It actually makes sense…not the talking point, but the effort to cast Ukraine in terms of America’s culture war. That makes it especially nuts given that Ukraine is probably as socially conservative as many right wingers thanks to the deep Orthodox Church influence in Ukraine society. But, Republicans need to find room to the opposite of Biden – so why not cast Ukraine as a hotbed of ‘occult’ or satanic cult worship to make it easy to hate them and rally to Putin’s side. Totally unhinged, but this is today’s Trump/Republican party.
Oh, they’re loud, and they’ll muster a gathering of supporters at the nations’ capitol as promised, but not likely in the numbers they’ve been promoting. Numbers – like half a million people, 50,000 trucks from across the country. Now I could be wrong with the numbers too, but it doesn’t invalidate the next point I’m about to make.
They’re about to step into the stupid-trap…and we’ve been warning them all this time that its going to suck.
They’re protesting a federal Transport Canada vaccine mandate rule for truck drivers entering Canada from the USA that they must prove their vaccine status or face up to 14 days quarantine.
Read it again.
If the Transport Canada (“Justin Trudeau”) mandate disappears tomorrow, unvaccinated truckers from Canada will still be denied entry to the USA because of their right to set border rules.
So every truck with banners saying all sorts of profanity towards the federal liberals and Trudeau are again missing the mark.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the political people in high places too. There is a reason why the federal liberals are slow walking any sort of pushback – the clowns who have organized and fundraised off this effort are making themselves look like total idiots at a scale unseen in Canada before.
Of course, this all links back to the garbage arguments made by a tiny handful of folks that the vaccine(s) aren’t safe, or that covid is fake. Well shut the fuck up about that. Unless you’re sporting the qualifications of a medical doctor or virologist, this ain’t your ballpark to render ‘professional’ opinions on the matter.
The fact that its brought out the kooks on the far right is political gravy for Justin. As a result of this convoy-of-stupid, Justin will score a majority government if we had an election any time soon.
Well done. Idiots.
What I could have said – and was surely going to, were not helpful.
I am upset as the year rolls around to its end, that we’re still battling with covid19…but we’re also contending with a significant mindset who have rejected modern medicine and coherent medical advice in favour of misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Words have power. Words spoken by people of influence have power. The more outrageous things you say it seems, draw more and more people. It doesn’t have to be true (and clearly, in many cases it is not at all true). But spoken with passion and conviction, some will be convinced of the words and ideas over medical advice.
This is beyond frustrating…but predictable.
The rhetorical power of a demagogue was learned well in America in the lead up to 2016 and beyond, and we’re not immune here in Canada to the sway either.
The things I wanted to say to these folks who have seemingly drank this potion was equally as venomous as what their side spews outwards.
I have since decided that I am not spending any more energy on this. While I am still upset at antivaxxers (whom I consider a menace to society), its to those on the fence that I want to reach.
I see you and I hear you. Your apprehension and anxiety are real and shared by a lot of people…myself included.
The world’s best and brightest minds in science and virology have been working on covid19 since the start; the vaccines are safe – even if they’re not perfect. This is true of every single medicine created in science.
The best way out of this pandemic is widespread vaccine coverage to all corners of our globe so that covid19 has no where left to bloom; and its effects can be mitigated into oblivion.
To those seeking room to be critical of governments’ perceived shortcomings (in the eyes of the beholder, of course); save your energy too – encourage those reachable to obtain their vaccines and maintain social distancing/mask wearing where needed. If you’re going to take a swipe at policy makers for what you feel is inadequate regarding the govt responses so far, I sure hope you have the professional qualifications to back it up.
There will be plenty of time to consider shortcomings of the various governments and adjust policies so that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel again.
We’re on the right side of this. The science backs up vaccines without a doubt; the measures (masking, etc) have proven to lower risks of transmission; nearly every policy and/or mandate is legal and constitutional – and should not be controversial.
The last hurdle is hesitation. This is a personal choice I know, but its one with profound consequences.
Choosing to turn your back on science and medicine will prolong the pandemic (with newer, deadlier variants).
Choosing to join the overwhelming majority of us who play by the rules (which are temporary), obtaining vaccines when available are the steps needed to return to the normal life we all say we want.
So that we can be us again.
An antivaxxer group known as “BrightEyesOnBrant” with a social media presence on FB, Instagram and Telegram is pushing a video that seemingly tells a story that CUPE local 2745 won a federal labour board decision halting CN rail’s vaccine mandate for its employees.
Except that none of this is true.
What is true is this:
- CUPE won a labour tribunal decision against the New Brunswick for being an asshole.
- A group of CN workers, independent of their union hired a legal team to fight the mandate and has filed its own ‘cease and desist’ order against their employer.
- The federal labour board has not made any decision in this regard.
This is making some traction online in the antivax community as evidence that vaccine mandates ‘are illegal’, when no such ruling has taken place. While its true that *some* jurisdictions south of us in America have had state level courts block some mandates, far more are being validated as legal and justifiable. I have yet to find any such ruling in Canada.
This is such a misfire that even Rebel Media had to fact check itself as they initially attempted to run with this false narrative. Here, I include screenshots of the before/after.
While I will be careful here not to throw my own opinions in as ‘legal advice’ which would cause problems for me, I will suggest that government has an obligation to protect society from unhealthy choices of some of its citizens. This is why smoking laws exist and you cannot bark out ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre; freedom itself isn’t unlimited, and some choices have consequences.
As for any legal adjudication of vaccine mandates, I’ll respect our judiciary’s jurisdiction to decide this.
From the outset of the 2021 election call, when the federal Liberals saw that their plan of an easy romp to a majority was clouded, they pulled the emergency trigger.
True to form, when the Liberals have their backs against the wall, they charge that a CPC government would repeal a woman access to her private health matters (read: outlaw abortion access). Never mind that this was a matter decided by the supreme court and has largely been untouched since the early 1980’s.
Well that failed to move the needle, so then the federal Liberals launch a broadside on “CPC plans to privatize healthcare”. Well the sad reality check is that Canada’s healthcare system is heavily private and much of that happened under Liberal leadership. What’s more telling is that the Liberals aren’t pledging to reverse this trend, they’re scaring folks that the Conservatives might make it worse. If they were real progressives on this, they’d argue to increase the scope of healthcare to include mental health, dental care and more. But they haven’t and they wont.
The third pillar in Liberal scare tactics is to scare progressives that “THE NDP MIGHT WORK WITH CONSERVATIVES” (against the Liberals?). This historically has been a more effective attack – in terms of moving the needle, but it doesn’t hold much water. Historically, the Liberals and Conservatives share far more in common than either of them do with the NDP. In terms of parliamentary votes, if it has anything to do with economic justice for workers or the environment, the Liberals most reliable ally are the CPC.
Not that it matters. All Liberals have to do is say it; that there’s some nefarious plan of the CPC and NDP to throw the Liberals out. It almost never checks out as far as facts go, but never let a good spin get in the way of the truth.
Recently, an editorializing journalist suggested that since the NDP leader didn’t explicitly say that he wasn’t going to team up with the CPC, Liberals pounced immediately as finding the proof that it WAS going to happen.
Except that editorialists are opinion writers. As it turns out, the facts point elsewhere. The interview where Jagmeet Singh is asked point blank if he would work with Erin O’Toole if he scored a minority parliamentary win in the election, Jagmeet wasn’t non-committal, he forcefully said that the NDP and CPC on most matters were incompatible. But don’t take my word for it, watch the interview yourself.
Our one-on-one with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh https://t.co/Kb7xSRTFCb— Farah Nasser (@FarahNasser) August 25, 2021
Liberals are pretty desperate to glean their message from the interview above. But they have run up against a wall here. They don’t have any significant new ideas that could not have been accomplished in the functioning parliament that had two years left in its mandate, so they’re resorting to scare tactics and misinformation to whip up vote they feel entitled to.
Ultimately, the operation of the next parliament is up to voters, most of whom didn’t feel this early election was necessary. No matter, here we are, Canadian’s will vote regardless – and the party leaders will respect the verdict and work with the cards they’re dealt – not the ones they want.
There’s no use trying to re-litigate the election call itself – that ship has sailed. But if anything has been made clear by this stunt, its this: Justin Trudeau had a functioning government and a mostly cooperative parliament. He had a mandate and enough good will to continue at least for another year – hopefully to see the backside of this pandemic leave.
He chose politics over governing; there is not compelling issue that sparked this campaign – no decisive wedge that required attention – except to get us to the other side of the pandemic.
Maybe Justin has given us an issue to contemplate.
He might not like the answer.
To be clear, that in the free nations of the world, no government can force you to take a medication against your will. But they can inversely make life hard if you ‘choose’ not to.
This might sound heavy handed or unfair, but a government – who derives its authority to govern by the people who elect it – are required to keep safe those under its care and protection to the best of its ability.
This means that although they cannot force a pill down your gullet or a needle in your arm, they can require that in order to travel or participate in certain optional, economic based activities – you need to choose to be vaccinated. This isn’t to punish those unvaccinated, its to protect those who are – and those who cannot be vaccinated by means of medical exemption.
I understand how we got here. Governments of the world have been playing the nice guy trying to encourage folks to get their vaccines when they’re available; and to a large extent they have been successful. But we’re not yet at a high enough vaccine coverage to see a large scale herd immunity as the hesitancy and rejection of modern science is enough to poke holes in this effort. Through these holes, this disease caused by Covid19 is allowed to thrive and mutate into more sinister versions of itself.
These are as a result of some selfish thinking and I am personally tired of playing nice about it.
I recognize that vaccines aren’t perfect, some in fact have suffered from ‘vaccine injuries’ from the available covid19 vaccines and regrettably some have died – whether the vaccines themselves are to blame is unproven as yet. But the numbers of people who have endured some adverse reactions to covid19 vaccines pale in comparison to those who suffer and die at the hands of covid19 who were never vaccinated.
But a related argument against seat belts can be made here. A seat belt, worn correctly, may cause its own injury in a car accident – even contribute to a fatality. Though the scientific research and engineering that went into seat belts proved that their usage safe infinitely more lives than without. And, as you could have guessed, there was an equivalent blowback in the early 1980’s when seat belt laws made them mandatory – by the same sorts who would now argue that government shouldn’t require vaccines for the same reason.
There are those who hide behind a flawed interpretation of laws and constitutional rights to assert that government is over-reaching badly here. If government is doing anything poorly here, its communicating their intent.
Government has every right to ban smoking in public buildings for example. Smoking rights’ advocates will argue that this infringes on a persons medical condition – addiction. No. One can ingest nicotine without lighting up a smoke – and besides, its the right of the non-smoker who is subject to second hand smoke against their choice (workplace, public area, etc) that government is responding to.
So it must be with vaccines and vaccine mandates. They’re not to punish those who willingly choose to flout globally accepted science – its to protect those who are doing their part to keep safe. Its not about you, its about all of us – and we constitute a majority.
I take particular offense at those who invoke ‘faith’ as a reason to reject medical advice and science. Do you realize how hypocritical this is? If you accept in your faith that humanity was created in the image of our creator, then all knowledge and science has flowed from this creation was made possible by His hands.
God (or whatever your faith deems The Creator to be) gave us the tools and ability to look beyond primal needs. This is how humanity got itself to the moon, built high tech phones, high speed rails, ships, cars, planes, etc. All of it was enabled by that spark of life ‘in the beginning’.
But, you do you. Hide behind your selective interpretation of your faith. So be consistent about it at least. Go home and empty out your medicine cabinet – including your shelves of vitamins and supplements. No pain medications for you; no heart medicine, no insulin or whatever. If you believe that we’re protected by the Blood of our Savior and the natural immunity we’re born with, then throw everything else away.
While you’re at it, no cell phones, no TV, no technology beyond the tools and tech you can personally build with your hands – since all of it came from the various scientific discoveries that you have rejected.
For those arguing that the potential for vaccine mandates is equivalent to the onset of fascism and Nazi-style gas chambers (etc), that is the most absurd spin I have ever seen. Worse, it trivializes into a stupid talking point the real suffering by ethnic and religious groups who have been targeted in the past for state sponsored harassment and murder.
Look, I know there many who are apprehensive and downright scared about covid19 – and the vaccines designed to provide protection against it. You are not alone – and your fears are well heard.
All I can say to you is that the fastest way back to a normal life is to adhere to social distancing and masking rules as they’re needed and to obtain your vaccine when its available to you.
Hesitancy and rejection of vaccines will keep a large pool of unprotected people out there which serve as a fertile ground for covid19 to remain among us – and mutate into more sinister versions of itself…not to mention that we’ll continue to remain in a disruptive cycle of lock-downs and restrictions the longer this drawn out.
The sooner you join us and get your vaccine, the sooner you can help protect yourself, your family and your community – and the sooner you give covid19 no room left to grow.
Canada is going through some things lately and its very troubling to watch as some folks deny and dismiss what we are; how we became us.
Ours is a story of European exploration and proxy battles that led to a nation being settled on land where nobody bothered to ask those who lived here if it was ok to do so. But it didn’t matter. The imperialists who set policy for the ‘new world’ were certain that any land in the west was theirs to take and those already here were savages and would accept their new rulers. If you wanted to know where white supremacy comes from, its what founded North America.
I write this as a white person who is learning the cold truth about what those who built Canada (and America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc) did to lay claim to their new nations. We tried to destroy those already here.
Our first nations were subjected to a legal and imperialist system they were never intended to be an equal party to. Our country, Canada, passed the Indian Act which was the inspiration for South Africa’s apartheid model.
Our government granted license to the church, largely the Catholic Church, to operate Indian Residential Schools. They were, by design, an attempt to force assimilation of first nation peoples into the society of Canada. We’re learning of thousands of newly discovered, unmarked graves of children, buried at sites owned or controlled by said schools.
Forget any qualifier questions of ‘well, how did they die?’ (though that is very important to know). Consider that these were unmarked graves – which means that someone made decisions that those children should be buried without knowledge of their existence.
Who goes out of their way to hide dead children?
I’m unmoved by anyone arguing that these kids might have died from natural causes. This might be true – even for a majority of cases, but more importantly – WHO are these children and WHY did they die.
I’ve written before that these kids deserve to have their names and a cause of death that they may finally rest in peace. But if you’re going to argue that such an investigation would cost to much – well fuck you. There are adult survivors walking around today from these schools who have no clue what happened to their sister or brother. There are elderly first nation peoples today that never knew what happened to their sons or daughters – except to be told that she or he ‘ran away’ from school.
What if this was your relative? Wouldn’t you want to know the truth?
My country did this. My country engaged in genocide and genocidal activities. We tried to eradicate a people because they were ‘different’. How does that make us any better than those we fought against in WW2?
Our last residential school closed in 1996.
No. I won’t be celebrating Canada Day this year. I’m not at all happy with how Canada became ‘great’. It was built upon the bodies, hidden in the dirt, a foundation of shame and lies.
I must start out by reminding readers that I am neither first nation, nor a member of the Pacheedaht first nation. That being said, the recent chain of events has me wondering the mindset of the Pacheedaht who were outnumbered by the protesters blockading their lands in an attempt to stop a duly signed logging agreement from being acted upon.
The Pacheedaht, like every other first nation in BC have been under the thumb of the colonial system from the first arrival of their European masters several hundred years ago. Generations of indigenous folks have had to endure unspeakable things as the rulers took land, took children and tried to eradicate cultures and societies which have existed beyond memory.
To make a long story short, first nations in BC have won successive court cases and political battles that have allowed them to emerge again as nations’ within Canada.
This places us on the path we’re on today of reconciliation. That is to say; coming to terms with our horrible past and the terrible things we did to our first nations; a path forward. What that looks like for each and every first nation is complicated and presumably highly technical…but that’s a discussion for people smarter than me and elders of the various first nations.
Where the Pacheedaht’s role is here is that they’re well down the path to a modern treaty and an established business plan to get major improvements for their people.
As a nation that claims as its traditional territories on the pacific, several mountains and valleys, rivers and all the wildlife in between, the Pacheedaht know a thing or two about managing a forest…as they’ve done for thousands of years.
I suppose it was a natural leap for these folks to branch into a modern, professional local forest industry as a source of revenue and job creation for their people. Its worked well. Read this.
Now we arrive at the Fairy Creek event. The background comes from this deal. In short, the Pacheedaht signed a deal with Teal Jones (logging company) to log a tiny blip of trees above the Fairy Creek basin and outside the established protected area. 20 hectares of a total 1200 hectares of the valley…or 1.67%.
This was too much for the Rainforest Flying Squad who declared that they would set up blockades to stop any logging and road building to the affected area. The standoff began.
Teal Jones had a legal right to build a road, access the trees, cut and remove and pay the Pacheedaht a handsome sum of cash for that right. The court said so, the Pacheedaht said so. So the blockade was declared illegal and police moved in to start removing protesters by arresting them.
To their credit, despite an illegal blockade, the protesters political cause is easier to defend than logging in old growth areas. But what was missing from the discussion was the fact that the Pacheedaht leadership signed a deal to log trees from land they control and some environmentalists were trying to stop them. The protesters were determined to make this a political matter to directly attack the NDP government – who was trying to let the Pacheedaht remain as the deciders in this matter – as the new UNDRIP legislation intends.
I try to imagine myself in others shoes in a conflict. How would I feel?
I imagine that the Pacheedaht are probably feeling under siege right now. Their voices are being completely ignored by the protesters. The Pacheedaht leadership signed a perfectly legal agreement to land some provincial cash (a share of the stumpage fees collected) and the deal through the Teal Jones contract. They were perfectly asserting their rights to make substantial decisions on the fate of their territory and they’ve been undermined and ignored.
So they caved. They have been successfully bullied out of their land for the next couple of years through this deferral they sought out. To think that a group of self identified left-wing activists sidelined the wishes of an area first nation and ignore them completely is outrageous.
So this deferral is enough to have the protesters back down and leave Pacheedaht territory?
Having ‘won’, the protesters have moved the goalposts. They want more.
Haven’t the Pacheedaht seen this movie before? Outside Influences showing up to their lands dictating what they can or cannot do with their lands and territory? I thought reconciliation and UNDRIP were supposed to move past that.
This is Pacheedaht territory and they have a right to self determination and the right to act in the best interests of their people.
Leave them alone.
I posted an image to my facebook and twitter that was largely critical of the Fairy Creek protesters. They appeared to be basking in the self promoting they were doing of stopping all logging on Pacheedaht territory on the same day that the country was reeling from the news of 215 bodies of native children found buried in unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
The point wasn’t to suggest that the protesters were somehow insensitive to the families and communities who are connected to the 215 lost childred; it was to highlight an ironic hypocrisy of those folks who would claim to be defending first nations at Fairy Creek.
I got my first blowback from that.
Now, I blacked out the name of the person since I’m not here to humiliate or mock them, but the challenge needs to be answered.
This is not the last stand of old growth trees on the coast. Its nothing like that. Its 20 hectares of a total 1200 hectares of the Fairy Creek basin, or, 1.67% of the available trees.
I’m sure there were other first nation people there. But unless you’re alleging that the business deal that allowed for this project to go ahead was done so illegally or without the authority of the Pacheedaht’s recognized governance and leadership framework, the protesters – including the various first nation attendees aren’t speaking for the Pacheedaht.
To argue that the Pacheedaht leadership – both elected and hereditary – should be ignored in favour of unilateral actions from outside influences is a page out of the book of the very colonizers everyone should be opposing.
We, as (mostly) white people, after centuries of imposing our will on first nations, should not be the final adjudicators of how first nations govern themselves. To undermine them as this challenger has (and the remainder of the protesters), undercuts decades of reconciliation and treaty-making progress. This is very dangerous.
I’m no ally of big corporations, but to imply that one is the big bad guy looking to take advantage of the poor hapless Indian is insulting, twice. It suggests that ‘Indians’ don’t have the smarts to make a business deal to the benefit of their community and that they cannot be trusted to govern themselves.
The Pacheedaht have governed themselves and had done so for ages before the arrival of white saviors from Europe. We took that away and nearly destroyed them and many other first nation communities along the way. We tried hard; just the other day, we discovered that 215 of them were buried in unmarked graves near Kamloops.
But they have persevered and fought back. Legally, judicially and in the political arena. The Pacheedaht are rising; and they’re becoming a success story.
The final chapter is far from written for these rightly proud people, but now as they assert themselves and try to stand among equals (government to government), along come outside folks who know better.
This is the opposite of reconciliation and UNDRIP…and it might work. These folks might bully the Pacheedaht right out of this deal; they’ve already managed to blockade their local sawmill and marina to demonstrate their ‘point’.
I understand that its politically sexy to oppose cutting trees in forests. Its not as easy to promote it. But this is the world of the Pacheedaht (and others on the coast who might suffer the same fate). They have managed their communities, the forests, the rivers and creeks, the mountains and wildlife far longer than we have been here; and they’ll do fine without our interference.
If we’re genuine about truth, reconciliation and UNDRIP, we’ll respect the Pacheedaht and the decisions they have made on behalf of their people. They have won (back) the right to do so, and we’re out of line to try and stop them.
Leading isn’t easy. Everyone loves a good headline when you’re in charge, but leadership means you take the tough ones too.
Leave the Pacheedaht alone, folks.
Did you get sick at the headline that the bodies of 215 indigenous children were discovered buried on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School? Good. Its awful, and its yet another genocidal act that Canada has inflicted on our first peoples as they tried to assimilate them into Canada. Canada didn’t include first nations cultures and languages, and to a large degree, it still doesn’t.
I’ve already had it white-splained to me that ‘there’s no way to know yet how these children died that they would have been buried there’.
Just. Fucking. Stop.
We don’t even know who is buried there. These were children taken from their family homes and ‘raised’ in a religious state-sanctioned residential school. If there were records kept, nobody knows where they’re located.
Of course we don’t know how these kids died. But here we are, 215 children buried in the dirt, in unmarked graves that nobody has seen fit to discover until now. It sounds like some powerful people knew shady things were up and didn’t want the truth to be known.
Well the truth will be known, and not just to the Creator (of whatever faith you accept). Because nothing less than the justice and dignity of a name and cause of death will come close.
On the other, more significant manner. Its genocide. We’ve been killing our first nations ever since we got here aboard wooden ships from Europe and beyond. Say it with me, “genocide” and “systemic racism”.
I want to say that we’ve made progress. Have we? I mean, we don’t scoop otherwise healthy and happy kids from their households to “educate” them in church run schools (to indoctrinate them out of their traditions and home-spoken languages), but we sure do treat them shitty.
We’re still in the habit of telling first nations how to act, how to law, how to career, how to tradition and generally manage their affairs – in societies that managed for tens of thousands of years, long before white folks like my ancestors…thank you very much.
If truth and reconciliation, the UNDRIP are to mean something, then we have to change.
Our first nations don’t need to be told how to grieve this horrible news. Sadly, they’ve heard this sort of thing before. Its not my place or yours to manage their grieve and anger of this to mitigate ‘our feelings’.
First nations are more than capable of self governing in Canada, they’re more than able to manage their lands and act within their rights.
They’re able to do these things because they’ve been telling us that all this time. If you’re listening.
I am trying.
I mourn with you. I am angry for you. I hurt for you. And I am truly sorry that Canada has done this to you.