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Trudeau misled country on pandemic readiness with masks and sanitizer

Staff in the Department of Public Works suggested they “try and talk around it” in case anyone noticed

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau misled the Canadian public about the country’s state of readiness in preparing to reopen the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Internal emails obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter show Trudeau on Tuesday, June 9 said federal agencies were fully prepared for any reopening of the economy with plentiful pandemic supplies.

“As we start to reopen and some people head back to work, the need for personal protective equipment and other essential supplies like hand sanitizer and disinfectant will continue to grow,” he told reporters in a nationally-televised appearance.

“We’re making sure we’re ready for that. On Saturday a ship carrying 160,000 litres of hand sanitizer arrived in Vancouver and we’re expecting seven more ships with hand sanitizer in the coming days.”

But internal records showed federal agencies in fact had only 31,998 litres of hand sanitizer in stock, and that four shiploads were due for delivery, not seven.

“We’ve also have almost a million face shields,” boasted Trudeau.

Records at the time indicated only 100,000 face shields were ordered with “600 received.”

Staff in the Department of Public Works suggested they “try and talk around it” in case anyone noticed.

Political aides in the public works department lamented Trudeau’s announcement.

“Oh dear,” wrote James Fitz-Morris, director of communications:

“The Prime Minister publicly said on Tuesday that 160,000 litres of hand sanitizer had just arrived by boat.”

Staff emails detailed attempts to conceal the true extent of the stockpile.

“If journalists ask we can say that due to an issue with inventorying this week our update will be postponed until next week,” wrote Fitz-Morris.

“We will try to nail down (hopefully) a reason for this backlog as well. Maybe we can say they focused on distribution this week and will resume inventorying deliveries next week (assuming that is true).”

Fitz-Morris in a email a week later on June 18 encouraged aides to conceal figures from the Opposition.

“We aren’t going to have reliable numbers in time for the critics’ call,” he wrote.

“Can it be postponed with an explanation that we are changing reporting methods and want to ensure the new numbers are accurate? Or do we want to try and talk around it again in the hopes that, it being the last sitting day, they don’t actually care that much?”

Other political aides suggested creative use of phrases to obscure ongoing shortages of pandemic supplies.

One policy advisor suggested “a new metric to distract somewhat from unattractive delivery numbers.”

“Instead of ‘received’ we recommend to use ‘secured,’” said one Department of Public Works memo.

“The rationale behind it is that we have ‘ordered’ more than 2 billion items, but have ‘received’ 820.8 million pieces. Yesterday the Minister used the word ‘secured.’”

Cecely Roy, a press secretary to the Minister of Public Works, suggested other wording.

“My first question and the one that will be the most difficult to explain to reporters will be the definition of ‘quantities shipped’,” wrote Roy.

“I think it would make more sense to use terms like ‘quantities delivered’ and ‘quantities delivered subject to testing.’ The difficult part of this remains how we explain the difference between the two.”

Leslie Church, chief of staff to the public works minister, warned in an April 6, 2020 email the department could never “get away with” inflating figures on masks, gowns and other medical supplies.

“I don’t think we’re going to get away with giving the big order numbers without more evidence of deliveries or what’s been going out to provinces,” wrote Church.

“The tone is, ‘We’re doing a ton of work but I know we’re nowhere near done and big challenges remain.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Editor of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Police on the hunt for armed killer who gunned down man in Coquitlam Park

Dozens of witnesses potentially saw the shooting occur.

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Police are calling on the public to help them locate the person responsible for killing a 20-year-old man next to a basketball court, where there may have been more than a dozen witnesses.

On April 19, about 6:30 p.m., Coquitlam RCMP members rushed to Town Centre Park to investigate calls of a shooting.

When police arrived, they found Bailey McKinney lying on the ground. He was pronounced dead at scene.

“We believe this was a case of an individual being targeted for murder and not the park itself,” said Sgt. Frank Jang, of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

“Unfortunately, we know too well that these types of events can happen in any community.”

IHIT has control of the investigation and is working closely with the Coquitlam RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Services and the B.C. Coroners Service to gather evidence.

Now police are looking for anyone who might have seen something, or has other information that would help Mounties nab a suspect.

“We are aware that there were several people in the immediate area when the shooting occurred,” Jang said.

“Many of them fled the scene, understandably, from the shock of having witnessed a shooting. However, if you were one of those people, we need you to come forward now.”

McKinney was known to police, and cops said he had conflict with certain individuals who may be responsible for his murder.

McKinney was due to be in court next month for a litany of charges — including drug charges and assault with a weapon, to using a firearm during a criminal offence, and uttering threats to kill or cause bodily harm — acquired late September when he was involved in crimes in Coquitlam.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the IHIT Information Line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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They’re home! Police give pupdate on stolen bulldog babies

Three American Bulldog puppies were stolen April 10 during a break and enter.

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With dogged determination, Surrey Mounties have recovered the last two of three puppies stolen 10 days ago.

Three American Bulldog puppies were stolen April 10 during a break and enter at a home in the 17400 block of 8 Avenue.

One of the three stolen pups was quickly returned to the owners two days later, on April 12, when officers, acting on public tips, located one of the puppies that had been sold to an unwary attendee at a car show in Mission, BC.

Then, four days ago, Surrey RCMP Property Crime Target Team found the remaining two puppies. The wee pooches were returned to their owner and then reunited with their mom.
 
RCMP did not give details of the rescue, but did note the owners are very grateful to the public.

“Everyone feels good about being able to return these little pups to their family, and it was made even better by the fact we did it with help from the public,” said Cpl. Dan Barrows, of the Surrey RCMP Property Crime Target Team, said in a release.

“This was a rewarding investigation for our officers.”

The puppies — valued at about $3,000 apiece — were last seen snuggling their mom.

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard. mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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B.C. father of transgender girl to appeal sentence and fine

The father reached a plea bargain deal for a 45-day sentence and 18 months probation – but B.C. Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen decided to sentence C.D. to six months in jail.

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The B.C. father of a teenaged girl given male hormones against his wishes will appeal his sentence and fine for criminal contempt of court.

C.D., as he was known in court documents, pleaded guilty to the charges last week and was sentenced on Friday. He defied orders not disclose details that would reveal his child’s identity or that of the doctors responsible for cross-gender treatment. 

The father reached a plea bargain deal with prosecutors who recommended a 45-day sentence and 18 months probation. However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen decided instead to sentence C.D. to six months in jail.

C.D.’s lawyer Carey Linde told the Western Standard he hopes to get his client out on bail while he appeals the sentence.

“We’re doing the bureaucratic steps to try to get him out,” Linde said.

“It depends on what the Crown’s position is going to be. And they’re not going to take a position until they can read the judgment. And the judgment has not been posted yet.”

Linde believes the sentence is excessive, especially given the plea deal.

“The responses that I’m getting from lawyers who are criminal lawyers say that…it’s absurd,” Linde said.

In his decision, Tammen said: “I do not accept (the father’s) intention was otherwise than to attempt to undermine the authority of the courts and overall administration of justice… Moreover, I expressly reject (the father’s) sworn assertion … that he had no desire to share information that would harm (the child).”

Linde said: “The judge has gone off the deep end of law and order. Why? He gave a very reasoned argument, if you agree with him…justifying draconian measures.”

In his decision, Tammen said: “No member of the public can decide when, in what circumstances and which court orders to follow… Unless and until successfully appealed, court orders must be obeyed. They are part of the legal fabric of society and, thus, the law. Without the ability to enforce court orders, and if citizens were free to disregard them at will, there would not be democracy but anarchy.”

Linde believes Tammen never grasped what his client tried to do.

“He never understood it. He kept coming back and talking about you can’t avoid punishment, people aren’t free to go out and break the law because they think it goes against their conscience. But that’s not what civil disobedience is, Civil disobedience, says, ‘I do this in the knowledge and the acceptance of being punished.’ So my client always knew that he would get something.”

In court, C.D. said, “I’ve never once gone after my child for the choice she made wanting to be a male…I only tried to prevent her from making a medical choice she might regret later.”

When asked if he planned to continue his campaign in the future, the father said he had already done his part, adding, “I pass the torch on.”

Tammen granted C.D.’s 46 days jailed in pre-trial custody to count towards the 180-day sentence. C.D.’s crowdfunding website, which contained materials in breach of the court orders, had raised more than $50,000. Tammen instructed the father to donate $30,000 to a children’s charity within six months of his release from jail. Linde also plans to appeal the fine.

Linde said his client’s goal was to raise public awareness on “the school programs [that teach gender fluidity and transgender concepts]; the Infants Act, which allows doctors to do what they’re doing legally; and rapid onset gender dysphoria…You and I are talking, where we wouldn’t have two years ago. These things are moving.”

When asked about his client’s mood following the long sentence, Linde said,

“Obviously, he’s not happy, he would rather it didn’t happen…He doesn’t object to being sentenced…[but feels] he’s been singled out somehow, misunderstood…

“He pled guilty. And his evidence was that he had accomplished what he set out to accomplish. He never asked for any of this. He was a defendant…And he just wants to go back to live as much as he can the life he had before all this happened to him.”

Harding is a Western Standard reporter based in Saskatchewan

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