A notorious Seattle neighbourhood set up following the George Floyd rioting is back in the hands of police – with barely a whisper from protesters.
After two people – including a 16-year-old boy – were shot and killed around the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone – police moved in on Canada Day and cleared up the area.
The police also reclaimed their abandoned precinct, which the protesters had been using as their headquarters.
Bulldozers with police protection moved in and destroyed protesters’ camps which had been set up June 8.
At least 31 people were arrested at the CHAZ zone where crime has risen by more than 500 per cent in just over three weeks.
“Finally. Twenty-some days and several deaths too late. The rule of law must not fade in and out with the fashions of the radical left,” Senate Majority Leader McConnell tweeted.
Police said they found “recovered improvised spike strips” with the area.
Seattle police tweeted: “Because suspects in recent shootings may still be in the area, and because numerous people in the area are in possession of firearms, Seattle Police officers involved in this morning’s response will be equipped with additional protective gear.”
Police chief Carmen Best said: “Our job is to support peaceful demonstration but what has happened on these streets over the last two weeks is lawless and it’s brutal and bottom line it is simply unacceptable.
“(CHAZ) has become lawless and brutal. Four shootings, two fatal, robberies, assaults, violence and countless property crimes have occurred in this several block area.
“I was just stunned by the amount of graffiti, garbage and property destruction,” Best said.
Thousands of protesters – many hailing from the far-left ANTIFA terrorist organization – took over the six-square block area of Seattle, where no police officers were allowed.
Just was just 24 hours a day of protesting, music, dancing and communing without a cop in sight, they quickly run out of food, putting out a plea for “vegan meat alternatives” and other soy-based food donations.
At the heart of the CHAZ is a Seattle police precinct, abandoned by officers and now being used by gun-tooting warlords who have established themselves as the new keepers of law and order.
They had a list of demands, including the “abolition” of the Seattle Police Department and its attached court system, free college for all people in the state, as well as “the abolition of imprisonment, generally speaking, but especially the abolition of both youth prisons and privately-owned, for-profit prisons.”
The streets were apparently controlled by a hip hop artist-turned-warlord by the name of Raz Simone, who has established an armed private police force that does not hesitate to dole out beatings to communal scofflaws.
Another video shows Raz and friends confronting a man for making unauthorized graffiti on Raz’s turf, which results in the “police” stealing the man’s phone, breaking his glasses, and reportedly repeatedly kicking him in the head.
“We are the police of this community here now,” the man is told before the beating.
The video reveals Raz’s gang telling the man, “For your own safety, you need to go,” and “You might need a little love tap” before seeming to assault him.
The vandal is then ordered to hand over his phone as tribute to Raz, under the threat of more violence. “You just broke my glasses! I’m blind! You just broke my glasses and stole my phone!” the man pleads, before being told, “Yeah, we should have broken your face.”
“Don’t be making no threats … I’ll blow your brains out,” Raz says.
In other sections of CHAZ, there were tents with supplies for volunteer medics as well as food donated by local restaurants, along with fruit, snacks and water bottles.
“The scene here is peaceful as hell,” said a demonstrator who identified herself as Jahtia B.
“This is our city. I was born and raised in this city. Let’s give it to the people, the people who live in Seattle and have been thriving here,” she told AFP news agency.
Seattle City Councillor Kshama Sawant disputed accounts of violence or intimidation by protesters within the area and said it was more like a street fair with political discussions and a drum circle.
“The right wing has been spreading rumours that there is some sort of lawlessness and crime taking place at the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, but it is exactly the opposite of that,” said Sawant,
U.S President Donald Trump and Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan engaged in a war of words over the Zone.
“Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will,” Trump warned Durkan and Washington state governor Jay Inslee – both Democrats – in a tweet, calling the protesters “domestic terrorists” who have taken over Seattle.
“This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped (sic) IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST,” he said in another tweet.
Durkan replied, telling Trump to “go back to his bunker” a reference to when Trump sheltered in the White House bunker after D.C protests and riots got too close.
Inslee tweeted: “A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business. ‘Stoop’ tweeting.”
WE scandal: Trudeau says he had no clue how much his family was paid by WE charity
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said WE “received no preferential treatment.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had no any how much his family was paid by the WE charity when he approved it for a nearly billion project.
Testifying from Rideau Cottage to a Senate inquiry on the WE scandal, Trudeau said he didn’t even realize the charity was in the running until he was told by “extremely professional” public affairs officials.
Trudeau testified he hoped to give the youth grant to the Canada Service Corps volunteer group but public service officials said they couldn’t do it and a third party was needed.
He said he didn’t hear about WE involvement until May 8, only hours before cabinet met to discuss the program.
Trudeau said because of his family connection to WE, the decision to give it the grant would be “closely scrutinized.”
Trudeau decided to pull the decision on May 8.
He said public officials later told him the WE group was the only group that was able to deliver the program so it was approved at the May 22 cabinet meeting.
Throwing the civil service under the bus was a reoccurring theme of Trudeau’s testimony.
Trudeau said WE “received no preferential treatment.
“I deeply regret how this has unfolded.”
In April, Trudeau announced a new program called the Canada Student Service Grant that promised to pay to students who volunteer over the summer.
Management of what was called $900-million program was outsourced to WE Charity. WE Charity would be paid up to $43 million to run the program.
After controversy erupted, the WE organization withdrew from the program.
Charity co-founder Craig Kielburger told MPs on Tuesday the amount of money involved was only $543 million. The charity has already received roughly $30 million of that but says it will repay the amount in full. They added the charity would be out $5 million they had already spent on the program.
The brothers denied they stood to personally benefit from the deal.
And they admitted they only hired the prime minister’s mother to speak on mental health when Justin Trudeau came to power.
It has emerged Margaret Trudeau spoke at approximately 28 WE events and received honoraria amounting to $312,000. Alexandre spoke at eight events and received approximately $32,000, while Sophie Gregoire Trudeau had more than $1,400 in expenses paid for.
Margaret had also been paid $167,944 in expenses.
The PM testified Thursday he didn’t know the Kielburgers other than to to see them at the WE events he attended.
Under questioning by Tory MP Pierre Poilievre, Trudeau couldn’t provide figures on exactly how much his family made from WE nor the expenses paid to his wife for a trip to London a month before the final decision was made.
Trudeau said he didn’t even know what hotel in London his wife was staying in.
Poilievre told Trudeau: “Nobody believes you. You had a month to look into this.”
The meeting then degenerated into farce when the power went out for committee chair Wayne Easter.
That saw Poilievre saying he was now in charge of the hearing as the deputy chair.
He kept asking Trudeau how much his family his family made and the PM repeatedly refused to answer.
Liberal MPs then tried to shut down the meeting before Easter got his power back and order was restored.
Trudeau also said he had no idea WE fired their board chair and laid off hundreds of staff before they received the grant.
Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion has announced that his office is investigating.
Alberta’s UCP government has severed ties with the charity as has several businesses including Telus and Virgin Airlines
Just last week, Finance Minister Bill Morneau paid back $41,000 to WE for an exotic family holidays to Kenya and Ecuador.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
Poll shows MacKay as overwhelming choice for Tory voters
And Peter MacKay also lead a poll where other Canadians were asked about the leadership.
Conservative voters say Peter MacKay is the right man to lead their party, according to a new poll.
The results of a survey conducted by Maru/Blue Public Opinion show MacKay would be the top choice – at 55 percent – to become the new leader of the Tory party among those who are committed to vote for the party if a federal election were held tomorrow.
As for rival candidates, Erin O’Toole received 23 per cent, Leslyn Lewis 11 per cent, and Derek Sloan 11 per cent.
And MacKay also lead a poll where other Canadians were asked about the leadership.
MacKay received 51 per cent supported followed by O’Toole at 25 per cent, Lewis 16 per cent and Sloan at 8 per cent.
“The presumption is that Peter MacKay is the front runner,” John Wright, the executive vice president at Maru/Blue Public Opinion North America told the National Post, who commissioned the survey.
“And a lot of that has to do with the fact that he’s got the most exposure. You look at the numbers regionally and he’s got a lot of good recognition.”
The 269,469 eligible Tory party members have until Aug. 21 to mail in their ballots. The numbers will be tallied and released at an undetermined time.
A total of 1,828 those who would consider voting for the Conservative Party of Canada if a federal
election were held tomorrow were surveyed between July 17- 21, 2020 and is considered accurate within +/- 2.6 percentage points.
The other poll surveyed 1,514 Canadian adults between July 10-13, and is considered accurate to within +/- 2.9 percentage point.
MacKay tweeted his pleasure with the poll findings.
The full poll results can be found here.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
UPDATE: ‘Joey Mags’ audit reveals $16,000 in dubious expenses
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he was “shocked” by what the investigation revealed.
A forensic audit expenses of Calgary Ward 2 Coun. Joe Magliocca shows shocking unexplained spending.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said it shows clear signs of bad behaviour.
“What we’ve seen is a consistent pattern of behaviour, over a long period of time,” Nenshi said.
“This is a disregard, a real disregard for the rules at the very worst. This is a pattern of behaviour that I don’t think is befitting of an elected official.”
Magliocca – known as Joey Mags in political circles – tallied $36,687.10 in net expenses since 2017, with nearly $16,000 of either not in accordance with city policy or yet to be determined after the forensic audit of his expenses was released.
A six month investigation was launched after questions arose from travel expenses Magliocca filed in 2017 claiming hospitality expenses with people whom he never met.
In February, council called for an external audit of his expenses dating back to 2017 following Postmedia reports about discrepancies in his receipts from the 2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Quebec City.
Magliocca, who has been in office since 2013, expensed $6,400 travelling to and from the conference, at least $1,800 was attributed to “hosting” costs, paying for meals and drinks with other politicians and company representatives.
Postmedia found 11 people that Magliocca claimed hosting expenses with who said they had never met him.
The amount was more than double what nine other council members on the trip expensed.
The forensic report showed situations where money was charged to the city that shouldn’t have been, and events that were claimed but Magliocca wasn’t a part of.
The majority of the expenses found ineligible were for meals and hotel rooms.
The external report by external firm pointed out nearly $9,000 in airfare costs they recommended the city look further into.
Those costs represent seven flights where Magliocca upgraded his seat to premium or business class despite a city policy that economy fares should be booked unless they’re unavailable.
It also showed that 17 of Magliocca’s receipts were missing.
The city has forwarded the report to the city police for a look-see.
Magliocca will also be forced to issue a public apology and is banned from future city travel, his council colleagues have decided.
Council will also send the results of the investigation to Alberta’s municipal affairs minister and make Magliocca take a refresher course in city expenses policy.
Nenshi said it’s not the city’s job to remove the councillor.
“Ultimately, I believe that the voters are the arbiters of this. It’s not the provincial government, who is the boss of the municipal council; the voters – the citizens – are the boss,” said Nenshi.
A spokesman for Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu said: “We have not yet received the report, but will review it upon arrival. Calgary has dutifully handled this matter through its code of conduct policy. We hope this situation results in positive changes for taxpayers.”
Calgary NDP MLA Joe Ceci called on the province to remove Magliocca.
“Councillor Magliocca’s expense debacle shows that taxpayers need better tools to hold local politicians accountable when they misbehave,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF.
“The Alberta government must fulfill its promise to introduce local recall rules, which would give citizens the ability to fire local councillors and mayors between elections.
“The city of Calgary must also introduce common sense transparency rules like making sure all expenses are publicly disclosed and prohibiting councillors from expensing alcohol.”
Magliocca said the results were because of clerical errors and told council in February: “Calgary taxpayers expect better of me and so does this council.”
He initially paid back $2,100 in conference expenses and later paid back all “alcohol-related” costs since the last election. Magliocca has now repaid more than $6,000 from the past two years of his expenses.
Magliocca, who hasn’t commented, hasn’t announced whether he will seek reelection next October.
Council also asked the city manager to look at ways to improve their expense policies.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard