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Kenney calls motion needed for leadership review ‘minor’

Guthrie also accused Kenney and staff in his office of using third parties PACs to hinder MLA’s who are against him and to pay supporters to attend the AGM.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says a 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.”

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 a motion to be presented to UCP delegates Friday night at the Grey Eagle Casino, just outside Calgary, demands that number be raised to 29.

“I’m very much looking forward to my party’s AGM; first time in a couple of years we will able to get together,” Kenney told an Edmonton press conference on Wednesday.

“(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.”

Kenney was also asked about a searing letter he received this week from Airdrie-Cochrane UCP MLA Peter Guthrie which said the party was on the verge of collapse. Guthrie also accused Kenney and staff in his office of using third parties PACs to hinder MLA’s who are against him and to pay supporters to attend the AGM.

“I’m not involved in third party organizations but third party political organizations are free, within the law, to be involved in politics,” said Kenney.

“I’m not surprised political organizations are being involved in a political convention. That’s not new. We expect they follow all the necessary rules and guidelines.”

And Kenney said his focus is “doing the people’s business” after a bad week that included the Guthrie letter and news the party reached the required 22 CAs to force a review.

“I’d just encourage all of my colleagues to focus on the people’s business on the priorities of Albertans and not on internal politics,” Kenney said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Elizabeth McIntosh

    November 18, 2021 at 10:30 am

    I renewed my Conservative party membership only to sign the petition started by Senator Batters

  2. Elizabeth McIntosh

    November 18, 2021 at 10:27 am

    I too let my conservative membership lapse as I was fed up with the lying and deceit they have resorted to….as soon as Senator Batters asked people to sign the petition to review the leadership I coughed up my dues for a year so I could sign the petition….we voted for the PPC after years of being conservatives.

  3. Elizabeth McIntosh

    November 18, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Yes here in Ontario we were fooled too….big time….by Doug Ford and again nationally by O’Toole…..Doug flipped and flopped on vaccine passports and mask mandates…..so did ‘The Toole’….they seem to have been cast under a spell by ‘Justin The Great’….there is no one to fill the void either and that is scary….

  4. Leslie Solar

    November 18, 2021 at 10:20 am

    There should be calls for his resignation NOW. If he wont resign, then I am wondering if a non-confidence resolution in his leadership can be tabled and passed THIS WEEKEND. If the party membership really is at 10k, why is that not a possibility?

    To say it one more time–Kenney is not a closet NDP (I dont think). There are globalists that the NDP AND Kenney both have allegiance to, is my educated guess. I am not sure of the what, who, and where, re Kenney, but I never thought Ignatieff was a globalist when he ran for Leader of the federal Liberals, either. Lo, and behold, where is he a few years later? Why, President of George Soros “university” that was set up in Georgie’s birthplace–Hungary. (Before the Hungarian President shut it down, and issued a standing warrant for Soros arrest if he ever set foot in Hungary again.)

    As a commentater here has said—Kenney hasnt finished the job on Alberta yet. If we can, we need to see that it doesnt get finished. If he does finish it, he will be rewarded (I dont know how, but I am sure we will see it eventually) If he doesnt get it finished, I wouldnt go walking alone in any dark areas if I were Kenney.

  5. Bill Mccann

    November 18, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Fu*k Kenney.

  6. gardenho

    November 18, 2021 at 1:59 am

    I let my UCP membership die but I just renewed it JUST so I could vote against him.

    Heads must roll when a leader is trying to control and coerce votes and holds a ‘tow MY party line ….. and I and I alone will decide where that line goes’ attitude. Another campaign statement Kenney made that he’s renaged on. I’m so sick of this same stinking rot in our federal gov already, it just boggles my mind that anyone would vote for that intentionally.

    Thats a ruler, not a leader. And that’s not teamwork. Every MLA or MP that cowers to this instead of voting as their constituents wish need to be held accountable. Hold their bloody feet to the fire!

    I expect every elected official to vote in favour and take the stance of what the majority of their constituents who voted them in want. Not what any other person, leader or otherwise wants. Not ‘go with the flow’ either. That requires they keep in touch with their community. It also requires their communities hold them responsible and let them know how they feel about issues, or at the very least let them know when they feel strongly about something in particular. How else are they to know?

    I know we’re not complainers at heart but it truly is time for every one to speak up, and to raise their expectations and stop lowering them! The outright lies, deliberate devisiveness, and complete lack of consideration or respect for the taxpayer dollar on a weekly basis, from ALL levels of government is getting hard to ignore. I say only half-jokingly, I fear there’s going to be a mutiny!

  7. Baron Not Baron

    November 17, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    This criminal lizard is an Ottawa AGENT and belongs in the dungeon! He intentionally destroyed Alberta, along with his fed masters. Out with him, not a day more in the office. Out!

  8. Baron Not Baron

    November 17, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    I still cannot believe we got fooled by this commie

  9. Eldon

    November 17, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Everyone with a UCP MLA needs to contact them and express your demand for an early leadership review. Kenny is the one playing politics. Kenny is destroying this province. The only thing worse would be an ndp government again.
    Wildrose Independence Party is the only way forward for Alberta.

  10. Barbara

    November 17, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    IF any of the MLAs, or Constituency Associations allow Kenny to get away with increasing numbers to 29 they do not deserve to exist.

    There should not be ONE, NOT ONE, MLA who allows this policy to go through and ALL MLAs, EVERY ONE of them need to stop Kenny in his tracks this weekend and DEMAND a leadership review IN MARCH.

    Those who don’t need to RESIGN because they are not serving their Constituents or the Party or this Province.

    No more games, no more delays, no more lies.

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News

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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