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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 -- If they are going to impose regulations on, or for, public facilities and infrastructure, bring their chequebooks or stay home

 

Better ventilation, fewer cellphones called for in federal back-to-school guidelines. Students, teachers should be groups in cohorts to limit interactions, health agency says (Ryan Patrick Jones ~~ CBC News ~~ Aug 07, 2020)

Canada's federal public health agency on Friday released guidelines for slowing the spread of the coronavirus among students and staff when schools reopen in September. The guidelines for school administrators recommend that students over the age of 10 wear masks, that students and teachers stay two metres apart wherever possible, and that students and teachers be grouped together to reduce the number of people they come into close contact with.     

"Young people — for their mental and physical health — we need to get them back to education as safely as possible."

CLICK HERE to read the full news story

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It appears that federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu, and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, are determined to display how irrelevant and useless they are. Their Guidelines are irrelevant, irresponsible and useless.

Education is a provincial jurisdiction under Section 93 of the Constitution. The federal government cannot lawfully make regulations respecting provincial education.

Health care, excepting health care for the military, prison inmates and Indigenous people is a provincial jurisdiction under Section 92 (6) of the Constitution.

The provinces have already announced back to school plans. This release is an unnecessary waste of time and as usual, confuses regulation issues rather than improves on them.

We need a new rule for governments, their departments and agencies.

If they are going to impose regulations on, or for, public facilities and infrastructure, bring their cheque-books or stay home.

If Hajdu and Tam want better ventilation in schools, bring funds for the equipment.

We don’t live in a world of money trees. If they want upgrades, put up the cash.

These 24 pages of guidelines are an unlawful intrusion into provincial jurisdictions.

Our federal Health Department has better things to do than pretend that it knows better than our provincial department of education and the health care officers who issued COVID regulations while the federal people sat on their hands. It is far too late in the day for the federal government to pretend that it has any relevance on COVID-19 regulations.

If our provincial health care officers had not acted in mid-March, the COVID outbreak would have been far worse. Hajdu and Tam are so late to the dance they are irrelevant. They should have kept silent rather than draw more attention to their incompetence.

For the past 6 months, Hajdu and Tam have been repeating provincial regulations as if they had something to do with their construction. Considering the many inconsistencies among provinces, it is obvious that they did not.

The federal government is not in charge of the COVID response and never has been; federal officials have been playing catch-up since last January.


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

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