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MAKICHUK: It’s time we show the Mounties the door

The reality is the West can no longer sit back and let the eastern Laurentian elites dictate a federal policy that is despicably unfair as the day is long. 

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My buddy, Andres, was a good guy.

He was actually pretty talented, working for a major jet engine manufacturer, making parts — and those parts had to be perfect, absolutely perfect.

No way I could do a job like that, not a chance, but for Andres it was no sweat.

I also knew his wife Nannerl, both of them were good friends.

I even took photos at their wedding when Nannerl was several months in the family way. Strictly photos above the waist, but, I did a good job.

I shot Formula One racing as a freelancer so I knew how to take a photo.

The problem was, Andres liked his coke. And I don’t mean the drinkable kind.

It wasn’t my cup of tea, and I never took part, but I still counted him as a friend.

One day, Andres and I were having a beer and he told me a story. He and a buddy got stopped on a highway by the QPP, otherwise known as the Sûreté du Québec.

I don’t remember why they got stopped, but they probably deserved it. Anyway, Andres and his buddy didn’t take kindly to the intrusion, shall we say, and they proceeded to do a number on the cops.

Realizing, what they had done, they stopped and gave themselves up. Big mistake.

They were taken in and roundly tortured. Hit with telephone books, made to kneel on sharp points, the whole enchilada, as they say.

They got off lightly in court but it was a lesson they never forgot. Nor did I ever forget the story either. It would make me leery of provincial cops.

There is a lot of talk about booting the Mounties from Alberta and establishing a provincial police force.

Some say, it will be more efficient and less bureaucratically inflexible, but some disagree entirely. Others say it’s a necessary step toward autonomy for Alberta, while others believe such an endeavour is nothing but a pipe dream.

And so the big question is should we get rid of the Mounties on the road to a semblance of autonomy? Have they really done that bad of a job?

When I think of this question, I think of the story Andres told me, of a police force out of control, and capable of great violence with no accountability. Your worst nightmare.

Do we really want that? No, God, no.

Say what you want about the Mounties, they provide an array of services from municipal policing to dealing with disasters to intelligence gathering to the legendary Musical Ride, which folks seem to like.

Your basic iconic national institution. They pose for pretty pictures, in Banff too.

But times change and the world has changed.

The reality is the West can no longer sit back and let the eastern Laurentian elites dictate a federal policy that is despicably unfair as the day is long. 

Sorry, but the Mounties must go. And this is no reflection on the job they have done, let me make that clear.

This is about establishing a future for my kids, your kids, and their kids — it’s time to play hardball with Ottawa, Jimmy Hoffa style.

Alberta must take the baby steps required toward independence, or at least toward what Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe called a “nation within a nation.”

We must evolve, we must strike out and we must show the rest of Canada we mean business.

The days of Confederation inequality are over. All it will take now is a premier with the guts to stand up to the feds and begin the process. It’s inevitable.

Such a proposal would not be cheaper — that much we know.

According to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, it costs Alberta about $500 million a year to pay for the RCMP. The federal government chips in $170 million under a cost-sharing agreement.

The report says if Alberta decided to go it alone, it would cost about $735 million each year, on top of $366 million in startup costs.

But Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said he’s confident the government could find the money to fund it and would not raise taxes or seek more money from municipalities.

Madu told reporters it’s about the province having more say in how it polices itself.

“We do have a responsibility beyond the monetary implications to defend and pursue our province’s best interests,” Madu said.

“Ontario has done this. Quebec has done this. Newfoundland and Labrador has done this. And I think the time has come for our province to do the same.”

He’s right — the time has come.

We damn well know we can do a better job, so let’s get ‘er done.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the Calgary correspondent for ChinaFactor.news
makichukd@gmail.com

Dave Makichuck is a Columnist for the Western Standard. He is a 35-year veteran journalist who has served at both the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. btingley

    December 1, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    David, we want to keep the Canadian dollar. first, it would be too much of a hassle to create our own currency. Quebec planned to use the Canadian dollar and Canadian passports, we can too. Second, a U of Calgary professor did a study that showed Alberta using the Canadian dollar would seriously screw up Ontario. Our wealth would make the dollar rise, and that would slam Ontario’s manufacturing sector. That alone is enough to keep it.

    As for dumping the RCMP: Remember Krista Carle.

  2. John Galbraith

    November 30, 2021 at 11:05 am

    I’m sure the new NWMP(North West Mounted Police) would have a wonderful musical ride and could pose for pictures at Banff too!
    Can even keep the moniker “Mounties” if we wanted.

  3. David

    November 30, 2021 at 10:37 am

    It’s time to show the federal government and the Canadian dollar the door as well.

    And if the Alberta government won’t do the deed, then we need to show them the door as well.

    With all the corruption and deceit being practiced around the globe, Alberta needs to make reforms that only a new constitution can encompass.

  4. Dennis

    November 30, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Excellent comment Leslie but unfortunately most Albertans are still hung up on the Musical Ride and Maple Syrup and have no time for critical thinking and common sense.

  5. Leslie Solar

    November 30, 2021 at 10:06 am

    lest we get hung up on the phrase “better job”, remember that is a very vague and ambiguous phrase. What is your criteria for “better job”? Better at arresting pastors that dont agree with globalist thuggery?

    Pierre Trudeau created something called the Federal Court. To deal with “Federal” matters. Which the provincial courts of Queens Bench had been doing for decades. (And those QB judges were, and still are, appointed by the Federal Government, to the provincincial QB courts).

    Just a waste of money? or something to tilt the power balance in a particular direction?

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Ottawa press gallery discusses letting Chinese propaganda agency in

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

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Officials with the Parliamentary Press Gallery held a behind closed doors meeting on Tuesday to talk about letting reporters from Xinhau, the Chinese Community Party’s propaganda agency, into the club, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The gallery is not bound by any outside political considerations,” said gallery president Catherine Levesque of the National Post. 

“We are doing our due diligence to ensure Xinhua meets certain criteria and we will be making a decision shortly.”

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

“Membership in the Parliamentary Press Gallery allows access to the secure physical buildings of the parliamentary precinct and the opportunity to directly question individuals who drive and shape public policy,” gallery directors wrote in a 2020 code Journalistic Principles And Practices.

“As a result, accreditation is a privilege, not a right.”

Xinhua had been a member until 2020 when its press pass lapsed.

The Department of National Defence in 2012 blacklisted the agency from attending its press briefings, and a Xinhua correspondent in 2012 disclosed he was asked to maintain surveillance on Chinese dissidents in Canada.

The gallery would not discuss the Xinhua application but the gallery code states members must “respect the rights of people involved in the news.”

The Commons by a unanimous 266-0 vote last February 22 condemned China for human rights atrocities including the genocide of its Uyghur Muslim community. MPs also voted to petition the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2022 Winter Games from Beijing.

“We need to move forward, not just as a country but as a world, on recognizing the human rights violations that are going on in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

“This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies on taking it seriously.”

Xinhua was originally granted Press Gallery membership in 1964 at the request of then-Foreign Minister Paul Martin Sr.

“It is a step in the direction of mutual understanding between Canada and mainland China,” Martin said at the time. Membership was approved in a press credentials swap that saw the Communist Party permit the Globe & Mail to open a Beijing bureau.

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PHA head says cellphone snooping fears unwarranted

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

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The president of the Public Health Agency (PHA) says Canadians need not fret over the fact his organization snooped on 33 million cellphone users, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

“No personal information was asked or was received,” Kochhar told the Commons health committee.

“No individually identifiable data is contained in any part of the work.”

The Commons ethics committee last Friday voted 10-0 to examine the data collection program using cellphone tower tracking. The PHA said it sought the information to monitor compliance with lockdown orders.

“The actual reason why we collected this data is reliable, timely and relevant public health data comes out of it for other policy and decision making,” said Kochhar.

“This is population-level mobility data analysis. This is what we have collected.

“That would help us to understand the possible link between the movement of populations within Canada and the impact on COVID-19. We did that in terms of a very clear way of getting that open and transparent means of collection. We never, ever actually know when we use that information that it is individually identifiable. It is aggregated data.”

MPs on the ethics committee earlier noted cellphone users were never told the PHA was collecting the cellphone tracking data. Conservative MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.), noted the scope of the monitoring was only detailed when the Agency issued a December 17 notice to contractors to expand the program.

“It becomes increasingly concerning that government is seemingly using this pandemic as a means and a cause for massive overreach into the privacy rights of Canadians,” said Brassard.

“As parliamentarians, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we protect those rights, that there is proper scrutiny and oversight.”

“The Public Health Agency was collecting data without the knowledge of Canadians, effectively doing it in secret. We need to know what security measures were in place to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

“It is vital we do not allow the COVID response to create a permanent backslide of the rights and freedoms of Canadians including their fundamental right to privacy.”

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Health Minister Duclos has no info on $150-million COVID contract to SNC-Lavalin

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

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SNC-Lavalin was given a $150-million sole-source contract to provide “urgently” needed field hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic — but Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos doesn’t seem to know much about it, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The field hospitals were never used.

“This is obviously in support of the needs at the request of provinces and territories,” said Duclos.

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

“What is the status of the mobile field hospitals SNC-Lavalin was contracted to produce?” asked Conservative MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman (Hastings-Lennox, Ont.).

“It was an example of the significant level of preparation that we did throughout the crisis,” replied Duclos.

“Why have the field hospitals from SNC-Lavalin not been deployed?” asked Kramp-Neuman.

Duclos replied he had no information on “the exact nature of the state of that equipment.”

“Did the Prime Minister’s Office approve of this?” asked MP Kramp-Neuman.

“That’s a public works question,” replied Duclos.

“We’re not getting a lot of clarity here,” said MP Kramp-Neuman, adding: “The buck stops with you. Sadly, I recognize you don’t have all the answers to everything, but it doesn’t seem like we’re getting a lot of answers to anything.”

An unidentified Department of Public Works manager finalized the SNC-Lavalin contract on April 9, 2020 without notice to other bidders.

“A public call for tenders was not issued due to the urgency of the need as a result of the pandemic,” said an internal e-mail.

However, as late as Sep. 9, 2020, the Québec contractor had still not fixed a delivery date, according to staff emails.

Paul Thompson, deputy minister of public works, Tuesday said he knew little of the contract details.

“I personally don’t have all the details at my fingertips,” said Thompson.

SNC-Lavalin was paid to supply field hospitals equipped with 200 hospital beds, ventilators, masks, medical gowns and ten days’ worth of medication, back-up generators, water and oxygen tanks, X-ray machines, shower bays and latrines.

“The self-sufficiency of the unit makes it extremely flexible for deployment where the need is greatest in Canada,” said a memo.

Internal records dated Oct. 13, 2020 disclosed no one wanted the field hospitals.

The department said spending included $2 million for design work and millions more on warehousing medical supplies for presumed future use.

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