UCP dissenters want a rebellion, but none of them have the courage to start it

If you were expecting fireworks when the federal election got out of the way and the fractious UCP bench was free to start going wild, I’m sad to report none have been lit. Jason Kenney had his big post-election caucus meeting yesterday and contrary to some very optimistic speculation in the media, there was no caucus rebellion. 

One source told an Edmonton journalist that the caucus was too scared to hold a non-confidence vote without a secret ballot, which is a great demonstration of why card check is an important labor policy but not a great demonstration of courage. Jason Kenney’s popularity rating is somewhere below that of syphilis these days and it’s hard to imagine what he could threaten any elected MLA with. What’s he going to do—kick them off the sinking ship?

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POD: Praying to the West with Omar Mouallem

We are joined by author Omar Mouallem for a must-listen conversation on his just released book Praying to the West: How Muslims Shaped the Americas. We chat about why it's important to not be a shithead atheist, his book lining up nearly exactly with the 20 year anniversary of 9/11 and how liberal media types just can't help themselves when it comes to excusing fascism. 

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Anti-vaxxers protesting outside of hospitals makes my heart hurt

If you ever want to despair for the future of our species, attend an anti-vax rally outside of a hospital. Benita Pedersen, a DJ and karaoke host organized an anti-vax protest of around 80-100 people outside of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton on Monday, in concert with more than a dozen other anti-vax protests outside of hospitals across Canada.

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POD: Justice for Dalia

Adora Nwofor, the president of Black Lives Matter YYC, joins us to discuss the case of Dalia Kafi's brutal and violent encounter with Constable Alex Dunn of the Calgary Police Service, the aftermath and what's being done to get justice for Dalia. 

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Learning to live with no government

Jason Kenney is finally back to work—not that it seems to make much of a difference.

Alberta is unquestionably in its fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and our UCP administration is flailing incompetently, when it’s doing anything at all. Last week, the Premier, desperate to look like he’s doing anything, announced a $100 reward to everyone who goes out and gets vaccinated, which had virtually no impact: Alberta’s vaccination rate went up a mere 22% after the announcement, while bolder plans in other provinces were able to get their rates to entirely double.

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Senior Kenney staffer leaves premier’s office to become CEO of environmental org that’s received $429 million in foreign funding

On August 19 Larry Kaumeyer, Jason Kenney’s principal secretary and interim chief of staff, announced he was stepping down from his position to become the CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada, an environmental NGO that received $429 million in foreign funding between 2003 and 2019. Ducks Unlimited is in Steve Allan’s inquiry list of anti-Alberta NGOs—but curiously, they’re one of the few organizations whose name was redacted out of the inquiry’s draft report.

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POD: Life in the City of Dirty Water

Clayton Thomas-Müller discusses what it's like to be on Jason Kenney's enemies list, why Indigenous climate resistance is absolutely key to effective climate action, how George Soros works for him and more details of his incredible life that you can find in his new book, Life in the City of Dirty Water.

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Edmonton facility with Nazi statue received government funding to reduce ‘hate motivated crime’

The Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex in north Edmonton received more than $35,000 in 2020 through the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program through Public Safety Canada. The grant paid for a security system at the facility which is home to a statue of Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevych who was responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 Jews, Poles, Romani and Ukrainians during World War 2.

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Who will stand up for Mary Burlie Park?

Last month MacEwan University, Boyle Street Community Centre and Edmonton City Councillor for Ward 6, Scott McKeen, proposed a Mary Burlie Day for the City of Edmonton. While time will only tell what comes of this proposal, a more tangible tribute to Burlie’s legacy is Mary Burlie Park, which itself has become a point of conflict between the locals who use it and the businesses that surround it. 

The long-quarrelled tribute to Burlie is wedged between the Edmonton Remand Centre and 95th Street downtown. The park’s one champion on city council is about to step down.

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The fourth wave wave is the cruelest

Jason Kenney was last seen in public on August 9. At that time 129 people were in hospital with COVID with 26 in the Intensive Care Unit or ICU. 

It is now August 31. Kenney is on vacation, somewhere, and has been invisible as infections, hospitalizations and deaths spike. 

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