Monday, April 19, 2021

Desperate PQ Embraces Anti-English CEGEP Fantasy

Hypocritical PQ leader educated at McGill
With the PQ facing an existential crisis, it isn't surprising that desperation has dictated an attack on English CEGEPS, cast as the latest English bogeyman in another vain attempt to generate some sort of political traction.

The Parti Quebecois isn't in danger of disappearing, there will always be a core of militant separatists who although ageing, still endure, albeit in smaller and smaller numbers.
But the PQ actually faces a future that may be sadder than its actual demise, that is to remain what it has become... sad and irrelevant.

With sovereignty unachievable, the PQ has had to carve out another role for itself, and so now defines itself as the defender of Quebec's 'pur laine' society..
So we can expect the continued and constant harangue of 'Chicken Little' warnings of imminent linguistic and cultural doom.
It is tiresome and sad.

With zero chance of gaining power, the party has been freed up to embrace a more radical platform which includes a proposed referendum and more language militancy. The leadership, which has always tempered the hubris and excess of the militant base no longer has anything to lose.

And so the PQ leader, who opposed the idea of banning English CEGEP for francophones when he ran for the leadership has abruptly changed positions.
As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.

"Plamondon started his academic studies at Collège André-Grasset, which he graduated from in 1997. He would later receive a bachelor's degree in civil and common law from McGill University in 2001, a diploma in International Law from Lund University in 2001, and an MBA from Oxford University in 2006." Wikipedia

By the way, Lund University is in Sweden and offers Law courses in Swedish and English. The website doesn't list a course in International law, but rather International Human Rights law, a course taught in English.
I don't begrudge Monsieur Plamondon an English education, I actually applaud it. An English education opened up the world to him, as too it would for francophone CEGEP students.
It's a bit sad that he's now defending an anti-English education platform for political expediency because he always seemed to be a realistic straight-shooter. It's sad how politics and the pressure of leadership in a dogmatic party bring out the worst.
Just ask Thomas Mulcair whose leadership was brought down for his lack of enthusiasm for moronic radical policies.

I'm reminded of the 1950's musical gem "The Music Man" where a flimflam artist tells the townsfolk that a pool hall is threatening their community and that the only cure is to set up a marching band with him conveniently selling them the instruments.

"Friend, either you're closing your eyes
To a situation you do not wish to acknowledge
Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
By the presence of a pool table English CEGEP in your community
Well, Ya got trouble, my friend, right here
I say, trouble right here in River City Quebec"

The threat of English CEGEP  is as simplistic and just as stupid.
When I first watched the movie I wondered out loud how the townsfolk could be so gullibly stupid.
Now I know.

Motive aside, let us examine the so-called threat that English language CEGEP poses to Quebec's francophone majority because after all, every policy should address a specific issue or problem or a semblance thereof.
Saying that francophones and Allophones attending English CEGEP is a threat to French Quebec may be easy to do, but not so easy to prove because frankly it is, just more separatist smoke and mirrors, a fantasy woven to fire up the moribund apathetic Francophone electorate.
You got trouble....

I usually try to make a researched and thoughtful (in my opinion) rebuttal of the issue I address but in this case, I will not attempt to disprove this nonsense. It is like arguing against the idea of a flat Earth.

Suffice to say that there isn't a study or reference or published fact that would support the idea that English CEGEP is a threat. Everybody who has led any political party knows this truth, including the current PQ leadership.

The only point I wish to make is to address the fantasy that those who go to English CEGEP are somehow magically transformed into anglophones.
Francophones schooled in French and who were brought up in a French home remain Francophones even if they attend English CEGEP.(just like the PQ leader.)
Allophones who absorb themselves into the English community have made that choice long before CEGEP. Most who do have been brought up in an English milieu at home, despite being schooled in French
I have heard the racist argument that Francophones who go to English CEGEP are in danger of marrying or partnering with a dreaded Anglophone and are lost to the francophone nation.
The only fact in this article that I do cite is that in the case of an Anglophone/Francophone union, two-thirds of the children are sent to French primary schools.

Most francophone parents are alright with their children being forced into French primary and high schools.
But for parents of highly gifted and motivated children who want to round out their education and life prospects by attending English CEGEP and university, denying them the opportunity is akin to telling them that they are second-class citizens.
It is political dynamite that no party which actually aspires to power would embrace.

And finally, until the PQ provides some facts and figures to support their anglicization fantasy we should not engage them in useless and silly debate.
The mainstream media, both English and French fail miserably to call out the PQ on this nonsense.

It isn't incumbent on those who believe that the Earth is a sphere to disprove that the Earth is flat, it is the other way around.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Is Quebec Racist? ....Is the Pope Catholic?

              "This isn't racism, it's mosquito protection"           
I can't say I am surprised at the virulent reaction by Quebec politicians and its like-minded francophone media both of which went ballistic over an anti-Quebec tweet by an obscure University of Ottawa professor, Amir Attaran.

"Amir Attaran has written on his personal Twitter account that Quebec’s culture is racist, that the Quebec government is being run by white supremacists, called the province the Alabama of the north and accused Quebec nurses of medical lynching and killing Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Atikamekw woman who died in a hospital in 2020".

As one might expect, the province didn't take kindly to the perceived attack on its good name and reputation.
While Quebec brushes off complaints of language discrimination from its native anglo community and charges of racism by its ethnic minorities with nary a shrug, criticism by 'outsiders' is met with righteous indignation and vigorous pushback when complaints or accusations are made in the ROC or worse still, in the USA.
These attacks in the  'international' community are somehow particularly galling and incredibly stinging, accusations to which Quebec remains extra sensitive and prickly.

When Mordechai Richler wrote a particularly unflattering and somewhat devastating portrait of Quebec society in New Yorker magazine back in 1991, it sent apoplectic Quebec nationalists off the rails. Richler is to this day branded a cruel and malevolent defamer by nationalists, considered the prototypical 'Quebec-basher,' perhaps the evil spawn of the legendary fat matronly Eaton's sales clerk, who is accused of making it a condition of service that francophone customers "Speak White!" back in the day of wretched colonialism.

But I digress.
The idea advanced by Professor Attaran that Quebec society is 'racist' is somewhat problematic as there is no objective standard or metric by which to measure how racist a particular society is and there is no accurate opinion poll on the subject to be trusted.
After all who would tell a pollster that Yes, I am a proud racist.

So I have to question how the professor came to his conclusions without a detailed and academically legitimate study. He sounds like a blowhard and publicity hound, bereft of rigour and honesty. 
Citing a couple of cases of overt racism to assert his conclusion that Quebec society is racist is lazy and unworthy of his title as a professor.

But still, he may be right..... 

In the United States, militants in the Black Lives Matter movement label America as a racist society, but in a nation where the majority elected a Black president, it is hard to accept as credible. While there are many racists in the USA, there are many, many more who are not.
So what exactly is the demarcation line for declaring an entire society racist?
The easiest barometer would be to label a society racist where certain groups based on colour, race or religion are officially barred from participation in public life, be it government, the military or law enforcement, the civil service or the education system and most importantly restrictions on housing.  A society that places employment or participation limits based on these criteria can be confidently labelled as racist.
However, such is not the case anywhere in the developed and democratic western world. Not any more. Official discrimination is verboten and those still discriminated against have legal redress.
Both private and public institutions across the western world have overwhelmingly evolved to where minorities are consciously included and indeed promoted in order to repair the historical injustice.
But that doesn't necessarily stop racism.

There remains a certain minority of citizens who quietly maintain their racist beliefs and who quietly and discreetly continue to discriminate against minorities in their personal and even in their professional or work life. These racists continue to exist and thrive in government jobs, law enforcement and the public service, where they quietly deny rights and opportunities to minorities on the down-low.

The question to be considered is not whether Quebec is a racist society, which it is not, but whether Quebec harbours a greater number of citizens who are racist than say other provinces.
In this respect, I would answer in the affirmative based only on my observations of over thirty years travelling the length and breadth of this province as an operator of a chain store with locations across eastern Canada and with almost 50 locations across Quebec. Because my career was largely conducted in French and 90% of my employees francophone, I think I am much more qualified to offer an opinion on the subject compared to an outsider like the good professor who tossed out his charges of racism rather gratuitously.

Before I describe my observations, a paragraph or two on the statistical support for racism in Quebec.
After much study, I sadly conclude that statistics on the subject are scattered and not very useful . Let me briefly explore with you the problem with just one example of just how problematic they can be.

The Bnai Brith, a Jewish lobby organization keeps statistics on antisemitic incidents across Canada, one of the few minority organizations to do so.
Let's examine just what those stats tell us.

According to the collected statistics, there were 2,041 antisemitic incidents in Canada last year, with 34% of the total occurring in Quebec a province that accounts for about 22% of Canada's population. or 50% more than the Canadian average.

Digging deeper we can see that Ontario had about 4 times as many acts of vandalism and violence, certainly more serious incidents.
But it's certainly not the whole story because we need to consider how many Jews live in the province where the incidents took place. Divide the incidents by the number of Jews and we can level the playing field to account for differences in population and demographics. 

The numbers are quite different when taken in context.

As you can see, dividing the antisemitic incidents by the population of Jews in each jurisdiction paints a startling picture of who in Canada is the most and least antisemitic, that is, if we were to use antisemitic incidents as the criterion.
In Atlantic Canada, where there are few Jews, there are proportionally many more antisemitic incidents and actually,  three times more compared to Quebec.
But Ontario is actually 4 times less antisemitic than Quebec and 9 times less so than Atlantic Canada.

Hmmm?? What conclusion can we draw?
Only that the fewer Jews in a community, the higher the incidence of antisemitism.
That might be important in understanding racism in Canada and in Quebec in particular.
Also of interest is Quebec's proportionally very large ultra-orthodox community which garners much resentment for their scofflaw attitude, especially apparent recently in their refusal to obey Covid regulations. This resentment leads to an increase in antisemitism here in Quebec, but also in New York City and in fact, Israel itself. This one fact skews the results and makes comparisons relatively impossible.

Now my opinion.....

The scourge of heightened racism in Quebec may be linked to the very nature of its tribal society.
It seems that societies that are homogeneous, insular and who have a common language not shared internationally may tend to be more racist.
This applies neatly to societies in  China, Japan, Korea and so too I believe, in Quebec.
If you think I am being harsh in labelling these far eastern countries as racist, please follow the links. If anything I am underplaying the situation by not labelling these countries as 'extremely' racist.

In many respects, Quebec's francophone majority lives in a bubble, an outlier society that develops differently, just as the above-mentioned countries do so and which leads to a divergent set of common values developed in an alternate world.
Sometimes I shrug my head in utter disbelief in regards to news stories that demonstrate how out of step Quebec is in regards to racism as compared to Canada or the USA.
While Quebec is proud of this difference and balks at being judged on Canadian or American standards, it allows racism to persist on a level not tolerated elsewhere

Quebec's heightened level of racism is rooted in its fanatical obsession to protect not only its language but its culture as well. 
I'm reminded of the statuesque African woman who testified at the Bouchard-Taylor Commission who in her testimony in perfect French complained that for immigrants like herself, speaking French isn't enough and where she is expected to eat maple syrup and poutine. 
Watch this hilarious video of those testifying

In Quebec, immigrants, anglos, minorities and outsiders, whether they speak French or not are looked upon as a cultural threat. The Quebec media, nationalists, and politicians hammer home the theme of language as a guise or smokescreen for attacking those not of tribal Quebec.  

In Quebec,  a certain level of racism is silently accepted as necessary to supposedly maintain the survival of the collective tribal culture, which is seen to be under attack by 'les autres'. 

I'm not going to enumerate a long list of the racist incidents that highlight the problem, there are too many. The examples I do cite speak to the underlying culture that exists where the differences between the 'real' Quebecois are revealed rather tellingly.

Let's start with the police across Quebec whose racist treatment of natives and Blacks is legendary. 

The Montreal police have forever used the tactic of 'Rousting' which is the policy of stopping targets on a pretext to undergo a search which is really nothing more than a fishing expedition meant to intimidate.
While all police forces used this tactic in the past, it is no longer employed because of its uneven targetting of minorities. New York City had discontinued and famously apologized for its program known as  'Stop & Frisk."
To this day, the Montreal police are infamous for stopping Blacks for no good reason other than to harass. The phenomenon has spawned the uniquely Montreal crime of  "Driving while Black"
Police famously use every excuse on the book (broken taillight, jaywalking etc.) to skirt the law and justify the harassment. 
I give this example because no law or regulation can stop this type of racism because no law or regulation has technically been broken. This is the pernicious racism of Quebec police where all the laws on the books that outlaw racism are ignored with a wink, wink, nod, nod.

The cartoon above lampoons the Quebec provincial police's abysmal and degrading treatment of local native women in the Abitibi region. The police of course were absolved of wrongdoing as per usual by a commission looking into the allegations. The cartoon is rather poignant in underlining how any flimsy excuse is accepted in Quebec to whitewash the racism. 

When the police are dragged before the Quebec Human rights tribunal they are invariably found guilty of racism and ordered to pay but a paltry few thousand dollars in damages. They pay reluctantly and never apologize. This is the reality of Quebec.

Underscoring this blatant yet unvoiced racism are two stories that hit the media this week.

The first was a story about an interview by TVA news' Mario Dumont and the head of the border guards union who complained Hasidic Jews were crossing into Canada by the droves. He told the interviewer that it was chaos at the border with about 8,000 people crossing one border in over two days.
Somehow a TVA editor put up the graphic that 8,000 Jews were entering Quebec a fact not even the racist union leader made. Mr. Dumont was alarmed and offered that perhaps ten or twelve thousand might cross over the next days.
The story was 100% fake news, untrue on every level. The entire Hasidic community in Quebec is less than 10,000, so the numbers are ridiculous. Canadian Border services felt compelled to deny the story completely in a press release,  The agency said that less than 8,000 people crossed ALL THE LAND BORDERS in Quebec that day and that the vast majority were essential workers.
But the fictional narrative played well, pedalled by an ignorant and racist union rep, an out-of-touch interviewer and an inept editor. 
In the end, nobody apologized because, well, I would ask readers to draw their own conclusions.

Last month a legendary racist sportswriter Rejean Tremblay wrote two articles that could never appear anywhere else but Quebec. Mr. Tremblay lives in the past where all the players on the Habs were French and yearns for the good old days. He complained that players without French names and heritage could never be successful 'old-timers' because of their foreign surnames (of which he gave two examples.)  A second racist article actually had to be spiked after the blatantly racist insult on Chinese.

"Everything is going well because we are winning .. The Habs could play 20 Chinese players and it would be okay.
If the KHL convinced the Chinese to embrace hockey, we'd find ourselves with 20 Fang Wongs in 20 years.

An article was written by Pierre-Oliver Zappa in where else, the Journal du Montreal,  about street gangs taking advantage of the federal government's lax enforcement of those receiving Covid benefits turned into a nightmare for the journalist.
Unbeknownst to him, an editor inserted a photo along with the story of a group of Blacks lining up, a racist implication that they were the guilty party.
The problem was that the photo, selected by the unnamed editor was a years-old stock photo of Black high school students lining up to attend church. I'm not kidding.

Not everyone in Quebec is racist and the mortified journalist made an immediate apology and YouTube video denouncing the photo, even though he had nothing to do with it.

An example of the underlying racism is a story from earlier this year about the town of St. Jean sur Richelieu. It seems that a farmer sold his property for land development many years ago with the condition that no homes be sold to Jews. When the servitude came to light last year it was disqualified by an outraged judge who ordered the exclusionary clause removed from future acts of sale.
That isn't the story.
It seems that some citizens demanded that the street and a park named for the racist farmer be changed and the city said it would study the issue.  You can imagine where that discussion went.
But the icing on the cake is the unabashed son of the racist farmer who proudly defended his father  in an interview;  Link{fr}

"My father got along with everyone, but you see, Jews, they become masters of just about everything and that's what he didn't like"

And lastly is the story of a hospital in Quebec which recently advertised for an employee with white skin.

"The regional health authority of the Laurentians has opened an investigation into an incident in which one of its departments posted job openings for female orderlies at St-Eustache Hospital that stipulated candidates have “white skin.” 

The story erupted following a report in La Presse Wednesday, which said the postings were made because a resident, described as difficult and suffering from dementia, refused to be aided by a person of colour. 

According to the report, 10 emails sent to placement agencies in November variously specified that the candidate sought to work with a patient in the hospital’s “green” (non-COVID-19) zone must be a “white woman only,” be a “white coloured (orderly),” “must be a white woman” and “must have white skin.” Link

This incident is perhaps the most telling argument that Quebec is more racist than the rest of Canada because it wasn't the work of a rogue idiot or racist. The ad passed through many hands before being sent to placement agencies, none of which complained. This story may represent the smoking gun.

And by the way, as racist as Alabama is, this job posting would never have seen the light of day.
I'd bet on it.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Open Letter on Language to Premier Legault, the OQLF and other Haters


Sorry for the nasty tone this letter will take but like so many Anglos and ethnics in Quebec, we are utterly fed up with the nasty and cruel assault on our communities. It behooves me to point out the obvious painful truth in a rather frank and perhaps unkind manner in response to the unacceptable scapegoating that we have borne with too much silence, dignity and sadly, acquiescence.

Once again, for political reasons,  the harping has been raised over language and sadly, the feds are jumping over hoops to see how high each party can reach to placate the unplacatable.

While your demand that living and working in French in Canada be an established right, you continue to argue that living in English in Quebec is but a privilege, one accorded, as we are constantly reminded, by the grace and generosity of the benevolent francophone majority.

While you demand that every airplane flying between Vancouver and Victoria have a French-speaking cabin crew member with francophone passengers but a rarity, you defend as reasonable and fair, the right of a bus driver in West Island Montreal not to answer a passenger's question in English even though the makeup of the riders may be 70% English.
It is the same mean-spirited policy that posts a police resource officer who cannot speak English to serve in a 1,500 student English language high school in Laval. This in a police force of 800 officers.

Let me blunt.

It isn't the job of Anglos and ethnics to protect the French language in Quebec while Quebec francophones make zero effort to protect their own language.
It is that simple.

Every proposal to safeguard the French language in Quebec that has been enacted or proposed is targeted at our community, giving life to the lie that we are responsible for the fictitious demise of the French language in Quebec.

If francophones want to protect their language they can do so themselves.
We are not the cause of its perceived and sadly exaggerated demise. We have become a political football no different from other minorities in other countries scapegoated and blamed for the failings of the majority.

It is a convenient political lie that must be denounced.
So let me get to the point.  

Fix your own language problems within your own community before knocking on our door.

If you don't want immigrants and especially French-speaking Muslim immigrants because they won't 'assimilate' and adopt Quebec cultural practices, then stop immigration.

Let every 'pur laine' family adopt a policy of three children instead of the under two that is presently the case. I know that it is an effort and perhaps an imposition in this modern world but if protecting French is so important, I'm sure the effort is merited.

Instead of consuming English culture, how about absorbing Quebec French artists and television programs instead of Netflix and English artists.
As it is, the under-watched French version of the CBC, Radio-Canada, is over-funded by English Canada, all without a thank-you very much.
How about stopping the practice of dubbing Anglophone shows like Brokenwood, Grantchester, Downton Abbey and a myriad of others in favour of French-language shows from Belgium and France.
Hmmm. Not interested?

The Quebec film industry consists of but a handful of decent films a year, despite a robust subsidy program with Quebecers seemingly more attuned to Hollywood blockbusters.  STOP GOING!!

Unlike the dozens of anglophone artists who perform successfully in Quebec City and Montreal to mostly francophone audiences, the same is not the case for Quebecois francophone artists who struggle to attract paying customers. No Quebec Francophone artist can sell out the Bell Centre in Montreal except perhaps Celine Dion, who in reality ceased being a francophone artist when she consciously removed the accent on her name (Céline) and embraced English music as her mainstay.  

As the organizers readily admit, the annual summertime Quebec music festival would not be able to sell a fraction of the tickets were it not for the headline English artists who actually draw the patrons. And these patrons are almost all francophone.

As for English CEGEPS and universities drawing too many francophone students, another red-herring complaint, I couldn't care less if francophones were banned, but the government won't adopt this measure because francophone families would rebel.
Preserving the French language seems less important when it is francophones who need to make the effort and sacrifice.
The absurd debate in Quebec as to the danger of teaching English in Quebec public schools is a sad testament of how out of touch with reality language militants are  In fact, North Korea understands better the importance of English and does a better job of teaching it in public schools than francophone schools in Quebec.
Can you think of anything sadder?

And lastly, if the French language is in such dire straits and if it is so important, just call another referendum and convince 63% of francophones to vote to leave Canada. It isn't a magical percentage that is absurd, but alas, it is easier to blame 'les autres' for sovereignty's unattainability.

How is it that every language militant, sovereigntist organization and whinging journalist never propose that Francophones make any real effort or sacrifice to save their so-called endangered language?
Is it because they know they'll get no support because the issue is actually just phony or is it because francophones don't really care and prefer to pay lip service by blaming and scapegoating us, the anglophone and ethnic community. 

The great language lie is not that French is in danger, (which it is not,) but rather the lie that Anglos and Ethnics are responsible to fix someone else's mess.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Easy Enough to End Covid-19 Disaster by Early Spring

Crunching numbers is something I enjoy doing and I sometimes, just sometimes, uncover interesting facts that the media and the government ignore because it doesn't fit the narrative which they wish to disseminate.

Now that a vaccine or two are available the question begs as to how fast it can make a real difference and how many of us need to be vaccinated in order to end or severely limit the impact of the pandemic and eliminate the disastrous lockdowns.

Let's analyze the numbers in the chart here from England which closely resembles ours in terms of the demographics of the virus.

First, the most important statistic is that less than 10% of deaths related to Covid-19 occur in those under 60 years old and of those deaths less than 1% of the total Covid-19 deaths occur in under 60 year-olds with no underlying conditions.
This means that the youngest 80% of the population suffer around 15% of the Covid-19 deaths.

The numbers are quite shocking.

They reveal that by inoculating just 15% of the population, those over 70 years old, the effects on the rest of the population can be safely managed.

Let us remember that the average age of a Covid-19 death is around 83 years old and 55% of those hospitalized with the virus are over 70 years old who make up just 13% of Canada's population.

The government is talking about the end of  2021 as the date when all Canadians who want the vaccine can get it, but the worst results of the pandemic can be minimized by the very early Spring by vaccinating the most vulnerable, those over 70 years old. And so the numbers presented here easily demonstrate that if those over 70 years old are removed from danger, Covid-19 is not much more dangerous than the flu for the rest of the population.

Really, I'm not kidding.

Let us compare the nine months of the pandemic and put Covid-19 deaths side by side with flu deaths for the groups under 70 years. In Canada of the 15,000 deaths from Covid-19, 90% occurred in those 70 years-old and older. Doing a little math tells us that only around 1,500 deaths occurred in those under 70 years old and quite shockingly, this matches almost identically to the 1,430 deaths from flu in people under 70 years old reported in Canada in 2018 (for the whole year).

If we innoculate the 13% of us who are over 70 years old and for good measure, another million or so in the over 55 set who have serious underlying conditions like morbid obesity, hypertension or heart disease, we can get the pandemic down to an extremely manageable level.

Those who are still in jeopardy should govern themselves accordingly by masking up when going out and limiting outings to the very bare essential.

The economy could be unlocked and businesses and restaurants reopened. Hospitals would still have Covid-19 cases but the numbers manageable and the fatalities cut by 90-95%.

At the point where we've vaccinated the most vulnerable 15%, a lockdown is infinitely more damaging than the virus.
The increase in suicides, conjugal violence and drug and alcohol abuse aggravated by the lockdown would be abated and children would return to the much-needed routine of school.

The early Spring is when this could and should happen, but I get the sense that the government both federal and provincial are enjoying the situation where total control and fear make us dependant.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

What They Don't Tell You About Covid-19

Way back in the Spring I watched an interview with a young college type who was being chastised by a reporter for ignoring the rules by frolicking with like-minded Spring breakers on a Florida beach. He told the reporter that Covid-19 wasn't much of a danger to him and his fellow collegians and when challenged that he could be spreading the disease, he told the reporter that those in danger should stay home and isolate themselves.

What a Jerk! 

That's what I thought then but now have come to believe that he was absolutely right and despite the government and the media exhorting us to shut down our lives, the reality is that the policy of isolating our entire society is deeply flawed, based on erroneous conclusions, desperation and panic.

Now I'm not an anti-masker, anti-vaxxer or a conspiracy nut, just someone with above-average intelligence who enjoys sifting through reams of data to either validate or reject what officials are telling me to do.

 If you think that I'm an arrogant Besserwisser, someone who rejects government advice because I have a default right-wing paranoid distrust of authority, you are grossly mistaken. I have shared some conclusions through this blog that time has actually borne me out as often more accurate than what the government has peddled. This is partly based on the fact that I don't have a political agenda like that which forces officials to lie in order to protect what they believe is the greater good or in the worst case, their own greater good.
An example of this was the advice that masks were not necessary because of the shortage at the time and the fear that health workers would be deprived. It was perhaps sound public policy but a lie just the same.
I myself bought N95 masks on Ali-express (Chinese: Amazon) so that I wouldn't remove any from the supply here and it took a month to get them, but get them I did and I am still wearing them.
It is a tiny example of how the government makes decisions mostly in good faith but not always in the individual's best interest. 

When we were told back in the early spring by Health Canada and the laughable sadsack Dr. Theresa Tam that Covid-19 wasn't dangerous or likely to have a significant effect on the nation, I read the data coming out of China and concluded that we were going to be slammed. The data was clear to anyone who cared to study it with an open mind and Its logical conclusion that the virus was loosed upon the world and that there was no going back.
Our health minister Patty Hadju swore up and down that closing the border was actually counter-productive, an utterly stupid and foolish notion that the World Health Organization was pushing at the time.

Now I'm not saying that if we closed the border earlier, we would have done much better but the Health minister destroyed her credibility in stridently lecturing us about the counter-productive nature of such a border closure, just days before the Prime Minister, following Donald Trump's lead, did exactly that. Hadju and Dr. Thersa Tam embarrassed themselves by disseminating such harmful and irresponsible ideas and both should have been fired or resigned over their incompetence.

Of course, in their defence politicians and defenders tell us that the advice was based on the best science available at the time, which is a crock of bullshit.
While the Chinese were remiss in reporting the onset of the disease, once denounced by the rest of the world for harbouring the secret, China decided to open up its data including the genome of the virus which led to the rapid discovery of a vaccine. A trove of statistics related to transmission was made readily available. It was those facts and figures that were the basis of my conclusions, which could and probably was known to health agencies in the western world.
I'm actually sure that within Health Canada, there were those who knew the truth, that we'd be in for a monumental catastrophe. The experts and statisticians could analyze the data even better than I, but somewhere a political decision was made to downplay the unfolding disaster.

In a post I wrote on March 13, 2020, at the very onset of the pandemic, I described quite plainly what was coming and offered an opinion on what we should do. Remember, I wrote all this back in March.

"All the experts and all the health professionals know that we cannot stop Covid-19 dead in its tracks, that ship has sailed or never even was in port.
Restricting foreigners at airports may stall the propagation somewhat, but the virus is already here and will work its way through the population, no matter what.
The shutdown of public gatherings is useful only because it will slow (but not eliminate) the spread, giving our limited medical resources more room to react."....

"We must immediately impose a self-quarantine on everybody over 65 years old and those in vulnerable health categories. 

Seniors would be obliged to go into home self-quarantine where they would be forced to ride out the storm. Senior residences would be put on lock down with no visitors and employees would be restricted to working in just one senior residence, reducing contamination from one home to another."

Please read that entire post;

 The Government is Handling Covid-19 All Wrong...

I took my own advice, arranged my affairs, bought all the disinfectant and personal protective equipment needed for myself and my extended family and battened down the hatches, prepared to go underground for the duration.

So what else can I tell you that the government isn't eager for you to know, facts that I've concluded through painstaking data analysis? 

1. The Virus is almost no Threat to the Young

The virus poses a deadly threat to older people, by which I mean those over 80 years old who are particularly susceptible. Remove this demographic from the data and the pandemic is infinitely less dangerous.

In other words, let us as the Springbreaker told us, isolate as best the old and infirm and let the rest of society get on with life.

Here are some readily-available statistics that nobody in government or the media wants to present because the data contradicts the message they are peddling, that Covid is a danger to us all.

As of this date, there have been some 8,000 deaths due to Covid-19 in Quebec, not a number to be scoffed at for sure.
But out of all of those deaths, less than 50 deaths occurred in those aged less than fifty years old which is less than 1% of the total, and this includes the obese, hypertensive and otherwise immune-depressed within that group.
The under 50 years old demographic makes up almost 60% of our Quebec population and represent over 5 million people out of the 8.5 million living in Quebec. It is a stunning fact that nobody wants to admit publicly.

During the nine months of the pandemic and within this under 50 age group, historic statistics tell that about 250 people would have been killed in car accidents, in the same time period, making death by vehicle 5 times more likely than death by Covid-19.

For those of us under fifty, the measures imposed are causing more harm than good. Children are falling behind in their studies and their socialization is suffering immeasurably. For adults, the economic toll of losing one's livelihood is devastating and mental-health issues related to twiddling our thumbs at home exacerbated with reported conjugal violence, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse increasing. Locking down a group that has limited risk is a policy debacle enacted by panic.

2. The media is guilty of spreading panic
The media shoulders much responsibility in panicking the general public over Covid-19 by constantly focusing on the deaths of younger people, fathers, mothers, health workers and first-responders,
media attention that is incommensurate with reality.
The overwhelming majority of deaths occur in patients over 80 years old, those who are generally uninteresting to the media and so a distorted view is presented to the public. Every time the media airs or prints a story about some unfortunate 40'something  who died of Covid-19, they should also air 100 stories about an elderly patient killed by the virus,
It is the very definition of a "man bites dog" media event.

The same goes for reporting allergic reactions from the Covid-19 vaccine which serves only to panic those already jittery over the prospect of getting vaccinated.  Such disproportional media coverage reinforces the reluctance of trypanophobics and anti-vaxxers to accept getting vaccinated.
I suspect that if everyone in the general population were forced to drink a glass of milk the number of anaphylaxis reactions would be higher than with the vaccine

3. The Carnage in the senior residences will endure

The government cannot stop the slaughter in the old people's homes because the cat is out of the bag and remedial action to mitigate the carnage is futile. With seniors living in cramped quarters with personnel travelling between floors and indeed between residences, spread is inevitable and the same goes for any residence where many people are living communally like dorms, hospitals and religious orders.
The problem of senior residences is of course the reduced ability to fight the virus.

4. Asymptomatic transmission is simply not true

From the beginning, officials haven't really understood transmissibility and have erred on the side of caution by telling us that the virus can be spread by infected people not showing any fever or outward signs of infection.
But since the summer, health professionals, as well as government and even the World Health Organization, have concluded that asymptomatic transmission is simply not a problem,
In other words, people who don't demonstrate symptoms, but are infected do not pass on the virus.

"On June 7, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, told a press conference that from the known research, asymptomatic spread was “very rare.” “From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual.” She added for emphasis: “It’s very rare.”

Are you shocked by that analysis? 
I certainly was when I read it. It means that if you are infected, yet exhibiting no outward signs of the virus, you are not a danger to others.


5. Mask-wearing in public protects you, not others

Over the course of the pandemic, the government has reversed itself a number of times over mask-wearing, much to the discredit of its reputation. First, they told us not to wear masks because they were unnecessary, then they told us that we should wear masks to protect others and now they tell us that mask-wearing protects everyone.
I encourage everyone to wear masks as a defence mechanism against idiots who go out in public knowingly infected. To that end, the government has encouraged us to wear flimsy cloth masks because at the time, they were fearful of a shortage of infinitely more effective N95 masks, essential for health care workers.
That shortage has passed and instead of encouraging us now to procure and use the more effective masks (which are now readily available and inexpensive,) the government has stayed criminally silent, likely because reversing itself one more time is a bridge too far vis-a-vis its credibility.
It's as foolish as going outside in winter wearing a flimsy Spring jacket when what is needed is a substantial winter coat. 
If you're going to wear a mask, wear an effective N95 mask and skip the flimsy cloth mask, even if others have adopted it as the norm. 
Remember, contrary to the foolishness the government is pedalling, wearing a mask is for your safety first.

6. More important than masks, the government should enforce public temperature checks

More important than masks is stopping those who are infected and displaying symptoms from mixing with the general public.
We all are aware of the covidiot couple who boarded a plane while the husband was knowingly sick and who promptly died in his seat, infecting many others around him.
His wife admitted that her husband was displaying symptoms yet decided to board anyways, underlining the fact that many among just don't give a hoot.
Had the airline done a simple temperature check at the gate, the symptomatic traveller would have been denied boarding. Checking temperature with a handheld wireless device is simple and fast. It should be done at the entrance to all public buildings and stores. The guy or gal who makes sure you are wearing a mask at the Loblaws entrance can easily check your temperature and eliminate all the sick and selfish morons who put their convenience ahead of public safety. 
China adopted this policy early in their pandemic to good effect and it surprises me that such a simple, fast and inexpensive tool is not being put to use.

7. Prompt action by the government over the vaccine would have saved ten of thousands of lives in the western world, including Canada

Once China released details about the genetic makeup of the vaccine, it took just two days to design a vaccine. Yup...two days.
The testing phase took months and months instead of years and indeed was rushed according to modern standards.
The testing consisted of giving one group of volunteers the real vaccine and another a placebo. All the volunteers were sent home and asked to live their normal lives.
After long months and months, researchers compared the data and concluded that the group that got the real vaccine were protected from the virus and contracted the disease up to 95% less than those volunteers who got the control fake vaccine.
But all these months-long, people were dropping dead at an alarming rate. In fact, hundreds of thousands died and now many are asking if the government did the right thing in refusing to take the "Challenge" testing route which would actually expose all the who got the real vaccine to the virus and see how they reacted.
While exposing young healthy volunteers to the real virus is deemed unethical, given the scale of the disaster it would seem that it was a risk that had to be taken, given that young people are almost never fatally affected by the virus.
Had volunteers been given the opportunity, (and perhaps $50,000) the efficacy of the vaccine would have been established in early summer.
Yes, there were risks, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

8. Health care workers need to stop carping about their workload and risk

I have enormous respect and admiration for health care workers but cannot abide by their carping about being over-worked and exposed.

We are in a battle against a virus that is as deadly as anything we have seen since an actual war. Whether they wanted to or not, they have been drafted to man the front lines, just as the young men who were sent off without any choice to the killing grounds of Europe in World War II.
I couldn't imagine those soldiers complaining about being overworked or missed vacation. 
In today's feminist world, nurses are being asked to share the burden of service and sacrifice.
It is undignified to carp and complain.

With that, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Here's hoping things will turn around quickly and we can get back to normal....