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Kenney, Scheer won’t back Buffalo Declaration – Wall and Barnes come out in support

Barnes, who is also a member of the Fair Deal Panel, said the Buffalo Declaration echoes what he’s been hearing at the consultations around the province.

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The Buffalo Declaration issued by four Alberta Conservative MPs caused quick public reaction soon after it was released, but while some prominent Westerners have come out in support, others have been less enthusiastic.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney gave a tepid response when asked about his reaction to the Buffalo Declaration at a Glenbow Museum funding announcement on the morning of February 21st. In fact, the premier didn’t mention it at all when asked about it.

“Our government was elected on a mandate to fight for Alberta – that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Kenney said…It’s exactly why we’re in court challenging the federal carbon tax, challenging the ‘no more pipelines law’ – Bill C-69. It’s why we launched the Fair Deal Panel, and it’s why we are prepared to go to Albertans with a number of ideas to maximize our autonomy as a province.”

Taking a different route, UCP MLA and Fair Deal Panel member Drew Barnes said the Buffalo Declaration echoes what he’s been hearing at the consultations around the province.

“We could lose it all if we don’t get equitable representation – the fact is our voice is so often not heard”, he told the Western Standard.

“A lot of people support Alberta and what we do here and we need to get the word out that our economy, our families, and communities are hurting. When people with a platform, MPs and MLAs, talk about that, it helps,” he said.

“For those that don’t believe in Albertans having the opportunity to live in the freest and the richest province and contribute to Canada and Albertans have the opportunity to live life to the fullest – we have to push back. We’re in a situation where we have unequal representation in the house and, senate and the Supreme Court – nothing moves unless it’s pushed and it’s our job to push.”

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer issued a statement acknowledging that four of his MPs had issued the declaration, but said that he will not comment on it because there was an ongoing leadership race to replace him. Instead of addressing the declaration directly, Scheer said that his party has long advocated for democratic reform to “ensure Western Canadians have an equal voice in Canadian politics…The frustration and anger in Western Canada is very real and should not be ignored.”

Former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall said the four MPs deserved credit.

“There needs to be national attention to and action on the abiding unfairness in the confederation toward Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the west in general,” he wrote on social media.

“You and your colleagues deserve credit for this Michelle [Rempel-Garner]. There needs to be national attention to and action on the abiding unfairness in the confederation toward Alberta, Saskatchewan and the west in general.”

NDP leader Rachel Notley left no doubt what she thought.

“At the end of the day, as a born and raised Albertan, I love this province. I will not have my values mistakenly described by extremist MPs in the conservative party,” she said in a statement.

“I believe in Canada. My Alberta is proud to be part of the greatest nation on the planet. My Alberta will lead on tackling climate change and create a stronger, more diversified economy that sets our children up for the future. We will continue on the path to reconciliation. My Alberta will offer good wages and fair workplaces. My Alberta is capable of cutting child poverty in half and ensuring our most vulnerable are protected. My Alberta cares about those kinds of things.”

Deirdre is the Senior Reporter for Western Standard.
dmaclean@westernstandardonline.com
@Mitchell_AB

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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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