Canada’s current ambassador to the United Nations seems all too willing to criticize those who want to defend individual rights and freedoms.
How many times have we been saying that politicians and government officials are all too-eager to exploit the pandemic to entrench a higher level of government power and authority?
You’ve probably said it, I’ve said it, and millions more Canadians have certainly been thinking it.
Of course, we get told that it’s a ‘conspiracy theory,’ or that we are being ‘paranoid,’ a clear attempt to gaslight those of us who can see how politicians are so reluctant to give up their authority.
And yet, in a recent series of Tweets, Canada’s ambassador the United Nations & former Ontario Premier Bob Rae openly criticized the idea of respecting individual rights and freedoms:
“Libertarian thinking on vaccines has to be challenged. It is a widely accepted constitutional principle that autonomy ends where it brings harm to others. Together with #VaccineAccess, #VaccineResistance is a key problem for global public policy. 1/3”
Libertarian thinking on vaccines has to be challenged. It is a widely accepted constitutional principle that autonomy ends where it brings harm to others. Together with #VaccineAccess, #VaccineResistance is a key problem for global public policy. 1/3
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) July 20, 2021
“Rights are not absolute, they can collide. Public health is important. So are freedom and autonomy. Canada’s Charter specifically allows governments and institutions to take reasonable measures to protect public health. The same is true in other countries. 2/3”
Rights are not absolute, they can collide. Public health is important. So are freedom and autonomy. Canada’s Charter specifically allows governments and institutions to take reasonable measures to protect public health. The same is true in other countries. 2/3
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) July 20, 2021
“As we enter a new age of pandemics, the global community, governments, institutions and individuals need to embrace solidarity as a key social value. #VaccineNationalism and #VaccineResistance are both dead ends. Literally.”
As we enter a new age of pandemics, the global community, governments, institutions and individuals need to embrace solidarity as a key social value. #VaccineNationalism and #VaccineResistance are both dead ends. Literally.
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) July 20, 2021
To start with, Rae’s Tweet is factually incorrect.
Canada – like nearly every other nation on Earth – has engaged in vaccine nationalism. After an initial horrendous move to partner with Communist China on a vaccine which cost us months of time, the government bought up large numbers of vaccines, just as most wealthy countries did.
As a result, vaccination rates in wealthy countries have surged, while many poorer countries have a much smaller percentage of their population vaccinated.
This is no surprise, as money still makes the world go-round, and even governments as pathetically weak and naïve as the Trudeau government still have to act in the self-interest of their nation from time to time.
So, Canada has clearly engaged in vaccine nationalism.
More concerning than Rae being factually incorrect on ‘vaccine nationalism’ are his remarks about ‘vaccine resistance.’
There have been some positive signs lately of Canadian Premiers rejecting vaccine passports, realizing that mandating that kind of documentation would go against the idea of individual rights and freedoms that Canada has long stood for.
Personal choice must be defended here, and up until recently it was widely accepted that a combination of people getting the vaccine, others getting – and recovering from – COVID, and others being unvaccinated would be enough to reach herd-immunity.
It was rarely suggested that everyone needed to get vaccinated, let alone that everyone needed to be forced.
And, with voluntary vaccinations, Canada and most other comparable nations are reaching relatively high levels of the population being vaccinated.
That’s why one of the most disturbing things about Bob Rae’s remarks is how he seemingly conflates being in support of voluntary choice & being anti-vaccination.
Personal freedom & choice
I’ve seen many people on social media make similar comments, acting as if there is no difference between opposing vaccines and believing in people being free to choice whether they get it or not.
Personally, I have been vaccinated, and see it as the lesser of two evils, especially considering the possibility that COVID came from a lab in China.
If you feel getting vaccinated is the right choice for you, then I would encourage you to do so.
Similarly, if you don’t feel getting the vaccine is right for you, I respect that.
That is how a society of responsible adults needs to function. Individual freedom and personal responsibility must be paramount.
Clearly however, Bob Rae sees things differently.
In his comments, he is trying to demonize those who have chosen not to get vaccinated, and is playing into a very manipulative narrative.
As I mentioned above, it was until quite recently widely accepted (even by politicians and public health officials), that once a critical mass of people were vaccinated/recovered, a jurisdiction would be able to emerge from the pandemic and return to normalcy without everyone needing to be vaccinated.
And indeed, that is exactly what is happening in much of Canada, and in many parts of the world.
Cases and deaths are way down from the peak, and many jurisdictions have opened up.
Yet, Bob Rae and many officials are now playing up the messaging that ‘variants’ and potential ‘future variants’ necessitate more aggressive, and perhaps ‘non-voluntary’ measures.
That’s what he’s getting at when he slams the idea of ‘libertarian thinking’ and ‘autonomy.’
By slamming those ideas, Rae is slamming some of Canada’s core values.
Now, some may look at this and say ‘Spencer, Canada isn’t a libertarian country.’
And that is certainly true, if we are comparing Canada’s government to the ideas of those in the libertarian wing of the CPC, the PPC, or the Libertarian Party itself.
However, compared to most countries in the world, Canada certainly leans much towards the libertarian side of things.
Our laws on free expression, individual rights, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom to own & operate a business, etc., are certainly more libertarian than the average country. Canada’s belief in individual ‘autonomy’ is certainly far higher than the average nation.
And while those values and freedoms are all under sustained assault from those in power – and many Canadians who have turned their backs on those ideas – the fact that there is even a fight at all is a testament to the staying power those ideas and values have in this country.
So, for Bob Rae – an official who speaks with some authority as our UN representative – to claim that ‘libertarian thinking’ and ‘autonomy’ are problems, is itself a serious problem, as it telegraphs the continued elitist campaign against individual rights.
“A new age of pandemics?”
Another disturbing part of Rae’s comments was the line “a new age of pandemics.”
What is he talking about here?
Isn’t COVID supposed to be a relatively rare event, one that could be mitigated in the future through – for example – deciding not to trust Communist China?
Since when is this a ‘new age of pandemics?’
Rae’s comments are exactly why so many people embrace ‘conspiracy theories,’ and why those theories aren’t necessarily conspiracies at all.
Given all the centralized power politicians and governments have accumulated during this crisis, and given how loathe they seem to give it up, would it really be a surprise that elites like Bob Rae want to keep people in the same state of fear that made those power grabs possible in the first place?
Now, let me make it clear that I’m not talking about some notion that politicians planned the pandemic. I don’t think that at all.
What I am talking about is how they saw – as Justin Trudeau openly admitted – the pandemic as an ‘opportunity’ to push an expansion of state power at the expense of the individual, and that they want to keep people in the ‘pandemic mindset’ as long as they possibly can to further entrench that power grab.
Hence, Rae talking about a ‘new age of pandemics,’ since a decisive end to the pandemic ( and end to the ‘pandemic mindset’) would also cause people to demand an end to the expansion of power and expansion of government we’ve seen in the past year and a half.
I’ll leave you with this:
The income tax was initially brought in during World War One, as a ‘temporary’ emergency measure to pay for the war.
Of course, it still exists.
Once governments gain power and control, they don’t like to give it up, no matter how they try to spin their actions as ‘innocent’ at the beginning.
So, when politicians like Bob Rae start criticizing ‘autonomy’ and individual rights, and start talking about a long-term crisis, we need to really wake up and realize that the elites are seeking to permanently take power away from individuals and permanently expand their authority at our expense.