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Bernier breaks post-election silence at Western independence conference

Bernier told the Western Standard that he wants to win over sovereigntists and would be willing to run in an Alberta by-election.

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RED DEER, AB: People’s Party of Canada (PPC) Leader Maxime Bernier broke his silence for the first time since a disappointing election at a conference focused on Western independence in Red Deer, Alberta.

Speaking to a room of 400 attendees – mostly supportive of independence – he said that he leads the only party willing to give the West a fair new deal.

“I want to take away the reasons that may make you want independence,” said Bernier.

In an exclusive interview with the Western Standard, Bernier said that he is staying on as leader and is rebuilding the party’s finances, with a $200,000 surplus in the bank.

Faced with a large number of his party’s Western supporters shifting their support towards the independence movement, Bernier said that he was there to emphasize his plan to decentralize the federation and win them back to Canada. Pressed on how he plans to appeal to sovereigntists who cannot be won back to federalism, Bernier said that they should still back his party as their best option in the meantime.

Freedom talks conference in Red Deer (source: Western Standard)

“It won’t happen in one year. In between that, you need a party at the federal level that will respect your jurisdiction. If you really believe that this province should be independent, it can’t happen in one day. We are the only party at the federal level that understands and will address your frustration,” he said.

Bernier also told the Western Standard that he is eager to try and re-enter the House of Commons in a by-election, quite possibly in Alberta.

Derek Fildebrandt is Publisher of the Western Standard and President of Wildrose Media Corp. dfildebrandt@westernstandardonline.com

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Carter

    November 16, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Let Albertan’s decide Bernie!!!

    • Michael Millar

      November 17, 2019 at 9:21 am

      Bernie is letting AB decide. he just laid out his thoughts on the topic. did you watch the video of the meeting? I learned a bunch abouthow/why Quebec has more power then the west, cliff notes ‘they asked for it’ we didnt

  2. Godot

    November 17, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Max, donate the $200,000.00 to WEXIT and run as a WEXIT candidate.

  3. K2shifter

    November 17, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    I liked Max but I am no longer sure what to think about him… I don’t think much of someone who lost his seat in Quebec failed to elect a single member to Parliament and now wants to run to Alberta.. Secure a job in politics and split the vote… it wasn’t a matter just so simple that Quebec asked for power and got it… They have never done anything in good faith including waiting till all the provinces signed on to the constitution and when they were all on they refused to sign on and go in.. Canada will be in stage four of the communist manifesto long before Alberta or any other province could achieve equality with Quebec… We are better off as an independent state and Albertans know it and now Quebeckers know it too. They see the $13 billion plus every year leaving with us is a very real threat that they acknowledge behind closed doors.. Quebec never had intentions of leaving when they were squawking about separation because they would never walk away from the deal that they had number one number two they played on the nostalgia cardf making it look like everybody was begging them to stay when they had no intentions of leaving… Good poker face Quebec. We will never have the votes where are the seats in parliamentDo you have any more power than we do now and by the time that we do this country as we know it will be irreversibly ruined for many many many generations. It’s not worth it and I will not support Max again. If he wants to remain in politics let him stay in Quebec now and secure a seat and a future for himself there. Out of one side of his mouth he says the PPC is not going anywhere after the election and now with the brand new tune coming out of the other side of his mouth he wants to run in Alberta to keep us neutered for longer than we can imagine. No thanks… anybody that falls for this deserves to suffer more. We need to mark our own place in the world and chart our own futures and not be dictated to any longer by the centralized power of central Canada or have anybody take advantage of our trusting nature anymore.. Serfdom is not for the west… or maybe it is if we elect any more representatives from central Canada.

  4. K2shifter

    November 17, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Sorry about the typos but regardless of which my comment is easy to understand.

  5. Lee Eddy

    November 18, 2019 at 7:02 am

    I believe this question should be ask. Why does the rest of Canada want Alberta to stay?
    I am sorry I did not think of this question till the day after.

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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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Alberta premier’s approval rating plummets

Jason Kenney’s approval rating has gone from being in the top three of Canada’s premiers to bottom three in less than a year.

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Jason Kenney’s approval rating has gone from being in the top three of Canada’s premiers to bottom three in less than a year.

The Edmonton Journal commissioned poll of approval ratings show Kenney has a 40 per cent approval rate, a notable decline from his pre-election approval rating of 55 per cent.

An earlier Leger poll reported Kenney’s approval rating at 42 per cent at the beginning of December.

Former NDP Premier Rachel Notley had 40 per cent approval as well – pre-election.

The poll showed Quebec Premier Francois Legaut was the most popular and Ontario leader Doug Ford the least.

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