FIRST READING: Mere hours after defending them to the death, Liberals drop mandates

Governor General somehow spends $100K to feed 29 people

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The federal government abruptly dropped a whole whack of COVID mandates on Tuesday. Among other things, unvaccinated Canadians will once again be able to board aircraft and even return to work in the civil service.  

The change isn’t all that unexpected: As we’ve frequently covered in this newsletter, Canada’s stubborn adherence to vaccine and mask mandates was glaringly out of step with virtually the entire West, and was increasingly divorced from any notion of epidemiological science.

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What’s more surprising is the dizzying about-face the move represents for the Liberals.

In the days and even hours before the mandates were rescinded, the Trudeau government was mounting an all-out campaign to convince Canadians that they were a critical necessity, and that to claim otherwise was reckless or anti-science.

Last Wednesday, Chief Public Officer of Health Theresa Tam was put in front of the Commons health committee to testify that the pandemic is “not over” and that “we need to prepare.”

Multiple times in the House of Commons last week, whenever Conservative MPs questioned the utility of ongoing mandates, they were met with this boilerplate response from the Liberals’ Adam van Koeverden: “Our government will continue to make sure we are putting the health of Canadians first.”

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At the beginning of this month – when Canada’s rate of vaccination and COVID cases was basically the same as it is now – Trudeau was defending the need for at least another month of mandates. “The reality is, as much as people would like to pretend we’re not, we’re still in a pandemic,” he said.

And yet, with all these arguments suddenly out the window, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc still claimed on Tuesday that the decision to drop the mandates was “based on science.”

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If this pattern sounds familiar, it’s exactly what the Trudeau government did regarding the lifting of the Emergencies Act in late February.

Even after every single Freedom Convoy blockade had been cleared by police and the protest’s organizers jailed, the Trudeau government had insisted that the Emergencies Act remain in place indefinitely because, in the words of Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair, a “threat still exists.”

The Liberals even put the question to a confidence motion in the House of Commons, with Trudeau telling reporters that Freedom Convoyers were massing for a second attack on the capital and that the “state of emergency is not over.”

Then, just 24 hours later, Trudeau unilaterally lifted the Emergencies Act with the declaration that, actually, “the situation is no longer an emergency.”

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The sudden lifting of COVID mandates after weeks of defending the exact opposite also bears an eerie similarity to how many of these mandates were introduced in the first place.

In the opening weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada refused to implement even minor travel restrictions on hotspot areas such as Iran or China with the implication that such measures were racist.

By the time of the Omicron wave, however, Ottawa was placing blanket bans on travel to and from Southern Africa – even as South African scientists warned (correctly, it turned out) that the variant was far too infectious to be contained.

Meanwhile, Canada’s COVID mandate rodeo is far from over. Here’s just a sampling of the restrictions that remain in place

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  • Face masks are still mandatory on airplanes and other federally regulated transport.
  • Incoming travellers will still have to use the ArriveCan app to input the precise dates of their COVID vaccines.
  • Unvaccinated Canadians will still be required to quarantine for 14 days following international travel.
A photo posted to Instagram by the Marilyn Monroe Collection showing the damage done to Monroe’s famous “Happy birthday, Mr. President” dress after it was worn to the Met Gala by Kim Kardashian in May. Purchased in 2016 for $4.8 million by Canadian billionaire Jimmy Pattison, the garment is considered the most valuable dress in the world. The incredibly tight-fitting dress was specially tailored for Monroe, and was apparently stretched, torn and its crystals ripped out after its encounter with Kardashian.
A photo posted to Instagram by the Marilyn Monroe Collection showing the damage done to Monroe’s famous “Happy birthday, Mr. President” dress after it was worn to the Met Gala by Kim Kardashian in May. Purchased in 2016 for $4.8 million by Canadian billionaire Jimmy Pattison, the garment is considered the most valuable dress in the world. The incredibly tight-fitting dress was specially tailored for Monroe, and was apparently stretched, torn and its crystals ripped out after its encounter with Kardashian. Photo by Marilyn Monroe Collection via Instagram 

IN OTHER NEWS

In other dystopian border news, the Liberals have recently been trying to pass a bill that would allow warrantless searches of phones and laptops at the Canadian border. Bill S-7, introduced in the Senate, would require only “reasonable general concern” for a border guard to order travellers to start scrolling through their phone for potentially incriminating information. A Senate committee apparently thought the bill was a bit too harsh, so they changed the wording to “reasonable grounds to suspect.”

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It took 11 months, but Governor General Mary Simon already has her first spending scandal. As reported by the National Post’s Bryan Passifiume, she somehow managed to rack up $93,117.89 in in-flight catering services during a weeklong trip to Expo 2020 in Dubai. She had an entourage of 29, but that’s still $3,000 a head. Also revealed in a raft of expense documents related to Canadian government air travel was that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his entourage somehow consumed $69.32 of catered food during a 43-minute flight from Montreal to Ottawa.

They also burned through $250,000 in jet fuel.
They also burned through $250,000 in jet fuel. Photo by Department of National Defence

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