Is Premier Danielle Smith really expecting Paul Alexander, briefly in 2020 a Trump Administration science advisor who urged the then U.S. president let millions of Americans be infected with COVID-19 to establish herd immunity, to show up in Alberta and set out his thoughts to her government?

Independence Party of Alberta candidate Bob Blayone at the same event (Photo: Twitter/Screenshot).

So it would seem, judging from a brief exchange at an all-candidates’ debate Thursday evening in Medicine Hat where the premier is seeking to represent the Brooks-Medicine Hat Riding in the Legislature after next Tuesday’s by-election.

Ms. Smith’s remark suggested she’s reaching into some pretty strange corners to find anti-vaccine voices to support her crackpot views about public health in general and COVID-19 in particular. 

The exchange, captured on video by someone at the debate, began with Bob Blayone, the Independence Party of Alberta candidate, telling the audience that, “When I want to learn about something, I reach out to the very best. With COVID, I reached out to Dr. Paul Alexander, Dr. Peter McCollough, Dr. Robert Malone …”

All three are prominent voices in the American anti-vaxx movement championed on social media by the American far-right. 

Dr. Alexander – he holds a PhD in health research, not an MD – is probably the best known, not only for his short-lived role as scientific advisor to the assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services but for showing up in many pictures during the Ottawa occupation standing or marching with leaders of the convoy occupying downtown Ottawa. 

Paul Alexander, who had a short-lived role in 2020 as a scientific advisor to the Trump Administration (Photo: American Institute for Economic Research).

Dr. McCollough is a Texas cardiologist who promoted ivermectin, the now notorious veterinary deworming medicine, as a COVID treatment during the pandemic. Dr. Malone claims to be the inventor of mNRA vaccines but has tried hard to undermine their use. 

“All they want is to come to Alberta and have a conversation with this UCP Government and we’re gonna get him here to Alberta,” Mr. Bayone continued, before the moderator cut him off and moved on to Ms. Smith. 

“I’ll accept that invitation,” she chirped cheerfully in response. “I’ve got a group of doctors advising me and I know that they’ve already reached out to Dr. Paul Alexander, so I’m interested in hearing what he has to say.”

The short video clip published on Twitter can be viewed here. Scott Schmidt of the Medicine Hat News, who was at the all-candidates forum, said Ms. Smith quickly changed the subject, so there was no follow-up. 

Obviously, though, there needs to be some effort made to find out if Ms. Smith is seriously proposing to bring prominent anti-vaxx advocates from the Internet do-your-own-research circuit here to Alberta to advise her government and Alberta Health Services on public health policy. 

Calgary pollster Janet Brown (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Meanwhile, more evidence accumulated yesterday that this is exactly the sort of thing Albertans don’t want their government talking about, let alone acting on. 

The CBC published more of the latest public opinion research by Calgary pollster Janet Brown and it buttresses the conclusions of the poll last month by Navigator Ltd. and shows health care is rated by more Albertans than any other to be the single most important issue facing the province today. Inflation showed up as the No. 2 concern in this latest Janet Brown poll. 

“I think the reason we’re seeing a rise in health care is because there has been so much focus on what Danielle Smith plans to do with Alberta Health Services,” Ms. Brown told the CBC.

“I think one of the reasons that Danielle Smith’s impression scores are so low is because her rhetoric has been overwrought,” she also observed in yesterday’s story.

As for Ms. Smith, she’s hardly talking about the cost of living at all, and what she has to say about health care disturbs more Albertans than it reassures. 

William Aberhart, Alberta premier and leader of the world’s first Social Credit government (Photo: Aberhart

So why does the new premier obsessively repeat conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and talk about dismantling AHS for the way it handled the pandemic, even though that seems unlikely to improve her standing in the polls?

Well, obviously, she actually believes the nonsense she’s been peddling to the party base, and continues to push now that she’s premier. This is troubling in a leader with no popular mandate who appears to be riding the down elevator in public support. 

She also apparently suffers from the common broadcasters’ affliction of a morbid fear of dead air, so she seems to be compelled to say something if no one else is saying anything. What she wants to yak about the most is quackery and conspiracy.

Seriously, there’s been nothing quite like this gong show in Alberta since Bible Bill Aberhardt, leader of the first Social Credit government on the planet, invited a couple of emissaries from C.H. Douglas, Social Credit’s cultishly nutty philosopher king in London, to come to Alberta and help him run his cabinet in 1935. Their first directive was to replace the RCMP with a Social Credit police force, which sounds faintly familiar, but I digress. 

How long Ms. Smith’s UCP can put up with this remains to be seen. It probably has a lot to do with the story that the next few public opinion polls tell.

In the meantime, though, brace yourselves for a parade of anti-vaxx activists with lots of not-so-good suggestions for Alberta health care policy.

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    1. Good one, ya big chicken. You’d have to reveal your identity to make an argument, and I’d think even then your interlocutor’s comment could be defended as a mixture of truth and fair comment. By all means, though, feel free to identify yourself. DJC

    2. So do you have definitive proof that you don’t %#@& chickens? How about ducks, geese, or other forms of poultry?

      Please keep us advised as the court case progresses. I’m dying to see the discovery documents published online…

    3. Why get upset? The comment is actually funny. If you were capable of “fxxxg” a chicken you coud most likely make a lot of money in the porn industry. In the meantime, chill. Being referred to as a “chicken fxxker could be a term of endearment or not. Suing over it? Yikes. Its like that line about “protesting too much” any how thanks for the laugh. If you do sue, I hope the date of the court hearing is published. some of us will have to make travel arrangements to attend. OMG, if the Alberta courts didnt have enough to do.

    4. Actually that comment is in yesterday’s article and was “keep fornicating that chicken,” which I would interpret as “keep dreaming,” and based on your proposed lawsuit it seems you never stopped.

      1. Actually, this every bit as cromulent as anything that ever came out of the war room. I kinda think they did send their best.

        On the bright side, I think you just got to say something to Steve Allan that most Albertans have been wanting to say for years.

  1. I agree that cursing is the purview of the uneducated and inarticulate, but … Holy fuck we are screwed.

    Any day now we’ll have a voodoo doctors running AHS.

    Way to go Alberta voters. Let me know when you’ve had enough of this batshit, corrupt and incompetent UCP politics.

    1. Wish I could come back and vote in the next Alberta election, but, alas, I can’t. In the meantime, we’ve got our own problems here with the Ford government squashing labour rights (before they are even exercised). So be thankful that Smith and the UCP have not yet resorted to the ‘notwithstanding clause’…yet.

    2. just for fun
      1 some studies show swearing to indicate higher than average brain function.
      2 “white coats black arts” is still pretty accurate. “Lets try these and see if they work ” is the equivalent of placebo vs. faith healing
      3 Alberta didn’t vote for this. They wanted the pudgy midget first. When he was aborted it was Dozi Dani Lunatico Primo as was fortold by same McMidget. Now that’s voodoo.
      Alberta will place well in best comedic /tragic slapstick category in the year end review.

      1. Interesting. They’re is evidence to support the idea that swearing increases pain tolerance. It also affects the brain differently than other speech. When you swear or listen to swearing it activates the amygdala as well as speech centers. I was just reading about this the other day. My takeaway was “try to avoid cursing when talking politics or resolving conflicts, do curse when playing sports or hitting your thumb with a hammer. “

  2. Alberta has to be the top rated jurisdiction for political entertainment. Never a dull moment when dumbfuckery rules.

  3. If I was at this election related forum, I’d be asking some very tough questions, which Danielle Smith wouldn’t be able to easily answer. I would cover different things in my questions. It has to be done. The UCP has to be taken to task for their abysmal governance.

    1. Anonymous: This forum was run by the local Chamber of Commerce. Having some experience in small-town politics, I can tell you it’s not as easy as you think to ask a tough question at one of these affairs. Frequently, questions are not asked from the floor, but handed in on slips of paper and “edited,” or “consolidated,” by the organizers to favour the candidates they favour. You’d practically have to stand up and shout your question from the floor, in which case the chair would rule you out of order, and no one would answer. DJC

      1. DJC and Anonymous— I felt the same way when Skippy was here, and didn’t find out until after he’d left. Not being on social media, and not being a “follower ” ,he didn’t announce on MSM where he was going to be, and for someone who promotes ” I stand for ALL Canadians ” he sure doesn’t seem to like answering questions from all of us, same as DS…
        But then look at whom they are mimicking.

      2. David Climenhaga: Actually, you are right. I’ve even been to election forums and there were moderators at one of them. It still isn’t right to be screened like that, if you have legitimate questions.

  4. One of the best things about shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, and South Park is that they predict the future. Maybe they don’t really predict the future, but they do seem to have some degree of influence in manifesting that future.

    Take, for example, South Park’s Mr. Garrison, who when he was running for a public office he didn’t really want to win, so he spouted off anything crazy that came into his head, in the reasonable hope that no one in their right mind would vote for him. The problem for Garrison was that he was elected because his special brand of crazy was considered visionary by the voters. This the state of the modern political discourse — the idiots are truly running everything.

    It stands to reason that Danielle Straitjacket, whether unknowingly or intentionally, is mimicking every crazy thing someone does, and then doubles down that much harder on the crazy, is because she, unlike Mr. Garrison, knows a segment of the voters are completely insane and will vote for the most insane candidate. Seemingly desperate to get elected, Smith is going to milk that crazy train for all its worth and damn what reasonable people think. This the proof that everything is broken and no one knows or wants to fix it.

    Last night, Bill Maher presented what sounded very much like a eulogy for the American republic. He quoted Ben Franklin warning that “You have a republic, if you can keep it” is proving to be not just a mere historical footnote, while the coming election will unleash a tremendous amount of chaos onto America. Madness has taken over, the grifters are pushing their malicious narratives for fun and profit, while the rest of America goes along with the crazy.

    Alberta has a democracy, so long as it can keep it. It doesn’t look good right now.

    1. An excellent summary of today’s scene. Maher’s monologue on HBO was a masterpiece of logic and realism. Unfortunately the crazies who vote for the crazies have never heard of him and even if they did, it wouldn’t matter. The Trumper running for governor in Wisconsin said if he wins, Republicans will never lose another election. Democracy U.S. style is dead and most Americans don’t care. Who’s next?

  5. Have we hit rock bottom? A former Trump advisor is about to shape public health policy in Canada? Is it January 6 yet?

    1. Well Paul Alexander who has real degrees in epidemiology, is the most qualified of the trio of mad anti-vaxers named. And, I believe he is Canadian.

      IF you are going to import a kook, get a well qualified one.

      1. John: I grew up in a university community and I can guarantee you that a PhD is no guarantee of either intelligence or good sense, although it might be a lagging indicator of the former. They do tend to be a lot of work, however, so they are usually a sign of persistence. The caveat here is that not all PhDs are created equal. Dr. Alexander’s is from McMaster University, as I recall, so it is probably OK. DJC

    2. Let’s hope Queen Dannie gets her guy to show up and spout off during the election campaign. That will pretty much eliminate any chance of the UCP being re-elected.

  6. Ok, so I see maybe. Has anyone called Dr. Bundola, formerly of the CBC. And what of faith healers (Benny Hinn etc.). Then there’s Crystal cures? Leeches, I understand, are also returning to fashion. Science it’s so dull; blood letting, and drilling holes in the skull sound so much more interesting

    Any how, somewhere someone needs to let Delusional Danni know she’s Premier, and not a midnight to three pm talk show host pushing quack cures . Then they need to strictly enforce her talking points. If they don’t succeed then it’s best to rename her Sara Palan- sic.

  7. I have officially stopped laughing at the U.S.A. Canada has Smith.
    Not having heard of her prior to her election, not familiar with her back ground. Was she this ‘crazy’ prior and for how long?

    I’ve had my two covid shots and my third booster and I haven’t had covid. I still wear a mask indoors when out and about, if necessary. covid kills and I don’t plan on being one who dies because of it. I did not have a heart attack, or become ill or whatever they try to peddle about the vaccines.

    Smith sounds like some one who is bat shit crazy.

    Guess she is too young to remember life before polio vaccines. I’m not. Vaccines are one of the greatest gifts we have been given by scientists/doctors.

  8. What, the local kooks were not good enough for Smith and she had to look to the US?
    I gather Doctor Oz is not available currently, but depending on how his Senate election goes, he might be soon available so maybe she can add him to her list too.

    Perhaps in reaction to those recent polls, even some of the stalwart right wing commentators in Alberta are now getting publicly concerned about Smiths bizarre obsessions and views. It seems as if Smith has spent to much time following US right wing social media. It warps the mind. Maybe it is time for a digital detox for her.

    I recall a previous time a Conservative government was desperate to “fix” health care, so they imported a colourful and somewhat brusk Mr. Duckett from Australia. Unfortunately, he didn’t last very long here, but fortunately for the government after that they gave up (at least for a while) on trying to bring in outside experts and force ill advised changes on the health care system. The system does have its issues, but too much meddling from politicians who think they are smarter than everyone else hasn’t helped in the past and is probably not the best approach this time either.

    If it is any consolation, at least I doubt Smith will bring Duckett back. His views on COVID seem too conventional and not being from the US he would seem to lack the republican pedigree that seems to really appeal to and attract those on the right fringe.

  9. Hmmm, ….Dr Paul Alexander has a new book –( out Nov 15/Amazon)
    Presidential takedown,
    How Dr Fauci, CDC, IHS &WHO
    Conspired to takedown trump

    Seems to me I’ve heard this storyline before, somewhere lately, something to do with AHS ….
    So did DS get an advance copy?

    And if you’re worried now, if she invites Dr Dr Sarah Immanuel (America’s Frontline Doctors) we are all in for it…..
    Did someone mention aliens?

    During my first hiatus to Calgary, we had to dress up for the Stampede ( my request for my vacation time ,was denied) anyway, I ended up buying a pair of ” s’it kickers, I wonder if they’ll still fit, cause it’s getting pretty deep out there…

    Time to turn back the clocks, can we make it 6yrs instead of 1hr ?

  10. Why not? In politics as in life you need to ask questions and leave yourself open to answers no matter where they may lead you. Science is a process of asking questions, testing hypotheses and reformulating new questions. During the recent Covid lockdown there were lots of people asking questions but they were shouted down as being fringe who belonged in a circus freak show selling snake oil. The whole issue has become embroiled in politics and the science has taken a back seat. I hope Danielle Smith continues thinking out loud. She hits a nerve every time.

    1. Scientists don’t so much “ask questions” as they “conduct experiments.” They start with a hypothesis which they attempt to disprove. After their experiment is complete, they seek out something called “peer review” and then they “publish” their results, even if the experiment did not have the result they desired.

      If these had been actual “scientists,” they would have been able to supply evidence to support their conclusions. By the way there would also be a ton of people living today who had cured their own covid with horse dewormer, bleach smoothies, broken glass enemas, whiffed Trump farts and/or by fornicating chickens, and those people would supply “evidence” to support those claims merely by existing.

      That said, I don’t really care anymore. Take horse dewormer and drink bleach to cure covid, swing dead cats overhead widdershins by the light of a new moon as birth control, use an Ouiji board for stock tips. Eat garbage and drink sewage to avoid the attention of the secret Illuminati lizard people who want to steel your teeth. Wear a polished mirror on top of your head as protection from Jewish Space Lasers (pew pew). If jerks choose to believe water runs uphill, I can’t stop them from drowning, and I am becoming quite desensitized to the sight of bloated corpses floating downstream. If covid wasn’t contagious, I wouldn’t care how many idiots added to society by subtracting themselves from it. Given that more victims exist than I have the capacity to care about, I choose to care about the ones who didn’t win Darwin awards on the way out.

      If Tucker Carlson told his viewers they could tape feathers to their arms, jump off a building and fly by flapping their arms, he would be doing us a tremendous service. The thousandth person in line would jump just as proudly and self-righteously as the first.

  11. I think next Tuesday’s by-election is shaping up to be one both parties want to lose.

    If the UCP loses, they can probably find a way to rid themselves of their incredible mistake. If the NDP loses, they can keep their greatest asset.

    I am a progressive voter, but I think if I lived in Brooks-Medicine Hat I would vote for Danielle Smith in the upcoming by-election. I wonder how many voters in that riding will be voting to help their preferred party lose on Tuesday.

    1. Bob: If you did that, you might live to regret the mistake. If I lived in B-MH … I’d move. But I’d vote the the NDP candidate first. DJC

  12. I turned back my clock and woke up in 1953. No one was vaccinated against polio, measles, you name it. Seatbelts weren’t installed in vehicles and CFCs were the new miracle compound. I rolled over and awhile later woke up in 2022 Alberta. Hmmmm….no way it’s a time warp! Ice Nine!

  13. Danielle Smith keeps digging.

    Keep it up. It may take more time for some true blue UCP supporters to come to the conclusion that so many others have already reached about her and her Government.

    Our democracy does not guarantee good Government. It does guarantee that we can get rid of one that most voters believe is universally incompetent.

    1. Arwen,

      I feel the same way. My wife wants us to pack up and go, but when I ask her, “Where to?” she cannot name one place. They all seem equally bad.

  14. Most uninteresting to read comments more removed from relevancy and reality than our UCP government headed by way off base Premier Smith.

  15. Ya resign don t care for ur champagin ideas don t care for ur party or ucp i hate ur ideas of paying for health care or taking away our pension or our funds your unnessery and unwanted so just step down

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