I Went To Alberta To See What All The Fuss Is About With David Parker, Take Back Alberta And The Freedom Movement And It Was An Eye Opener…

May 12, 2024

Last week, I announced I’d be visiting the enigmatic leader of Take Back Alberta, David Parker.

I lost sponsors, my address was published, and we lost thousands of followers before we even got on the plane, and that’s EXACTLY why I went.

What Am I Doing??

I met David Parker a year ago when someone dared him to jump on a podcast with Max Fawcett and me. He did.

Since then, I’ve had him on the podcast twice. We’ve had several meetings about creating a podcast series about the Freedom Movement. We’ve signed an agreement to produce a series about getting to know the issues in Alberta, what the Freedom Movement is, and what they want.

Last week, I spent two solid days with David. He picked us and our film crew up at the airport and dropped us off at our AirBnB. He gave us 100% of his time for two solid days. He introduced us to members of the freedom movement like Mahmoud Mourra, seen here.

We had all-you-can-eat Sushi with “Mac.” Then we went to his shop (he’s a mechanic) for a sitdown conversation where he told us he values his “Freedom” more than “Religion.” His concern for this country began in 2016 when his daughter came home with a book about two princesses falling in love. He’s also triggered by the influx of Syrian refugees into Canada. Mac is from Lebanon and was tortured by Syrians. He didn’t tell me why, but I gathered his activism, which springs from those two resentments—Syrian Refugees and books about it being ok for a princess to love another princess.


Mac is Muslim, and hardcore Muslims and Christians are only part of the “Freedom Movement.”  David introduced us to several members of the holistic wellness community who operate a farm just outside of the City. It’s a Berry farm teaming with happy, good-looking, friendly people whose version of Freedom seems passive yet essential to their core beliefs.

The farm was more of a farmers’ market and small village than a farm, and you won’t find folks who are friendlier than the ones at Saskatoon Farms. It’s a family-owned and operated business that welcomes EVERYONE and doesn’t discriminate but refused to close during the pandemic. They’ve been collared with a scarlet letter by left-leaning activists and been targeted by SJWs for selling hemp shirts, organic Bison Jerkey, and Kombucha. Still, they are incredibly kind and open folks trying to welcome all, regardless of conviction or ideology. That’s a very different kind of Freedom, and I dig it. There was an incredible sense of community there.

The Freedom Movement Isn’t Just About Religion, Kids

I talked with one of the owners and asked him what Saskatoon Farms was about over the past few years and where they sat in the Freedom effort. Austin was very kind and said they wanted to remain open and didn’t want to take a side. Hence, they kept the farm and market open, welcomed ANYONE and EVERYONE, and refused to stop commerce for political or religious ideologies. He let us film wherever we wanted. They encouraged us to return, thanked us for being willing to have the conversation, and invited us back “anytime.”

David opened up his Rolodex and contact list for us, and we learned about the diverse attitudes, groups, wants, and desires of the Freedom movement, which has a diverse cross-section of core beliefs and ideas of what “freedom” is to them.

For some, it’s a war against Trudeau (that hatred is universal).

For others, it’s a war against being told what to do.

Throw wellness, oil and gas, religious conviction, privilege, immigration, and affordability into the mix, and you have a VAST cross-section of people who appear to be way more militantly libertarian than conservative. David’s network of Freedom Fighters seems to align more with libertarians who want Freedom from oversight yet stress “fewer rulers, more rules.”

There was an obvious disdain for Trudeau’s liberals, but what shocked me was the similar disdain for Pierre Poilievere and the Conservative party within the Freedom movement. I was very hard-pressed to find anyone David introduced me to who thought Pierre wasn’t drifting and sideswiping “true believers” in the freedom movement.

“I won’t be voting for Pierre,” David said at the tail end of our Wednesday sitdown.

That was a huge theme that shocked all of us this week. They see PeePee as the extreme left sees PeePee. As a threat to their existence, but David KNOWS PeePee, and that part of our interview was fucking wild and eye-opening. Including what he thinks is behind the Pierre Poilievre corruption door.

They mean it out there. They want absolute Freedom—Financial, Medical, and Freedom of expression regardless of impact.

Some want the Freedom to put up pics of LGBTQ flag burnings and tweets about being proud of their skin color—Freedom to remove democratically elected officials they don’t like. Freedom to remove services to trans/lgbtq kids, Freedom to treat their kids however they deem necessary, and the Freedom to not pay taxes. Like ever.

Some believe in a social contract, some don’t, but very few believe in any trustworthy relationship with any level of government. Federal or provincial.

I felt Danielle Smith was their person for various reasons, mainly because Premier Smith aligns with their core beliefs. It was hard to tell which of those beliefs were a forced importation from TBA’s freedom demands (Trans policies, Bill 18 and 20, changing vaccine mandates for kids). Still, many new policies are a massive departure from her previous positions. I also felt that TBA and the Freedom movement OWN the future of the UCP and answer to no one other than the board and the director of TBA, David Parker.

Stay mad, Ya’ll.

I lost a lot in committing to this process. AND I care less about what I lost and more about what I gained. DOZENS of hours of footage and a first-hand look at a group that considers themselves the most marginalized group in Canada. And yes, this still has EVERYTHING to do with vaccines and lockdowns.

Do I like David Parker? Yes. Do I respect what he has done in some regions of his life? Yes.

Do I like what he stands for or respect how he treats certain groups? Nope. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to know what drives him, whether he represents the entire movement, and how they have managed to take over a whole province.

After a few days, I think I know how.

Self-interest and resentment drive the Freedom Movement. Interests are financial, and resentments are personal, and they all vary. For some, it was about being forced to take a vaccine. For others, it was the lockdown and the inability to attend church or do business. For some, it’s JUST about Libs vs. cons. Right vs Left. Blue vs. red. Alberta vs Ottawa. But they all align around the idea that Alberta needs to leave Canada. To be its sovereign nation with a right to self-determination.

“Alberta First” was a through line and theme during this visit, and the Freedom Movement in Alberta RUNS the province and answer to no one, so stop acting like it’ll never happen. After my experience this week, I can tell you that these people are not interested in a conversation about their sovereignty. They are focused on making it a reality, and unless Albertans show up at the polls in the next election, it just might happen.

The podcast is a deeper dive and will be out in the next two weeks. We hope to go back in June to follow James Lindsay on tour, talking about gender and DEI (It’ll be a rip) in towns across Alberta for a series of sold-out shows. I’m fascinated by the kaleidoscope of interests and the conviction of this group, and David has given us the kind of access to show you how it works and why they exist. You can be angry that I want to know more about a cross-section of people certain groups tell us not to engage with, but that still won’t affect my desire to get to know what makes up 26% of a specific group of Canadians who have the power to change the Map of Canada based on resentment and their core beliefs.

I think it’s a vital story to tell, and I love the people of Alberta. I grew up in Alberta, and it still feels like home. I think you won’t find a more welcoming province, which makes the story worth more.

Having said all that, this whole thing might fall apart, too. Being organized isn’t their strong suit, which is weird for a group that organizes people for a living.





Dean Blundell

Dean Blundell is a Canadian radio personality. Best known as a longtime morning host on CFNY-FM (The Edge) in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015 he was named the new morning host on sports radio station CJCL (Sportsnet 590 The Fan). Dean started his career in radio in 2001 and for nearly 20 years been entertaining the radio audience. Dean’s newest venture is the launch of his site and podcast which is gaining tremendous momentum across North America.

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