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Alberta

Alberta’s Parker Thompson clinging to season lead after major push by Dutch driver

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From promazdachampionship.com

TORONTO, Ont., Canada – Talented Dutch teenager Rinus VeeKay produced another copybook performance this morning on the unforgiving streets around Exhibition Place in Toronto to sweep this weekend’s Cooper Tires Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products.

VeeKay’s second win for Juncos Racing in as many days – and fourth of the season – enabled him to close to within seven points of Canadian Parker Thompson in the quest for the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and a scholarship valued at close to $800,000 to graduate to the top tier of the acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy open-wheel development ladder, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2019.

Oliver Askew, from Jupiter, Fla., last year’s winner of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, secured his best finish of the season, second, for Cape Motorsports. He also posted a new Pro Mazda race lap record of 1:07.6395 (95.057 mph). VeeKay’s teammate, Robert Megennis, from New York, N.Y., edged out Askew’s teammate, Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin, for the final podium place.

VeeKay had matters virtually all his own way for the majority of the 40-minute race around the 1.786-mile street circuit. He romped into a clear early advantage as Megennis, who had found a way past front row qualifier David Malukas (BN Racing) on the opening lap, adopted some aggressive defensive tactics to maintain his position.

RP Motorsports Racing had performed wonders to repair Harrison Scott’s car following his terrifying crash on Saturday. Sadly, it was to no avail as an unexplained suspension failure as he braked for Turn One on the opening lap ensured he was done for the day. The Italian team experienced more drama on Lap Five when Scott’s teammate, Mexican Raul Guzman, clipped the inside wall in Turn 11 and crashed heavily into the retaining barrier on the exit of the corner. Fellow countryman Andres Gutierrez (Team Pelfrey) also was taken out in the incident.

VeeKay once again took off at the restart as Megennis continued to ensure there was no easy passage for anyone else. Askew, who started sixth, slipped past Sting Ray Robb (Team Pelfrey) and Malukas in quick succession on the restart, then finally found a chink in Megennis’ armor on Lap 19 to move up into second. By then VeeKay was already more than 6.5 seconds to the good.

Askew was granted a lifeline when Brazilian Carlos Cunha crashed in Turn Three while attempting to pass Megennis. Cue another full-caution which was cleared in time for a two-lap dash to the finish. VeeKay, though, was able to hold on and take the victory by a margin of just over half a second. He also ensured team owner Ricardo Juncos of another PFC Award.

Megennis held on for third, despite a late challenge from Lastochkin, with Kris Wright (BN Racing) securing the Tilton Hard Charger Award after steering clear of all the trouble and rising from 12th on the grid to fifth ahead of FatBoy Racing’s Charles Finelli, from Locust Valley, N.Y., who finished sixth for the second consecutive day. Robb completed the unlapped finishers, despite a badly damaged nosecone following an incident on Lap 17 with Thompson (Exclusive Autosport), who struggled home in eighth.

What was once a commanding championship advantage for Thompson has now been trimmed dramatically as the series heads next to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, for another pair of races the weekend of July 28/29.

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Alberta

Canadians owe a debt to Premier Danielle Smith

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By David MacKinnon

In recent days, Premier Smith has endured criticism from many people about her recent announcements relating to treatments for what is often described as gender transition.

Instead, she deserves praise for decisions that are as important for how they were made as for the gender transition issues that concern her and her colleagues. Her actions on this matter demonstrate how public policy should be developed and explained.

The most important quality of the recent policy announcements by the Alberta government is that they are evidence based.

There is an emerging consensus outside Canada that the evidence supporting pharmacological and surgical procedures to change genders in minors is either very weak or nonexistent.

Sweden, Finland, the UK and Norway have restricted or forbidden the use of these treatments on minors, as have twenty-three American states. Ms. Smith referred to these in her press conference announcing the changes her government is making.

Leaders in other countries have done this after conducting detailed studies including one by the UK High Court of Justice and another by Dr. Hilary Cass, a former President of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom

Dr. Cass is an independent expert commissioned to provide advice to the National Health Service on gender treatments. She concluded that “evidence on the appropriate management of children with gender incongruence is inconclusive both nationally and internationally’’.

The second reason the decisions taken by Alberta are important is that they were taken despite ideology advocated by the Government of Canada and the  unwillingness of federal officials including the Prime Minster to support their opposition to the Alberta policies with any evidence.

In his initial comments, the Prime Minister made no reference to any of the many studies that have been done describing the dangers of pharmacological and surgical procedures to change the gender of minor children.

He also displayed no understanding of the experiences of other countries on this matter. He did not refer to the Cass report and its seminal conclusions.

The comments by Federal Health Minister Mark Holland lacked any evidence the public could use. He also used offensive rhetoric.

Mr. Holland described the Alberta decisions as being behaviour that is “extremely dangerous to engage in …. which is, I think, playing politics about children’s lives.” He also referred to the “devastation that its going to bring”, referring to the Alberta changes.

Federal communications marked by a factual vacuum and excessive language are not going to help resolve serious differences of opinion on serious issues. They are also not condusive to good relations between the federal government and an important province.

The third and particularly significant reason the recent changes announced by the Alberta government are so important is that they will protect children.

Adolescence, a phase of child development that has been with us for thousands of years, is an important part of everyone’s life.

It is a vital part of what it means to be human. Delaying or blocking it is dangerous, something that many observers have noted but that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health do not recognize.

Federal leaders need to inform themselves, particularly about the negative impact of puberty blockers on bone and brain development and the lifelong medical attention many transitioners will need because of the pharmacological and surgical procedures used on them to change genders.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Health should also learn about the increasingly large number of transitioners who regret their transition and later seek to reverse it. Their situation is particularly tragic because many of the negative consequences of changing genders in children cannot be reversed.

Federal leaders also support hiding from parents the decisions children make in schools about the pronouns they use to describe their genders. This is another practice that many feel is harmful and divisive.

The federal perspective on this is unreasonable.

Our species survived over the centuries because the first priority for most parents is their children and most take good care of them.

There is no basis for a lack of trust in them and in the relatively few cases where parents do not provide appropriate care, the child protection laws come into play.

It is particularly important that federal leaders recognize the grave problems that puberty blockers and related surgeries often pose for children who are gays or lesbians.

These children sometimes display some of the attributes of the opposite sex as they grow, and these are often misinterpreted as gender dysphoria. They then get treated for a problem they don’t have, with serious lifelong consequences.

Unfortunately, this happens in many Canadian pediatric hospitals.

There is nothing wrong with these children. They should be allowed to develop and grow in their own way  and be who they are. That means no puberty blockers or surgeries to change them.

The fourth reason to respect the new directions on gender issues Ms. Smith and her colleagues have decided upon is the moderation displayed by the Alberta government in putting them forward and communicating with the public about them.

The language used has been understated. The changes are lawful in every respect including in relation to the Charter of Rights and Freedom and other legislation.

The evidence has been clearly presented in a way most citizens can readily understand and great care has been taken to deal with those who may have concerns thoughtfully, including allowing time for debate and discussion before the changes are made.

This is a good example of how governments should behave. Federal leaders should show some respect for the approaches taken by Ms. Smith and her colleagues as they dealt with a very complex issue.

The final reason for the importance of the Alberta approach is that it has avoided many of the problems associated with medical practice standards and regulation that are so evident in Canada and which have been a major cause of the difficulties our country faces on gender issues.

Provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons and many regulators elsewhere regulate doctors based largely on prevailing practices by physicians rather than clinical outcomes.

This means that there have been many cases over the years, in Canada and elsewhere, where evidence to support medical procedures has been lacking. Current practices toward gender dysphoria in Canada and some US states are examples.

In these cases, if something is done often enough by enough doctors, that procedure becomes the standard and not clinical outcomes. This often leads to perverse outcomes that everyone ultimately regrets.

In the years to come, unless we change course soon and unless others follow the Alberta path, people will be wondering how the problems summarized in this article developed and why we damaged so many children by an approach defined more by ideology than factual reality.

David MacKinnon is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

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Alberta

Danielle Smith slams Trudeau for calling Albertans fools during unannounced visit to province

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Trudeau ‘managed to call Albertans fools’ and ‘condemned anyone supportive of parental involvement in their child’s education’ during an interview with a left-wing podcaster in Alberta, Smith said.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for calling Albertans “fools” during his unannounced visit to the province.

On February 21, Smith condemned Trudeau for coming uninvited to Edmonton, Alberta, to meet with podcaster Ryan Jespersen, where he labelled Smith as a “right-wing politician” over her new pro-family policies and condemned Alberta’s oil and gas industry.

“Today, Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau spoke with Alberta media during which he managed to call Albertans fools, claimed the carbon tax was saving Alberta families thousands of dollars, and condemned anyone supportive of parental involvement in their child’s education,” Smith wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We know that Albertans do not take his absurd claims seriously; however it is sad to see this Prime Minister, like his father before him, try to use Alberta as a punching bag to win votes in other parts of the country,” she added.

Trudeau condemns Smith but seems too scared to meet with her

During his interview with Jespersen, Trudeau claimed Albertans “are getting fooled by right-wing politicians,” including Smith.

He also claimed that the “traditional” oil sands and energy companies are “ripping off” their workers by opposing his radical “climate change” policies that would cripple the oil and energy sector.

“If the Alberta government gets out of its ideological opposition to doing things that are good for workers, good for the planet — maybe not good for classic oil sands companies,” he ranted.

“This is the dynamic that quite frankly Albertans are getting fooled by right-wing politicians… right-wing ideology is getting in the way of Alberta’s success right now,” he continued. “It’s not a plot by Eastern b–stards.”

However, research has projected that Canadians will pay nearly $500 million in sales taxes to fund Trudeau’s carbon tax in 2024. Trudeau’s carbon tax, framed as a way to reduce carbon emissions, has cost Canadians hundreds more annually despite rebates.

However, some western provinces have declared they will not follow the regulations but instead will focus on the well-being of Canadians.

Both Alberta and Saskatchewan have repeatedly promised to place the interests of their people above the Trudeau government’s “unconstitutional” demands while consistently reminding the federal government that their infrastructures and economies depend upon oil, gas, and coal.

“We will never allow these regulations to be implemented here, full stop,” Smith recently declared. “If they become the law of the land, they would crush Albertans’ finances, and they would also cause dramatic increases in electricity bills for families and businesses across Canada.”

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has likewise promised to fight back against Trudeau’s new regulations, saying recently that “Trudeau’s net-zero electricity regulations are unaffordable, unrealistic and unconstitutional.”

“They will drive electricity rates through the roof and leave Saskatchewan with an unreliable power supply. Our government will not let the federal government do that to the Saskatchewan people,” he charged.

However, instead of discussing his policies with Smith, Trudeau did not announce his trip to Alberta, apparently preferring to meet with Canadians who agree with him than having to defend his position.

“Instead of attacking our province, Mr. Trudeau could have informed our government about his visit to Alberta and extended an invitation to meet with me to discuss our amazing energy sector and workers, Alberta green technologies that are changing the world, removing red tape for struggling child care operators, or the housing and affordability challenges,” Smith declared.

“Next time the Prime Minister visits Alberta, I hope he calls my office to arrange a meeting as he did with the Premiers of Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba. I await his call,” she added.

Trudeau misses the days before alternative media

During the interview, Trudeau lamented the rise of alternative media, saying that he preferred when Canadians were only told one narrative, notably by outlets that are government-funded.

“There is out there a deliberate undermining of mainstream media,” he claimed. “There are the conspiracy theorists.”

According to Trudeau, when CTV, CBC, and Global News “were our only sources of news [they] used to project across our country at least a common understanding of things.”

Trudeau lauded Jespersen’s podcast as a source of independent media, apparently preferring interviews where he isn’t asked difficult questions regarding his policies but rather allowed to rant against Alberta and Conservatives.

While Trudeau longs for the days before the rise of independent media outlets, new research has revealed that only one-third of Canadians trust mainstream media outlets.

Additionally, according to a recent study by Canada’s Public Health Agency, less than a third of Canadians displayed “high trust” in the federal government, with “large media organizations” as well as celebrities getting even lower scores.

Large mainstream media outlets and “journalists” working for them scored a “high trust” rating of only 18 percent, with celebrities receiving only an eight percent “trust” rating.

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