Sep. 13, 2021

The numbers are edging ever so slightly in the daily election polls to the point that we could well be in for a squeaker in Nanaimo-Ladysmith on election night. 338 Canada poll shows even with a single point change can jump a candidate into first place from third. Paul Manly of the Greens, was in third place, only one point behind Lisa Marie Barron of the NDP and Conservative Tamara Kronis. Then he jumped into the lead. Each of those two had held brief leads. 

Whatever Manly has picked up has shown a matching decrease for the NDP. It’s the same story with the Conservative – whatever percentage she has dropped shows up for People’s Party candidate Stephen Welton. He has elevated his ranking from just over one per cent support at the start of the campaign to now getting close to six per cent.

On the national scene, as of Saturday, the Conservatives had 32.9% support and the Liberals 31.7% with the NDP at 19.2% The eye opener is the PPC at 6.3% nationally compared to the Greens’ 3.1%

More than ever, this is where the saying “every vote counts” could be right on the mark.

 

Aug. 30, 2021

We’re in for some rocky times in the next month or so as Coronavirus vaccine mandates go into effect. A government-issued proof of vaccination will be mandatory in specific public locations to the point that some people could lose their livelihoods. It’s the workers, moreso than the patrons who are likely to suffer the most.

Police are concerned that enforcement will put a severe strain on resources that are already stretched thin. Premier John Horgan said last week that businesses who have difficulty with patrons refusing to show proof of enforcement can “call law enforcement.” Rob Farrer, Pacific regional director with the National Police Federation, said calling the cops cannot always be the answer. With the passport program applying to thousands of businesses across the province, he said enforcement will pose challenges under current resources.

On the surface it sounds quite simple, get vaccinated or lose your job. But it runs much deeper than that because of the strongly-held views of many who are rejecting vaccinations – it has become a question of human rights. Can government force its citizens to be injected with a foreign substance they don’t trust?

It’s a very divisive issue – those who are opposed to vaccines are just as committed as those who accept them.

I took a quick ride through the government process to get the passport, and if they think average British Columbians will be able to sift through this bureaucratic garble, it will be a pretty frosty Friday before people can get their cards. That’s sure to put the gravel in the grinder. They better have phone contacts (that are answered) in order to guide people though this.

In many jurisdictions there is discussion about bringing in a third round of vaccinations. After that, will their be a fourth round?

We hear lots from those pushing the vaccines, but there are many sides to the story, and the other side is not getting told. Brian Peckford has a lot of facts about COVID-19 testing and vaccines in his column.

There are many unproven claims of dire results. It’s also the forced mandate – the history where people equate the current actions to Nazi Germany, which some of them personally lived through.

We’ve seen the anti-mask protest demonstrations, many of them based on facts and some on wild and crazy conspiracy theories. Some are legitimate concerns about the safety of vaccines and others interpreting is as more  government control of our lives. They are not just a cluster of wild-eyed crazy loonies.

I have talked to people who are aware they will lose their jobs once the requirement for vaccinations goes into effect. And they are willing to make that sacrifice. We all have the right to choose whether to patronize a business, but there's no justification for those who lose their jobs due to the vaccine mandate.

We already have a labour shortage in many sectors in B.C., and this can only make the problem worse. It makes one wonder if governments have looked at both sides of the picture.

You can be sure there will be legal challenges to rule on the constitutionality of the mandatory vaccines. Some lawyers believe they have a case.

 

 

Aug. 29, 2021

Two weeks into the federal election campaign and some interesting patterns are beginning to develop. And it’s enlightening.

There are polls to gauge the mood of the voters, but it has been interesting to see the party leaders glad-handing the electorate, how they perform in front of the cameras, how they come across in public. It’s totally unscientific, of course.

To date, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has stood out based on the charm factor. It’s not based on the policies and issues Singh has been espousing, but the way he has presented them.

He’s been driving the goodie truck across the country offering candy to anyone and everyone – free prescription drugs, housing subsidies, outlawing corporate ownership of seniors facilities and more. Singh has not looked at any balance sheet – the outcome has to balance with the income, but that doesn’t matter in an election campaign.

Singh comes across as the guy you’d like to sit down and have a beer with, and that wins elections. The average of latest national polls indicates the possibility of the NDP picking up a considerable number of seats.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has been polishing his approach of late but his military background translates as a real stiffness in the campaign. He has loosened up a bit of late. As much as some people want to punt Trudeau into history, O’Toole is stepping on the toes of many old-line Conservatives and they don’t forgive and forget.

Much of the opposition to Trudeau has been about the coronavirus pandemic, carbon taxes, climate change, charity scandals and the Afghan evacuation disaster, not to mention his “woke” philosophy, and charity scandals. But that’s where O’Toole has been wandering. The question is whether O’Toole is overcoming the “Liberal Lite” label that dogged him during the opening days of the campaign.

On the other hand, the Liberals are faltering in opinion polls. Trudeau has had to cancel some of his rallies due to hostile crowds and what was announced as safety concerns.

Now, having interpreted what the public is seeing on television, there’s the harsh reality in the opinion polls.

www.338Canada.com runs a daily average of all major polls. Their latest one this morning has the Conservatives projected to be ahead in 143 ridings, a pickup of 22 more than they had in the last Parliament. The NDP projection is 34 seats, an increase of ten. It looks gloomy for the Liberals with a projection of 137 seats, down 19. The Green Party is projected at one seat. The end result would be another minority government.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith polls have Conservatives at 29 per cent, Green at 28, NDP at 27 per cent and the Liberals at 12. It’s a bit of a surprise – the 2019 election, Paul Manly of the Greens won handily with 34.5 per cent of the vote while John Hirst of the Conservatives was second with 25.9 per cent and the NDP’s Bob Chamberlin with 23.6 per cent.

Keep in mind, moods can swing in an instant, Liberals support has skidded a couple of percentage point in just days. The only poll that counts is the one on election day but it makes it interesting for pundits and party supporters.

Aug. 24, 2021

We’ve seen news reports in the U.S. about how badly their administration has fouled up the evacuation of qualified refugees from Afghanistan. Frankly, it has been a disgusting display of ineptitude, falling a at the feet of President Joe Biden.

But not us, we have seen media reports of successful operations by Canada, getting refugees to our country or other hosting countries. It paints a glowing picture when compared with the U.S.

It makes great fodder for our government, especially on a federal election campaign. However, that picture is not so glowing as presented by former national television news anchor Kevin Newman.

In one case, Canada directed special refugees who had been granted Canadian citizenship to a gas station next to the airport where they would be directed to flights to take them out to freedom. Kevin describes how about 100 showed up, only to find nobody there to help them, leaving them without necessities like food and water while the Canadian bureaucracy dithers.

Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino had assured that department staff had been authorized to cut the red tape, but apparently they ignored the minister.

Despite mountainous hurdles, Americans are getting their people out, the same cannot be said for Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blamed the Taliban for making it impossible to do better. “Unless the Taliban shift their posture significantly — which is something the international community and Canada are working on — it's going to be very difficult to get many people out,” Trudeau said.

But other countries are succeeding. Kevin reports that our allies had eyes and boots on the ground this week at Kabul’s airport. Canada did not. It closed its embassy and withdrew all its diplomats and military by jet to Ottawa just as the Taliban was rolling into town. The government left no one behind to talk to the Taliban, or our allies, as they organized and negotiated the rescue of thousands. 

Kevin’s report – The people we left behind at the gas station – is necessary reading for all Canadians. He also posted a second report – Canada is slow, risk averse and selfish.