COVID-19: a perfect storm?
The transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is speedier than we can handle. Even with high rates of vaccination, the virus can both overload health care systems and generate problematic variants. With both six million dead, and a continuing toll of some 8,000 more per day, COVID-19 is a far greater threat than Ebola. It is its own perfect storm, and we may be caught in its midst for some time yet.
How Doug Ford hid from dealing with the Freedom Convoy
We are now into the third week of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ that has besieged downtown Ottawa, inspiring similar protests at border bridges across Canada and throughout the province of Ontario. What we have witnessed is a total abdication of responsibility by all levels of government, exacerbated by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who has cowered in the face of any crisis that was not artificially manufactured by himself and his party.
In Alberta, COVID restrictions are out and even the truckers are unhappy
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has fully acquiesced the reins of governance on the province’s COVID file to a motley band of angry, frustrated, and mostly ill-informed anti-mask, anti-vax, anti-Trudeau, anti-science freedom lovers. They’re kind of like the Jesus freaks from the 1970s, but lacking the same ideological coherence.
Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 failure exposes the bankruptcy of neoliberalism
Neoliberalism has no answer to collective or social problems, which is why we have seen this ideology fail so spectacularly during the pandemic, particularly in Saskatchewan. While many of us have been socialized into hyper-individualist forms of thinking, as progressives we must continue to focus our critique, through the pandemic and beyond, on the root causes of violence and inequality, rather than its symptoms.
Canada’s dangerous COVID delusion
Canada should leverage foresight to strengthen its federal model and the COVID-19 response. This will require prioritizing public health over profits, upholding lived experiences, trusting technical experts and remaining adaptive. Canada’s strategy must account for federal and national mandates but also the importance of global engagement. Without it, we will be living on borrowed time.
How citizens should respond to Omicron
As the chaos spurred by the Omicron variant multiplies and our leaders retreat into insignificance, The Tyee’s Andrew Nikiforuk provides a brief guide to what ordinary citizens and communities can do to avoid getting sick, infecting others, or becoming another patient in an overcrowded hospital staffed by doctors and nurses exhausted by failed policies that pretended “we can live with the virus.”
The dangerous rise of the anti-vax far-right
A movement with a distorted sense of individual rights that would seek to hamper vaccination in the midst of a global health crisis is reactionary to the core and hostile to human life itself. The dangerous rise of the anti-vax far-right is a symptom of a sickness in this society that we will still be confronting well after the last wave of the pandemic has finally receded.
With Omicron, it’s time for Canada to support global access to COVID vaccines
For the sake of speeding up global inoculations, eliminating ‘vaccine apartheid’ and drastically reducing the proliferation of deadly variants, the Canadian government should immediately announce its support for the temporary suspension of intellectual property (IP) rights related to COVID vaccines. It’s both the prudent and the right thing to do—for Canadians and citizens of the world alike.
Federal pandemic assistance on the chopping block—another way to ‘discipline’ workers
The Trudeau government’s willingness to curtail Employment Insurance eligibility and throw unemployed workers off its key pandemic benefit programs, prior to employment even fully recovering, is a reminder that leaving people behind remains a feature of Canada’s social assistance regime—not a bug. Effective October 23, barring any unexpected intervention, Canada’s main support programs for workers thrown into unemployment by COVID-19 will end.
Canada’s inaction on global vaccine access puts profit over people
Despite its obvious benefits (ending the current vaccination monopoly, accelerating the global inoculation rate, and speeding up a worldwide economic recovery) and its widespread support, including from more than 100 national governments, the implementation of the TRIPS waiver for COVID-19 vaccines is still being held up by a handful of wealthy countries—including Canada.
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