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Top 10 Replacements for Scheer

Federal Tory Leader Andrew says he wants to stay in the job, but several media outlets are reporting that the knives are already out. Below is the unofficial list of potential or likely candidates to seek the job.

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Federal Tory Leader Andrew Scheer has stepped down as the party boss. The Western Standard has assembled the unofficial list of candidates to replace him.

 

                                 10. Candice Bergen

 

Candice Bergen, MP

The MP for Portage-Lisgar since 2008 has slowly worked her way up from the backbenches to become the Tory House Leader and a Question Period star. She has a cutting wit for the camera and represents a younger generation of conservative women, but would likely lack the organizational and fundraising capacity to make a serious run.

 

9. Pierre Poilievre 

 

Pierre Poilievre, MP

First elected at age 25 in the Ottawa area riding of Carleton, the Calgary native grew out of his nickname “Skippy” to become a junior minister in the Harper government. Since then, he’s excelled as Tory Finance Critic under Scheer and has developed a razor-sharp style of questioning that has had Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau squirming in his seat more than once. 

A political animal, Poilievre is fluently bilingual and may surprise the bookies. 

8. Erin O’Toole

 

Erin O’Toole, MP

Erin O’Toole ran a strong third to Andrew Scheer and Maxime Bernier in the 2017 Tory leadership race, making his support critical to the eventual winner. With unexpectedly strong caucus support, he proved a capable organizer and a force to be reckoned with. 

His strong base with caucus and in the Ontario PC Party would make him a force again.

 

 

                                  7. John Baird

 

John Baird, former MP for Ottawa West-Nepean

First elected as an Ontario MPP in 1995 under Mike Harris’s Common-Sense Revolution, John Baird served as a senior cabinet minister before going on to become one of Stephen Harper’s chief lieutenants. Baird developed a reputation as a combative and skilled politician, but quit politics at the top of his game in 2015. 

He’s been cooling his heels in the private sector ever since, but a Baird run could prove decisive in all-important Ontario.

 

6. Peter McKay

 

Peter McKay, former MP and PC Leader

Peter McKay will be on every potential Tory leadership shortlist so long as he breaths. Having stepped aside for the first federal Conservative leadership race in 2004, many viewed it as “his turn” when it came time to replace Harper in 2017. It was widely speculated that he didn’t run in 2017 because Trudeau seemed unbeatable at the time, but such hang-ups may not exist now. 

McKay would be an instant front-runner with his long-time PC connections, Atlantic base, and credibility as a high-preforming cabinet minister. 

5. Maxime Bernier

 

People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier

Yes, crazy idea. Not going to happen. But it’s worth consideration. Mad Max nearly won the Tory crown once and would have taken it (and his Beauce seat) had it not been for the Dairy Cartel. 

Bernier certainly angered many a Conservative partisan when he decamped for the upstart People’s Party, but he is doubtless the standard-bearer of Canada’s new populist right. 

It might seem implausible, but Max is known for dramatic surprises.

 

4. Michelle Rempel 

 

Calgary-Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel

The Calgary-Nose Hill MP has steadily risen to become the most recognizable federal politician in Alberta post Harper and Kenney. She’s effectively used social media to build her profile with rank-and-file activists and is an obsessive organizer and campaigner. 

Rempel sat out the last Tory leadership race entirely – one of the few MPs to not even endorse a candidate – perhaps to season herself, and keep her powder dry. Her appeal would be both regional as a Westerner, but also as a young and bold woman that could appeal to voters less traditionally inclined to vote Conservative. 

3. Jason Kenney

 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney

Alberta’s recently elected premier will deny it until he’s Tory blue in the face, but he has a hard time shaking off the belief by many that he still has designs on Ottawa. Kenney is without a doubt a formidable and tireless campaigner, and has deep connections with Conservative members in every corner of the country and in ethnic communities. 

But having just taken on Alberta’s top job and with the entirety of his adult life spent in politics, a move back to Ottawa could appear a cynical career move. 

2. Rona Ambrose

 

Rona Ambrose, former Conservative Interim-Leader

Even before Scheer’s October loss, Conservatives gathered everywhere could be heard whispering “Why didn’t Rona run?” The reason was pretty good: as interim-leader, she wasn’t allowed to. 

In her time at the helm though, she proved a competent leader and compassionate communicator. Her stock has only risen with time and she would be hard to beat.

 

 

1. Brad Wall

 

Former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall

The Western Wall unavoidably must top any Conservative leadership list. Doing what few politicians manage to do and quit while he was ahead, Wall consistently ranked as the most popular premier in Canada while he was Saskatchewan boss. Wall would be able to count on a massive Western base – especially if Ambrose and Kenney stayed out – but he would be the second Saskatchewanian leader in a row, a point that counted against potential Ambrose and Kenney runs last time. Further, his staunch defence of the West would likely prove unpopular east of the Lakehead. 

Less conventional dreamers in the West imagine as prime minister. Just not one in Ottawa.

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Justice Centre sues province of Alberta over COVID restrictions

The JCCF is suing on behalf of two Alberta churches and two individuals.

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The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) has filed a court challenge against the Alberta UCP government’s health regulations, saying they violate ACharter freedoms.

The JCCF is suing on behalf of two Alberta churches and two individuals.

The Alberta government first declared a state of public health emergency in Alberta on March 17.

“Under the guise of ‘two weeks to flatten the curve,’ the resulting lockdown devastated small businesses and has led to large-scale societal harm in the form of increased unemployment and poverty, deteriorating mental and physical health, drug overdoses, cancelled surgeries, the loss of personal liberty and even death,” said the JCFF in a Saturday release.

“On November 24, the Alberta government again declared a state of public health emergency, imposing a ‘second wave’ of lockdown harms and authoritarian restrictions on the ability of Albertans to travel, conduct business, visit family and friends, obtain necessities, peacefully assemble, manifest their religious beliefs, and breathe freely.”

Currently in Alberta, no gathering around allowed in houses, outdoor gatherings must have no more than 10 participants and only members of the same household are allowed to dine in restaurants together. Pubs must also stop booze service at 10 p.m. Weddings and funerals are limited to 10 people.

As part of the court challenge the Justice Centre will argue the orders violate multiple Charter-protected rights, such as the right to peacefully assemble, the right to visit friends and family, the right to freely practice religious beliefs, the right to travel and the right to conduct business and earn a living.

The JCCF will also argue that these constitutional rights violations are not justified because lockdowns cause far more harm than whatever harm from COVID-19 lockdown measures may prevent.  

“In a free society, the government respects citizens as they exercise their freedom and responsibility to respond to a perceived crisis as they deem best for themselves and their loved ones. Arbitrary and authoritarian control, based on fearmongering by the government, only ever exasperates the problems facing society, as we have seen for the last nine months,” said JCCF lawyer James Kitchen.

“Politicians have not put forward any persuasive evidence that lockdowns have saved lives, but there is no question that lockdowns have caused grave harm to millions of Canadians suffering unemployment, poverty, cancelled surgeries, suicides, isolation and the loss of their liberty.

“The people of Alberta have suffered under the oppression of a medical dictatorship for long enough. The soul-destroying lockdowns have wrought havoc. It’s time for Albertans to get their freedom back.”

At a Calgary freedom rally on Saturday, JCCF head John Carpay said the group is seeking an immediate injunction to stop the orders followed by a permanent one.

Carpay told the Western Standard in an interview similar lawsuits will be filed against the governments of BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario before Christmas.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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‘WOE CANADA’: Canucks fire anthem singer for anti-mask support

“I sing ‘O Canada’ as a sign of unity and strength for all Canadians. The true north strong and free,” Mark Donnelly said.

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The Vancouver Canucks have fired their famed anthem singer for being set to perform “O Canada” at an anti-mask rally Saturday.

Mark Donnelly said he will sing ‘O Canada’ at the B.C. Christmas Freedom Rally 2020 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, protesting COVID-19 restrictions. 

“I sing ‘O Canada’ as a sign of unity and strength for all Canadians. The true north strong and free,” he told Postmedia.

Shortly after the Vancouver Sun published its story, Vancouver Canucks owner Franceso Aquilini tweeted: “Hey @VancouverSun change the headline to ‘Former Canucks anthem singer.’ #wearamask.”

The team then issued a statement confirming the firing.

Tweet of Vancouver Canucks’ owner

“Mark Donnelly is acting independently and we hope the public understands he is not representing the Vancouver Canucks,” the statement said.

“We encourage everyone to wear a mask and to follow the provincial health orders.”

BC residents are stay-at-home orders and a mask mandate. People have been told to avoid social gatherings of all kinds.

The singer has achieved world-wide fame with his booming voice and getting the fans to sing along.

He drew attention of a different sort when he took a tumble over a red carpet on the ice in a 2014 junior game – he got up and continued to perform the anthem while skating.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Kenney hits out against anti-mask protesters

Kenney has been under fire for not condemning the 500 protesters who showed up in Calgary to protest mandatory mask regulations. Rallies were also held in Red Deer and Edmonton.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has lashed out at protesters who refuse to wear masks – telling them to visit his friend in ICU if they think COVID-19 is a hoax.

Kenney has been under fire for not condemning the 500 protesters who showed up in Calgary last weekend to protest mandatory mask regulations. Rallies were also held in Red Deer and Edmonton.

“If you think this is a hoax, talk to my friend in the ICU, fighting for his life,” said Kenney during a live Facebook stream Thursday night.

“If you’re thinking of going to an anti-mask rally this weekend, how about instead send me an email, call me all the names you want, send me a letter, organize an online rally.”

Another rally is planned for Saturday in Calgary. The province has currently outlawed public gatherings of more than 10 people.

If you refuse to wear a mask, Kenney said: “Don’t go where you have to wear a mask.”

On Thursday, Alberta announced a new record daily figure for new coronavirus cases at 1,854. There were also an additional 14 deaths reported.

Alberta has had 63,023 cases of COVID-19 resulting in 575 deaths.

The province currently has the most active cases and second highest hospitalization rate of any Canadian province.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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