Aug. 14, 2021

Closing the barn door after the livestock is out

The following newsletter was issued by Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star Friday, Aug. 13. Here is an excerpt:

There comes a time in a minority Parliament where an election thought impossible suddenly becomes inevitable. No one is ever able to pinpoint exactly when that happens, but that moment has arrived in federal politics. 

Barring some last-minute change of heart, Justin Trudeau will be walking over to Rideau Hall on Sunday and springing a summer election on the country. The official election day is expected to be set for Sept. 20, on the very eve of what Trudeau once asked Canadians to imagine as the “two-dose fall.” 

Elections are all about choice, but a lot of the lead-up to this pandemic election has revolved around matters in which Canadians are increasingly finding their choices limited. This week alone, Trudeau’s government has announced that vaccinations are going to be mandatory for all federal employees and all travellers by rail, air or cruise ship — and that vaccination passports are coming this fall for international travel. 

Somehow all this felt inevitable too — in keeping with a country-wide trend in the face of COVID-19’s fourth wave, those measures were also apparently unavoidable. Yet Ontario Premier Doug Ford stands firm (so far) in resistance, rebuffing increasing demands for mandatory shots or a proof of vaccination system in Canada’s largest province. The premier even refused to meet with opposition MPPs pushing those ideas this week. 

The Star, in a rare, front-page editorial on Friday, strongly urged Ford to make a different choice, with the headline: “Show us leadership.” To Ford and Trudeau in particular, the editorial warned: “All governments should be consumed with containing the fourth wave and finally ending the pandemic. Anything else is a failure of leadership. Canadians deserve better.” 


Leadership? Good heavens, I thought this must be April first.

We are in this horrific mess because governments failed to cap national and international travel. We did not close our borders when it might have averted the calamity we are reminded of in the media every single day.

COVID 19 and its various variations have spread across the world and nations unhindered. Mandated vaccinations shred our right to make decisions about our personal health and safety. The federal government has produced no evidence to prove that vaccines are effective. There is no effort to ensure people can make an informed decision: our way or the highway.

Canada is fortunate that the recovery rate for people infected is currently 98.1% of infected people and 0.07% of the population. Still, as of Friday, August 13, 2021, 26,698 COVID deaths have been recorded. As of August 9, 15,240 (57%) of those deaths occurred in long-term care facilities.

No one is tracking the people who have been COVID infected and ostensibly recovered but are suffering long-term detrimental health effects. They suffer damaged lungs, hearts and other internal organs. Many are incapacitated and unable to work again, and they will likely suffer a shortened life span.

We hear occasional references to ‘long haulers,’ but there has been no effort to date to establish how many COVID survivors are no longer productive due to their illness. Those people will not be contributing to economic recovery and will require ongoing health care support while they live.

Vaccine passports are nineteen months late and a distraction long after they might have been helpful. Clamping down on air, bus, rail and ship travel will do nothing to mitigate the damage done. Vaccine passports are a public relations effort to make it look like governments are doing something useful, which they are not.