Cops sure keep making an excellent case for why we need to defund cops.
Let’s look at Gracelife Church. This house of worship has, over the past months, continually violated public health orders around occupancy, masking and social distancing. Every Sunday we get a new story saying that the church is once again holding a service, that it’s packed to the gills with very few people wearing a mask and that the RCMP and AHS are there, monitoring the situation.
While the pastor of the church just recently turned himself in to police there’s an angle to this story that’s barely been touched by the mainstream media and could explain why this church was treated with kid gloves for so long. The chairman of Gracelife Church is Paul Claassen. Claassen was a member of the RCMP for 24.5 years. Since this church is located just outside Edmonton in Parkland County it’s the RCMP who are “investigating” it. We hope they crack the case, it’s a real whodunit.
This weekend there was a COVID-denier/anti-mask/end the lockdown protest INSIDE Chinook Mall Calgary. Holding an indoor protest like this is far more dangerous for members of the public and workers at the mall than if they were to do their usual march in downtown Calgary.
Not only did the cops escort these people through the mall, but the cops were given a rousing round of applause by the protestors at the end and one cop had a lovely bro-hug up-close exchange with both organizers as it was winding down.
A Calgary police officer even kicked his service dog and it wasn’t even the worst thing a Calgary cop did that week.
And last but not least we have two Edmonton cops harassing the fine folks at Bear Clan Patrol as they were handing out food and drinks and supplies to houseless folks at Central LRT station. The cops actually kicked out the Bear Clan Patrol and the people they were serving out of the LRT station into brutal -30 degree weather.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been inside Central LRT station at 8pm on holiday Monday but it isn’t exactly rush hour. I dare you to watch this video and not be absolutely infuriated at the callous disregard for their fellow humans that these Edmonton police officers showed.
When we talk about defunding the police this is why. The police are not there to help the poor and marginalized. They’re there to harass them, to intimidate them and to make their lives worse.
The vast majority of the money we spend on policing should go to groups like the Bear Clan Patrol. They’re an Indigenous-led group that does street outreach and mutual aid, meeting houseless folks where they’re at.
The Edmonton police are getting $383 million in 2021. The Calgary police are getting $400 million. They need to get far, far less. Make sure you ask your city councillor candidate whether they will defund the police or continue with the violent and brutal status quo.
- In case you missed it we had a big scoop last week. An oil company turned healthcare company got a significant COVID-19 testing contract after hiring a UCP connected lobbyist whose son works in the health ministry. This stinks.
- In a troubling and blatantly anti-democratic move UCP MLAs shut down a Public Accounts Committee before it could even get started. Public Accounts is the only committee chaired by an opposition member and as such it was going to call on the energy minister and the Alberta Energy Regulator to answer questions about the recent coal debacle. Those questions were never asked because the UCP majority on the committee adjourned the meeting 13 minutes after it started.
- The latest Alberta Advantage is very good and it’s on how small businesses are capitalism. We also had a couple members of the Alberta Advantage team on our podcast to both pray for Jason Kenney and to talk about Normal Quest.
- Some excellent reporting from Bob Weber of the Canadian Press here who talks with one of North America’s top scientists on the impact of coal mining. Spoiler alert: If you like to drink clean water it’s bad to have huge coal mines where all of your water comes from.
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