Freedom Vs Fear

At some point, life has to go on. Focusing all our attention on one thing is completely counterproductive, and unsustainable.

Canada is currently in a battle between freedom and fear.

And, with a few exceptions, most of our top politicians have chosen fear.

As Alberta returns to normal – finally living up to what all our governments claimed they would do – others are moving in a different, and more authoritarian direction.

In Quebec, despite rising vaccination rates and despite COVID deaths being a small fraction of what they once were, the province is bringing in vaccine passports:

“Warning the province appears to be entering a fourth wave of the novel coronavirus, Premier François Legault announced Thursday his government is imposing a vaccine passport system to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Health Minister Christian Dubé will outline over the coming days how the passport system will work and when it will begin, Legault told reporters in Montreal.”

As noted in a report, Trudeau supports Quebec’s move:

“The move to introduce the passport has the full support of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who joined Legault on Thursday for an unrelated announcement on child care.

“Canadians have understood that to get through this pandemic, they need to be vaccinated,” Trudeau said. “It’s not just a question of individual choice, it’s a question of protecting the community and our children who haven’t had the opportunity to be vaccinated.””

Meanwhile, the Liberal government is trying to go after Alberta for ‘daring’ to go back to normal:

“Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu has sent a letter to her Alberta counterpart saying she shares concerns about the province’s plan to lift all of its COVID-19 health restrictions.

In the letter, addressed to Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Hajdu says she agrees with the Canadian Paediatric Society’s description of the move as an “unnecessary and risky gamble.””

Having Patty Hajdu – an obviously incompetent individual – critique anybody is absurd. And of course, it’s no surprise that the Liberals are backing Quebec while opposing Alberta.

Mandatory vaccinations for federal workers?

Further, Trudeau appears to be moving towards bringing in mandatory vaccinations for federal workers, and federally-regulated industries:

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he has asked the clerk of the Privy Council to look into making vaccines mandatory for federal employees and is pleading with hesitant Canadians to get their shots.

“It’s time for people to get vaccinated, and for those who are hesitant to go and get their first and second doses,” Trudeau said during a press conference with Quebec Premier François Legault today.

“That’s why I’ve asked the clerk of the Privy Council, who is responsible for the federal public service, to look at mandatory vaccinations for federal employees.”

The prime minister also said the government is looking into making vaccines mandatory in federally regulated industries, such as the airline, banking and rail sectors.”

So much for respecting choice. Trudeau is in effect saying that he will hold people’s livelihoods hostage if they don’t get vaccinated, an authoritarian and coercive measure that has no business in a free country.

O’Toole pushes fear narrative

I wish it was just the Liberals and the government of Quebec pushing the fear narrative.

Unfortunately, Erin O’Toole has jumped on the fear bandwagon.

In one of his recent videos, he talks about how ‘the dangerous delta variant is here,’ and how ‘Canadians are worried about a fourth wave.’

He also says now isn’t the time for an election.

Here’s the video:

“It’s time to worry about helping Canadians get back on their feet, the polls can wait until it’s safe. Now’s not the time for an election.”

While I could go into the problems with this message, Andrew Lawton has already done so, and he gets it exactly right.

Here’s what he said:

“This is not going to go over well with conservatives, who’ve been the most fervent in pushing for reopening. Erin O’Toole is basically saying (a) Trudeau is doing a fine job handling the pandemic and should continue; (b) it’s dangerous to live normally.”

“This “fourth wave” fear-mongering is not rooted in the facts. Numerous countries, and provinces within Canada, have had elections at far worse points in the pandemic without issue. Why can’t Canada?”

“”Have an election when it’s safe.” When is that going to be, exactly? Such a line gives license to the indefinite suspension of democracy. Learning to live with COVID means getting on with our lives. Of all the things to keep in limbo, voting isn’t one of them.”

“As I said on my show yesterday, the Conservatives have been calling out the Liberals for corruption, a lack of transparency, relentless spending, and pandemic unpreparedness. What does it say when they now say the Liberals need to steer us through the “fourth wave”?”

“My concern with this rhetoric isn’t its affect on whether or not there’s going to be an election, but on whether we get to do anything else in society. We need leaders to stand up and promote reopening, which is antithetical to stoking fear about COVID risks from elections.”

“For everyone saying “Oh but it’s strategy.” It may well be. If people believe an election is dangerous, the Conservatives can use this to paint Trudeau as irresponsible. But I don’t care politicking – I want to get back to living my life. Videos like this get in the way of that.”

Lawton sums it up perfectly.

Erin O’Toole is completely playing into the same narrative that has been used to ‘justify’ an assault on the individual rights and freedoms of Canadians.

It also makes O’Toole look weak and scared of an election, which should make the Liberals even more eager to take advantage.

Additionally, O’Toole’s rhetoric leaves Jason Kenney and Alberta out to dry, as he is focusing on the ‘danger’ of going back to normal, rather than the fact that it’s long past time to open up and let people take their own level of risk.

DeSantis’ example

To get a sense of what the alternative could be, and what real leadership would look like, consider what Ron DeSantis said:

“Gov. Ron DeSantis blasts Joe Biden, tells him to do his job and that Florida is a place for freedom, not a “biomedical security state.””

As you’ll note in the chart included in this link, when Florida (and states like Texas that have been open), are compared to states that had long-term lockdowns, you can see that overall COVID deaths per capita aren’t higher in the more open states:

So, when DeSantis rejects coercive and authoritarian measures, he speaks with the authority of someone who has taken a more open, pro-freedom approach that as worked as well in terms of saving lives as other places that were far more restrictive.

That’s what ‘Conservative’ leaders in Canada should be doing – defending freedom – instead of giving in to the fear-based narrative that has done so much damage to our country.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – Twitter

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