Toronto and surrounding areas are a mess with COVID-19, and it seems most major cities in Canada are struggling to curve the pandemic and the variants associated with the virus.
Right now, most of the anger is directed at the Premiers of the provinces with their half-measures of lockdowns and restrictions. Here in Ontario, where I live, unions are ramping up their slander ads towards Doug Ford, praying that a reckless, free spending Liberal or NDP candidate will win the next election. But how much blame should we place on our local mayors and premiers?
They are left on the front line to deal with real Canadian issues. They are the ones that are still communicating daily with Canadians. They were the ones dealing with setting up testing clinics with limited test kits. They are the ones dealing with vaccine supply issues. They are the ones dealing with local business, landlords, renters and the list goes on. I think we need to understand that the premiers and mayor are left cleaning up the mess BUT we should be directing all of our anger further up the food chain; yes, I am looking at you Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau has said from Day One that he is here for Canadians financially and will provide assistance as needed. But if any of you have ever planned an event, there are those who do the work and help out and then there are those that say “just tell me what the bill is and I’ll pay my share…” and be completely responsibility-free. So when things go right they take the credit, but when things go wrong..well, you know the routine.
Since COVID-19 accelerated in March 2020, Justin Trudeau and the federal government needed to take control of four (4) major issues: Assist Canadians and businesses with financial aid, keep communication lines open, secure the borders from more cases entering the country, and procure vaccine supplies once they became available.
CERB was a mess for frontline workers
I work in a major box home improvement store, so I saw firsthand the impact that CERB made. Employee’s income and shifts were affected as sales decline with lockdown restriction. But I also witnessed in 2020 quite a surge of employees leave or become unavailable when Trudeau made CERB available. Someone working minimum wage was almost making the same as CERB recipients; in Ontario, it was a true slap in the face to those left working during the first lockdown – why expose yourself working when you can make the same amount at home. There were millions of more people that claimed CERB than recorded jobs lost as Trudeau made all applicants eligible.
At my work, this angered many workers off having to deal with “inconvenienced” customers collecting CERB, shopping for “necessities” all while upgrading the value in their homes; just look at lumber prices today due to shortages. And in true Liberal fashion, Trudeau was also throwing more money around to students, $1,250 every 4 weeks with CERB, thus putting the final nail in the coffin for having part time student workers. The only Canadians that stepped up to the plate were the box store employers that had to increase the pay of employees to stop the surge of people leaving.
This has been a nightmare scenario for Canadians. While other countries have vaccinated the majority of their citizens while stockpiling doses, we have heard delays and cancellations of vaccine shipments headed our way. Obviously Trudeau is not flexing any muscle to get vaccines here to Canada, now is not the time to be a polite Canadian. Canadians are dying daily and will continue to do so until the bulk of the population is vaccinated.
It is a large hurtle for many Canadians to take a “fast tracked” vaccine. The pressure “sales” job of Trudeau telling us to take which is offered to you first, not allowing a choice of vaccine is a real problem. Trudeau needed to find a way to get a steady supply of vaccines here months ago and give Canadians confidence in the brand they are taking.
Why is international travel still open?
I live near Lester B. Pearson International airport, Toronto’s major hub. When the pandemic first started, who on earth would be traveling during a global pandemic, right? I was wrong, now it seems not only are international flights coming in, but we knew COVID-19 cases were allowed on the plane to enter this country all along. I am not sympathetic to Canadians who are still traveling abroad, my family members cut their vacation short in March 2020 when Trudeau told Canadians to return home and none of us have left since. I am not sympathetic to the extremely small percentage of people having family emergencies that need to travel. What is more of an emergency then a global pandemic?
A co-worker of mine did not travel abroad when her own father passed away due to COVID, and I respect her immensely. And the next time you think, what is wrong with Toronto and other large cities in Canada, why can’t they get their act together? Imagine thousands of international travelers entering your city every hour and then wonder why you have higher cases of COVID-19? And worse, travel agencies are enticing people with rock bottom vacationing prices; shame on them and shame on Trudeau for not having the cajones to shut the airports down from day one. It took almost a year to get proper quarantine procedures in place for travelers, and even the three-day quarantine stay in airport hotels are proving to be hazardous. Peel Region just shut down a hotel due to an outbreak while another Toronto hotel has 13 staff cases.
Perhaps one of the reasons the airports weren’t shut down is that Trudeau and the media saw the backlash of Trump being called a racist when he closed flights to China. Statistically today, our biggest threats now are flights from India, another visible minority nation. The Greater Toronto Area has a large South Asian community. Reluctantly it seems, the Trudeau government finally stopped direct flights from India, leaving it up to the connecting flights country to test, all while not wanting to upset the South Asian community, especially since the rising NDP opposition leader is also from the region. Stop allowing virus variants to enter Canada, his voluntary quarantine in 2020 did not work and Toronto businesses are paying the price! The UK, Brazilian, South African variants did not swim to Canada; 100% of all COVID-19 cases in Canada originated from a person traveling.
Communication Lines Open
Trudeau did a really good job in the first few weeks of the pandemic, when he had announcements of his free spending ways. But now it seems all of HIS tough decisions and shortfalls are being announced by the provinces. Trudeau is not front and center anymore, his policies are no longer transparent as it feels like hundreds of billions of dollars were spent without real results. And of course it seems now he is only focusing his effort on a re-election budget and damage control for his shortfalls.
In conclusion, Justin Trudeau’s line “we are always here for the provinces and Canadians” is starting to wear thin. He should have focused on the things a federal government controls. Stop viruses from entering Canada. Secure vaccines. Help businesses, big and small. If this was done properly right from the beginning, many of the provincial and municipal issues would have a lot less to worry about. Lockdowns, curbside and restrictions would be limited and a sense of normalcy would return quicker.
Perhaps his election strategy is making the provinces look bad to make himself look better? But if he wants the bulk of Toronto votes, which primarily won him the last election, do everyone a favour and close Pearson International airport as a first step in the right direction. I have a close friend who is convinced that Trudeau is the only politician that showed signs of compassion during this pandemic, certainly not from my point of view. Simply put, I hand out candy at the end of Halloween night, fistfuls at a time to deter teenagers from egging or damaging my car; perhaps Trudeau is doing the same with easily accessed CERB money to not get egged or have his reputation damaged.
Although egging him would now be easily justified for his terrible political decisions.