Editorials - Jan. 7, 2021
When is it enough?
At some point, even the gang that backs up a schoolyard bully begins to question when a line has been crossed. As United States President Donald Trump refuses to concede the election and continues his last-ditch attempts to hold on to power, several key Republicans (including Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell) have finally indicated that they will deplore any attempt to deprive Joe Biden of the presidency.
President Trump is grasping at straws, including calling for a 10-day audit by state legislatures (which are controlled by Republicans in the critical swing states in which he is seeking to overturn results). His desperation was evident on the weekend when he spent his time badgering election officials to “find” him votes.
Trump should be spending his final days in the White House soothing a nation ravaged by a global pandemic and ensuring the country remains an international leader and a beacon of democracy by ensuring a “smooth transition of power”, just as its constitution has upheld for centuries. Instead, he has been on the golf course and his Twitter feed, pushing misinformation to convince followers the election was stolen.
By now many of his supporters, even those who previously admired his brash disregard of protocols, surely must be wondering where the line should be drawn. – DS
Do as I say, not as I do
As many Canadians sacrificed their traditional holiday celebrations or cancelled once-in-a-lifetime vacations in the name of stopping the spread of COVID-19, several high-profile politicians eschewed their own governments’ advice and travelled to luxurious destinations.
There was the widely-publicized trip to St. Barts taken by Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips, during which Phillips planned social media posts making it appear he was home with his family for the holidays. (Phillips has since resigned from the cabinet and is facing further calls for him to resign as Ajax MPP.) Since then, other trips have come to light, including MP Niki Ashton of the NDP, who travelled to Greece, and at least eight Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and staffers from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party who travelled internationally over the holiday break. Ashton has been stripped of several roles, while Kenney has fired his chief of staff, accepted the resignation of his Minister of Municipal Affairs and demoted five others as a result. Federal Liberal MP Kamal Khera has stepped down from her parliamentary secretary role after travelling to Seattle, while her fellow Liberal MP Sameer Zuberi travelled to Delaware. Conservative MP David Sweet has resigned from his role as chair of the House of Commons Ethics Committee after travelling to the United States over the holidays. And there are more.
While Canada is sure to see a spike in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, our leaders must be held to a higher standard. A politician asking constituents to adhere to rules they themselves don’t follow is the heart and soul of why people refuse to trust the government. Furthermore, those who have not been punished solidify the feeling of many that there are different rules for those in power than there are for the general public.
If those leading us through one of the deadliest pandemics in history want to stake their reputations on the message that we’re all in this together, they need to make the same sacrifices they’re asking of us. And if we are all in the same boat, that boat needs to be safely docked here in Canada, not gracefully bobbing in waters off the coast of St. Barts. – SL
Reaching new heights
Just under two weeks have passed since the second provincial lockdown was enacted to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and case numbers both locally in Huron and Perth Counties and across Ontario continue to spike.
In Huron and Perth Counties, those spikes occurred on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen says we could be weeks away from seeing the impact of the lockdown. As of Monday, however, Huron and Perth Counties have 106 active cases between them and nearly one third are in Huron.
With the cases where they are, Dr. Klassen said during a press conference on Monday, Huron and Perth Counties continue to be in the “red” framework zone when considered only numerically, however other factors may keep the area in the “orange” zone if the lockdown is lifted on schedule. This comes after Canada set a new record with well over 8,000 cases of COVID-19 on New Year’s Eve.
As a province and as a county, we all need to hunker down to prevent the spread of this virus before we can all benefit from the vaccines that may finally bring an end to that pandemic. Keep washing your hands, physical distancing, listening to the experts and ignoring the people whose advice will just keep this pandemic raging longer than it needs to, causing more deaths. – JDS