A UCP member of the Alberta legislature is lamenting the impact of current public health rules on personal freedoms in a new opinion article, vowing to “get our old normal back” in 2021. The article by Banff-Kananaskis MLA Miranda Rosin, titled “Freedom in a Floundering World,” was published on the website of High Country News on Wednesday. Rosin appears to question the public health impacts of current restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 disease, while also mourning the notion that people have willingly forfeited their personal freedoms to the government.
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It’s been a big question since the beginning of the pandemic and now we have an answer from the Trudeau Liberals. They believe inmates come before nursing home residents. So mass murderers such as 71-year-old Robert Pickton or Bruce McArthur, soon to be 70, are likely to get a vaccine before many nursing home residents. That was made clear with a story that broke Tuesday night from CTV saying inmates would begin getting vaccinations this week. It would start with a group of 600 and grow from there. Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole responded to the story on Twitter with a rather sensible proposal. “Not one criminal should be vaccinated ahead of any vulnerable Canadian or front-line health worker,” O’Toole said.
Thousands of angry emails from severely normal Albertans have now seemed to crack through that legislative dome, but Kenney’s response is too late for him to glean any credit for finally doing the right thing. “In the last few days Albertans have been outraged by the hypocrisy and moral failings of the Jason Kenney UCP government,” said Alberta NDP Deputy Leader Sarah Hoffman. “Thousands upon thousands of Albertans have reached out to us expressing their profound hurt and disappointment, that while they made great personal sacrifices to help protect our communities and one another from COVID-19, UCP ministers, MLAs and staff went to the beach,” she added.
After taking the reins of the Calgary Police Service in mid-2019, Neufeld committed to a goal of reducing gun crime in Calgary, promising to implement a new strategy focused on the issue. But shootings in 2020 actually outpaced those from 2019, with 103 recorded by the end of November — up from 89 for all of 2019. “Those numbers are persistently high. What we’re seeing there is that there’s some lower-level criminals and people in the city that are involved in the drug trade carrying guns that never used to,” he said. “We heard some stuff (in 2020) that there was individuals who said they’d sooner be caught by the police with a gun than be caught by their rivals without one. So that’s not good.”
In a year-end interview with Postmedia, the mayor said there are now two more major challenges on the list: a societal “reckoning” over systemic racism demanding action, including from the city government. And June 2020 also brought the fourth-costliest natural disaster in Canadian history to Calgary as a devastating hailstorm dealt more than $1.2 billion in damage. The question now, with a municipal election set for October 2021, is who will be on council to work on picking up the pieces. But first comes the question of who’s running — and the most intense scrutiny is on the mayor’s chair.
Article Link: https://calgarysun.com/news/local-news/amid-alberta-international-travel-scandal-critics-on-both-sides-of-the-aisle-renew-calls-for-recall-legislation/wcm/eefd5f24-9715-47ad-b0ce-cfbb02ea0036
As anger over travel abroad by senior officials with the United Conservative government reaches a boiling point, critics from both ends of the political spectrum are calling on the Alberta government to pass long-promised recall legislation. The legislation, promised by the UCP and now-Premier Jason Kenney during their 2019 campaign, was pitched as similar to existing legislation in British Columbia, which allows constituents to remove their MLA and force a byelection if 40 per cent of eligible voters sign a recall petition. During the campaign, Kenney said a provision for recall would be an “instrument of accountability” if elected officials “totally violate the trust of voters.”
The federal Liberal government is weighing whether to bar people who have travelled overseas from a new sick-leave benefit that pays up to $1,000 to Canadians who have to quarantine due to COVID-19. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit was launched in the fall to help Canadians who are unable to work because they must quarantine during the pandemic. It pays $500 per week to a maximum of two weeks. But Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the government is “actively looking at all options” in the face of questions over whether Canadians who have travelled abroad should be allowed to collect the money.
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control estimated last week that almost 500,000 people in Wuhan, the original epicentre of the pandemic, contracted COVID-19, but were never counted. The main thrust of the report was that China’s three-month lockdown of Wuhan, starting in January, 2020 worked in preventing the spread of the coronavirus to nearby cities and towns. China’s CDC estimates the infection rate in Wuhan, a city of more than 11 million people, was 4.43%. All of this will no doubt be interesting news to Health Minister Patty Hajdu.
There’s no saying what caused a spike in homicides in 2020, said Calgary police Chief Mark Neufeld. Police recorded a dip in 2018 and 2019, at 18 and 21, after seeing higher numbers in 2016 and 2017, with 30 and 31, respectively. In 2015, a record high of 37 homicides were tracked by police, according to Chisholm. “The drivers have been a little hard to pick out. It’s been obviously conflicts between people who know one another, but not really a lot of trends that we can learn from or get out in front of,” said Neufeld. The force did see a significant drop in domestic homicides, with only two of 33 cases last year designated as such. In 2019, almost half were considered domestic in nature.
A Calgary Police Service officer was killed on New Year’s Eve when he was hit by the driver of a vehicle fleeing a traffic stop in the northeast community of Falconridge. Sgt. Andrew Harnett, 37, had stopped a vehicle in the area of Falconridge Boulevard and Falconridge Drive at about 10:50 p.m. when the driver sped off, striking him. Two first-degree murder warrants have been issued for Al-Azan Shah Muhammad, 17, and Amir Abdulrahman, 19, both of Calgary, in connection to the New Year’s Eve death.