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Alberta

Redman got it right on COVID response

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10 minute read

From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Linda Slobodian

“The fear is still, I would say, in 65% of our population. They are now self-destroying their Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Emergency response expert and retired Lt. Col. David Redman tirelessly tried to warn everyone that the “incoherent” chaotic response to COVID-19 was dangerously flawed.

The powers in charge didn’t listen to Redman, a globally respected authority who led Alberta’s Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) for five years and served 27 years with the Canadian Armed Forces.

But finally, Redman’s dire warnings, concerns, and suggested response to dealing with a pandemic were validated by recommendations made by the Public Health Emergencies Governance Review Panel (PHEGRP) in a report submitted to the Alberta government last week.

What the government does with the recommendations remains to be seen.

But steps must be taken to hold decision-makers accountable for “gross negligence” and to help people break out of COVID’s needless “cycle of fear” that still cripples too many, Redman told the Western Standard Friday.

“Canada will pay the costs of this deadly response for decades to come,” said Redman.

Redman’s letters early on to Canada’s premiers warning them that discarding emergency management principles and placing health care officials in charge of pandemic response was dangerous, were ignored.

AEMA strategies, prepared in advance and in place to deal with pandemics, collected dust. Redman led the team that wrote the 2005 Pandemic Influenza Response Plan that was updated in 2014.

Emergency management offices — fully equipped and staffed with experts — in every province and territory were shut out.

Under the direction of health officials, the public was under siege. Punished for disobeying mandates. Subjected to unnecessary lockdowns and school closures. And controlled by a fear factor that defied a tenet of emergency management experts.

“They did it on purpose. They used fear as a weapon. In emergency management you never use fear. You use confidence. You show confidence that the emergency can be handled and present a plan to show how this will be achieved,” said Redman.

He said it is deeply disturbing that people still believe they must keep vaccines up to date and self-isolate. And that must be rectified if even possible.

“The fear that this government generated — by this government I mean every provincial, territorial government, and in particular the federal government — created for two straight years, only broken by the Freedom Convoy — will last until the children that were just entering school in 2020 die.”

Redman said the COVID-19 response was the “exact opposite” of an emergency management response.

“The pandemic response was health only focussed with terrible and deadly costs to individual mental health, societal health, our children, other serious illnesses and diseases, economic viability, and our democratic way of life simply ignored.”

“Unless there is an emergency management plan built, these costs will continue to be massive.”

Well, there’s hope.

The PHEGRP submitted its final report with more than 90 recommendations.

The panel was established by Premier Danielle Smith in January to review the government’s legislation and governance practices to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is my hope that by adopting these recommendations, the Government will be better equipped to cope with future emergencies and that the impacts on Albertans — their personal livelihoods, civil liberties and mental health — can be mitigated to the greatest extent possible,” said PHEGRP Chair and former Reform party leader Preston Manning in a press release.

Key recommendations include strengthening the AEMA through legislative amendments and budgetary provisions to make it the lead government agency responding to and coordinating the government’s response to future public emergencies.

Redman is “very happy” with Manning’s recommendations.

“There’s a lot of meat in what he’s written.”

“The first and foremost recommendation overarching his whole report is that legislation need to be changed to ensure that the emergency management process and emergency managers are in charge of every emergency including the next pandemic.”

“And that that the AEMA is appropriately funded and staffed to do their new far extended role.”

“He didn’t just say the legislation needs to be changed. He said the government needs to build and fund that organization to be responsible for response for every emergency including pandemics.”

Redman, who testified at the National Citizens Inquiry in Red Deer last April, was pleased with Manning’s wide scope.

“In the first line of each recommendation he’s covered all of the areas from fear being number one, to not doing a hazard assessment to realize that Sars-CoV-2 was really only affecting the elderly.”

“And the terrible destruction of the children and their education system, but more importantly their socialization, the effects on business, the destruction of our economy, and then summing it up with the complete destruction of rights and freedoms.”

“I think they’ve pretty much covered the areas.”

Redman said two steps must be followed immediately.

First, hold a public inquiry to educate the public and “break the cycle of fear.”

“The fear is still, I would say, in 65% of our population. They are now self-destroying their Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

“They believe Sars-C0V-2, the sixth version of the common cold, is deadly. And they will keep believing it until we do a full, open, transparent public inquiry to teach people that what we did was absolutely wrong and why it was wrong.”

“Step two, there must be a process-driven full-recovery plan … That recovery process has to be complete, covering all the points in the Manning report and any that he might have missed.”

“Again, it must be transparent. And that plan has to be fully implemented with the ability to hold accountable everyone responsible for the gross negligence and criminal negligence that was done during COVID.”

“That will show to the public that what was done wasn’t just wrong, it was criminally wrong, and they can stop the fear.”

The inquiry must address what was done, why and “how do we recover from all of the damage we’ve done.”

“Let’s use children as an example. How do you overcome the loss of academic training. And how do you overcome two years of lack of socialization?”

If the emergency management recommendation is implemented by Smith’s government, citizens can be confident if/when the next pandemic hits.

“Emergency management is made up of professionals who are experts who evaluate daily hazards. They use a disciplined process to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recovery from all hazards in their jurisdiction,” said Redman.

“The process they use ensures that all required experts, across the public and private sector, are involved in making a plan that evaluates the cost versus the benefits of all possible actions, making a coherent plan that is issued to the public for their engagement and feedback.”

Alberta’s pandemic plan is designed to control the spread of disease, reduce mortality, mitigate societal disruption, minimize adverse economic impact, and support efficient and effective use of recourses during response and recovery.

The Manning report recognized the delicate balance in protecting Albertans during emergencies and honouring rights and freedoms.

It recommended amending the Alberta Bill of Rights, Employment Standards Code, and Health Professions Act to protect the rights and freedoms of all Albertans, including workers and healthcare professionals and freedom of expression during emergencies.

Manning noted that too many Canadians suffered losses — including loved ones, jobs due to “rigorous health protection measures,” businesses, and freedoms.

How different would things have been if people like Redman had been listened to at the time…

Linda Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard based out of Winnipeg. She has been an investigative columnist for the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, and Alberta Report.  This originally appeared in the Western Standard here.

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Alberta

Alberta moves to protect Edmonton park from Trudeau government’s ‘diversity’ plan

Published on

From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

If Trudeau’s National Urban Park Initiative is implemented, Alberta could see its parks, including Edmonton’s River Valley, hijacked by the federal government in the name of ‘sustainability, conservation, equity, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation.’

Edmonton is working to protect its River Valley from the Trudeau government’s “diversity” park plan. 

On April 15, Alberta Legislature passed MLA Brandon Lunty’s private members’ Bill 204 to protect the Edmonton River Valley from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s National Urban Park Initiative which would give the federal government power over provincial parks to enforce a variety of quotas related to the “climate” and “diversity.”  

“Albertans elected our United Conservative government with a majority mandate to, among other things, protect families and communities from federal overreach and intrusion. That’s exactly what this bill accomplishes,” Lunty said in a press release  

Bill 204, titled the Municipal Government (National Urban Parks) Amendment Act, is a response to the National Urban Park Initiative which would give the Trudeau government jurisdiction over Alberta’s provincial parks.  

The Trudeau government’s plan promises to “provide long-lasting benefits to the urban area” by using “sustainability, conservation, equity, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation.” 

If the program is approved, the Edmonton River Valley could be “fully owned by the Federal Government,” which will use the space to advance their values, including addressing the impacts of “climate change” and creating spaces where “diversity is welcomed.”  

The plan also promises that equity will be “intentionally advanced” while “respecting indigenous rights” through “reconciliation.”   

However, many Edmonton citizens were concerned with the Urban Park Initiative and met with their MLAs to discuss the issue.  

Edmonton citizen Sheila Phimester worked with MLA Jackie Lovely to create a petition to prevent the River Valley from becoming federally owned. The petition has received over 5,000 signatures.  

“Oh, and because it’s the federal government, their ‘priorities’ for these parks are ‘healthier communities’, ‘climate resilience’, ‘reconciliation’, ‘equity’, ‘diversity’, and ‘inclusion,’” it continued.   

Already, Trudeau has attempted to assert power over Alberta’s industry by placing “climate” restrictions on their oil and gas production in an attempt to force net-zero regulations on all Canadian provinces, including on electricity generation, by as early as 2035.   

However, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has repeatedly vowed to protect the province from Trudeau’s radical “net zero” push. 

In December, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith blasted Trudeau’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault’s plan to slash oil and gas emissions by 35 percent to 38 percent below 2019 levels as “unrealistic” and “unconstitutional.”  

Trudeau’s current environmental goals are in lockstep with the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and include phasing out coal-fired power plants, reducing fertilizer usage, and curbing natural gas use over the coming decades.  

The reduction and eventual elimination of the use of so-called “fossil fuels” and a transition to unreliable “green” energy has also been pushed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) – the globalist group behind the socialist “Great Reset” agenda – an organization in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet are involved. 

In November, after announcing she had “enough” of Trudeau’s extreme environmental rules, Smith said her province had no choice but to assert control over its electricity grid to combat federal overreach by enacting its Sovereignty Act. The Sovereignty Act serves to shield Albertans from future power blackouts due to federal government overreach.  

Unlike most provinces in Canada, Alberta’s electricity industry is nearly fully deregulated. However, the government still has the ability to take control of it at a moment’s notice. 

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Alberta

Coutts Three verdict: A warning to protestors who act as liaison with police

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Ray McGinnis

During the trial numbers of RCMP officers conceded that the Coutts Three were helpful in their interactions with the law. As well, there didn’t seem to be any truth to the suggestion that Van Huigenbos, Van Herk and Janzen were leaders of the protest.

Twelve jurors have found the Coutts Three guilty of mischief over $5,000 at a courthouse in Lethbridge, Alberta. Marco Van Huigenbois, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen will appear again in court on July 22 for sentencing.

Van Huigenbois, Van Herk and Janzen were each protesting at the Coutts Blockade in 2022. A blockade of Alberta Highway 4 began on January 29, 2022, blocking traffic, on and off, on Alberta Highway 4 near the Coutts-Sweetgrass Canada-USA border crossing. The protests were in support of the Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa.

Protests began due to the vaccine mandates for truckers entering Canada, and lockdowns that bankrupted 120,000 small businesses. Government edicts were purportedly for “public health” to stop the spread of the C-19 virus. Yet the CDC’s Dr. Rachel Wallensky admitted on CNN in August 2021 the vaccine did not prevent infection or stop transmission.

By February 2022, a US court forced Pfizer to release its “Cumulative Analysis of Post-Authorization Adverse Event Reports” revealing the company knew by the end of February, 2021, that 1,223 people  had a “case outcome” of “fatal” as a result of taking the companies’ vaccine.

On the day of February 14, 2022, the three men spoke to Coutts protesters after a cache of weapons had been displayed by the RCMP. These were in connection with the arrest of the Coutts Four. Van Huigenbos and others persuaded the protesters to leave Coutts, which they did by February 15, 2022.

During the trial numbers of RCMP officers conceded that the Coutts Three were helpful in their interactions with the law. As well, there didn’t seem to be any truth to the suggestion that Van Huigenbos, Van Herk and Janzen were leaders of the protest.

RCMP officer Greg Tulloch testified that there were a number of “factions” within the larger protest group. These factions had strong disagreements about how to proceed with the protest. The Crown contended the Coutts Three were the leaders of the protest.

During his testimony, Tulloch recalled how Van Huigenbos and Janzen assisted him in getting past the “vehicle blockade to enter Coutts at a time during the protest when access to Coutts from the north via the AB-4 highway was blocked.” Tulloch also testified that Janzen and Van Huigenbos helped with handling RCMP negotiations with the protesters. Tulloch gave credit to these two “being able to help move vehicles at times to open lanes on the AB-4 highway to facilitate the flow of traffic in both directions.”

During cross examination by George Janzen’s lawyer, Alan Honner, Tulloch stated that he noticed two of the defendants assisting RCMP with reopening the highway in both directions. Honner said in summary, “[Marco Van Huigenbos and George Janzen] didn’t close the road, they opened it.”

Mark Wielgosz, an RCMP officer for over twenty years, worked as a liaison between law enforcement and protesters at the Coutts blockade. Taking the stand, he concurred that there was sharp disagreement among the Coutts protesters and the path forward with their demonstration. Rebel News video clips “submitted by both the Crown and defence teams captured these disagreements as demonstrators congregated in the Smuggler’s Saloon, a location where many of the protesters met to discuss and debate their demonstration.” Wielgosz made several attempts to name the leaders of the protest in his role as a RCMP liaison with the protesters, but was unsuccessful.”

However, the Crown maintained that the protest unlawfully obstructed people’s access to property on Highway 4.

Canada’s Criminal Code defines mischief as follows in Section 430:

Every one commits mischief who willfully

(a)  destroys or damages property;

(b)  renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;

(c)   obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or

(d)  obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.

Robert Kraychik reported that “RCMP Superintendent Gordon Corbett…cried (no comment on the sincerity of this emoting) while testifying about a female RCMP officer that was startled by the movement of a tractor with a large blade during the Coutts blockade/protest.” This was the climax of the trial. A tractor moving some distance away from an officer in rural Alberta, with blades. The shock of it all.

No evidence was presented in the trial that Van Huigenbos, Van Herk and Janzen destroyed or damaged property. Officers testified they couldn’t identify who the protest leaders were. They testified the defendants assisted with opening traffic lanes, and winding down the protest.

By volunteering to liaise with the RCMP, the Crown depicted the Coutts Three as the protest leaders. Who will choose to volunteer at any future peaceful, non-violent, protest to act as a liaison with the policing authorities? Knowing of the verdict handed down on April 16, 2024, in Lethbridge?

Ray McGinnis is a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. His forthcoming book is Unjustified: The Emergencies Act and the Inquiry that Got It Wrong.

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