Alberta NDP hold events at the Calgary Stampede after suggesting it should be cancelled

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Mere weeks ago Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP were suggesting that lockdowns should be extended and that discussions about cancelling the Calgary Stampede should be taking place.

For many small businesses, the income generated from Calgary Stampede sales makes up a meaningful percentage of their annual income.

Cancelling the event again this year would undoubtedly mean more businesses shutting down for good. Despite the economic and mental health considerations, not to mention the violation of fundamental rights that we have seen over the past year and a half, the NDP was still resistant to reopening.

We have known throughout the COVID lockdowns and restrictions that politicians are not living in the real world with the rest of us.

While businesses collapse and mental illness problems are growing, Notley and company are collecting paycheques and congratulating themselves on promoting further restrictions. For the rest of us, the opening of society and a return to normal couldn’t come soon enough.

Despite all their protestations, politicians can’t resist an opportunity to campaign, and as though to highlight their own hypocrisy for comedic effect, the Alberta NDP are reportedly hosting 11 Stampede-related events in Calgary.

We dropped in on one of these events, there were about 50 people in attendance and we were the only media outlet present.

NDP chief of staff Jeremy Nolais approached us and asked why we were at the event, we explained that we had some fair but tough questions that we would love to ask some of the MLAs who planned to attend. Unfortunately, and somewhat unsurprisingly, they were not willing to speak with us.

I appreciate the hopeful sentiment of future conversations, but there is a broader issue at play that goes beyond party lines.

We have seen a growing trend of politicians avoiding tough questions.

Justin Trudeau is perhaps the most glaring culprit, but the reality is that there are very few politicians who don’t hide behind closed doors, security teams, or communications directors.

Often when media is granted access, questions are screened and only the “right” news agencies are allowed to ask questions. Transparency and accountability to the media are vital to democracy, we simply cannot allow journalism to be compromised and controlled.

This is Canada, not China.

Rebel News reporter Drea Humphrey was physically manhandled by Justin Trudeau’s personal bodyguards for simply asking questions Trudeau didn’t like in an extreme example of journalistic silencing.

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