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MARSDEN: Vaccines are the anti-lockdown super weapon we need

If we allow elected officials to dictate how we manage our personal health, there’s no telling where it will end.




The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to tug at the threads that bind Albertans.

When COVID restrictions were imposed more than a year ago, many people bristled against the stern measures that were put in place, correctly drawing attention to the need to balance public safety with the liberties we have fought to enjoy.

Now that vaccines have put a crimp in the rate of infections, other Albertans are carping about the government’s wise lifting of restrictions. There have been daily protests in Calgary and Edmonton claiming the provincial government is giving up ground to the scourge and putting the public at great risk.

The development of highly effective vaccines has been a game-changer and it’s time for Albertans to shed the well-worn cloak of fear and embrace life as it’s meant to be lived.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, has borne the brunt of the criticism for the decision to end the extreme measures against COVID-19. She understands it’s time to move on. 

“We will not eliminate COVID, which means we need to learn how to live with it,” Hinshaw wrote this week in a piece delivered to media outlets.

“Testing every person with a runny nose or sore throat is an extraordinary measure that we cannot sustain, particularly through the respiratory virus season. Legally mandating everyone to stay home for 10 days if they have any symptoms is also an extraordinary measure.”

Hinshaw is right, of course. If Albertans don’t wish to suffer the nasty pains of COVID-19 — which are not to be taken lightly — there’s an easy solution: get a vaccine. In fact, get two doses to protect your welfare and that of those around you, if you choose.

The great majority of COVID-19 cases are now visited upon those who have chosen not to get the jab. We’ve known for several weeks, if not months, those who are vaccinated have approximately 95% protection against the virus, and in the rare instance when they do contract COVID, they are unlikely to become seriously ill and require hospitalization.

Still, it’s worrisome that political leaders such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden are threatening to make vaccination a condition of employment for federal public workers. While inoculation is the surest way of returning to the quality of life we all want to enjoy, it’s heavy-handed and a gross violation of our fundamental liberties for political leaders to contemplate mandating medicines.

If we allow elected officials to dictate how we manage our personal health, there’s no telling where it will end. Requiring mandatory vaccination would set a dangerous precedent and should be avoided at all costs.

There was a time when vaccines were scarce in Canada, but today, there’s an abundance of the elixir and Albertans can become protected against the virus. The vaccines are the surest path to discouraging governments from engaging in more needless overreach.

Vaccines, remember, are credited with largely eliminating nasty afflictions such as polio and measles. They have a proven record of protecting us from diseases that can compromise our well-being and shorten our years on Earth.

COVID-19 doesn’t exist in a vacuum, of course, which is why Hinshaw has recommended the healthcare system must focus on more than a single affliction. There are countless tales of cancelled surgeries for maladies such as cancer and other sicknesses. There are also legions of Albertans who have been discouraged from receiving regular medical checkups that could have identified health problems long before they became more serious.

Try telling a family reeling from opioid addiction that their struggle should take a back seat to COVID.

The purposeful focus on COVID has come at a tremendous cost. It’s time for Albertans to stop being cowed by COVID. Let’s accept that there are myriad health challenges that must be addressed and that we need to get on with living our lives.

And let’s agree elected officials — few of whom have medical degrees — should continue to make vaccination a personal choice.

David Marsden is a columnist for the Western Standard. He served as managing editor of the Red Deer Advocate and editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald.

Dave Marsden is a Columnist for the Western Standard. He has served as the Editorial Page Editor of the Calgary Herald and the Managing Editor of the Red Deer Advocate.

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  1. Left Coast

    August 10, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    How does Canada compare to say the Congo?

    Congo 178 deaths 92.3 Million population.

    What did they do different? Being Congo is a Malaria country most citizens take one 200 mg HCQ tablet every Sunday.

    The Candace Owens Show: Dr. Stella Immanuel


  2. Shepherdess

    August 10, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Hey MD, Totally agree! I can’t believe this was even published. The “therapeutic” only mitigates symptoms; it doesn’t prevent transmission or getting Covid. And new research is showing “immunity” wanes after 10 weeks. So much BS in this article that once again lays the blame on the unvaccinated. Has he not read the stats out of Israel – the “model” vaxed country – that shows that 60% of those hospitalized from the variant were double dosed?! Has he not reviewed stats from VAERS?!

  3. MD

    August 10, 2021 at 9:14 am

    Hey Josh that was a really good video! Truth based on science. I hope more doctors like that one will speak out. I know from sources that too many are scared but that is one of the only ways out of this mess.

    Marsden can have his opinion but if he says things not based in researching the science he looks ignorant and loses credibility. He should really watch the highwire or go to Vaccine Choice Canada to start researching the truth! He can start by listening to our own Alberta doctor, our hero Dr Roger Hodkinson.
    Alberta Health keeps telling us that the jabs are safe and effective but they just keep perpetuating the lie and harm to the people of our province. The booster shots are coming and that will be a virologist’s nightmare, especially if there is graphene oxide in the concoction of poison.
    I saw a sign by AHS the other day which stated, ‘Approved vaccines are researched until they are proven safe’
    None of these Covid jabs have been APPROVED! What a way to deceive the population! You tell that to people they think you are crazy. People are too lazy or too indoctrinated to search for the truth. Unfortunately they will reap the consequences.

  4. westofsask@hotmail.com

    August 10, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Vaccines haven’t put a crimp in infections, summer has! It did last year and now there is even more natural herd immunity from infections. Everyone has had it by now! These vaccines will be the death of many! Stop pushing them!

  5. Bill

    August 9, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Vaccinated population in Israel is catching Delta variant (and spreading it) as easily as non-vaccinated.

  6. Josh

    August 9, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Everyone needs to listen to this Doctor.
    6 and a half minutes of pure reasoning.


  7. Deb

    August 9, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    There is no need for a vaccine so no need to mandate one. http://www.lauralynn.tv/

  8. Kelly Carter

    August 9, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    I will give Hinshaw credit in that she has finally come to the correct conclusion even if it was a year and a half late. I still think she should be fired because of her handling of the “emergency” for the last year and a half.

    The author has it right in that there should not be mandated vaccination, however he is awful trusting of the vaccine. It is not the same type of vaccine as polio, small pox, measles, etc… all of which are highly effective highly tested. This is new technology that would normally take a minimum of 3-5 years for FDA approval. The numbers from the trials run last summer/fall look very suspicious in that the magically reached the required 95% effective, but they were only studied in average people of low risk who in general had a greater than 85% chance of not having any reaction to COVID itself. Now looking at the current stats, the vaccine appears to be far less effective than originally advertised especially against variants, and more importantly there are numerous very serious side effects being reported that normally would have had any vaccine roll out canceled.

    And again by the numbers all we ever needed to do was to take precautions when entering a location with a high risk population, and isolate the sick. This is still the best route forward, and mainstream media needs to stop the fear mongering!

  9. Andrew

    August 9, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    Why is my hard earned membership money paying this loser columnist?

  10. berta baby

    August 9, 2021 at 11:56 am

    I was gonna comment about this article but it seems like old man gibberish about non scientific disinformation about these symptom reduction shots and I kinda scrolled through and old man river is against vaccine mandates, whatever typicall boomer who rationalizes how they screwed up the world and how hard it is to be old …. Okay boomer

  11. K

    August 9, 2021 at 11:15 am

    “highly effective vaccines” Sure, bud. Against WHAT exactly? This is NOT a pandemic and never has been, get with the program BOOMER.

  12. CodexCoder

    August 9, 2021 at 10:26 am

    The party line is “safe and effective” just like Justine said yesterday. And standing in the face of this narrative are the facts, a little bit more stubborn, like this one:


    My body, my choice – Nuremberg Code

  13. Left Coast

    August 9, 2021 at 10:25 am

    In Britain . . . 1/2 of those in hospital with the “Delta” variant had received One or Two vaccinations. It seems the mRNA Vaccine is not as effective as advertised.

    Lets ask an Expert . . .
    Dr. Robert Malone, MRNA inventor . . .

    He said mRNA vaccines are not vaccines. The process of using nucleic acids to alter cell function is more properly called gene therapy. That’s why Dr. Malone’s Wikipedia bio disappeared along with all the articles praising him for developing DNA/RNA transfection technology. Dr. Malone developed transfection technology in 1988, while working at the Salk Institute, and the covid mRNA vaccines are based on Dr. Malone’s transfection technology. So what exactly is transfection technology and what is it used for?

    Transfection is described as “the process of artificially introducing nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) into cells, utilizing means other than viral infection.” According to Britannica, “it’s used to insert foreign nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) into a cell, typically with the intention of altering the properties of the cell.”

  14. Left Coast

    August 9, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Sars 2, aka Covid 19 aka Wuhan Flu . . . is a Corona Virus. As is the Common Cold and every Flu we have dealt with for many decades. We knew over a year ago that the main target of the Wuhan Flu was the Elderly & those with comorbidities yet our “Politicians” kept up the “fear & scare” with the help of the FakeStream Media and Fake PCR Tests.
    Recently the US CDC abandoned the Emergency Use of the PCR test, because it CANNOT differentiate between the Common Flu & the Wuhan Virus or the Common Cold for that matter.
    So ALL of the “Case” numbers of the last year have been meaningless. For 100s of years, Cases meant sick people . . . Till Covid.

    Politicians are not the brightest . . . they managed to learn nothing in the last year as they repeated the failed Lockdown exercises which destroyed Businesses & People. Already the destruction from the Lockdowns appears much more than the actual Virus.

    As far as Trudeau & Biden . . . they are TWO of the Stupidest Leaders on the Planet today.
    Senile Joe cannot have a 10 minute conversation without pulling Cue Cards out of his pocket.

    Obviously the Media is unconcerned, but the Southern US Border is Wide Open. Already in the last few months over 7000 Covid positive Illegals have passed through McAllen Texas being shipped all over the USA. Biden’s Open Border has already welcomed over a Million from 150+ countries and another Million expected by Christmas. Border Patrol estimates more than 10% of these folks are sick.

    Watched the protest in Edmonton the other day, it seems these are mostly NDP Hacks who have figured out that the Wuhan Virus might be their ticket to power. They looked quite insane walking around Outdoors all masked up acting like lunatics. Over a dozen studies out there that ALL agree . . . Masks don’t Stop a Virus.

  15. LisaEh

    August 9, 2021 at 9:32 am

    These are not vaccines, but gene therapies.

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The Pipeline: YouTube cancels Western Standard

This week a Calgary Cop suspended for refusing vax, YouTube cancels Western Standard and D-Day on Kenney’s leadership vote rules. Join us live at 12 PM!




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MORGAN: Free speech in comedy under siege

“What has happened to our society when a comedy festival may turn into a street battle? “




Standup comedians have always been on the front lines in battles over free speech and expression.

In the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, most of the pearl-clutching busybodies came from the ‘moral majority’ religious right. They feared obscenity within comedy acts would degrade the moral fabric of the nation and for a while, the law agreed. Comedian Lenny Bruce was convicted and sentenced to four months in a workhouse in 1964 for the crime of spreading obscenity in his act. George Carlin was arrested seven times during the 1970s for his famous “Seven Dirty Words” routine.

Bruce died before the appeal of his sentence was completed. He was posthumously pardoned in 2003. Charges against Carlin were all dropped before he could be convicted. Carlin and Bruce refused to back down and in the end, the state couldn’t win. We will never know how many comedians allowed themselves to be cowed into changing their acts due to state and social intimidation in those days. Not all of them had the will or support bases Carlin and Bruce enjoyed.

The ability for comedians to freely express themselves is just as threatened today as it was 50 years ago. The source of puritanical outrage against comedy routines has changed, though. These days the prigs demanding the curtailment of free speech in comedy acts are the snowflakes of the politically correct left.

Canadian comedian Mike Ward found himself dragged before human rights tribunals and the Canadian courts for nearly a decade over a routine in which he mocked a disabled young Canadian performer. The case ultimately went to the Canadian Supreme Court where it was ruled in a tight 5-4 split decision Ward’s right to free speech was to be protected, and jokes were not subject to judicial review. We came dangerously close to having a comedian convicted for his routine during this decade. The threat to free expression is real and it’s ongoing.

The prime target of the cancel-culture mob lately has been American comedian Dave Chappelle. Chappelle has long enjoyed poking fun at the hypersensitive underbelly of the LGBTQ activist community and has never backed down in the face of the enraged blowback following one of his acts. In Chappelle’s most recent Netflix comedy special he went out of his way to antagonize the usual suspects as he made jokes about transgender ideological orthodoxy. The response to his act was immediate and predictable. Activists demanded Netflix pull the special down and small groups of Netflix employees staged widely publicized walkouts in protest of Chappelle’s act.

Netflix never pulled Chappelle’s special down and Chappelle has remained unapologetic for it. The controversy generated by apoplectic snowflakes in response to Chappelle’s act likely only increased viewership of the special.

It has just been announced Dave Chappelle is going to be headlining a Netflix comedy festival this coming April in Hollywood Bowl. This signals Netflix has done well with Chappelle’s routine despite or perhaps even because of the controversy it generated. In having a set date at a large outdoor venue and in such a populated area, Netflix is upping the ante in their battle with cancel-culture activists. Not only are they saying they won’t pull Chappelle’s older content, but they are also expanding the reach for his next act.

American and Canadian courts have proven they will protect the rights of free expression for controversial comedians, albeit grudgingly. Anti-free speech activists will have to take their case to the streets now and I suspect they will. With as many as 17,000 attendees arriving for a comedy festival being potentially greeted by a sizable number of protesters, things may get ugly.

What has happened to our society when a comedy festival may turn into a street battle?

Chappelle’s showdown this spring could be a turning point for comedy. Will he and Netflix stand their ground in the face of protests? Will local authorities ensure the show can go on even if activists vow to shut it down? This comedy event is going to be an important one.

As with any art, the enjoyment of comedy is subjective. Some people like simple clean humour, some like complex satire, and some like vulgarity-laden shock comedy. The only people who can judge good comedy are the audience and they should only be able to render judgment through voting with their feet (and wallets). In other words, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

Comedians ply their trade by observing the world and poking at sacred cows. They dig into subjects people commonly avoid and force us to think about them through the lens of humour. They provide a public service by pushing the boundaries of free expression and ensuring no subjects are ever out of bounds. They often make us laugh and we need a whole lot more of that these days.

Comedians will not be able to effectively practice their art if they fear censors or legal repercussions. They will be restrained and they will leave subjects that need to be brought before public scrutiny untouched.

If the speech and expression of comedians are allowed to be suppressed, no speech is safe. We need to stand up for our comics for both their sake and our own.

Cory Morgan is Assistant Opinion & Broadcast Editor for the Western Standard

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WAGNER: Hydrocarbon based fuels are here to stay

“Think of it as telling people to step out of a perfectly serviceable airplane without a parachute, with assurances that politicians will work out alternatives on the way down.”




Alberta’s future is threatened by a national campaign to dramatically reduce the production of hydrocarbons.

The political and media elite repeatedly assure everyone that such fuels can be replaced by new “green” energy sources such as wind and solar power. People currently employed in the oil and gas industry will supposedly transition into green energy production and life will continue on as before, except with fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Indeed, Justin Trudeau’s federal government has committed to transitioning Canada’s economy to producing net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.

Trudeau’s scheme is a fairy tale. Hydrocarbons are going to be required for a very long time because current green energy technology is nowhere near where it needs to be to replace them. Currently, there are no realistic alternatives to oil and gas, so reducing their production will only lead to energy shortages.

As Dr. Henry Geraedts put it recently in the Financial Post, “The ultimate goal of net-zero politics is to impose a radical energy transition that demands a top-to-bottom physical and social-economic restructuring of society, with no credible road map in sight. Think of it as telling people to step out of a perfectly serviceable airplane without a parachute, with assurances that politicians will work out alternatives on the way down.”

Geraedts’ Financial Post column is a brief description of a policy report he produced in June 2021, and how it was ignored because its conclusions contradict the ideological perspective that university professors are expected to support. He didn’t toe the party line, in other words, and therefore got the cold shoulder.

Geraedts’ report, Net Zero 2050: Rhetoric and Realities, is available online at the website of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy which is affiliated with both the University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina. It’s a very credible piece of work.

Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons and Geraedts points out “hydrocarbons are nature’s most efficient embodiment of primary energy: the combination of high energy density, abundance, stability, safety, portability and affordability is unmatched by any other source of energy.”

Currently, hydrocarbons comprise about 80% of global primary energy. This is essentially the same percentage as 30 years ago, when the global warming craze began. Despite years of favourable government policies and billions of dollars in government subsidies, green technology such as wind and solar energy remain relatively small contributors to the world’s energy supply.

Geraedts also describes the negative environmental impacts caused by so-called green energy technology. Among the most interesting details he mentions is: “Neither turbine blades nor solar panels nor lithium-ion batteries are physically or economically recyclable. They are instead, at an alarming rate, ending up in landfills leaching toxic chemicals — an estimated 10 million tons/year of batteries by 2030 alone.” So much for protecting the environment.

Geraedts is not a so-called “denier.” He points to data from reliable sources indicating global temperatures have increased by one degree Celsius since 1900. But he also explains “the projections used to justify net zero policies and the Paris Accord, are based on fundamentally flawed computer climate models that overstate warming by some 200%.”

Not only that, but “observational, empirical evidence remains agnostic as to what, with requisite confidence levels, is attributable to anthropogenic influences vs. natural variability.” In other words, it cannot be determined with certainty to what degree the gradual temperature increase is the result of human activities.

But climate change worries aside, there is still a fatal lack of realistic alternatives to hydrocarbons. The International Energy Agency forecasts that even if all countries fulfill their Paris Accord commitments — an unlikely prospect — hydrocarbons will still account for 60% of primary energy in 2040. With accelerating energy demand in Africa and Asia, Geraedts expects hydrocarbons will remain the dominant energy source for decades to come.

This is what it all means: If we put progressive ideology aside and take a hard, honest look at the energy situation, hydrocarbons are here to stay for quite a while. Knowing the ingenuity of human beings in a free society, the discovery of new energy sources is likely at some point in the future. For now, though, we need oil and gas, and Alberta has lots of both.

With strong international demand for hydrocarbons forecast to last for decades, there is no reason why these resources cannot continue to provide the foundation of economic prosperity for the province. The biggest obstacle to such prosperity, of course, is the federal government. Due to its determination to prevent the development of hydrocarbons, independence may be the only way to maintain and increase the resource-based wealth that is Alberta’s birthright.

An independent Alberta could implement policies maximizing economic growth and avoid the suffocating policies of Canada’s central government. A free Alberta would be a prosperous Alberta.

Michael Wagner is a columnist for the Western Standard

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