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Maverick Party will target up to 49 ridings if snap election is called

The ridings will be chosen on the basis that vote splitting with Tories wouldn’t allow a third party winner

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The upstart Maverick Party says it will run candidates in up to 49 ridings in the West in the event Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls an early election or his minority government falls.

Of the projected ridings, 30 are located in Alberta, nine in Saskatchewan, and five each in B.C and Manitoba.

Interim party leader Jay Hill told the Western Standard in an interview the ridings were selected because there was “little or no chance” that vote splitting with the Tories would allow other candidates to sneak up through the middle.

“If Trudeau calls a snap election the Maverick Party board would have to appoint candidates,” said Hill, while taking a break from helping family combine on their B.C.

“In order to get candidates through the vetting process, we will target ridings where vote splitting is not an option.”

Hill said when the Reform Party first ran candidates in the 1988 federal election, Tory leader Brian Mulroney successfully put the fear of vote splitting in the mind of voters. The result was zero wins for Reform.

Those fears were laid to rest in the 1993 election, with the Reform electing 52 MPs.

The independence-leaning party hopes to hold the balance of over in Parliament after the next election.

In Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Conservatives won 47 of the 48 seats with very comfortable margins. In both provinces, there are 13 seats the Conservatives won with 70 per cent or more of the vote. In some ridings, the Liberal and the NDP share of the vote was in single digits, the Hill Times reported.

The Maverick Party was born out of the Wexit movement and officially adopted their new moniker last month.

Hill has said he will not run as a candidate nor for the leadership when a convention is held.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.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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Millions of shoppers had image taken by Cadillac Fairview cameras

Most of the customers didn’t know their images were being collected by cameras embedded in information kiosks.

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More than five million shoppers across Canada had their images collected in 12 malls owned by Cadillac Fairview, an investigation by privacy commissioners has found.

Most of the customers didn’t know their images were being collected by cameras embedded in information kiosks.

“The goal, the company said, was to analyze the age and gender of shoppers and not to identify individuals. Cadillac Fairview also asserted that shoppers were made aware of the activity via decals it had placed on shopping mall entry doors that referred to their privacy policy – a measure the Commissioners determined was insufficient,” the commissioners said in a Thursday release.

“Cadillac Fairview also asserted that it was not collecting personal information, since the images taken by camera were briefly analyzed then deleted. However, the Commissioners found that Cadillac Fairview did collect personal information, and contravened privacy laws by failing to obtain meaningful consent as they collected the 5 million images with small, inconspicuous cameras.  Cadillac Fairview also used video analytics to collect and analyze sensitive biometric information of customers.”

The investigation also found facial recognition software was used to generate additional personal information about individual shoppers, including estimated age and gender.

While the images were deleted, investigators found that the sensitive biometric information generated from the images was being stored in a centralized database by a third party.

Cadillac Fairview stated that it was unaware that the database of biometric information existed, which compounded the risk of potential use by unauthorized parties or, in the case of a data breach, by malicious actors, said the release.

“Shoppers had no reason to expect their image was being collected by an inconspicuous camera, or that it would be used, with facial recognition technology, for analysis,” says Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien.

“The lack of meaningful consent was particularly concerning given the sensitivity of biometric data, which is a unique and permanent characteristic of our body and a key to our identity.” 

Jill Clayton, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, said: “This investigation exposes how opaque certain personal information business practices have become.

“Not only must organizations be clear and up front when customers’ personal information is being collected, they must also have proper controls in place to know what their service providers are doing behind the scenes with that information.”

Michael McEvoy, Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, said: “Questions about when an organization is collecting personal information can be complex, but the conclusion we came to about cameras in mall directories was straight-forward, – pictures of individuals were taken and analyzed in a manner that required notice and consent.”

The company has now removed the cameras and has no plans to reinstall them.

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

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Sask NDP leader Meili holds onto his riding

But now 1,065 mail-in ballots have been counted, giving Meili has a 209 vote lead with 3380 votes.

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REGINA – NDP Leader Ryan Meili got the update he and his party were hoping for.

After the ballots were counted Monday night, Meili trailed Saskatchewan Party candidate Ryland Hunter by 83 votes in the riding of Saskatoon Meewasin, with 1,656 ballots mail-in ballots left to go.

But now 1,065 mail-in ballots have been counted, giving Meili has a 209 vote lead with 3380 votes.

Since two-thirds of mail-in ballots counted went NDP, it seems unlikely the result will change as the final 509 votes are tallied.

The seat count sits at 49 for the Saskatchewan Party and 12 for the NDP.

The comeback was not entirely unexpected, since coronavirus fears run deeper in left-leaning voters. A poll by Angus Reid released September 10 showed that federally, only 26 per cent of NDP voters and 29 per cent of Liberal voters were “completely comfortable” voting in person compared to 66 per cent of Conservative voters.

Meili’s victory is a relief for the NDP, which will now avoid a three-peat of futility where leaders lost their seats to Saskatchewan Party candidates in general elections.

In 2011, Dwayne Lingenfelter lost the riding of Regina Douglas Park to the Saskatchewan Party’s Russ Marchuk, a former Regina public school board chair, 4,411 votes to 3,507. Lingenfelter had won the seat of Shaunavon in 1978 and 1982 and returned to the legislature in 1988 in a by-election of Regina Elphinstone, which he was re-elected to in 1991, 1995, and 1999 before leaving politics to become Vice President of Nexen. In 2009, he won the NDP leadership and a by-election in Regina Douglas Park.

In 2016, Cam Broten lost the riding of Saskatoon Westview to David Buckingham, 3,892 votes to 3,675, despite being elected there in two previous general elections.

On March 2, 2017, Meili won the riding of Saskatoon Meewasin in a by-election over Brent Penner, 2,666 votes to 1,962. On March 3, 2018, Meili defeated Regina MLA Trent Wotherspoon with 55 per cent of the vote to take the party leadership.

The NDP’s 16-year-reign ended in 2007 under Lorne Calvert as the Saskatchewan Party under Brad Wall took 38 of 58 seats. The NDP took 9 of 58 seats in 2011 and 10 of 61 in 2016.

Lee Harding is the Saskatchewan correspondent for the Western Standard

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NDP motion calls for denunciation of independence movement in Alberta

The motion, which could be debated as early as Monday, says it is in Alberta’s best interest to stay within Canada.

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Alberta’s NDP is putting forward a motion calling on the legislature to denounce the independence movement in Alberta.

The motion, which could be debated as early as Monday, says it is in Alberta’s best interest to stay within Canada.

“Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly affirm that it is unquestionably in Alberta’s interest to remain part of the Canadian federation and unequivocally denounce calls for Alberta to become a state that is independent of a strong and united Canada,” reads the motion brought forward by Rod Loyola, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Ellerslie.

While Premier Jason Kenney has repeatedly said he’s a Canadian patriot, others, including some within his own UCP caucus, say independence needs to be on the table if there is any chance of getting a fair deal from Ottawa.

Drew Barnes, UCP MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat who wrote a dissenting Fair Deal panel report saying independence needs to be on the table, said the NDP motion comes as no surprise.

“The NDP has been unwilling to stand up for Alberta families – this is no surprise at all,” Barnes said in an interview with theWestern Standard.

“It’s clear the actions of the feds and Ottawa have limited opportunity and hope in Alberta. We need opportunities to work hard.

“Ottawa and the Laurentian elite have to realize there has to be consequences. I look forward to having a discussion about this with Albertans in the coming days.”

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

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.

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.”

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.

Barnes wrote his own report to Kenney urging a much stronger stance against Ottawa for the province to get a fairer deal in Confederation, adding that the issue of Alberta independence needs to be on the table.

…This story will be updated as reaction comes in

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

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