Newsfirst columnist Robert Vairo’s ‘That’s What I’m Thinking’

A National Emergency Demands Leadership

I watched with envy as some NBC TV affiliate out of Seattle Washington was telecasting a report on how municipal and state governments, and corporations like Starbucks and Microsoft were lending their people to facilitate distribution of 50 thousand vaccines a day. Microsoft will actually set up a drive by location to help health workers inoculate at the rate of five thousand a day. One location, one day, 5 000 arms! I thought wow, all these vaccines and this amazing cooperation from the corporate sector. Excellent public relations, but still, generous of corporate America to step up in time of crisis. But there was more. The reporter then informs the viewer that two thousand pharmacies are set up to administer additional vaccines pouring into the state. What a fantastic logistical set up. And Washington state last week reached another plateau. They’ve moved on to the next round of vaccines for the 65 and over.

What the hell happened to Canada? We don’t know when we’ll be vaccinated, much less where. No need to worry about that this week because we’re not receiving any vaccines, at all.

Less than 2%, about 600 thousand Canadians have received at least the first doze, while the US is close to 15%, Israel had 30% of its population done, and the United Arab Emirates 50% by the end of March.

Why the discrepancy? We have an exemplary health care system, but both of the Trudeau government’s key ministers in this Covid pandemic, have no experience in their roles that is affecting the lives of 38 million Canadians. Health Minister Patty Hajdu was a graphic designer and event organizer before becoming Health Minister. The person responsible for purchasing our vaccines, our life line during this pandemic, Services and Procurement Minister, Anita Anand, with 12 months in politics, was a professor at U of T. Are you still wondering why vaccines are only trickling in by the few thousands for the millions of us? Are you still wondering why many of us have lost faith in this kind of lame authority? This is a national emergency! Where are the heavy weights? Where is the leadership?

It starts at the top. No corporate experience, no business skills, no economic savvy, no background in law, none in science. What do you expect?

The firing, oops, resignation of the Governor General starts with the person who hired her. Justin Trudeau single handedly hired the ex-astronaut to be Canada’s representative. There was a much better way. But he disbanded the nonpartisan committee that provided choices for such a function.

This Prime Minister does not lead, but seems to simply react to how Canadians feel. When we learned vaccines would stop this week from a mere trickle in the last few weeks, Canadians were enraged, and left helpless. Where was our Prime Minister? While other world leaders are constantly in contact with Pfizer, pressuring the pharma giant to speed up delivery, our PM was silent. It took the Premier of Ontario, so often criticized by Trudeau’s minister, to light a fire. “I’d be sticking a ying yang up..” Ford says he doesn’t accept Pfizer’s explanation for delays. “We have a contract. Deliver”.

Five days after the Pfizer announcement, Trudeau finally tweeted he had called Pfizer CEO Dr Albert Bourla. “I have been promised…” We’ve heard that before.

Which brings me to the new American President Joe Biden cancelling our Keystone XL pipeline. This is a blow not only to Alberta. Biden has taken away jobs and income from Canada. Biden paid a debt by penalizing Canada. He promised to appease his left-wing Democrats, at Canada’s expense.

Keystone XL is a politically symbolic pipeline, and it’s hypocritical to stop it. Forbes reports “we track nearly 40 pipelines covering 11,000 miles either being built or in pre-construction development in the U.S.” since 2008 when Trans Canada applied for a permit.

And our Canadian reaction is pathetic. While the US has taken away a chunk of our income our Transport Minister Marc Garneau responds with “I respect their decision”. That’s really sad. Some Premiers were more realistic “a gut punch” and “you don’t do that to a friend”.

On Canada’s west coast, BC ‘s John Horgan promised to make things better if elected with a majority in the snap election last Sept. Since his majority win, Covid infections in BC have increased 667%, sadly, deaths up 393%. ( Leadership?

And so it goes my friends. Mr. Trudeau may not take the lead but let’s hope he at least reacts to Francois Legault and other Premiers’ demand to close our borders to vacationers, or have snow birds pay their hotel to guarantee their quarantine for two weeks. Beau travail Me Legault!

That’s What I’m Thinking

Robert Vairo