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Kenney: ‘I’ve never felt more confident in my leadership’

When asked by the Western Standard at the press conference whether he was now resigned to a leadership review before March, Kenney said he would leave the decision to the party board but added he “welcomed” such a review.

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A gleeful Alberta Premier Jason Kenney wrapped up the 2021 United Conservative Party AGM saying he’s never been so confident in his leadership.

Kenney told reporters at a Sunday afternoon press conference to close the conference he didn’t have a single cynical interaction with any of the 1,600 delegates.

In fact, Kenney said the only negative he heard was a boo from a single delegate when he touched on COVID-19 vaccines in his Saturday keynote speech.

“I feel more confident about my leadership today than, frankly, I have in a very long time,” said Kenney.

“After I had a chance to encounter our grassroots members directly, person to person.”

On Saturday, former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith told Western Standard viewers she would run for the UCP leadership should Alberta Premier Jason Kenney resign.

“I would feel like that if the position was open I would have to run,” Smith said on an episode of Uncensored, broadcast live from the UCP AGM.

Kenney’s keynote speech was met with repeated standing ovations from most in the crowd.

Kenney made an impassioned plea for party unity Saturday, urging members to continue to work for the good of Albertans.

Kenney’s leadership has been under fire for months during which he brought in numerous COVID-19 lockdowns.

On Monday, it was announced enough riding constituency associations — 22 — had signed on and met the threshold for a leadership review to be held in March.

When asked by the Western Standard at the press conference whether he was now resigned to a leadership review before March, Kenney said he would leave the decision to the party board, but added he “welcomed” such a review.

A UCP leadership review will be held at a meeting in early April.

The premier said the UCP’s COVID-19 policies “have inflicted damage on our government and party.

“Like every government in the world, we’ve sought to lead through COVID by trial and error, often faced with only bad choices,” he said on Saturday.

“We have made mistakes in the process.

“But we have strived to find the right balance. I know some of you are angry with me.

“As premier, I must take responsibility for that, but let me tell you from the bottom of my heart our government has always strived to find the right balance.”

Kenney said if COVID-19 restrictions hadn’t been brought in, Alberta hospitals would have been overrun. He said he was days away from having to approve medical triage, “… something that filled me with dread.”

He said Alberta would continue with the province’s “successful vaccination plan.” Something that was met with a loud boo from one delegate.

Kenney listed a number of programs his government brought in and noted Alberta is predicted to lead the country in economic growth next year.

“Last month, we shipped more Alberta oil than any time in our history,” Kenney said.

“Alberta is on a roll. Alberta is on the rise.”

Kenney noted the UCP has completed 82% of its 372 election commitments in 2019.

And he vowed to keep pushing Ottawa so Alberta can get a fairer deal in confederation.

Kenney left the stage as Tom Petty lyrics blasted out: “.. stand my ground, I won’t back down.”

Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean was also at the AGM. He has announced he will be seeking the UCP nomination to run in a byelection in Fort McMurray, with the expressed intent of forcing Kenney to resign.

Jean lost a leadership battle to Kenney when the Wildrose and Tories merged.

After Kenney’s speech, Jean said he was less than impressed because he had heard it all before.

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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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Barbara

    November 22, 2021 at 11:45 am

    WE BEEN BETRAYED and it’s not only Kenny that betrayed us. It’s EVERY person, EVERY MLA, that Allowed Kenny to postpone the leadership review until next April.

    The MLAs think we’ll just blame Kenny and they’ll be off the hook.
    BUT now we know that the UCP does not represent us or care what we think.

    WE have to be the grownups in the room and WALK AWAY FROM THIS PARTY for good. It’s the only way! There is no one in it that gives a damn what we think or want AND that is not going to change no matter what we say or do.

    WILDROSE is our only option. Let us get behind them now.

    We need to cancel our UCP MEMBERSHIPS now and replace them with Wildrose memberships.
    We need to star supporting the Wildrose now so the Party will be ready for the next election. Otherwise the NDP will win.

    We can do this. It just takes a little courage.

  2. K

    November 22, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Who cares how much oil we’re shipping if we’re paying $1.43 litre in oil-rich Alberta? This country is PATHETIC, and it’s because of idiots like this.

  3. Cosmo Kramer

    November 22, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Dominic Ieraci, I feel the sentiment but the analogy is wrong. JFK asserted his authority as the President of the United States and was assassinated by the deep state. Lee Harvey Oswald was involved but as a patsy. In October 1963, identical plans (and patsys) were also in Chicago and Miami.

  4. Dominic Ieraci

    November 22, 2021 at 8:52 am

    These spineless MLAs who voted for this piece of shit need to be listed on the western standard so we know who the enemies of freedom truthfully are! Do some more digging!!!

  5. Dominic Ieraci

    November 22, 2021 at 8:48 am

    Where the hell is our Lee Harvey Oswald when we need him the most? These spineless MLAs are absolutely worthless if they prop up this piece of shit!

  6. Baron Not Baron

    November 22, 2021 at 8:48 am

    Delusional and power hungry

  7. Murray Cochrane

    November 22, 2021 at 6:48 am

    Vowed to not entertain vaccine passports and continues to completely ignore early treatments for the virus and whatever happened to natural immunity. Wildrose is the only option.

  8. RM

    November 22, 2021 at 6:39 am

    Standing ovations?

  9. Fergus Hodgson

    November 22, 2021 at 6:17 am

    How do you know a politician is lying? You’ve heard it before.

  10. Baron Not Baron

    November 21, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    Ottawa lizard AGENT Kenney!! You cannot be here no more!

  11. Leslie Solar

    November 21, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, ……..you know the ending.

    Did you catch the part of his speech about recall legislation coming in the next “few weeks”.This will be a “fool me three times…..” situation, trust me.

    Where do we buy our Wildrose memberships?

  12. Barbara

    November 21, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    I want the Western Standard to list every MLA that voted to wait until April.

    NOw we’ll have to endure his mandates and Hinshaw for another FIVE MONTHS.

    I don’t care who runs for Leader of the Party I now now that UCP MLAs are as bad as Kenny. There is no saving this Party.

  13. Barbara

    November 21, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    I can’t believe it. They had him and they let him go.
    UCP does not deserve to win.

    It’s Wildrose for me all the way.

  14. Earl Hildebrand

    November 21, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    “.. stand my ground, I won’t back down.”
    Literally the reason no one can stand Kenney is because he flip flops more than a fish out of water.

  15. Hiccup Haddock

    November 21, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    Justin Kenney opps I mean Jason Trudeau, ah shucks I cannot tell the difference. Either way their both a couple of schmucks, pathological liars and career politicians. I hope a real Albertan with principles and a friggin back bone will stand-up and take leadership of the UCP!

  16. Mises

    November 21, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Lol! This guy and his team are delusional. Read the street Jason. Gave up control of most important department in last 2 years, AHS, to his mortal enemy Notley and is trying to fool us again. They running circles around UCP and Jason thinks it’s all ok.

  17. Andrew

    November 21, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Get the hell out of Alberta Jason

  18. Doug Shortt

    November 21, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Enough about Kenny. If allowed to stay as leader the UCP is doomed and Albertan’s are doomed to another NDP debacle. The Western Standard needs to focus on a new leader, we have heard all of Kenny’s ideas and lies and there is no healing.

  19. M S

    November 21, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    ‘I’ve never felt more confident in my leadership’ coming from the same Pie Hole that spewed ‘We’ve been very clear from the beginning that we will not facilitate or accept vaccine passports’ There was I time I somewhat admired his work ethic but JK and the word ethic can no longer be used in the same sentence. Hasta La Vista Butterball, don’t let the door hit your fat ass as it’s kicked through it!!!

  20. jgl

    November 21, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    The tyrant Kenney fooled me once, but never again.
    The man is a compulsive liar and nothing he says should be trusted.
    Never forget Jason Kenney is one of them. He takes his orders from the corrupt and criminal NWO. Authoritarianism is all he has delivered to Albertans.

  21. Mark Cameron

    November 21, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    Nice to hear the gutless MLA’s stood up for their constituents free choices and against commie mandates….oh wait…

  22. berta baby

    November 21, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    Well I guess that’s that, won’t be getting my vote

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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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