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Westerner Days 2020 falls victim to COVID-19

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Red Deer Westerner Days Fair

From Westerner Park

Westerner Days Fair & Exposition COVID-19 Update

After weeks of being optimistic that Westerner Days Fair and Exposition would continue, Westerner Park made the extremely difficult announcement that the Fair will be postponed until July 2021. The decision came following the Government of Alberta’s direction that mass gathering restrictions, which includes events and festivals, are expected to continue through the summer.

“We know these are necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of our entire community,” says Mike Olesen, Chief Executive Officer, Westerner Park. “Although this is our top priority, it doesn’t make the announcement any easier. This will have far-reaching effects on our community, partners, vendors, and organization.”

“Our staff and volunteers are all heavy-hearted about the news, but we know that by taking these measures now we are not alone in the sacrifice that will help us all stay healthy and come together soon.”

Westerner Days has a major impact on the economy of Red Deer and the surrounding area. In a normal year, the overall effect is estimated in excess of $7 million dollars. Of that total, approximately $5 million is spent by visitors, exhibitors, and contractors in Red Deer and area.

“We are Central Alberta’s largest summer celebration and know the Fair means a lot to our community,” says Janice Wing, President &
Board Chair, Westerner Park, “As a non-profit agricultural society, Westerner Days is our largest annual event, made possible by our team of staff and volunteers and the support of our partners, sponsors and community. We know the impact of this will be felt by everyone.”

Individuals that purchased RAD passes will be contacted later today with information about their refunds.

Westerner Park is pivoting its focus to the fall. “The way we celebrate with everyone may look different this year, but our dedication to the community will not change.”

The organization remains committed to supporting all efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and Westerner Park looks forward to opening its doors to celebrate again with the community once it is safe to do so.

The countdown starts for 2021 Westerner Days, only 451 days!

#RedDeerStrong – The SnapHappy Photographer is taking free #PorchPortraits of your self-isolation crew!

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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COVID-19

Whistleblower shares his role in “Covert military operation observing UK citizens during the pandemic”

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From Dr. John Campbell

In his video presentation Monday, British Health Researcher Dr. John Campbell took a break from his daily dive into the data. Instead he highlighted a breaking news story in the UK about a secret military operation.

A former member of the “77th Brigade” told Britain’s Daily Mail he was brought in to serve on the unit during the pandemic. Although their official task was to uncover foreign interference, the whistleblower says they spent their time monitoring “our own concerned citizens” who were criticizing lockdown policies and other government responses to the pandemic.

While there may have actually been some foreign social media campaigns attempting to sway opinions in Britain, the 77th Brigade instead “compiled dossiers on public figures such as ex-Minister David Davis”, as well as journalists Peter Hitchens and Toby Young.

The information compiled by the 77th Bridage was “reported back to No 10.” The whistleblower says government ministers then pushed social media platforms to remove or downplay this information and “promote Government-approved lines.”

This is all very disconcerting for Dr. Campbell who has found some of his own posts during the pandemic have been deleted.  Campbell finds the government’s effort to thwart a healthy learning environment extremely disturbing.

Dr. John Campbell’s presentation notes with links

The 77th Brigade is part of the British Army

https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/fo…

77th Brigade is an agent of change; through targeted Information Activity and Outreach we contribute to the success of military objectives

Mail on Sunday and Big Brother Watch, official government admission

Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRRGQ…

Up front I would say that our role has been entirely in support of the heroic health care workers on the front line, with humility being very much our watchword in how we give that support.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/77th-…

Last year, Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter revealed that, 77th Brigade was involved in countering misinformation online relating to Coronavirus

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023…

The Army’s “information warfare” unit Monitored covid lockdown critics

The 77th Brigade, specialist to counter disinformation, and other online activity deemed harmful to the UK, assisted other government units Such as The Counter Disinformation Unit, was part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)

The Cabinet Office’s Rapid Response Unit, launched in March 2020

Social media posts were scrutinised for accuracy

Mail on Sunday (whistleblower) It is quite obvious that our activities resulted in the monitoring of the UK population … monitoring the social media posts of ordinary, scared people These posts did not contain information that was untrue or co-ordinated – it was simply fear I developed the impression the Government were more interested in protecting the success of their policies than uncovering any potential foreign interference

A government spokesman

Online disinformation is a serious threat to the UK, which is why during the pandemic we brought together expertise from across Government to monitor disinformation about Covid. They did not target individuals or take any action that could impact anyone’s ability to discuss and debate issues freely.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti…

Targeted politicians and high-profile journalists

They compiled dossiers on public figures, such as ex-Minister David Davis, who questioned the modelling behind alarming death toll predictions, as well as journalists such as Peter Hitchens and Toby Young.

Their dissenting views were then reported back to No 10.

Mr Hitchens

Military operatives compiled dossiers on journalists including the Mail’s Peter Hitchens Mr Davis, (member of the Privy Council)

It’s outrageous that people questioning the Government’s policies were subject to covert surveillance

Questioned the waste of public money.

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COVID-19

Preston Manning stepping away from National Citizen’s Inquiry to focus on the Alberta Public Health review

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From the National Citizen’s Inquiry

The National Citizen’s Inquiry (NCI) – a citizen-led inquiry into Canada’s response to COVID-19 – is finalizing plans to hold hearings across the country. With two of five commissioners now in place, the inquiry has booked its first two events – in Atlantic Canada and Central Canada.

Across the country, we are seeing more and more clear signals that Canadians are not only ready to ask the hard questions about how our governments reacted to this pandemic, but also require the answers.

Nation-wide concern

Another Liberal minister has said the quiet part out loud. Former Finance Minister Bill Morneau joined his one-time colleagues Joel Lightbound, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Marcus Powlowski, John McKay and Yves Robillard in expressing dismay that the Trudeau Liberals used vaccine mandates as a political wedge issue, an approach that “stigmatizes and divides people” as Lightbound put it.

In fact, after two years of vaccine distribution, the state broadcaster this week also published one of its first articles chronicling widespread vaccine injuries. The article acknowledged that those suffering from adverse effects also deal with “silence” and “stigma” as a result of the overly politicized tone set by Ottawa.

In Ontario, 164 former health care workers rallied to let the public know that, while the provincial health care system buckles under immense pressure and nurses are shipped in from other parts of Canada, there are hundreds of workers that were terminated because of vaccination mandates – and to the surprise of most – they are still not permitted to resume their careers.

In Alberta, Premier Danielle Smith has commissioned a Public Health Emergencies Governance Review Panel which will “review the legislation that guided Alberta’s response to COVID-19 and recommend changes to improve the handling of future public health emergencies for Albertans.”

NCI Spokesperson

On that note, Preston Manning will be stepping away from his role as spokesperson for the NCI to chair the Alberta review. The NCI welcomes this positive initiative by Premier Smith and believes the people of Alberta will be well-served by the appointment of Mr. Manning as Chair. Taking over for Manning is acclaimed investigative journalist Trish Wood. Wood worked for 10 years on CBC’s Emmy Award-winning Fifth Estate before exposing the heartbreaking stories of Iraq War veterans in What Was Asked of Us and later pioneering the modern renaissance of true-crime storytelling. This experience has allowed her to hone the kind of unapologetic critical thinking and investigative skills that she will bring to bear in this role.

Hearing Details

Plans for the Inquiry’s in-person hearings – supplemented by virtual participation – are now being finalized. The first hearings will be in Atlantic Canada e.g. Truro/Nova Scotia, March 16,17,18 and Montreal/Quebec, 22, 23, and 24 of March.

Additionally, the Inquiry has appointed its first two commissioners. They are Bernard Massie and Ken Drysdale.

Invitations will soon be sent to government officials at all levels across the country. These individuals will be invited to provide their perspectives and reflect on the decisions that were made.

Invitations are also extended to experts in the areas of economics; health care; mental and physical wellbeing; constitutional expertise; learning; and any other area significantly affected by pandemic response at any level. The Inquiry is also welcoming non-experts with personal stories that will help illuminate any unarticulated and overlooked shortcomings in the government responses. As demonstrated in the article reference above, there are many Canadians who feel silenced and stigmatized. 

Take the example of Christian and Margarita

Immigrants from Mexico, they chose to start a life and a family here in Canada. Christian holds a PhD and was a lecturer at a prominent Canadian university. His wife was a program manager for a regional health authority.

After soberly considering their risk profile against the available data, as well as suspecting that the mRNA vaccination was incompatible with aspects of their faith, they chose to wait.

And in their situation, we see the unfortunate cascading effects of these poorly considered policies, developed in bureaucratic silos.

Christian and his wife – who worked from home, incidentally – were both put on indefinite administrative leave by their employers. Both streams of household income effectively removed.

And because of the Federal government’s policies, they were also deemed ineligible for any employment insurance.

Being immigrants, they also did not have family around them. In fact, their main community connections were from a church they attended. Unfortunately, they were also no longer allowed to attend worship services because of the imposition of the vaccine passport program by the provincial government.

At the time this happened, Christian and Margarita were also living on an island. Federal travel mandates left them effectively stranded.

In the span of a month, these highly skilled individuals – who had made Canada their new home – lost all income; were disqualified from any social assistance; lost their primary community support system; and could not even get on a plane to leave.

Now Christian and Margarita are in the process of returning to Mexico, where they have more confidence that the government will leave them in peace.

It is stories like this that will not be heard at an internal meeting between government officials and senior bureaucrats. It is stories like this that demand a citizen’s inquiry.

About the National Citizen’s Inquiry

NCI is a citizen-led and citizen-funded initiative that is completely independent from government. In early 2023, the NCI will hear from Canadians and experts and investigate governments’ COVID-19 policies in a fair and impartial manner. The NCI’s purpose is to listen, to learn, and to recommend. What went right? What went wrong? How can Canadians and our governments better react to national crises in the future in a manner that balances the interests of all members of our society?

 

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