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Nursing homes pleaded for help from feds at start of pandemic

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later told reporters it was “vital that front line workers have access to personal protective equipment.”

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“Please send help!”

That was the message from Canadian nursing home operators to the feds at the start of the pandemic, according to internal e-mails.

Blacklock’s Reporter said Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte was “upset” cabinet had no help to offer as the Prime Minister’s Office referred calls to the provinces.

“They need to talk to the provinces who are responsible for distributing within their system of which long-term care homes and seniors’ care is part of,” Matt Stickney, the prime minister’s director of operations, wrote in an April 17, 2020 staff e-mail.

“Agree,” replied Rick Theis, the director of policy.

Records show from the outbreak of COVID-19 on March 11, 2020 nursing home operators pleaded with the Department of Public Works to ship masks. One executive with a 12,000-bed network of nursing homes said the company faced an immediate shortage by March 20.

“They are running out of masks,” wrote a Public Works aide.

“She would like to know if there is a list she has to be on, or how can she be provided with masks?”

“Not sure,” replied a coworker.

“Should I redirect them to their province or the Department of Health? We are in the business of purchasing on behalf of the government. I’m not sure where seniors’ homes get their health supplies. Let me know!”

Schulte’s office on April 20 was petitioned by Ontario’s largest nursing home operator for masks.

“They will soon be making a request to the federal government to bring in the army,” wrote Anne Dawson, chief of staff to the minister.

Internal e-mails indicate Schulte and Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan (Etobicoke North, Ont.), the deputy House leader, repeatedly questioned the Prime Minister’s Office over mask shortages.

“For everyone’s awareness, she and Kirsty are upset that they don’t have more concrete information to provide care homes on how to access personal protective equipment,” read an April 17, 2020 e-mail.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later told reporters it was “vital that front line workers have access to personal protective equipment.”

The largest number of COVID-19 victims in Canada were patients over 85 in long-term care homes.

“We made a commitment to protect Canadians,” Trudeau said October 16.

“Every government has a responsibility to protect Canadians.”

The Department of Health acknowledged it failed to stockpile pandemic supplies.

Health Minister Patricia Hajdu earlier blamed provinces for shortages.

“The federal government isn’t really in the business of providing personal protective equipment for provinces and territories,” Hajdu said June 26, 2020.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada is a very small agency.”

The Agency had a $675 million annual budget at the time.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    September 8, 2021 at 9:16 am

    “Health Minister Patricia Hajdu earlier blamed provinces for shortages.” ?

    The Graphic Artist Health Minister said that just a Few WEEKS after Trudope had sent 14 Million of Canada’s PPEs to his friends CHINA.

    What needed to happen that didn’t. Infected Seniors should have been moved to a separate Facility. Comings and going of Staff should have been monitored. Other jurisdictions did a much better job at this than Canada.

    The vast majority of the Deaths in Canada were in the 80 year old range . . . but the insane Premiers locked down the Healthy Population and Destroyed Economies and ignored the vulnerable Seniors. Today they have learned absolutely nothing . . . these Clowns are still doing the same insane gong show. Now we Know that a 90% VAXED population is DANGEROUS . . . when 44% Vaxed Sweden is banning travel from 90% Vaxed Israel the light should go on. But it Won’t ! ! !

  2. CodexCoder

    September 7, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    The federal government didn’t help because it knew that the more elderly citizens die off, the more taxes come from inheritances, and less CPP and OAC to be paid out (given the most of the CPP money is now invested in China). In short, a win-win for the Liberal Party that hates the average citizen with a passion.

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Opposition MPs ask government to ‘show them where the money is coming from’

“Say it’s $10 billion by July. There is no accountability for that.”

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The Liberal’s latest pandemic relief plans may actually be billions of dollars higher than estimated, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The Department of Finance was in a “continued race to push money out the door,” said one MP.

Bill C-2 proposes benefits including lockdown subsidies for employers and workers estimated at $7.4 billion. The cost covers payments retroactively from October 24 to next May 7, though the bill allows cabinet to extend subsidies to July 2.

“The issue of course that we’re looking at here is accountability,” said Conservative MP Greg McLean (Calgary Centre) at the Commons Tuesday finance committee.

“If there’s an obvious extension, how do we hold the government accountable for that extension when it’s more money going out the door, more on top of the $7 billion you’re already planning to spend?

“Say it’s $10 billion by July. There is no accountability for that.”

Department of Finance managers said they did not know the cost to taxpayers if the program runs to July 2, 2022.

“I can’t answer that at this stage,” said Max Baylor, senior director with the department.

“It would presumably depend on the parameters.”

“I don’t know if it’s because things have been lax during COVID but this is something you need to get right for the country,” said McLean.

Bill C-2 was “just a blank chequebook,” he said.

“I know the government has had a blank chequebook for far too long,” McLean said.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, Ont.) questioned the bill’s impact on deficit projections.

“My question relates to the cost,” said Poilievre.

“How is the government paying the $7 billion associated with this proposal?”

No official answered, though 10 departmental witnesses appeared before the finance committee.”

“If they have anyone over there who is concerned about where the money comes from, that person could speak up,” said Poilievre:

  • MP Poilievre: “Clearly they’re getting the money from somewhere. Anyone here from Finance Canada?”
  • Director Baylor: “I can provide a high-level response but I’m afraid I won’t be able to answer directly…”
  • MP Poilievre: “Where is the money coming from?”
  • Director Baylor: “That is within the government’s broader macro-economic framework and I’m not responsible. I can’t speak to that.”
  • MP Poilievre: “You don’t have anyone? It’s just that we’re being asked to vote in favour of another $7 billion in spending. The obvious question is, where is it coming from?”
  • Director Baylor: “I appreciate the question, but I can’t answer that question.”

New Democrat MP Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood-Transcona, Man.) called the testimony “a waste of time” and complained the finance committee could not get straight answers to its questions.

“We’ve been here almost four hours and I haven’t gotten one thing I would classify as an answer to a question,” said Blaikie.

“I’ve asked for a breakdown of the budget. I don’t know if they really don’t have that answer or are on a mission of obfuscation.”

“You have to conclude that our civil servants who ought to be treating the legislature with respect aren’t being upfront about some of these questions, or you have to conclude the people who are running the country never bothered to ask them. Neither one is a very good outcome for Canadians.”

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland called Bill C-2 the last emergency appropriation for pandemic relief spending. Freeland is to release a fiscal update on deficit figures next Tuesday.

Parliament last May 5 voted to increase the federal debt ceiling to a record $1.831 trillion. It represented a 57% increase from the previous $1,168,000,000,000 limit under the 2017 Borrowing Authority Act.

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Flights from Vancouver to Kamloops priced more than $1,200 over Christmas

BC flight prices have skyrocketed over the Christmas season following flood damage to highways.

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Following substantial flooding in November, which led to savaged highways and infrastructure, many of those planning to visit family out of town for Christmas are forced to fly — and some will be paying exorbitant prices for it.

For example, a WestJet round trip — listed on Expedia — from Vancouver to Kamloops, BC on December 22, with a return flight on December 27 is listed at $1,264 as of Wednesday morning.

The normally 30-minute flight includes a nearly four-hour layover in Calgary.

On TripAdvisor, the same round trip is priced similarly.

Those planning a round trip from Vancouver to Kelowna, BC on the same dates will save a few hundred bucks in comparison to those headed for Kamloops. For example, one round trip with WestJet from Vancouver to Kelowna — December 22-27 — is listed at $741 on Wednesday, although it includes a six-hour layover in Edmonton.

Normal flight times between the locales are 55 minutes.

Prices on WestJet’s website are comparable. On Air Canada’s site, all are currently sold out for the aforementioned dates and locations.

However, those travelling between Vancouver and Kelowna can find cheaper trips on Swoop if they fly out of Abbotsford, BC. On Wednesday morning, a non-stop round trip from Abbotsford to Kelowna, departing on December 22 and returning on December 29, is priced under $300.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Top Ontario doc says separating vaxxed and unvaxxed best way to get COVID under control

Ontario has had more than 626,000 cases of COVID-19 which has left more than 10,000 people dead.

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One of the ways to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control is to stop “the mixing of unvaccinated and vaccinated,” says Ontario’s chief medical officer.

“Basic means of protecting individuals is stopping the mixing of unvaccinated and vaccinated,” said Dr. Kieran Moore at a Tuesday press conference.

“And if our cases continue through and after the holidays we would make recommendations of government to continue the certification process in play. But we’ll continue to review the data. We do have a very robust testing strategy in Ontario for the winter months as we’ve released previously. We’ve purchased … 11 million rapid antigen test for all students in Ontario.”

Moore was asked whether COVID-19 is “something we’re just going to have to learn to live with” and whether it would ever go away.

“We have a long ways to go with the World Health Organization and other international organizations to try to decrease the number of individuals in which this virus can mutate and/or spread,” he said.

“But I do see a time when we’ll have low, endemic rates and it will turn out to be like influenza or other winter respiratory viruses where there’s a seasonality to it, where it does have an intermittent impact on our health-care system and like influenza, you need an annual vaccine to protect against it.”

Ontario has had more than 626,000 cases of COVID-19 which has left more than 10,000 people dead.

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