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MAKICHUK: Prince, Stephen Harper, and a nation on the edge

Demonized by the Liberal eastern press and Laurentian elites, Harper held a steady hand on the tiller of Canada’s economy.




I met a guy on 10 Ave.

This was years ago, and it was a music/poster type shop that doesn’t exist anymore.

Anyway, I got to chatting with the owner of this place, and man, did he have a cool story to tell — one that I never would forget.

He was a huge fan of Prince, the talented rocker from Minnesota who sadly left us in 2016 at the age of just 57.

This guy had every music CD or record Prince ever made and when he got a call from his buddy he was totally blown away.

“Get yourself to (a guitar shop in Calgary) now!” said the friend. “And bring a good selection of Prince CDs.”

“What’s up?” he answered.

“Prince is there … he’s in town … doing a concert tonight, and he needs to listen to a few CDs to get things right.”

Those weren’t the exact words but that was the gist of it.

Needless to say, he scrambled, loading up a ton of CDs, and headed to the guitar store.

Arriving there, he was led to a small music recording room in the very back … and holy crap! … there sat Prince!

I had to ask, what was Prince like?

“Fantastic,” said the guy, “could not have been nicer. A total gentleman. He thanked me for bringing the CDs, and, I was led out.”

I begged him to tell me more. I mean, this was Prince, FFS. More! I wanted more!

“Well,” said the guy. “One thing stood out. He had perfect skin. It was perfect.”

Buddy also got tickets to the concert, right upfront. And when Prince spotted him, he threw him his tambourine.

There was something else that was interesting.

Prince ran a tight ship. Anybody who screwed up was docked money on the spot — a fine, essentially. And Prince would nod or gesture toward that person who messed up. 

He did not tolerate a sub-par performance. He demanded the best and he got it.

So … let me tell you, about someone else, who ran a tight ship, financially.

His name was Stephen Harper, and he was prime minister of Canada from 2006 to 2015.

Demonized by the Liberal eastern press and Laurentian elites, Harper held a steady hand on the tiller of Canada’s economy.

He didn’t have boyish good looks and never painted his face black. 

He didn’t have JFK-like hair, the family heritage of a federal icon or spend his holidays on the Aga Khan’s Caribbean island. 

He was just a man, a politician, who wanted to do his best for Canada and the West.

Yes, he was a control freak, but name me a world leader who isn’t. And yes, he liked cats, which scored big points with me.

According to The Financial Post, “The federal surplus for fiscal year 2005-6, at the very end of which Harper took over, was $13.2 billion. He ran surpluses for two more years but then in 2009-10 he broke the bank and posted a deficit of $56.4 billion …

“Why did Harper do that? For the understandable reason that in the fall of 2008 a major financial crash in the U.S. and other places threatened to deflate the world economy.

“Within five years the $56-billion deficit was down to $0.6 billion — basically gone, as Harper and (Minister of Finance Jim) Flaherty had said it would be.”

Imagine that? Strong, fiscal guidance. A man who cares. A country staying on course, despite a massive economic crash south of the border that devastated nations around the world.

Countries like Iceland took it on the chin.

Its national currency fell sharply in value, foreign currency transactions were suspended for a week and the market capitalization of the Icelandic stock exchange fell by more than 90%.

Canada was safe, partly because Paul Martin and Jean Chretien wouldn’t let Canadian banks merge with US banks.

Joked Chretien, in his down-home Shawinigan style: “If I’m bigger, does dat make me better?”

These were men who knew what they were doing. They protected us.

Now fast forward to the regime of the Court-Jester-In-Chief, Justin the Younger.

According to the Fraser Institute, Ottawa ran budget deficits worth a total of $94.1 billion from 2015/16 to 2019/20. 

“This proclivity for deficit-financed spending (i.e. borrowing) helped fuel Ottawa’s growing debt burden pre-COVID. In fact, pre-pandemic, Prime Minister Trudeau’s government was one of only three in Canadian history to accumulate federal per-person debt outside of war or recession,” it said.

“By spending through borrowing, this government is effectively sticking future generations with the bill for today’s spending.

“And it’s a big bill. In total, net debt (total debt minus financial assets) reached $812.9 billion in 2019/20 and is expected to eclipse $1.3 trillion in 2021/22.” 

There are some who say one of the reasons Trudeau called the election was because he wanted to nail down his mandate before Canadians finally came to realize just what a financial mess we are in.

The man, or woman, who inherits this disaster in the PMO’s office, won’t have a frikkin’ chance in the world. And neither will your kids, or mine. Someone is going to have to pay that bill.

With more money going to pay down the interest to the debt, and less to social programs, health care and other needs, it’s only a matter of time before it all comes tumbling down.

Then, and only then, will those who voted for this idiot feel the brunt of his legacy.

Purple Rain, my friends, Purple Rain.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the military editor for the Asia Times.

Dave Makichuck is a Columnist for the Western Standard. He is a 35-year veteran journalist who has served at both the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Left Coast

    September 24, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Great read . . .

    No Doubt Harper was easily the best in the last 50 years !

    Unfortunately the majority of Canadians have now idea of the dire straights of Canada today. Ontario’s Manufacturing base collapsed more than a decade ago, today the Alberta Oil Patch is on Life Support . . . and our now 2nd most Clueless Leader on the Planet just keeps on spending.

    And the Fantasy Green Economy is going to be like an EV on a hot day with the AC on and dead on the side of the road after 220 miles.

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Three unvaxxed U o W staff suing province

The instructors allege that due to their vaccine status they’ve had to withstand “ridicule, hatred, maltreatment and discrimination,” in a statement of claim?




Three unvaccinated University of Winnipeg Collegiate instructors forced to take unpaid leave are suing the province and several parties over an “overboard, unreasonable, and discriminatory” vaccine mandate.

The instructors allege that due to their vaccine status they’ve had to withstand “ridicule, hatred, maltreatment and discrimination,” in a statement of claim reported by CBC and Winnipeg Free Press Friday.

“All of the plaintiffs have suffered vilification and extreme ill-will being directed at them as ‘unvaccinated’ people as a result of the University of Winnipeg and other government of Manitoba representatives making false public statements and promulgating policies which have the effect of stating the unvaccinated are to blame for the pandemic,” says the lawsuit.

The university, province, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Manitoba Health, and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration are included as defendants named in the lawsuit filed Monday in Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench. 

The plaintiffs, placed on unpaid leave last September 7, are Renise Mlodzinski, who holds degrees in education and music performance; Evan Maltman, who holds degrees in kinesiology-physical education and education; and Kyle Du Val, who holds degrees in science-physics, music performance, and education.

The instructors allege being placed on unpaid leave caused their vaccination status to be “immediately apparent.”

They point to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects Canadians from being compelled to disclose private medical information, including vaccine status.

As well, they note, the Criminal Code of Canada deems it an offence to make statements that willfully and promote hatred an against an identifiable group.

They allege the province’s vaccine policy amounts to “an expressed intention to engage in a conspiracy to commit assault” because it attempts to force employees to be vaccinated.

The lawsuit calls for the vaccine policy to be stayed until the court reviews the matter.

The provincial government has implemented policies that cast blame on the unvaccinated for hospital overcrowding, the spread of COVID-19, and restricts their rights to access society treating them as “sub-humans,” says the lawsuit.

It challenges the university’s policy claim that vaccination is the single most effective health measure “essential to the university’s institutional response” to reduce the spread of COBID-19 and claim scientific evidence doesn’t support that.

“The rhetoric has resulted in a large portion of Manitobans believing that if they are fully vaccinated, they are safe from the virus and cannot be infected or infect others. Omicron has exploded this mythology,” says the lawsuit.

Scientific studies show no significant difference in the viral load between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who tested positive for COVID-19,” says the lawsuit, pointing to breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in vaccinated people.

The province and chief medical officer Dr. Brent Roussinhave promoted a “false sense of security” that the vaccinated are protected, it alleges.

“There is neither a moral obligation to vaccinate, nor a sound ethical basis to mandate vaccination under any circumstances, even for hypothetical vaccines that are medically risk free.

“Under the present circumstances, when the science clearly demonstrates that the so-called vaccines do not provide either complete sterilizing immunity nor prevent the ‘fully vaccinated’ from infecting others, the grossly unethical nature of vaccine mandates” becomes even more clear.”

The vaccines, with ingredients not revealed to the public, haven’t undergone the standard approval process that takes years “to properly assess the benefits and risks from clinical data, including any potential long-term side effects,” it says.

“The vaccination program in Canada is being adjusted on the fly as adverse effects manifest necessitating the need for constant amendments of safety guidelines. This underlines the experimental nature of these vaccines.”

They point to Ontario data showing one in 5,000 suffered myocarditis from the Moderna vaccine, and one in 28,000 patients from the Pfizer vaccine.

Recommendations that people age of 18-24 receive the Pfizer vaccine as opposed to Moderna because of an increase in myocarditis and death in that age group have been made by Ontario, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden

“The government of Manitoba has not followed this safety protocol, nor has it provided an explanation for ignoring these concerns to Manitobans,” says the lawsuit.

The university rejected vaccine exceptions on religious grounds applied for by all three instructors.

They’re seeking $1 million in damages for violating their Charter rights and up to $1 million in damages for the “intentional infliction of mental distress, and assault and battery” they allege resulted in threats and assaults, loss of income, post-traumatic stress disorder and lost employment opportunities.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard

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Canadians want more indigenous representation on Parliament Hill

The survey followed a Liberal cabinet proposal to address “colonialism, patriarchy and racism” in historical commemorations.




There is too much colonialism represented on Parliament Hill and the majority of Canadians asked said they would like to see more Indigenous representation, says a Department of Public Works survey.

Blacklock’s Reporter says the survey followed a Liberal cabinet proposal to address “colonialism, patriarchy and racism” in historical commemorations.

“Sixty percent believe it is important for Parliament Hill to be reflective of the cultural diversity of the country,” said an internal survey.

“Somewhat fewer but still half of Canadians believe it is important for Parliament Hill to be a gathering place reflective of Indigenous cultures (56%).”

Twenty percent rated reflection of Indigenous cultures as “unimportant” on Parliament Hill, said the report.

Findings were based on questionnaires with 1,551 people nationwide. The public works department paid Ekos Research Associates $57,865 for the survey.

“The public opinion research forms part of the public engagement strategy to obtain feedback on how their experience on Parliament Hill and the broader precinct could be improved in the future, and how to ensure the precinct continues to be a welcoming place that reflects the values and aspirations of all Canadians,” wrote researchers.

Parliament Hill tributes currently celebrate Caucasian people including statues honouring Queens Elizabeth and Victoria, former prime ministers Macdonald, Mackenzie, Laurier, Borden, King, Diefenbaker and Pearson, a War of 1812 Monument, and statues for two Fathers of Confederation killed by assassination, George Brown of Toronto and D’Arcy McGee of Montréal.

Cabinet in a 2019 report said historical tributes must address “colonialism, patriarchy and racism.”

The document was written as a guide for the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board.

“There is a need to be cognizant of, and to confront, these legacies,” said the report. “This contributes to the ongoing process of truth-telling and reconciliation.”

Cabinet in 2017 removed historic plaques marking the Langevin Block, the home of the Prime Minister’s Office named for Hector-Louis Langevin, a Confederation-era Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Cabinet members have also expressed unease in using a meeting hall across the street from Parliament named the John A. Macdonald Building.

It was “uncomfortable coming into this building,” Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller told reporters last June 2.

“He was one of the key authors and perpetuated the Residential School system,” said Miller.

The national archives in 2021 deleted a web feature First Among Equals honouring Macdonald.

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U of M prof: Alberta suffers least, Ontario most by unvaxxed trucker ban

“You can quote me: they’re gonna spend a lot more lettuce for their lettuce,” says University of Manitoba professor Barry Prentice.




As of Saturday, truckers who cross the American border into Canada must be vaccinated for COVID-19, something one Manitoba professor says will hurt all Canadians, but Westerners the least.

Barry Prentice, Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Manitoba, tells the Western Standard the federal government has failed to properly assess the risks.

“This is nonsense. We’ve been now 22 months into this, and suddenly they think, ‘Oh, people have to be vaccinated.’ Is there a big risk? No, there’s no risk assessment associated with this decision whatsoever. And, indeed, the drivers, they tend to stay in their cabs. They’re not getting out running around. So who are they going to infect?” Prentice said.

Although the announcement was made November 19, the timing for follow-through seemed odd to Prentice, since Manitoba minimized its isolation requirements. As of January 1, vaccinated Manitobans who tested positive for COVID-19 but have no fever and were feeling better needed only five days’ isolation.

“The Manitoba government has just told us, ‘We’re cutting y’all loose. You’re on your own, good luck.’ In so many words that’s what they’ve said. ‘Look after yourself now, we’ve done as much as we can do.’…Saskatchewan’s in that train as well. Kids are going back to school, and there’s more damage done to them, psychologically, being trapped in their houses, than what risk a virus might have,” Prentice said.

“It’s back to the vaccine, either it works or it doesn’t work. Now we all know that the vaccine won’t stop you getting the virus; it just stops you from becoming a hospital patient. That is the premise. Of course, nobody wants to get the flu…I take precautions anyway, as do most people.”

The trucking industry has already had worker shortages for years and Prentice believes the border policy will raise trucking prices and push some truckers out of the driver’s seat altogether. This will mean higher prices for goods, especially for fruits and vegetables bought east of Saskatchewan.

“You can quote me, they’re gonna spend a lot more lettuce for their lettuce,” Prentice says, as he explains why cross-border trucking is less prevalent on the Western Prairies.

“There’s nothing really south of Alberta. So if you drop a load off in Alberta, you can’t pick up a load there to take back somewhere in the States because there’s nothing in Montana or Wyoming. Whereas, if you’re coming to Winnipeg, you can drop down to Fargo, Minnesota; or Minneapolis. And if you’re in Ontario, there’s a huge number of loads there to Chicago, Detroit and so on.”

Prentice believes Transport Minister Omar Alghabra is “incompetent” and his Liberal colleagues have a blind spot when it comes to supply chains.

“It really shows that this is a party of three big cities. And they don’t really understand how things move around because they’re urban, they’re urban people represented in government. Alghabra, I don’t think he’s ever been to Manitoba, let alone the rest of Western Canada or to the North. And he’s a Mississauga MP,” Prentice said.

“It goes back to the quality of leadership in the country. I don’t have a lot of belief that this prime minister understands transportation.”

The US is planning a similar mandate for truckers crossing into their country, requiring vaccination as of January 22. Prentice is more concerned about U.S. thinking and politics crossing the border than COVID-19.

“You literally can look up almost anything on the Internet. But of course, it also is a great vehicle for spreading falsehoods…to the political peril. What we’re seeing in the States right now scares me. Living next door to them doesn’t protect us from their craziness,” he said.

“We need to vaccinate them for stupidity. That’s what we need a vaccine for.”

Lee Harding is a freelance contributor living in Saskatchewan.

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