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SELICK: Premier Ford, it’s time to fire your chief medical officer

“The public, like the premier, have by and large been willing to accept as gospel whatever the CMO has said, no matter how lacking in corroborative science.”

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Roman Baber is an Ontario MPP first elected in 2018 to sit as part of Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government. He was kicked out of caucus unilaterally by Ford in January 2021 after publishing an open letter stating his opposition to Ontario’s continued lockdowns and extreme COVID-19 restrictions. 

Baber’s Twitter feed contains a riveting 13-second video of Premier Ford, published on March 21, 2021. Apparently unaware that the cameras were rolling, Ford delivers the following blunt comment: 

“I’m gonna be very frank. There’s no politician in this country who’s gonna disagree with their chief medical officer. They just aren’t gonna do it. They might as well throw a rope around their neck and jump off a bridge. They’re done. I’m telling you the facts. It’s very simple.” 

For once, Ford looked like a real person who was actually saying what he believed. To my eyes, he has appeared throughout this pandemic as a paradigm of hypocrisy, shedding crocodile tears for Ontario voters while mercilessly imposing onerous restrictions on them. He has always looked strained and insincere. 

Maybe deep down, he suspects that Roman Baber and another former MPP of his, Randy Hillier, are correct when they allege that lockdowns have done more harm than good. However, he apparently thinks he has to endorse whatever program his chief medical officer (CMO) comes up with – no matter how bizarre or unscientific – or he won’t be re-elected.

Premier Ford needs to examine his underlying premise. It’s actually false. 

He has reversed in his mind the proper roles of elected officials and their appointees. He has bestowed upon a provincial employee (CMO Dr. David Williams) dictatorial powers to make sweeping societal decisions that exceed anything reasonably within the scope of medical knowledge. Meanwhile, the premier and his MPPs have assumed the role of servile flunkies, there to implement – but never question – the boss’s orders.

That’s backwards and unnecessary. Dr. Williams is not the only man on earth who could fill the role of CMO. Ontario could actually fire its current employee and hire one with different views. The amount it might have to pay to settle Dr. Williams’ severance claim would be peanuts compared to the harm it’s inflicting upon taxpayers by implementing his dictates. 

Here are some examples of doctors with public health training and experience who have publicly disagreed with Dr. Williams’ prescription of lockdowns, lockdowns, and more lockdowns. 

Dr. Joel Kettner – a former CMO for the Province of Manitoba – made headlines a year ago when made precisely the same point that MPPs Baber and Hillier have been making on a CBC radio show. He then wrote this July article making the point again. 

Dr. Richard Schabas was Ontario’s CMO from 1987 to 1997. He came out publicly in support of MPP Baber in this letter to Premier Ford in January, 2021. Dr. Schabas had first published his opinion on this in The Globe and Mail in early March, 2020. 

Dr. Karim Kurji, the Medical Officer of Health for York Region (a suburb of Toronto with a population of more than a million people) came out publicly just two weeks ago as opposing further lockdowns. 

Experts from around the world have been expressing similar views for over a year. The Great Barrington Declaration,published in October 2020, has now been signed by 41,890 medical practitioners and 13,796 medical and public health scientists. It likewise calls for allowing the vast majority of the population to resume normal life instead of being locked down. 

If Premier Ford sought a replacement for Dr. Williams and let it be known that he was looking for someone with different views of the merits of lockdowns, he’d probably find sufficient qualified candidates. While he’s at it, he could replace Dr. Williams’s second-in-command Dr. Barbara Yaffe, who was notoriously caught on tape prior to a news conference saying, “I don’t know why I bring all these papers with me. I never look at them…I just say whatever they write down for me.” Dr. Williams, also present in the video, mumbles something that sounds like “I do the same.” 

Indeed. Throughout this entire pandemic, Williams and Yaffe have been flying by the seat of their pants, or at least, the seat of someone’s pants, and we don’t even know whose. There are no placebo-controlled, double-blind studies saying that any particular number of “cases” of coronavirus constitutes sufficient reason to enter lockdown, or to move from one colour-coded lockdown state to another. There are no studies saying that churches or restaurants operating at 15% capacity are safe while those operating at 20% are unsafe. These formulas have simply been made up out of thin air. They’re not science. 

Aggravating the problem is the fact that PCR testing generates many false positives, so that the increase in “cases” may be merely a function of increased testing or excessive amplification rates used in the tests. 

Sweden never locked down its economy. The state of South Dakota never did either. The states of Florida and Texas have re-opened and rescinded their mask requirements. None of these places have suffered significantly higher death rates than locked-down, double-masked Ontario. 

Would Ontario’s electorate cry foul if Dr. Williams and Dr. Yaffe were replaced by a new CMO who declared that it was now safe to reopen and unmask? The public, like the premier, have by and large been willing to accept as gospel whatever the CMO has said, no matter how lacking in corroborative science. They appear awestruck by the title – Chief Medical Officer – and have overlooked blatant contradictions and about-face turns. They would undoubtedly follow like good little sheep the dictates of a new CMO who told them it was safe to reopen and unmask. 

Premier Ford, you needn’t commit political suicide to save Ontario’s economy. Please just replace Dr. Williams and Dr. Yaffe with someone who thinks differently. There’ll be a line-up to apply for the job. And once you start singing a new tune because your new CMO said to, other provinces might start singing it too.

Karen Selick is a Columnist for the Western Standard

Karen Selick is a Columnist for the Western Standard. She has previously written for the original Western Standard, the National Post, and Canadian Lawyer Magazine. She is the former Litigation Lawyer of the Canadian Constitution Foundation and is the owner of KeenEyesEditing.ca. You can see her videos at https://www.bitchute.com/channel/SuoLpS8cVejQ/

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    April 4, 2021 at 9:42 am

    The Trudeau media has did agreat. job of scaring the general population to. take the experimental shot.Albertan’s have started to wake that this is just the flu that has changed viarence as it did in the past.The medical profession should be ashamed to not speak out their views.They owe all residents who pay. their wages that honesty.Hopefully these cowards will get their just rewards.

  2. Left Coast

    April 2, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Next to Justin Trudope . . . Doug Ford is the Stupidest Politician in Canada.

    This man has a learning curve that is not only FLAT . . . it trends Downward . . .

    After a year of this Wuhan Flu insanity the Ford fool is still doing the exact same drill . . . Locking Down the Healthy People . . . expecting a Different Result.
    That is the definition of insanity Doug . . .

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Opinion

MORGAN: Big labour wants big government in Calgary’s civic election

“Calgary’s Future used to be called “Calgarians for a Progressive Future” and the Canadian Union for Public Employees pumped nearly $1.4 million into the group in 2019 alone.”

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Alberta’s civic election fundraising laws used to be pretty ‘wild west’. There were no contribution limits for candidates. Disclosure requirements on contributors were loose and candidates could spend contributions on whatever they pleased.

Just think about how ridiculous that was. A person, company, or union could give tens of thousands of dollars to a candidate and we were supposed to pretend that it wouldn’t impact how they govern. There was no formal campaign period, so fundraising could happen during the entire term of the councillor. The official didn’t have to actually spend the funds on their campaign. They could and did build surpluses in their campaign accounts. It was a perfect system for (soft) bribery and money laundering, and let’s not pretend that it never happened.

Campaign accounts could be used as retirement funds for city councillors. Upon leaving office, whatever surplus funds were in the campaign account could go to the councillor as a tax-free gift.

Ward 11 councilor Barry Erskine was so flagrant in his abuse of the system, he can at least be credited for helping spur the reform of it. In 2004, Erskine claimed $67,000 in election expenses while he was acclaimed. How do you spend so much on a campaign against nobody? In 2007, Erskine pretended an intent to run right up until a couple of days before the deadline. He then dropped out of the race, pocketed whatever campaign funds were in his account, and rode off into the sunset. While the act was grossly unprincipled, it was entirely legal.

Multiple campaign finance reform bills have been passed since the unregulated days of 2007. Unions and corporations can no longer donate to candidates and the maximum that anybody can donate to a campaign is $5,000 per year.

Campaign finance reforms have not stopped the influence of well-heeled groups, however. Rather than donating directly to candidates as they used to, organizations have formed a myriad of Third-Party Advertiser (TPA) groups and have been funneling a lot of money into them. Most of these groups have modest funding. A TPA called “Calgary’s Future” is an exception and is sitting on a $1.7 million campaign war chest.

While contributions to TPAs are capped at $30,000 now, there was no limit on contributions to them prior to 2021. Calgary’s Future used to be called “Calgarians for a Progressive Future” and the Canadian Union for Public Employees pumped nearly $1.4 million into the group in 2019 alone.

Calgary’s Future may have dropped the term “progressive” from their name, but their leftward slant isn’t hard to see on their website. Every candidate that they have endorsed is running on a progressive platform. The group gives an impression of transparency but no organizers or principles behind the organization are disclosed beyond first names. It is hardly a secret that they are a creation of government unions.

We can try to cork the bottle when it comes to campaign funding, but big money will always find another way to influence candidates. Having nearly $2 million in union dues directed towards promoting a specific set of candidates is surely going to impact the election. There is no TPA with a budget even close to Calgary’s Future. No other TPA has the paycheques of thousands of union members to tap for funding either.

If any of the candidates being backed by Calgary’s Future do get elected, they will have more than a little bias in favour of labour unions when contract negotiations with civil service unions are done. We are in a period of fiscal crisis and need councilors who will stand up to organized labour as opposed to being beholden to it.

We clearly needed to fix our unregulated campaign funding system; but have we now created a monster worse than what we had to begin with? Things are less transparent than ever and the dollars are bigger. Interest groups with multi-million dollar budgets will be supporting campaigns while the average voter doesn’t even realize it. It is more difficult to tie a candidate to who their backers may actually be. The money is still there, but now it is indirect.

It is too late to change the campaign funding system for 2021, but we should work to expose it. Organized labour is funding a large campaign for a small number of candidates. Calgary needs councilors who are working for the interest of the city as a whole rather than the labour unions for city employees. If Calgarians want the city to return to fiscal responsibility, they need to look at the list of candidates being endorsed by Calgary’s Future and choose not to vote for them.

Cory Morgan is the Alberta Political Columnist for the Western Standard and Host of the Cory Morgan Show

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Opinion

Allison: Official bilingualism creates a regional power imbalance

Westerners must join the elite minority of bilinguals by learning a second language or be left behind when it comes to rising the ranks of Canada’s federal institutions.

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Bilinguals make up only 18% of our population, yet they dominate our federal institutions.

The reason for this is no secret. Canada’s official bilingualism, legally enshrined in the Official Languages Act (1969), gives a distinct advantage to one class of Canadians; bilinguals, over all others. The Act requires that federal institutions provide services in both French and English. The result is that 40% of federal public service jobs are “designated bilingual.” This means that some 300,000 jobs which make up our federal bureaucracies are available only to 18% of Canadians and closed to the other 82%

What does this mean for regional representation in our federal institutions? It means overrepresentation from Quebec and underrepresentation from the West. About 45% of Quebecers are bilingual whereas only 7% of those in the prairie provinces are bilingual. Thus, the pool of qualified candidates for federal public service jobs is going to be overwhelmingly filled with Quebecers while having scarcely any Westerners. As spokesman for Canadians for Language Fairness, Gordon Miller, writes: “The Official Languages Act has allowed this group [the “Laurentian elite”] to dominate the federal government bureaucracy and further entrench the dominance of the Eastern provinces in federal affairs.”

The Laurentian elite does dominate the federal public service. A total of 67% of the federal public service is made up of Quebecers and Ontarians and only 11% are from the prairie provinces. Of course, official bilingualism is not the only cause that has explanatory power in the case of this discrepancy. The federal capital being located on the border between the two most populous provinces also plays a significant role in determining the regional makeup of the federal public service (a separate and distinct advantage that the Laurentians have over Westerners in controlling federal institutions). In fact, 42% of federal public service employees live in the National Capital Region in Ottawa-Gatineau.

But, when it comes to those who rise the ranks in Canada’s federal bureaucracy, official bilingualism provides an explanation for its overwhelmingly Quebecer makeup. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard Wagner, the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal Marc Noël, the Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson for the National Film Board of Canada Claude Joli-Coeur, the Director and CEO of the Canada Council of the Arts Simon Brault, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Stéphane Perrault, and the Director of CSIS David Vigneault are all Quebecers. The board of directors for the CBC, is also made up of 33% Quebecers with only one member hailing from the prairie provinces — Jennifer Moore Rattray from Manitoba. As Washington Post columnist, J.J. McCullough, suggests: “It is really hard to argue that by some massive coincidence the most qualified people for all of these jobs just happen to be Quebecers.”

Indeed, it is no coincidence. Since all federal institutions must provide services in both French and English, it is likely to have a bilingual in charge of these federal bureaucracies in order to ensure that these institutions run smoothly. As a result, Quebecers with their disproportionate number of bilinguals, have come to dominate the highest ranks of these bureaucracies.

Official bilingualism lays the groundwork for these regional disparities in Canada’s federal bureaucracies. Quebecers are overwhelmingly more likely to be bilingual than Westerners. As such, Westerners must join the elite minority of bilinguals by learning a second language or be left behind when it comes to rising the ranks of Canada’s federal institutions.

Andrew Allison is a PhD philosophy student at the University of Calgary
andrew.allison@ucalgary.ca

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Doug Ford’s daughter could teach her father a thing or two about freedom

Daughter champions freedoms, daddy seizes them. Some who despise Premier Dad’s authoritarian decrees say the wrong family member heads Ontario.

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Krista Ford Haynes, daughter of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, is going to make for some interesting Thanksgiving Dinner family conversation.

On Tuesday, Krista issued another dire warning against governments forcing vaccine passports, urging people to “collectively wake up” and not be obedient and unquestioning.

The following day, her father, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, launched COVID-19 vaccine passports, forcing people to choose between taking the jab, or losing many of their most basic freedoms. He claimed the passports are temporary.

Sure, they are. And 14 days would flatten the curve. No government relinquishes control it grabs. When COVID eventually passes, the newly established government powers will be turned elsewhere.

Daughter champions freedoms, daddy seizes them. Some who despise Premier Dad’s authoritarian decrees say the wrong family member heads Ontario.

Ford family get-togethers can’t be fun. Hopefully, they’re amicable. That’s not always the case.

Polarizing COVID-19 views about forced-masking, lockdowns, vaccines, and mandatory vaccine passports are dividing and destroying families and friendships.

Screaming matches and brawls over masks and social distancing aren’t confined to the aisles of Walmart among strangers.

Loved ones nearly, or maybe do, come to blows at dinner tables before the soup gets cold. That only happens when the government permits them to visit in between intermittent lockdowns.

Everyone’s ready to fall on their swords, convinced that their side — whichever it is — is solely righteous and right.

Haynes, 30, is an anti-vax crusader. Insults are hurled at her. The indignant demand she is reported. She’s been called “ignorant.” She makes people’s “blood boil.”

The feisty Haynes won’t back down from views some declare extreme.

Haynes, with thousands of followers, delivered her latest message in a video posted to Instagram after the federal election.

“Good morning, everyone. Happy Tuesday. As we could have all expected, the Liberal government won last night with a minority government,” said Haynes.

The Liberals will carry on “stripping our freedoms away one day at a time,” she said.

Haynes has long warned that forced masking was a steppingstone to vaccine passports. She was mocked. Few are laughing now.

The passports are here. Alberta succumbed, despite Premier Jason Kenney’s solemn vow to gallantly fight the feds if they forced them. Then he did a 180 and imposed them with a vengeance.

Now Haynes warns vaccine passports are a steppingstone to more controls and lost freedoms.

“When I posted in May or June of last year about the upcoming mask mandates and not to comply, this is why I wanted people, urged people, not to comply,” she said.

“We found out right away that masks weren’t very effective at all based on how people were wearing and revising them, and it actually could have made things a lot worse for some people and are making things a lot worse for certain age groups today.”

“That was one, but we complied, we complied. We could have put our foot down collectively, and we didn’t.”

So, the worst of it has arrived?

“You think it’s just going to be movie theatres, restaurants, gyms. That’s the first step. The first step. They’re going to take it all. They’re going to take it all and we’ve allowed it.”

Australians wore their masks and obeyed ‘temporary’ lockdown orders. The former penal colony turned into one of the freest countries, has become an effective police state. Citizens face the most extreme lockdowns globally. Wednesday, police fired rubber bullets into a crowd of 400 unarmed and peaceful protestors against severe lockdowns and vaccine passports.

Chaos erupts around the world. People fear pandemic “mandates” have morphed into a sinister grab for complete control over their lives to advance ever-greater government control.

Many are losing their jobs for no good reason.

Citizens are enraged their children suffer abuse, being forced to wear masks with little proof they effectively prevent transmission of COVID.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s booster (third) shot six months after full immunization for the elderly and high-risk. It rejected an application to approve booster shots for all Americans 16 and older. They’ll circle back to that.

Haynes urged people to ask questions, discuss, research. She, like others who advocate this, are ridiculed, attacked, discredited, even fired.

Their critics just want everyone to comply with the latest orders and shut up.

Fear, anger and distrust over this curse called COVID-19 prevail. There’s little common ground.

Doctors who question the official doctrine are dismissed, shamed, and now, being fired in some cases.

Asking questions is a good thing. Blindly complying isn’t.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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