CALGARY, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) — Independent Canadian journalist Keean Bexte has been charged with trespassing after former Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP) premier and current candidate Rachel Notley called law enforcement because he wanted to ask her questions at a press conference about the party’s stance on defunding the police.
Yesterday, Bexte revealed that he was given a ticket for trying to do his job as a reporter during the NDP press conference at a Calgary small business on Monday.
“Rachel Notley has had me charged for ‘Trespass.’ It is not a crime to be a journalist in Canada, yet,” he tweeted with a photo of his ticket.
“If you want to tell Notley to get stuffed and help me get a lawyer, here’s the link.”
On Monday, Bexte posted to Twitter soon after he was ejected from the NDP press conference.
“I think they (police) have better things to do than to pull journalists out of press conferences when the question I was going to ask was beyond reasonable,” he said.
A video posted by the Counter Signal shows Bexte telling an NDP staffer that he wanted to ask Notley why “a half dozen of her candidates have supported anti-police rhetoric, including actively defunding the police.”
“They’ve supported it and in practice done it. And now that the new Janet Brown poll is coming out, saying that over 50% of Albertans are supporting Danielle Smith. Does she think it’s time to discipline these candidates or re-tweak the anti-police message?” he added.
The press conference was delayed for a time to ensure it did not start until the police came.
Notley falsely said to the mainstream media reporters at the press conference that it was delayed due to a “protester” crashing the event.
Of note is that Bexte says he is “accredited as a Provincial Reporter by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.”
This is not the first time the NDP has kicked Bexte and other independent journalists out of a press conference.
In April, Notley had security guards physically remove at least two independent Canadian journalists from a press conference.
Bexte is also the reporter who just weeks ago was met with silence after asking Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek about her past support for defunding law enforcement now that her city is facing a crisis of crime.
Alberta’s two largest cities, Calgary, and Edmonton, as well as mid-size cities such as Red Deer and Lethbridge have seen an uncharacteristic surge in crime in recent months.
In Calgary specifically, many have pointed to the fact that in 2021, when Gondek, who is now mayor, was a councilor, she voted to defund the police by $20 million.
In response to the rise in crime, Smith announced that 100 street cops would be hired through funding from the province to aid law enforcement in Calgary and Edmonton. The stipulation for the funding is that the money must be used for street cops only.
Smith blamed some of the rising crime affecting Alberta cities on the federal government’s “catch and release” bail system, in which violent offenders are often released back onto the streets shortly after being apprehended.
2023 Alberta provincial election to be held in less than two weeks
The 2023 Alberta provincial election will be held May 29 and is a two-horse race between the current government of the United Conservative Party (UCP) under Smith and the opposition NDP under Notley.
While many polls show the race to be close, others have the UCP with a comfortable lead to win and form a majority government, which they currently have.
The mainstream media coverage of the election has been heavily skewed in favor of the NDP, which is not a surprise considering Notley is vocally pro-abortion.
She served as Alberta’s premier from 2015 to 2019, and while in power her government targeted faith-based institutions, including publicly funded Catholic and Christian schools.
As for her current campaign, Notley has vowed that should her NDP win the election, all forms of “birth control” will be free for Albertans despite the fact it is already available for free should one ask for it.
Smith’s campaign is focused on lower taxes, less government, and pushing back against radical federal legislation targeting Alberta’s oil and gas industry.
She takes a pro-freedom approach to COVID, even once saying that the “unvaccinated” were the “most discriminated against” group she has seen in her lifetime, but she too takes a liberal approach to many social issues.
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, many of Smith’s views, including those surrounding gay “marriage” and public funding for abortion, remain at odds with traditional conservative values, a fact that has made her a target of the province’s largest pro-life organization.
However, she did say last year she is in favor of adoption over abortion.
As for the NDP, in 2018, David Eggen, Notley’s then-education minister, went as far as demanding that faith-based schools purge religious content from their policies.
More recently, during the COVID-19 so-called pandemic, Notley had suggested that the province enact a door-to-door COVID vaccine campaign. She was also a vocal proponent of lockdowns as a means to control the virus.
Tomorrow, Smith and Notley will participate in a televised leaders’ debate at 6 p.m. MST.