Posted by Curt on 11 February, 2022 at 6:27 pm. 3 comments already!


by Derek H. Burney

It is time for common sense and fewer arbitrary judgments on COVID. The elasticity of what has been proclaimed as “science” has caused exhaustion, as well as frustration around the world. The science is evolving, and the world is adapting. Canada cannot afford to lag behind. Many countries in Europe — including Sweden, Denmark, the U.K., Norway, Ireland and Switzerland — are removing all mandates and restrictions. Saskatchewan and Alberta are moving in a similar direction, as are several U.S. states. There is an increasing inclination to learn to live with COVID-19 as an endemic like the annual flu, and return society to some degree of normalcy.
Vaccinations are not the perfect solution that we were once led to believe. Many fully vaccinated and boosted individuals, including political leaders and several NHL players, have tested positive, usually with minor symptoms. The impact of COVID and its newest variants has been less severe for those fully vaccinated but there have been exceptions.
Vaccine mandates are becoming tricky terrain. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against federal mandates for businesses with 100 or more employees while sanctioning mandates for health workers. But the efficacy of the stipulations are questioned as there is no exemption for those with natural immunity despite reports that they are better protected than those fully vaccinated. Religious exemptions are difficult to obtain.
The ability to choose whether or whether not to be vaccinated is a fundamental civil liberty and that is what the Canadian truckers’ “Freedom Convoy,” now being emulated in the U.S. and Europe, is about. The convoy has been infiltrated by a few disreputable elements and has been disruptive in such cities as Ottawa, but the movement has been largely law-abiding, even cheerful. As a Wall Street Journal editorial commented: “When you’ve lost even Canadians, arguably the most law-abiding people on the planet, you’ve lost the political plot.”

The concerns protesters are expressing deserve respect from the government and not the prime minister’s dismissive comparison with demonstrations he has supported, such as those of Black Lives Matter. BLM protests in America erupted into violent criminal behaviour, arson and extensive damage to public and private property in many cities.
Having stunted Parliament for two years, the government seems afraid to face real opposition. The prime minister’s claim that the truckers are expressing “unacceptable views” has an authoritarian ring. “Unacceptable” by what definition and in violation of what law?
Ottawa’s mayor declared a state of emergency, which he has limited power to enforce. His eminently sensible suggestion that an honest broker be appointed to mediate was ignored by the government.
Astonishingly, former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney described the protest as “sedition,” whereas NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh uttered a peculiar dog whistle about white supremacy. In an emotional, unsubstantiated rant, Ottawa’s police chief said the protest represented an “insurrection” (prompting the thuggish arrest of a great-grandfather for honking his horn). Comments like these debase legitimate public protests that have featured neither violence nor vandalism. When law-abiding citizens are provoked by indefensible government edicts and denied any hearing by those in power what are they supposed to do?
Perhaps prodded by the government, GoFundMe arbitrarily cancelled the convoy’s fundraising account. But how can it justify action that blatantly runs counter to its support of funds for other protest groups, such as the BLM movement, whose demonstrations have at times led to riots?
As of yesterday, a separate fund set up on the Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo had raised US$8.2 million for the convoy. But then the Ontario government stepped in and successfully petitioned the Superior Court of Justice to freeze access to those funds. GiveSendGo categorically rejected this extraterritorial overreach.

A Jan. 15 federal mandate that Canadian truckers travelling to and from the United States be fully vaccinated or undergo quarantine and molecular COVID tests are what triggered the complaint. Canada alone is insisting on the expensive molecular tests. The issue should have been resolved bilaterally and sensibly by the two governments.
Hockey fans wonder why Americans can watch games in packed arenas whereas Canadians cannot. Is our northern air different?
Many Canadians are fed up and pressure will continue to build until authorities decide that “enough is enough” and start to ease draconian COVID measures. Otherwise, the government and their elitist supporters risk being stranded on the wrong side of the debate.
A recent study from Johns Hopkins University reported that lockdowns enforced when the pandemic began had a negligible impact (0.2 per cent reduction in deaths) yet the costs to many small businesses are beyond calculation and the damage from mental anguish and dislocation of daily lives is monumental.
Mask mandates are a further irritant in the equation. Public health experts have been all over the map on this one. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin was elected on a pledge to let parents decide whether students should wear masks to school and yet he is running into stiff opposition in the courts, from the teachers union and unelected school administrators who deny unmasked students access to schools and who threaten legal action against the parents and the students. So much for democracy.
Belatedly, many authorities now acknowledge that attention should have focused more stringently on the most vulnerable in our society — the elderly, especially seniors suffering from diabetes, heart or lung ailments, obesity and other health concerns. In the statistics, the distinction is never precise.

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