Federal Conservative leadership hopeful Chris Alexander says he didn't stop a crowd calling for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to be locked up because politicians need to listen to constituents.

The former immigration minister was speaking at a rally at the Alberta legislature in Edmonton against the provincial NDPs' planned carbon tax Saturday when protesters began the "Lock her up" chant popularized during president-elect Donald Trump's campaign.

"I totally disapprove of that particular chant. I don't think it's fair. I don't think it's the right thing to say at a rally or elsewhere, and that's why I didn't join it," Alexander said Sunday.

Premier Notley is about to introduce the provincial carbon tax to ensure that polluters are paying for emissions that are contributing to global warming. The tax is part of a comprehensive plan to diversify Alberta's oil-rich economy, which has lost tens of thousands of jobs and been hammered by the plunge in global commodity prices.

But the crowd of people blamed the government for making their lives worse, bringing their anger to the legislature. A few of them were spotted at the rally carrying homophobic signs.

Rally speaker threw shoes and called for hackers to attack Alberta government

Another speaker at the rally, Bernard Hancock, also threw his shoes at the Alberta legislature and suggested that conservative hackers could break into the Alberta government's computer systems as part of efforts to bring down Notley's administration.

"It's not enough to talk on Facebook or to show up at a rally," said Hancock, a former oilpatch worker who explained he had quit his job to campaign against Notley. "Do you guys have any friends who are Conservatives who are computers hackers? We need their help, because I know there's a bunch of stuff they can dig up about what's going on in that building."

Some criticized Alexander for not speaking out, including Macleans columnist Scott Gilmore, who is married to Canada's environment minister Catherine McKenna.

"Lay down with pigs, Chris, you're going to get muddy," Gilmore wrote on Twitter. "There's a sad irony here. As a diplomat in Kabul Alexander fought hard for democratic reform. Now he gleefully leads 'lock her up' chants."



The Edmonton rally was organized by Rebel Media, an online news and right-wing opinion outlet, and video of the incident was posted on Twitter by the website's Alberta employee Sheila Gunn Reid.

Reid and Ezra Levant, who is the head of the site, denied that Alexander was leading the chant. Alexander also denied that he repeated the "lock her up" chant.

The video shows the people in the crowd start by chanting "Vote her out," but as they grow louder, the message changes.

As they chant "Lock her up," Alexander smiles and appears to gesture in time with the chant, nodding along.

Someone can be heard shouting, "That's enough! That's enough!" in the background, and as Alexander smiles and nods, the camera turns to face the crowd.

Tory leadership hopeful Chris Alexander didn't try to stop the 'lock her up' chants

At no point in the video does Alexander stop the protesters or say anything about their chant.

"You don't pick it up in the video, but I started to say the words in time with them, 'Vote her out,' and then the next point I made was about the ballot box," he said. "I expressed my disapproval by talking about something completely different: voting. I think that was pretty clear."

Sandy Garossino, National Observer's associate editor, said that Alexander should have known better than to encourage the crowd.

"If you're a candidate to lead the CPC & a crowd starts this up, you have to unambiguously shut it down, no?" she asked on Twitter. "(Alexander was) grinning, waving his finger in time to the chant. About a sitting premier."

Alexander said he thinks the chants came from a place of pain.

"Alberta's hurting. Unemployment there is at nine per cent; that's the highest in 22 years," he said, adding that many of the people in the crowd had lost their jobs.

Levant also alleged, without evidence, that NDP staffers had infiltrated the rally with offensive signs to "smear" his Rebel Media organization.

He added that several media outlets were unfairly portraying the entire rally.

The province is introducing a broad-based carbon tax on gasoline at the pumps and home and business heating bills, starting on Jan. 1, which Alexander says will just make things harder for people who are already struggling, though the NDP say it's an important part of lowering carbon emissions.

Alexander was defeated as a Conservative candidate in the last federal election after he was criticized for a series of blunders, including a disastrous televised interview on the CBC in which he blamed the media for ignoring the Syrian refugee crisis, as well as a clumsy announcement promising to introduce a hotline to denounce "barbaric cultural practices." The latter announcement, with Kellie Leitch, also a Conservative Party leadership candidate, was criticized for being a racist attack on Muslims.

Representatives for Notley declined to comment on the protest.

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Alberta has a history of fascist sympathies. There were a number of bunds organized in the province just prior to World War II, and then there have been the more recent Holocaust deniers such as Jim Keegstra. Now, seeing Trump's rise in the US, certain Conservative leadership hopefuls are hoping to boost their campaigns by encouraging this stuff again. Sad.

"Premier Notley is about to introduce the provincial carbon tax to ensure that polluters are paying for emissions that are contributing to global warming....The province is introducing a broad-based carbon tax on gasoline at the pumps and home and business heating bills..."

Bill 20-The Climate Leadership Implementation Act, is by all accounts a fuel tax, not a carbon tax. Fuel is being taxed, not carbon. The purpose of the Act has no mandate to reduce emissions, nor does it have any measure to quantify or qualify any reductions of emissions that may be achieved.

To further, the fuel tax is not broad based and will ensure that the largest producers of GHG emissions in the province, the oil and gas industry, are exempt from paying for their pollution. There are numerous direct exemptions built into Bill 20 exclusively for the oil and gas industry and a further carbon cost deduction scheme built into the NDP Modernized Royalty Review under the RMC (revenue minus cost) formula-when combined, the oil and gas industry are exempt from carbon costs in the province.

The Rebel, Bernard-the crude smeared mascot of PSAC and Ezra and the right wing politics and prejudice of this province are deplorable, regrettable and largely ineffective. However, when it comes to this fuel tax, being green-washed as an environmental policy initiative, to which the entire fiscal burden of pricing pollution is placed on the end user and not the largest industry of generation, the people of Alberta should be granted a referendum, especially considering the sweeping rights grab of warrantless search and seizure written into the Act. The NDP implemented this Act for corporate socialism and social licence for the industry, while fiscally penalizing the public, that will incur increased costs on numerous levels from school districts, business, charities and municipalities needing to externalize fuel taxes. Albertans will also have our basic rights underhandedly compromised under the guise of a carbon tax.

I think it makes little difference whether we call it a carbon tax or a fuel tax. If I read the bill correctly, the tax will apply to flaring and venting which do not fuel any process except climate change.
Since the target is the GHG emissions that result from burning hydrocarbons, fuel serves as a proxy for carbon. Perhaps one day we'll get around to taxing things like methane leaks. That would another source of CO2 that is not related to fueling or warming anything but our atmosphere..
With regard to large industrial emitters, the info page at shttp://www.alberta.ca/climate-carbon-pricing.aspx says, "Under SGER, facilities that emit 100,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions are required to annually reduce their site-specific emissions intensity by 20% as of Jan 1, 2017." That sounds like a mandate to me. And we must assume they have some way of measuring the reductions.
The use of the word 'intensity' is problematic though. It suggests that as long as the emissions per unit of whatever product is being produced go down, they can produce as much product as the market will bear. So the net effect may in fact be an increase in emissions.

Where is the "warrantless search and seizure" in the act? The only mention of search I could find was where it said that the minister or an officer can enter certain premises to inspect, audit, or examine. The types of premises are listed as
"(i) any premises used by the person in connection with the refinement,production, importation, exportation,storage, transportation, distribution, purchase, sale,blending or rebranding or use of fuel;
(ii) any premises containing any records or property that relates to the refinement, production, importation,
exportation, storage, transportation, distribution, purchase, sale, blending, rebranding or use of fuel or
any other records or property that is required to be kept under this Act or the regulations; "

Is that any different from having an unannounced safety inspection or a tax audit? I'll leave this question to those versed in law.
The only place I could find the word "seize" was where the act lists what can be done with a judge's warrant.

I agree that the government is using the act to buy social license. However, many experts say that carbon taxes are the best way to reduce emissions. So I support the tax even though I don't want it to be used to justify pipeline construction.

Mr. Reimer,

Bill 20 will apply to flaring and venting, but only for producers not currently under the SGER, they are exempt in the Act. To further, under the Modernized Royalty Review-RMC formula, for what producers do pay in Bill 20 for flaring and venting, they can deduct prior to paying back higher royalties. There also exists the fact that producers do not measure vented volumes, they are estimated and Directive 17 regarding measurement and reporting has not remediated the practice of estimating/validating vented volumes. There clearly is no financial incentive for producers to reduce emissions when they are offered royalty reductions in direct compensation for carbon costs.

As per the SGER, yes, reductions are the mandate but producers have three options for meeting this target. They can improve performance at a facility (or buy credits from another facility that has), purchase credits from an Alberta-based offset project, or pay into a technology fund for a per tonnage rate of C02 emissions, this was formerly referred to as CCEMC-which recycled most of the charges back into COSIA projects, but now it is known as the ERA, and seemingly the COSIA gifting has come to an end. Again, these are not hard targets, with numerous allowances and opportunities to just buy compliance, with offsets or donations to ERA, which may direct the funds to initiatives that have no impact on emissions reductions.

Is there a system to measure emissions reductions? I have yet to find one in all the regulatory structure of the AER, the SGER, or Bill 20. You know what they say about assume-it just makes an a** out of you and me;)

Regarding Bill 20 warrantless search and seizure, the section you cite is followed by this:

(c) require any person keeping any records or property related to the refinement, production, importation, exportation, storage, transportation, distribution, purchase, sale, blending, rebranding or use of fuel or any other records or property that is required to be kept under this Act or the regulations to provide those records or that property to the Minister or an officer;
(d) require any person keeping any records or property related to any amount payable under this Act to provide those records or property to the Minister or an officer;

We all use fuel at our homes, from gas fired ranges to our furnace, in our vehicles and BBQ's, lawn equipment and other various combustibles, all these fuel sources relate to any amount payable under this Act, and any records related to the purchase of this fuel would be on the property.

Additionally, there is the section copied below where the Minister or an officer can search and seize without a warrant under the conditions listed, particularly as long as the condition for a warrant exists, then warrantless search and seizure is permitted. I am sure you can appreciate the elasticity of our basic rights being stretched here and I would suggest that this is very different than a tax audit or safety inspection.

55(1) Where a justice of the peace or judge of the Provincial Court is satisfied by information on oath of the Minister or an officer that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence against this Act or the regulations has occurred and that evidence of that offence is likely to be found, the justice of the peace or the judge of the Provincial Court may issue a warrant to authorize the Minister
or officer to do all or any of the following:
(a) enter and search any place or premises named in the warrant;
(b) stop and search any motor vehicle described in the warrant;
(c) seize and remove anything that may be evidence of an offence against this Act or the regulations.

(2) Under the authority of a warrant issued pursuant to subsection
(1), the Minister or officer may do all or any of the following:
(a) at any time, enter and search any place or premises named in the warrant;
(b) stop and search any motor vehicle described in the warrant;
(c) open and examine any trunk, box, bag, parcel, closet, cupboard or other receptacle that the Minister or officer finds in the place, premises or motor vehicle;
(d) require the production of and examine any records or property that the Minister or officer believes, on
reasonable grounds, may contain information related to an offence against this Act or the regulations;
(e) remove, for the purpose of making copies in accordance with section 59, any records examined pursuant to this section;
(f) seize and remove from any place, premises or motor vehicle searched anything that may be evidence of an
offence against this Act or the regulations.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the Minister or officer may exercise all or any of the powers mentioned in subsection (2) without a warrant if
(a) the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist, and
(b) the Minister or officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the delay necessary to obtain a warrant would result
(i) in danger to human life or safety, or
(ii) in the loss, removal or destruction of evidence.


This was very frightening to view. How do we stop this type of behavior?
I hope we can figure that out.

We do what you've just done on this post. We speak up. Support this media outlet, share it with friends, start saying out loud that 'silence is complicity'. The world goes mean and bubonic because good people opt out, it comes back to its senses when good people engage.

And that means informing ourselves also, so we know where the oil money went, what CO2 rise in the atmosphere means (its really not rocket science) and why a change in economics and lifestyle is unavoidable.

These people are 'hurting' Alexander says. And that's true. But the saddest part of their pain is how elites are lying to them, and how they cling to unexamined beliefs and fears, because reality is even more painful.

The conventional, easy to get oil and gas, is almost gone in Alberta. A lot of big companies ran off with it, and most of the profits. Tar and fracked gas is what we have left. If we double down on that junk, the hurting we are going to experience makes present pain the equivalent of a hang nail.

Everything we can do to help people face this unpleasant fact, and start thinking about new sources of prosperity, helps.

Is this "tax" revenue-neutral as in B.C.? If so, is it providing tax relief somewhere that isn't being acknowledged?

Albertans are not nearly as supportive of Ezra Levant as the eastern media thinks. He has started publications in Alberta which went bankrupt because nobody wanted to read them. And if this rally had so much support why did he have to bus people in and get politicians from Ottawa to be there. And also that actor who pretends to be a oil field worker.

A famous Canadian author, Timothy Findley, has an italicized instruction at the beginning of his book THE WARS, which we can apply to this rally. "PAY ATTENTION; PEOPLE CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN WHAT THEY DO"

I think it can help us gain perspective on the meanness....and slapstick comedy....of the Alberta Right wing these days. One of the signs at the rally went like this: Carbon Tax=$odomy.

Now at one level, this is hilarious. Because if the featured sexual act made big money, some of these folks would be all over it. Money...and keeping it in their own pockets, is all they understand. But where did it go then, they ask in outraged voices. And since they haven't been paying much attention....TO WHAT PEOPLE DO...they are grateful for the likes of Ezra Levant, and his hatred for the left. You know, those folks who've been outside of power for the last 44 years in Alberta!!! It's their doing....and how about a koodatah (however the English spelling goes, I'm old enough to know it by its French equivalent) to force Notley to dissolve the legislature and call a new election???

Let's hope that saner heads prevail in Alberta. Yesterday on Cross Country Check up, a well known mouth piece for Big Oil was actually crediting Notley's carbon tax for giving licence for the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Not that Deborah Yedlin is above playing both ends against the middle: Yea Rachel, for the Carbon Tax when we're arguing Kinder Morgan is going to be good for the ecosphere, Boo Rachel when she's commisserating with the rough necks who's jobs have been sacrificed to the bottom line. Still, there is a dawning realization in Alberta that perhaps the carbon tax is a necessary trade off.

For Ezra's crew however, its rip and ship, unregulated and divinely ordained...all the way. The fact we're out of conventional oil....have to frack to get the dilutents to make bitumen (tar) flow, and are currently digging that junk fuel up at a loss............is over their heads.

Breathed the stinking petro fumes for too long maybe. CO2 tax=$odomy. Dirty minds are all they may have left.

They are populist nutbars for the most part. Hurting? Yes...But in denial of where the paiin originates. Not unlike Trump supporters in the states, they need a demegogue, to help them believe in their own innocence, and the diabolical intent of the democratic opposition.

Excellent picture of Kris Alexander. His smile puts the lie to his claim that he was appalled and upset by the calls to lockup the Alberta premier.

As for Ezra “Ethical Oil” Levant, if his understanding of ethics and/or justice was when million times greater than it is, he still would not understand the concept of fairness.