Editorials - March 10, 2023
We’re all in this together
“The government” is not a pirate stealing from us for its own benefit. It’s actually us... people pooling their resources to provide things that we’ve agreed are important to our society: roads, bridges, health care, hospitals, schools, libraries, daycare, arts, pensions, nursing homes, firefighters, police, ambulances, social services, mental health supports, mail delivery, broadcasting, laws, courts, prisons, rehabilitation, museums, arenas, theatres, international relationships, environmental and climate research and protection, monetary system and oversight, tax collection and administration, worker protection, employment insurance, clean water, waste management, sewage, guaranteed food supply, weather tracking and forecasting, highway maintenance and more.
At the end of the day, whether you are Conservative or Liberal or something in between or even outside of the traditional parties, aren’t we all wanting the same thing? A safe comfortable life in which we pay as little in tax as possible to get it. We may disagree on how to get it, but the goal is the same for most of us. As an example, gun control isn’t the goal, it’s one idea of how to create safer communities. It’s not the whole answer and it may prove to not even be the right solution, but it is an idea that has been brought forward to try to fix a problem.
In the same vein, staff for all levels of government need to remember who they work for and look for solutions to provide the things that the citizens want. Politicians represent us to ensure the community is getting all of the resources and amenities that it has decided it needs. Between budget debates, party politics and arguments among sides of a hypothetical spectrum, it seems a lot of us are missing the point. – DS
A closer look
News of potential interference in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 federal elections by the Chinese government has resulted in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointing a special independent rapporteur, as well as a committee of lawmakers with top-secret security clearance, to probe the issue further. This comes after weeks of dribs and drabs of news items suggesting possible meddling and criticism that Trudeau and his government were not taking the allegations seriously.
While Trudeau has since said that reports of meddling should “strike us to our very core as Canadians,” the concern has been that reports didn’t exactly seem to shake him to his “very core” and that attitude has welcomed renewed criticism of what some opposing politicians have seen as a cozy relationship between Trudeau and China. Furthermore, it has played into the narrative that has dogged Trudeau in recent years that, while he is quick to criticize, he is glacial when it comes to investigating his own or owning up to his own mistakes.
The wheels are now in motion to dig deeper into potential foreign interference. Trudeau has said that attempts to interfere with Canada by countries such as China, Iran and Russia are nothing new. “This is not a new problem,” he said. While it may not be new, it is still a problem and Trudeau needs to see it that way. – SL
A celebrated export
It’s not unusual for wonderful things to happen in arenas across Ontario, but, off the ice? In recent years, the province has had a chance to watch a different type of skilled and co-ordinated team, armed with an elite level of training, apply itself precisely with pinpoint precision in otherwise shuttered arenas. Different, but no less awe-inspiring.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced hockey teams, skating clubs and other sporting organizations to vacate dressing rooms for a lengthy period, but the lingering scent of the spirit of excellence wafted unabated inside the province’s arenas nevertheless. Slap-shots were temporarily replaced with vaccination shots and team line-ups were generally composed of nurses and doctors, not hockey and broomball players.
A recent Ontario study comparing the various styles of immunization clinics has been released and found the “circular hockey hub” method to be the most efficient. A hockey hub-style vaccine clinic is a model that sees the people being vaccinated remain stationary while mobile staff members and volunteers move in a co-ordinated circle to complete registrations, medical screenings and vaccinations. It’s a system inspired by, and perfectly suited to, the spacious ovate battlefield that is the Canadian ice rink. Not only that, but it was developed by Dr. Ian Arra, the Grey Bruce Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health. The circular hockey hub model saw 50 doses per hour achieved, compared to only 13 doses for a traditional clinic and seven for drive-through-only versions.
Vaccinations have become a controversial topic of conversation for a variety of complicated reasons. No matter what one’s opinion on vaccines may be, credit must be given where credit is due, and this accomplishment is worth celebrating for its ingenuity. One doesn’t need to like, or agree with the science of, hockey to recognize the obvious talents of Wayne Gretzky. The man makes a reasonably priced wine that is welcomed at dinner parties across this great nation. – SBS