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MORGAN: A cult of fear won’t let the pandemic go

“As with any cult, there is no reasoning with the adherents of this one.”

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As the Omicron variant proves to be much weaker than previous incarnations of COVID-19, we should be thrilled. We should be celebrating how while the variant is spreading like wildfire, the symptoms are remarkably weak. Most people don’t even realize they are infected until they actually test positive for it.

Alberta’s official COVID-19 active case count is 62,733 people. Dr. Deena Hinshaw has said that the number is likely ten times that. That means over half a million Albertans are currently infected with Omicron — so how is this turning out for our hospitals?

Among ICU admissions in Alberta, 11 are identified as Omicron infections. Of hospitalizations in general, a mere 66 are Omicron cases. These are the sort of medical pressures that a bad outbreak of the common cold presents.

We got lucky. The virus could have mutated into something more rather than less deadly. The high transmissibility of the Omicron variant may be a hidden blessing. While we are seeing pressures in workplaces due to staff calling in sick, we are also seeing people gaining a new level of immunity against COVID-19 through a low-risk infection. Researchers have found that many people who have been vaccinated and then become infected with Omicron are gaining what they are tentatively calling “super immunity”. They may have as much as a 1,000% better resistance against COVID-19 than somebody who has not been vaccinated or infected.

So how are the usual doomsayers responding to these new developments?

They are working to raise the level of fear, demanding more lockdowns and even calling for mandatory vaccination across the country.

A number of unions in Alberta are calling for complete lockdowns of the province. Why? Our hospitals aren’t even close to being overwhelmed at this point.

Some journalists have gone completely off the rails.

Randy Boswell wrote in a Global News column: “How hard should Canada be pushing unvaccinated citizens to finally get inoculated against COVID-19?
We should be pushing them extremely hard. We should be persuading and pressuring vaccine holdouts in every way we can think of — educating, incentivizing, penalizing — short of all-out public shaming or frog-marching them to clinics and forcing needles into their arms. “

Not sure where Boswell thinks he has stopped short of public shaming of those who choose not to be vaccinated. The entire rest of his column is dedicated to shaming them and inflaming public sentiment against them. The measures he proposes and supports to “push” people into vaccination are not terribly short of the frog-marching he spoke of.

While children are at very low risk of harm from all variants of COVID-19 so far, panic-mongering advocates are demanding school closures and the implementation of even stronger masking mandates.

We do have a new subculture of people doing harm to the entire nation due to their ideology. These people need to be called out and shamed for the damage they are doing. I am not talking about the unvaccinated though. I am talking about the lockdown cult.

There are some people who have built their entire essence around the COVID-19 pandemic and terrorizing people over it. They have taken the most negative approach to every development of the pandemic and they have built a sense of purpose around it. These people are self-styled heroes who believe they are saving the world from itself by pressuring governments to reduce individual liberties as much as possible. They do not want the pandemic to end as they would suddenly lose this feeling of purpose and superiority over the unwashed who haven’t joined them on their rollercoaster of fear.

These purveyors of panic get outright giddy when case counts rise and warn of doom and gloom being but two weeks away whenever case counts drop. They have adopted a zero-risk outlook towards pandemic control despite it being impossible. They overlook all damage caused by government restrictions while actively exaggerating harm caused by the virus itself.

For every example of something positive, these zealots will seek out something negative to counter it. They were almost jubilant when a 14-year-old Albertan was listed as the province’s first COVID-19 fatality. Their sanctimonious cries of “I told you so!” were hard to miss. The disappointment was evident in them when it was found that the death of that young man had nothing at all to do with COVID-19. They then scoured the Internet to find outlying cases of young people succumbing to the virus in other parts of the world in a desperate hope to maintain the illusion that COVID-19 threatens kids. They just don’t want to accept any good news.

As with any cult, there is no reasoning with the adherents of this one. We can only learn to sideline them and ignore them just as we would any other lunatic howling that “The end is nigh!” while accosting people on city streets.

We may be nearing the end of this two-year nightmare and we should be looking ahead to better times. The people who have learned to love living within this emergency don’t want to let it go though. Their voices are getting ever more shrill and their predictions direr as they face the prospect of normalcy in people’s lives.

Let’s work to ensure the voices of reason begin to dominate the discussion as we start to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The doomsayers have disproportionately loud voices for their numbers. We can shout them down with a message of cautious optimism. To let them win now is to accept a perpetual state of restrictions.

Cory Morgan is Assistant Opinion & Broadcast Editor for the Western Standard
cmorgan@westernstandardonline.com

Cory Morgan the Assistant Opinion & Broadcast Editor and Host of Triggered for the Western Standard. cmorgan@westernstandardonline.com

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Dominic Ieraci

    January 16, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    The government will never let it go until we force them by frog marching corrupt politicians and government flunkies to the guillotines.

  2. Leonel St Amand

    January 16, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    Canadian governments are using the plandemic as a weapon of mass destruction .
    Trudeau and his socialist globalist horde are going to bankrupt Canada and erase rights and freedoms.
    Reducing Canada into the ashes of a totalitarian socialist hell hole like Venezuela.
    It’s called the “The ‘Stomp Reflex'”:: When governments abuse emergency powers.
    “History shows that during times of crisis, politicians tend to reach for more power. It’s happening again now, argues researcher Luke Kemp, and democratic citizens should be wary of the dangers.”
    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210427-the-stomp-reflex-when-governments-abuse-emergency-powers

  3. Patricia Seddon

    January 15, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    Excellent article Cory. I really loved this: They have taken the most negative approach to every development of the pandemic and they have built a sense of purpose around it.
    That sums it up.
    It’s like this is what they have been waiting for all their lives, and be damned if they will let it go without a fight. They dont see the end as a success. They dont care about the lives that have been crushed for two years. The are so heavily invested in the covid scenario that they are mired down and unaware of the real world.
    Hopefully most people will come to realize that things are getting better, and begin to see these zealots for what they are.

  4. Clash

    January 15, 2022 at 4:14 pm

    Why are we allowing our athletes and Canadian tourists, to go to the Beijing Olympics? There is a suspected epidemic in Xian, 600 miles southeast of Beijing, of a Hemorrahgic Fever virus (Like Ebola)! Try searching with a non Google search engine for information. Check out about 27 minutes into this video, of Dr Robert Malone, for some information. https://rumble.com/vsf3jn-dr.-malone-responds-to-project-veritas-fauci-gain-of-function-bombshell.html

  5. Mookster

    January 15, 2022 at 11:46 am

    ‘Time to Admit Failure,’ Leading Immunologist Tells Israel’s Ministry of Health in open letter, please read this!

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/admit-failure-pandemic-israel-ministry-of-health/?fbclid=IwAR3-6X40Y5nnyqUTt0WmlDhDRxRXH-xqdmAzUVs_sm3mVaDAT4POoGuE9sA

  6. Leslie Solar

    January 15, 2022 at 11:42 am

    I just went back on to see if my link was working, and it is not–perhaps I copied it down wrong. If you go onto the odysee site and then search for corona investigative commitee, and/or Dr. Mike Yeadon, session 86, “the fog is lifting” it will come up. Well worth watching.

  7. Left Coast

    January 15, 2022 at 11:36 am

    Long past time they tested for Natural Immunity . . . which by the way is 20 Xs better than the VAX . . . and that was when we thought that the VAX actually worked.

    This is far more disturbing . . .

    “An Indianapolis-based insurance company, OneAmerica, said the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among working-age people 18 – 64. Their CEO has said, “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be a 10% increase over pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.” Who knows more about an increase in the death rate than a life insurance company?

    A 3-year-old girl dies ‘unexpectedly’ of a heart attack a day after receiving a COVID shot. We are seeing deaths of 15 and 16 year old boys and girls.”

    Eminent physicians and scientists have warned that the COVID vaccines can exacerbate any condition the person may have, aware of or not… cancer, heart conditions, neurological, vascular, etc. Also, anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction may occur. Independent studies have shown that deaths related to the vaccine have been vastly under-reported and in many cases an outright lie perpetrated by the FDA and the CDC. To anyone paying attention, this should not be of any surprise. These doctors have warned us for well over a year.

  8. Leslie Solar

    January 15, 2022 at 11:33 am

    heres another site–Michael Yeadon was a Vice-President of Pfizer and has a PH.d. in a relevant discipline:

    https://odysee.com/Corona-Investigative-Committee:5/Mike-Session-86-en:0

  9. Tiberius

    January 15, 2022 at 11:30 am

    I sincerely hope the W.S. picks up this story: https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/the-government-of-alberta-says-you/comments

    The data itself is troubling (most people die of “COVID” within 14 days of being jabbed, where they are called “unvaccinated”), but the fact that the government removed the data after it was exposed is extremely troubling and indicates corruption at the highest levels of AHS and the government.

  10. Leslie Solar

    January 15, 2022 at 11:27 am

    We have assumed that there is only one formulation of these “vaccines”, but there is now evidence that some lot numbers cause more health problems and death than otherss.

    https://rumble.com/vsaft1-reiner-filmich-and-50-lawyers-the-vaccines-are-designed-to-kill-and-depopul.html

  11. Ben Wilson

    January 15, 2022 at 11:09 am

    Alberta and Saskatchewan are the only provinces that did not but more restrictions on average people and small businesses, when JT had a emergency meeting in mid December. What does this tell you?
    It’s weird how no one wants to talk about this. Of course the MSM won’t say anything as people in the other provinces with just get more pissed than they are all ready.

    Really, Western Standard time to do a report on this Topic. Are Kenney and Moe scared of the people in Alberta and Saskatchewan?

  12. Left Coast

    January 15, 2022 at 10:17 am

    “We got lucky” ? ? ?

    A little basic Genetics Cory . . . Mutations NEVER acquire DNA information, they only lose it . . . hence they always become weaker.

    “Super Immunity” ? ? ?

    Where did you get that one from? Never heard that from any Scientist I have listened to.
    But many have mentioned that the mRNA Vax destroys Immunity & infiltrates your Lymphatic system and creates problems many that we are just starting to experience. You are well aware that we are 1 year into this “Experiment”.

    Experts in Israel & Cleveland Clinic doing studies said that Natural Immunity was over 20 Xs better than the VAX . . . and that was when they thought the VAX Worked. We know today that it does not . . . hence the 2 Boosters & likely more coming.

    Many believe the VAX deaths are going to start piling up in the next 2 years . . .

    Charlotte, NC — A pathological study conducted by Doctors for COVID Ethics on 15 individuals who died after being jabbed with a COVID-19 shot showed that 14, or 93%, died by the shots.

    Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi and Dr. Arne Burkhardt conducted the study. In all 14 confirmed deaths by the jab, the coroners refused to cite the shot as the reason.

    “The vaccines are bad news. Fifteen bodies were examined (all died from 7 days to 6 months after vaccination; ages 28 to 95),” reported Steve Kirsch on the study. “The coroner or the public prosecutor didn’t associate the vaccine as the cause of death in any of the cases. However, further examination revealed that the vaccine was implicated in the deaths of 14 of the 15 cases. The most attacked organ was the heart (in all of the people who died), but other organs were attacked as well. The implications are potentially enormous resulting in millions of deaths. The vaccines should be immediately halted.”

    I suspect whatever happens . . . Canadian Health Authorities & our weak feckless Leaders will be the Last to Know.

  13. Dennis

    January 15, 2022 at 7:18 am

    Cory, here is but one of many “researchers” who have taken publised evidence from the manufacturer of this so called vaccine. That data claims the opposite.
    Do you have anything to support your statement?

    https://www.canadiancovidcarealliance.org/

  14. Dennis

    January 15, 2022 at 7:06 am

    Pretty bold statement Cory, who are these Researchers you speak of?

    Researchers have found that many people who have been vaccinated and then become infected with Omicron are gaining what they are tentatively calling “super immunity”. They may have as much as a 1,000% better resistance against COVID-19 than somebody who has not been vaccinated or infected.

  15. Boris Hall

    January 14, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    The cult Covidian Vaxzis never want to let this nightmare end
    It gives their life meaning

  16. Peter No

    January 14, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    1000% immunity is 1000% propaganda BS.
    Destroying corrupt Media Mafia is #1 job for the future revolution.

  17. David

    January 14, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    Proudly_Free that is a very good point. My only concern now is that rats and carrion might not stoop to eating politician.

    Maybe if we use enough rotten tomato they won’t notice the tainted meat 🙂

  18. Declan Carroll

    January 14, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    In classic statist style tough guy Randy Boswell has to pressure the government to do what he is to much of coward to do himself. What a weasel. The mass formation physcosis is real. Text book case.

  19. Proudly_Free

    January 14, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    David, the seagulls, the vultures and other large predatory carrion fowl can come and clean up the mess. We can send in some in some really big hungry rats too for the rat bastards themselves, you know kind of like Winston Smith in Room 101 in Orwell’s famous work of prophecy. These bastards need to have some serious real egg on their faces, not just the figurative kind.

  20. Cath

    January 14, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    “Researchers have found that many people who have been vaccinated and then become infected with Omicron are gaining what they are tentatively calling “super immunity”. They may have as much as a 1,000% better resistance against COVID-19 than somebody who has not been vaccinated or infected.”

    Citation please. You can’t just go stating info like that without backing it up. Other studies would refute that, for example: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8538446/

    These researchers showed that spike proteins which are generated in the body due to the mRNA injection damage the cellular DNA repair function which is an important for adaptive immunity. That means that the vaxxed have damaged immune systems which would not likely result in super immunity from omicron.

    Overall, a good article; but, when you make a whopper of a statement at least provide a source that can be assessed.

  21. Only Freedom Matters Now

    January 14, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    One has to be willfully ignorant and blind to not see that ” more vaccines = more covid.”
    But of course I am ‘singing to the choir’ with a comment on the Western Standard. The covid cult is immersed in fear-porn and the twitter echo chamber of fear – they will never hear Cory’s voice of reason.
    Our society is divided at an unprecedented level.

  22. Royden Yuill

    January 14, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    If you can find the packaging that the PCR test comes in, it states that if you have had a cold, flu, or measles within 45 days you will get a positive result for covid. Canadapoli had a episode featuring photographs of the information package. I cannot remember if that was before or after he was deplatformed on youtube. His daily show is available on Rumble. If you have an at home self test, please fully read the information sheet inside the package. It is not approved by Health Canada nor AHS.

  23. Left Coast

    January 14, 2022 at 11:27 am

    The Cult of Fear has been driven by the FakeStream Govt Funded Media for 2 years now.

    Fraudulent PCR Tests drummed up “Cases” by the 1000s which were almost 100% asymptomatic folks. No one in the Media ever asked how many actually got sick or went to Hospital.

    Actual sick people were no more terrifying than a bad flu season . . .

    Lying Politicians, corrupt WHO connected Drs. like Tam & Henry pushed the false narrative which they are still doing today.

    A not time in history have the Govt Health Authorities threatened your Dr. for actually TREATING a condition in the way he/she thought best. Available Therapeutics were demonized by the insane Media and Health tyrants. There are several examples . . . but Dr. Nagase has to be the most outrageous . . . he had 3 Patients in ICU, treated them all with Ivermectin, as did Japan & India, they all recovered the oldest being 90+. The Kollege of Phuckup & Seniles lifted his licence. The Kollege should be dragged out and charged in the deaths of 1000s!

  24. Leslie Solar

    January 14, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Good article. not so good a conclusion. The remedy is knowledge and debunking so-called “journalists” that peddle the fear.

    Another angle is that the globalists are engaging in a sort of mass psychosis of the population, aided by these clown journalist fearmongers.

  25. Barbara

    January 14, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies out for critical game with COVID-19 symptom
    Davies’ participation in a World Cup qualifier for Canada remains in doubt after he was diagnosed with myocarditis

    Author of the article:National Post Staff
    Publishing date:Jan 14, 2022 • 24 minutes ago

    This article from the Sun NEGLECTS TO SAY ALPHONSO WAS FULLY VACCINATED. GOT SICK NOT LONG AFTER BOOSTER SHOT.

  26. David

    January 14, 2022 at 10:23 am

    Good conclusion. Shout down the fearmongers.

    I’d prefer them to be put on public display in stocks so people can abuse them with rotten produce, but that might get a little messy.

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Opinion

THOMAS: How Western Canada fared in the 2021 housing market

“That didn’t happen. By early summer, sales picked up, prices steadied and the industry hasn’t looked back since, with some markets setting sales records in 2021.”

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When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, like many industries, the lockdowns and restrictions shut down housing industry operations.

Home sales and prices plummeted, adding to the fear of the virus that homeowners would lose their homes’ equity. 

That didn’t happen. By early summer, sales picked up, prices steadied and the industry hasn’t looked back since, with some markets setting sales records in 2021. 

Here’s how major markets in Western Canada fared last year.

Winnipeg

It was the third year in a row with record-breaking sales and dollar volumes.

“Both 2020 and 2021 were remarkable years in delivering sales gains from the previous year,” said Kourosh Doustshenas, outgoing president of the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board. “Last year saw an increase of more than 2,500 sales compared to 2020 and 33% sales growth over the previous five-year average.”

Sales of existing homes in 2021 reached 18,575 units with the dollar sales volume reaching $6.25 billion, up 28% from 2020.

Single-family homes and condominiums were the most popular, with market shares of 68% and 14% respectively.

Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association’s (SRA) report covers all sales in the province. 

A record 17,387 sales were recorded in 2021, surpassing the previous record in 2007 by 17%.

While the pandemic triggered disruptions in some sectors of the economy, housing boomed, said SRA CEO, Chris Guérette.

“Improved savings from those not financially impacted by COVID-19, combined with low lending rates have supported the strong sales environment we saw throughout 2021,” said Guérette, adding inventory levels in the province were 16% below long-term trends.

“This resulted in the MLS Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark price* gaining more than seven percent.”

Calgary

Sales of existing homes in Calgary soared in 2021, reaching a record 27,686, nearly 72% higher than 2020 and more than 44% higher than the 10-year average, says the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).

“Concerns over inflation and rising lending rates likely created more urgency with buyers over the past few months, said CREB’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, the supply has not kept pace with the demand, causing strong price growth.” 

The year-end benchmark price was $451,567, up 8% from 2020. 

“We enter 2022 with some of the tightest conditions in over a decade,” said Lurie. “In December, inventory was nearly 25% lower than long-term averages, which will impact our housing market in 2022.”

Edmonton

“2021 was an incredible year for the Greater Edmonton Area (GEA),” says Realtors Association of Edmonton chair Tom Shearer. “The year-over-year stats for sales and listings in the GEA were significantly higher than December 2020.”

Last December, single-family home sales rose 16.5% from December 2020.  Condo sales increased 25.6% from December 2020. Duplex/rowhouse sales increased 16.8% year-over-year.

The HPI benchmark price in the GEA came in at $410,900, a 5.2% increase from December 2020.

Metro Vancouver

Home sales reached an all-time high in 2021, with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reporting a total of 43,999, a 4% increase over the previous record of 42,326 in 2015.

The HPI composite benchmark price at the end of 2021 was $1,230,200, a 17.3% increase from December 2020.

“While steady, home listing activity didn’t keep pace with the record demand we saw throughout 2021. This imbalance caused residential home prices to rise over the past 12 months,” said Keith Stewart, REBGV economist.

“Detached home and townhome benchmark prices increased 22% last year, while apartments increased 12.8%.”

Victoria

There were 10,052 properties sold in 2021, close to the record of 10,622 sales in 2016.

“The theme of this year has been very consistent,” says Victoria Real Estate Board president David Langlois. “Each month a high demand for homes paired with record low inventory has put strong pressure on pricing and attainability.”

The single-family HPI benchmark price in the Victoria Core in December 2021 was $1,144,900, up 25.1% from $1,122,600 in November. The HPI benchmark price for a condominium in the area in December 2020 was $570,600 up from $487,100 a year earlier. 

Housing supply across the country is a concern, said Langlois

“We have spoken throughout the year about the need for new housing supply at all levels to help moderate prices and improve attainability,” he said. “Some of our municipalities have begun to look at ways to make it easier for new homes to be brought to market and we applaud and encourage any movement in this area.”

*The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) is a measure of real estate prices that provides a clearer picture of market trends over traditional tools such as mean or median average prices. It is designed to be a reliable, consistent, and timely way of measuring changes in home prices over time.

Myke Thomas is a Western Standard contributor. He started in radio as a child voice actor, also working in television and as the real estate columnist, reporter and editor at the Calgary Sun for 22 years.
mykethomas@live.com

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Opinion

MAKICHUK: Flaming question: Should we let them go, or not?

“Maybe Gondek can take a holiday in Mexico? Pretty please?”

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So, do we care if the Flames leave, or not?

That, my friends, is the question. 

While it appears Mayor Jyoti Gondek was instrumental in letting the arena deal die, it’s never quite as simple as that.

I wouldn’t exactly put halos over the heads of the Flames owners either.

Someone suggested the right people to negotiate this thing are not in place — that actually sounds like it might have some merit.

It reminds me of when the Flames decided to trade Doug Gilmour, the player who helped them win the Stanley Cup.

At that time, sources told me the team and Gilmour were not that far apart in the money department. In fact, it was pocket change compared to what they pay players now.

I won’t go over the Gilmour-Leeman trade, it’s too painful for Flames fans to have to endure, and, well, I’m not that cruel of a person.

But really, are we that far apart now? We all know construction costs are soaring, but slamming the door shut on this deal, is not the way to go, IMO.

Even though I can’t stand the Flames. Why?

Well, for starters, I’m a Red Wings fan, all the way.

Secondly, when I worked at the Calgary Sun, whenever the Flames went into the playoffs we would end up working 12-hour days until the ordeal was over.

We did well against the competition, having a good stable of writers who worked their tails off. Not to mention the best sports photogs in the city.

As we got no extra overtime pay for all this extra effort and hardly saw our families during these times — which were exciting, of course, no argument there — it just got to be too much.

We would kill forests of trees to pound out pages on the Flames and their playoff adventures. 

In the end, whenever the Flames were eliminated, we would hold the “Thank You Flames Open” — a golf tournament, complete with prizes, and, a Green Jacket, which we purchased at Goodwill for $8.

The winner would get to wear the green jacket in the office, for an entire year — a tremendous honour!

But I’m not here to beat up on the Flames. I know how important this team is to the city.

While personally I don’t care if they stay or go, I know a lot of people want them to stay because they have become such an important symbol of our city.

Some of the best hockey ever played was between the Flames and, those guys up north … what’s their name again? Oil something?

Anyway, you get the picture. We happen to have a big rivalry with the folks in Edmonton who seem to get things done better and faster than our city council.

Case in point, Rogers Place. How come they could get it done and we couldn’t? 

That project also went over-budget, and led to a similar standoff. Clearly, cooler heads prevailed and Edmonton’s council approved the funding for the House of McDavid … and the rest, as they say, is history.

By the way, they also have better winter snow removal according to what I’ve been told.

So do we care or not? Should we try to resurrect this deal or not? 

Should Gondek — she of the climate emergency no one cares about — swallow her pride and step aside from the negotiation process?

Or, well … should we let them go and build a brand new stadium for the Calgary Stampeders instead? Believe it or not, they actually do need a new stadium.

As much as I love McMahon stadium, it is seriously out of date. I mean, even Regina has a much better football stadium, for crissakes. Regina!

If you ask me, I’d rather axe the Green Line, and other such Nero-like mega-projects of the previous mayor and use that money elsewhere.

But let’s get back to the Flames. Remember Winnipeg, who went through a dark period after their NHL team left town?

Glen Murray was city councillor for Winnipeg’s Fort Rouge ward at the time and was elected as the city’s mayor in 1998. He watched as Winnipeg’s team slipped away, eventually moving to Phoenix, where hockey never really caught on.

“It was heartbreaking because the provincial and the municipal governments who were subsidizing [the team] couldn’t sustain it,” Murray told the CBC.

“Every proposal for a new arena involved hundreds of millions of dollars, which no one in the community could raise at the time,” he said. “It was a real dark period for the city because people love their hockey team.”

When the much-despised NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the return of the then still-to-be-named team in May 2011, the excitement in the city was palpable.

“In all my years as a reporter, I have never seen a city stop before,” said Marjorie Dowhos, a CBC Manitoba reporter. 

“Cheers immediately broke out, some people had tears in their eyes and I had shivers up my spine as I watched all of this,” she said.

Season tickets went on sale to the general public on June 4 and sold out in 17 minutes.

What more do I have to say? Do we really want to go the way of the Winnipeg Jets?

Let me finish, with a little story.

Back in 1967, my Dad took me to my first NHL hockey game at the Olympia in Detroit. They were sold out, so we bought $3 standing room tickets.

The first thing I saw was Gordie Howe score effortlessly on Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Terry Sawchuk, on a breakaway. The place went nuts, it literally shook.

That, and many other experiences that evening, would change my life. I saw walls of Red Wings paraphernalia, none of which we could afford. I think all we came home with was a cheap program.

To this day, I will never forget that first experience of watching the Wings play and seeing them walk off the ice on a carpet, right in front of me.

Hockey gods they were — not like today’s overpaid prima donnas.

One can’t really put a dollar value on that. I don’t know how much the Flames bring to the city, financially, but I would imagine it’s significant. But then, there’s that emotional attachment, too. 

Remember the big run in 2004? We all do. Hell, even I was popping shooters on 17 Avenue!

So yeah, hell, let’s try to keep the Flames. Let’s give it another go and hope that as good citizens the Flames owners group will cut us some slack in this time of financial disarray. And let’s get the right people in there, to get this done.

Maybe Gondek can take a holiday in Mexico? Pretty please?

And really, let’s leave this “line in the sand” crap to Vladimir Putin and his maniacal ambitions. 

We’re better than that, I’m sure of it. Let’s get ‘er done.

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 Calgary correspondent for ChinaFactor.news
makichukd@gmail.com

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Truckers going pedal-to-the-metal for Canadian freedoms

“We feel that the trucking industry is literally this country’s last hope to potentially getting our freedoms back.”

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The complainers started calling Richland Transport Inc. while Rick Wall was still at the Canada-U.S. border protesting federal mandates requiring cross-border truckers to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated.

Wall, president of the Winkler, Man. trucking firm, organized Convoy Against Mandates. Semi-trucks drove along Highway 75 to the Pembina-Emerson port of entry in Southern Manitoba Monday. Pickups, tractors, and cars joined in.

“I love the haters. We’ll go out there all day long and battle for them as much as we will for any supporters. We were out there uniting the truck industry to fight all mandates for everyone,” Wall told the Western Standard

“This country has been ripped apart. We need to reunite and love and respect each other like we used to. Our government has done a tremendous job of dividing us, destroying us.

“We’re supposed to hate each other based on medical decisions. That is not right… We need to open our eyes.”

One caller who threatened to cut Richland’s phone lines “because your boss is stupid” might change his mind when the impact of the Liberal mandate personally affects him.

The mandate requiring truckers returning from the U.S. to be fully vaccinated or quarantine took effect January 15.

“Whether you support our movement or not, it will affect you. You wouldn’t see an instant effect from what we haul. It’s a trickle effect. It’s all linked,” said Wall.

With fewer drivers delivering loads, the supply chain will be heavily impacted. The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) anticipates a loss of 12,000-16,000 cross-border commercial drivers. Some estimates peg it higher at 20,000-26,000.

Unvaccinated American drivers will be denied entry.

“You’re going to see price increases on basically everything, especially food. I think you’ll see a lot of empty grocery store shelves. We’re in the middle of winter and our food is getting trucked in. Nobody’s growing gardens this time of year. They couldn’t have picked a worse time to do this. So much of our produce comes from the southern U.S.”

Meanwhile, unvaccinated truckers forced into quarantine — after they deliver their loads — lose income. 

“In a lot of scenarios, it’s basically taking that particular driver’s right to provide a livelihood for his family away from him. It’s detrimental to these families. There’s a lot of drivers not willing to participate in this mandate. The vaccines are clearly not working, that’s my view on it.”

Truckers have been treated shamefully by a Liberal government that kept changing direction. 

Since mid-November, the government was in a state of confusion over the requirements, announcing different rollout criteria, then going back to the original plan.

“It’s been a really, really tiring battle. Our heads have been spinning for months. Clearly, we saw how chaotic that was last week on how the government flip-flopped right until the very end,” said Wall.

“We had no solid information on the Canadian side basically until they started enforcing it on our drivers. It was pretty tough for us to navigate and try to figure out what do we tell our drivers.”

When the mandate kicked in, Richland’s first returning driver ran into problems at the border.

“He was down in the U.S. for a week. He came across Saturday morning. He was verbally abused by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at Emerson port of entry. He was treated horribly and was finally released after an hour and-a-half and told to go quarantine.

“Most of these guys know their rights. They will cite their rights and try to stand up for themselves. I’m very proud of them for doing that. We should all have that right.”

Some CBSA officers treat truckers with “utmost” respect.

“But the next guy is on a complete power trip giving the driver a really hard time, disrespecting them, denouncing everything the driver will say in his own defense.

“Goodness gracious, you’re coming home to your own country where you pay your taxes. And quite frankly, that officer’s salary… They come back home, and they’re treated like criminals. 

“Our system is incredibly broken…Something has to be done.”

Well, never underestimate the grit and stamina of truckers.

They’re just getting started. More rallies are planned.

A convoy rally will be held January 24 in Winnipeg. It will circle the perimeter of the city then head to the legislature.

A cross-Canada trucking convoy starting January 23 in Vancouver working its way east will gain momentum as it crosses the country. Truckers from across Canada will convene in Ottawa.

“It’ll just take a few more of us to stand up and say this isn’t right and try to unite the people. We need to end all these totalitarian mandates,” said Wall.

“We feel that the trucking industry is literally this country’s last hope to potentially getting our freedoms back.”

And our shelves stocked.

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

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