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Senator bolts Tory family – slamming Scheer on the way

A Quebec senator has left the Tory fold, blaming Conservative leader Andrew Scheer for the party’s loss the the federal election.

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A Quebec senator has left the Tory fold, blaming Conservative leader Andrew Scheer for the party’s loss the the federal election.

Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais said Scheer’s views on social issues meant the Tories lost an election they should have won.

“Andrew Scheer’s beliefs about abortion and same sex marriages led to a mass exodus of the Quebec vote that the party hoped to win with excellent candidates…” Dagenais said in a statement.

“We have wasted a unique opportunity and the result will be the same the next time if the current leader, and those who advise him remain in office, as is the case at this time.”

Along with his views on social issues, Dagenais said Scheer attached a “low importance” to Quebec and he could no longer sit as a member of his caucus as a result.

Dagenais, who is keeping his Tory membership, will now sit as an independent with the newly-formed Canadian Senators Group.

Last month, 11 senators representing regions across the country and differing political views formed a new group called the CSG.

“I am particularly excited about working with this group, and especially with Senator Scott Tannas, whose leadership and convening skills will enable us to be critical and productive in reviewing government legislation and in committees of the Senate,” said Dagenais.

Former Tory senator Tannas, of Alberta, is the interim leader of the group.

Dagenais, a former police officer, was appointed to the Senate in 2012 by Tory Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Dagenais wasn’t the only senator to leave his party yesterday.

Liberal P.E.I. Sen. Percy Downe is also joining the CSG. 

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. 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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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. ed bowers

    November 19, 2019 at 10:28 am

    I have not paid much attention to THE SENATE. My belief has been a totally useless institution. Once a “bill” arrived in Senate, only a matter of time before it was rubber stamped. In 2019 my observations on some senators trying to revamp Bill C-48 (Oil Tanker Moratorium Act) and Bill C-69 (“no more pipelines bill” gave me a tiny glimmer of hope that the senate may be effective. The attempt had limited success (?) and I still remain with a glimmer of hope.
    Alberta senators will not be of much use to the Canadian government with the establishment of Independent Alberta.

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Unifor won’t apologize after doxxing wrong man

Doherty acknowledged the mistaken use of Patel’s photo but did not offer an apology for the mix-up.

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A restaurant owner in Regina was surprised to learn his photo was being circulated in a Unifor union video called “Meet the Scabs”.

Kalpesh Patel discovered a photo from his Facebook account was used in the video after receiving calls on January 10. Patel then contacted a lawyer who wrote a letter to Unifor asking them to remove his photo.

Initially, Unifor defended the accuracy of the video but it was taken down from the union’s Twitter account and Mr. Patel’s likeness was edited out.

Chad Zipchian, co-owner of Birmingham’s Vodka and Ale in Regina said they aren’t taking sides but said Patel and the restaurant would defend themselves after being wrongly identified as having anything to do with the strike or the replacement workers.

Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President, acknowledged the mistaken use of Patel’s photo but did not offer any apology for the mix-up.

“A photo of a person named Kalpesh Patel no longer appears in Unifor’s ‘Meet the Scabs’ video posted on Twitter. We are still trying to locate a photo of another individual with the same name who is working at the refinery for our next video, in an attempt to discourage scabs,” Doherty said in an emailed statement.

‘Scabs’ or ‘replacement workers’ allow a company to continue operations while a union is on strike – or in the case of Local 594 who represents employees from Co-op Refinery in Regina, Saskatchewan – locked out.

Doherty says unions aren’t breaking any laws when they publicize names and photos of people who cross picket lines.

“To be clear, no one crossing a picket line has an expectation of privacy,” he said.

“The Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed a union’s right to photograph scabs in (a) 2013 decision”.

The case, Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 2013, SCC 62, upheld the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision that the union’s right to freedom of expression was unduly hampered by the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and granted a constitutional exemption.

Local 594 president Kevin Bittman said his team did not make the video nor had they shared it through their social media channels.

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WEXIT Party won’t hold a leadership race

About 30 people have already expressed interest in running as Wexit candidates in the next federal election, says the party’s leader.

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About 30 people have already expressed interest in running as Wexit candidates in the next federal election, says the party’s leader.

The party was approved by Elections Canada last week and Peter Downing said Thursday candidate applications have already been flowing in.

The party hopes to field a full slate of 104 federal candidates across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“It’s a very exciting time for us,” Downing, who predicts the Justin Trudeau minority government will fall in 18 months.

But if a byelection was called before then, Downing said he expects Wexit to field a “competitive” candidate.

And he said background checks on candidates won’t be as strict as mainstream parties.

‘We’ve all said stupid things in the past (on social media.) We are not the thought police,” Downing said.

Candidates will have to go through criminal record and credit checks and a general review to make sure they are in line with party values,” said Downing.

“We have a higher risk tolerance that the mainstream parties,” he said.

Downing said he hoped to have all 104 riding filled with candidates within three months, but added external factors could hamper that ambition.

Downing, who plans to run in his home Edmonton-Westaskiwin riding, downplayed any controversy over his leadership of the party.

He said he was decided as the leader by the party before October election and it wasn’t necessary to hold a leadership contest.

“At the time, we didn’t want to look like we were to small to generate interest in a leadership campaign,” Downing said.

He said the only people complaining about his leadership are outside the party.

He said a leadership review would happen after the election and the party will fold once it gains its goal of western independence.

“I don’t call myself an ‘interim’ leader. It’s too easy for an ‘interim’ leader to pass the buck. The buck stops with me,” Downing said.

In the 2015 federal election, Downing ran with the Christian Heritage Party and has been involved with federal Conservative Party boards and as a campaign manager with the former provincial Wildrose Party.

He is also a former RCMP officer who was charged with uttering threats against his ex-wife.

Because Elections Canada gave the party status, it will now be able to issue tax receipts for political contributions.

Downing said Wexit is still working on getting registered as a provincial party in Alberta.

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

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C-69 eases regulatory burdens for pipelines: report

“Proponents of mining projects and nuclear projects are now less likely to face federal assessment; proponents of offshore wind or tidal energy projects, more likely,” Goodday said.

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Bill C-69 has had its share of controversial commentary. Most notably, it’s been dubbed the “no more pipelines bill” by Alberta’s provincial government and the Opposition federally, and it’s catchy enough to be repeated consistently.

A recent report from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, however, suggests that it might be time to move on from catchphrases.

Victoria Goodday, an energy and environment policy researcher, published her findings in December and they’re not quite as dire as some keep saying; in fact, the new legislation seems to be less cumbersome than the previous legislation – for oil, gas, and pipelines, that is.

Bill C-69 introduced the Impact Assessment Act which replaced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act from 2012. The changes are varied with some project types seeing a decrease in stringency and others seeing an increase.

“Proponents of mining projects and nuclear projects are now less likely to face federal assessment; proponents of offshore wind or tidal energy projects, more likely,” Goodday said.

“Specific to petroleum-based energy projects (oil, gas, and coal), 50 per cent (14) of projects under this activity type remain unchanged from (previous legislation).”

In situ oil sands extraction facilities were added but only trigger a federal review if they are located in a province without legislation around GHG emission limits; since Alberta has retained TIER (technology, innovation and emissions reduction regulation), projects in the province would be exempt from additional assessments.

Goodday says the new “list is arguably more lenient” than the previous legislation with regard to oil and gas pipeline proponents.

“Most notably, the entry for a new onshore pipelines became less stringent,” she said.

“Only pipelines requiring 75 km or more of a new right-of-way will be designated (for assessment), compared to 40 km or more of new pipeline (under prior legislation); this means that pipelines built within an already established right-of-way will no longer be automatically designated.”

Twinning existing projects, like the Trans Mountain Expansion, will not require additional federal assessment under C-69.

The new legislation was also updated to include abandonment and decommissioning so that projects at their ‘end-of-life’ will not trigger new federal assessments.

Protected marine areas were added and will require a federal assessment if pipelines are mapped out through protected water areas.

“We see that this new list (of designated projects) works in favour of pipeline proponents, it very much works in favour of nuclear energy proponents,” she clarified in an interview with Ryan Jespersen Tuesday.

Goodday also added that the new legislation appears to be streamlining the process to omit federal assessments in regional areas where the provincial and municipal assessment processes are deemed to meet the federal assessment standards; which is good news for provinces that have a major resource industry.

Story ideas? dmaclean@westernstandardonline.com Twitter @Mitchell_AB

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