Skip to main content

“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 – Rising from the Ashes (Part Two)

When we are faced with a loss of much of our income our first priority is to stop spending on anything that is not absolutely necessary. We conserve what funds we have to stretch them as far as possible.

We have a huge challenge ahead, not just to restart our economic engines, but to do so in a way that will strengthen the fabric of our society and nation.

Governments have shut down our economy excepting for some essential services. Government efforts to mitigate the loss of income suffered by our workforce as a result of isolation is a necessity. However, there is no evidence that governments are curtailing other spending that is not absolutely necessary.

Why not?

My mailbox is suddenly filled with messages about someone pontificating about who is responsible for the coronavirus and pointing fingers at China and government officials who did not act with promptness. That is an irrelevant distraction.

We have been handed a hard lesson in reality. We must not depend on others or on UN agencies to warn us of potential threats to our society.

Asked about media reporting that Beijing fudged data on COVID-19, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland recently said Canada turns to the World Health Organization for virus information, given that a global response to the pandemic is essential.”

What is important is Canada’s response to the epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) did not act in our interests and cannot protect our society. Providing health care to Canadians is our responsibility.

The WHO is not accountable to anyone. Our governments are. There is no “global response” to coronavirus. Each nation is on its own in providing health care for its population. It is a hard lesson in the hazards of globalization which is useless theory in a crisis or emergency.

Our governments have to pivot sharply and focus on creating plans to rebuild our economy to become as robust, self-reliant and self-sustaining as possible. We must become energy self-sufficient. We must ensure that we can produce vital equipment and supplies in Canada and not depend on outside suppliers. We must put a priority on developing our natural resources and on refining those resources to take advantage of the value added to our exports.

We have to rethink our approach to vital infrastructure. Our inter-provincial and intercontinental highways, railways, ferries, pipelines and power transmission lines must be declared federally protected routes vital to the nation. Any interference with a federal rout, including strikes and protests, is a criminal act with heavy penalties.

Constitutionally, the federal government is responsible for any infrastructure that connects provinces or connects Canada to ports of export and import. Connections between our major east to west railroads and highways to ports become federal routes protected as above.
Our dependence on trucking to move products including foodstuffs and household necessities means that federal routes must be provided with adequate services for truckers to ensure they can find the food, fuel and services they need at reasonable intervals.                

The signs stating “shut Canada down” during the railway blockades and other “protests” at public places mounted at the same time have come to pass although from a different threat. 

It is ironic that the protestors now find themselves particularly vulnerable when their dreams have come true.

Planning for emergency preparedness cannot be done without full participation of our provincial premiers. Successful planning means everyone involved has to be aware of the plans and how they will be executed. We cannot make it up as we respond as we have done with coronavirus.

When our society is threatened from any source, we must have a broad response with all of our resources, federal and provincial, trained and prepared to act. We are in this together.

We have discovered, to our horror, serious weaknesses in our health care systems. In our panic to impede the spread of coronavirus we have cancelled non-essential health care delivery, and many diagnostic services, putting our general population at increased risk arising from untreated health problems. 

Even cancer patients are having diagnostics and treatments postponed. We have to do much better. A planned response would be of huge benefit.

We can develop a militia of health care providers trained to 'first responder' level who could step in to provide support in any crisis or emergency including natural disasters. Graduates of the training would have priority in further training in our paramedic and nursing disciplines while earning pay during training and regular exercises to maintain proficiency.

We have a challenge ahead and working together we are up to it. Emergency preparedness planning will have to pass a public smell test. We will not have our rights and freedoms arbitrarily compromised a second time.

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


Popular posts from this blog

THE SIDEWINDER -- Just quit your constant damned whining and do something positive about it

  Living in a democracy is a wonderful thing, but it comes with responsibilities such as voting and being involved. When the dust settled on Saturdays (October 24 th ) BC election, less than two thirds of the eligible voters * took the time to vote - but the loudest bitchers will probably be among the more than one third of voters who sat on their asses and complained about how all politicians are crooks, etc. How many of you constant whiners have ever done anything close to becoming involved; or do you just like sniveling to hear your own voice? Are you one the arseholes who likes to take advantage of everything our democracy has to offer, without ever contributing anything? And I don't want to listen to your crap about paying taxes, blah, blah, blah. There's more to making democracy work than simply voting and then sitting back and let others carry the ball for you. Too many people seem unwilling to get involved - and follow-up - to make sure elected po

The stats clearly demonstrate the need for professional and impartial advice at the time of purchase, renewal, and refinancing of mortgages

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION : Canadian Mortgage Trends   Canadians need guidance with their mortgages ... t hat’s the takeaway from a national survey released this week by, which found half of Canadians aren’t aware of the mortgage options available to them. Not only that, but Canadians are lacking in some other basic mortgage trivia, with an astounding 9 out of 10 respondents not knowing that mortgage interest is charged semi-annually: 28% think interest is compounded monthly; 17% think it’s bi-weekly; 17% think it’s annually; 28% just have no idea. Should we be concerned? Dustan Woodhouse, President of Mortgage Architects, and a former active broker who has written multiple educational mortgage books, thinks so. “ Sounds about right. We know about what we pay attention to, i.e., The Kardashians ,” he wrote to CMT. “ The material concern in this is how easy it makes it for the government to over-regulate the industry, with c

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su


Show more