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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED -- Our dalliance with the “progressive” ideas of global communities -- and political correctness -- has resulted in a seriously weakened Canada

Why is our parliament missing in action during a “crisis”?

Why have the grand pooh-bahs in political parties decided that democratic governance is not important during a time when provinces have curtailed our charter and human rights to combat a virus?

Daily briefings by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are a mixture of regal speeches -- and brazen huckstering for the next election. Trudeau has manipulated his way into unfettered license to do whatever he pleases without having to answer to or consider suggestion from opposition Members.

The PM, his Cabinet, and the remainder of the 338 Members of Parliament (MPs) are not paid from the public purse to sit silently at home, unconcerned over how our nation is governed. By not maintaining the democratic institution of parliament they are in violation of their oaths of office.

Our dalliance with the global community, “progressive” ideas (initiating unproven concepts while ignoring consequences and fallout) and political correctness (disguised censorship) has resulted in a seriously weakened Canada.

When a serious threat to our society arrived, we found ourselves completely unprepared. We did not even have basic equipment for health care workers on hand.

Instead of assessing the risk to Canada -- and taking appropriate action -- our government misread mixed signals from the World Health Organization (WHO) and assured the public that we faced a low risk of Coronavirus infections. Our government held that position until March 14th, three days after the WHO declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic. That in itself is a sick joke – ‘pandemic’ is a synonym for ‘widespread’. We knew that in late January.

Globalization turned out to be a no-holds-barred free for all of nations competing for scarce medical equipment. Canada was chartering aircraft to go to China to pick up personal protective equipment for health care workers and at least two aircraft returned empty allegedly due to traffic congestion at the airport. Globalization turned out to be a gong show that failed us.

In early February, our government was told that we had about 20,000 travelers from China arriving each week, and that we did not have the manpower to screen that many travelers for virus signs -- so we did nothing instead of closing our boarders to flights from China and other virus hot-spots. That contributed to widespread infections in Canada. 

International travelers do not stay in Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal. Once here, they travel throughout the nation.

In mid-March, our governments shut the country down. All the exhortations about self-isolation and social distancing was cover for having shut down all non-essential business. People had the options of the supermarket or pharmacy. Everything else was shuttered. Many restaurants turned to ‘take-out only’ which is almost humorous considering recent efforts to close down drive-thru’s to reduce pollution.

Forget the nonsense about the wonders of international trade. It is the goods manufactured and processed here, by Canadian employees, that really matter. We should always buy Canadian made and processed goods first.

Other nations produce a lot of cheap goods but were of no help when we needed personal protective equipment and ventilators.

Lesson learned ... make sure we are self-sufficient in all the areas that count – medical supplies, prescription drugs, energy, basic foods, and so on.

Our governments must take the advice they give us. Stay home and take care of Canada. Foreign aid and international dealings can wait until we put our house in order. We need a new heating and air conditioning plant, new hot water system, renovate the kitchen and bathrooms, upgrade the electrical system and re-shingle the roof.

We have let the basics go unattended and renovations are overdue.

Our Members of Parliament need to get back to work. We must restart our economy and society with minimal delay. The 2019 strategic plan is dead. We have huge debts to get under control and pay down.

That cannot happen unless we streamline resource development and pave the way for primary and secondary processing of the resources we produce.

We need to generate the income and jobs to re-float our economy.

Stop the useless bickering and get on with it.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant, and strategist.  He makes his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba


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