News

FIRST READING: The questionably effective lockdown everybody hates


In Alberta, Indigenous police are patrolling non-Indigenous folks for a change

Article content

First Reading is a daily newsletter keeping you posted on the travails of Canadian politicos, all curated by the National Post’s own Tristin Hopper. To get an early version sent direct to your inbox every Monday to Thursday at 6 p.m. ET (and 9 a.m. on Sundays), sign up here.

Advertisement

Article content

TOP STORY

Prior lockdowns have often seen Canada experience a “rally ‘round the flag” effect as politicians and public health officials were held up as wise sages guiding the population through uncertain times. A new Leger poll has found that those sentiments are now headed out the window

  • This time last year, Canada’s chief public health officer, Theresa Tam, had an approval rating of 63 per cent. That’s now down to 48 per cent.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of COVID-19 had 59 per cent approval at the outset of 2021. That’s dropped to 41 per cent.

Writing in the National Post, Rupa Subramanya pitched the case as to why lockdowns are probably doing very little to check the spread of Omicron . In this latest wave, the only European country to match Canada in terms of lockdown severity was The Netherlands. Subramanya noted that Dutch hospitalizations did indeed go down under lockdown – but this was in spite of cases continuing to rise. “It’s not the lockdown that is keeping hospital and ICU admissions under control, but the simple fact that vaccines, and recovery from a prior infection, work to reduce the severity of the virus,” she wrote .

Advertisement

Article content

Former Senator André Pratte is currently living under curfew conditions in Quebec. In a column , he criticized the notion that Quebec’s restrictions are based on science because the underlying data is becoming shoddy . Case rates are becoming increasingly arbitrary due to overwhelmed testing capacity, and even hospitalization rates have been corrupted by rising numbers of hospital patients who are admitted for other reasons – but are marked down as COVID-19 patients after testing positive for an asymptomatic case.

And noted heterodox thinker Jordan Peterson is in the pages of the National Post with a much blunter assessment on the ongoing lockdowns: “ Open the damn country back up .” Peterson’s chief observation is that nothing seems to work anymore in Canada : Parents can’t rely on schools being open, travellers can’t rely on airlines flying on schedule and shoppers increasingly can’t trust shelves to be stocked. “We’re playing with fire … I’ve never seen breakdown in institutional trust on this scale before in my lifetime,” he wrote.

Advertisement

Article content

Manitoba MLA Jon Reyes posted this photo on Twitter of his wife shoveling the driveway after a “12 hour night shift at the hospital.” “God bless her and all our frontliners,” he wrote. The image was soon circulated around the globe, mostly accompanied with suggestions that Reyes should have done the shoveling himself.
Manitoba MLA Jon Reyes posted this photo on Twitter of his wife shoveling the driveway after a “12 hour night shift at the hospital.” “God bless her and all our frontliners,” he wrote. The image was soon circulated around the globe, mostly accompanied with suggestions that Reyes should have done the shoveling himself. Photo by Twitter.com/Jon Reyes

IN OTHER NEWS

One of the signature experiences of the Omicron wave has been multi-hour lineups of cars queuing up for a COVID-19 test. In Burnaby, B.C., police saw a woman using her phone while in a 2.5 hour lineup and decided to slap her with a $300 ticket for distracted driving . In a statement , Burnaby RCMP said they had noticed “ongoing issues” among motorists in the constant crawl of test-site traffic, including “using electronic devices” and “not wearing seatbelts.”

Speaking of policing, for one of the first times in Canadian history, a First Nations police service will be policing a non-Indigenous community rather than the other way around . Alberta’s Tosguna Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service – the official police authority of the Tsuut’ina Nation – has just taken over policing duties of Redwood Meadows , a neighbouring community of 1,000 that has traditionally been serviced by the RCMP.

Advertisement

Article content

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee has just released a limited edition bobblehead of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Two versions are available: “Beard” and “no beard.”
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee has just released a limited edition bobblehead of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Two versions are available: “Beard” and “no beard.” Photo by National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

After imposing vaccine mandates on health-care workers, air passengers and the civil service, Ottawa is now looking to make vaccination mandatory for American long-haul truckers crossing the border . The policy is expected to sideline up to 10 per cent of cross-border truckers, with industry groups warning that it would exacerbate rising food prices and ongoing supply chain backlogs. “Everyone has been talking about inflation. And this is just going to continue to fuel that,” one fruit importer told Reuters .

Trudeau government officials are getting progressively more comfortable with bad-mouthing the People’s Republic of China . Most recently, that took the form of Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly telling Global News about Canada’s new “Indo-Pacific stategy” – a term that is essentially diplomatic code for “Beijing-countering strategy.”

Meanwhile, Canada might be sending weapons to Ukraine as the European country faces down a possible invasion from Russia . At least, Joly refused to deny as much when repeatedly pressed on the matter during an interview on CTV. In 2017, Ukraine was suddenly added to the list of countries approved for Canadian arms sales. Since 2015, Canada has kept a standing force of around 200 soldiers in Ukraine to act as military trainers.

Get all of these insights and more into your inbox every weekday at 6 p.m. ET by signing up for the First Reading newsletter here. 

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.




Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close