My latest: Operation Humiliation is in full effect

Humiliation, compensation, extortion, capitulation.

That’s kind of how Canada’s relationship with Quebec goes, sometimes. It has four steps, usually.

One, a separatist or crypto-separatist Quebec government falsely insists that Quebec has been “humiliated” in some way. Language, culture, religious symbols, whatever.

Two, they demand compensation — be it financial or constitutional. Never mind that the French language is stronger than it has ever been. Never mind that Quebec’s economy has been outpacing many other provinces for years.

Three, if facing resistance, the nation-wreckers move to the extortion phase. They issue the constitutional or fiscal equivalent of a ransom note. Do what we want, or Confederation is going to get a shiv between the ribs.

And then — unless the government is led by Jean Chretien (proudly, my former boss) or Pierre Trudeau (improbably, Justin Trudeau’s father) — Canada capitulates. It gives in to the phony humiliations, and the extortion. It folds like a cheap suit.

Being a millionaire, Justin Trudeau doesn’t wear cheap suits. But he sure knows how to fold like one. When the choice is discretion or valour, Justin will always choose the former. He will always look for the coward’s way out.

Thus, the latest installment in the ritual humiliation/compensation/extortion/capitulation rinse cycle. Quebec’s crypto-separatist government wants to change the Constitution to recognize Quebec as “a nation,” and crush the piddling anglophone minority in Quebec. Justin Trudeau’s response?

Bien sur! Allez-y!

“Of course! Go ahead!” That’s what we heard this week from the Trudeau Party — because it sure as hell isn’t the party of Chretien or Trudeau Senior, anymore. Said the timid stripling who claims to be prime minister for all of Canada: “We agree with the Quebec government that more must be done to protect the French language.”

In French only, natch.

As my Sun colleague Brian Lilley reported, Trudeau was responding to questions about Bill 96, a 100-page legislative götterdämmerung cooked up by the regime of Quebec Premier Francois Legault. Legault demanded that Canada’s national government stay out of the way. And Trudeau this week agreed.

Full disclosure: Me and my family are Quebec refugees, kind of. The 1951 Convention on refugees defines refugees as “someone who is unable or unwilling” to return to their place of origin because they fear being discriminated against “for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”

We’re all English-speaking Irish Catholics, and all of us, on both sides, were born in Montreal. And all of us — save and except one aunt and two cousins, who courageously refuse to be driven out — have left since the commencement of hostilities in the mid-’70s. When the anglophone minority started being actively discriminated against. For being anglophone.

We’re part of the English-speaking diaspora, now. My branch of the family landed in Calgary and became Albertans. Because Alberta doesn’t care where you come from. (And neither did Chretien, which is why I quit the law to work for him.)

How, you might ask, did all this happen? What changed?

It wasn’t Quebec’s government. With the exception of the blessed Jean Charest era, Quebec’s government has always embraced the strategy of humiliation, compensation, extortion and capitulation. It works for them.

What’s changed is this: Canada is led by a weak and easily intimidated Justin Trudeau, one who presides over a minority government during a pandemic. What better time to extort? Who better to threaten?

Humiliation, compensation, extortion, capitulation: It’s back.

And Canada, as we know it, is going to be even less of a country as a result.

— Warren Kinsella was special assistant to Jean Chretien

The Wall Street Journal comments on Trudeau’s censorship bill

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a plan to regulate speech on the internet by placing it under the control of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. His bill is so awful that Peter Menzies, a former vice chairman of the commission, said it “doesn’t just infringe on free expression, it constitutes a full-blown assault upon it and, through it, the foundations of democracy.”

My latest: the AZ fiasco

I didn’t feel faint.  I looked down.

“Your next dose is scheduled,” it said.

That’s what the official Ontario Ministry of Health sheet said. The nice woman at the Shopper’s Drug Mart on Lakeshore Drive in Toronto handed it to me, and told me to stick around for fifteen minutes in case I felt faint or something.

I stuck around.  I looked at the sheet again. 

I’d just gotten my first dose of what was described as “AstraZeneca Covid-19 Non-rep VV.”  The sheet didn’t say when I’d be getting a second dose of vaccine.  But it said I’d be getting my “next dose” of what the nice woman said was AstraZeneca.

That was back in March.  Because I’m an old fart now, I was one of the first lucky enough to get  AstraZeneca vaccine.  After that, more than two million of my fellow citizens got AstraZeneca, too.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was one of them.

This week, Ontario and several provinces pulled the plug on giving Canadians a first or second dose of AstraZeneca.  The stated reason is blood clots.  You might, might – might – get them.

Never mind the fact that, in the United Kingdom – in Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to be precise – Covid cases have dropped dramatically.  Never mind the fact that, on one day this week, in fact, they had no Covid deaths whatsoever.  And all they have given their people is AstraZeneca.

But never mind all that.

Here is Canada, millions got one dose of AstraZeneca, and were told they’d get a second dose of AstraZeneca.

Right now, they’re being told they won’t get it.  Right now, they’re even being told they might get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.  Is it a good idea to mix vaccines?  Will it be effective? Will it have nasty side-effects? We don’t know for sure.

What we do know, however, is a hoary old concept called “informed consent.” It’s been around for a while.  It’s the law of the land, and has been long accepted as such by the Supreme Court of Canada, no less. 

The Merriam-Webster people say informed consent is agreement “by a patient to participation in a medical experiment after achieving an understanding of what is involved.”

You don’t have to be a Supreme Court judge or an epidemiologist to understand the problem we’ve got, now.  In this case, it’s more than two million Canadians agreeing to get the second AstraZeneca vaccine, and then being told they may not get it.  Or that they may get something else entirely.

Did they consent to that?  Did they consent to what the Government of Canada’s own Chief Science Officer called, in slightly different context, a “population-level experiment?”

Full disclosure: I’ve worked, for years, with some amazing lawyers on class action lawsuits.  Those class actions mostly dealt with governments making bad decisions – decisions which adversely affected the health of citizens.  We ultimately won those lawsuits.

You see where this is going, here.  The Trudeau government has made a circus of the vaccine rollouts.  They tried to get vaccines from China, where two of our citizens are being held contrary to international law. Then, they didn’t get enough vaccines.  Then, they got vaccines too late. Then, they told us AstraZeneca was totally safe, and now they’re saying it might not be.

The result? Provincial governments are being forced to roll the dice with the health and well-being of Canadians.  And “informed consent” – which is at the very centre of our entire healthcare system – is being shredded.  More than two million Canadians gave consent for something to happen, and now it seems something else is happening.

Feeling faint yet? 

You should be.

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