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Transgender candidate an unlikely voice in BC’s election

Jenn Smith has been shunned by much of the trans activist community for her stance of issues like pre-pubescent hormone treatments.

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Jenn Smith is a unique candidate in BC’s 2020 election. A transgender self-identified woman, Smith opposes what he sees as the mainstream trans policy program, and is taking on the NDP’s Education Minister as an independent candidate in Victoria-Swan Lake. 

Born “Ricky” in 1965, he grew up as a “wounded, rejected child” and began his transgender journey while in one of the six foster homes he was raised in.

“I had this foster sister in one of my homes that I lived in who was super popular, he was like one of those 1970s bad girls,” Smith told the Western Standard. “I would get dressed up in some of her mini skirts and stuff and I would actually go out walking around town.”

The bisexual Smith became a sex worker later in life. That life is behind her now, but she still typically presents long bleached-blonde curls, earrings, make-up, and leather with plenty of bling. 

But Smith prefers to be called “he” and says anyone who believes presenting as female “actually transforms me into an actual woman–that’s going too far.”

Roughly four years ago, Smith began to voice his criticisms of the transgender movement.

“Sports was one of the sort of real original triggers for me,” Smith said. “This is nuts because males are constructed totally differently than females. And for them to be partaking in women’s sports is just way out of line.”

Smith also believes rape shelters should not be forced to accept biological males, but what concerns him the most is “what’s going on in the schools in terms of indoctrination” through SOGI 123 teaching resources used in all ages of schooling.

Smith says a disproportionate number of BC foster children and those on the autistic spectrum are put on puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and then gender reassignment surgeries. 

“Cults do that to people who are sort of wounded, emotionally lost, looking for some sort of direction in their life. Same thing with transgender. It’s all these wounded people and they’re all being offered sort of a new life,” Smith said.

Smith’s stance has inspired support from moderate feminists and social conservatives, but raised the ire of others. “I’ve been besieged by the LGBTQ community and in that process, I’ve had my freedom of speech trampled over and over again,” said Smith.

In May of 2019, Oak Bay police shut down an anti-SOGI protest with Smith, in part of due to hundreds of protesters inside and outside of the building he was speaking in. “If you look at events like what happened to me at Oak Bay [and at UBC]…This may be the best example of cancel culture run amok in Canada.”

Smith decided to run as an independent candidate in Victoria-Swan Lake to publicize his call for an inquiry into the gender transitioning of minors and reinforce parental rights.

“Part of this comes out of the fact that I’ve had trouble getting a platform and being heard. The media won’t address anything or any of my concerns even though I’ve got all of this controversy swirling around me. You’d think that they’d be interested, but they do their best to ignore me.”

On October 27, Smith was slapped with a 30-day ban from Facebook for posts he made in May where he called someone “a rainbow clown.” He says his ban from Twitter is permanent because he refuses to call transgenders by their preferred pronoun.

“But to me a man is not a woman. I cannot be a woman. That is true. You want me to surrender that, but I can’t surrender that…because the moment we start surrendering [one] truth, how many others will fall behind it?”

He was disappointed that the chamber of commerce would not allow Smith and a Communist candidate to participate in the local candidates’ debate.

“Jenn Smith shows up and Rob Fleming, he’s probably scared of him,” said Laura Lynn Thompson, the former People’s Party federal candidate now running for the Christian Heritage Party in Smith’s home riding of Abbotsford South.

“Rob Fleming can’t argue one little bit against Jenn Smith. Rob Fleming doesn’t have the skill to argue Jenn Smith’s amazing knowledge about transitioning minors and what they’re doing to kids in foster care in BC, and how there’s a doctor in British Columbia [Wallace Wong] actually bragging about transitioning 500 foster kids.”

“Like that guy needs to be hauled into jail, never mind that the MSM is silent about it, nobody talks about it. Well one way we get to talk is we get to go in the paper.”

Despite the backlash, Smith says his campaign has been successful at his primary goal – to raise awareness. Victoria newspapers have publicized Smith’s comments in local election coverage. Covid-19 did not stop Smith and his volunteers from getting to voters directly at the doors.

“For the most part, the reactions have actually been surprisingly strong. And for me to get positive reactions at the door in what is a leftist stronghold is hopeful,” Smith said.

“This is a message to other people who are frustrated that their issues are not being addressed by society in a meaningful way. Well, take that next step and get involved in the democratic process and run as a candidate because it frees up all kinds of opportunities for you.”

Lee Harding is the Saskatchewan Correspondent for the Western Standard

Lee Harding is the Saskatchewan Affairs Columnist for the Western Standard. He is also a Research Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and is the former Saskatchewan Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Features

Global Warning is the must-watch documentary on the climate change debate

‘Global Warning’ explores both sides of the climate debate shaping our times, and its effect on Western energy workers.

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Calgary filmmaker Mathew Embry set out to make a documentary on global warming that was fair with people on both sides of the contentious issue.

With his 95-minute documentary Global Warning he has certainly done all that, and more.

“It’s a film I wanted to make since 2008 when I started seeing problems developing in the oil patch and in Calgary and how it was being portrayed in the media,” Embry told the Western Standard in an interview.

Embry met with producer Peter Beyak, who shared a similar interest, and after some fundraising, the project was underway.

The issue is not a new one for Embry; his fifth-grade science project on global warming was an early sign.

Embry and his Grade 5 project

But the father of two knew it was time to jump into action and Global Warning is the end of almost a decade of work.

“I want my kids to live in a world that is [as] good or better than the one I live in,” said Embry.

“People have to be realistic – cheap energy is part of our quality of life. We need energy to survive.”

Embry describes himself as a “social justice” filmmaker whose past projects have included a look at the opioid crisis and multiple sclerosis. Up next is a project on concussions.

The argument about climate change has been ongoing for years. Some scientists say the research is obvious that climate change is underway and that mankind is responsible. Other scientists disagree.

The documentary provides both sides of the argument and wraps up with a debate between University of Ottawa climate scientist Dr. Ian Clarke and Catherine Abreu, the executive director of the Climate Action Network, which represents more than 100 different activist groups.

Catherine Abreu

Abreu, along with the Pope, has been named one of the top 100 influential people on climate change in the world. Clark has devoted 30 years to researching the effects of CO2 on climate change.

The exchange comes at the end of a documentary whose maker travelled the world in his research.

It starts with an ominous warning from controversial U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,” AOC has said.

Embry notes the effect an international social media campaign has had in casting the Alberta oil sands in a negative light. Hollywood heavyweights, including Leonardo DiCaprio, have visited Fort McMurray and have been part of the campaign. DiCaprio said that the oil sands looked like a scene from Mordor in the Lord of the Rings.

Distressing scenes are shown in the film of the “chilling effect” of empty Calgary offices, and former politician turned radio talk-show host, Danielle Smith fighting back tears as she discusses a caller who was about to layoff 25 per cent of his workforce.

Calgary protest

About 25 per cent of downtown offices in Calgary sit empty after the world price of oil dropped because of a price war between Russia and the Saudi, and a chronic lack of pipeline capacity which effectively landlocks Alberta.

“This is not the city I grew up in,” says Embry.

Calgary environmental protests are recognized along with footage of a heckler being dragged away by Calgary police after interrupting a forum at the Global Petroleum Show.

But the oil industry is starting to fight back and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. – one of Canada’s largest producers – gave Embry “unprecedented access” to their oil sands operations to show what they are doing to help the environment.

Joy Romero, CRNL’s vice-president, Technology and Innovations, said the reclamation projects the company has done “look like national parks.” A CRNL worker is shown in front of a pipe discharging effluent into the notorious tailings ponds that have drawn worldwide attention.

Tailings pond

“It doesn’t look pretty,” admitted CRNL Manager of Mine Technical Services Todd Draper.

But looks do not tell the whole story, as Draper points out, detailing all the efforts made by CRNL are making on the environment protection side and cleaning up tailings ponds.

Embry said documenting the open pit mining by CNRL “was uncomfortable filming” and the scenes looked “surreal.”

“Mining is not pretty,” said Embry adding it’s difficult to show the 100 year difference reclamation will do for the environment in a single National Geographic photo.

Alberta mining site

Legendary oilman Gwyn Morgan – founder of EnCana – told Embry the energy industry is currently in “political purgatory.”

“Albertans are resiliant, they are hard to keep down,” said Morgan, adding he now senses Albertans have “lost hope.”

Gwyn Morgan

Embry argues the main problem Alberta is facing is the lack of pipeline capacity.

And while a large number of Indigenous groups support, and would benefit economically from pipelines, others are using treaties signed by the federal government in the 1700’s to make their case against them.

“It’s the white guys who make the rules,” said Raymond Owl, founder of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Elders.

Raymond Owl

“We mean business. We’ve been too timid. What would you do if you had the government by the balls?

“Science is a farce, a theory. It’s not a fact.”

Embry notes the large quantities of oil imported into Eastern Canada because of the lack of a cross-Canada pipeline.

Embry drives across Texas, where close to one million wells are pumping and firing the state’s economy. The U.S. is now on course to be the biggest oil producer in the world.

Abreu is shown attending a UN climate change conference in Germany. She told Embry most of the information she uses are from the independent UN group Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Abreu is shown attending a UN climate change conference in Germany. She told Embry most of the information she uses are from the independent UN group Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

One of the key interviews in the film is with Dr. Patrick Moore, one of the original founders of Greenpeace.

Moore proudly shows off photos of the Greenpeace Zodiac getting between whaling ships and their prey, along with a photo of him protecting a baby seal from being clubbed in Labrador.

Dr. Patrick Moore

But Moore has now left the organization after it turned from a volunteer group to an international business with more than 2,000 staff.

He describe some of Greenpeace’s work now on climate change as a “racket” and have “manufactured a climate crisis.”

“I found it surprising a well known environmentalist has a counter position to the current environmental argument,” said Embry.

The University of Ottawa’s Clark noted there have been warming periods every thousand years, from the Roman era to the Middle Ages, to now.

“The science is never settled. Open debate is what we need to have,” said Clark, adding there is “zero evidence” of CO2 emissions causing climate change.

Dr. Ian Clark

“The hysteria is inbred and ingrained in the younger generation. They don’t have a clue what they are talking about.”

German climate scientist, and wind power expert, Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt told Embry climate action benefits countries like Russia, China and Saudi Arabia who don’t play by the rules.

Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt

He said it will lead to “exploding” energy prices and increasing blackouts around the world.

“The real players need to be at the table,” said Vahrenholt. “Other countries just won’t follow Canada.”

Embry said the part of the film that strikes with him the most is seeing all the wind farms across the length of Germany. “There is a vastness to it that is hard to capture.”

Geopolitical author John Perkins argued that Canada faces the real threat of falling into a crisis like the one that Venezuela is currently experiencing.

Embry argues a third way of thinking, a middle-way approach, is needed to help address the issue in Canada, which has the third largest energy reserves in to the world and some of the best “clean energy” technology.

“We can show the world how it can be done,” said Embry.

The documentary ends with Clark and Abreu arguing passionately their side of the story. Both agree, their hearts are in the right place. They want what’s best for their children and grandchildren. And that’s what Emry says he wants for his children.

“I hope people on both sides of the issue take the time to watch the documentary,” said Embry.

Global Warning is a must watch for people on both sides of the debate.

You can watch a trailer and buy the VOD here: www.globalwarningdocumentary.com

The main trailer is on Youtube at https://youtu.be/-W29sxthdME

It’s also available on SuperChannel in Canada.

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Features

Italian magazine spotlights Alberta’s independence movement

Atlantico is an Italian libertarian magazine normally covering issues in Europe. But with the rising tide of the Western independence – or “Wexit” – movement beginning to gain attention around the world, Atlantico reached out to speak with Western Standard Publisher Derek Fildebrandt for more information.

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The full article in Italian can be found at atlanticoquotidiano.it.

Alberta between Canada and independence: an interview on the future of the Canadian West
By Marco Faraci

One year ago Justin Trudeau won the Canadian federal election for the second time, albeit with lower votes and seats than in 2015. Trudeau’s Liberal Party has substantially built its parliamentary plurality in Eastern Provinces, without hardly winning any seat West of Ontario.

The Liberals failed to make any inroads into the provinces of the Prairies and it is no surprise that the strongest rejection of the federal Liberal government has come from Alberta, where voters overwhelmingly supported the Conservative Party.

However, once again, the will of the citizens of Alberta has been outvoted by the Eastern progressive bloc. Alberta seems to be doomed to be structurally in opposition, without any real chance to have a say in federal politics.

But can things be changed? Is there still a place for Alberta and the other Western provinces in the current federal constitutional framework? And what can be the long term political alternatives for the neglected conservative provinces?

We have discussed all these issues with Derek Fildebrandt, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the conservative-libertarian Wildrose Party from 2015 to 2019, and now the publisher of the magazine “Western Standard”.

Fildebrandt holds genuine right-libertarian views and is an adamant advocate of self-government for Alberta.

Mr. Fildebrandt, a popular expression to describe the malaise of the Western Canadian provinces is “Western alienation”. Do you think that it captures the feelings of most of the Alberta citizens accurately?

I think that in some way “Western alienation” is an old expression. This expression has been circulating since the 70s and 80s and in my opinion, it understates the current political conditions of Alberta. The word “alienation” just hints at the concept that the federal government ignores us. Unfortunately, this is not true anymore. Ottawa does not just ignore Alberta; it is actively hostile to the interests of Alberta.

I think that a more representative notion would be “Western siege”. I think that Alberta is under siege. We are attacked and besieged by a distant and increasingly foreign government.

This is a rather strong statement. Could you explain to our readers how the federal government harms Alberta and the interests of its citizens? 

It does it in many ways. It is not just about milking Albertan taxpayers’ money, which has always happened. Now, with the rise of the green New Left, our oil and gas industry is overtly under attack and this is really worrying for us. The federal government is implementing policies that are disastrous for our provincial economy.

Do you think that only economic interests are at stake or do you also see a cultural clash between Alberta and the dominant East? In other words, is Alberta “different”?

I think that the issues between Ottawa and Alberta are primarily economic: keeping more money home and defending our right to work without undue confiscations and regulations. 

There are also a number of cultural issues, but they are different from those inspiring Quebec nationalism. Quebec nationalism is about ethnolinguistic claims; we do not have this type of cultural divide with the majority of the Canadian provinces. We speak the same language; we eat the same food. Our cultural differences are more in terms of values: our approach to work, our approach to family, our approach to liberty. In these regards, we have more in common with Montana than with Toronto. 

Do you believe that a strategical alliance between Alberta nationalists and Quebec nationalists is possible?

It happened in the 80’s, when Brian Mulroney managed to form a broad coalition uniting discontented Westerners and Quebec nationalists, but the truth is that the two approaches are rather distant. On the one hand, Quebec nationalists are disproportionately positioned on the Left of the political spectrum. On the other hand, the kind of decentralization that Quebec seeks is different from the kind of decentralization that we seek. Quebec wants cultural and social decentralization from what they see as a domineering English government, but is not interested in fiscal decentralization, because Quebec is and always has been a net recipient from the federal budget – while Alberta is and has for generations been a net contributor. In other words, Quebec wants to decentralize the power of spending money but strongly supports taxation at a central level. 

Do you think that Canada is a structurally liberal country, where conservatives will always be a minority ?

Canada is structurally liberal in the sense that it is structurally Eastern. As Eastern provinces are predominantly liberal, then the result is that the federation is by default liberal – but the core issue is the uneven balance of power between the different parts of the federation.

And why then is Canada structurally Eastern? Is it a matter of demography?

Certainly in demographic terms, Easterners outnumber Westerners, but it is not just a matter of demography.

The dominance of Eastern provinces is enshrined in the Constitution and there is very little we can do to change that. Some provisions are ludicrous, such as the composition of the Senate.

We are virtually the only democracy in the world with an unelected Upper House and we are the only federation in the world where the Upper House is not conceived with any kind of regional balance.

Our Senators are appointed by the federal Prime Minister, like they were bureaucrats. Justin Trudeau, who is highly unpopular in Alberta nominates the Senators for Alberta.

But the issue with the Senate goes beyond that. The Senate was created in 1867 and the distribution of seats was negotiated by the colonies that existed at that time. Western provinces had not been created yet and were later allocated only a handful of seats. Alberta is the fourth Canadian province by population; it has twice the population of all four Atlantic provinces combined, but has nearly half of the Senate seats given to New Brunswick.

The opportunities for Alberta to play a role in federal institutions are also hindered by official bilingualism. If you grow up in a province like Alberta, there is very little incentive to learn French, but this also means that Albertans will less likely qualify for federal offices requiring bilingualism, including roles in the Supreme Court.

The position of Alberta within Canada is much weaker than the position of the Red states within the United States. The American framework guarantees a much stronger system of checks and balances and no state finds itself in the position of being structurally kept out from the federal political dynamics.

Do you think that Canada is a “lost cause”? Or is it still worth fighting to bring Canada back on track?

I believe that Canada is worth trying to save, but I’m sceptical that it can be. 

We would need to reform the Constitution to allow real free trade between provinces, to have an elected and fully representative Senate and to abolish the “Equalization formula”, which transfers money from Alberta to Eastern provinces. But that reform is virtually impossible because the Constitutional amendment rules render the status quo effectively unalterable.

Canada is a great country, with a mostly great history and I believe in the idea that it is worth fighting to save. I just have extremely little faith that it is politically possible to do so.

In these conditions, is independence for Alberta a viable alternative?

Yes, it is. Alberta’s GDP per capita is among the highest on the planet. We would be in the company of countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg or Singapore. An independent Alberta would keep between 20 and 30 billion dollars a year of taxpayers’ money in Alberta.

The critics of independence say that Alberta is landlocked. This is certainly true. Alberta is landlocked and there is nothing we can do about it. But it is also landlocked as a province and, as a landlocked province, we are in an extremely weak position. We cannot push for free trade, for example – as we do not even have free trade between provinces in the current Canadian framework. And we cannot get the government we want; Alberta did not elect a single Liberal in the last election and yet we got a Liberal federal government.

I think we would have much more leverage as an independent landlocked nation than as a landlocked province, barring the unlikely scenario of constitutional reform. A sovereign Alberta would be in a position to force free trade and market access, while as a province we can only continue to elect Conservatives bound to be outvoted by Eastern Liberals.

So you are saying that independence would be economically viable. But is there a viable political path to independence?

There is definitely increasing support for independence in Alberta, but circumstances are not ready yet. I was the first elected representative in Alberta since the 1980s that openly supported independence if constitutional reform fails. I campaigned on the platform of a set of two referendums for Albertans to consider. The first referendum would be to demand full equality with other provinces. Then if either Ottawa or the provinces reject constitutional reform to make Canada fairer, the second referendum should be on independence.

Currently polls show that 52 per cent of the voters of the mainstream conservative party governing Alberta (the United Conservative Party) support independence. I am not sure if mainstream Conservatives will ever be ready to go forward on independence – they are too divided on the issue and they will try to avoid it. However new political parties and movements with a crystal clear commitment to independence are gaining ground and I am sure that they will play a political role. 

Summing up, will we ever see an independent Alberta?

The path will be long and far from smooth, but I believe that independence is a realistic possibility if things do not change.

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Vancouver’s tentree clothing company plants its 50-millionth tree

“This isn’t about celebrating a milestone for tentree. This is a milestone for our customers, who have supported our company and allowed us to make these meaningful contributions to our planet,” said Derrick Emsley, CEO and co-founder of tentree.

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It’s a celebration of 50 million trees planted – on their way to 1 billion.

Vancouver-based tentree is aiming to be the world’s most sustainable apparel brand. The company launched a campaign Saturday morning celebrating hitting the 50 million-tree mark, and with every social media share they get, another tree will be planted.

“This isn’t about celebrating a milestone for tentree. This is a milestone for our customers, who have supported our company and allowed us to make these meaningful contributions to our planet,” said Derrick Emsley, CEO and co-founder of tentree. 

“Our customers are helping us change the world. We’re just the vehicle. Let’s plant some more trees.”

The brand’s 50 million trees video shares how big change starts small, and the impact of tree-planting on the environment, leveraging conscious consumerism to drive change.

And the impacts can’t be understated. Every purchase from tentree means 10 trees are planted. According to tentree, fifty million new trees means:

• Millions of tonnes of CO2 removed from the atmosphere

• 500,000 hours of work provided to lift entire communities out of poverty

• 5,000 hectares of land reforested (that’s equal to 12,000 football fields)

• Ecosystems restored around the world

• Fewer wildfires and floods

Watch their video on Instagram HERE.

For every social media “share” that tentree’s video receives, they will plant another tree.

For those not on shareable platforms, the video will stream on tentree’s website, and an email address can be entered to plant a tree. 

Tentree is no stranger to using social media to help the environmental initiatives. In 2019, its Instagram “Double tap to plant a tree” campaign became the world’s most sustainable Instagram post, planting 500 thousand trees as a result of the campaign. 

Tentree is an Earth-first lifestyle apparel brand whose mission is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030 to drastically reduce global warming. 

It is a catalogue of success stories already.

  • Madagascar – 25,256,810 trees 
  • Indonesia – 1,005,000 trees 
  • Senegal – 3,500,000+ trees 
  • Nepal: 1,400,000 
  • Canada – 461,804 trees 
  • Mexico – 83,400 trees Peru – 50,000 trees planted.
  • Haiti – 700,000 trees 
  • Brazil – 100,000 trees 

With over 50 million trees planted to date, tentree is on track to become one of the most recognizable environmentally sustainable apparel brand on the planet. 

“We create aspirational outside products. For those who identify with the outdoors, but are not defined by them. We motivate and encourage environmental stewardship through Earth-first apparel,” the company proudly boasts.

The fashion and textile industry is considered one of the top polluters, and one of the heaviest natural resources consumers in the world. With staggering statistics of producing 20 per cent of wastewater while creating more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

“Which is why we’ve committed to finding and sourcing the most sustainable fibers and materials available. It’s not only our responsibility to ensure we leave the smallest impact on our environment, we also take great pride in finding better, healthier, and more eco-progressive solutions for our customers.

“Our Crown Materials are materials that tick all of our high sustainable standards, and we feel great knowing our customers are wearing not just what’s best for them but also for the planet.”

“Our core values drive us to find the best responsibly sourced materials, and the guarantee of safe and respectful work environments. So, by the time your tentree product arrives to you, you know that its journey was defined by the smallest environmental footprint, and made proudly by people treated fairly and with dignity.”

This sponsored content was paid for by tentree and written by Western Standard staff

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