Women empowering women in Alberta’s UCP
The Post Millennial sat down with UCP candidate Kara Barker for an exclusive interview on Sunday, providing us with some insight into the struggles she endured while reconnecting with her Cree heritage.
Barker speaks about her Cree family history
Larry Bearhead from Paul Band First Nations was Kara’s birth father; he passed away in 1974.
Kara was part of the 60s Scoop generation, born at a time many First Nations would like to forget, given the state-led genocide of the said peoples.
Born in Edmonton, she was adopted from birth, moving to Ontario with her parents where she was raised for the entirety of her childhood.
Kara then got in contact with her birth mother years later, who, at the time was living in BC. They would write to one another, meeting for the first time shortly after that.
She would then apply for treaty status in recognizing her father’s indigenous ancestry, contacting Indigenous Affairs, and providing nothing but his name. Unfortunately, they could not locate her late father, even with Inac’s records.
She was informed by Inac to find a relative to her father and to verify her family tree. Kara went back to Paul Band First Nations, meeting with her biological father’s sister.
She was able to confirm her family lineage but now has been left in limbo with Inac.
Overcoming the odds
Looking back on her struggles, she’s reminded of all those who perished in the Residential School System; many were reduced to mere footnotes in our nation’s history.
Though many did not make it, she did. She survived. And now, she’s seeking public office after more than a decade as a practicing Crown prosecutor.
She attributes Leila Houle, UCP candidate for Highlands-Norwood as a big reason for her jump to politics. “Leila was a big inspiration because of her dedication to getting out in the community and volunteer,” she says.
For the past several months, Kara and her team of dedicated volunteers have taken to Leila’s example: they door knocked, conversed with thousands of voters, and presented their respective constituency with a qualified candidate. A strong voice for the legislature.
By all accounts, Kara has worked hard to earn the votes of Edmonton-Riverview; glancing through her social media accounts, that holds.
Leila Houle is an inspiration to others
Leila Houle has stepped up to the plate in taking on the NDP stronghold of Highlands-Norwood this election season.
The Post Millennial reached out to Leila, who spoke to her experiences; speaking highly of Kara—her colleague and friend.
Leila first met Kara last year at the UCP AGM, and instantly the two became friends—bonding over shared passions in dutifully serving their communities.
Leila then went on to say all political parties should have an Indigenous perspective on their respective platforms.
In light of the recent uproar on the UCP’s three-statement stance on Indigenous policy, Leila’s statement holds.
As Kara had said in a prior interview, it is “our duty to consult” with one another, which the NDP danced around on Bighorn.
At a Christmas Party back in 2016, she met with Jason Kenney who encouraged her to get involved in politics. Having the support of an experienced figure like Kenney fuelled her eventual run for public office; she was eager to get involved with a party who believed in her potential as she sought the nomination.
“I have achieved goals people have said to me were impossible as an Indigenous Women. I have faced many challenges and obstacles, but I never lost faith because of who I am and where I come from. I am a proud member of the Whitefish Lake First Nation. I also a proud member of the United Conservative Party of Alberta,” said Houle.
“I have myself throughout my life as an Indigenous Women, and as a United Conservative Candidate I will stand up for Albertans come April 16.”
Future for women in Conservative Politics is bright
With a caucus consisting of 40% female candidates, the United Conservatives have followed through on their promise of having a party more reflective of Alberta’s demographics.
Candidates like Leila Houle and Kara Barker represent a turning of the guard in Alberta’s Conservative movement, where the envisioned meritocracy of the Right holds, and additional perspectives accounted for in the governance of our province.
Both are strong voices for their communities, serving as a reminder that the United Conservatives are indeed a coalition of diverse candidates, from vast walks of life and professions.
An Alberta company that makes diesel from garbage is planning to take the company a step further by adding three new plants—all in southern Alberta.
Cielo Waste Solutions and Renewable Energy currently operates near Lethbridge, AB and plans to make the expansion later this year. So far they’ve started a trial plant in Aldersyde, AB.
The company produces biodiesel fuel by mixing waste and motor oil that has already been recycled. The end product is meant to be a high-grade fuel at a low cost.
CTV reported that the fuel has been used in both vehicles and jets.
Since the recent success of the company, they want to bring the new plants to Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, and Brooks.
Director at the company, Lionel Robins said, “Any kind of wood waste, plastics – all seven types, not just a few plastics—all the clamshell plastics that just been buried in the past, rubber, municipal sod waste. Basically everything but rock, metal and glass.”
By next summer, the company is planning to have all of their new plants in full operation.
They have started construction on an additional plant in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
A one-day “Value of Alberta” conference examining Alberta’s place in Confederation is taking place next week, as tensions in the province remain high following the province’s overwhelming anti-Liberal and anti-Trudeau vote, which saw nearly 70 percent of the province vote solely for the Conservative Party.
Event spokesperson Becca Polak see the event will help Albertans look at the ways the Canadian government is stunting Alberta’s growth as a province.
“Every day we hear from members of the Alberta Proud community debating what is possible with Alberta’s future. Most of our community wants a Canada that values Alberta. We want both Alberta and Canada to succeed, but we also feel that many elements of Canada are blockading Alberta and holding our future at ransom,” Polak said of the tensions. “Our members wanted to know what was possible and what can be done. So we decided to host this conference to further the discussion.”
The event, which is hosted by Alberta Proud, a group that strives to celebrate Alberta while creating a conversation about Alberta and its relationship with the other provinces, will seek to “examine Alberta’s place in Confederation and the feasibility of Alberta becoming more autonomous.
The tune of autonomy isn’t one being sung by Alberta alone.
One month ago, Moe stated publicly that he believed his province should have more of a say over their immigration system, drawing direct comparison to Quebec.
Moe says he wants control over the growth of Saskatchewan’s population, which aims to increase by 300,000 residents over the next 10 years by adding 100,000 new jobs, increasing the province’s population to 1.4 million.
“The goal is not to say what the percentages would be. The goal is to have the flexibility to make the percentages work for the people and the industries in this province,” said Moe to The Canadian Press.
“In many cases, like climate policy, the provinces are most connected with the needs of the industries that are operating in our communities across the province.”
Speakers include Conrad Black and author Dr. Ted Morton.
“We think that all Albertans who are concerned about these issues will benefit from this conference,” said Polak. “No matter how you feel about separation or more autonomy for Alberta it is useful to understand where Alberta stands today, how we got here, and the options that are available to us in the future.”
Polls have also revealed that the west, and Alberta specifically, feel as though the nation is fracturing due to alienation. The majority of those surveyed in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and in the Maritimes believe that Canada is “more divided than ever,” and according to Ipsos vice-president Kyle Braid, those numbers have reached “historic” heights, specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The conference is set for January 18 at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre. More conference details will be announced at www.AlbertaProud.org.
At least 30 Edmontonians are believed to be among the 63 Canadians who died after the crash of a Ukrainian passenger flight only minutes after departing from Tehran’s airport yesterday.
According to Payman Parseyan, a member of the Iranian-Canadian community in Edmonton, 27 Iranian-Canadians were on Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752.
Among the 63 dead were two University of Alberta professors, married and with their two daughters.
Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand—both professors in the faculty of engineering—and their two daughters, Daria and Dorina, passed away in the plane crash, according to Masoud Ardakani of the University of Alberta.
Parseyan went on to tell CBC Radio that the flight was not an organized trip, and the large number of Iranian-Canadians on the flight was coincidence, due largely to international students’ inability to travel to the United States, which led them to take European connections.
Parseyan says a small group of roughly 100 people has committed to helping make arrangements for the victim’s families.
“Edmonton’s Iranian community isn’t Canada’s largest Iranian community, but we are working together to ensure all members of the community are supported during this difficult time.”
“Many were expecting their friends and [family] members to come back … [and] were well aware what flight they were on,” said Parseyan.
Parseyan told a story of a man who called in disbelief to ask him if there could have been a different flight to Kyiv.
“He called and said, ‘Hey, is there any chance there’s a second flight to Kyiv, this is a mistake? This can’t be real.’ He’s devastated.”
Two men were seen on camera stealing an ATM from a Petro Canada in Whitecourt, Alberta.
The footage shows one man jumping into the store through the broken door. He brings a tow strap with him and hooks it up to the store’s ATM.
When it is hooked to a vehicle outside, the men attempt to drive away with the ATM but it becomes stuck in the doorway. They are eventually able to lift the ATM through the doorway and leave the scene.
Megan Reutman, the manager of the gas station was notified about the break in by the security system, when she received a message on her cellphone.
According to CBC, Reutman called the police around 4 a.m. The police were unable to make it to the scene on time, and the theft cost Reutman and her family losses of about $25,000.
RCMP spokesperson, Fraser Logan said, “Attacks upon ATMs inside businesses, including the theft of these machines, continue to be an ongoing issue.”
According to the RCMP, there have been 51 attempts at stealing ATMs in 2019 from January to October. Some successful thefts and some unsuccessful. Police say this is about average for Alberta.
The president of the chamber of commerce in High Prairie, Barry Sharkawi noted, “Business people, they’re calling me, you know, saying ‘This is enough, we can’t take this anymore.’”
“They are upset,” He added, “Not just that they are scared about the break-and-enters, but they’re asking, ‘Who’s next?'”
Sharkawi posted another image of a Circle K that had similar damages on Nov. 21.
In a Facebook post, Sharkawi said, “Something has to happen regarding security of the town,” he added, “If this keeps happening, it will scare anybody to come and invest in High Prairie.”
Some business owners are unsure if owning an ATM is worth all of the trouble.
Reutman noted, “We haven’t replaced it. We’re still deciding if we want an ATM back in our store.” she added, “Things are not cheap.”
“[Replacing] the garbage cans, like, you just think it’s a garbage can, but because you have to get specific ones from Petro Canada, they’re $150 each.”
Sharkawi said, “We need to be saved, that’s all,”