Maybe It’s Not an April Fool’s Joke

Yesterday I read an article about social media posts that caused alarm for a lot of people. Later the party concerned claimed this was only an April Fool’s joke, when confronted by RCMP. Here is the report:

The Osoyoos RCMP have addressed “alarming” social media posts that claim individuals will be canvassing door to door in the community seeking places for seasonal workers to stay.

Combine this with another article I saw this morning, and it does not seem so far-fetched, because if we don’t have farm workers in the fields in a timely manner, then our worst fears may come to pass–that the food supply chain breaks down.

This is urgent. And it’s not a joke. I hope those in decision making positions are paying attention.

It may be time for some of us who are out of work to learn farming skills. In my community, around this time of year, I begin to see busloads of mostly seniors of East Asian descent head to the blueberry fields. I seriously wonder how the blueberries will fare this growing season.

Each year I pray for rain in season and good harvests. This past year blockades, market closures and livestock epidemics have affected food supplies. The coronavirus is a significant threat, but we could be facing something even more devastating if we don’t have a harvest.

Right now Europeans are in urgent need of migrant workers normally arriving from Eastern Europe to harvest ripened crops (see article). “Send forth laborers” is taking on new meaning and urgency.

What Canada Isn’t Doing that South Korea Has Done re COVID-19

Seeing that South Korea is logging a notable success rate in controlling the coronavirus, I’ve tried to investigate what they are doing and to compare the actions taken to what is happening in Canada.

Several things stood out for me in the article, Coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in South Korea. What’s the secret to its success? written by Dennis Normile on Mar. 17, 2020.

Note the following quote from the article and read each sentence carefully. (Underlines are mine.)

High-risk patients with underlying illnesses get priority for hospitalization, says Chun Byung-Chul, an epidemiologist at Korea University. Those with moderate symptoms are sent to repurposed corporate training facilities and spaces provided by public institutions, where they get basic medical support and observation. Those who recover and test negative twice are released. Close contacts and those with minimal symptoms whose family members are free of chronic diseases and who can measure their own temperatures are ordered to self-quarantine for 2 weeks. A local monitoring team calls twice daily to make sure the quarantined stay put and to ask about symptoms. Quarantine violators face up to 3 million won ($2500) fines. If a recent bill becomes law, the fine will go up to 10 million won and as much as a year in jail.

In addition I read the following:

Legislation enacted since then gave the government authority to collect mobile phone, credit card, and other data from those who test positive to reconstruct their recent whereabouts. That information, stripped of personal identifiers, is shared on social media apps that allow others to determine whether they may have crossed paths with an infected person.

Note that people who test positive leave a trail of possible places where the people they have encountered may have been infected. For instance, if an infected person goes to the bank, then buys groceries, then goes to a physiotherapist, then gets their hair cut, all of those people who served them are at high risk. This kind of information is not being shared publicly in Canada.

I was reminded of this image.

Related image

Paradigm InfoStream: INTERVIEW – Cat Tracker Researcher, Brandon …
petlynxinfostream.blogspot.com

 

Today Canada is at approximately 1000 infections. If we follow the trajectory of other countries, we could be at 10,000 in seven days, and who knows what happens from there.

Last week I published an article which I have now removed. In it I spoke of minimum, to moderate, to maximum caution and protective measures. I believe it is now critical to practice maximum caution and protection to prevent the spread of the virus, as we have been instructed. But if we want to be as effective as South Korea in stemming the spread of the virus then we may need to be willing to implement similar measures.

Insurance companies are refusing to cover travelers who do not return to Canada during this epidemic, by categorizing it as an Act of God. If this is the case, then the following may be a good meditation:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sins, and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

 

Canadian governments give Huawei millions in funding while debate rages over its 5G role

Critics warn there is a serious risk that Huawei will build ‘back doors’ into the 5G technology allowing China access to Canadian private information

Tom Blackwell, February 3, 2020

Commentary

While the United States and Australia have banned Huawei’s next generation 5G systems as a threat to national security, former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, in 2016, announced a $16 million grant for research around 5G development and the same fiscal year the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada’s federal funding agency for university-based research, awarded $6.9 million in grants to university researchers working with Huawei. The funding agreements are over four years.

Will Huawei be a future threat to Canada? What do the U.S. and Australia know that Canada does not know, or is choosing to ignore? Or do we just chalk their caution up to paranoia? I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to privacy issues and national security.

Heritage minister clarifies government won’t be licensing news outlets following backlash

February 3, 2020 news article by Terry Pedwell

Commentary

The Liberal government is revising Canada’s broadcasting and telecommunications laws and it’s a good thing somebody is watching. As a blogger I am particularly interested in the need for freedom of speech online. The idea of licensing news sites does not sit well with me at all.

A report released last week, called “Canada’s Communications Future: Time To Act,” compiled by a panel of “independent broadcast experts” included the following recommendation, as posted in the article:

that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) or another regulatory body control licensing of all companies creating “audio, audiovisual, and alphanumeric news content.”

The article concludes by stating that,

The CRTC currently issues licenses to TV and radio broadcasting outlets but does not regulate content on digital outlets such as Google and Facebook, on websites or in print.

Let’s watch that it stays that way.

More information on the CRTC’s plans to regulate Netflix’s Canadian content can be found in a January 29 CBC article by Eli Glasner.

The Right to Die with Dignity

Today I was angry. It felt as though something boiled over in me when I read the subject line of an email addressed to me: Help us protect the right to die with dignity. In Canada our government is trying to pass legislation regarding euthanasia. There is a “consultation questionnaire” which Canadians are encouraged to respond to at justice.gc.ca

I received the email from the BC Civil Liberties Association. I don’t recall ever signing up for mail from the BC Civil Liberties Association. In their letter they threaten that if we don’t offer medically assisted dying (MAiD) in Canada then it will “lead to premature deaths by suicide by some individuals.” Which frightening alternative do you prefer? The outcome is precisely the same.

I, frankly, don’t see any difference between shooting someone in the head at short range,  or injecting someone with a needle, or subjecting a person to the electric chair. And to me it is not compassion to help someone kill themselves. Frankly, I’m not there yet.

You will note that the questionnaire assumes all are in favor of assisted dying which until now was called murder or homicide or manslaughter and was considered the worst criminal offense because it ended a life.

Our government now wants to put some new guidelines, some parameters, around helping someone to kill themselves. No, the survey never asks if you are in favor of having medical professionals help someone to end their life. It only asks about which parameters you consider important in preparing for the procedure of terminating a life.

What made me angry is that suddenly “assisted dying” is a “right.” And it is a right that needs to be protected. In other words, we want to make sure you get to die, and that nobody interferes with that.

“Mature minors” should have the right to assisted death, we are learning.

The whole purpose of this new legislation is to ensure that “eligibility is broadened to individuals who are not near death.” This is what the BCCLA states in their email to me. The BCCLA adds:

The additional “safeguards” that the government is contemplating are unnecessary and potentially unconstitutional barriers to MAID.

Oh, I have so many questions around this, but our government’s mind is already made up. This is the next new “right” Canadians will be privileged to have protected.

In July 2016 the federal government passed legislation permitting medical assistance in dying. Since then 6,700 have died with medical assistance. A recent court ruling in Quebec has made it necessary for Canada to broaden the eligibility for euthanasia. You can read about it here

The Court declared the “reasonable foreseeability of natural death” criterion in the federal Criminal Code, as well as the “end-of-life” criterion in Quebec’s provincial law on medical assistance in dying, to be unconstitutional.

My problem is with assisted dying being a “right.” Do doctors also have a “right” not to assist dying? Do hospices have a “right” not to assist dying? A hospice in Delta, BC has been ordered to offer MAID by February 3 or lose government funding, even though the facility states that MAID is not compatible with the purposes of the Hospice Society.

“To not allow Medical Assistance in Dying brings with it potential human rights violations,” said former board president Jim Levin, who is in favor of MAID at the hospice.

The hospice has posted their statement here

Hospice palliative care and MAiD substantially differ in multiple areas including in philosophy, intention and approach.[xi] Hospice palliative care focuses on improving quality of life and symptom management through holistic person-centered care for those living with life threatening conditions. Hospice palliative care sees dying as a normal part of life and helps people to live and die well. Hospice palliative care does not seek to hasten death or intentionally end life. In MAiD, however, the intention is to address suffering by ending life through the administration of a lethal dose of drugs at an eligible person’s request.

We are to believe that removing barriers to this “procedure” is reflective of the “evolving views” of Canadians in just the past couple of years. There is a sense of pride over how progressive Canadians have become. However, hospices want to provide a “safe space” where death is not hastened. Will our government deny this right?

We are being told this is just another “choice,” needing protecting. It is another one of our “equality rights.” It is not the right to die that is being questioned. We all have that right. Nothing has changed in that department. But what is different now is, the right to have a medical professional condone your suicide and help you with the act.

It is particularly cruel to those who are vulnerable and those with disabilities.

As stated, here this irreversible procedure could easily be the result of “temporary anger, depression, a misunderstanding of one’s prognosis, ignorance of alternatives, financial considerations, strain on family members or significant others, or improper persuasion….”

I am very concerned when assisted dying suddenly becomes a “right” which has to be protected. This is not like the other rights we have seen come to the forefront in recent years. This does not make your quality of life better. It ends it. I am also very concerned about our move towards a flippant view of the sanctity of life. We all know this ends up down the slippery slope of who decides which life is worth preserving.