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COPPING: My response to protesting health workers

My bigger concern is the message the letter sends to the 630,000 Albertans who are eligible to be vaccinated but haven’t yet done so.

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A group of health-care workers calling themselves Health Professionals United, object to AHS’ decision to require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. AHS’ position is they — and health-care workers — have a paramount obligation to protect patients, especially the sickest and most vulnerable patients who are in hospital or continuing care. They’re accommodating those who cannot be vaccinated on health or legitimate religious grounds — as they should. Ultimately, this is an issue between some staff and their employer, and I respect that.

My bigger concern is the message the letter sends to the 630,000 Albertans who are eligible to be vaccinated but haven’t yet done so. I think most of them are sincerely uncertain and looking for guidance, and I’m deeply concerned the letter could influence some of them to choose not to be vaccinated.

That’s a serious concern because the claims in the letter are misleading or incorrect. So I want to speak directly to Albertans who are still considering whether to get vaccinated: I urge you to make your decision based on better information than this letter. Listen to our chief medical officer of health, Dr. Hinshaw, or the countless other physicians, health-care professionals (as well as their governing colleges) and scientists who publicly support vaccination. Or better yet, talk to your own family doctor, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or other health-care professionals.

Those health-care professionals can do a better job of explaining the evidence than I ever could. I know that AHS and other health-care professionals will respond. But for what it’s worth, the claims in the letter are misleading or simply wrong. I have the deepest respect for all health-care workers. But the letter does not reflect good science or good health-care advice.

The letter says COVID-19 vaccines have not been proven to prevent transmission of the virus. That’s patently misleading. You can still get sick and transmit the virus even if you’re fully vaccinated. But it’s far less likely — and if you do still get sick, it’s far less likely to be serious. Multiple studies have shown all of this, including this example.

Furthermore, recent data from the United Kingdom shows that two doses of vaccine are estimated to give 79% protection against symptomatic COVID and 96% protection against hospitalization. This includes the Delta variant. I’ve linked that information here.

The health-care workers’ letter also says recent breakthrough infections among vaccinated people in Israel is reason to doubt the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. Again, this is not true. A recent Reuters article notes that severe breakthrough cases are being seen mostly in immunocompromised and older patients who simply have a less robust immune response from the vaccines.

This is why multiple jurisdictions, including Alberta, are now offering booster shots to vulnerable populations, including continuing care residents and folks with pre-existing conditions. What we need now is for more people to get vaccinated to reduce community spread so that vulnerable Albertans are protected.

It’s true that getting infected with COVID-19 gives you some “natural immunity.” But we don’t know how much or how long it lasts. What we do know is that you have much more protection if you also get immunized, even if you’ve been infected. There’s some evidence that antibodies from natural immunity decline after three months, while protection from vaccines lasts longer. The evidence is still developing but here’s one study on results to date.

Finally, the letter references the number of people apparently harmed by vaccination (“vaccine injuries”) reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). This also is deeply misleading. The data in VAERS has not been reviewed by medical professionals, so we don’t know how many of the reports in it may be duplicates or if the COVID-19 vaccine really played a role in a given report. The Government of Canada does report on legitimate medical issues after vaccination. Of the 16,090 individual reports (0.029% of all Canadian doses administered), 4,288 were considered serious (0.008% of all doses administered). Here is the link to that information.

The bottom line is that it remains your choice whether to be vaccinated — for yourself and for your kids, if you’re a parent. Getting vaccinated helps protects you and the people around you.

We need to make decisions based on good information and good advice from health-care professionals. We’re in a crisis due to our low vaccination rate, and the one sure way out of it is for more of us to get vaccinated.

I did it — both doses — and I urge you to do it too, for yourself, for your family and for our community.

Jason Copping is Alberta’s Health Minister.

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Longo

    October 2, 2021 at 5:18 am

    78% of all hospitalized Covid patients are either over weight or obese.

    We have a fat crisis not a Covid crisis.

  2. Mark Cameron

    October 1, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    It comes down to this…very simply. if you are not in a high risk category: 1) Can vaccinated people still get covid? 2) Can vaccinated people still spread covid? Therefore there is no justification for vaccine mandates and passports. 3) I rest my case.

  3. Pierre Demyan

    October 1, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    So he is citing preprints and websites and calling them “studies”, and he is giving people medical advice!

    Here is what is written in the preprint link he used:
    “This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.”

    The preprint he cited compares people who were infected one year before the people who got vaccinated! What kind of comparison is this!

    I don’t need to outlines the gross mistakes in the rest of his article nor the body of evidence he ignored, but I m really surprised that he is accusing healthcare workers of spreading misinformation while he himself is spreading misinformation.

  4. Bruce

    October 1, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    UCP party one and done. Freaking idiot

  5. JONATHAN DIXON

    September 30, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    In addition to my earlier comment about the first link leading to a study that cannot be used because it’s still under peer review and in the process of being verified for scientific validity, I’ve been thinking. Something doesn’t add up.

    Why would anyone, when trying to prove something, cite a study that cannot be used as proof? It seems to me that Mr. Copping, the new Health Minister, probably gave the task of writing this letter to an underling in his department. I suspect that this underling wanted to tell the truth, but couldn’t come out and say it directly, because he’d lose his job, so he disguised it. By referencing a study that cannot be used as proof, the hidden message is clear when you really think about it: There is no valid scientific proof that these jabs are effective at preventing the severity of COVID-19, if you get it after being jabbed. It’s a false claim. That is the hidden message to citing a study that cannot be used as proof.

  6. waynethornton@yahoo.com

    September 30, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    The Delta Variant increase seems to be a result of the vaccines! It’s common sense. The new wave started in the middle of the summer. We aren’t travelling and mostly staying at home. We’re wearing masks and sanitizing, so where does the ‘variant come from’??? The jabs of course. But all this is just jaw flapping. The death curve from respiratory disease is flat as you’ll discover after a 10 second search on the internet. Even our betters will admit there’s been no cold and flu deaths for the last year and a half. What does that tell you ?

  7. R3

    September 30, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    LOL.

    He says to talk to your “health professional” the ones who have been threatened to stick to the bs narrative or risk losing their practice licenses.

  8. Andrew

    September 30, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    You are going to lose your job soon enough.

  9. p

    September 30, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    UCP= NDP= Tyranny.
    Kenney= Notley= Tyranny.

    There is no difference.

    Alberta Apartheid.

    Forced segregation and vilification of a minority of the population. Joseph Goebbels would be proud. Good for you Mr Copping!

    With the UCP there is no respect for human rights, the Charter of Rights, the Nuremberg Code, or the Declaration of Helsinki.

    Mr Copping is a lawyer with zero scientific background. He is cherry picking data to promote his state’s tyranny.

    If he wants a true open debate he should do so. So far Mr Kenney and the UCP have avoided any and all open debate.

    Has Mr Copping, Mr Kenney and Dr Hinshaw ever taken the time to listen to Dr Geert Vanden Bossche? I hardly imagine. If they did his advice would be ignored as it does not fit with their narrative.

    Unlike Mr Copping, Mr Kenney and Dr Hinshaw, Dr Vanden Bossche is a vaccine expert who has warned that mass vaccination in the middle of this pandemic will cause these variants to escape any protection offered by a vaccine. His open warning (https://www.geertvandenbossche.org/post/opencall) has gone on unheeded. In addition Dr Vanden Bossche has thoroughly debunked the ridiculous assertion that it is the unvaccinated who are driving the development of these variants and that unvaccinated threaten the vaccinated. https://www.geertvandenbossche.org/post/there-are-many-shortcuts-to-fantasy-but-there-are-no-shortcuts-to-the-scientific-truth

    Why also do the UCP and Dr Hinshaw deny the use of any and all treatments that individual MDs may want to initiate in order treat COVID19 early and avoid hospitalization? Please see https://covid19criticalcare.com/ There are many other protocols out there that can relegate this disease to outpatient treatment similarly to what has become to the treatment of HIV. This deliberate act alone should warrant a judicial inquiry and trial of those who are actively denying care for this disease. Mr Copping, Mr Kenney and Dr Hinshaw should answer under cross-examination and under oath for their actions!

    Finally everyone reading this should heed the words of Martin Niemoller:

    “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    For all of you who are going out to a restaurant and proudly displaying your “passport” you should think carefully about what you are doing and be very worried of what will be next.

  10. Wesley

    September 30, 2021 at 11:10 am

    This is our new health minister?? Should be called the minister of propaganda! Is he NDP or UCP? Looks like there is no difference.

  11. JONATHAN DIXON

    September 30, 2021 at 10:34 am

    “… You can still get sick and transmit the virus [COVID-19] even if you’re fully vaccinated. But it’s far less likely — and if you do still get sick, it’s far less likely to be serious. Multiple studies have shown all of this, including this example.”

    If you click on the words, “this example,” it takes you an article about this study. This article says, “A preprint version of the study is available on the medRxiv* server while the article undergoes peer review.” Then, if you click on the word “medRxiv” it takes you to another article which is about the study and this second article states, “This article … has not been certified by peer review. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.”

    In other words, this research should not be relied upon. Therefore, it cannot be used to justify the use of these COVID-19 jabs.

    Is this the best they can do?

  12. Bonnie Danylyshen

    September 30, 2021 at 10:02 am

    More propaganda as far as I can tell. No where is he even mentioning the bottom line of not taking the shot. AHS is threatening health care workers and this government seems to think that is okay.

  13. Lisa

    September 30, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Instead of publishing the opinions of this guy, why isn’t the Western Standard publishing an article about the Global Covid Summit? 5000 doctors, including Dr. Robert Malone, have spoken against the current covid tyranny, and stated that “crimes against humanity” are occuring as a result. Yet we need to read another article telling us the only way out of this crisis is to push a “leaky” vaccine.

  14. Dennis

    September 30, 2021 at 8:31 am

    I can’t wait for the trials to begin and these liars all end up in prison for their crimes against humanity.

  15. Pamela Bridger

    September 30, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Mr. Copping. You are doing nothing different than providing information I have already reviewed. Trouble is, I’ve also reviewed many censored opinions and nothing the Alberta Government has done has given me any confidence that you are looking out for our best interests, which is your job I remind you. Not shilling for big pharma and AHS.

    If you are truly interested in winning over hearts and minds, provide us with an open debate platform and bring in experts from both sides of the argument. Because the more the government dismisses half of the scientific community, the more I question the efficacy of these inoculations.

  16. Dominic Ieraci

    September 30, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Burn it all down. The ahs is the enemy of the people

  17. Claudette Leece

    September 30, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Left coast if they accepted the natural immunity, big Pharma would lose millions of dollars on the vaccine they couldn’t force people to get. No harm tell that to the many cases of myocarditis among young males, something they will always deal with. And no one can sit and say they know long term affects , that’s a blatant lie, and once you have it and down the road, by then folks will be up to half dozen boosters, you can’t undo it. Canada is becoming China more everyday and I never thought I would be scared or disgusted by my own country, but if we don’t start pushing back I fear for this country. Kenney is a dead man walking and if they don’t get a new leader with some people skills and common sense, all these MLA will go down with him, what’s left because everyone who speaks up gets fired. Agree totally with Gaston and if folks only knew what goes on in AHS, you would feel way less willing to support, that broken bloated system

  18. Chad Eden

    September 29, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Maybe quit cherry picking to pump up your numbers using sick children missing school as a positive case with no test. Quit use unvaccinated as your excuse, cause you a lumping in unvaccinated, people with one shot, people with 2 shots but not from the the manufacturer, people with 2 shots that have not had a 14 day cooling off period. Quit using the pcr test over 25 cycles it produces 97% false positives. At 25 cycles it only detects a fragment of a covid variant that you may have had before but is not a positive that it is COVID-19. As the WHO and CDC have made very clear there is no test that can identify the dealt variant. The only way to truly tell if you have covid is a blood test but that’s not economical and would take to long. Who is doing all these tests when Kenny stated in his new lock downs that the covid test had to be privately paid for.

  19. Chad Eden

    September 29, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Science doesn’t require your faith or belief. It does require freedom of inquiry and speech,transparent methodology and reproducible results. If bragging about your ” belief ” in science,you might be in a cult.

    I love how they discredit any science that doesn’t fit their narratives and may make them have to apologize for the mistakes they have forced on the population. I hope we will see all these leaders in front of human rights judges.
    Imagine lining up for something for a third time, for something that didn’t work the first or second.

    Wonder what they are saying about the reports coming out of China saying the vaccine doesn’t work.

  20. Andrew

    September 29, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    What a stupid stupid man.

  21. Bill Mccann

    September 29, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    If people want to get vaccinated they know where to go. AHS and big Gov need to remember that vaccines are a personal choice. Big Gov thinks that by hurting people enough they will have their goal.

  22. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    September 29, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    See were this has got us to date; Canada is on the verge of bankruptcy and gaining speed; we have lost our rights to visit friends and family;We need card to go to a eatery; lost the right to attend a sporting event;Lost our job with out the jab; we can’t stand and protest ;Lost most or all our civil rights and on the path to lose them all; It once took a war and this has been done without firing a single shot;Tthe AHS wants us to take a untested shot that has immunity from law experimental and has side effects . what government or organization would perpetrate the issue s in a clear conscience on its citizens Sounds like we see this happen in Germany whats next concentration camps?

  23. Barry Williams

    September 29, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    What concerns me is that Jason knows there are more than 3000 crazy, misguided, conspiracy theorists in AHA and still he advises citizens to go get vaccinated! Could be one of these misfits working the plunger!

  24. Barb Van Ee

    September 29, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    So the Politician and the CMOH who not only doesn’t work on the front line or ever has cannot even answer a question about staffing in hospitals are going to suggest following health professional’s advice in a response to…wait for it….Health Professionals. Vaers IS inaccurate yes, it is only reporting 1/10 the number of cases of vaccine injury, it was good enough before Covid but now they don’t like it? These people are like Zombies reading from pre-printed cards mindless plebs, it’s embarrassing.

  25. Hiccup Haddock

    September 29, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Force out those unvaccinated health care workers, that’s gonna make everything copacetic. Copping your a darn genius of a Health minister!

  26. Ella De

    September 29, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    Western Standard….why are you even publishing this government propoganda garbage? I thought you were true alternative news we could depend on to a least speak some truth apart from the lying MSM? Obviously not.

  27. Left Coast

    September 29, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    The Societal Impacts of COVID Propaganda Using the Promotion of Irrational Fear

    Neil Oliver gives a well considered perspective of how millions of people within each nation’s population are prone to being psychologically manipulated by fear. As a consequence, there is a general outlook of anxiety amid those ordinary people who are not internally strong, psychologically independent, or carrying a strong stable mind.

    Good discussion. Many good points made about how multinational corporations and Big Tech are merged ideologically with government to create one big mess of anxious and panicked people.

    video

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/

  28. MD

    September 29, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Another gas lighting communist in Kenney’s cabinet that believes in scientism and not real science.

  29. Left Coast

    September 29, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    Jason Copping . . . this is mostly Propaganda !

    “It’s true that getting infected with COVID-19 gives you some “natural immunity.” But we don’t know how much or how long it lasts. What we do know is that you have much more protection if you also get immunized, even if you’ve been infected.” LIE!

    Cleveland Clinic has done studies on Natural Immunity . . . they claim it is 27 Xs more robust than the Vax and likely lasts for LIFE.
    Another Israeli study says 20 Xs better than the VAX . . .

    You need to get informed man . . . the VAX is an Experimental Gene Therapy . . . not a Vax at all. 6 months from now YOU and millions of other will have a much different opinion I suspect . . .

    The double Vaxed after six months only have about 50% or less protection . . . and ZERO protection from the Variants which will be many. In Israel the “Vax Card” is now only good for 6 months. Boosters are likely going to be a forever thing . . .

    Vaccinated People Carry More Virus and are Superspreaders
    Science has already reflected the evidence of this point being accurate; however, the media have been reluctant to admit it – and in most cases media and politicians are denying it.
    In a rare moment of clarity, Dr. Leana Wen admits vaccinated people are now more susceptible to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, and carry a higher load of the virus than the non-vaccinated population. As a result of their vulnerability to carry and spread the virus, the vaccinated population is now the risk to the unvaccinated population.
    video
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/

    Today in Australia, Victoria Province . . . 95% of the COVID patients in Victoria hospitals are at least partially vaccinated. 78% Double & 17% Single vaxed.

    Speaking of VAERS . . . which they have been trying desperately to cover up . . . Covid Vaccines have had more issues in 9 months . . . than ALL other vaccines in the last 30 years.

  30. berta baby

    September 29, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    Here’s a good one for the obvious lies this so called leader spouted.

    Straight from his god and kings mouth fauci

    Now you arnt classified as fully vaxxed until your 3rd shot and people will need at least 3 doses due to the lack of “ long term protection “

    Fauci encourages vaccinations regardless if it fails to provide quality protection.

    From the piece
    https://thepostmillennial.com/dr-fauci-says-booster-shots?utm_campaign=64469

  31. Ella De

    September 29, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    This is not “a response to protesting Healthcare workers”…this is nothing but government propoganda to get the jab in as many arms as possible. Sick.

  32. Eldon

    September 29, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    Even a cursory look into the Vaers reports. Would show beyond a shadow of a doubt that these jabs are far from being safe. With no ability to assure longterm safety either.
    Coerced vaccination of an experimental gene altering therapy is against multiple laws.
    Individuals like the one in this article disgust me.

  33. Baron Not Baron

    September 29, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Jason ya have something in between your teeth

  34. It's a mystery

    September 29, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    I don’t believe a single thing this government or the bureaucrats at AHS have to say. They’ve lied and misrepresented countless things throughout the pandemic. They do not deserve the benefit of the doubt and the Western Standard should do better than publishing their manipulative propaganda.

  35. Mrs. Bark

    September 29, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Hmm, links are to new articles from different agencies. Hardly scientific data research papers. Thus is from a Health Minister?

  36. K

    September 29, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    “The bottom line is that it remains your choice whether to be vaccinated”

    Unless you are making the choice to not get vaccinated, then you will lose your job, the ability to do anything and get hauled of to one of the new covid camps we’re building.

  37. K

    September 29, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    NO, YOU F’ING PROPAGANDIST. WE ARE NOT ‘LOOKING FOR GUIDANCE’. WE ARE THE ONLY ONES INFORMED.

  38. berta baby

    September 29, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    What a steamy pile of propaganda.
    It’s the government that says in the middle of a so called pandemic take this needle or be fired.

    co·er·cion:
    the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.

    BBC reports 1/3 of their hospitalization is among the unvaxxed…. Which means 2/3 are vaxxed

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-58680204.amp

    Politicians and health tyrants can not be trusted.

    20 months in failure upon failure.

    The UCP has 11% popular vote… kids my D

  39. Joell Haugan

    September 29, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    “The data in VAERS has not been reviewed by medical professionals, so we don’t know how many of the reports in it may be duplicates or if the COVID-19 vaccine really played a role in a given report. ”

    Discounting VAERS is reckless….plain and simple. Even if they erased 90% of the reports (and it’s more likely that it underreportedby 90%) we’ve still got the death rates that should stop it immediately.

  40. Declan Carroll

    September 29, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    I do not need or want “free healthcare”. I want my tax dollars back that go towards funding this tyrannical homicidal system and you can mark my name off the list. If I need medical care I will hire a vet. I am done with this crap. The juice ain’t worth the squeeze!

  41. Roger Waterhouse

    September 29, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    This is LITERALLY propaganda and gaslighting. Not one of the links is an actual study. Unlike the ones referenced in the “misleading” open letter. Unbelievable.

  42. Declan Carroll

    September 29, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    We are not uncertain, looking for guidance or “hesitant”. The government and the thugs over at Pfizer violated our rights and incarcerated us without just cause. They are in violation of the Charter Of Rights, The Bill Of Rights, The Nuremberg Code and several other laws international and domestic. Take out your number 2 pencil and write this down. The answer is NO. No to the vaccine mandates. No to the lockdowns. No no no. If we allow these gangsters to get away with this then they will keep pushing forward. They will never be happy. There is no pleasing them. They want us all dead. That is the final stop on this train. This is the line in the sand. The answer is NO!

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Opinion

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? “

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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
cmorgan@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

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.”

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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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