dead.

  3. Barbara

    November 21, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    WE NEED TO STOP VACCINE MANDATES.

    FULLY VACCINATED SEATOR JOSEE FOREST-NIESING 56 DIES FOLLOWING BATTLE WITH COVID.

    It’s headlines everywhere….EXCEPT the media doesn’t mention in the healines she wa double vaxxed!!! They say she died of covid.

  4. Dennis

    November 21, 2021 at 11:37 am

    You said it Stew. Wakey Wakey Alberta! Time to Rise and Shine! Get off the couch and make it happen!

  5. JONATHAN DIXON

    November 21, 2021 at 10:47 am

    “… Kenney has in fact implemented nearly every single last COVID-19 proposal and demand put forward by Rachel Notley, just one-to-two weeks after she would have.”
    Nearly every Canadian political leader — federal, provincial, and municipal — is ignoring the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Constitution. The federal, provincial, and municipal governments are acting just like criminal organizations, who also ignore the law. It is clear that they don’t ever expect to be punished for their crimes. They are acting with impunity. How can any elected representative with a good heart and clear conscience, allow this to happen? How can they go along with this? Sooner or later they must rise to the occasion. However, by the time they stand up for the people and for what is right, it may be too late. Therefore, we cannot rely on them. The future is in the hands of you and me — ordinary citizens of Canada — but more people need to wake up and then take positive action. We need to unite in smaller and then larger groups, because together we can win.

  6. Dominic Ieraci

    November 21, 2021 at 10:32 am

    The UCP is a party of sheep and clowns. They had the opportunity to do the right thing and they shit the bed, again.

  7. Stew James

    November 21, 2021 at 1:29 am

    Wildrose Independence Party is our only way out of this bullshit!
    Self determination, people who are sentimental nay sayers need to really take the time and research our future still within confederation! I have and every possible reason to stay gets shot to hell in a hand basket! I seriously could not fined one reason to stay!

    Alberta separate now, enough is enough!
    My land is strong and free, not cap in hand, beholding to the likes of eastern canada!

    My country is Alberta!

  8. David

    November 20, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Rebels will sheath their swords Mr. Kenney. Right after you have fallen on yours.

  9. Eldon

    November 20, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Wildrose nation .com.
    Become a member, give a monthly $10 donation and volunteer with your local Wildrose constituency association. This is how we will win the next election! This is for our future. We need all hands on deck!!!

  10. Dennis

    November 20, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    Andrew is right, there is one & only one way out of this mess and that is a whole new government with a mandate for an Independent Sovereign Nation of Alberta and that way is the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.

    wildrosenation.com

  11. Leslie Solar

    November 20, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    “divide and conquer” is the rule here. If you watch Bongino regularly, you will figure it out if you havent already. Tucker Carlson has it pegged also. They disarmed the Australians some 10 years ago, which helped immensely.

    The Democrats (read: Globalists) only strategy is division. Playing the race card is usually the game. If you are white, then you must hate other colored people. If you are non-white, then you must be oppressed by the whites. The Democrats will save you from your oppressors–just vote for them.

    Teach Critical Race Theory in schools. Ingrain in little kids that they are either oppressors or one of the opressed. Divide the populace into enemy camps from the time these kids start school. Vaxxed and Non-Vaxxed are another dichotomy–lets encourage and amplify those differences. Science-based (usually BS) vs Conspiracy Theorists. And then lets pay people to amplify all of this–maybe burn down a city or three here and there. And have Soros use his money to elect DA’s that wont enforce the law where it will help the Democrats. And on and on.

    Suits Kenney to a “T”. Does he want Albertans healthy? No, lets enforce policies that fill up the ICU’s. Then we can blame the un-vaxxed for the Draconian stuff Kenney just HAD TO DO. he had no other choice. Look!! See!! Those unvaxxed nasties made him do it.

    What a sorry P.O.S.

  12. Mises

    November 20, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    It is still time to resolve our issues democratic way, but our politicians are tone deaf doubling down on mistakes and unwilling to pivot away from failure. Coming reports from European and Australian cities show the breakdown of civil discourse. Why our politicians blindly galloping towards confrontation?

  13. Andrew

    November 20, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta!

    join wildrosenation.com!

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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.

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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
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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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.

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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.
agosselin@westernstandardonline.com

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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.”

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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
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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