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The Alberta Politics Quiz 2019: How well do you remember the year that was at the legislature? – Edmonton Journal



Alberta Premier-Designate Jason Kenney arrives outside the Alberta Legislature building in Edmonton on Wednesday April 17, 2019 for a news conference, the day after his United Conservative Party was elected to govern the province.


Whoever said politics is boring couldn’t have been referring to 2019 in Alberta, which kept us invariably engaged, entertained, horrified and angry — but overwhelmed most of all. How well did you manage to keep track of all the news? Take our annual multiple choice quiz to see if you’re a politics ace or amateur.

1. What was the UCP’s campaign slogan during the provincial election?

a. We can’t possibly be as bad as the NDP.

b. Make Alberta Great Again.

c. Strong and Free.

d. Conservatism. You missed us, right?

e. Friends of oil and gaslighting.

2. What was the NDP’s campaign slogan during the provincial election?

a. Everyone deserves a second chance.

b. Rachel Notley. Fighting for you.

c. Our leader is more popular than your leader.

d. Orange you glad you elected us in 2015?

e. Deficits come and go. Carbon taxes should be forever.

3. What is thetruthaboutjasonkenney?

a. No one knows. It’s a secret.

b. An NDP attack website highlighting Kenney’s controversial views and alleged misdeeds.

c. A reality show that never made it past the pilot.

d. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

e. The RCMP might shed some light on this, when their investigation into the 2017 UCP leadership campaign wraps up.

4. While NDP MLA Janis Irwin was a $100,000 lottery winner last spring, UCP House Leader Jason Nixon also won something unexpected. What was it?

a. 82 per cent of the vote in his riding.

b. The honour of being one of four Jasons in the UCP cabinet.

c. Another Nixon in the legislature (his brother Jeremy was also elected).

d. The fun of leading the UCP government’s climate change efforts.

e. A goat.

5. Who, or what, interrupted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a May news conference in Edmonton?

a. A noisy Canada Goose.

b. A different kind of honking, from motorists upset that the PM’s motorcade was blocking traffic.

c. A premonition that the Liberals would lose all their Alberta seats.

d. A phone call from Donald Trump.

e. A crowd of hecklers.

6. After some public concern, a special prosecutor from Ontario was finally appointed in July to oversee the RCMP’s investigation of the 2017 UCP leadership race. Who is that prosecutor?

a. Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer won’t tell us.

b. The Alberta Crown Prosecution Service won’t tell us.

c. The Ontario government won’t tell us.

d. All of the above.

e. Is there really a prosecutor?

7. Who won the April 4 leaders’ debate during the provincial election?

a. Jason Kenney. Duh.

b. Rachel Notley, of course.

c. It was a tie between Stephen Mandel and David Khan.

d. All of them, according to claims put out by each of the parties after the debate.

e. Everyone tried their best and should get participation ribbons.

8. Name one thing that isn’t being studied by a government-appointed panel looking into the effects of Alberta supervised consumption sites.

a. The merits of supervised consumption sites.

b. Crime rates.

c. Social disorder.

d. Damage to businesses and property values.

e. Needle debris.

9. Immediately after their first-ever session came to an end last spring, much of the UCP caucus did what to celebrate?

a. Held a karaoke contest with the lieutenant-governor.

b. Took turns posing for goofy photos in the Speaker’s chair.

c. Splashed around in the legislature wading pool.

d. Had a long nap, after surviving several NDP filibusters.

e. Quietly crept back to their constituencies, since they had just passed legislation rolling back protections for gay-straight alliances.

10. What did the UCP say to alleviate criticism of Kenney’s decision to hand out earplugs during a late-night legislature session?

a. It was a “harmless and lighthearted attempt to boost government caucus morale.”

b. None of the UCP MLAs actually used the earplugs.

c. The earplugs were for only one MLA who has tinnitus.

d. All of the above.

e. The premier was right to mock the questionable oratory coming from the NDP.

Bonus: What did Rachel Notley call a “stampede of stupid”?

a. Kenney’s decision to book a $16,764 charter flight to carry conservative premiers and others from the Calgary Stampede to Saskatoon.

b. The federal government’s Bill C-48, the so-called tanker ban.

c. The UCP’s attempt to play innocent in firing the election commissioner.

d. Her own party’s ill-advised decision to condemn a $35,000 government liquor purchase, when in fact the sale was legitimate.

e. The Calgary Flames trading for Milan Lucic.


1. c. The party borrowed the phrase from Alberta’s official motto, and used it for a catchy song that played at all campaign events. The UCP also did well with the phrase “Jobs, Economy, Pipelines.”

2. b. NDP branding was almost entirely based around Notley, as the party tried to turn the campaign into a popularity contest between her and Jason Kenney.

3. b. The website was one of three such attack sites used by the NDP featuring unflattering images of Kenney, sensationalist headlines and blood red lettering.

4. e. While any of the answers could suffice, Nixon was stoked about winning a goat named Gus at a charity event. Nixon tweeted that Gus “wanted me to remind you that friends don’t let friends vote NDP.”

5. a. It seems even the birds in Alberta had no time for Trudeau’s message.

6. d. The Crown prosecution service has said identifying the prosecutor is “under the purview” of Ontario, which won’t provide a name.

7. d. Most observers agree there was no clear-cut winner in the debate, but that didn’t stop anyone from claiming victory.

8. a. In announcing the panel’s mandate, the government said it already knew enough about the benefits of the facilities.

9. c. The dip in the wading pool was partly a gag from Speaker Nathan Cooper, who told rookie MLAs it was a tradition.

10. d. The UCP used three different stories about the earplugs, but wouldn’t officially admit to what was likely the real motivation: mocking the NDP.

Bonus. b. Both Notley and Kenney have spoken forcefully against Bill C-48.

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Stockwell Day exits CBC commentary role, corporate posts after comments about racism in Canada –



Former Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day has stepped down from his role as a commentator on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics — and has left senior positions at two major companies — after making comments on Tuesday’s show about racism in Canada he later admitted were “insensitive and hurtful”.

“I ask forgiveness for wrongly equating my experiences to theirs. I commit to them my unending efforts to fight racism in all its forms,” Day said in a tweet earlier today.

Day also notified CBC he was stepping away from his role as a commentator for the program.

Day, a former federal opposition leader and later a cabinet minister in Stephen Harper’s government, was asked during a panel debate on Power & Politics to react to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments Tuesday morning on protests that have swept across the U.S. following the police killing of African American George Floyd.

Trudeau’s comments did not address Trump’s threat to call on the military to remove demonstrators, but they did point to what Trudeau said were Canada’s own problems with systemic racism.

“We have to recognize that our system is not perfect in Canada,” Day said during the panel discussion. “Yes, there’s a few idiot racists hanging around but Canada is not a racist country and most Canadians are not racist. And our system, that always needs to be improved, is not systemically racist.”

Day went on to compare the bullying he endured as a child with the discrimination faced by visible minorities across the country.

“Should I have gone through school and been mocked because I had glasses and was called four-eyes and because of the occupation my parents?” Day asked. “Should I have been mocked for all that? No, of course not. But are Canadians largely and in majority racist? No, we are not.

“We celebrate our diversity around the world and for the prime minister to insinuate — and it is an insinuation — that our system is systemically racist is wrong.”

Fellow panellists Amanda Alvaro and Emilie Nicolas pushed back against Day, challenging his assertions about systemic racism and the comparison Day made to his own experiences being bullied.

That argument appears to have cost Day his position on the board of directors for Telus and his role as a strategic adviser for McMillan LLP.

“At McMillan LLP, we believe that systemic racism is real and that it can only be addressed when each of us — as individuals and organizations — commits to meaningful change,” the company said in a statement signed by Teresa Dufort, partner and CEO, and posted to its Twitter account.

“Yesterday, Stockwell Day made comments during a televised interview that run counter to this view. Today, he offered his resignation as a strategic advisor at our firm and it was accepted.”

Telus also issued a statement announcing that it had accepted Day’s resignation from its board of directors effective immediately.

“The views expressed by Mr. Day during yesterday’s broadcast of Power & Politics are not reflective of the values and beliefs of our organization,” the statement said.

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Jarvis: Pandemic politics – Windsor Star



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These decisions are difficult, as McNamara wrote. And the magnitude of the responsibility? People’s lives are at stake.

Yet this is public health’s job, and instead of being in front, it seems to largely react.

There have been unsettling questions from the beginning, when top public health doctor Wajid Ahmed declared, as the pandemic bore down, “There is nothing that people should be worrying about.

That was followed by a heated dispute with Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj — one of three people, along with Ahmed, named to lead the pandemic response here — over testing in long-term care homes, where the pandemic had reached a crisis. The dispute led to confusion over who was being tested, when they were being tested and who was doing the testing.

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Unmasking the racial politics of the coronavirus pandemic – The Conversation CA



Recently, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that along with physical distancing, wearing protective masks slows the spread of COVID-19. Canada has made a similar announcement.

Over 50 countries now mandate wearing masks in public.

While primarily a protective measure, the COVID-19 mask has also become a cultural icon. In western nations it has become a marker of social responsibility and good citizenship. It represents the wearer’s compliance with public safety and communal well being through exercising care for one’s self and others.

During the 2003 SARS crisis, “mask culture” was seen as fostering a sense of mutual obligation and civic duty. Similarly in our current pandemic, wearing a protective mask signifies a commitment to the social and collective good of society.

But how does that perception change when a face mask is worn by someone who is Asian? Or a Black man? Why do some jurisdictions outlaw the face veil or niqab worn by some Muslim women while mandating protective masks?

Whiteness and unearned privilege

Through European colonialism whiteness became the standard against which all other bodies are marked, judged and codified. American anti-racism educator Peggy MacIntosh argues that whiteness provides an “invisible knapsack” of unearned privileges that white people can often take for granted.

Masks can be seen as a sign of good civic duty.
(Bára Buri/Unsplash)

These are basic things like: going shopping and not be followed or harassed; never being asked to speak for all white people; and not having to educate one’s children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.

The concept of white privilege can be related to how COVID-19 mask-wearing is seen differently when worn on racialized bodies.

Yellow Peril

For more than 100 years, Asians in North America have been represented as diseased foreigners and more recently blamed as “pandemic starters.”

Rather than exemplifying a commitment to the public good, an abundance of pictures of Asian individuals wearing masks may have accelerated the circulation of derogatory stereotypes. Research has shown Canadian press photos related to the 2003 SARS crisis used Asians wearing masks as a dominant image. With COVID 19, the trend of using masked Asian faces as the emblem of the crisis continues the trajectory of these racist depictions.

Research shows the Canadian Press over-represented Asians in masks during SARS.
(Jeremy Stenuit/Unsplash)

Instead of representing a good citizen helping to stop the spread of a possible contagion, a protective mask transforms Asian bodies into the source of contagion. Trump’s insistence in referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” dangerously reinforced the racializing of this disease.

Read more:
Anti-Asian racism during coronavirus: How the language of disease produces hate and violence

Anti-Asian hate crimes including physical and verbal assaults and vandalism have escalated along with the pandemic.

A recent report told a story of a woman in British Columbia who was accosted by two white men who yelled at her and her mother: “Look at you with your masks, you’re what’s wrong with society.”

The risk of such attacks and harassment confronts Asian diasporas with a difficult choice: wear a mask and risk being subjected to violence or do not and bear the risk of contracting the virus.

Mask-wearing while Black

A Black physician in Boston wrote about his internal struggle with wearing a mask in public because of the racist fears it evokes. He said: “I wonder whether someone would call the police on me, a ‘suspicious’ Black man in a face mask. I negotiate with myself whether risking my life is worth a $300 fine.”

He has reason to worry. A Black doctor in Miami wearing a surgical mask was handcuffed outside his home by police.

A Black doctor in Miami wearing a surgical mask was handcuffed outside his home.

The killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd in the United States are tragic events that reveal the very real dangers Black people face on a daily basis. And yet in early May, heavily armed, white protesters stormed the Michigan State capitol without incident.

A campaign spearheaded by a Black clergy in Illinois in co-operation with local police, called “Tipping the Mask,” asked people to show shopkeepers their faces when entering stores to mitigate against potential racial fears and violence.

A Black pastor recommended that his son put on his mask once he is already in the store for “fear of what others might think when they see a Black man in a mask.”

The concept of “mask tipping” calls upon racialized bodies to reveal themselves as “safe” and in return avoid biases and endangerment.

Islamophobia and government hypocrisy

Québec Premier François Legault after removing his mask.
Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

In Québec, Bill 21, which outlaws religious symbols in public, leaves Muslim women who wear a niqab in breach of the law and denied access to social services, despite government requests for public face coverings due to the pandemic.

France also mandates wearing masks but has not lifted its ban on the niqab. Fatima Khemilat, a researcher in France exposes the irony.

“If you are Muslim and you hide your face for religious reasons, you are liable to a fine and a citizenship course where you will be taught what it is to be a good citizen …. But if you are a non-Muslim citizen in the pandemic, you are encouraged and forced as a ‘good citizen’ to adopt ‘barrier gestures’ to protect the national community.”

Muslim women who wear a niqab are not considered good liberal citizens because their covered faces are deemed culturally irreconcilable with western society. They face being penalized for violating the law while those wearing COVID-19 masks are seen as good citizens upholding the public good.

The COVID-19 mask is a barrier to transmission of the virus while the niqab is a barrier to social inclusion.

Not having to think about how one’s body is read by others when wearing a mask is a privilege of whiteness that eludes racialized groups. White mask privilege includes: not having to bear the racial stigma of being seen as a foreign disease carrier, being safe whether or not you “tip your mask,” having the ability to cover your face in public and not be denied social services.

Rather than serving as a levelling device the cultural politics behind wearing masks exposes the racial fault lines of the pandemic.

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