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Fair Deal Panel recommends Alberta police and pension; status quo on Constitution

The report said Alberta should take immediate steps to create a provincial pension plan, set up its own police force and appoint a chief firearms officer.

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Alberta’s Fair Deal panel is recommending numerous changes the province can make quickly in order to get a better deal in confederation – but there is no talk of long-term Constitutional change nor any mention of independence.

The long-awaited report was released Wednesday by Premier Jason Kenney.

The report said Alberta should take immediate steps to create a provincial pension plan, set up its own police force and appoint a chief firearms officer.

Kenney said the government will conduct a detailed study on a provincial police force and announce it next year.

The premier said a study will also be started into the proposed provincial pension plan and if adopted it would also be put to a province-wide referendum next year.

In terms of the controversial issue of Fiscal Stabilization, the Fair Deal panel said Alberta should “press strenuously for the removal of the current constraints on the Fiscal Stabilization Program, which prevent Albertans from receiving a $2.4 billion equalization rebate.”

It also said the province should proceed with a proposed referendum on Equalization, asking a clear question along the lines of: “Do you support the removal of Section 36, which deals with the principle of equalization, from the Constitution Act, 1982?”

Kenney said his government accepts that recommendation and the referendum would be held next year. He called Equalization an ‘unfair” program.

“Failure to secure a fair deal for Alberta is not an option,” Kenney said.

He said getting some of the recommendations through would give “Alberta greater autonomy in Confederation.”

Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer said the process to appoint a chief firearms officer is now underway.

Other suggestions on what Alberta should do immediately is to secure a seat at the table when the federal government negotiates and implements international agreements and treaties affecting Alberta’s interests, opt out of new federal cost-shared programs, subject to Alberta receiving full compensation and continue to diversify Alberta’s economy in the energy sector and beyond.

“A substantial majority of Albertans do not believe they are receiving a fair deal from the federal government. Many are angry and want the Government of Alberta to reassert its position in Confederation and minimize Ottawa’s overreach,” the report said.

“The Fair Deal Panel encourages the Government of Alberta to act vigorously and swiftly, through collaboration with other governments and unilaterally, to secure a fair deal for Albertans

“Some Albertans believe that the only way to get Ottawa and other provinces to pay attention to unfairness and misunderstandings is to use the threat of separation, implying that if Alberta does not get a fairer place within the federation, the province will pursue secession from Canada.

“Listening to Albertans, the panel understands their anger and frustration and sympathizes with their harsh personal experiences. But we do not believe the threat of secession is a constructive negotiating strategy.

“However, we believe that if the federal government and the rest of Canada do not respond positively and quickly to Albertans’ demands for a fair deal, then support for secession will only grow.”

The Panel also suggested the following steps Alberta should take to get a fair deal within Confeseration:

• Collaborate with other jurisdictions to reduce trade barriers within Canada and pressure the federal government to enforce free trade in Canada.

• Collaborate with other jurisdictions and other stakeholders to secure cross-border rights of way and create unobstructed corridors within Canada to tidewater and world markets.

• Collaborate with other jurisdictions to design and advance regional strategies for northern development; pressure the federal government to implement those strategies.

• Support and press for the strictest possible application of the principle of representation by population in the House of Commons.

• Work with other provinces and the federal government to democratize the Senate appointment process

• Secure a fairer share of federal civil service opportunities and federal offices in Western Canada.

• Abolish or at least change the residency requirement for the federal courts.

• Assert more control over immigration for the economic benefit of Alberta.

• Collaborate with other provinces and industry to advance market-based approaches to environmental protection, including a reduction in GHG emissions.

• Continue to challenge federal legislation that affects provincial jurisdiction.

• Work with other provinces to secure a federal-provincial agreement prohibiting the federal government from spending, taxing, legislating, or treaty making in areas of provincial or joint jurisdiction without the consent of the affected province(s).

“Our initial inclination was to first list, and most heavily emphasize, those recommendations that Alberta could implement on its own. We were inclined to do this, because we anticipated that the cooperation and support of other governments would be most difficult to achieve, given some of the tensions which existed between Alberta and the federal government in particular,” the report states.

“However, in recent months, as a result of the need for all Canadians and their governments to pull together to cope with the current health and economic crises, we have witnessed a much greater willingness on the part of the provincial and federal governments to mutually support and cooperate with each other.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said it pleased to see that the Fair Deal Panel’s report acknowledges that equalization reform must be a key aspect of Alberta’s fight for fairness.

“Albertans know we’ve been getting a raw deal and that there is no fair deal without tackling equalization so it’s great to see the Fair Deal Panel acknowledge the importance of an equalization referendum,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director.

“There’s still a lot more work to do, but this report and an equalization referendum are the crucial first few steps in Alberta’s fight for fairness.”

The Fair Deal Panel was established and commissioned by Premier Jason Kenney in November 2019. The panel conducted the bulk of its public hearings and received the most input from experts and interest groups during the months of December, January and early February.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westewrnstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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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HEAR THE TAPES: Secret tapes of CNN execs talking about shaping the news to be released

James O’Keefe, from Project Veritas released a tape Tuesday morning of CNN executives sitting in stunned silence when they were informed the tapes were going to be released.

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Secretly recorded tapes of CNN’s editorial morning meetings are being released Tuesday night.

James O’Keefe, from Project Veritas released a tape Tuesday morning of CNN executives sitting in stunned silence when they were informed the tapes were going to be released.

CNN president Jeff Zucker ordered the Tuesday called stopped and demanded new procedures for the morning call.

O’Keefe unmuted himself and revealed to them he has two months worth of recordings provided by a “brave inside sources.”

He said the recordings between Zucker and producers will show the thinking behind CNN’s slanted news.

“I think Mr. Zucker is shaking in his boots right now. I think he’s very afraid of what may be coming,” said O’Keefe.

Project veritas tweet

The hashtag #CNNtapes will start releasing the tapes at 7 p.m. (EST) Tuesday night and throughout the week.

Project Veritas is an American right-leaning activist group founded by O’Keefe in 2010. The group uses undercover techniques to reveal supposed liberal bias and alleged corruption. 

In an email to group supporters, O’Keefe said that the recording that they will “be releasing will give you some insight as to why Zucker has such a tough time answering questions about journalistic integrity.”

This is one of the first tapes.

And here is the second:

The Western Standard will update the story as the tapes are released.

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

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Liberals backtrack on section of gun grab law

The new policy was to come into effect Monday, but has been put off until Dec. 1, 2023.

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Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is deferring the “marking” section of their gun grab law.

The new policy was to come into effect Monday, but has been put off until December 1, 2023.

“The existing Firearms Marking Regulations under the Firearms Act, scheduled to come into force on December 1, 2020, have been deferred until December 1, 2023. The Government will use the deferral period to continue consulting with partners and develop an effective markings regime that is appropriate for Canada, balancing the needs of law enforcement with the impact on firearms businesses and owners, while prioritizing public safety,” said the government in a release.

“Firearms markings enables law enforcement to trace crime guns, and is most successful when paired with records of ownership and imports.

“In the absence of record-keeping requirements for non-restricted firearms, consultations with law enforcement and industry led to the conclusion that the existing Regulations, as conceived in 2004, are ineffective in facilitating successful tracing of crime guns.

“While the Regulations have been deferred, the Government remains committed to firearms markings regulations as part of its broader firearms strategy to protect public safety, including the prohibition of “assault-style” firearms announced this past spring.”

On May 1, 2020, the federal government prohibited buying, using and selling thousands of firearms.

There are 316,791 licensed firearms owners in Alberta.

The national police union that represents the RCMP has blasted the gun grab plan for doing nothing to stop the flow of illegal guns into the country, and driving previously legal firearms into the black market.

The union said 2,242 illegal guns used in crimes in Canada last year were traced back to manufacturers in the U.S. Three of the four firearms used in the tragic mass shooting in Portapique, N.S, in April 2020, were obtained illegally in the U.S.

The union said Stats Canada data shows Canada reported 678 homicides in 2019, and that 261 (38 per cent) of them were gun-related fatal shootings.

Of those 261 homicides, over 60 per cent were committed with a handgun, as opposed to a rifle.

Trudeau’s Liberal government announced in May they are banning 1,500 different makes and models of what he called “military-style” and “assault-style” guns in Canada. Most firearms experts say that the Liberal failed to define what constitutes “military-style” and “assault-style” firearms beyond aesthetics.

The ban came into effect immediately and was ordered by the cabinet without any bill or debate in Parliament.

In response to the federal order, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said their provinces will look at appointing its own chief firearms officers.

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

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Farrell calls for Calgary law to ban cat-calls

Calling in “street harassment”, Coun. Druh Farrell is calling for public input on a potential bylaw to make such actions illegal.

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The old caricature of construction workers cat-calling when a pretty girl walks by could soon be outlawed in Calgary.

Calling it “street harassment”, Councilor Druh Farrell is calling for public input on a potential bylaw to make such actions illegal.

Farrell said street harassment includes things like unwelcome comments, gestures and actions made primarily to women by people they don’t know. 

“It’s most frequently an attack, a verbal attack on women but it’s also against many LGBTQ people,” Farrell told CBC.

“We certainly see that harassment happening in Calgary.”

Farrell said a Statistics Canada report that found one-in-three girls and women were victims of unwanted sexual behaviour in the previous year.

“With all of our bylaws, we look at education first and then establish a social norm. It’s not OK to harass strangers on the street,” said Farrell to CBC.

She notes other Canadian cities including Edmonton, Vancouver and London have already passed bylaws to regulate street harassment.

If Farrell’s motion is approved by council, they would get a report back from administration on the issue in the first quarter of 2022.

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

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