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Alberta

No lockdowns in Alberta if Emergency Management Agency was in charge – Former Executive Director David Redman

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As Canadians look south of the border it’s obvious different state governments have taken different approaches in the battle against Covid 19.  Some states have been opened entirely for months while in others, children haven’t been to school in an entire year.  But which approach is better when it comes to reducing Covid cases?  The State of Florida has been open during the entire second wave while New York State is just beginning to lift lockdowns. Despite the different approaches in Florida and New York, in both states cases are down to a third or less of where they were in early January.  Death rates are also down by two thirds since January in both states.

Alberta’s approach could have been vastly different too.  Premier Jason Kenney has the tough job of trying to balance the freedom to gather, to work and to worship, with the mandate to protect the health of Albertans by isolating us from teammates, workmates, and friendships.  As the ebb and flow of restrictions continues one year into the Covid experience, a growing number of people are convinced lockdowns are not an effective response.   But what is the alternative?

One person qualified to answer this difficult question is David Redman.  Redman is former Executive Director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.   Before that he spent over 25 years in the military, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel with vast experience in logistics.  As ED of the Emergency Management Agency, Redman traveled side by side with then Premier Ralph Klein when tragedy struck the province.  His role included formulating plans to deal with a variety of emergencies, including pandemics.  When an emergency occurred, the staff would immediately gather with leaders from government agencies and relevant private companies (power companies, etc).  Within 36 hours, they’d revise an existing plan and present the Premier with options for moving forward.

The province of Alberta’s website makes a bold statement about emergency management.  As this screen shot indicates Alberta’s Emergency Management Agency “leads and oversees all emergency and disaster prevention, preparedness and responses.” 

There’s only one problem with this bold statement.  In what has become the farthest reaching emergency in modern Alberta history, for some reason Alberta’s Emergency Management Agency is not co-ordinating Alberta’s response. Premier Jason Kenney is co-ordinating Alberta’s response with Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw, and others.

This is not sitting well with David Redman.  Redman says when the first wave hit and Alberta announced a general lockdown, Redman was shocked such drastic measures were being taken. He knew immediately the emergency response plan had been thrown out.

Redman began contacting all Canada’s premiers.  He put together a presentation to show what they were doing wrong and what they should be doing instead.  It’s taken months to gain traction, but the media is starting to pay attention to Redman as he shares his presentation to people all over Canada.

His main message; governments can do a far better job of protecting the vulnerable AND protecting the economy.  Even though the second major wave is ebbing and restrictions are slowly disappearing, Redman says the matter is still urgent.  He’s convinced Covid variants will ensure future waves and unless they pivot to a new approach, governments will go back to the tool they’ve been relying on… lockdowns.

This is an abridged version of the presentation Redman has been showing all over the country is his effort to get at least one Premier to show the rest of Canada a different way to react to this emergency.

Also part of David Redman’s presentation is this comparison between lockdown measures and Canada’s Annual Viral Infection Curve.  Redman shows the annual viral infection curve performed exactly as usual in the past year.  In this part of the presentation Redman shows how the lockdown restrictions have coincided with the curve and therefore lockdowns have not greatly affected the spread of Covid.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Alliances shift to Danielle Smith in final days to sign up for UCP leadership vote

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By Dean Bennett in Edmonton

Seven candidates scrambled Friday to sign up last-minute memberships in Alberta’s United Conservative Party leadership race while political observers say that without hard data on which contender has a leg up, follow the feet.

Danielle Smith, who started out with a handful of supporters in the United Conservative caucus and cabinet, has seen more in-house support in recent days, including some who had initially pledged to back rival Travis Toews.

“Sometimes when you see people starting to shift allegiances, it sort of gives you a sense of where the momentum is going,” political scientist Lori Williams, with Mount Royal University, said Friday in an interview.

“It’s those people who want to be in cabinet or in a position where they can work with whoever the new premier is. They think things are moving in that direction and they’re moving with them.”

Labour Minister Kaycee Madu was the latest convert, announcing his support for Smith at rally in Edmonton on Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, former cabinet minister Devin Dreeshen said he would support Smith. Earlier in the week, Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish switched his support from Toews to Smith.

Before that, Toews supporter Pat Rehn switched his support to Smith, joining fellow backbenchers Devinder Toor, Peter Guthrie and Nathan Neudorf.

Toews, who quit as finance minister to run in the contest, still has the lion’s share of support, with about two dozen cabinet and caucus members openly in his camp.

Political scientist Duane Bratt said even so, by any metric from crowd sizes to polling to the fact Smith is the focus of attacks by her opponents, she is clearly the one to beat as party members being voting next month, with results to be announced Oct. 6.

“She’s drawing the biggest crowds, we’ve got (MLA) endorsements that are now coming her way because they see her as the front-runner,” said Bratt, also with Mount Royal University.

“All the other candidates are responding to her in some fashion (and) some are adopting the same policies.

“I wonder after midnight, (when membership sales end) if there is some soul searching among the other candidates and whether they drop out or not.”

The party says hand-delivered-memberships were due by 5 p.m. Friday, with the cutoff for online memberships by midnight. These are to be the only memberships allowed to vote in the race.

Final count totals on memberships aren’t expected from the party for about two weeks.

Smith, a former Wildrose party leader, grabbed headlines out of the starting gate in the contest with her proposed Alberta sovereignty act. The act, as pitched by Smith, would seek to give Alberta the right to ignore federal laws and court rulings deemed not in its interest.

Legal scholars and most of the other candidates in the race have labelled it an outrageously inflammatory, bizarre and illegal scheme that would create a domino effect of economic and investment uncertainty bordering on chaos.

But Bratt noted the other two main contenders have excoriated Smith’s plan while adopting versions of it.

Toews has promised his government would seek to levy tariffs on goods and services or imports from specific regions to counter rules and policies deemed unfair to Alberta. Brian Jean has pledged to affirm that the Alberta Bill of Rights is paramount over Section 1 of the Constitution.

“It’s an attempt by the sovereignty act by a different name,” Bratt said.

Candidates Rajan Sawhney and Rebecca Schulz have been equally critical of Smith’s sovereignty act, but have in recent days adopted more combative policies when it comes to federal relations.

Schulz has promised a protecting provincial rights summit within two months of winning, while Sawhney is pledging to pursue go-it-alone initiatives such as a provincial pension plan and police force.

Both Bratt and Williams said Smith has done a better job capturing and harnessing latent anger within the party’s base when it comes to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government

And they note Alberta’s 4.5 million people could, come Oct. 6, be propelled in a new direction dictated by 40,000 or so UCP voters.

“To me, it looks like it’s only the really animated, diehard, engaged and largely angry folks that are driving the narrative right now,” said Williams.

“They’re angry and they want to see change not just provincially but federally, and they want someone who is going to fight.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2022.

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Alberta

From Cafe Owner to Political Activist at the heart of the Alberta Prosperity Project

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The COVID pandemic has turned Central Alberta Cafe Owner Chris Scott into nothing short of a lightning rod.

Many business owners grumbled and suffered through a couple years of mayhem due to wave after wave of COVID and the various restrictions affecting day to day operations.  Where most business owners zigged, Scott, as they say… zagged.

Chances are you know something about his story as he’s been in the news and seemingly on a never ending speaking tour ever since this all started.

You likely won’t be surprised to know Chis Scott is still operating his cafe, still facing court charges, and heavily involved in trying to influence Alberta politicians.

No matter what side of this discussion you fall on, no matter what you think of the business owners, doctors, and religious leaders who stood in defiance of covid restrictions, this conversation will help you understand where those who have emerged as leaders of those who stood up to the health restrictions are putting their attention in the summer of 2022.

If you’re interesting in learning more about the Alberta Prosperity Project.

If you’re interested in WS Full Steam Ahead

 

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