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Alberta

Hinshaw challenged over violating Charter freedoms of Albertans

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Originally published on October 29, 2020 by The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms 

CALGARY: The Justice Centre today responded to new violations of the Charter-protected freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, announced earlier this week by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer.

On October 26, Dr. Hinshaw declared that Albertans in Calgary and Edmonton cannot gather in groups larger than 15 for dinner parties, birthday parties, wedding and funeral receptions, retirement parties, baby showers and other social events.

“This Order violates freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly, as protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” stated lawyer John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre.

“This Order is based on ‘cases’ of COVID-19 in Alberta, including thousands of ‘cases’ among people who are not experiencing any symptoms or illness. This Order is not properly grounded in relevant considerations such as deaths, hospitalizations, and ICU capacity, and is therefore not a justifiable violation of fundamental Charter freedoms,” continued Carpay.

Prior to lockdowns being imposed this past March, the word “cases” typically referred to people who are actually sick and clearly displaying symptoms. But today’s “cases” include completely healthy people who simply had a positive PCR test. The reliability of the PCR tests is increasingly in dispute, with the number of false positives as high as 90% according to some reports.

Unsurprisingly, the number of “cases” rises with the number of tests that governments conduct. For example, September saw 28,763 “cases” in Canada, as a result of testing almost two million Canadians.

“What really matters is not the ‘cases’ of perfectly healthy people, but rather the fact that 25,000 Canadians die each month,” explained Carpay. “In September, 171 of those 25,000 Canadian deaths were attributed to COVID-19.”

The media continues to hype “cases” and warn of a “second wave.” Yet government data
shows that since May, monthly COVID-19 deaths in Alberta have remained under 50, with more than 2,000 Albertans dying each and every month of other causes, based on 27,000 Albertans dying each year. Deaths peaked in April and May, when 134 Albertans died along with about 4,000 Albertans who died in those same two months from other causes.

In Alberta and elsewhere, COVID-19 significantly threatens elderly people with one, two, three or more serious pre-existing health conditions, as well as a very small number of adults under 60. However, COVID-19 does not have a significant impact on overall life expectancy. The average age of those reported as COVID deaths in Alberta is 83. Life expectancy in Alberta is 82. To date, 309 Albertans, predominantly elderly near the final stages of their life, have died of COVID-19, almost all of them with one or more serious comorbidities.

“Government data shows that COVID-19 is not the unusually deadly killer that Premier Kenney and Dr. Hinshaw made it out to be when they claimed in April that—even with lockdown measures in place—as many as 32,000 Albertans would die of the virus,” stated Carpay.

“Politicians claim that the lockdowns saved many lives, but they have yet to put forward actual evidence that might support their speculation and conjecture,” stated Carpay.

“Each of Alberta’s 309 COVID-19 deaths is sad and tragic, and so are the other 26,917 deaths that occur in Alberta each year,” continued Carpay.

Each and every month, Albertans mourn the passing of over 2,000 friends and family members, who die of cancer, car accidents, alcoholism, drug overdoses, suicide, heart disease, delayed surgeries, and many other causes. In the past seven months more than 14,000 Albertans have died, 309 of the virus and the remainder of other causes.

Since March, lockdown harms such as increase in drug overdoses, which kill more Albertans than COVID-19 does, have been either ignored or accepted, as if dying of COVID-19 is somehow worse than dying of another cause.

“In light of the Alberta government’s own data on COVID-19 deaths, there is no rational basis for forcing all Albertans to continue living in fear,” stated Carpay.

“Alberta’s politicians and health officials should focus their attention on protecting those who are at serious risk from COVID-19, rather than violating the Charter freedoms of the entire population,” stated Carpay.

“Albertans, and all Canadians, should exercise their freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly without fear of prosecution or penalty. This is especially true for the young, who are at more risk of being struck by lightning than dying of COVID,” concluded Carpay.

Source: https://www.jccf.ca

Alberta

Flames trying to shake off ‘worst’ playoff effort in 4-1 loss to Oilers

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EDMONTON — If the Calgary Flames thought their second-round series was going to be a cakewalk after scoring nine goals in the opening game, they forgot the firepower of their opponent.

Evander Kane had a natural hat trick in the second period, Leon Draisaitl had four assists and Connor McDavid had three helpers to put him at 23 points in just 10 games, as the Edmonton Oilers cruised to a 4-1 win Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in the Battle of Alberta series after losing the first game 9-6.

Flames defender Rasmus Andersson felt is was easily his team’s worst effort of the series.

“Yeah, probably. For sure that second period, at least,” he said. “You’re never happy when you play like that and you lose the second period 4-0. We left (goalie Jacob Markstrom) out to dry there one too many times.”

McDavid became the first player in NHL history to record nine multi-point games in the first 10 games of the playoffs and has been a constant thorn in the Flames’ side to this point.

“He had another, what, three or four-point night?” Andersson said. “He played really well today and we just have to find a way to stop him together.”

It certainly wasn’t just McDavid, as Draisaitl set an NHL playoff record as well, becoming the first player to ever record four assists in one period.

“They haven’t played at home in this round yet and they were going to come out hard and really play with a lot of purpose in their game, a lot of speed, and they did,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said.

The Flames can take solace that they were also down 2-1 in their opening-round series against the Dallas Stars and came back to win in seven games.

“They have home-ice advantage right now. We’ve got to win one game here to get it back,” said Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. “We could’ve lost 10-0 tonight. We could’ve lost 1-0 in overtime. It’s the same result. We were in this position last series. It’s not that hard of a recipe to figure out here. We’ve just got to win one game and get the series tied and go back home.”

“That’s the beauty of the playoffs, I guess — it’s a new game in a day-and-a-half and we’re excited for that,” Andersson added. “Now we flip the page, we move on.”

Game 4 takes place on Tuesday in Edmonton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2022.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Kane, McDavid, Draisaitl lead Oilers over Flames 4-1 to take 2-1 series lead

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EDMONTON — Evander Kane didn’t have a team four months ago.

The controversial winger lugging around plenty of off-ice baggage was confident of an NHL return at some point. He just didn’t know when or where.

Now he’s filling the net alongside two of hockey’s best.

Kane scored a natural hat trick during an electric six-minute span and Connor McDavid provided more magic with three assists in another dominant performance as the Edmonton Oilers downed the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in their second-round playoff series.

I’m just happy to be part of this group,” said Kane, who had his contract terminated by the San Jose Sharks in January before signing on in the Alberta capital. “Just trying to do my part.”

McDavid, meanwhile, now has 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) through 10 playoff games this spring. The only players in post-season history with more over the same span are Wayne Gretzky (29 in 1983 and 25 in 1985), Mario Lemieux (25 in 1992) and Rick Middleton (23 in 1983).

“He’s been on fire in the playoffs and has taken his game to the next level,” Kane said. “He’s not just doing it on the scoresheet. That’s what’s allowing him to really showcase his skill. He’s physical, he’s involved. A dominant force.”

Leon Draisaitl, meanwhile, became the first player in league history to register four assists in a playoff period by setting up each of the home side’s goals in a frantic second as the Oilers’ top line combined for 10 points. Zach Hyman had the other goal for Edmonton.

“(Draisaitl) has been really good for our group,” Kane said of a teammate sitting second behind McDavid in the overall playoff scoring race with 19 points despite battling through a suspected injury.

“Seems to find another level each and every night.”

Mike Smith, who was briefly pulled from the action by the league’s independent concussion spotter midway through the third after getting clobbered into the boards by Milan Lucic, made 32 saves for the victory.

Oliver Kylington replied for Calgary, while Jacob Markstrom allowed four goals on 34 shots before getting the hook behind a Flames group that has been outscored 8-1 since taking a 3-1 lead in the second period of Game 2. Dan Vladar made seven saves in relief.

“We lose the second period 4-0,” Calgary defenceman Rasmus Andersson said. “We let one guy (McDavid) dominate.”

The Oilers will look to take a 3-1 stranglehold on the best-of-seven Battle of Alberta — the first post-season meeting between the provincial rivals in 31 years — Tuesday night back at Rogers Place.

The first playoff contest in Edmonton to feature the Oilers and Flames since April 14, 1991, when Theo Fleury scored in overtime of Game 6 to spark a wild and memorable celebration, the Oilers exploded for those four goals in just over 12 minutes in the middle period, including Kane’s second hat trick of the month.

Hyman opened the scoring with his sixth of the post-season 52 seconds after the restart following a 21-shot Edmonton first off a setup from Draisaitl and McDavid to ignite the crowd inside and outside the raucous, packed-to-the rafters arena.

“I think we had a lot of our younger guys that haven’t been in this situation before (and) were a little bit intimidated by the atmosphere,” Calgary head coach Darryl Sutter said.

Kane scored his first of the night at 6:58 off a feed from Draisaitl after the Flames turned the puck over at the offensive blue line.

He then pushed the lead to 3-0 on an outrageous McDavid rush after stepping past Calgary defenceman Noah Hanifin like he wasn’t even there just 53 seconds later.

“We’ve let one guy beat us a few nights now,” Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said of McDavid’s mastery.

“Back to the drawing board and figure out a way to stop him.”

Smith made a great stop on a Johnny Gaudreau breakaway later in the period before also denying Tkachuk.

“Just trying to make saves for our group,” said the 40-year-old goaltender, who spent a big chunk of the season out injured. “Trying to stay as poised as possible.”

Kane completed his hat trick — the seventh-fastest in post-season history — with his 10th goal of the 2021-22 playoffs at 12:58 on a 2-on-1 with McDavid before fans littered the ice with headgear.

The 30-year-old Vancouver native is just the third Edmonton player to score three straight goals in a post-season game, joining Gretzky (1983) and Petr Kilma (1991).

After his contract was voided by San Jose, Kane signed on with his fourth NHL team despite plenty of questions about his past — from suspensions due to COVID-19 protocol violations, a bankruptcy and self-confessed gambling problems.

The biggest headlines from his personal life, however, were related to allegations of abuse lodged by his former wife, which were not proven in court. Kane has custody of the former couple’s daughter.

“I didn’t know Evander Kane at all,” said Edmonton interim head coach Jay Woodcroft, who replaced the fired Dave Tippett in February. “What I’ve learned is he is a hockey player with really, really good habits.

“There’s a reason why he finds success.”

Markstrom, who allowed 11 combined goals in Games 1 and 2 after posting a .941 save percentage in the opening round against the Dallas Stars, got the hook in favour of Vladar to start the third with the Flames turning their attention to Game 4.

Seven points clear of Edmonton in the standings to top the Pacific Division and minus injured defenceman Chris Tanev (undisclosed) for a fourth straight contest, Calgary got a power play early in the final period looking for a spark, but Smith was sharp at every turn.

Lucic subsequently ran over the veteran netminder behind the Oilers’ net midway through the third to ignite a melee involving all 10 skaters.

“When you’re getting run through the end wall and you’re not expecting it … it’s not an ideal situation,” Smith said.

“A play out of frustration, running our goalie,” added Kane.

Smith was removed by the spotter in favour of Koskinen, who didn’t have to make a save in just over four minutes of action, before Edmonton’s starter returned to a huge ovation after re-emerging from the locker room.

Kylington got a consolation goal for the visitors — his first of the playoffs — with under five minutes to go in regulation.

The Oilers fell behind early in both games at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome, but following a wild 9-6 loss in the opener, rebounded with a 5-3 comeback victory two nights later to even the series.

Edmonton had a much better start Sunday, including Brett Kulak’s point shot that leaked through Markstrom and hit post before being cleared.

The Flames had hoped to keep the action at 5-on-5 as much as possible after McDavid, Draisaitl and the Oilers took advantage of power play, short-handed and four-on-four situations in Game 3, but took two penalties to Edmonton’s one in the first.

McDavid, who seemed to have the puck all night, went on one of his jaw-dropping rushes during his team’s second man advantage, but Markstrom was there to deny the Oilers captain in what was a sign of things to come.

“Good to come back home and play these guys on our home ice,” Kane said. “A good win for our group.”

And one he probably didn’t envision being part of not that long ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2022.

___

Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter.

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

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