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New Saskatchewan law will make it harder for new parties to register; WEXIT vows to be ready

“Whatever the government wants to do to chop us off at the knees – it’s not going to work,” Downing said. “

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With bi-partisan support from the NDP, the Saskatchewan Party has passed new legislation that will make it notably more difficult for new parties to get on the ballot in time for the expected 2020 election. WEXIT Party organizers are vowing that they will overcome the new hurdles.

The WEXIT Party, says it is not deterred by new amendments, but founder Peter Downing admits the changes did push them harder.

One of the new amendments requires petition signatures to register a political party to be collected “within six months before the date the application is submitted.”

Bill 202, the Election Amendment Act (2019), received Royal Assent in December. Elections Saskatchewan has confirmed there are pending changes to The Election Act, 1996

“These changes have received Royal Assent but are not yet in force,” said a spokesperson for Elections Saskatchewan. The legislation requires updates to other legislation before it can be enacted.

Saskatchewan goes to the polls on October 26, 2020, which means the party must file their application before March 30, 2020 or risk having their signatures disallowed.

WEXIT says it has every intention of running a full slate – 61 candidates – in the next election.

“We want to give the people in Saskatchewan an opportunity to vote for their independence and we want to keep the pressure on the (governing) Saskatchewan Party as well,” Downing said.

He also said the amendments had support from both the governing Saskatchewan Party and opposition NDP.

The amendments put a fire under potential new parties by giving them less than four months to collect signatures, a timeline not applied in other provinces.

As of January 27, new parties have just 56 days to complete canvassing and file their petitions – or within six months of their earliest signature – or they will have to start over after the election.

The second amendment that affects new parties is a rule that they cannot register between the seven months before the polling date and the date in which the writ is returned; that is, the official date after all votes – including requests for recounts – have been counted.  

The new amendments allow a limited window to apply for registration with the signatures Wexit has already collected.

“We see the target (on the WEXIT Party), but it really only motivated us,” Downing said.

“We had volunteers from all across Alberta and Saskatchewan go out to the Saskatoon area and Lloydminster this (past) weekend, and to rural towns in Saskatchewan, and it was motivated by what the government did. We’re actually very close to our signature count now.”

Downing says the Saskatchewan Party has been talking about a provincial police force and taking control of immigration. WEXIT wants to be there to “put the pressure on” he said.

“Whatever the government wants to do to chop us off at the knees – it’s not going to work,” Downing said.

“We’re going to hit our numbers.”

News

Phillips appeals decision not to fire cops who followed her

The appeal said the decision “fail(ed) to recognize the severity” of the two officers’ actions.

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Shannon Phillips, who as Alberta environment minister was watched and followed by members of the Lethbridge city police, is appealing a decision not to fire the officers involved.

The appeal, sent by Phillips’ lawyer, Michael Bates, to the Law Enforcement Review Board last week, said the decision “fail(ed) to recognize the severity” of the two officers’ actions.

It said targeting a cabinet minister for “personal political reasons,” should be enough to prove that neither is fit to be a police officer.

“I think public confidence in law enforcement was severely shaken in Lethbridge, and in fact across the province with the revelations of what happened,” the Lethbridge West MLA told the Star.

“I also think the public had a lot of questions about whether justice was seen to be done in this instance.”

Phillips had a Good Friday 2017 meeting with stakeholders involved in the Castle Mountain wilderness area.

As Environment Minister, Phillips made a controversial decision to limit access to the area, including the use of quads.

Sgt. Jason Carrier and Const. Keon Woronuk both had an interest in quadding.

Carrier was on-duty but on a meal break with two other officers when Phillips entered the Chef Stella Diner to meet informally with stakeholders, said a decision paper issued July 9 after an LPS internal investigation.

The decision said Carrier texted the acting sergeant Woronuk that Phillips was at the restaurant and sent him a photo. Woronuk arrived at the diner a short time later.

Woronuk also set up surveillance and subsequently following one of the stakeholders while running a police information check on them.

Woronuk found a nearby position of surveillance of the diner and Carrier took position at nearby parkade with a view of the diner, according to agreed facts entered at the hearing. Phillips eventually left the diner on foot.

“The intent of Const. (Keon) Woronuk to target an attendee of Minister Phillips’ meeting is truly troubling,” stated the hearing’s presiding officer Paul Manuel, a former Calgary Police Service inspector.

Woronuk later posted photos of the meeting on a Facebook page under the name “Mike Corps” which included identifying the stakeholders and, “was accompanied by a long caption criticizing Minister Phillips and her NDP government,” CHAT reported.

Phillips and NDP justice critic Kathleen Ganley called on Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer to order an independent, out of province investigation. Phillips said the investigation is needed to see if the corruption is “more broad” within the LPS.

Schweitzer called in the Alberta police watchdog, ASIRT to investigate.

Woronuk, a 19-year veteran, admitted to five charges under the Police Service Regulation including two counts of corrupt practice and a single count each of deceit, discreditable conduct and insubordination.

He was demoted from senior constable to first-class constable for two years.

Carrier, a 23-year veteran, admitted to discreditable conduct and neglect of duty and was demoted to senior constable for one year.

At the time, Phillips took issue with demotions being the outcome.

“That they can still drive by my house is not an acceptable penalty,” she said.

“I don’t feel safe…these people are still driving around in cruisers, who made a plan to follow me for political purposes.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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News

Alberta experts fear Prussian fish attack in bodies of water

Nicole Kimmel, an aquatic invasive species expert with Alberta Environment and Parks, says the dangerous fish has been spotted in four Edmonton-area ponds.

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The Prussians are coming! The Prussians are coming!

Prussian carp that is. And they could be on their way to killing a lot of Alberta’s native fish.

Nicole Kimmel, an aquatic invasive species expert with Alberta Environment and Parks, says the dangerous fish has been spotted in four Edmonton-area ponds.

Prussian carp

A species of wild goldfish, Kimmel said it’s believed the fish were dumped there by humans.

The government says if you catch a Prussian carp, you are to kill it immediately. Even being caught with a live one will result in a charge.

If you are found dumping the carp into a water body, you could be hit with a fine of up to $100,000.

Kimmel said if the carp is found in a body of of water a pesticide can be used to kill them.

She said the Blood First Nation had a carp invasion a few years ago and “the native fishery is already vanishing.”

Kimmel said the main plan of attack is to educate people not to dump their carp into other bodies of water.

“This should go without saying, but NEVER transplant a species from one area to another. Invasive Prussian Carp are incredibly harmful to surrounding aquatic ecosystems and there are steep fines for letting them loose,” said Environment Minister Jason Nixon.

 In Canada, Prussian carp has only been found in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Alberta brewery shocks Maori people by naming beer after their pubic hair

New Zealand TV presenter Te Hamua Nikora, a member of the Maori community, blasted the brewery on his FaceBook page.

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An Alberta brewery has unwittingly offended the Maori people of New Zealand by naming one of its beers after their pubic hair.

The Hell’s Basement brewery in Medicine Hat used the Maori word “huruhuru” to name its “New Zealand hopped pale ale”.

Unfortunately, in the Maori language “huruhuru” means pubic hair.

New Zealand TV presenter Te Hamua Nikora, a member of the Maori community, blasted the brewery on his FaceBook page.

“Some people call it appreciation, I call it appropriation,” he wrote.

Nikora said he contacted the brewery to inform them of their blunder.

“Don’t call beer pubic hair unless you make it with pubic hair,” he said.

Brewery co-founder Mike Patriquin said in statement to the New Zealand news site RNZ he thought “huruhuru” meant “feather” and he didn’t realise it was a reference to pubic hair.

“We did not realise the potential to offend through our artistic interpretation, and given the response we will attempt to do better in the future,” he said.

“To those who feel disrespected we apologise. We also do not think pubic hair is shameful, though we admit it may not go well with beer.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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