Canada ‘They came to intimidate us’: Calgary MP speaks out following protest outside his home
Bloemen, Dubreuil leads Canada's long-track speedskaters into Beijing
CALGARY — Olympic champion Ted-Jan Bloemen and world champion Laurent Dubreuil lead a Canadian long-track speedskating team chosen without trials into Beijing's Winter Olympics next month. The 16 skaters were selected based on rankings from four World Cup events in November and December. A planned skate-off for the final Olympic berths at Quebec City's new indoor oval Dec. 27-31 was cancelled due to the surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in that province. Eight men and eight women will race the Maple Leaf at Beijing's National Speed Skating Oval, also known as The Ice Ribbon, which is short of the maximum quota of nine athletes per gender per country.
Anti-vaccine protesters hit the private residence of another Calgary politician over the weekend.
“Yesterday afternoon, a group of protesters demonstrated outside my home while my family and I were inside celebrating my wife’s birthday,” Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal wrote on Twitter Monday morning.
“They came to intimidate us. I have three daughters: 17, 13, and nine. The one place they should always feel safe is at home.”
Trudeau says government not planning new law to curb protests targeting politicians
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government has no plans to expand a law protecting health care workers and patients from aggressive protests to cover politicians. As the pandemic nears its two-year mark, politicians, frontline health care workers and patients seeking care have found themselves targeted by anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protests. To address that threat, the federal government worked with the opposition to pass Bill C-3, which made it an offence punishable by up to 10 years in prison to intimidate health care workers and patients trying to access medical care.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded on the social media site, writing that “this kind of intimidation – against any politician or public servant – is completely unacceptable and inexcusable, and it’s not how disagreements should be voiced in our democracy.”
This kind of intimidation – against any politician or public servant – is completely unacceptable and inexcusable, and it’s not how disagreements should be voiced in our democracy. I’m thinking of you and your family, George. Please stay safe.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau)
A fellow Calgary MP who sits on the other side of the House of Commons agreed with Chahal’s sentiment that a private residence is not the place for protests.
“I agree. Let's work across party lines to change this -- it negatively affects every political stripe and our democracy,” Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner tweeted. “Be well and my best to your family."
Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal pays $500 penalty for flyer removal incident
Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal says he has paid a $500 “administrative penalty” for removing another election candidate’s flyer from a mailbox during last fall’s federal election. The incident was caught on a doorbell camera . Chahal’s campaign manager told Postmedia at the time that Chahal had removed the flyer because it contained incorrect information about the polling station for that address. In a tweet sent out Tuesday morning, Chahal said he has now paid a $500 penalty to Elections Canada for removing the flyer.
Calgary police said they were made aware of the protest and by the time officers arrived, protesters were already leaving the area.
Video: City of Calgary updates vaccine passport bylaw, including age and ID requirements (Global News)
Anti-vaccine and anti-mask group “Calgary Freedom Central” said it was behind the protest, adding it was trying to protest the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers.
I agree. Let's work across party lines to change this - it negatively affects every political stripe and our democracy. Be well and my best to your family.
— Michelle Rempel Garner (@MichelleRempel)
On Jan. 22, the U.S. Department of Homeland Securityto be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, including at land crossings.
Call diversion in Calgary to provide alternative response to police
CALGARY — Police in Calgary are piloting a five-month project to divert 911 callers who need mental-health, addictions or social support to lines that provide referrals to community and government services. Starting in February, some 911 callers will be connected to the Distress Centre Calgary or the 211 line rather than to police, as long as they are not in a life-threatening or criminal situation. Call-takers with 211 have been working with 911 operators online since earlier this month to iron out details of the partnership. Calgary 911 Acting Cmdr.
The Liberal government announced in November that all Canadian truckers looking to cross the border from the U.S. would need to be vaccinated in order to avoid a 14-day quarantine, a policy that came into effect on Jan. 15.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has been a vociferous opponent of the vaccine mandate for truckers, calling on the federal government to delay the vaccine and quarantine requirements while citing possible supply chain delays.
After receiving photos of apparently bare shelves in grocery stores, Kenney tweeted that he had been in conversations with U.S. governors who share his concerns.
I am on the phone with US Governors this morning who share my concerns.
We are working on a joint letter to the President and the Prime Minister urging them to use common sense, end the the policy that has taken thousands of trucks of the road.
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney)
“We are working on a joint letter to the president and the prime minister urging them to use common sense, end the policy that has taken thousands of trucks of the road,” Kenney tweeted.
Far-right groups hope trucker protest will be Canada’s ‘January 6th’
Whatever legitimate grievances protesters might have, far right and white nationalist groups see the “Freedom Convoy” headed for Ottawa as an opportunity. Canadian far-right and white nationalist groups see the so-called “Freedom Convoy” as an opportunity, with some hoping the protests will be Canada’s version of last year’s Jan. 6 riot in Washington.
But the majority of truckers have been vaccinated.
“Almost 90 per cent of truckers in Canada are vaccinated,” Trudeau said, speaking to reporters in French on Monday.
“I regret that the Conservative Party and conservative politicians are in the process of stoking Canadians’ fears about the supply chain. The reality is that vaccination is how we’ll get through this.”
Anti-vaccine and anti-mask protests have also been held at the Calgary homes of, and Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra this month.
–with files from Amy Judd and Rachel Gilmore, Global News, and The Canadian Press.
Truckers Freedom Convoy passes through Quebec on Friday .
The Truckers Freedom Convoy to Ottawa is passing through Montreal on Friday. Two groups of truckers and supporters opposed to COVID-19 lockdowns, vaccine mandates and restrictions left from Vancouver and Prince George on Sunday, meeting in Calgary, and are scheduled to arrive in Ottawa on Saturday. Various groups of truckers and supporters are taking alternate routes to meet up with the convoy in Ottawa. Details are being shared through the group’s Facebook page, Freedom Convoy 2022. Several convoys will be leaving from border towns in the Eastern Townships on Friday morning , including: the St-Théophile/Jackman customs office at 4 a.m.