My latest: Trudeau’s Canada, plague central

Keep out.

Of Canada, that is. That was the rather extraordinary message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week: if you’re American, you should just stay away from Canada.

Here’s the official notice the CDC released on Wednesday: “Travellers should avoid all travel to Canada. Because of the current situation in Canada, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Canada.”

“Avoid all travel to Canada.”

Now, governments issue warning about travel all the time, and not just because of the coronavirus. Travel advisories get released when there’s natural disasters, crime waves, and unstable governments.

But this one was a bit unusual — unprecedented, even. So said an American expert.

Dr. Eric Feigel-Ding is a high-profile epidemiologist and health economist. He’s been at Harvard and Johns Hopkins, so you could say he knows a bit about what he’s talking about.

Here’s what Dr. Feigel-Ding says when talking about Canada and the CDC’s statement:

“Wow.” (That’s a quote.)

“CDC has just issued…a warning against all travel to Canada,” Feigel-Ding wrote on Twitter.

As the Trudeau regime’s online winged monkeys hurriedly pointed out, a U.S. government caution against travel to Canada has been in place for months. But what made this one notable, Feigel-Ding wrote, is the CDC’s concern about so-called COVID-19 variants rampaging in communities across Canada.

Said he: “[The advisory] is about variants in Canada…Notably, CDC is very worried about new variants and warns ‘even fully vaccinated may be at risk’.”

He continued: “Given that #B117 British variant already in the US, the CDC must have issued the new variants/vaccination warning for the new [variant] outbreak emerging in Western Canadian provinces, especially BC.”

In this writer’s experience, Justin Trudeau’s PMO doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about bad coverage in Canada. They know that, if editorial opinion mattered for much, they wouldn’t have won re-election in 2019.

They do care, however — profoundly, deeply — about perceptions about them from abroad. Back in 2015, for example, this writer made some critical remarks about Trudeau to a British newspaper. A future ambassador actually called me to ask me not to do it again. (I declined.)

So, the CDC advisory, and comments like Dr. Eric Feigel-Ding’s, upset Trudeau’s fart-catchers a great deal. Unfortunately for them, there’s been quite a bit of that, lately.

Edward Alden is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. This week, he wrote an essay in the Globe and Mail and lambasted what he called the Trudeau government’s “anemic vaccine rollout.”

Britain’s respected Guardian newspaper slammed Trudeau for his government’s “fumbles” and “sluggish distribution” of vaccines — and for taking vaccines from the Third World. Similarly, the New York Times reported this a few weeks ago: “As Britain and even the United States, despite its problems, continue to rise in the rankings, Canada has dropped well down the list, sandwiched this week between Bangladesh and Romania.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post was even more unimpressed: “An administration once celebrated as a global model for handling COVID-19 now finds itself on the receiving end of growing global pity, as it becomes an example of a nation getting vaccines very wrong indeed,” wrote the Post’s Canadian columnist.

Compared to other developed nations, he wrote, “Canada is not vaccinating at anywhere near world-class levels.”

Don’t despair, fellow Canadians. When it comes to doing poorly — really, really poorly — to the point that our nearest and closest ally is compelled to urge people to stay away from us, however?

In that category, Justin Trudeau’s Canada is truly world-class.

Warren Kinsella was Special Assistant to Jean Chretien

Life with Warren, a continuing series

My latest: Hitler, Hillier and hate

What would Hitler do?

That’s what preoccupies Randy Hillier, apparently.  Hillier is a member of the Ontario legislature.  He doesn’t belong to any political party, because Doug Ford kicked him out of the Progressive Conservative caucus two years ago.

On Thursday, Hillier tweeted a picture of Adolf Hitler surveying a parade of Nazi troops, above the caption: THE THIRD WAVE.

Here’s what Hillier posted: “The Third ….wave. Everyone who has ever been to the sea, knows there is no end to waves. Its only 28 days this time. Truth does not mind being questioned. Lies do not like to be challenged. #onpoli #WeAreLivingaLie #nomorelockdowns”

Hillier is the MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston. He thinks the coronavirus is a hoax, a lie. 

Hillier has been piloting the dark waters of the anti-mask, pandemic-denying lunatic fringe for about a year, now.  He’s held anti-mask rallies, and cheerfully posed maskless for pictures.  Along the way, he’s attracted the support of a gaggle of knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who actually equate modest public health measures with fascism.

Hillier and his hillbillies don’t like lockdowns – and, as of Saturday, Canada’s largest province is again under one.  Premier Doug Ford said that the numbers – as reflected in the number of daily new infections, as well as hospitalizations – were heading in the wrong direction.  So, Ford said, it was time to apply an emergency brake.

Said Ford: “We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern. I know pulling the emergency brake will be difficult on many people across the province, but we must try and prevent more people from getting infected and overwhelming our hospitals.”

Some on the political Right are mad at Ford for going too far.  Some on the political Left are mad at Ford for not going far enough.

That’s fine.  That’s democracy.  As my old boss Jean Chretien used to say, when the fringes on the Right and the Left are both mad at you, you’re winning.

But no one of significance has actually likened Ford’s lockdown to National Socialism.  Until now.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney condemned it.  Tweeted Kenney: “There is – and should be – a vibrant debate about how best to deal with  the pandemic. But equating the public health measures of democratically elected and accountable governments to the genocidal anti-Semitism of the Nazi Third Reich is odious.”

Bernie Farber, the former head of the Canadian Jewish Congress, also expressed his outrage.  Said Farber: “The comparisons to Hitler re: Covid are obscene. That it would come from a member of the Ontario Legislature is truly detestable. He needs to be isolated by his constituents and voted out of office.”

Like Kenney and Farber say, Randy Hillier is odious.  He’s obscene. 

But he and his cabal are acutely in need of some education, so let’s give it to him.  Because he’s got everything backwards.  So here, below, is a message to Randy Hillier.

Randy, Naziism – like the pandemic – is monstrous.  Like Naziism, the pandemic has rendered life dark and grinding and bleak.  Like Hitler and his murderous cult, it is the coronavirus that has killed and sickened millions.  

Randy, the pandemic has stolen away jobs and livelihoods, just like Hitler did.  Like National Socialism, the virus has destroyed businesses and economies.  

Adolf Hitler and Covid-19 are the real killers, Randy.  They are the real destroyers.

But our response to the coronavirus – as seen in the wearing of masks, and social distancing, and limiting public gatherings – doesn’t kill people.  It saves them, Randy.

Randy, it was wrong to equate what most of us are willingly doing to Adolf Hitler and Naziism. Because if Adolf Hitler was here today, Randy, we all know where he’d be, don’t we?

He’d be at one of your rallies, clapping.




April 4, MLK

Since I was a kid – since this day in 1972, in fact, when I started writing a daily journal – I have always taken note of April 4, and said to myself:  “April 4.  Dr. King.”

Today, more than half a Century ago, Martin Luther King was murdered by a racist in Memphis.  Dr. King was a giant of a man, the one who – as I wrote in Fight The Rightanticipated the message at the core of the Occupy movement, among other things.  While his message continues to resonate across the decades, racial hatred continues unabated, too.

I was a kid, and my family was living in Dallas when he was assassinated. I remember it; I remember how scared we were, how it seemed like the end of decency, and the start of something terrible. It was, too.

So. It’s April 4, so many years later, and here is some of his most remarkable speech.  Surveying the racists who still crowd the public stage in the U.S., I don’t think we will see the likes of him again.