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Canada slaps travel restrictions on UK over mutant COVID strain

In Alberta, recent travellers who arrived from the U.K. in the past 14 days are being asked to go for a COVID-19 test immediately, whether they have symptoms or not

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Following the lead of France, Belgium and the Netherlands, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has imposed further travel restrictions upon travel from the UK due to the latest coronavirus mutation.

Eighteen countries imposed travel restrictions from the UK on Sunday night, following British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that Christmas shopping and gatherings in southern England must be cancelled because of rapidly spreading infections blamed on the new coronavirus variant.

Viruses mutate regularly, and scientists have found thousands of different mutations among samples of the virus causing COVID-19. Many of these changes have no effect on how easily the virus spreads or how severe symptoms are, reported The Canadian Press.

In Alberta, recent travellers who arrived from the U.K. in the past 14 days are being asked to go for a COVID-19 test immediately, whether they have symptoms or not.

Also, travellers who are participating in the border pilot must immediately quarantine, whether they’ve had a negative test or not.

“The nature of this pandemic requires us to be nimble and adapt to the evolving situation to ensure the health and safety of Albertans. Alberta Health Services will be reaching out to all recent travellers from the United Kingdom to book a test. Also, if you are currently participating in the border pilot, you must immediately quarantine,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

The US Centre for Disease Control explains there are two different ways that viruses change: “antigenic drift” and “antigenic shift”. Antigenic drift results in small changes in virus genes that happen continually over time, while antigenic shift is an abrupt and major change, such as a transition from animals to humans.

“COVID-19 has been picking up around two mutations a month – take a sample today and compare it to the first ones from Wuhan in China and there would be around 25 mutations separating them,” said University of Birmingham Prof Alan McNally. “We know there’s a variant, we know nothing about what that means biologically.”

The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium issued a statement explaining the mutations include changes to the important “spike” protein that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses to infect human cells, but it is not yet clear whether these are making it more infectious.

“Efforts are under way to confirm whether or not any of these mutations are contributing to increased transmission,” COG-UK said.

“There is currently no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe COVID-19 infections, or that it would render vaccines less effective,” the COG-UK statement pointed out.

Christian Drosten, a leading German virologist, said he is “anything but worried” about the latest strain.

“Claims that the strain is 70 per cent more transmissible appeared to be an estimate for now, and would need to be verified… The question is: is the virus being boosted by a coming new wave in the region concerned (south east England), or is the virus responsible for creating this wave in the first place? That’s an important difference.”

Vincent Enouf of the Institut Pasteur in France said there is no proven link between the new mutation and the more rapid spread of the virus in Britain.

“We’re told it is spreading faster in parts of the UK. But is that the result of a super-spreader transmitting the virus, or of the new mutation? All of this still has to be verified,” said Enouf.

Numerous other experts agree.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is nonetheless predicting possible disaster.

“With vaccines still very rare, if this new strain gets loose here in vulnerable populations, it will be a disaster.”

Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner demanded the government provide more information about what it knows about the new strain and what it is doing to address it. 

Ken Grafton is the Western Standards Ottawa Bureau Chief. He can be reached at kgrafton@westernstandardonline.com

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. joc22

    December 21, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    How convinient for the communist/fascist in the UK government. I bet none of these political globalist will be missing their pay checks and family over Christmas and New Years.

  2. godot

    December 21, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Interesting timing … also known as a manufactured emergency. Just as Britain was eventually going to BREXIT, alarm bells go off – the hysteria is ramped up – the virus has mutated!!! There are only two parties – PATRIOTS or TRAITORS. Western civilization must fight for our LIBERTIES AND FREEDOMS, NOW.

  3. warrenzoell

    December 21, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    “Reports: UK Infection Rate LOWER Than Countries Cutting It Off; ‘Mutant’ COVID Was Seen In BRAZIL EIGHT MONTHS AGO”

    https://summit.news/2020/12/21/reports-uk-infection-rate-lower-than-countries-cutting-it-off-mutant-covid-was-seen-in-brazil-eight-months-ago/

  4. H Jenson

    December 21, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Covid-21 appearing as scheduled

  5. Charles Martell III

    December 21, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    “NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is nonetheless predicting possible disaster.” . . . ?

    Singh knows all about “Disasters” . . . look at the job he has done running the marxist NDP . . . lol

  6. Charles Martell III

    December 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    THE COVID-19 “PANDEMIC”

    I have attempted to show evidence or point out that:
    • The COVID-19 test is not reliable.
    • The COVID-19 virus is no more infectious or dangerous than other similar viruses.
    • Pandemic projections about the number of deaths were wrong.
    • Pandemic modelling software is flawed and unreliable.
    • Death figures for COVID-19 exaggerated – death causes have been falsely attributed to COVID-19.
    • Excess mortality rates for COVID-19 are low – or even non-existent.
    • Government/WHO advice is irrelevant, contradictory and in any case is not being consistently applied or adhered to by the authorities and leaders themselves.
    • Some group, which includes Bill Gates and his foundation appeared to have foreknowledge that a Pandemic would be declared.
    • The same group appears to have some kind of “business interest” in a global vaccination programme which could be coupled with some kind of “biometric immunity passport” which may be used to dictate an individual’s freedom of travel and association.

    Enter the title above in your search engine and read PDF . . . 6 months old but still quite relevant.

  7. Charles Martell III

    December 21, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Imagine if Trudope had done that with flights from China way back last January?

    A Corona Virus is mutating . . . . who knew?
    Haven’t Corona Viruses been “mutating” for Decades now . . . isn’t that why we have a new Flu Vaccine almost EVERY YEAR?

    Perhaps the Fake PCR Test will save us . . . .

    Dr Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel Prize for inventing the PCR process, was clear that it wasn’t meant as a diagnostic tool, saying: with PCR, if you do it well, you can find almost anything in anybody.”

    Maybe Mask wearing will help . . . ?

    New Study Shows Mask Mandates Had Zero Effect in Florida or Nationwide
    Obviously, no amount of evidence, data, trends, facts, studies, or science will ever convince most ‘public health officials’ that masks aren’t doing squat to stop the spread of COVID-19. Cases and deaths continue to spike (yes, many of these are super-sensitive PCR test-driven numbers, but still) despite the fact that well over 90% of the country are complying with their absurd mandates. Yet, predictably, the virus keeps going right on virusing, as highly contagious respiratory viruses, unfortunately, tend to do, especially once cold weather hits.

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Madu out as justice minister

“I have spoken with Minister Madu about the March 10 incident reported in the media today. I conveyed to him my profound disappointment in his decision to contact the Edmonton Police Chief after receiving a ticket for a traffic violation.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has removed Justice Minister Kaycee Madu from his job after he called Edmonton’s police chief about a distracted parking ticket he received.

Madu was fined $300 on March 10, 2021 after an Edmonton police officer caught him talking on his cellphone while driving through a playground zone.

Madu soon phoned Dale McFee, the city’s chief of police, and discussed the ticket with him. 

“Minister Madu did contact me via the telephone concerned about a ticket. But just to be very, very clear, he never asked to get out of the ticket,” McFee told CBC News in December, adding he didn’t know exactly what was on the ticket.

“Everybody has to wear their decisions.”

McFee did say during their discussion, Madu brought up the issue of racial profiling by police to stop drivers. Madu is black.

“The officer indicated that he had observed me driving while distracted, alleging that I was on my phone. I disagreed, stating that I was not on my phone, as it was in an inside pocket” said Madu.

“Later, I spoke to Chief Dale McFee. Due to the timing of the incident, I wanted to ensure that I was not being unlawfully surveilled following the controversy surrounding the Lethbridge Police Service. I also raised concerns around profiling of racial minorities that was in the media at the time.

“Chief McFee assured me that that was most definitely not the case, and I accepted him at his word.”

But that wasn’t good enough for Kenney who, after CBC broke the story, removed him from his post because it is “essential the independent administration of justice is maintained.

“I have spoken with Minister Madu about the March 10 incident reported in the media today. I conveyed to him my profound disappointment in his decision to contact the Edmonton Police Chief after receiving a ticket for a traffic violation,” Kenney tweeted.

“Minister Madu told me that he did not ask to have the ticket rescinded, nor was it his intention to interfere in the case, and that he promptly paid the ticket. I understand that Chief McFee has confirmed that at no time did the Minister seek to have the ticket rescinded.

“Nevertheless, it’s essential the independent administration of justice is maintained. That’s why I will appoint a respected independent investigator to review the relevant facts and to determine whether there was interference in the administration of justice in this case.”

Energy Minister Sonya Savage will take on the duties of Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.

The scandal will be a blow for Kenney as Madu was one of his biggest supporters in an often fractured caucus.

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Calgary lawyer applauds Shell’s reversal of vax mandate

“The woke thing to do right now is bring in these mandates. It has nothing to do with science or safety,” said lawyer James Kitchen.

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In the wake of Shell Canada temporarily removing its mandatory vaccine policy at its Scotford site in Alberta, Calgary lawyer James Kitchen called it a “good and lawful” move.

Kitchen — a civil litigation lawyer focused on constitutional rights, human rights, and health freedom — represents a number of clients in the oil and gas sector, including CNRL staffer Naomi Smart who was the first employee dismissed without cause for refusing to adhere to the mandatory vaccine policy.

“There are two potential things happening here,” Kitchen told the Western Standard in reference to Shell’s decision to change its vaccine policy at the Scotford site.

“Either Shell is concerned with defending themselves legally — as the vaccines have little to no effect on transmission — or, there are decent human beings (who) run Shell who are looking at the science and they realize this is the sensible thing to do.”

Kitchen said Shell could be “showing some good business sense” and now, after “spending all this money and realizing nothing we do will stop it (the spread of COVID-19),” they are looking to get back to work.

“The woke thing to do right now is bring in these mandates. It has nothing to do with science or safety,” said Kitchen.

When asked if the move from Shell to reverse its vaccination policy might affect the outcome of current legal cases — including some of his own — Kitchen said he’s doubtful.

“Generally speaking, the court doesn’t care. The industry does what it wants so in a strictly legal sense, no. But in a broader sense, it does matter,” said Kitchen.  

“It’s like a band-wagon effect,” he said adding if other companies follow suit, “it could give pause and change course for policymakers.”

“I don’t expect others to follow, but I’m hopeful,” said Kitchen.

Kitchen applauded Shell for what he called, “the most reasonable, lawful positions I’ve seen in a long time.

“They have chosen not to be willfully ignorant of what is good, right and lawful and have chosen against coercion and tyranny,” said Kitchen.

“I hope it’s a harbinger of things to come.”

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Madu called Edmonton police chief after getting $300 distracted driving ticket

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt says Kaycee should resign.

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After being pulled over by Edmonton police for talking on his cellphone while driving through a playground zone, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu then dialled up Edmonton’s police chief, CBC is reporting Monday afternoon.

CBC says they have a copy of Madu’s March 10, 2021 ticket that shows he was fined $300.

He soon phoned Dale McFee, the city’s chief of police, and discussed the ticket with him. 

“Minister Madu did contact me via the telephone concerned about a ticket. But just to be very, very clear, he never asked to get out of the ticket,” McFee told CBC News in December, adding he didn’t know exactly what was on the ticket.

“Everybody has to wear their decisions.”

McFee did say during their discussion, Madu brought up the issue of racial profiling by police to stop drivers. Madu is black.

The chief also said the pair talked about the ongoing problem of political tensions within the Lethbridge Police Service.

According to court documents, Madu paid the fee by the end of that week, CBC reports.

The Western Standard has reached out to Madu for a statement but hasn’t heard back.

The NDP quickly called for Madu to resign.

“It is wholly unacceptable for the Attorney General to engage with senior law enforcement regarding a penalty levelled against him, said NDP MLA Irfan Sabir.

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt says Kaycee should resign.

“Even if Madu didn’t call the police chief, it is a major story for the Justice Minister to receive a distracted driving ticket in a school zone. Even if it was somebody else who got the ticket (family, friend, neighbour, acquaintance, stranger), Madu still can’t call the police chief about an active case,” tweeted Bratt.

“Either Madu didn’t know that it was inappropriate to call the police chief about a ticket (which is really bad), or knew and didn’t care (which is even worse). Regardless, Madu needs to step down.

“Jean Charest resigned in 1990 as Minister of Sport for calling a judge about a case. Calling a police chief about a case is very similar. Madu needs to resign, or Kenney has to fire him.”

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