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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.

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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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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Gordon Pratt

    January 17, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    TEXT: “… Prentice says … cross-border trucking is less prevalent on the Western Prairies.”

    How does that translate into a bigger increase in the price of California Lettuce in Toronto and in Calgary?

  2. Frank Jack

    January 17, 2022 at 6:26 am

    Fitting that Ontario voted for Trudope they can be the ones to suffer the most from his insanity.

  3. mm

    Lee Harding

    January 16, 2022 at 11:52 am

    I just talked to an exporter with his own trucking company and he says the requirements for the U.S. border on the 22nd are still on. Of course, the U.S. can maintain its prerogatives on people entering the country – or NOT on the southern border…

  4. patricia fai

    January 15, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Love all the comments placed here. MS you hit the nail on the head. I only wish we could shut our energy off to Ontario and even more so Quebec. Especially Quebec, which was in opposition to the Energy East Pipeline change a couple years back. The Quebec premier cited, falsely of course, it would add to Global warming. They were protecting the shipping industry which transports oil from off shore down the St Lawrence. Basically, Quebec companies. They don’t care about the potential environmental risks from that which eclipses any potential pipeline issues!! Oh, and need I remind you of the sewage they were pumping into the St. Lawrence at the same time from Montreal!! Hypocrisy at it’s best.

  5. Eldon

    January 15, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    One comment re the vaxxed. They are not only getting the virus. They too are in the hospitals. Much to the vaxxed chagrin. They are not as protected as they think they are.

  6. Ben Wilson

    January 15, 2022 at 11:23 am

    I have always said, JT will be PM until his Global Elite instructions start effecting Ontario.
    Now… Ontario will get a taste of JT’s incompetence and Corrupt motivations.
    I love my family in Ontario, but they have been living in a Liberal bubble for too long. When food goes up 30% it should wake some of them up a little more.

  7. M S

    January 15, 2022 at 8:33 am

    Mr Prentice. You add to the problem with your comments! You don’t need to be above average intelligence to see the impending supply chain disaster. Insinuating our southern neighbors: “We need to vaccinate them for stupidity. That’s what we need a vaccine for.” YOU need the stupidity vax. They are living FREE and moved on from this scam! We would be Australia of the north without them as a neighbor! This neighbor warmly protects it’s northern neighbor who essentially has NO military. We would be a doormat in the blink of an eye shit for brains!

  8. Claudette Leece

    January 15, 2022 at 7:08 am

    Are we suppose to cry over that, ON voted in this loser, now live with it. Maybe them truckers should move to AB

  9. GreatWhite

    January 15, 2022 at 6:47 am

    Trudeau is doing whatever he can to bankrupt the economy for the One World Order.

  10. luigi

    January 14, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Jack, that is correct. No longer required for Canadian truckers. The Supreme Court in the USA has struck down o’bidens vaxx mandates for private companies.
    Strike two for the Biden mandates are coming soon.

  11. Deb

    January 14, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    This does not make sense after all this time. Many probably already have recovered from Covid and have natural immunity. Natural immunity needs to be recognized. The vaxx designed for the Alpha variant has no effect on Omicron. Health data from every province is showing that. The vaxx is not giving immunity to Covid so there is no chance of reaching herd immunity with vaccination. The big push for vaccination is not about health. If they were really concerned about our health they would be handing out known antiviral medication like Ivermectin at first onset of sickness. Now that would really take the strain of the hospitals wouldn’t it?
    Common sense, folks.

  12. Jack of all Trades

    January 14, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Luigi, my understanding is that Trudeau dropped the double vaxx mandate only for truckers with Canuck Passport but still requires US truckers, who represent the vast majority, to provide vaxx ‘papers’ at the border.

  13. Patricia Seddon

    January 14, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    Just more readons to move on from the east..and form a nation in the west. We cant vote them out so we can only get rid of them by moving on.

  14. luigi

    January 14, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Hey Lee Harding,

    Go get some facts prior to spreading more fear.
    Read Reuters.com “ Canada drops vaxx mandates for truckers after pressure from industry”

    Fuck you trudeau!

  15. Left Coast

    January 14, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    To all the Dumb Canooks out there, especially the “Woke” 30% . . . Elections have consequences . . . eh Toronto! Who would believe $10 lettuce & $8 a gallon gas.

    Remember when . . . .
    World’s Richest Middle Class . . . NY Times
    World’s Best Reputation . . . Reputation Institute
    Best Wage Growth in G7 Nations . . . 2007-2012
    Best Oilfield Salaries in the World . . .
    Best Oilfield Enviro Regs in the World . . . Harvard Bus School
    Best Country to do Business . . . . Forbes
    World’s Best Debt to GDP Ratio , . . OECD

    ALL of that is in the REAR VIEW Mirror today Canada . . . .

  16. berta baby

    January 14, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    Everything is going to get very expensive this year. Gas is going to be priced out so that everyone has to take the bus or buy a Tesla .

    40 bucks for a block of cheese and 10 dollars per apple…..enjoy you vax loving A Holes

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News

Ottawa press gallery discusses letting Chinese propaganda agency in

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

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Officials with the Parliamentary Press Gallery held a behind closed doors meeting on Tuesday to talk about letting reporters from Xinhau, the Chinese Community Party’s propaganda agency, into the club, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The gallery is not bound by any outside political considerations,” said gallery president Catherine Levesque of the National Post. 

“We are doing our due diligence to ensure Xinhua meets certain criteria and we will be making a decision shortly.”

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

“Membership in the Parliamentary Press Gallery allows access to the secure physical buildings of the parliamentary precinct and the opportunity to directly question individuals who drive and shape public policy,” gallery directors wrote in a 2020 code Journalistic Principles And Practices.

“As a result, accreditation is a privilege, not a right.”

Xinhua had been a member until 2020 when its press pass lapsed.

The Department of National Defence in 2012 blacklisted the agency from attending its press briefings, and a Xinhua correspondent in 2012 disclosed he was asked to maintain surveillance on Chinese dissidents in Canada.

The gallery would not discuss the Xinhua application but the gallery code states members must “respect the rights of people involved in the news.”

The Commons by a unanimous 266-0 vote last February 22 condemned China for human rights atrocities including the genocide of its Uyghur Muslim community. MPs also voted to petition the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2022 Winter Games from Beijing.

“We need to move forward, not just as a country but as a world, on recognizing the human rights violations that are going on in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

“This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies on taking it seriously.”

Xinhua was originally granted Press Gallery membership in 1964 at the request of then-Foreign Minister Paul Martin Sr.

“It is a step in the direction of mutual understanding between Canada and mainland China,” Martin said at the time. Membership was approved in a press credentials swap that saw the Communist Party permit the Globe & Mail to open a Beijing bureau.

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News

PHA head says cellphone snooping fears unwarranted

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

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The president of the Public Health Agency (PHA) says Canadians need not fret over the fact his organization snooped on 33 million cellphone users, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

“No personal information was asked or was received,” Kochhar told the Commons health committee.

“No individually identifiable data is contained in any part of the work.”

The Commons ethics committee last Friday voted 10-0 to examine the data collection program using cellphone tower tracking. The PHA said it sought the information to monitor compliance with lockdown orders.

“The actual reason why we collected this data is reliable, timely and relevant public health data comes out of it for other policy and decision making,” said Kochhar.

“This is population-level mobility data analysis. This is what we have collected.

“That would help us to understand the possible link between the movement of populations within Canada and the impact on COVID-19. We did that in terms of a very clear way of getting that open and transparent means of collection. We never, ever actually know when we use that information that it is individually identifiable. It is aggregated data.”

MPs on the ethics committee earlier noted cellphone users were never told the PHA was collecting the cellphone tracking data. Conservative MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.), noted the scope of the monitoring was only detailed when the Agency issued a December 17 notice to contractors to expand the program.

“It becomes increasingly concerning that government is seemingly using this pandemic as a means and a cause for massive overreach into the privacy rights of Canadians,” said Brassard.

“As parliamentarians, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we protect those rights, that there is proper scrutiny and oversight.”

“The Public Health Agency was collecting data without the knowledge of Canadians, effectively doing it in secret. We need to know what security measures were in place to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

“It is vital we do not allow the COVID response to create a permanent backslide of the rights and freedoms of Canadians including their fundamental right to privacy.”

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News

Health Minister Duclos has no info on $150-million COVID contract to SNC-Lavalin

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

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SNC-Lavalin was given a $150-million sole-source contract to provide “urgently” needed field hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic — but Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos doesn’t seem to know much about it, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The field hospitals were never used.

“This is obviously in support of the needs at the request of provinces and territories,” said Duclos.

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

“What is the status of the mobile field hospitals SNC-Lavalin was contracted to produce?” asked Conservative MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman (Hastings-Lennox, Ont.).

“It was an example of the significant level of preparation that we did throughout the crisis,” replied Duclos.

“Why have the field hospitals from SNC-Lavalin not been deployed?” asked Kramp-Neuman.

Duclos replied he had no information on “the exact nature of the state of that equipment.”

“Did the Prime Minister’s Office approve of this?” asked MP Kramp-Neuman.

“That’s a public works question,” replied Duclos.

“We’re not getting a lot of clarity here,” said MP Kramp-Neuman, adding: “The buck stops with you. Sadly, I recognize you don’t have all the answers to everything, but it doesn’t seem like we’re getting a lot of answers to anything.”

An unidentified Department of Public Works manager finalized the SNC-Lavalin contract on April 9, 2020 without notice to other bidders.

“A public call for tenders was not issued due to the urgency of the need as a result of the pandemic,” said an internal e-mail.

However, as late as Sep. 9, 2020, the Québec contractor had still not fixed a delivery date, according to staff emails.

Paul Thompson, deputy minister of public works, Tuesday said he knew little of the contract details.

“I personally don’t have all the details at my fingertips,” said Thompson.

SNC-Lavalin was paid to supply field hospitals equipped with 200 hospital beds, ventilators, masks, medical gowns and ten days’ worth of medication, back-up generators, water and oxygen tanks, X-ray machines, shower bays and latrines.

“The self-sufficiency of the unit makes it extremely flexible for deployment where the need is greatest in Canada,” said a memo.

Internal records dated Oct. 13, 2020 disclosed no one wanted the field hospitals.

The department said spending included $2 million for design work and millions more on warehousing medical supplies for presumed future use.

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