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Alberta

Court orders Whistle Stop Cafe to shut down

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Thousands of business owners across Alberta are following the very public tilt between a Central Alberta restaurant and Alberta Health Services.  Wednesday afternoon the owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe at Mirror was notified a judge has granted AHS’s emergency closure application. Although the Whistle Stop Cafe has been ordered to close, owner Chris Scott has shared on facebook page “We are open and awaiting police response.”

Like restaurants across Alberta, the Whistle Stop Cafe closed in mid December as ordered by the Provincial Government.  The Cafe remained closed for 4 weeks but when the province announced an indefinite extension to the closure orders, Scott decided he could not afford to remain closed any longer.  On January 21st the Cafe reopened with limited seating for social distancing, asking customers and staff to wear masks while moving about. Since defying the closure order the Whistle Stop has been visited by the RCMP and then by AHS.

Despite significant community support, Scott is now facing the very difficult choice to close or to fight for his right to make a living for himself and his staff members. This recent Facebook post offers a glimpse into the heart wrenching decisions being faced by many Albertans.

From the Facebook page of Whistle Stop Cafe, owner Chris Scott

As many of you know, AHS served me with court documents Monday to appear before the court. AHS has asked the Court of Queen’s Bench to order my dining room closed until an officer of Alberta health services rescinds the order. Now I have a serious decision to make. If I lose tomorrow, and an order is granted which it likely will be, do I accept the courts ruling, (legal or not,) and give the government complete control over my cafe, or do I stand on principle and openly defy that ruling and get arrested for contempt of court?  I’m not a criminal. I have a family that needs me, a community that I wish to support, I like to travel. All of these would be impacted because I want to allow people to enjoy a meal sitting in a cozy cafe. I thought being a Canadian citizen meant something. I’m not a COVID denier and I haven’t once failed to ensure my staff and customers are safe. Alberta Health Services wants to force me to close tomorrow, using our justice system even though they are “allowing,” dine in service in 6 days!! (Maybe.)

What do I do? 

Who’s with me? 

What about all the other restaurants that are opening against the irresponsible rules? Will those owners be encouraged and remain open, with more following suit? Or will they be scared and discouraged over the infinite power of a government that doesn’t seem to listen to us?

As I sit here talking with lawyers and reporters I can hear the trucker salutes as they drive by on hwy 21. There are thousands of people who support what we’re doing here! Thousands of Albertans have spoken out against what AHS is doing to us and they’re not listening.  This is a problem. I even reached out to Health Minister Tyler Shandro today with the hopes of speaking man to man about this with no response.  The UCP wants us to think that they’re throwing us a bone by “allowing,” us to open on the 8th. The oppressors have some people convinced that giving them back some of their freedoms is some kind of a favor. Isn’t that ridiculous? 

Premier Kenney may have slowed this thing down by announcing possible reopening on the 8th, but the problem still exists that we’re only ALLOWED to be open by our government. This fight is far from over. 

-Chris”

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Alberta

New Red Deer City Councillor joins frontline workers in protest against ‘mandatory’ vaccination

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Under imminent threat of losing their jobs, as many as two hundred frontline healthcare workers including paramedics, nurses, and fire fighters gathered in downtown Red Deer Thursday afternoon for a silent protest in front of City Hall Park.  Organizer Kaitlin King, a paramedic from the North Central region says she represents thousands of workers who’ve already had covid and benefit from a very high level of immunity.  Despite her opposition to the covid vaccines, King says she’d be willing to be tested on a regular basis if that was an option.

 

As of Friday afternoon, AHS claims 94% of it’s employees are fully vaccinated.  That number is contested by those who point out the AHS boosted the percentage of vaccinated employees drastically by dropping “casual” employees from their stats.

Whatever the actual number is, AHS has decided it it too high.  Friday, AHS announced via Twitter, that the deadline for AHS employees to be vaccinated or face the loss of their jobs would be delayed from November 1st, to December 1st.

AHS is hoping thousands of employees who’ve decided against the jab so far, will change their minds and begin the process in the coming days.

Meanwhile it appears Vaccine Mandates will be hotly contested by Red Deer’s new City Council.  Newly elected Councillor Victor Doerksen attended the silent rally Thursday.  Doerksen is looking forward to discussing the validity of mandates with his fellow council members as soon as possible.

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Alberta

Saskatchewan Roughriders avoid season sweep in downing Calgary Stampeders 20-17

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CALGARY — The Saskatchewan Roughriders avoided a third consecutive loss to the Stampeders with a 20-17 win Saturday in Calgary.

By a quirk of the CFL schedule, Calgary is the only opponent the Roughriders have played so far in October interrupted only by a bye week.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers hammering the B.C. Lions 45-0 in another West Division game Saturday to get to 10-1 means the defending Grey Cup champions will host the division final Dec. 5.

Saskatchewan (6-4), Calgary (5-6) and the Lions (4-6) are in a race to have the Nov. 28 division semifinal in their stadiums, while the Edmonton Elks (2-7) languish in the basement.

The Stampeders took two games off Saskatchewan in early October to secure the season series. Calgary would rank higher in the standings in the event of a tie between the two clubs at the end of the regular season.

Trailing 10-6 at halftime Saturday, the Roughriders rallied with a pair of second-half touchdowns in front of an announced 21,672 at McMahon Stadium.

Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo completed 21-of-26 pass attempts for 222 yards. He threw touchdown passes to Brayden Lenius and Kyran Moore and was intercepted once.

Saskatchewan kicker Brett Lauther kicked field goals from 48 and 52 yards, but missed from 54 and 44 yards.

Fajardo earned his first career victory against the Stampeders as did Craig Dickenson as Saskatchewan’s head coach.

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was 21 for 31 in passing Saturday to become the Stampeders’ leader in all-time completions.

The 31-year-old Texan needed just two Saturday to surpass previous leader Henry Burris (2,267), and he produced them on Calgary’s opening drive.

Mitchell threw for 311 yards to be 14 shy of a career 30,000.

Two of his three interceptions occurred in Saturday’s second half, however, when Mitchell was also sacked four times.

Ka’Deem Carey scored a rushing touchdown, Richie Sindani made a touchdown catch and Rene Paredes kicked a 12-yard field goal for Calgary.

With just under two minutes remaining in the game, Mitchell’s 44-yard bomb to Shawn Bane put the hosts on Saskatchewan’s 24-yard-line .

A four-yard scoring throw to Sindani on the goal-line, plus the convert, had the Stampeders trailing by a field goal with 48 seconds remaining.

Calgary’s attempt to recover an onside kick failed, however, on a leaping grab by Saskatchewan’s Duke Williams. The Stampeders had the ball for one final drive, but didn’t score again.

Saskatchewan’s Jeremy Clark ran an interception back to Calgary’s 13-yard line on the final play of the third quarter. On a third-and-goal, Fajardo threw to Moore in the end zone for a 20-10 lead.

The Roughriders led for the first time in the game midway through the third when Fajardo found Lenius in the end zone with a 13-yard pass.

Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund fumbled a return in the first half’s final seconds for Saskatchewan to recover. Lauther was wide on a 44-yard attempt, however, after success from 52 out on Saskatchewan’s previous drive.

Carey’s one-yard scoring plunge finished a 12-play, 92-yard drive in the second quarter.

Calgary’s march downfield featured Kamar Jorden’s acrobatic grab for a 31-yard reception to get to Saskatchewan’s doorstep.

Lauther kicked a 48-yard field goal on the final play of the opening quarter for a 3-3 score. He then missed a 54-yard attempt early in the second quarter.

Saskatchewan didn’t take advantage of a Jacob Dearborn interception early in the first quarter. A subsequent fumble on a snap gave Calgary the ball back on their own 27-yard line.

Calgary converted a Branden Dozier interception on Saskatchewan’s opening drive of the game into a 12-yard field goal by Paredes.

Notes: D’haquille “Duke” Williams compiled 48 receiving yards on three catches in his Roughriders debut. The former CFL all-star with Edmonton spent the last two seasons with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills . . . Stampeder defensive end Folarin Orimolade sacked Fajardo twice after missing seven games with an ankle injury.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2021

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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