Tag Archives: COVID-19

Conservative Leadership Candidate Derek Sloan Opposes Compulsory Masks & Other COVID Tyrannies

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Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said this week that the coronavirus pandemic may continue for years, as will measures taken to combat it, like mandatory masking and physical distancing, even if researchers manage to discover a vaccine.

This latest “news” is just the latest installment in the bizarre world of ever-shifting goalposts being laid down by many of our public health officials, most notably in Canada by Dr. Theresa Tam.

Hearing that we may be forced to take measures against COVID-19 for “years” to come is quite different from what we heard when the lockdown began. Back then, we only needed a few weeks, maybe a month, to “flatten the curve” and ensure there was enough space in hospitals.

But that’s been the story of this pandemic. We’ve received confusing and contradictory advice throughout. Dr. Tam spent months telling us we should not wear masks because it might actually increase the spread, until she reversed her position on them at the same time as the World Health Organization did. Now they’re mandatory.

We were told limiting international air travel and closing the border to non-essential traffic wouldn’t work right up until the day that they closed the borders.

We were told our government was prepared for the pandemic, when now we know it wasn’t.

If Dr. Tam wanted us to take her predictions about the future of this pandemic seriously, she shouldn’t have spent months passing off WHO directives that were made at the behest of the Communist Party of China as medical advice that would help Canadians.

I realized months ago that Dr. Theresa Tam was not serving the interests of Canadians’ health, and I called for her to be fired. I stand by this position.

We must remain vigilant against government overreach that uses this public health crisis as a cover to “temporarily” remove liberties that will never be restored.

We must guard against edicts imposed in the name of public safety that are really designed for compliance and control.

We must demand that our government recognize that measures taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 have psychological, physical, and economic consequences that are as real and dangerous as any virus.

I remain 100% against mandating masks in Canada.

I also remain 100% against a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine, should one be developed. If Canadians volunteer for a vaccine, that should be up to them. It’s called “vaccine choice”, but “no mandatory vaccines” must be the first principle.

And I remain 100% confident that Canadians can overcome the threat of COVID-19 without surrendering any of the foundational liberties that make Canada the best country in the world!

Frederick, to support me in this fight for our civil liberties, please chip in $25 today to help our campaign.

Sincerely,

Derek Sloan's signature

Derek Sloan Member of Parliament https://www.dereksloan.ca

PS: Standing up, without apology, for the freedoms that Canada was built on, is the reason I got involved in this leadership race. To support me, please chip in $25.

Life and Choice

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The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Life and Choice

Not that long ago – indeed, it is a matter of mere months – there was a consensus at all levels of Canadian government, Dominion and provincial, regardless of which party actually held the reins of power, that choice was more important than life. Today, it is the consensus of all levels of the Canadian government that life is more important than choice.

In neither case was the consensus one that was arrived at legitimately through informed and open discussion. In both cases this writer did not merely dissent from the consensus but condemned it as being monstrous and evil.

So what is going on here? Has some diabolical mad scientist from an extra-terrestrial world targeted our planet with a mind reversal beam powered by interstellar radiation?

Not exactly.

What is meant by “life” and by “choice” in the one consensus was radically different from what is meant by these terms in the other. In the first consensus, the choices that were valued over life were very specific choices. The choice of an expecting mother to terminate her pregnancy and kill her unborn child was one such choice. The choice of somebody – usually a person with an irreversible condition that causes intense pain and suffering – to end his own life with medical assistance was the other. In short, the choices were abortion and euthanasia. The lives that were considered less important than these choices in the previous consensus were specific lives – the lives of the unborn children of the women who chose abortion and the lives of those who chose euthanasia. That the termination of these lives would ensue as the outcome of these choices was certain. Furthermore, these deaths were the deliberate and intentional end of these choices for which reason these choices cannot be made without incurring moral culpability.

The reverse of all of this is true about the “life” and “choice” of the second consensus. Although certain demographics are more susceptible than others to die from the severe pneumonia that the Wuhan Flu aka COVID-19 produces in a minority of those who contract it, the disease does not target specific individuals, nor is death certain in any particular case. With the exception of acts like coughing and spitting in someone’s face, which were already considered to be unacceptable behaviour long before the pandemic, the choices that have been curtailed by our fascist public health officials do not deliberately, intentionally, and willfully spread the virus, much less cause the deaths of the small fraction of those who eventually die from it. Barring the discovery of any hard evidence for the conspiracy theories that claim this virus was created in a laboratory there is no moral culpability here.

At the end of February, only a couple of weeks before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals tabled a bill in the Dominion Parliament – Bill C-7 – which, if passed, would remove most remaining legal roadblocks to euthanasia. It would also take a huge leap down that slippery slope from physician-assisted-suicide to physician-with-power-of-life-and-death that opponents of euthanasia such as this writer have been warning about all along. It allows for the euthanizing of those who have lost their ability to consent to the procedure provided that they have indicated their willingness at some point in the past.

The segment of the population that is likely to be euthanized overlaps to a very large extent the demographic that is most susceptible to die from pneumonia from the coronavirus. What kind of warped logic reasons that we must indefinitely cancel the most basic freedoms of everyone in society in order to protect people from dying from the Wuhan Flu in order that their physician might terminate their life deliberately, with or without their consent?

Note also that while each province in the Dominion has ordered its hospitals to cancel or post-pone most surgeries and procedures that do not involve saving lives, abortions remain accessible during the lockdown.

Now consider the kind of choices that the public health bureaucrats have taken away from us. The choice to go for a walk or jog in the park. The choice to get together with friends and family to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and the like. The choice to meet up with somebody for coffee. The choice to shake somebody’s hand, clap him on the back in congratulations, or cheer him up with a hug. The choice to pay our respects and mourn together for loved ones we have lost. The choice to assemble together with others of our faith and worship our God as He commands us. The choice to go outside and get some fresh air. The choice to go to the library and take out a few books. The choice to go to a gym and get some needed exercise. Unlike abortion, these and the thousand other similar choices that are now forbidden us, do no intentional harm to anybody.

It is choices like these that make up what we, until quite recently, used to call “living our lives.”

What is the point of protecting our lives if we are not allowed to live them?
The kind of choices that the Trudeau Liberals – and all the so-called “conservatives” in the provincial governments – believe should be protected at the expense of human life, do not deserve the protection of law. The kind of choices that our health authorities, Dominion and provincial, have taken away from us in order to protect our lives from the Wuhan Flu, are the choices that make up everyday life and which constitute our basic freedoms. Health authorities should not be able, under any circumstances, much less a media-hyped, flu-type virus, with a fancy name, to take these freedoms and choices away from us. Only Communists, Nazis, and others of that general type would ever wish to do so.

George Grant in an essay entitled “The Triumph of the Will” written in response to the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, with the new powers given it by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to strike down our laws against abortion in R v Morgentaler, quoted Huey Long’s famous remark about how when fascism comes to America it will be in the name of democracy. Our Supreme Court, like that of the Americans in Roe v Wade the previous decade, Grant said “used the language of North American liberalism to say yes to the very core of fascist thought – the triumph of the will.”

I wonder what Grant would have had to say could he have seen the way in which the same people who show a disregard for human life in the name of choice, when that choice is abortion, have turned around and criminalized the most everyday of human choices in the name of life. Since it is happening all over the world, and Grant liked to remind us of the ancients’ warning a universal, homogeneous, state would be one of tyranny, I doubt that it would surprise him much.

Who is Dr. Theresa Tam?

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Who is Dr. Theresa Tam?

by Kidist Paulos Asrat

 
Armed for Work: Dr. Theresa Tam arrives at meeting determined to impose Chinese-style health measures upon Canadians.


The official line is that she is the “Chief Public Health Officer” of Canada. With this position, she has become, in effect, the Canadian official behind the government’s COVID-19 containment strategy. But who is Theresa Tam, really?  How did she acquire such a powerful position, with the ability to close down a whole nation based on such inconsequential statistics of 3-4% cases, which even the 2018 flu virus, with double the cases, wasn’t able to do?

Teresa Tam Locks Down Canada


Tam appears daily in the living room of Canadians reporting on the state of the virus on various television stations with her government colleagues, Minister of Health Patty Hajdu and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, telling Canadians to “practice physical distancing” to “fight” this “pandemic.”

Initially, Tam questioned the public health risks of the virus:

Right now, the cases are in China. Very few are exported. Yes, there’s human-to-human transmission, but those are generally for close contacts…for the general public…the risk is low in Canada.

But all this changed by late March, and Tam told Canadians in her April 3 television update:

There are now 11, 747 cases of COVID-19, including 152 deaths. Again this represents infections from previous exposures, and not what is happening right now. So our urge is that even if you’re not hearing about cases in your community, it doesn’t mean that there is no risk of exposure, and we must all consider that anyone could be infected and keep our two meter distance as the safest approach. [Tam’s full presentation is available here.]

Her message now is that anyone, and everyone, could be infected. This was her rationale for assisting in the nation-wide emergency alert to Canadians that they “Stay Home; Restez a la Maison.”

“So, of course, we owe it to everyone to not put Canadians at risk, and to do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 right now,” says Tam of her decision. Her prescription is to “practice social distancing, self-isolation, hand hygiene.” Her recommendations have indeed evolved into simplistic symbols, the images for which bear a strong resemblance to public health information on avoiding the flu, which are presented every year for the virus which, at its most lethal, killed 8,500 people in 2018. And the country has never shut down for fear of the flu.


The only item missing on the Corona-Checklist is “Get Vaccinated.” So far.


And from this information, a lockdown of dutiful, and guilt-ridden, Canadians became the reality. Across the country, dutiful citizens closed their shops, left jobs, shuttered schools and daycare centres, and stayed home, waiting for Tam’s daily updates, to urge them to participate in the next battle tactic against their invisible enemy, who could be lurking anywhere.

And they all obliged. Tam’s draconian “Stay Home/ Restez a la Maison” ordinance could be the beginning of much stricter enforcements to come, based on her premise that “anyone could be infected,” which means that we could all be infected.

Mississauga’s (Ontario) City Centre, with blocked off, empty parking lots, which are normally filled to capacity


As the Chief Health Officer in Canada, Tam provides the data, the analyses, and the recommendations on health care and enforcement to the government. Prime Minister Trudeau, clearly following the advice of his Chief Public Health Officer, officially stated in March 29 during his daily update that:

There are no plans to call in Canada’s military to enforce quarantine or self-isolation measures amid COVID-19.

Trudeau continues, with a hint of what might come for those who don’t follow these regulations:

The Canadian Armed Forces are there to help when Canada is in need…Right now we have not received any specific requests and there are no plans underway to have the army intervene.


“All Canadians must act now to reduce the spread,” orders Tam in her pre-taped video, which has the air of an infomercial, appearing periodically on the CBC and CTV. And her emphatic “now” has a clear subtext that there are serious consequences for those who don’t help to “reduce the spread” of this “serious public health threat.”

So here we are, in the midst of the “global health crisis.”

So Who is Dr Theresa Tam?


Who is this woman now in charge of providing the “chief” medical information concerning Canada’s lockdown? Where did she come from? There is very little available on her biography, very little personal (and even professional) information on Tam. Somewhere there was a post that she was 55 years old, but I couldn’t find:

  • Her date of birth
  • Her place of birth (other than “raised in Hong Kong”)
  • The dates of her various degrees – I even went into the UBC and UA websites looking for alumni profiles.
  • There are no listings of her theses and dissertation.

She is listed having expertise in immunization, infectious disease, emergency preparedness and global health security. Something more specific, and odd, is: “she is a graduate of the The Canadian Field Epidemiology Program” which looks like an internship or upgrades for employees in the Public Health Agency of Canada.
 
But I couldn’t find her medical school records to find her year of graduation, or any other post-grad qualifications.
 
I am usually pretty good at finding out some of this information, but to draw a blank on almost all the key components that make up a biographical profile is very strange.


Wikipedia states her birth place as Hong Kong, that she grew up in Britain, obtaining her medical degree in the University of Nottingham, with further studies at the University of Alberta for her residency, and the University of British Columbia under a fellowship.

A page on the Government of Canada website states that she is an expert in “immunization, infectious disease, and global health security.”

The World Health Organization’s international website lists her as “an international expert on a number of World Health Organization committees” including SARS, pandemic influenza and polio eradication.

Her associations with the World Health Organization (WHO), I believe, has brought her in contact with Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Eritrean Director General of WHO, who was key in starting the misinformation about the global coronavirus panic. Ghebreyesus downplayed the virus’ outbreak in Wuhan, China, defending China’s President Xi’s misinformation on the severity of the virus, and refusing to support President Trump’s travel bans and restrictions of flights from China.

Tedros Gebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People, on January 28, 2020 in Beijing. China Politics


Tam has close links with the WHO as a consultant. I believe she personally knows Tedros Gebreyesus (the Eritrean Director General of WHO), who was key in starting the misinformation about the global panic. She is a feminist and a socialist, as Tedros is also a life-long Marxist, starting from his political positions in the various Ethiopian Marxist governments from the 1980s and the 2000s.

She has politicized her role in Canadians’ health and well-being. She declares, following the socialist mandates of the WHO, which is clearly her own political stance:

A healthy Canada requires us to level the [social] playing field.

And she was present at a conference in Vancouver in 2019 titled “Women Deliver,” presented by an organization which aims to indoctrinate young women, Canadian alike, with feminism, by advancing “Gender Equality and the health, rights and well-being of girls and women everywhere.”

She is also involved in the WHO’s various vaccinations (immunization) projects, working also under three of WHO’s emergency committees: Ebola, MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and poliovirus.

We learn from Carolyn Brown’s article, “WHO veteran heads up Canadian public health“, that, according to Tam, “emergency committee members do not represent their countries.” Brown explains that Tam “was selected for her background in field epidemiology, travel health, emergency medicine and pandemic preparedness.”

 
Tam is an advocate for vaccinations, pressing for the coronavirus vaccine, which requires $CAN 192 million for its development, despite the very low fatal cases from the virus, with the majority of those affected resuming full recovery. This puts her as an expert on vaccine preparation, which has been the topic of her latest updates on the conronavirus fight. But here is a report on the risks of a coronavirus vaccine, which Tam has not presented in any of her reports.

Tam has worked with other health emergencies before, including the Ebola outbreak, SARS and the H1N1 influenza, which helped her prepare her COVID-19 health strategy. Three years ago, discussing the SARS epidemic, Tam stated that her job would be all about “harnessing the efforts of the many to protect and promote the health of all Canadians, including the most vulnerable in our society.”

When she said those words nearly three years ago, Tam probably didn’t imagine she would be ordering Canadians not to leave the country and to socially distance themselves en masse.

Recently, the Canadian government made donations to China of masks, gloves, and protective gear, while at the same time Canada was beginning to experience shortages of these materials. The donation and the shortages were discussed in the Senate. I believe it is the Chinese Tam who was behind all this.

Opposition Conservative leader Andrew Scheer tweeted on March 26 regarding these “donations”

Outrageous. Drs across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov’t reserves oversees in Feb.


The Media Says “A Star is Born”


This uncharismatic woman with the monotonous voice is being touted as “a new star is born” who “offer[s] clarity in the age of the coronavirus.”

“A Star is Born”: Emergency Fundraising T-Shirt (Dr. Theresa Tam), C$45.00


Tam downplays the China origins of the virus, attempting to silence those who hold views that link the virus to China, and Chinese in Canada, by warning Canadians to stop stigmatizing the Chinese in Canada. Her accusations of racist acts towards Chinese in Canada are largely anecdotal, which is strange as she is supposed to be an expert on epidemiology and data analysis,

Tam writes on her twitter page:

These actions create a divide of us versus them…Canada is a country built on the deep-rooted values of respect, diversity and inclusion.

I should add that there is a revealing item from CPAC on face masks which brings up Tam’s own reference to her Chinese background, and where I believe she sends subtle messages of the kind of draconian, perpetual, “imprisonment” of people behind masks, as she says people in China have become accustomed to.

It is a long video on an April 3 update, but the points she makes are at 36:21 – 36.26 (I’ve transcribed them):

I think we’re all learning, through, I think particularly Western societies that are not used to wearing masks in public, are sort of learning this as we are going along, and so, some of this information I think is in real time, undergoing evolution.

I wonder if she is a lesbian? Her whole demeanor, sometimes charming, at others draconian, and also the weird all-black legging and jacket she wore in one of her photos (I’ve put in the article), her unkempt hair, unlike Hajdu and Freedland who attempt at some femininity, suggests this.
 
All in all, Canada’s health is being overseen by a Chinese women we know very little about, with a very strange personality.

***

Kidist Paulos Asrat has a website, Reclaiming Beauty.

The Coronavirus: Counting the Cost

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The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Coronavirus: Counting the Cost

Let us suppose that tomorrow Justin Trudeau were to make the following announcement:

I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that the experts have told us that it will take twenty years of extreme social distancing for us to be certain COVID-19 will not resurge. The good news is that we have developed the technology to fully automate production of all essential goods and the delivery of the same. Everyone is therefore ordered to remain in their homes for the next twenty years. All of your needs will be met. Robots will produce all the food and toilet paper and everything else you need and bring it to your home. There is no need for you to go outside. Armed drones will patrol the streets nonstop to enforce your compliance with this order. I am sorry that you will not be able to see your friends or loved ones outside of your immediate household who live with you again, except through video communication, for two decades, but it is necessary to prevent COVID-19 from resurging and flooding our health care system. I will remain in office for the duration of this period to see to it that everything functions smoothly. See you in twenty years.


Would we tolerate this?

Would we agree that the total loss of our freedoms of movement and association for two decades was a price worth paying in order to protect us from this virus?

I hope – which is probably a safer word to use here than assume – that most of us would answer “no” to both of these questions. Yet, with one significant exception, the differences between the hypothetical announcement and what we are actually being told are ones of degree rather than kind. It appears, however, that most of us would answer these questions “yes” had they been asked of what the government is actually saying.

This raises the interesting question of where the line falls between what we are willing to put up with from the government in terms of suppression of our basic freedoms in order to contain or combat this pandemic and what we are not. At what point does the price become too high?

The reluctance of many to think in terms of this question comes from the mistaken notion that the cost of the measures that our country and many others are taking to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is entirely, or at least mostly, economic. Those who hold this mistaken notion, then argue from the maxim that lives are more important than money, property, the economy and the like, that no economic cost is too high to achieve the end of saving lives from COVID-19. As I observed in my last essay, the premise of this reasoning is a lie concealed behind a moral truism. While it is true, of course, that lives are more important than material goods, if you wipe out material goods you will end up destroying lives.

Let us consider the point that I sought to make in the hypothetical Trudeau speech above by that one item that is a significant exception to the rule that it differs from what he is actually saying only by degree rather than kind. In the speech, Trudeau has found a technological solution to the problem of providing people with their essential needs while everyone is locked in their homes for their own good. Robots will do it all. No such solution is available in the real world. If it were, however, it would remove the economic element from the equation entirely. Yet the problem remains. How many, even with the assurance that all their material needs will be met, would consider living under a house arrest enforced by the most Orwellian of means for twenty years to be an acceptable cost to pay in order to stop COVID-19?

My point is that the cost of “extreme social distancing”, “isolation” and “shut down” over too long of an extended period of time, even with the economic element subtracted from that cost, is too high a price to pay. It is not a rational solution to the problem of the pandemic. Which is not surprising considering that it was quickly put in place by governments, on the advice of epidemiological experts, when they suddenly found that their earlier inattention to the outbreak when it was confined to China had brought it to their own doorsteps. Decisions made in haste are not likely to be thoroughly thought out rational decisions. Especially when you are trying to compensate for having earlier underreacted to a potential crisis. That is what leads to overreaction.

Andrew Cohen of the Ottawa Citizen in his recent comparison of the Canadian and American methods of handling this crisis clearly expresses his preference for the Canadian way of doing things over the American. I too prefer the Canadian way, although for me, that way is and always will be, defined by the Canada of 1867, whereas for Cohen, the Canadian way seems to be defined by whatever the Liberal Party says Canada is all about in the present moment. He mentions that Canadians tend to listen to and respect experts more than Americans, or at least the sitting American president. Perhaps that is true. In this case, however, the Canadian government is acting like it has been listening to only one kind of expert.

The kind of people we call experts today are the result of the centuries long process of the specialization of knowledge. If you are looking for something to do in your time of isolation you might want to consider reading Richard Weaver’s discussion of this process in Ideas Have Consequences. We have gone from prioritizing the ability to see the big picture to prioritizing the mastery of small subsets of knowledge. The person who has so mastered his own field of knowledge is the expert. Being an expert in one field does not translate into being an expert in all, or even competently knowledgeable in fields other than his own, and, while this is an over-generalization, of course, it is nevertheless the case that experts tend to have a kind of tunnel vision and are often grossly ignorant of other fields than their own.

Thus, the epidemiologists called upon to advise on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent the medical system from crashing by being swamped have provided a solution that would work according to the knowledge available to them. That knowledge is limited to their own field. They are incapable of calculating the number of lives that would be lost due to problems such as mass starvation if we crash the economy in order to practice extreme social distancing. Note that the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization is already warning of a looming global food shortage caused by these Communist anti-COVID measures. Indeed, they seem incapable of understanding that if you crash the economy to save the medical system, you lose the medical system too, because it is the economy that pays for the medical system. The people advising this strategy clearly do not possess even a basic understanding of economics, history (other than the history of disease outbreaks), and constitutional law. The government is clearly not listening to experts in these fields. If it was, it would not be so quick to take measures that could potentially recreate the Great Depression and the inflation of the Weimar Republic. Nor would it have attempted, as it did earlier this week, to pass a bill eerily similar to that which made Adolf Hitler into the dictator of Germany eighty seven years ago.

The government needs to listen to voices knowledgeable in these areas as well as those knowledgeable in containing epidemics. It would do well to pay heed to Dr. Garrett Hardin’s First Law of Human Ecology – “You cannot do only one thing”, which means that anything you do to produce a particular end or solve a particular problem, will have other repercussions elsewhere.

We also need to be listening to those who can tell us something about the long-term consequences of conditioning people to fear normal human contact – the friendly handshake, the warm hug, etc. – as the harbinger of death, and to treat electronic, long-distance, communication as an adequate substitute to be preferred. We had a big enough problem with people gluing their eyes to their smartphones or other electronic devices, immersing themselves in an online virtual world, and shutting themselves off from the real world and the living, breathing, people around them, before this crisis. “Extreme social distancing” will only make it worse. Perhaps someone can tell us what the likely repercussions will be of instilling in our populace the exact opposite mindset to those who went to war for us in 1939, willing to sacrifice themselves and die a horrible death rather than that we lose our freedoms. Karen Selick has made a convincing argument that one of the results of the shut down and stay home approach will be a huge rise in domestic violence. Obviously she is talking about the effects on people who have families. It would also be good to know from mental health experts what the effect on single people who live alone – a much larger percentage of our population than ever before – of cutting them off completely from human contact for months will be. How long will they be able to keep their sanity? How long before the suicide rates skyrocket? How long before people start to snap and do terrible things?

All of this must be factored into the cost that the government is forcing us to pay for stopping COVID-19.

One wiser and more knowledgeable than all the experts put together once said:

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25)

He was speaking of those who believe in Him and are martyred for their faith. Perhaps we should be considering the broader implications of the principle.

One Victory Against the Encroaching Totalitarianism

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The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

One Victory Against the Encroaching Totalitarianism

 
 
If anyone was under the impression that my harsh, negative, assessment of our civil leadership’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in my last essay was overblown, they need only look at the dirty trick the Liberals tried to pull this week. Parliament, which adjourned on March 13th until Hitler’s birthday – draw your own conclusions, was temporarily called back on Tuesday to vote on an emergency spending bill. The problem was not the $82 billion that the government was seeking permission to spend. The problem was that the bill, as originally drafted, included several provisions that would give them the power to increase spending and taxation without submitting the increases to Parliament for a vote.

Perhaps they thought that the panic that the media – which in Canada is almost monolithically the mouthpiece of the Liberal Party – has generated would be sufficient for them to get away with this. Or possibly they thought that all of their efforts over decades to get Canadians to devalue the traditions and institutions we inherited from Britain and to forget the history and significance of those traditions and institutions had finally paid off, and that we would be willing to let them overturn the Magna Carta and the very foundation of Parliamentary government and our Common Law liberties.

Mercifully, it appears they were wrong. Tuesday morning it was reported that Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition were doing their job and firmly standing up for our traditional, constitutional, limits on government powers and that in the face of this staunch defence, the Liberals had backed down from their proposed power grab. Which is grounds for hope in this troubling times. The spirit of liberty has not yet been entirely crushed within us.

Later in the day, it was clarified that the tax powers were all that the Liberals had removed from the bill and that they were still pushing for the spending and borrowing powers. The Tories dug in in their opposition to these as well. The parties entered into negotiations but the day ended without the House being called upon to vote. This Wednesday morning – the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – it was announced that the Liberals had dropped all the provisions for extended powers from the bill, which as an emergency spending bill has just passed the House, and will undoubtedly clear the Senate and receive Royal assent within a day or two.

I have been very critical of Andrew Scheer’s past performance as Opposition Leader and his bumbling in the last election but now, when it counts the most, it looks like he has come through for Canadians. Andrew Cohen, writing for the Ottawa Citizen, has praised the Prime Minister’s performance in this crisis saying “This has been his finest hour.” I beg to disagree. This – not the Kokanee Grope, not the costume party in India, not the Blackface/Brownface Scandal, not the SNC Lavalin Affair – has been Justin Trudeau, revealed at his worst – an opportunistic, tyrant, who has tried to take advantage of a global health crisis to attack the foundations of our constitution and expand his own powers. This is Andrew Scheer’s finest hour, not Justin Trudeau’s.

I am under no illusions that the majority of my countrymen see it my way rather than Cohen’s. Canadians have been far too apathetic for far too long towards the riches of our inheritance in the Common Law and the Westminster System of Parliament. It is almost one hundred years since the famous incident when Lord Byng, Governor General of Canada, exercised the reserve powers of the Crown and refused Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s request for a dissolution of Parliament. King, who had been allowed to form a government despite not having won the plurality in the House, wanted the dissolution to save his own bacon because he faced an imminent censure in Parliament over a corruption scandal. Lord Byng’s refusal was an entirely appropriate use of the Crown’s powers to protect Parliament’s right to hold the government accountable, as such champions of our constitution as John Farthing and Eugene Forsey demonstrated in their books on the subject. In the next Dominion election, however, the Canadian electorate bought King’s execrable lies about the matter hook, line, and sinker and awarded him a majority government.

That the government’s first thoughts with regards to dealing with this crisis were that they need to expand their powers beyond what the constitution allows them is itself sufficient evidence that they do not deserve to be trusted with such powers.

The approach they have been taking to the COVID-19 pandemic is further grounds not to trust them. Remember that this is a virus which in over eighty percent of the cases we know about has produced no symptoms to moderate symptoms. The actual percentage of those who have contracted the virus of whom this is true is probably closer to 99.99%. Most people who are asymptomatic would not have been tested unless they were in a situation where they were known to have been exposed to the virus. Thus, an approach to containing the disease which focuses on protecting those most vulnerable to experience it at its worst rather than protecting us all by shutting everything down and forcing us all into isolation makes the most sense. Countries that have aggressively pursued such an approach have succeeded in containing the spread of the disease without going into extreme shut down mode. Ironically, the countries which Mr. Cohen lists in the second paragraph of his column have all followed this approach, unlike Italy and the United States whose mishandling of the crisis he decries, despite the fact that they are following the same kind of approach, albeit with varying degrees of severity, as our own government.

The model which Mr. Trudeau is following is that of advising – and probably eventually compelling – all Canadians to stay at home, away from the threat of contagion, and also from the sun and fresh air which are man’s most important natural allies in the fight against disease. This involves shutting down all “non-essential” businesses and promising that the government will take care of the huge segment of the workforce which now founds itself unemployed. Since government is not a wealth generating institution – despite sometimes having delusions to the contrary – this means that the burden it is taking upon itself must fall upon the only part of the private economy that remains open – the “essential” businesses that provide food and other necessities, putting a strain on these which will, if this lasts for any lengthy period of time, cause them to fail. This would result in far more deaths than the collapse of the medical system that Mr. Trudeau is trying to avoid by the long-term strategy of slowing the spread of the virus and pushing its peak into the future ever would. The modern economy is the way in which we have avoided the Malthusian consequences of our population size. Anybody who is not an idiot knows this. “Lives are more important than the economy” is a lie concealed behind a moral truism. Destroy the economy, and you destroy the lives that it sustains. The Holodomor of almost ninety years ago is an historical example of how a regime used that principle to destroy lives deliberately with malice aforethought. If the Trudeau Liberals accomplish the same it will be primarily through stupidity.

Nor is shrinking the economy to the point where it cannot possibly feed our population and so causing the deaths of masses by starvation the only way in which the model the Trudeau government is pursuing could produce disastrous results. As unemployment skyrockets, suicide rates are likely to rise as well. Furthermore, if “extreme social distancing” is kept in place for as long as the Liberals are saying is necessary – months rather than weeks – there will be a general breakdown in psychological and emotional health. Human beings are social creatures. They are not meant to live apart from each other. Force them to live contrary to their nature for a lengthy period of time and they will start to go bonkers. This too would contribute to a rise in suicide rates as well as other dangerous and destructive behaviour.

Furthermore, just as an extended shut down will rapidly burn up accumulated material capital, so an extensive period of “extreme social distancing” will burn up social capital – the trust between members of a community and society that enables them to function in a civilized way and cooperate for their own common good. The only kind of government that would want to destroy that is a totalitarian government that hates and persecutes all social interaction that is not under its direct planning and control, which demands the total undivided allegiance of its citizens, and which fears any and all rivals for its peoples’ loyalty, trust, and affection.

Those who would rather not live under that kind of a government, who still value our constitution in which Queen-in-Parliament and not Prime Minister-in-Council is sovereign, and our Common Law rights and freedoms won a victory today. Let us practice eternal vigilance and pray that it is not short-lived.