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Three candidates call for delay in CPC leadership race

Rick Peterson – the only candidate from western Canada – dropped out of the race on March 20 due to the LEOC’s refusal to adjust deadlines saying their decision lacked common sense, decency, and was out of line with conservative values.

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CPC leadership contender Erin O’Toole opted for a Churchill-esque military-laden plea while Derek Sloan pulled no punches Sunday in call for the Tory leadership contest to be stopped.

“We are in unprecedented times for our country – the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis seem daunting but history shows us we can overcome insurmountable odds when we work together as Canadians,” O’Toole said in a video on Sunday.

O’Toole made a proposal for the CPC leadership committee to delay the leadership contest to ensure caucus and party members could instead focus on the needs of their communities during this crisis. He also asked the same to devote resources to their communities. Third, O’Toole asked for the federal government to form an all-party committee to deal with the crisis.

“Today I’m proposing we put the needs of our fellow citizens first,” O’Toole said.

Marilyn Gladu, without an official statement, tweeted her apparent agreement with O’Toole’s message.

Derek Sloan, an Ontario MP, seemed to echo criticisms of constituents.

“We must delay this Conservative Party leadership vote. We must delay, and do it now,” Sloan said in an email Saturday.

“The party appears to the public to be completely tone-deaf in persisting with this leadership campaign, and this situation will get worse. The party is looking increasingly insensitive and our brand is being damaged”.

“In-person meetings are now impossible, limiting campaigning to online efforts. Do you really want to get several emails EVERY DAY from candidates? And there will be zero opportunity for face-to-face interaction with anyone. The democratic process is suffering and there is no excuse for it when a delay would solve this problem”.

“(Lastly, donations) are required for political campaigns, but doesn’t it seem odd to have candidates soliciting funds during a pandemic when so many are in sudden and unforeseen economic distress?” Sloan asked.

Leslyn Lewis, who is also on the final ballot, said that pushing through with a party campaign during a global crisis was an opportunity to show leadership.

“The next leader of our party is going to be required to show leadership in a time where Canada is still in the valley created by this pandemic. How you lead and manage a campaign in a time of crisis is very indicative of how you can lead the party, and more importantly, our country in a time of crisis,” Lewis said in statement.

“By the time the health portion of this crisis is over, it will have taken a terrible toll on us all. Canada will need a conservative government ready to lead with strength, compassion, and a good dose of common sense.”

Peter MacKay is also intent at this time to continue the race and has also encouraged donors to send money to community organizations – instead of his campaign.

MacKay has been holding virtual town halls to answer questions from area constituents during the past few weeks.

However, MacKay’s director of communications, Julie Vaux, reportedly left MacKay’s campaign a week ago saying she did not feel it was appropriate to be campaigning during the pandemic.

The CPC’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) issued a statement on March 16.

“Several (leadership candidates) have made the difficult decision to suspend large gatherings… we’re proud they’re putting the health and well-being of the public first.”

“To date, the LEOC and Party staff are confident that all requirements, key dates, and milestones can be met to continue the race.”

To assist leadership contenders, the LEOC approved online vendors to host virtual town halls and developed an online portal to receive signatures. The committee also said it would hold the debates without an audience present.

The committee stated that the CPC had an obligation to ensure a new leader was in place according to the timelines previously set out by the party in January.

Rick Peterson – the only candidate from western Canada – dropped out of the race on March 20 due to the LEOC’s refusal to adjust deadlines saying their decision lacked common sense, decency, and was out of line with conservative values.

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a Senior Reporter with Western Standard
dmaclean@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter @Mitchell_AB

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B.C. NDP committee blasts own party on diversity

The email said the election has been “terrible” from the perspective of people of colour

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A B.C. NDP committee is slamming its own party for lack of diversity and says it should apologize.

The damning memo was from the NDP’s IBPoC (Indigenous, Black, Persons of Colour) executive committee was obtained by the Vancouver Sun.

The email said the election has been “terrible” from the perspective of people of colour, and that some IBPoC members have left the party, the Sun reported.

The committee called for anti-white supremacy training and diversity/equity training for all party leadership, as well as commitments to address policies important to people of colour, such as banning street checks and protecting hotel-worker jobs, said the paper.

The email said their committee voiced their displeasure in an Oct. 14 phone call with NDP provincial director Heather Stoutenburg and that some action was promised, including a written apology from the campaign leadership team and a video apology from Premier John Horgan “addressing what he did wrong and how he plans to do better.”

“While we have done a lot of work to ensure diverse representation in the legislature through our slate of candidates, we still have much more work to do — specifically within our campaign staff and campaign leadership team,” Stoutenburg said in a statement to the Sun.

“We’re working to assess and improve our hiring practices with a lens on diversity.”

B.C. voters go to the polls Saturday.

Polls taken this month point to a Horgan majority.

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

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Trudeau gave $237-million contract benefiting Liberal buddy’s company

The $237 million was given to FTI Professional Grade, a company that was only established seven days before. It’s website said the company had two employees.

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The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is demanding answers after it was revealed the Justin Trudeau government gave a $237-million no-competition contract to a firm that had been created just seven days before and overpaid by nearly $100 million.

The details were revealed Thursday in the Journal de Montréal.

The report showed during the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the $237 million was given to FTI Professional Grade, a company that was only established seven days before. It’s website said the company had two employees.

The contract was for the manufacturing of 10,000 ventilators. 

After getting the money, FTI hired the firm Baylis to handle the manufacturing of the ventilators, said the paper.

Baylis belongs to Michael Baylis, an ex-liberal MP and an active member of the party since the 1980s. He is also a close friend of Trudeau.

According to the Journal de Montréal, the Trudeau government overpaid by nearly $100 million. 

“The company Medtronic is one of the main ventilator manufacturers. Medtronic sells its unit for approximately $10,000 US, or $13,700 CAD. The ventilators manufactured by Baylis were based on the Medtronic model, but Baylis charged the Canadian government $23,700 per unit,” said the paper’s report.

“This definitely needs to be looked into by a parliamentary committee. It’s possible that there are special circumstances given the urgency, but there’s no reason now, after the fact, not to go back and examine what those might be. If there is any evidence of inappropriate favouritism, it needs to be answered for. This is taxpayer money and it needs to be used prudently, not used to line the pockets of politically-connected individuals,” Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation told Westphalian Times.

The Tories are also demanding answers.

“The awarding of the contract to FTI Professional Grade raises huge questions, because of the ties and proximity of Frank Baylis, who was a Liberal MP until 2019,” said Conservative MP Pierre Paul in an interview with the Journal.

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

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New test means travellers to Alberta can escape quarantine

“We just can’t allow (coronavirus) to shut everything down,” Premier Jason Kenney said.

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Alberta will give international arrivals at the Calgary International Airport a chance to escape the federally mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

The announcement was made Thursday by officials, including Premier Jason Kenney, who is currently in isolation after his municipal affairs minister Tracy Allard came down with COVID-19.

Kenney said starting in early November, international arrivals at YYC and Coutts will be offered a chance to participate in a pilot project that will see them get a COVID-19 test when they arrive.

The traveller would then have enter into quarantine until the test results come back. If negative, the person will be allowed to leave quarantine as long as they promise to have another test within six to seven days after arriving.

Kenney said every traveller would have to check in daily with health officials and stay within Alberta until the 14-day period expires.

Also on Monday, essential Alberta workers who have to leave the country will have access to a $150 fee-for-service test that will see results come in 72 hours before the person arrives at their destination.

“We just can’t allow (coronavirus) to shut everything down,” Kenney said.

“The impact (of the 14-day quarantine period) has been enormous.

“We must find a way to bring back safe travel.”

Kenney said in 2020 international visitors will spend $3.5 billion in Alberta, a whopping decrease of 63% for the previous year.

He said currently, only 3% of Alberta cases have been as a result of international travel.

Kenney said it’s hoped the pilot project can be expanded to Edmonton’s airport early in the new year.

“This announcement is welcomed by WestJet. WestJet has been advocating for a science-based rapid testing solution to help safely ease the quarantine requirements. With our home and largest hub in Calgary, guests from the province will be the first to experience this extremely important trial as an alternative to a 14-day quarantine,” said Ed Sims, CEO of WestJet.

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

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