By Paul Malvern |

After a lifetime spent studying, observing and occasionally participating in politics and government, one of my main takeaways is that, no matter what the stated ideologies or lofty goals of our political and governmental masters, much of what drives these people flows from their own personal needs, motivations and brokenness.

And one of the most malignant of those drivers is pride.

While pride has figured prominently in human affairs throughout history, its damage to individuals and society has been noted by the great ethical and moral thinkers in every age. For example, the ancient Greeks considered hubris (as they called it) a major character flaw. As such it played a central role in many of their tragedies, demonstrating how the great and powerful are often destroyed by their inability to control their behaviour and emotions due to overweening pride. Christianity holds an equally gloomy view of pride, seeing it as the worst of all sins, since it is the great sin of Satan, who claims to be the equal of God. And both Jesus and the Old Testament prophets continually warned against succumbing to this sin, which if not resisted, destroys not only individuals but also nations and empires. Indeed, so spiritually deadly does Christianity consider pride to be that both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches offer Confession as a mechanism for whittling down adherents’ inflated egos, identifying problematic behaviour and attitudes, and providing sage advice as to how they can mend their ways. (It has been said that there are no ‘tough guys’ in the Confessional.) Recognizing the value of such an institution, some Evangelicals now offer “accountability partners or groups” that provide believers with people they can talk to honestly (that is, “confess”) about their sins and get help in correcting their behaviour.

In spite of such wise counsel, we humans continue to embrace pride, no doubt hoping that an exception to its dire consequences will be made in our own case – a tragic self-deception, given the damage it inflicts on every aspect of life and every institution, including religion, cultural and intellectual life, the media and even the family.

Donald Trump’s Greek Tragedy

But to fully appreciate just how negative pridefulness can be, we need look no further than the realm of politics and government – one excellent example being the recent churlish behaviour of former President Donald Trump who went out of his way to personally insult Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – whom he called “Ron Desanctimonious” - and Virginia Governor, Glenn Youngkin – whom he ridiculed for having a last name that sounded Chinese. Such gratuitous insults represent classic examples of Trump-speak which may in part explain why he failed to get re-elected. For while such jibes may sound clever in Trump’s head, they actually make him look petty and damage his image without providing any obvious gain.

So why would he do such a thing? The answer, I believe, can be summed up in two words, “hurt pride”.

To begin with, Trump is clearly smarting because a number of the candidates he promoted during the midterms did poorly and because the Republican Party, over which he currently has considerable influence, did not enjoy the “red tsunami” many had predicted. Which has caused some to blame Trump for the Party’s underperformance.

Perhaps more importantly, Youngkin and DeSantis are rising stars within the Republican Party – with DeSantis being touted as a possible presidential candidate in the 2024 election. Given Trump’s fragile ego, sharing the limelight with these two men is not an option. So, Trump does what he always does in such situations. He goes on the attack – and a vicious one at that.

This temptation to attack is strengthened by the seeming refusal of these two men to kowtow to him as he thinks they should. For he firmly believes that they owe their positions to him and the support he gave them. In short, they are ungrateful for his help and they deserve any abuse he hurls at them.

What he can’t see (possibly blinded by his wounded inner child) is that none of this acting out is going to get him what he wants. For it won’t improve his chances of being elected in 2024. Nor will his verbal abuse hurled at DeSantis and Youngkin hurt them, but may rather help them since they will be seen as the innocent victims of a totally unfair unprovoked attack.

America’s Greek Tragedy

For those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, Trump’s current distress must seem like a gift from heaven. For in their eyes Trump is a stupid and evil man who threatens everything they hold dear. So, he deserves everything he gets. And more.

But for those not afflicted by this terrible Syndrome, Trump’s woes seem more like a Greek tragedy unfolding before their eyes – a tragedy made more poignant by its terrible inevitability.

Worse yet, it is increasingly clear that this tragedy is not really about Trump who is just a bit player in a larger drama in which America itself is the lead actor. For only a fool could fail to see that the United States is in a sharp decline – in part because of its moral failings and a widespread belief among its leaders and many of its citizens that its great wealth and military power allow them to do anything they want with absolutely no consequences. The error of this delusional thinking has become painfully obvious over the last two years as the Biden Administration has given new meaning to the word “incompetence”. Which has caused some to yearn for the “good old days” of the Trump era when the economy was booming, minority hiring was at record levels and you didn’t have to choose between filling up your car’s gas tank and paying your utility bills. And while it is true that we don’t have to put up with Trump’s mean Tweets anymore, the sad reality is that he has been replaced by a man who is clearly dementing and whose policies are damaging and dividing his country like never before. Which is evident from polls conducted in June 2022 which revealed that 85% of Americans believe their country is going in the wrong direction.

Pride Knows No Borders

Of course, Trump isn’t the first public figure to be blinded by pride and he won’t be the last. For pride does not recognize national boundaries. Nor does it afflict only some ideologies and groups while leaving others “simon-pure”. So, if Trump and America are in trouble because of their pride-driven foolishness, they clearly are in good company. Take, for example, social democratic Sweden which for many years has billed itself as a “humanitarian super power”. Acting on this rather flattering self-delusion, successive governments have crafted policies whose unintended consequences have resulted in the creation of “no-go zones” (aka “vulnerable areas”) in a number of Swedish cities characterised by drugs, violence and high levels of crime. Not surprisingly, the existence of no-go zones played a significant role in the recent political earthquake in that country – namely, the election of a conservative coalition government which includes the Swedish Democrats, a right-wing Party previously viewed by the political Establishment as being beyond the pale.

Equally prideful have been successive German governments – most notably that of recently retired Angela Merkel who opened her country’s borders in 2015 to a million unvetted third world refugees (many of them young single men) - with predictable results - and ordered the closing of Germany’s nuclear power stations in 2011 and their replacement by Russian natural gas and solar and wind power – also with predictable results.

Then there is the deadly pride of Russian Premier Vladimir Putin whose desire to establish himself in textbooks as the man who restored Russia to its imperial greatness has led to massive death and destruction in Ukraine as evidenced by an estimated 100,000 Russian military casualties, a similar number on the Ukrainian side, 40,000 civilian casualties, and as many as 30 million people having been forced to flee their homes. With no sign of this war ending any time soon, the carnage promises to rise even more.

And not to be ignored is Canada’s Justin Trudeau whose decisions over the last seven years clearly demonstrate what a pride-driven government looks like.

Take for instance his stubborn refusal to talk to members of the Truckers Convoy whom he saw as beneath him - they supposedly being homophobic, trans-phobic, misogynists and racists. Or his “holier-than-thou” scapegoating of the unvaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic whom he claimed “don’t believe in science/progress and are very often misogynistic and racist”. And what of his attacks on the oil and gas industry and his ever-increasing carbon taxes which raise the price to consumers of gasoline and heating oil? Or his call for 30% cuts to fertilizer emissions by 2030 which farmers say could threaten Canada’s food supply? All because he knows better than us.

And finally, what of the overwhelming pridefulness of global elites who think there are too many of us on Planet Earth and who seek ways of solving that problem by reducing the number of babies who are conceived and make it alive through the birth canal? And who seem determined to make life miserable for us by some “Great Reset” which will radically alter how we are governed, how we live and work, and, more disturbingly, what we eat – as seen by suggestions that it might be a good idea to replace meat in our diet by insects. Perhaps most ominous was the prediction contained in a 2018 WEF video which stated that “you will own nothing and be happy”.

All Is Not Lost

Even so, all is not lost. For the Universe does have a mechanism in place to deal with pride – as seen by Greek Tragedies and the human history that has followed them by way of confirmation. For time and again many great and powerful individuals, institutions, nations and empires have come crashing down due to their overweening pride. Thus, proving that there is indeed justice in the universe.

The problem is that there is often enormous collateral damage along the way. So, the trick is to survive the mess that powerful people create through their wilfulness while at the same time ensuring that our lives and the lives of those close to us are not damaged by our own pridefulness. One way to do this is by seeking the truth – for example, by refusing to accept unquestioningly what others say (especially those in positions of authority who have their own agendas), by resisting the pressure to blindly conform, and by refusing to lie to ourselves about who we are and why we are doing things. For as Jesus of Nazareth so rightly notes, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”.

But doing this will be hard since the forces that seek to keep us from the truth are strong, and their control over information via the mainstream media and education system is so powerful that barring some unusual event our only hope for enlightenment and change at the national level is some sort of spiritual revival. For as Gordon Lightfoot says in his song, The Pride of Man:
"And only God can lead his people
Back into the Earth again
Thy holy mountain be restored
Have mercy on thy people Lord."
In the meantime, we struggle on, not worrying about the pridefulness of people like Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau. But rather doing our best to address our own problem with pride – knowing that, as hard as this is, it is well worth the effort. For it is vital if our relationships with those around us – including our families – are to be happy, fulfilling, and peaceful.

Image Credit: Nikiforos Lytras, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, Nikiforos Lytras’ depiction of Antigone and Polynices, 1854. National Gallery, Athens. | Ancient Greek Story of Antigone Warns Against Sin of Pride
By Paul Malvern

If there were a list of those country’s least likely to revolt, Canada would surely top the list. For it is in our very DNA to defer to authorities, shut up and do what we are told.

Part of this is due to our climate where winters are harsh and can last for up to 5 months. No one wants to riot in minus 30-degree weather.

Nor does our history encourage revolt since both English and French Canada were founded on explicitly anti-revolutionary principles. For example, having missed the French revolution, Quebec’s culture remained for a long time similar to that of France’s ancien rếgime. And English Canada, having been settled by refugees from the American Revolution, remained doggedly opposed to radical change until the 1960s. These habits of mind were confirmed by the British North America Act which emphasized “peace, order and good government” in contrast to America’s principles of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

This tradition of strong governments and limited citizen input was given a decidedly left-wing flavour in English Canada by the current Prime Minister’s father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and in Quebec by the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s which transformed the province from an authoritarian state dominated by the Catholic Church into an authoritarian state dominated by an all-powerful provincial government.

So, it should come as no surprise that Canada has had some of the harshest Covid mandates in the world with next to no resistance from the population.

Even so, there is a point where the population of any nation decides that enough is enough – which is exactly what has happened in Canada.

Like most historic events, it is hard to identify the exact cause – particularly since there are so many outrages to choose from. One was the Quebec Government’s announcement that it would impose a special tax on the unvaccinated. Another was Prime Minister Trudeau’s attacks on the unvaccinated which were seen by many as an attempt to scapegoat people whose only crime was wanting to decide what medical treatment they would undergo. Then there were the calls to make vaccination compulsory – which appeared to violate the Nuremberg Code. And the clincher was Trudeau’s banning unvaccinated truckers entering Canada at a time when real worries existed as to the resilience of our supply chains.

The truckers’ response, Freedom Convoy 2022, has quickly morphed from a protest involving an industry-specific irritant into a national protest which seeks the elimination of all Covid mandates and the restoration of the freedoms lost during the pandemic.

To fully grasp the significance of this event it is important to recognize the difficulties faced by its organizers.

One is the sheer size of the event – which has made it the largest truck convoy in history. Organizers originally estimated that as many as 50,000 trucks might eventually join the convoy. While such a huge number of trucks did not materialize, the convoy nevertheless was enormous. For example, three days away from Ottawa, the convoy stretched 70 kms (43.5 miles) – with more trucks joining later on as it got closer to its final destination.

Then there are the vast distances to consider – as seen by the fact that trucks driving from Canada’s West Coast to Ottawa would have travelled over 4000 kms.

And then there is the fierce opposition to this grassroots movement by governments at all levels and the mainstream media which existed long before the convoy reached the Nation’s Capital.

The extent of this opposition is best illustrated by Prime Minister Trudeau’s comments to the media. Always keen to throw gasoline on a raging fire, he declared the truckers to be a small fringe minority who hold views that are unacceptable to Canadians. Not surprisingly, Trudeau’s remarks drew a number of angry responses – most notably that from renowned psychologist, Jordan Peterson, who declared that , “Every word he says is a lie. A nose as long as the trucker’s convoy”. Even so, Trudeau’s speaking points have been dutifully echoed by Canada’s media outlets which have condemned the convoy, smeared its organizers, and stirred up fears concerning the convoy, its aims and its participants. My favorite was the suggestion by the host on a CBC News program that Russia might somehow have had a hand in the protest. None of which is unexpected given the uncomfortably warm relationship between the PM and the media – a relationship that has grown even warmer following the Trudeau Government’s massive handouts to the media.

But while the powers-that-be may not approve of the convoy, the same cannot be said of many ordinary Canadians who have warmly greeted the protesters across the country, often standing for hours in sub-zero weather to cheer them on or offering them food and refreshments to speed them on their way. And yet others have flooded social media and newspaper comment sections with messages of support.

Nor has the impact of the convoy been limited to Canada. For there has been strong take up of the story by the U.S. media - with a spokesperson from the convoy being interviewed by Tucker Carlson. Even more striking was the warm endorsement of the convoy by billionaire Elon Musk. As well, truckers in Europe and Australia have taken note of the success of the event and have signalled their interest in mounting a similar effort. A similar convoy is being planned in the United States. And even truckers in Bolivia and Brazil have joined the movement.

So, is this the start of a Canadian revolution as some have suggested? Well, hardly, given the natural reserve of Canadians and the fact that the powers-that-be possess the full power of the state to enforce their will. But even so they are worried – as seen by Trudeau’s claim that he would be in isolation while the demonstrators were in the Nation’s Capital. His initial claim was that this was necessitated by his having been recently exposed to Covid. (A strange claim given that he is double-vaxxed and has received a booster!) In response to the scorn heaped upon this explanation, his story then changed – with his next fairy tale du jour being that his security people had demanded that he move to a more secure location to ensure his safety. Yes, democracy can be a scary thing!

As it turns out Trudeau and those around him do have a great deal to worry about. Not from rioting by the imaginary legions of hate-filled bigots he constantly tries to conjure up. But rather from a peaceful protest movement that has caught the imagination of a growing number of those Canadians who live outside the bubble Trudeau and his political and media allies inhabit – namely, those ordinary Canadians who have suffered horribly during the last two years of draconian restrictions. Worse yet from Trudeau’s perspective is the fact that this movement is no longer confined to just Ottawa as seen by similar demonstrations that have taken place in provincial capitals and the blockades that have shut down cross-border traffic in Southern Alberta and the Ontario border cities of Windsor and Sarnia.

But even more significant is the change which has occurred in the minds of many Canadians – particularly those who either oppose mandates or have doubts about the wisdom of giving away freedom for the illusion of safety. For they now know that they are not alone and have a power they never imagined existed.

Canadians are fighting back. And it looks good on them.

By Paul Malvern |

Politics is a funny business. It can improve people’s lives by appealing to humanity’s noblest aspirations. Or it can make life a living hell by drawing on people’s basest instincts. 

One of the most dangerous instincts is fear. For fear is easy to generate. It suppresses people’s ability to think critically. And it causes decent people to do things they never would do otherwise – which is why it has been used so successfully over the ages to get power and control others.

Creating a Culture of Fear

Of course, fear is not inherently bad. Nor is it something that should be avoided at all cost. For it can be beneficial – such as when our “flight or fight” response kicks in during times of danger. However, there are situations where it is quite harmful – for example, when it is irrational, when it is out of proportion to the threat, and when it is used to trick people into doing things that are not in their best interest. All of which have occurred during our current pandemic.

For those who have seen how governments really work, the idea that public officials might use fear to manipulate citizens is hardly news – as was recently demonstrated by a number of leaked documents which reveal how governments around the world have done just that during the pandemic.

Take for example the March 22, 2020 document from the UKs Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour (SPI-B) which shows that the UK Government sought to increase fear and insecurity among citizens from the very beginning. In it the authors state that the, “perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging”.1 To achieve this goal, many believe the Government is using techniques developed by the Project Fear campaign, which bombarded the public in the lead up to the Brexit referendum with articles threatening economic disaster, should the country leave the EU.

Documents from Ireland’s Independent Scientist Advisor Group (ISAG) tell a similar story. For example, one email encouraged members to “look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety, and uncertainty”, adding ominously that they should “go after people and not institutions” because “people hurt faster than institutions”.2

And leaked German Government emails show that in March 2020 the Federal Ministry of the Interior hired outside experts to create a model to support "measures of a preventive and repressive nature".3 The result was a horrific worst-case scenario which predicted the death of a million Germans. This supposedly secret document was leaked to the media which dutifully published its frightening projections.

Up until recently Canada has not seen similar blockbuster revelations – due in no small measure to the fear among insiders that leaking documents could end their careers. Less understandable is the behaviour of many Canadian journalists who seem content to echo statements by government and public health officials rather than do the digging required to discover what is really going on behind the scenes. Because of their reluctance to commit acts of journalism, the task of giving Canadians a balanced picture has fallen to the alternate media, a few Sun Media journalists, and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms which advocates for those whose rights have been violated. The problem here is that these alternate sources have a very limited reach – which is why most citizens are only aware of the government-approved narrative.

That being said, there is a limit to this lack of curiosity among even the most docile journalists – as shown by recent media revelations concerning a project conceived by the Canadian military’s Joint Operations Command (CJOC) to target Canadians using propaganda techniques similar to those employed in Afghanistan. This campaign called for “shaping” and “exploiting” information in order to “head off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic and to bolster government messages about the pandemic”.4

While this project was eventually closed down, it seems likely that this is far from the only manipulation of public opinion that has taken place during this period.

Turning up the Heat

Given this monopoly over the information available to citizens, it is not surprising that governments and public health officials have had a free hand during the pandemic. That being the case, you would think they would be content with their wide-ranging powers and happy to bask in their success to date. For the curve has been bent – as we were told was critical if our hospitals were not to be overwhelmed. New cases and deaths are down. And as of November 13, 2021, 88.99% of those 12 and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 85.49% were fully vaccinated.5 In short, Canadians have done everything demanded of them as a condition of their returning to normal.

And yet, things have not returned to normal. For many restrictions still apply. Authorities warn that new variants may require new mandates in the future. And the vaccines which were supposed to save us have proved somewhat disappointing in light of their side effects and inability to totally prevent people from getting the disease and transmitting it to others.

Faced with this sobering reality, authorities have turned up the heat and instituted even more draconic measures, such as limiting travel by the unvaccinated and demanding that all federal government employees be vaccinated or submit to frequent testing - with proof of vaccination now being required for many other jobs and activities.

And to really tighten their grip, governments and public health officials are now blaming the unvaccinated in order to direct public anger away from themselves.

Of course, scapegoating is a not a new phenomenon – as seen in the Old Testament where a goat was sprinkled with sacrificial blood and released it into the wilderness, taking the sins of the community with it. Since then, nation after nation has created its own scapegoats – such as the Jews in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s destruction of the Kulaks. While clearly not in the same league, the unvaccinated nevertheless are being turned into objects of fear and contempt. And Prime Minister Trudeau’s efforts during the electoral campaign to use the unvaccinated as a wedge issue has only heightened bad feeling toward this group.

Given this backdrop, many are now calling for even sterner measures – and if this means discrimination against the unvaccinated, well, so be it.

Politicizing Medicine

Of course, politics is not something that just involves governments, political parties, and parliamentary debates. For it also takes place outside what is normally thought of as the ‘political realm’ as individuals and groups strive to have their way on issues they feel strongly about – the medical system being no exception.

This temptation to play ‘hard ball’ when times are tough flows from the simple fact that we are human beings – not angels. And under stress people do things they might not do otherwise – a phenomenon seen from the very beginning of the pandemic. One good example was the debate as to whether we should close our airports to hot spots such as China – an idea that was poo-pooed at the time by those who felt it smacked of xenophobia and even racism. And while this measure was eventually taken, by the time this happened it was too late, thanks to the time wasted in political wrangling.

The politicization of medicine was also given a boost by events in the United States where opponents of former President Trump used the pandemic as a weapon to sink his re-election hopes. While this hurling of rhetorical hand grenades did damage his re-election chances, it also left the impression that the pandemic was totally out of control and countless millions were going to die. Given the strong connection between our two countries, this melee only served to heighten the sense of panic in this country.

As if it were not bad enough, this extreme partisanship also damaged the integrity of science as political ideology began to take precedence over scientific objectivity. A good illustration being those scientists and medical personnel who claimed that massive Black Lives Matters demonstrations would not act as ‘super spreaders’ while Trump rallies would – as if the virus were somehow able to distinguish ‘good Democrats’ from ‘bad Republicans’.

Some researchers also began to delay the release of information they felt might help Trump’s re-election efforts. This was revealed by researcher, Alina Chan, in an interview with NBC News. In it she confessed that she and some of her research colleagues held back a call for an investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology until after the election since “at the time, it was scarier to be associated with Trump and to become a tool for racists, so people didn’t want to call for an investigation into lab origins”.6

Another bad habit that developed in the United States was the tendency to make public health decisions based on public opinion polls. The classic example of this was the admission by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the U.S. President, that he relied on polls to decide what level of vaccinations would constitute herd immunity. As he put it, "When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent …Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80,85." 7

Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to suspect that a similar politicization has also happened in Canada. Take for instance Prime Minister Trudeau’s position on vaccine passports. In a January 2021 interview with Reuters, he dismissed the idea since it was “fraught with challenges” and might have “knock-on, undesirable effects” in some communities.8 But as polls began to show growing support for tougher measures, he became (as if by magic) keen on the idea. And this same Prime Minister who believes in “my body, my choice” when it comes to abortion now is determined to make life difficult for the unvaccinated by requiring that all federal public servants and those working in federally regulated industries be vaccinated, unless they can come up with a good excuse and agree to frequent testing.

As well, some suspect that some public health decisions may not be not totally free from political interference – a suspicion that was heightened when Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, remarked at a press conference, “I don’t know why I bring all these papers. I never look at them. I just say whatever they write down for me.” 9 While she was likely talking about her own communications people, the damage was done – as seen by NDP leader Andrea Horwath’s remark that it “leaves more and more questions in people’s minds as to who is calling the shots”.10

More recently, Blacklock’s Reporter, published an email in which a PMO official complained that “it was ‘totally unacceptable’ for the Public Health Agency to offer medical advice without first checking with political aides”.11

Of course, such a possibility is far from surprising since many in government love being in control – an attitude which many suspect has now begun to infect some medical and public health authorities as well. This suspicion was acknowledged by Dr. Anthony Fauci who remarked that, “scientists have been perceived throughout this pandemic as ‘authoritarian’ by members of the public, because of the steps taken to combat the virus.” And then, as if to prove the skeptics right, he added that, while he respects Americans’ independent spirit, “now is the time to do what you’re told”.12

Of course, Fauci might have a point if you believe vast numbers of lives are at stake as the early pandemic models had forecast. The problem is that these early models have since been discredited due to the fact that this virus has proved to be less lethal than had been predicted.

Nor is it a good idea to tell people to shut up and do what they are told since this turns people into robots without the ability to think for themselves. And shutting down discussion among health care professionals and researchers is particularly ill-advised since it denies the health care system all of the information needed to battle this virus. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened in the case of those researchers and doctors whose views differ from the current narrative. For rather than carefully considering the ideas of such individuals, many in the medical establishment dismiss them out of hand, at times responding quite harshly. Just how harshly was revealed at a press conference hosted on Parliament Hill by former MP Derek Sloan which dealt with the censorship of doctors. In it a panel of doctors and researchers provided numerous examples of physicians being silenced and even fired from their positions.13

As if to underline the reality of this ‘my way or the highway’ approach toward dissenters, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons cautioned doctors on April 30, 2021 that they “have a professional responsibility to not communicate anti-vaccine, anti-masking, anti-distancing and anti-lockdown statements and/or promoting[sic] unsupported, unproven treatments for COVID-19.” It further warned that, “physicians who put the public at risk may face an investigation by the CPSO and disciplinary action …14

In effect, the College was laying down the law and warning doctors against criticizing elements in the current approach – which stands in sharp contrast to its claim that this statement was, “not intended to stifle a healthy public debate about how to best address aspects of the pandemic”.15 Of course, part of the problem involves how you interpret some of the terms used in the statement. For example, what constitutes ‘healthy public debate’? And what do the authors mean by “misinformation”? Does it refer to statements that are patently false or purposely deceptive? Or does it involve something broader which could include ideas that are simply at variance with the current narrative? Whatever the case, it seems likely that this warning has discouraged some from sharing their insights and experience - which is never a good thing in science.

In spite of this pushback, some doctors and researchers have spoken out – either as individuals or as part of a group. One such group is the Canadian Covid Care Alliance which brings together doctors, scientists and health care practitioners to provide “top-quality and balanced evidence-based information to the Canadian public about COVID-19”.16 This includes information on vaccines, employer and educational institution policies relating to vaccination, and possible new treatments.

What’s interesting about many of those expressing doubts about current procedures is their desire to remain anonymous – no doubt fearing that going public might damage their careers. Not an unreasonable fear based on recent history!

Looking at this conflict within our medical system, it seems clear that both sides want the best for Canadians. But the question is how to achieve this. For on one side is the medical establishment which fears that airing conflicting claims by doctors and researchers at this time could cause chaos, which they hope to avoid by imposing message discipline. While on the other side are those researchers and physicians who see problems in the current approach and are frustrated by their inability to get their concerns taken seriously. How this will play out is anybody’s guess. But what we do know is that telling dissenting doctors and researchers to be quiet will not make the problem go away. For while some ideas from dissenters may be of little value, others may be quite helpful. That being the case, those ideas which are plausible need to be given a fair hearing rather than simply sweeping them under the carpet. For it is only by looking at all of the data – not just that which fits your narrative - that the health of Canadians can be ensured.

So, What’s the Problem?

For many the use of fear to manipulate citizens is not problematic. After all, they would contend, this is a global pandemic we are facing. And given the threats we face, using fear to force compliance and sacrificing a few freedoms along the way are a small price to pay.

Sadly, such individuals are mistaken since this approach is fraught with difficulties.

One problem is that fear doesn’t encourage thoughtful consideration. Rather it causes people to do things they would never do otherwise. Such as sending large quantities of personal protective equipment to China early on in the pandemic when there was a shortage here in Canada. Or forcing people into COVID hotels and charging exorbitant prices for bad food and poor accommodations. Or hesitating to close our airports to planes from hotspots because it might be seen as racist or xenophobic. Or making people so afraid they willingly surrender their freedom believing that this will ensure their safety. Or compelling churches to close because they are seen as non-essential services that are “super spreaders”.

Nor are governments likely to relinquish all the emergency powers they currently possess. This was discussed in a Financial Times interview with the Estonian Prime Minister. In it she said, “What we have seen in this Covid crisis, this urge for a strong hand or an authoritarian way of governing is deep in our societies, even in some countries you would never believe … Even if you don’t have the epidemiological reasons now, we are not giving people the freedoms back because it’s more convenient this way.” 17 Sadly, her words may also apply to Canada.

Yet another problem is that using ‘fear porn’ to force compliance is unethical since it denies people the ability to make rational decisions about what is in their best interest. This is particularly true of the ham-fisted inoculation campaigns currently under way that are pressuring Canadians to get vaccinated without informed consent. For while many of the short terms side effects are known - which can include blood clots, myocarditis/pericarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), anaphylaxis, and even death - no one knows what the long-term effects are. That is because the Phase III clinical trials of the vaccines are ongoing and the results are not yet available.18 Which suggests that pushing people to get vaccinated through enticements or threatening their ability to work or travel is at best unethical and at worst a violation of their human rights.

We also need to consider the long-term cultural damage flowing from the unremitting propaganda we are subjected to daily which uses powerful fear-inducing messaging and images to gain public compliance. The problem here is that you cannot turn fear on and off like a light switch. And having taught people to fear and distrust each other, this fear is now a part of the culture and as such will be difficult to reverse.

As well, we need to consider the long-term damage to our economy and the physical, mental and emotional health of Canadians which is evident from our many bankruptcies and job losses as well as the flood of people showing up at hospital emergency facilities due to suicide attempts, drug overdoses and mental health crises.

Sadly, this is just the beginning. For while the full extent of this damage is yet to be seen, the initial evidence is not encouraging. A good example is the work by Simon Fraser economist, Douglas Allen, who criticizes current decision-makers for having “greatly overestimated the benefits of lockdowns and underestimated the harm the restrictions would cause”.19 In his study, Covid Lockdowns: A Critical Assessment of the Literature, he concludes that “Lockdowns have had, at best, a marginal effect on the number of Covid-19 deaths”. 20 Unfortunately, the negative impacts from lockdowns have been anything but marginal. For in his research, he found that lockdowns have actually caused more death and suffering than they have prevented. And they have resulted in many unseen harms such as: lost civil liberties, reduced social contact, cancelled medical procedures, damage to education, and increased family violence, mental illness, substance abuse and suicide. 21

Summing Up

While the “politics of fear” has successfully forced widespread compliance with public health decrees, many of its longer-term consequences are likely to be far from positive. And some of them are already being seen – such as, the harm to our economy, sky-rocketing public sector debt, and the damage to the physical and mental health of millions of Canadians. This is particularly true of the negative impact which lockdowns, school closings and the constant ramping up of fear by governments and the media are having on Canada’s 8 million children. This was highlighted by the national children’s advocacy group, Children First Canada, which warned that, “Children’s hospitals have reported unprecedented admissions for suicide attempts, eating disorders, substance-use disorders, as well as other physical symptoms related to distress, known as a somatic symptom disorder.”.22

In addition, there a number of other harms, which, while less visible, nevertheless are also quite serious. One of them is what one might call the damage to the Canadian soul. This includes such things as the diminished value Canadians now place on freedom, their willingness to suspend human rights in order to feel safe, and the growing hatred directed at those who choose not to be vaccinated. This scapegoating of the unvaccinated is a particularly interesting phenomenon since many tend to think of human rights in terms of racial and sexual minorities. But as we are now seeing, hatred can be directed against any group – including the unvaccinated.

Observing the vilification of these people and the growing list of restrictions being placed on them, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that something troubling is happening in this country, which up to now has prided itself on its tolerance and commitment to preserving the rights of minorities.

Another area of harm involves the damage being done to our democratic institutions – such as Parliament and our provincial legislatures - which have taken a back seat to fiats issued by the Prime Minister, provincial Premiers and public health officials. This abdication of responsibility by our elected officials in favour of rule by a tiny clique of people at the top is best illustrated by the passage in the Ontario Legislature of Bill 195 whose provisions allow the government of Premier Ford to extend or amend emergency orders relating to the pandemic a month at a time for up to two years without consulting the Legislature. Given how sweeping these new powers are, it is remarkable that only one elected official, MPP Belinda Karahalios, voted against it, declaring that it “silences every single Ontario MPP on the most important issue facing our legislature today”.23 Rather than being applauded for her commitment to our democratic system of government, she was instead punished by the Government by being turfed from the Conservative caucus.

And then there is the matter of our judiciary, the Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights, and provincial human rights legislation and codes – all of which have proved woefully ineffective in protecting Canadians from the growing power of the State and a mob mentality driven by fear. Speaking of the impact of mandatory vaccination policies on our rights and freedoms, Marty Moore, staff lawyer at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, notes that: “Requiring COVID vaccination as a condition for participating in basic aspects of society is a profound violation of Canadians’ human dignity and personal autonomy protected by our Charter.” 24 And so it is.

Taking all of this together, it is clear that Canada and Canadians have not done well during this pandemic and we are in some sense less than we used to be. Whether we can return to that which we were prior to this virus is anyone’s guess. Still, what we do know is that Canadians have gone through other dark times in the past and have come out the other side – sometimes even stronger and better. We can only hope that we will see a repeat of this in the future.

1. Laura Dodsworth. A State of Fear. London: Pinter and Martin Ltd., 2021.

2. Gary Kavanagh. “’Look for ways to increase, anxiety and uncertainty’ – Zero Covid document”. Gript. February 23, 2021. Retrieved from:

3. Anette Dowideit and Alexander Nabert. “Interior Ministry Engaged Scientists to Justify Corona Measures”. Die Welt. July 2, 2021. Retrieved from:

4. David Pugliese. “Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians, Forces report says”. Ottawa Citizen. September 27, 2021. Retrieved from:

5. Government of Canada. COVID-19 vaccination in Canada. Retrieved from:

6. Denise Chow. “The science around the lab leak theory hasn't changed. But here's why some scientists have”. NBC News. June 16, 2021. Retrieve from:

7. Mike Allen. “NYT: Fauci acknowledges moving goalposts on herd immunity from COVID-19”. Axios. December 25, 2021. Retrieved from:

8. Andy Blatchford. “Trudeau injects vaccine hesitancy into spotlight of Canadian election”. Politico. August 15, 2021. Retrieved from:

9. Chris Fox. “Ontario health official responds after being caught on hot mic before COVID-19 briefing”. CTV News December 16, 2020. Retrieve from:

10. Ibid.

11. “Try to take it down: PMO”. Blacklock’s Reporter. August 23, 2021. Retrieved from:

12. Christina Farr. “Fauci says U.S. has ‘independent spirit,’ but now is the time to ‘do what you’re told’”. CNBC. November 12, 2020. Retrieved from: Fauci says U.S. has 'independent spirit,' but now is the time to ‘do what you’re told’ (

13. “Derek Sloan raises concerns over censorship of doctors, scientists at Parliament Hill press conference.” Rebel News. July 20, 2021. Retrieved from:

14. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. “Statement on Public Misinformation”. April 30, 2021. Retrieved from:

15. Ibid.

16. Canadian Covid Care Alliance. “Independent, science-based evidence to empower Canadians”. Retrieved from:

17. Richard Milne. “Estonian PM warns West of damage from Covid-induced authoritarianism”. Financial Times. June 23, 2021. Retrieved from:

18. Canadian Covid Care Alliance. “What is Informed Consent and How Does It Apply to COVID-19 Vaccinations?” Retrieved from:

19. Thade Andy. “Decision to lockdown caused 282 times the loss of years of life says Economics professor” Gript. May 20, 2021. Retrieved from:

20. Douglas W. Allen. Covid Lockdown Cost/Benefits: A Critical Assessment of the Literature. Burnaby BC: Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, April 2021. Abstract, p. 1. Retrieved from:

21. Ibid. “D. The Costs of Lockdown”. pp. 37-41.

22. Children First Canada. “The Clock is Ticking: The Child Mental Health Crisis Rages on While Parliament Breaks for the Summer and an Election Looms.” June 29, 2021. Retrieved from:

23. Jackie Sharkey. “Cambridge MPP Belinda Karahalios booted from PC caucus after voting against COVID-19 emergency bill”. CBC News. Jul 21, 2020. Retrieved from:

24. Marty Moore. “Mandatory Vaccination Policies Disregard Canadians’ Constitutional Rights.” The Epoch Times. September 6, 2021.

By Elishama |

Let’s admit it. We hear this parable about the labourers in the vineyard at Sunday Mass once every three years (because it only appears in the Gospel of Matthew, and Matthew is the focus of our Sunday readings once every three years). And every time we hear it, we think the same thing: How unfair it seems! The landowner paying the labourers who worked hard all day the same wage as those who hardly worked at all! Why even bother showing up early! We are stuck on this point.

But this is not a parable about industrial relations and a just wage. It's a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven. And if we look at it from that perspective, I think there are at least three important lessons that we can learn from it.

The first lesson is that God gives us many opportunities to come to Him. It is a terrible experience to look back on one’s life and realize I missed a great opportunity and that it is now too late. It will never come my way again. Whether it be a missed job opportunity, career choice, friendship, or whatever.

But God never ceases offering us opportunities to give our lives to Him. In the parable, the landowner went out no less than five times looking for labourers; from early morning till late afternoon. He spent virtually the entire day searching for them!Why is this? Because God has granted us our time on earth to come to Him and to serve Him. If we fail to take advantage of the offer when it is first given, God does not give up on us. He will try again.

Imagine if God acted like normal landowners and only went out once in the day in search of labourers: if He only gave us one chance in our lifetime to come to Him. How many of us would have missed that opportunity and been lost?

Thankfully God is not like that. And it gives us hope: not only hope for ourselves, but for our families, our friends, for everyone. God does not give up on anyone. He will continue to search them out, while there is still time, and offer more chances to come to Him. On our part, we should “seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Be ready, like the labourers, to answer His invitation.

The second lesson is that God gives us much more than we deserve. The Kingdom of Heaven is not something God owes us because of anything we have done; rather God offers it to us despite the things we have done. It is a free gift of Divine Mercy.

As one author put it: “All God gives is of grace. We cannot earn what God gives us; we cannot deserve it; what God gives us is given out of the goodness of His heart; what God gives is not pay, but a gift; not a reward, but a grace” (William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series: Gospel of Matthew).

If we want to talk solely in terms of justice, God owes us nothing. He has made this whole universe out of nothing. And everything we have comes from something God has given. So, we can make no claim on Him. He does not owe us anything; least of all eternal life with Him and a share in His divine nature.

But God offers both to us, even though we are sinners. It is what He has freely chosen to do with what belongs to Him. God owes us nothing yet He gives us everything in Jesus Christ.

Finally, the third lesson is that God is generous because God is Love. Yes, from an employer-employee viewpoint, what the landlord does in the parable seems unfair. Whoever works more should receive more than those who work less.

But the landowner is responding to the need of the workers to support themselves and their families. In those days the “usual daily wage” for a day-labourer was barely enough to get by. So, while some may have worked longer than others, all needed enough to survive. And so, out of compassion, the landlord paid them not according to what they deserved but according to their need. His generosity was a manifestation of his love. And in this He reflects God’s love for us.

God offers us a new life in Him because He loves us. And He does not begin to love us when we begin to love Him. He loves us from the beginning. That is why He is equally generous to those who come to Him early in life and those who come to Him late in life. That is why Heis willing to forgive our sins, though they may be many. Because it is not about who we are but about Who He is.

It is too easy to think of God as like us, and judge Him accordingly, forgetting that He is God. Forgetting that “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Amen.
By Larry Elder |

"Many people on the left focus heavily on the ideas of systemic racism, structural racism, institutional racism … and “pernicious racism”? Former Attorney General Eric Holder recently said the United States is a “nation of cowards” for not ending this kind of racism. Larry Elder looks into some of the cited reasons for this, such as voter ID laws, disparities in school suspensions, disparities in the prison population, and treatment by police."  --

photo: Sgt. Jacob Harrer / Public domain
By Catholic Answers - Focus,
with Fr. Hugh Barbour |
... when you deny someone his due because of their ethnic or racial identity then that’s the sin of racism as against justice ...

By Rubin Report | Ted Cruz |

Ball-and-stick model of a hydroxychloroquine molecule, C18H26ClN3O, based on the structure of the protonated molecule found in the crystal structure of hydroxychloroquine sulfate

Photo Attribution: Benjah-bmm27 / Public domain
By Joseph A. Wulfsohn | Fox News |
The Washington Post is the latest news organization to settle a defamation lawsuit launched by Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann over its botched coverage of a viral confrontation with a Native American elder that had portrayed the Kentucky teen as the aggressor.