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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith adds new restrictions on questions from journalists



Alberta Premier Danielle Smith broadened her new media-question restriction policy Saturday to limit not only questions from reporters but also from media outlets.

Smith told her Corus call-in radio show that not only are individual reporters now limited to one question at news conferences — as announced Friday — she will also accept no more than one question in total from any single news outlet at an event.

Smith reiterated she needs to put limits on questions in order to provide more answers.

“Each media outlet will get one question instead of getting two while we’re in this period of the campaign because I just need to make sure that we’re getting to as many people as possible,” Smith said on Your Province Your Premier in response to one main question and two follow-up questions from the show’s host.


“[This way] we can get to more media outlets because as we get into the election campaign, there’s going to be far more interest.”

Smith’s chief adviser Rob Anderson confirmed the change in a statement on Twitter, saying the change would give more news outlets the chance to ask questions during the upcoming election period.

Election expected May 29

The writ is scheduled to be dropped on May 1 for a May 29 polling day, but politicians from both sides are already effectively on the hustings, knocking on doors, making promises and criticizing one other.

Opposition Leader Rachel Notley’s NDP has promised to take as many questions as possible, including follow-ups. Notley says if Smith doesn’t want to answer questions, she shouldn’t be premier.

Reporters from larger news outlets often have more than one reporter call in or attend Smith’s news conferences to ask questions on diverse topics unique to their beats or unique to stories they are working on.

They have traditionally been given a main question and a follow-up.

A blonde woman stands at a microphone wearing a striped jacket and raising her left fist in the air.
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley addresses the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in Calgary on Dec. 15, 2022. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Follow-up questions are considered crucial to allow reporters to clarify the first answer if necessary and to hold politicians and public officials to account if they don’t answer the first question but instead deliver tangentially related talking points.

Smith employed the one-question no-follow technique with reporters Friday and again with listeners on her radio show Saturday.

Smith questioned over support for pastor

On Friday, Smith was asked to reconcile conflicting comments in which she speaks favourably of Calgary street pastor Art Pawlowski but also renounces his “extremist views.” Pawlowski has made headlines for protest against COVID restrictions and comments related to the LGBTQ community.

Smith said she denounces all forms of intolerance. There was no follow up.

Smith was asked what role the right-centre populist group Take Back Alberta will have on her campaign. Take Back Alberta is a growing influence within the party, backing half the members on the party board and getting involved in constituency boards and candidate nominations.

Smith replied the UCP has an open, “one member, one vote” party where everyone gets a say. No follow up.

A man looks at a woman speaking into the microphone to his left.
Danielle Smith, right, during her time as Wildrose Alliance leader, speaks to reporters, as then-MLA Rob Anderson looks on in Calgary in 2011. (The Canadian Press)

On her Saturday show, a caller named Jeff, who described himself as a longtime UCP supporter, asked Smith to reconcile conflicting statements on health policy.

Smith in response accused the NDP of trying to muddy the issue and reminded Jeff her government is working to help create health spending accounts for non-insured services like dentists and therapists.

Callers to the show traditionally don’t get follow-up questions, but a caller Saturday asking about electricity costs squeezed in a main question and two follow-ups.

Smith has faced questions on where she stands on health after she announced this week that her government will not allow out-of-pocket payments for care despite Smith advocating in a 2021 policy paper for a new model including paying for a family doctor, surgery co-pays and perhaps private hospitals.

Another listener in a text message asked Smith categorically if she still stands by her 2021 views on health.

“I don’t believe a leopard changes its spots, so let me ask you directly: Do you now categorically reject what you wrote in that [policy] paper? Yes or no? Please do not provide a smoke and mirrors type of answer,” said the text message, read aloud by the host.

Smith did not answer yes or no but pointed instead to the health spending accounts.

No more comments on ethics probe: premier

Along with limiting questions, Smith also announced this week she will not comment at all on an ongoing investigation by the provincial ethics commissioner.

Smith’s office said Ethics Commissioner Marguerite Trussler is trying to determine whether Smith interfered in the administration of justice by talking with the accused about his case before his criminal trial.


Alberta premier says ethics commissioner is investigating her


Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says the ethics commissioner is investigating her over allegations she tried to interfere with the court’s handling of a pastor’s charges related to a COVID-19 restriction blockade.

In that call, Smith is heard offering to make inquiries on behalf of the accused while telling him the charges against him were politically motivated, adding she shares his concerns with how Crown prosecutors are conducting cases related to COVID-19 measures.

The premier also told listeners that Saturday’s show will be the final one until after the election in May.

“We’ve made the decision, and the station has too that this will be the last show,” she said. “Then maybe I’ll be just on as a guest and the other parties can too.”



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Saskatoon pizza shop overwhelmed by orders after heartfelt social media plea – CTV News Saskatoon



A Saskatoon pizza shop had to shut its doors after a social media post led to an overwhelming number of orders.

“Four o’clock was normal, then by 4:20 everything started hitting real hard, real fast,” Doug Grevna said.

“By 5:00 we were 400 per cent busier than normal.”


The 8th Street Panago location was originally slated to provide pizzas for a family night planned for École St. Matthew School.

However, the event was cancelled following the tragic death of Natasha Fox, a teacher at the school who died in a collision with a cement truck while cycling.

Even though the dough has been prepared for the large order, the shop cancelled it at no charge, given the circumstances.

Moved by the gesture, a parent took to social media asking people to order from the shop so the dough wouldn’t spoil.

“Please consider ordering pizza from Panago on the 8th tonight so that the dough doesn’t spoil and they don’t take a financial hit due to wasted supplies,” the post said.

While Grevna is adamant that he never thought twice about cancelling the order at no cost, he is touched by what happened next.

“It’s actually amazing because we just sort of said … ‘no worries,'” Grevna said.

Grevna had made an offhand comment when the cancellation came in that if the school could send a few customers their way it would help the keep the dough from going to waste — but he only expected a handful of orders.

“Then it just got crazy. It was unreal,” he said.

“Our printer never stopped and we couldn’t even keep up.”

With more and more orders pouring in as the social media post was shared throughout the city, Grevna had to shut the store down temporarily.

“I’ve never really closed before because we were so busy. But there’s no way we could keep up. Our computers only let us go up to 120 minutes for an expected wait time,” he said.

“We had to go beyond that. So we just had to kind of shut it down for a bit before we opened again about a hour and a half later.”

He said they doubled the sales of a normal Thursday night.

“The community just came in waves,” he said.

“It was just overwhelming and we’re super appreciative.”

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Rising racing star Lindsay Brewer says she was criticized by female drivers over swimsuit social media posts



Lindsay Brewer is one of the most popular race car drivers on social media, boasting more than 2.1 million followers on Instagram and over 629,000 on TikTok.

Brewer is currently racing in USF Pro Championships 2000 with a dream to eventually get to IndyCar. But even before she stepped onto the Indy track, she told The Daily Mail in an interview published Sunday that she’s already been hearing negativity from race car drivers about her social media activity.


Lindsay Brewer at REVOLVE Awards

Lindsay Brewer attends 3rd Annual #REVOLVEawards at Goya Studios on Nov. 15, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Presley Ann/WireImage)


The 26-year-old driver said she reached out to other female professional drivers and was surprised to hear some of the advice they shared with her.

“I’ve talked to a few female drivers in the past who were older and I asked for advice.… and they were like, ‘Stop posting swimwear photos, this just makes women make look so bad in the industry,’” she told the outlet.

“If you’re truly about feminism and women in the industry, you should allow them to be who they wanna be and not put them in that box. Like you should not say, ‘OK you can’t wear makeup, you have to dress a certain way, you can’t post certain things.’

“I think that’s honestly anti-feminist.”

Lindsay Brewer drives

Lindsay Brewer drives during Indy Pro 2000 practice on May 13, 2022, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in Indiana. (Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Brewer dismissed the notion she’s just an “influencer pretending to be a race car driver.” She said she got her start on the track in go-karts when she was 11. She said racing was something she was passionate about and was able to take a few years off for college and build a brand to help fund her racing.

Brewer finished 15th in the standings last season and is in 19th so far this season. She said some of the negativity has gone away and vowed to never change who she is or how she promotes herself on social media.

“I will always have my hair bleached, I’ll have my fake nails, but yet I can still be a bada– driver. I don’t wanna be put into certain categories. I still can take care of myself and look ‘glamorous’ and girly, but still be quick on the track,” Brewer added.

Lindsay Brewer at Bloodshot

Lindsay Brewer attends the premiere of Sony Pictures’ “Bloodshot” on March 10, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic)

Brewer had two top 10 finishes last season – at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a street race in Toronto.

Brewer’s had a tough season this year, mostly finishing in the bottom half of the standings.


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Causal association found between evening social media use and delayed sleep – Medical Xpress



in bed using phone
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

A team of psychiatrists from Duke University and Yale University has found what they describe as a causal association between evening social media use and delayed sleep. In their study, reported in the journal Sleep Medicine, the group tracked social media use and delayed sleeping patterns for 44,000 Reddit users.

Prior research has shown that exposure to blue light, such as that emitted from phones and , can lead to sleep problems because it interferes with production of melatonin. In this new effort, the researchers have found that posting to a social site prior to normal bedtime may delay the time that people go to sleep.


The team wondered whether social media posting might be interfering with people’s normal sleep patterns, especially in the evening hours. To find out, they conducted an exhaustive analysis of data on the social media site Reddit. As with other , users on Reddit can post comments or links to content and comment on what others have posted.

In all, the research team analyzed 120 million posts made by 44,000 users on the site over a period of 15 years. They were able to establish what they described as normal bedtimes for frequent users of the site, which enabled them to measure the impact of social media posting prior to a normal bedtime.

The researchers found that if a user posted to the site approximately one hour before their normal bedtime, they were much more likely to stay up past their normal bedtime—on average, they were still awake after posting, from one to three hours after they normally went to sleep. And if they posted multiple times before their normal bedtime, they stayed up even later.

The researchers suggest that a rise in dopamine levels due to anticipation of a response from other users on the site could make it difficult for posters to relax and go to sleep. Prior research has shown that a rise in contributes to and alertness, neither of which is conducive to going to sleep.

More information:
William U. Meyerson et al, The association between evening social media use and delayed sleep may be causal: Suggestive evidence from 120 million Reddit timestamps, Sleep Medicine (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2023.04.021

© 2023 Science X Network

Causal association found between evening social media use and delayed sleep (2023, May 26)
retrieved 28 May 2023

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