, 12.02.2020 05:51 AM

My latest in the Sun: the pandemic “process”

A process.

That’s what the Deputy Prime Minister calls you getting the vaccine that will keep you from getting sick, or maybe even dying.

“A process.”

Chrystia Freeland, who is usually much more precise with words than her boss, actually said that this week.  Here’s what she also said to a gaggle of Ottawa reporters: Canada is “well-positioned” on vaccines. And: Canadians needing the potentially life-saving Covid-19 inoculation will need to wait “a while.” 

A process.  A while.  What, exactly, is a well-positioned process that takes a while, Deputy Prime Minister?

At her Monday press conference, Freeland also said this, in French: “Our federal government has contracts for purchasing the most successful candidate vaccines. Canada has a group of vaccines that include all the vaccines that have produced positive results and include other candidate vaccines which we believe will be successful. That is a good thing.”

And it is indeed a good thing.  Pfizer and Moderna have developed vaccines that have been shown to be more than 90 per cent effective with every age group. That’s good news for humanity, generally, and Canadians, in particular.

But here’s the problem: Americans and Britons and Mexicans and Germans – and many, many other allies – are starting massive and integrated campaigns to vaccinate their citizens soon.  As in, this month.

Canada? Well, it’s a process.  In a while.  We’re well-positioned, though.

The Prime Minister was pressed on this last week.  He said: “If all goes according to plan, we should be able to have a majority of Canadians vaccinated by next September.”  September. Quote unquote.

You don’t need a degree in geo-politics, or epidemiology, to get the difference.  Elsewhere in the world, millions of people are going to be lining up to be vaccinated in December 2020.  

In Canada? Months later, in September 2021.  “If all goes according to plan.”

That ten-month difference is big.  Really big. It’s the stuff of electoral defeats, and Trudeau knows it.  So he has sent out Liberal proxies and fart-catchers to blame Stephen Harper and/or Jean Chretien.  Free trade is to blame, claim the straight-faced Trudeau folks, because we lost our drug-manufacturing capacity to evil free trade deals.

Well, no.  Check with the aforementioned Chrystia Freeland.  She spent many, many hours crafting a new free trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico.  Check with the many, many pharmaceutical firms in the province of Quebec who have been manufacturing drugs here for decades.  Ask them.

Besides, it’s baloney.  Canada had a deal with China’s CanSino to develop a vaccine.  Sources tell this writer that if the Trudeau regime had been a bit more savvy in its dealings with the Chinese, that deal could have been maintained.

But it fell apart.  The Canadian deal with was struck in March, when the pandemic was raging.  Trudeau endorsed the deal in May – but in the very same month, the Chinese abruptly changed their vaccine export rules.  They barred export of the CanSino vaccine. Given the fact that China has illegally imprisoned – and allegedly tortured – two Canadian citizens, Trudeau shouldn’t have been surprised by that.  At all.

But Trudeau didn’t start looking for another deal, media have reported, until August.

And that, mostly, is why Justin Trudeau now has that deer-in-the-headlights look.  He knows that a ten-month wait will enrage Canadians, and almost certainly spell the end of his minority government.

It’s not “a process,” Prime Minister.  It’s not something that should take “a while.” 

It’s the most important thing of all: a vaccine to free us – our economies, our children, our lives – from the shackles of the coronavirus.

We don’t want a process.  We don’t want positioning. We want the vaccine.



[Warren Kinsella was Chief of Staff to a former federal Liberal Minister of Health.]



  1. Ken Newman says:

    Trudeau is incompetent. Western Canada understands this. Eastern Canada does not. What has to happen for the East to not vote for this idiot

    • Derek Pearce says:

      If the conservatives could at least pretend to give AF about climate change they’d get more eastern votes. The Liberals are inadequate on this file but at least attempt to address it. People hold their noses and vote corrupt Liberal in the east because Conservative policies don’t resonate with them.

      • Derek,

        There is some indication that O’Toole is prepared to move the party some distance on this issue. More than likely not enough for me but he knows that the climate file, if not properly addressed, is a deal-breaker. O’Toole is savvy enough to know that the road to a majority goes right through taking climate change extremely seriously. AB will shit blue bricks but hey, they are a committed CPC constituency, so they certainly won’t be voting LPC or NDP in this lifetime. Both saving the climate and the oil and gas industry have to be sufficiently addressed by an incoming CPC government. A balance is out there and it’s up to O’Toole to find it and shove it down MPs throats, if it comes to that.

      • Pedant says:

        What have the Liberals done on the climate file? I remember the Liberal government in the early 2000s having a worse record on greenhouse gas emissions than GW Bush’s administration. Stéphanie Dion had a hissy fit when this was brought up when he was leader. Is this Liberal government better? And are there stats to back that up?

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:


          Damned good question!

        • They have implemented an inadequate carbon tax that made many on the right very angry for a while.

        • Derek Pearce says:

          As I said, the Liberals have at least pretended to take it seriously while acting inadequately. The Conservatives cant even get to that point.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:


            Maybe you know how Greta acted when she met with this Prime Minister. Given Liberals’ actual lack of credible performance on this crucial issue, I hope she was at the very least genuine enough to thoroughly roast this PM’s ass. Because that’s exactly what he deserves on this file.

          • Pedant says:

            I guess that means the Conservatives are just more, you know, honest?

  2. PJH says:

    The cozy relationship the PM had with ZhungGuo has turned around to bite him on the ass….I do believe this one is going to stick to the PM like s–t to a blanket, though I take no pleasure in this…..Sadly, due to continuing incompetence in the PMO in procuring a vaccine, it means a good number of Canadians are going to die, needlessly. This would have never happened on M. Chretien’s watch.

    • PJH,

      Sure, those tragic deaths will do some political damage but look at Trump’s vote. A lot of those people lost treasured loved ones and they still moved heaven and earth to vote for Trump.

  3. the real Sean says:

    Will Chrystia Freeland ever present and pass a budget? Will she ever develop a plan to actually have a plan? The answer to both of these questions is:
    No one cares because she is the willing driver of Justin’s magic bus through crazy town.

    • TRS,

      The only well-positioned process that is top of mind with those two is the one where “Actor A” tries to fake out the party and grease the skids for “Actor B”. That should eventually properly stimulate Carney and his people straight into action in revolt. They won’t take that lying down. You can Bank (of Canada) on it. LOL.

  4. joe long says:

    1. Trudeau will lie his way out of the vaccine mess.

    2. Also with 100 billion in additional unallocated expenditures recently forecast by Ms Freeland, we can expect Trudeau to make a new spending announcement every few days. This all part of the strategy to keep vaccines, WE scandal, etc. out of the news.

    • Joe,

      At this point in the Liberal shelf-life, IMHO, Canadians are still prepared to be rented but certainly not bought. It’s already dawned on everyone except…

    • Martin says:

      He shouldn’t be able to lie his way out of the vaccine mess. Even his groupies hopefully won’t accept friends and family dying while photos of Brits and yanks getting shots are run up here. 100 billion in spending is not quite a shiny enough bauble. The comparison to Trump voters is not relevant. They likely understood that controlling the virus was a state thing and trusted that Operation Warp Speed was going to work(which it appears it has). I am convinced the pandemic would have unfolded exactly the same down there whether some Democrat was holding a presser with a mask on every day or not(maybe worse). It is the nature of the beast. Do you really think Hillary telling people to wear masks would have worked? That is funny, actually. Probably even fewer would have. The JT groupies up here are actually not quite as bright as your typical Trump voter, however. THAT is frightening.

  5. Em says:

    Perhaps you should look at this latest survey result

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I think key is only a couple of months. If a few weeks behind, other than rabid partisans it won’t hurt Trudeau. But if say six months behind then it will. Early roll out is now only health care workers and elderly, but if by summer those under 40 vaccinated elsewhere but Canadians aren’t and plans aren’t until late in fall could be trouble.

    • Peter says:

      Seems like most Canadians don’t see a problem with vaccines. Conservatives excluded.

  6. Derek Pearce says:

    Lol unless O’Toole puts the kibosh on this kind of shot from his party the Liberals will hammer them in the next election and columns like yours will be moot: https://globalnews.ca/news/7497901/conservative-derek-sloan-e-petition-coronavirus-vaccine/

      • In life, as in politics, you have to strategically limit and pick your hills that you’re prepared to die on. That’s O’Toole’s job and he needs to make that quite clear to caucus. If he allows fucking freelancing by Sloan, or anyone else, of course, the party will be electorally cutting off our nose despite their face. It’s time Erin to show MPs and the base what you’re really made of. Otherwise, kiss off the next election. Yes, it really is THAT simple.

  7. Douglas W says:

    A meaningful Pollara poll yesterday showed the Libs, running the table in Ontario; on track to securing 90 of the 121 seats.

    Trudeau can do nothing wrong in the eyes of seat-rich areas of the country.

    He’s laughing at us, and we shrug.

  8. Gilbert says:

    Polls at this stage don’t mean much. A lot can change during the course of an alection campaign. I’m worried about the NDP, though. A weak NDP is very good for the Liberals.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      I wish Darwin and so many others would finally see the light since it’s more than self-evident that Singh never will…the more that the NDP generally and social-democrats in particular are seen as grossly manipulated Liberal toadies, the more Liberals laugh heartedly and look forward to eating the lion’s share of the NDP’s vote. The NDP deserves to eventually form government in this country so that some things that should be adopted and that the other two parties never will adopt be finally enacted by a progressive government. And if they royally fuck it up à la Rae Government, then the political antidote will follow in due course.

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