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Poll puts Jean ahead in popularity of UCP leaders

The Leger poll has Kenney at 15%, support, former Wildrose leader and contributor on the Western Standard’s Uncensored panel Danielle Smith at 11%, UCP MLA Leela Aheer at 3% and Western Standard publisher Derek Fildebrandt at 2%.




Former Fort McMurray MLA Brian Jean holds a slight lead in a hypothetical race on who would be the more popular leader for the UCP going into the next election, a new Leger poll shows.

A review of Kenney’s leadership of the United Conservative Party is expected to be held early next year after 22 riding associations voted to hold one.

The UCP is currently mired above 20% popularity and the NDP under former Premier Rachel Notley is currently on course for a majority win in the 2023 election.

The Leger online survey was conducted between Nov. 16-29. It had a sample size of 1,000 adult Albertans. The method of polling was a non-probablity sample, so no margin of error can be associated.

The poll found if he was the leader, Jean would have the support of 18% of respondents in the next election.

Jean is currently trying to win the UCP nomination for a provincial byelection in the riding of Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche. Kenney has until mid-February to call the byelection.

Jean is running on a platform to try and remove Kenney from power.

The Leger poll has Kenney at 15%, support, former Wildrose leader and contributor on the Western Standard’s Uncensored panel Danielle Smith at 11%, UCP MLA Leela Aheer at 3% and Western Standard publisher Derek Fildebrandt at 2%.

But the majority, 51% said they would not be voting for the UCP.

Leger poll

Smith told Western Standard viewers last month she would run for the UCP leadership should 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.

“I believe in unity and this is the real issue so let’s throw some names on the table because there are some good cabinet ministers.”

Smith said Jason Nixon, Doug Schweitzer, Aheer and Kaycee Madu are members of the cabinet that have shown leadership qualities.

She also mentioned possible federal candidates like Rona Ambrose and Michelle Rempel Garner.

If he gets elected, Smith said Jean “could break the bottleneck” and get rebel MLAs onside.

But she added a Jean-run party was still likely to lose to the NDP’s Rachel Notley.

Smith served as leader of the Wildrose from October 2009 to Dec. 17, 2014, when she resigned to cross the floor and join the governing Tories.

Fildebrandt, a former Wildrose MLA, said Friday he has “no interest whatsoever” in running for the job if it becomes open.

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. Peter No

    December 4, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Barbara: 100% agree. Not voting strategically for POS (UCP), even if Danielle Smith will be used as a front.
    It is not just Kenney, but also many other elected MLAs put Alberta people into self-isolation jail while vacationing in Hawaii and Mexico. I see only handful of USP MLA went openly against Kenney’s tyranny.

  2. Leslie Solar

    December 4, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Some initial food for thought. There was an active separatist party in Alberta back in the early 1980’s. If memory serves, they elected one rep., and polled almost 20% of the vote on provincial basis at the time. (Of course, that one rep. did and said all sorts of dumb things, and the province moved on afterwards. But there has been, for years, a significant number of Albertans that think separation would be a good thing, if done intelligently.

  3. Leslie Solar

    December 4, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    What we really, really need is a whole raft of competent newcomers. A “second coming” of a Lougheed–and his initial (rather small) group of amigos to take the reins, while the old guard take retirement and get out of the way.

    Notley is typical NDP, beholden to the unions who are at the core. (nothing wrong with unions, but they tend to have blinkers on as regards the rest of society, and the rest of the issues there. and the NDP then manoevre so that the unions get even stronger so that their political base gives them power for years, even decades, to the detriment of the province.

    I am not sure where we are going to find that second coming, however.

  4. Clash

    December 4, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Kenney should call a referendum on “SEPARATION”. The outcome won’t matter because the UCP won’t do anything, just like the; Alberta Pension Plan, Alberta Police Force, Alberta Health Care, an Elected Alberta Judicial system, an Alberta Elected Senator, etc. They can just do like with the Equalization Referendum, “NOTHING!”. Rather than be grateful to Justin for a Federal Government Child Care (Indoctrination) Program”, (for the LOW LOW PRICE of only $10 dollars a day! Hurry because you know I can’t do this all day!). The UCP’s only claim to fame is that they are only slightly less bad the Rachel “The Wrecker” Notley! At least the NDP are open and honest, (LOL), about destroying Alberta.

  5. Glenn Taylor

    December 4, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Michelle Rempel would be a terrible choice. She’s no different than O’Toole or Kenny.

    Wildrose Independence Party is the only real option. NDP will probably win anyways so let them make a mess of things which is all but inevitable at this point.

  6. David

    December 4, 2021 at 9:08 am

    I’m all for forgiving the UCP and the NDP too. Right after they’ve been hanged.

  7. berta baby

    December 4, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Smith is the only outspoken freedom fighter, Derek would be good too but doesn’t have the support . Jean would be bought just like kenney. They come from the same federal party , kenney is more of a shit head but Jean wouldn’t do anything different than the status quo .

  8. Andrew Red Deer

    December 4, 2021 at 5:32 am

    If any of these socalled potential candidates have any desire to lead Alberta, there is only one place for them, In Wild Rose Independance Party.
    Any other home is way too tainted, and corrupt, and needs to be swept absolutely clean from the Alberta Political Landscape.

  9. Mars Hill

    December 3, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    Jean or Kenney, that’s a no brainer; I say Kenney will be gone, most folks know he’s cabal compromised, a weak leader and he also crossed a line with conservative folks; saying that I don’t believe he’s a ‘bad’ guy. IMHO if the UPC can line up with Brian Jean and he has a conservative platform, they’ll form a majority again.

  10. Eddy

    December 3, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    ILLUSION – Very good points so Thank-you.

    However despite your good points about Danielle Smith’s skills and qualities I would have to TRIPLE-DOWN on your assessment that she exhibited “poor political judgment”. I have ZERO interest in her selling us all down the river again – or blaming someone else for her poor decisions.

    I say she exhibited NO POLITICAL Judgment and on that alone does not deserve any consideration to return to politics. She is a very good interviewer though and that is where she should stay.

    Since that time Paul Hinman has IMHO been a very straight arrow and as I am done with the shenanigans of all those now clamouring for a re-try at leading – he is my choice the long-shot not withstanding.

    Paul at least can be trusted and the others have PROVED beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can not be trusted again.

  11. Ken

    December 3, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    I think WIP will take votes from the NDP and hears why. NDP has a core bunch of socialists that will follow her around no matter what that’s just their thinking. So all the people that are pissed at the UCP, WIP will take those votes. Plus all the people (myself included) that feel the burning need to get away from the communism the federal government is pushing for will vote for separation. WIP is our only hope

  12. Illusion

    December 3, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    I also wanted to add that mail-in voting needs to be banned and I would also say that the foolish out of riding voting that we tried in the last election also must be banned. These electoral reforms are essential and must occur before 2023. There is no way that the NDP has 50% support in the province, the polls are being rigged but they are being rigged in anticipation of the electoral fraud that is being planned by same globalists that gave Trump this same treatment last year.

  13. Illusion

    December 3, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    I was somebody who supported Kenney for leadership over Jean back in 2017, so my political judgment has likely been marred beyond redemption, so take what I say with a grain of salt. That said, my thoughts are that it would be much better to try to get somebody decent in the UCP and get the party re-elected in 2023 as opposed to trying to get the WIP into power. I am not sure that the WIP is going to be able to appeal enough to the urban folks to win a majority. While I support separation, I just think that most Albertans are going to need stepping stones to get there and a UCP with a decent leader could take us down the independence road at a pace that is palatable to more people without having to be called a separatist. Also, I strongly believe that election laws need to change before the next election to deal with the massive voter fraud that is likely going to occur in favor of the NDP. All voting machines need to be banned and poll watchers from all parties need to be forcefully enshrined and ensured at all stages of the vote counting process. This can be done if the UCP can get a decent leader that isn’t a globalist puppet like Kenney.

    As for who to support for UCP leader, I am not sure completely but right now I am leaning somewhat towards Jean. I think that Jean has a good character but one of the reasons why I didn’t support him in 2017 was because I was worried about his debate abilities and ability to fight back against the barrage of leftist hate that he will be getting. His 2015 debate was abysmal and allowed the NDP to leap-frog from 4th place into government. That said, I will admit that I noticed real improvement in Jean’s 2017 debates against Kenney, Jean has definitely got better at communicating to a crowd. If Jean has continued to improve oral abilities and takes a strong stance in favor of liberty, then I think that there is a really good chance that I will support him this time.

    Smith, on the other hand, is actually an exceptional debater. She, in my opinion, won the debate against Redford in 2012 who wasn’t a weak debater by any means (Redford was probably very close to Notley in terms of debate abilities). Smith has excellent communication skills but her weakness has been her political judgment. Obviously, the decision to dissolve the WRP in 2014 was a catastrophic error but I am unsure how much of that came from her vs the people who were advising her. In either case, a demonstrated weakness like this is not great for a prospective leader and this one might be harder to overcome than Jean’s past weakness on the debate stage. One of the things that I do really like about Smith is her strong record of libertarian values, though. I am sure that Smith would be an opponent of the medical apartheid that we are seeing in Alberta right now, with Jean his record just isn’t as strong or as clear here.

    Also, this leader is going to have to make some very tough decisions and go against threats that instantly turned Kenney’s, Moe’s and Ford’s knees into wet noodles. We need a DeSantis and this will require a lot of courage within Canada. You just don’t know how strong somebody’s character is until they are tested in fire. That said, I truly believe that this is our last chance to avoid a nightmare outcome in 2023. If Notley wins the election, there will never be another fair election in Alberta and there will be no democratic way to restore this province. We have to be very careful about not letting this happen. The WIP is a nice concept, but I just don’t think that it is going to sell enough to win an election and they will probably get the Maxime Bernier treatment where the WIP will be banned from the debates if the UCP gets another establishment leader like Kenney or if Kenney remains in charge. At best, the WIP will be strong enough to split the vote with the UCP again which will be a disaster.

  14. Mises

    December 3, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Point well taken Barbara, UCP Is dead. There is no place in freedom loving AB for medical segregation policies. Collapse in UCP approval from 60% in Nov ‘20 before lockdowns all the way down to 20% currently should be enough proof for Ben Wilson and others. And what is the stance of Mr.Jean on Nuremberg Code? We know where AHS, Kenney and his handpicked UCP stands.

  15. Ben Wilson

    December 3, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    People are finished with the party Barbara??? Spoken Like a true NDP operative. LOL.

    UCP party is doing so well, NDP lovers like Rick Bell and others can only criticize the UCP for not solving problems like Inflation and high cost of gas etc. These are all Federal problems not provincial problems. Next thing Rick Bell will ask will be for the UCP to fix the weather for the farmers. And if they can’t they should all resign. UCP has made people made about restrictions. True. But if NDP was in power the pandemic measures would have been draconian. And in addition our economy would be ripped apart with all the NDP anti- activists.

    Have a nice day.

  16. Barbara

    December 3, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Doesn’t matter. Most people are finished with the Party to.
    It’s to corrupt

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Manitobans shipped to US for surgery

The move is an effort to deal with the province’s backlog of more than 153,000 surgical and diagnostic procedures, blamed on COVID-19 health care demands.




About 300 Manitobans awaiting spinal surgery will be sent to Sanford Medical Centre in Fargo ND for their operations.

The move is an effort to deal with the province’s backlog of more than 153,000 surgical and diagnostic procedures, blamed on COVID-19 health care demands.

Patients who have been on the spinal surgery waiting list for more than a year will be given priority. Some may be headed south of the border by the end of January.

Health Minister Audrey Gordon and members of the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force are expected to provide an update at a 2 p.m. CST news conference.

The province may also be contemplating sending joint-surgery patients to Sanford.

“We acknowledge the suffering. We acknowledge the waits,” said Dr. Ed Buchel, the provincial surgery lead for Manitoba Shared Health told CBC.

Sending patients elsewhere in Canada isn’t an option because every provincial health care system is overwhelmed with demands from the Omicron variant, he said.

Health staff have been diverted from operating rooms to care for COVID-19 patients while surgery backlogs escalated.

Patients suffering broken backs, unstable spines or cancer are deemed too risky for surgery in the U.S.

Preference will be given to those with serious conditions needing urgent attention, yet are able to travel by vehicle to Sanford, 360 km from Winnipeg.

Doctors Manitoba hopes this is a short-term measure.

“Sending patients out of Manitoba for care is not ideal, but we understand the task force has very few local options right now because of the shortage of staff and the current surge in Omicron hospital admissions,” spokesperson Keir Johnson said in a statement to CBC.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manitoba was the only province that transferred critical care patients, 57 in all, out-of-province.

To be updated…

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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WORLD WATCH: UK announces COVID restrictions are over

Beginning Thursday, January 27, the UK government will bring an end to “mandatory certifications” — vaccine passports.




The UK government will no longer require vaccine passports and mask mandates as of next Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons.

“We can return to plan A in England and allow plan B regulations to expire,” said Johnson, in a live address on Wednesday. 

Beginning Thursday, January 27, the UK government will bring an end to “mandatory certifications” — vaccine passports.

Johnson said organizations will be permitted to continue the voluntary pass but the government will “end the compulsory use of COVID status certification in England.”

The government also announced it will no longer require people to work from home.

With the announcement the government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks, the house erupted with cheers.

Johnson confirmed students would no longer be required to wear facemasks in classrooms as of Thursday, but added the government will continue to suggest the use of masks in public places.

“We will trust the judgement of the British people and no longer criminalize anyone who chooses not to wear one,” said Johnson.

Restrictions on visits to care homes will also be eased across the UK.

Johnson said some measures will remain in place including self-isolation.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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CTF calls for tax cuts as inflation hits 30 year high

The December 2021 consumer price index hit 4.8%, according to Statistics Canada on Wednesday.




The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Canadian government to reduce taxes to help people with the rising cost of living.

The December 2021 consumer price index hit 4.8%, according to Statistics Canada on Wednesday.

“Canadians are fueling up at the pumps and then worrying about whether they have enough left over for ground beef at the grocery store,” said Franco Terrazzano, federal director of the CTF.

“Inflation is a key economic issue facing Canadian families and our politicians need to wake up and provide some relief.”

Canadians who make more than $64,900 are going to see an extra $396 in payroll tax bills this year, according to the CTF.

The federal carbon tax increased twice during the pandemic and will increase again to 11 cents per litre of gasoline on April 1, 2022.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said carbon tax will be increasing to nearly 40 cents per litre by 2030, as well as a second carbon tax is being developed that could add another 11 cents per litre.

Additionally, the federal government is planning for an increase in alcohol taxes for the third time during the pandemic on April 1.

“High taxes and soaring prices are making the tough times tougher in Canada,” said Terrazzano.

“While other countries are cutting taxes, all we get from Canadian politicians are higher tax bills. It’s time for Ottawa to provide some tax relief and make life in Canada a little more affordable.”

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole also called on Trudeau to take immediate action.

“For the first time in 30 years, prices are up 4.8% compared to a year ago. Millions of Canadians are feeling the pinch of inflation in their daily lives. Families and seniors are falling behind and they see the Trudeau government doing nothing to give them a break,” said O’Toole in a statement.

“Food is more expensive. Gas and home heating are costing more. Rents in many cities are skyrocketing by double digits and home ownership is out of reach for millions as prices are up a staggering 26.6% in just one year.   

“More Canadians are struggling to meet ends meet, young people are giving up on home ownership and nearly half of all Canadians are worried about their financial security for the upcoming year. The high-tax, high-debt lockdown agenda of the Trudeau government has set the stage for inflation and COVID policies are making supply chain challenges worse. We are already seeing alarming shortages on shelves leading to higher prices.”

The CTF noted Spain was rated lower than Canada on the 2021 misery index, but that country’s government is taking action giving citizens breaks by cutting added tax on electricity from 21% to 10% until April 30.

South Korea, India, and several states across America have also reduced fuel taxes.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard

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