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BC restauranteur vows to organize against COVID lockdown

The restaurateur finally decided to abide by the order Saturday and said he got in touch with a few fellow restaurateurs who indicated they were in dire straits.

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A Vancouver restaurateur who openly defied a ban on indoor dining said he’s now playing by the rules, but is organizing others in the industry to demand an audience with the province’s health officer.

“I don’t do this to be disrespectful of the order, but I just want consistency because I don’t like hypocrisy — I think this order is unfair and it discriminates those of us in the restaurant business,” said Federico Fuoco, owner of Olympic Village’s Gusto: A Taste Of Italy.

“For a lot of restaurants, this could be the final nail in the coffin.”

Vancouver Coastal Health ordered a ban on indoor dining on March 30, but Fuoco kept the doors of Gusto restaurant open and took his frustrations with the province’s latest round of COVID-19 restrictions public.

He said has several reasons why he initially defied the order.

“First, there was no forewarning on this — we got blindsided on this. We got the message at 1 p.m., and (Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry) says this takes effect at midnight.”

Fuoco said he also takes exception to the knowledge many other commercial enterprises were allowed to keep their doors open.

“Why are we being singled out,” he asked.

“Why not Walmart, Costco, liquor stores — why isn’t there a blanket policy here?”

The restaurateur finally decided to abide by the order Saturday and said he got in touch with a few fellow restaurateurs who indicated they were in dire straits.

“They ordered thousands of dollars of product because that’s a busy week for us. Now, all that inventory is gone,” he said.

“The fear is, come April 19 (when the current ban expires), there will be an extension.”

The indoor dining ban is a part of a three-week “circuit breaker” meant to curb rapidly climbing numbers of new cases of COVID variants.

The province recorded more than 1,000 new cases mid-week last week for the first time ever, shoving BC over 100,000 total cases.

As the number of cases rises, the province feared the third wave would be magnified by long-weekend travellers.

Late last week Island Health authorities said contract tracing proved all three variants of COVID-19 were brought to the region through non-essential travel by British Columbians, and others.

Still, Fuoco asserted Henry’s order isn’t based on science.

“Where is the proof this spreads more rapidly in restaurants,” he asked.

He said he has received no support from B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association that earlier called for fines, business closure or license revocation of any business defying health orders.

“That’s why I’m organizing on my own,” he said, noting the pandemic already cost him Federico’s Supper Club, his “dine and dance” restaurant that was forced to close its doors one year ago because of COVID-19.

More than the estimated 10,000 Canadian restaurants that have shuttered because of the pandemic.

“I want to band together the restaurant industry and I would like Henry to reconsider this order and I hope she does that this week,” Fuoco said.

“We want an audience with Dr. Henry — we have to have that.”

While the business owners will have to wait to see when or if a meet can happen, Fuoco said he’s heartened by public support.

About one out of 10 calls I’ll get someone calling to say, ‘I hope you die a COVID death you f-ing a######.’ And all this stuff,” he said.

“But the other nine out of 10 have been very supportive, it’s unbelievable.”

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

Mike D'Amour is Copy Editor of the Western Standard. He worked as an investigative crime reporter at the Calgary & Winnipeg Suns. mdamour@westernstandardonline.com mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Left Coast

    April 6, 2021 at 9:10 am

    BC’s weak and ineffective Dr. Bonnie shut down Restaurants a few days before the long weekend . . . likely after they had filled their refrigerators & freezers with product for the weekend. And the concern? Not that Restaurants were creating “Sick” people but that “Test” results resulted in more fake Cases.

    Cases used to mean SICK PEOPLE . . . for 100s of years . . . today they are the Results of a Dubious PCR Test.

    Each BC Hospital has 1.6 Wuhan Flu patients . . . this is insane . . .

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Misery index places Canada in bottom ranks

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well.”

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Canada’s combination of high rates of inflation and unemployment have secured it the sixth most “miserable” advanced economy in the world.

Tuesday morning, the Fraser Institute released a study that ranked the International Monetary Fund’s top 35 economic countries.

With an inflation rate of 3.15% and unemployment rate of 7.72% Canada’s 2021 Misery Index score is 10.88.

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well,” said Jason Clements, executive Vice President of the Fraser Institute.

Fraser Institute

American economist Arthur Okun created the Misery Index to understand the level of economic strain felt on an everyday basis for regular citizens of a country.

Inflation and unemployment act as measures that drastically affect the costs of living that impacts economic well-being on an individual level.

Only five countries received worse scores than Canada, Spain in the last spot with a score of 17.61, followed by Greece (15.73), Italy (11.96) and Iceland (11.26)

Countries above Canada’s score include France (10.10), the United States (9.72), Australia (7.33), and the United Kingdom (7.17).

Japan (2.61) and Switzerland (3.57) received the top scores being the least miserable.

The Misery Index was prominent in policy discussion during the 1970s and 1980s but fell out of the spotlight during the 1990s while inflation and unemployment was low.

“The fact that we are again discussing the Misery Index and Canada’s high ranking on it is bad news for all Canadians, who will suffer as a result,” Clemens said.

“Governments across Canada, particularly the federal government, should prioritize those policies that will make Canadians less miserable by lowering inflation and unemployment.”

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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LETTER: Does Copping have scientific evidence to continue with vaccine passports?

“Surely our government would not discriminate against any Albertans without a sound scientific basis for doing so.”

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RE: Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

My wife and I took it upon ourselves to get tested for immunity to the COVID-19 virus at our own cost. Several other couples in our community have done the same thing. The test is carried out by the Mayo Clinic so I think we can all agree it is done by a very credible organization.

Both my wife and I tested >250 which is the highest level of immunity that they register. It is also the same level of immunity they show on the most vaccinated people. 

With this in mind, I ask the Minister of Health and the entire UCP government, what is the scientific basis for your continuing to impose the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) to discriminate against us and restrict us from being able to participate in society?

Surely our government would not discriminate against any Albertans without a sound scientific basis for doing so.

Murray Woods
Linden, AB

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‘Galileo’ stockbroker loses COVID case

Grammond explained judicial notice of obvious facts is intended to ensuring plaintiffs with pointless claims do not “bog down the judicial process” with unnecessary arguments.

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A Montreal stockbroker who likened himself to Galileo and said COVID-19 wasn’t real had his case tossed out of Federal Court, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Courts make decisions based on evidence brought in each particular case,” wrote Justice Sébastien Grammond.

“Some facts however are so obvious courts assume their existence and no evidence of them is required. This is called judicial notice.”

Lucien Khodeir filed a federal challenge of Treasury Board vaccination orders for employees.

Khodeir was not personally affected by the orders issued last October 6. The court was told he works as a stock trader for CIBC World Markets.

Khodeir in his submission said vaccine mandates were unnecessary since the coronavirus did not exist, and proposed to call three expert witnesses.

“It is pure speculation,” said the court.

“In his submissions, Mr. Khodeir compares himself to Galileo who was persecuted in the 17th century for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun, a theory unanimously accepted today. Yet unlike Mr. Khodeir, Galileo buttressed the heliocentric theory with facts, especially his discovery of Jupiter’s moons.

“In contrast, Mr. Khodeir asks us to believe his assertions regarding the coronavirus without providing any tangible fact in support. The comparison is unfair to the great Italian scholar. Mr. Khodeir’s case has no scientific footing.”

Grammond explained judicial notice of obvious facts is intended to ensuring plaintiffs with pointless claims do not “bog down the judicial process” with unnecessary arguments.

“Over the last two years most people on this planet have been affected in various ways by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the court.

“It has become common knowledge COVID-19 is caused by a virus.

“Numerous trusted sources of information have repeated this fact to the point that it is now beyond reasonable dispute. There is a lack of debate on this issue in scientific circles.”

The Federal Court noted dismissal of the claim was unrelated to numerous cases awaiting trial in which vaccine orders are being challenged as unnecessary, intrusive and unconstitutional. None of the plaintiffs challenging vaccine orders have disputed the existence of the coronavirus.

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