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Legal action vowed if Calgary put into COVID-19 lockdown

The Justice Centre, a non-profit, non-partisan, non-political public interest law firm, made the vow after Calgary Emergency Management Chief Tom Sampson mused a 28-day “circuit breaker” may be needed

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Any attempt to move Calgary into a COVID-19 lockdown will be met with court action, says a Canadian legal advocacy group.

The Justice Centre, a non-profit, non-partisan, non-political public interest law firm, made the vow after Calgary Emergency Management Chief Tom Sampson mused a 28-day “circuit breaker” may be needed to stop the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

 “This second wave is large and it may run over our healthcare system,” Sampson tweeted. “We must stop the spread of Covid-19, there is little to debate here…the tsunami siren is wailing.”

The Justice Centre, who said its mission is to protect the Charter freedoms of Canadians to gather, assemble and worship, and to reject destructive restrictions, fired off a legal warning letter to Sampson on Nov. 17 and copied to the Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“Your threat to lockdown the City of Calgary is a gross usurpation of authority. There is no statutory authority for your proposed exercise of this power, nor historical precedent for the use of such extraordinary authority in the history of this nation by an official such as yourself. No such power is delegated to you under the Municipal Government Act, or the Constitution of Canada. Further, you are not a medical officer of health in the Province of Alberta,” the letter read.

The centre said the “threat made by Calgary’s Emergency Management Chief is not grounded on relevant facts and fails to consider AHS data on actual COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations and ICU capacity.”

It added “AHS’s own data makes it clear that 97 per cent of people who contract COVID-19 are entirely asymptomatic or only mildly ill.”

“COVID-19 has no significant impact on population life expectancy. More than 80% of deaths have been amongst elderly and already sick people in long-term homes, nearly twice as high as other developed nations. The average lifespan of people, once admitted to a nursing home is only 12 months. More than 27,000 Albertans die each year, including 449 deaths from opioid poisoning. Since March of 2020, 423 Albertans have died of COVID-19, less than 2% of total deaths.”

Lawyer and Justice Centre President John Carpay said: “Lockdown policies have crippled our economy and society. Most small businesses are not going to survive another lockdown. People’s mental and physical health have suffered immensely by government overreach.

“Albertans have died and are dying because of cancelled surgeries, delayed cancer diagnoses, drug overdoses, and suicides. Lockdowns have imposed serious harms on patients denied access to their physiotherapists, massage therapists, optometrists, chiropractors, osteopaths, podiatrists and dentists.

“Outside of the privileged public sector, countless Albertans have been driven into unemployment, poverty and despair. The economy has been decimated, and the hopes and futures of tens of thousands of Albertans are destroyed, not because of the virus, but because of policies based on fear, not facts.

“We have put the City of Calgary, Mayor Nenshi and Mr. Sampson on notice. We will immediately begin court proceedings for an injunction if they attempt to carry through on threats to lock down the City of Calgary, which violates our most fundamental Charter freedoms without factual justification.”

“We urge government officials to focus on protecting the vulnerable, instead of arbitrarily restricting the liberty of healthy citizens, which will have no effect on reducing the risk of transmission among the vulnerable elderly in nursing homes.”

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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Edmonton spends nearly $550K to keep eight public washrooms clean during COVID pandemic

The dollar figures have some Edmonton councillors shaking their heads.

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Talk about pricey Port-a-Potties!

Edmonton taxpayers have been flushing out a pretty penny to keep the Whyte Ave. and seven other public washrooms clean during the pandemic.

A report headed to council on Wednesday shows from April 7 to Oct. 8, 2020, a total of $548,002 was spent on COVID-19 washroom response to ensure residents, especially vulnerable populations, have access to public toilets.

A total of $126,000 was spent just keeping the Whyte Ave. facility clean. There are two attendants on the site, day and night.

Source: City of Edmonton

“The outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted the operation and accessibility of many public facilities including washrooms, libraries and recreational centers (sic). In order to ensure Edmontonians still had access to public washrooms, Administration worked with Boyle Street Ventures to provide washroom attendants,” the report said.

“Public washrooms play a key role in ensuring healthy and equitable urban places.

“A cost analysis showed that despite a significant increase in direct staffing costs for monitoring the washroom (compared with costs of custodial services with no attendants on site), these costs may be partially offset via the overall increase in safety, cleanliness and a reduction in police response to social disorder as well as a reduction in repairs to the facility.

“Attendants provided thorough cleaning of the washrooms, disinfection and ensured users followed physical distancing guidelines to make washrooms safe and mitigate the spread of the virus.”

Source: City of Edmonton

The city will now create a formal long-term implementation plan to address challenges
associated with managing public washrooms.

The dollar figures have some Edmonton councillors shaking their heads.

“I do not understand how we spent over half a million dollars  in half a year to operate eight bathrooms. When we are thinking about cutting everything else in our budget this seems like a prime opportunity. I will be finding out how we can save money here,” said Coun. Jon Dziadyk, vice chair of the Community and Public Services committee which the report will be presented to on Wednesday.

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

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Majority of Canadians want Terry Fox to be the face of new $5 bill

Past Tory voters overwhelming pick Fox

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The vast majority of Canadians want Terry Fox to adorn the new $5 bill, a new poll finds.

The non-profit Angus Reid Institute found that among the eight final candidates, Terry Fox is named more than all others as the preferred new face, chosen by 57 per cent of Canadians.

Angus Reid poll

After losing part of his right leg to cancer, Terry Fox campaigned to raise national awareness and funding for cancer research by running his Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada 42-km daily run, on his prosthetic leg.

By February 1981, $24.7 million had been raised—or $1 for every Canadian.

His run was interrupted just past the half-way point when the cancer reached his lungs, and ultimately took his life.

Today, annual Terry Fox Runs are held all over the world to raise money for cancer research. In 2020, the Marathon of Hope marked its 40th anniversary.

“Famed Indigenous soldier Binaaswi (Francis Pegahmagabow) is chosen by one-in-five (21 per cent), including one-quarter of residents in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. Crowfoot (Isapo-muxika), an integral part of Treaty 7 negotiations in Alberta, is chosen by one-in-five (19 per cent) as well,” Angus Reid pollsters found.

“Past Conservative voters are much more likely to prefer Terry Fox as their choice (three-quarters do so), while those who support other parties like candidates other than him.

Angus Reid poll

“Residents in Quebec (34 per cent) and young women across the country (27 per cent) show considerable support for Robertine Barry, the first French-Canadian journalist and an advocate for women’s rights, as a candidate.”

Angus Reid poll

More than three-in-five overall, and a majority in each region of the country, say it is a good idea to change the face of the five. But a significant segment, 37 per cent (including 57 per cent of past Conservative voters), disagree.

Sir Wilfred Laurier, Canada’s seventh prime minister, has graced the nation’s sky blue five-dollar bank note for almost 50 years.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is to make a decision early next year about who should adorn the new bill.

Bios on all the finalists can be found here.

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

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Legal fund for arrested restaurant owner Skelly hits $150,000

He’s set to appear in court later Friday to face charges of attempt to obstruct police, mischief under, failure to comply with Reopening Act.

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Legal funds raised for a Toronto-area man arrested after he refused to close his BBQ joint have already topped $150,000.

A crowd of supporters chanted “Shame” as police took Adam Skelly, 33, away on Thursday afternoon.

Skelly being arrested

He’s set to appear in court later Friday to face charges of attempt to obstruct police, mischief under, failure to comply with Reopening Act.

GoFundMe campaign online boasts at least 3,200 people donating over $150,000 for the owner of Adamson Barbecue

More than 10 police cars as many as 18 officers came to the restaurant after a Wednesday raid saw them change the locks and bolt it shut.

Before being arrested, Skelly vowed to remain open.

“The break-in of #adamsonbarbecue by Toronto Police and the city is tyrannical. They CANNOT silence us!” he tweeted Thursday.

He also issued a call for a locksmith to come and help him get into his place in Etobicoke.

“This isn’t just about #adamsonbarbecue. it’s about all small businesses and their livelihoods. spread the word and let’s get back to work. thank you. #IStandWithAdam” he tweeted.

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

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