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The Western Standard Is Back

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CALGARY, AB: The Western Standard is back in business. Today Wildrose Media Corp. President Derek Fildebrandt announced that the erstwhile voice of Western Canada would be relaunched. 

“The Western Standard was the best magazine in Canada during its time and gave a voice to Western Canadians not since matched. We have a lot to live up to, but our team is determined to give that voice back to Westerners,” said Fildebrandt.

The new Western Standard will deliver a new online platform for news, commentary, video and podcasts focused on issues important to Western Canadians, with a print edition expected to begin in the new year.

“Right now, Westerners are rightfully alienated from federalism and the major media and business institutions of Central Canada. The Western Standard will be a home for the great debates that Westerners are having but are not yet reflected in these institutions.” 

The Western Standard’s management team will include Matthew Johnston who served as a co-founder and Senior Vice-President of the original Western Standard. 

For more information contact info@westernstandardonline.com

Website: www.westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: @WSOnlineNews

Facebook: /westernstandardonline

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News

Gun murder rate dropping in Canada

For Prime Minister Justin Trudeau it may be a case of ‘dont let the facts stand in the way.’

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For Prime Minister Justin Trudeau it may be a case of ‘don’t let the facts stand in the way.’

Figures by Statistics Canada, show the level of gun crime in the country is dropping – making Trudeau’s vow to clamp down on the weapons seem unnecessary.

And it’s criminal gangs that are responsible for the majority of gun homicides in Canada – not law-abiding gun owners.

The government said in their Throne Speech earlier this month they would ban “military-style-weapons” and give cities the power to ban handguns.

“Year after year, headline after headline, Canadians have seen first hand the devastating effects of gun violence. Too many lives lost, too many families shattered. It is time to show courage and strengthen gun control,” Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette said as she read from the speech.

According to StatsCan, there were 651 homicides in Canada last year. That’s down 4 per cent from 2017, show figures in the Toronto Sun.

Of those 651, 249 of them were committed using a firearm, down 8 per cent from 2017. It’s the first reduction since since 2013.

The reduction wasn’t across the board. In Ontario, there were 69 more homicides in 2018, with Toronto having a whopping 142, the most since 1981.

Toronto had two terrorist incidents which inflated their figures.

StatsCan also has the number of gang-related homicides down across the country, except Ontario and Quebec.

But more than half – 51 per cent – of firearm-related homicides in the country were related to gang activity, says Stats Can.

And most killers in Canada are repeat criminals, with 63 per cent of them having a criminal record.

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

Continue Reading

News

Questions swirl about accountability of Conservative Party’s funds

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The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) has fired its Executive Director the day after Andrew Scheer resigned, and as questions swirl about accountability for funds raised from donors to the party.

As Dustin van Vugt was released from service, the party says it will review how expenses are approved. Andrew Scheer stepped down as CPC leader amidst controversy over using party funds on Thursday morning, but was re-appointed as Interim Leader by the Tory Caucus.

The story – which is developing with contradictory information – began Thursday morning when it was leaked to the press that Scheer would resign. Allegations that Scheer was using party money from donors to pay for his children’s private school tuition surfaced shortly afterward, but had been swirling around media circles the day before. The Western Standard learned of the potential scandal Wednesday morning, but was unable to confirm a source, and so declined to publish.

Andrew Scheer (source: WikiCommons)

Van Vugt released a statement after the leader’s resignation saying that Scheer was eligible for expenses related to relocating his family to Ottawa, and that amount was covered only for the difference in costs that the family had paid in Regina, Saskatchewan.

After question period Thursday, the Tory caucus went into another meeting and reemerged to inform media they had chosen Scheer – who had resigned hours earlier – to be the Interim Leader of the party.

According to the CPC’s constitution, the “Conservative Fund Canada is a non-share capital corporation incorporated under and governed by the provisions of the Canada Corporations Act.” It is “the sole fundraising arm of the Party and shall be the chief agent of the Party pursuant to the Canada Elections Act.”

Most federal and provincial parties elect a board that oversees both the administration and finances of the organization.

The Conservative Party of Canada has two separate arms of governance; the National Council – elected by members every two years and is responsible for Party business – and the Conservative Fund directors – who, according to (9.8) of the Constitution are nominated by the Leader – and are responsible for the party’s financial affairs.

In effect, this means that Conservative Party members have no say or oversight into how money is raised or spent.

There are seven current directors of the Fund, including former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Senator Linda Frum.

In 2016, Irving Gerstein, Conservative Fund Chair and a former Senator appointed by Harper, addressed delegates at the CPC convention in Vancouver.

“On behalf of the directors of the Fund – all being volunteers – I say to you, that as long as the Fund is in control of the financial affairs of the Party, we will see that the fund fulfills its obligation to operate in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner.”

John Paul Tasker, a reporter with CBC politics tweeted that a source close to the Fund said “they did not know Scheer was receiving party funds to pay for his kids’ private schooling. They were looking it when Scheer resigned. They do not view his decision to resign as coincidental and would not have approved expenses if asked.”

According to Section 10.4 of the CPC’s Constitution, the Executive Director is nominated by the Party leader (subject to ratification by the National Council). Dustin van Vugt was hired in July of 2014 to replace Dmitri Soudas.

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New Brunswick breaks ranks with Alberta on carbon tax

New Brunswick is breaking ranks for Alberta and fully complying with Ottawa’s carbon tax

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New Brunswick is the latest province to present a carbon tax plan on fossil fuels with its Gasoline and Motive Fuel Tax Act introduced in the Legislature Thursday.

“For us and for New Brunswickers, climate change is real, man-made, and worthy of action,” said Finance and Treasury Minister Ernie Steeves.

“One of our key priorities is to energize the private sector. With our made-in-New Brunswick carbon tax plan, we will protect New Brunswickers and ensure the sustainability of our environment, as well as that of our communities and our economy.”

The “made-in-New Brunswick” carbon tax on fossil fuels will go into effect April 1, 2020

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister introduced the new Ministry of Conservation and Climate Change when his government was sworn in on October 23, 2019.

Sarah Guillemard, MLA for Fort Richmond was appointed to lead the Ministry.

“(T)he new Department of Conservation and Climate (is) a single department charged with environmental and climate stewardship,” according to a news release on the Manitoba government’s website.

“The department is responsible for ensuring responsible growth including delivery of the made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, and Efficiency Manitoba.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in Alberta received federal approval of his TIER program, which maintains a carbon tax on about 50 per cent of Alberta’s emissions, on December 6th.

Kenney repealed the NDP’s “made-in-Alberta” carbon tax plan in May and eliminated programs through Efficiency Alberta that had been funded by the carbon tax.

“Albertans made it clear over the course of the election that they have no interest in taxpayer-subsidized home renovations schemes,” Jess Sinclair, spokesperson for Environment Minister Jason Nixon told the Calgary Herald in an email at the end of October.

Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan are still moving forward with their carbon tax challenge in a three-day hearing at Alberta’s Court of Appeal next week. New Brunswick officials have not said whether they are still intervening in the challenge.

Ontario and Saskatchewan appeal courts have both upheld the federal government’s jurisdiction.  

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