Fighting the Green Flu Deal
Welcome to socialism, folks.
Enjoying the half-empty shelves? The lack of non-government employment opportunities? Having your life — your very movements — dictated to the extreme by the government? Being surveilled? Having your neighbours rat you out to authorities?
Waiting in line for basic necessities — toilet paper and sugar — and waiting for the government for your next cash handout.
This is Canada. This is not the USSR in the 1950s. We are a free people. Usually. But our lives have been interrupted and turned upside down as we fight the novel coronavirus from China that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease.
I don’t know about you. But I’m only going to be willing to put up with this COVID Clampdown for so long. Yeah, yeah, I understand how serious the virus is and how it is killing thousands of people world-wide. But that number is relatively low in Canada. And as of this writing, we have one confirmed case in the NWT and that person is recovering.
So sure, we need to take precautions. But I’m not liking this Green Flu Deal lifestyle and there must be an end game to how we will return to a normal life.
I say normal, but in reality, this event is historic and will forever change the way we look at cleanliness and interaction between each other. Which, actually, might be a good thing. I mean if retail and health workers should be better protected from the public in he face of COVID-19, why not keep some of these measures to protect against the seasonal flu?
But, I digress.
The stock market continues on a wild roller-coaster ride as the coronavirus locks people in their homes and shutters business.
The last thing we need now is for opportunistic politicians and their activist followers to try and wedge their ideology into the recovery. For us to emerge out of this with any kind of medically safe and economically sound future, we need a blended approach. In the North our situation is different, for sure. We rely on the federal government for much of our existence and we have many small, relatively isolated communities with limited health-care resources. We can’t let COVID-19 be introduced there, and as of the time of this writing, it hasn’t been.
But the left here and across North America is living up to its well-known mantra of “why let a good crisis go to waste?”
This is a good time for us logical, reasonable people to have a look at how the left would have us living and reject it out of hand. Of course, we will do that once the COVID crisis has subsided. And we will do that at the ballot box.
I remind our elected leaders that their primary function is to keep us safe. But safety isn’t all about a new bug. There will soon be real treatments for the COVID-19 symptoms and a vaccine, hopefully, in time for next year’s flu season.
Politicians need to realize medical professionals are there to offer advice. Of course, they need to be listened to. But so are the financial experts.
The epidemiologists are prepared to nuke the entire economy to kill a virus. But what about the jobs, the suicides, the heart attacks, the lost careers, the family strife, the loss of pride and the destruction of the country’s wealth?
Our leaders must realize the economy can be as important to the safety and security of the people as are the precautions to prevent the spread of this novel coronavirus.
But some obnoxious voices on the left are already touting the benefits of this crisis as an opportunity to advance their ill-conceived social and economic models.
Some of the more vile arguments are being made by Nancy Vail, who has been given a weekly platform in the Yellowknifer newspaper.
Vail is described as a “longtime Yellowknifer concerned with social justice.” In 2016 she was also concerned with suing her hometown after she slipped on an icy sidewalk and broke her wrist. This from a woman who writes a column ironically called “Notes From the Trail.”
The Supreme Court dismissed her $8,000 claim, in which both sides agreed the sidewalk had been cleared earlier in the day. However, Vail argued the city should be monitoring the sidewalks hourly. Really? How practical would that be?
About as practical as the argument she made in her March 18 Yellowknifer column. The column was her criticism of the proposed Slave Geological Province Road, which would be a boon for the mining sector, which needs to have new life breathed into it. (I would link to the column, but it wasn’t posted, just appeared in print.)
I’ll offer a few excerpts and my comments:
“Like it or not, the crisis we are going through is due in part to our own selfishness … it’s a manifestation of the unsustainable way we have been living our lives. We have not cared about the footprint we leave on the Earth or how we are treating our animals. And we’re paying the price.”
Now if Vail is referring to the disgusting and inhumane “wet markets” where wild animals are bought, sold and eaten, that’s a good thing. It’s thought the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 emerged from one of these houses of horror in the Chinese city of Wuhan — possibly through an infected bat.
“Still, at this time of writing, all the mines in the territories have not been told to close their doors… Putting lives at risk for a few diamonds is not worth it. If this virus is telling us anything, it is telling us to transition to a more sustainable lifestyle that respects the natural rhythms of life. That’s where job creation needs to be.”
Since she wrote that, the major mines have either suspended operations or ramped down their activity. But all this talk about a “sustainable lifestyle” is merely a dog whistle for those who want to transform our economy into some windmill-filled solar-powered Shangri-La. We would be even more dependent on the federal government for money to support us. We would have no retail sector. Everybody would be on welfare — oops, sorry … income assistance — and we would have no energy to stay warm enough or to keep the lights on in winter.
“… the world can no longer cope with the ever-growing number of humans dominating this planet. If we want to talk about anything, let’s talk about how we can thrive by keeping our numbers down so this poor planet can heal from the unprecedented growth of the last 50 years.”
So, how does she plan to do this? Does she propose to do what the Communist government in China did in the 1980s with it’s one-child policy? Forced contraception, sterilizations and abortions to ensure compliance? Sheesh. And really, Nance, who else is the planet supposed to be dominated by? Unicorns?
“More than ever we are being called to change the way we do business and that includes our mining practices. We don’t need more heavy industry to support a lifestyle that is out of touch with the natural cycles of the Earth. We need an economy that will help us cope with what we have. Let’s invest in people, and more social programs, not more problems.”
What would Vail have governments use to support all of her increased social programs? Does she not understand the market economy, where the government takes taxes from business and employees to give to the less-fortunate? With a strong economy — and in the North, that means mining for diamonds, oil, gas and rare minerals — those on the margins of society will be better taken care of.
“Scientists have given us 10 years before we are in climate change catastrophe mode; what are we doing to prepare for that? New roads and new mines are not the answer.”
That’s just complete bullpoop. Sorry, I can’t waste my time coming up with a more eloquent retort.
Thankfully, someone had the guts to stand up to Vail and risk being cancelled by the liberal mob. David Radcliffe, a former Yellowknifer who now lives in BC, wrote a letter to the editor published on March 27 in the Yellowknifer. (Again, in print only, so no link.)
“She then turns her sanctimonious comments to how the government, industry and the general population are to blame for the homeless situation, the food shortage and lastly, the COVID-19 outbreak.
“She seems to think that those who are fighting the same potentially deadly virus, homeless or not, have a responsibility to adhere to her veiled socialist views and chastises both residents, government and industry as somehow being responsible for this deadly outbreak and not doing their part in the fight.
“Her blaming of Yellowknife residents for “unsustainable ways” and suggesting the virus is their fault is not only ludicrous but also shows her ignorance for what is a worldwide pandemic. Lastly, it is the responsibility of the local newspaper to report positive, helpful information during these times, and not to print sanctimonious conspiracy theories spread by the ‘ill’ informed rants of an anti-government and industry critic.”
OK then, I’m, not alone in my disdain for Vail’s rantings. She must get pretty dizzy flying in circles all day flapping her left wing.
But then there is Eric Bowling — the editor of the Inuvik Drum, a sister paper to Yellowknifer — who has outed himself as a socialist.
When I was running newsrooms in Winnipeg and Brandon, I would not allow news reporters to write opinion pieces. Longer news analysis stories are a different animal, but once a reporter writes an opinion piece — especially on politics — he or she has become a columnist. Not a reporter.
While every writer obviously has personal beliefs and political biases, they need to keep those away from their reporting. A reporter needs to be objective and fair. Once they reveal their personal biases, they will have lost respect with readers. Sure, they will be heralded by people with whom they share a kindred spirit, but then they have essentially become an activist.
In recent times, journalism schools have been churning out grads who are more activist than journalist. As a result, I was very careful during the hiring process and if a reporter started to expose their views, I would remind them of the need for objectivity.
Sometimes I would have to make sure certain reporters wouldn’t be assigned to certain stories, as I knew they would not offer fair and balanced coverage. Or I knew the interview subject wouldn’t be open to the reporter, if they were on the opposite sides of an issue.
I say all of this because I was floored when I read the March 19 column by Bowling, who is NNSL’s lone staffer in the 3,000-person town of Inuvik.
It’s not easy finding a reporter willing to be stationed in such a remote place. It’s a beautiful area in summer, but the good news stories are few and far between and the place is very cold and very dark in winter.
But NNSL now has a left-wing editor espousing socialist politics in that community.
I have never met him, but he is exactly the type of journalist I would not want working for me. As a columnist? Maybe, if I felt he had a good read on the area and was a good writer.
Is the Beaufort Delta a hotbed of radical socialism? To be honest, I don’t know. The last election, the territory re-elected Liberal MP Michael McLeod, with the Tories finishing a distant second, so there’s that.
Feedback as a columnist can be pleasant or disturbing. If you choose to wear a black hat, you will have to be willing to fend off attacks. So, Eric, here you go. Hang onto your hat, dude.
Allow me to dissect Bowling’s banter, again with my commentary:
“COVID-19 shows the need for more female leaders.”
Well, that didn’t take long. The headline alone just makes no sense. Does the virus care about the gender of a cabinet minister, premier or prime minister? Sure, the headline worked as click-bait, but is this a topic an editor of a small community newspaper should be tackling?
“I’ve racked my brains all week about how to articulate my feelings about this whole Coronavirus situation as events escalated and civilization seemingly ground to a halt. But I can definitely say, without reservation, that I am glad I live in a jurisdiction run by smart women. Other places, like the United States, have not been so lucky. Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, I think it’s safe to say most Americans are probably wishing she was the one signing off on the decisions right now.”
Well, I think it’s safe to say you’re completely wrong, Eric. Unless you exclusively watch MSNBC or Bill Maher, you would know that Trump is managing the situation well. Ignore his Trumpian babbling, just look at the results. People have to remember Trump isn’t a professional politician and the manufactured empathy so readily available to most politicians just doesn’t come easy for him. But he is essentially now a wartime president and he has his eye on the economy as well as saving lives. Hillary Clinton? She’s a fake, a phoney and a fraud. She is a swamp creature who would cry crocodile tears while destroying the American economy forever — to which Canada is inextricably linked.
For example, the disgusting Democrats offered a bill containing dozens of Green New Deal — which is not a push just for the environment — provisions completely unrelated to the COVID-19 crisis. Included in the Democratic bill were:
- A bailout for the U.S. Postal Service. (Union workers generally vote democratic.)
- Student loan debt forgiveness. (Again, a favourite support group of the left.)
- Required same-day voter registration (A ploy to allow ballot harvesting to sway elections.)
- Airline emissions standards regulations (Really? That industry is on its knees now.)
- Increased collective bargaining and carve outs for Big Labour. (Again, with the unions.)
- Some $35 million to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (How is that COVID-19 related?)
- Increased federal minimum wage for companies that accept government loans. (A sneaky attempt to hit that arbitrary $15 an hour minimum wage that would hurt small business and drive up prices.)
- Publication of race and pay statistics for corporate boards. (How is this helpful to fight the virus?)
And then, as the USA’s cases of COVID-19 topped other countries in the world, Clinton issues a tweet mocking Trump. It was an obscene display of bitterness and jealousy. Like a joke about the Holocaust.
Yup, the USA would be in great hands with Hillary, Mr. Bowling. Not.
“Here in the Northwest Territories, Health Minister Diane Thom and chief public health officer Kami Kandola were making announcements about the situation long before anyone else really understood what COVID-19 even was. I remember Thom talking about it at NWT Association of Communities AGM and even before that. She clearly understood the severity of the problem. So we can all at least be assured that, while our resources might not be as plentiful as we want them to be — not that they ever are — the folks in charge aren’t going to let their egos and pet projects interfere with their jobs containing the spread of this virus into one of our isolated communities.”
I’m pretty sure a male health minister and a male chief public health officer would have also been able to understand what “what COVID-19 even was.” And Bowling’s suggestion that male leaders would allow “egos and pet projects interfere with their jobs” only needs to look south to see what the Democratic female-led American congress has tried to do.
“So again, as we watch history unfold I am thankful to have smart women who listen to experts in charge, instead of blowhard males who talk down to them.”
Is he talking about Trump? How does that equate to the situation in the North? This is just insulting to all men in politics and mankind in general. (I used that term correctly in this instance.) It is reverse misogyny and an embarrassing bit of writing.
I note there were a couple of comments left on the NNSL website about Bowling’s first column:
Shane – March 23, 2020 at 2:29 am: “How does being a woman make you qualified to be a public servant? How about look into Hilary Clinton when she compromised soldiers’ lives? Her mistake killed innocent lives. Women make mistakes too and if Clinton was in office I’d be more scared.“
Robin – March 20, 2020 at 6:47 am: “In the midst of a global pandemic you’re here pushing identity politics? We don’t need women leaders, we don’t need men leaders. We need to work on this as a whole. This is absurdly moving in the wrong direction and does not contribute to anything.”
But Bowling was on the leftist ball again in his March 23 column entitled: “Universal Basic Income key to Canada’s economic survival in wake of COVID-19.”
“Universal Basic Income can give Canadians a solid foundation to rebuild their lives and keep Canada a competitive economic power in the post-COVID-19 world. Oil and gas are not going to save us this time. We need to grow people.”
This guy clearly has no concept of how the economy works in Canada. Money just doesn’t grow on trees for the feds to pluck and hand out. Industry is the engine that provides employment for people and generates taxes for the government. Canada would be a third world country without “oil and gas.”
In fact, the very place Bowling lives — the Beaufort Delta — is sitting on 56 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and eight billion barrels of oil that the federal government has forced to be kept in the ground. Ironically, this while Inuvik still relies on liquified natural gas or diesel shipped in from southern Canada to power their homes and businesses.
From a Financial Post story: “There is some resentment in the territories that part of Ottawa’s response to climate change has attempted to put the North ‘in a snow globe’ so that ‘a bunch of people in southern Canada can feel good about it.’”
My last example of the left attempting to make hay while the virus spreads comes from a very outspoken Yellowknife emergency physician, Dr. Courtney Howard, board president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.
While I assume she is a competent physician, her ideological positions are somewhat radical.
In a recent piece in the National Observer — an online platform which says it has “driven the national conversation on energy and climate change” — on the federal and Alberta governments’ plans to help the struggling oil and gas sector, the doc offers a silly prescription for the future.
“Oil and gas companies, lobbyists and the decision makers they have formed relationships with are counting on Canadians being too occupied coping with an ongoing health crisis to register that our country is considering a massive transfer of public funds to support the very industry most likely to cause the next health crisis. And the health crisis after that. And the health crisis after that. This is unacceptable. Climate change must factor into all of our plans.”
This type of hyperbole isn’t helpful. It paints the resources sector as villains, when in reality, it has propelled the economy and elevated the standard of living for the entire country. And helps in paying the doctor’s salary.
“The path to safety includes a national pharmacare system to help avoid future supply shortages, a basic income guarantee and ensuring newly virtual care remains public. It also means investing in renewable energy, funds to support oil and gas workers as they transition to a low-carbon economy and an independently administered fund for cleanup of orphan oil and gas wells.”
There’s that guaranteed basic income again. I have to give it to the left — it really does get its messaging on the same page. And exactly how does the good doctor think this wonderful new “low-carbon economy” is going to appear? Oh right, unicorns and rainbows.
Doctors are similar to journalists in that they need the trust of the public. I don’t want to know their politics. I want objective professionals in these roles.
The real issue at hand, once we get past the initial wave of COVID-19, is ensuring another new disease doesn’t originate from the same conditions that brought us Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.
So instead of dreaming about windmills, low-carbon economies and the Green New Deal, let’s get down to the brass tacks when it comes to the environment: the disgusting and inhumane wildlife or ‘wet’ markets in many areas of the world, especially China.
These animal torture chambers are considered potential breeding grounds for the spread of harmful viruses. So it will be just a matter of time before the world is hit with another deadly pandemic, as some scientists suggest in the CBC article.
As reported, scientists believe the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 emerged from one of these “wet” markets in the Chinese city of Wuhan, possibly through an infected bat.
“Bats are just one of the animals that are sold at these markets, where customers come to purchase domestic livestock and wildlife, including pigs, chickens, civet cats, bamboo rats, porcupines and pangolins.”
If our local journalists are going to write about national and international affairs — which, they likely shouldn’t be anyways — why aren’t they calling for changes that will actually make us safer and mean a real difference to the future of people?