Editorials - Nov. 26, 2020
A risky endgame
With his refusal to concede the election, Donald Trump may be placing the U.S. in a dangerous position on the world stage.
A power transition is the most likely time for a country’s enemies to take advantage of any perceived weakness, whether it be in a trade negotiation or a terrorist attack, and for a country with a leader who is refusing to relinquish power, the threat becomes even more pronounced.
This year has included an even bigger threat that could use a peaceful transition of power to contain it: the pandemic. As more than 11 million Americans have been infected and with over 255,000 ultimately losing their lives, the White House has gone silent. In its belligerent refusal to accept defeat, the Republican Party feels it’s more important to file lawsuit after lawsuit disputing the election results than to provide leadership to a population losing its battle with the dreaded coronavirus.
With an official schedule filled with “The President has no official events scheduled”, it’s hard for government to do anything for its people, let alone protect it from rampaging viruses and foreign interference.
Democracy requires leaders who can set aside their personal quest for power and attention and concede defeat in order to smoothly transfer leadership to the candidate chosen for the good of the country. – DS
Do you see what I see?
The news that over 800,000 Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) cases were approved for those ineligible to receive the cheques (equalling nearly $1.7 billion) has the Conservative Party up in arms and asking for an audit. Meanwhile, that comes after reporting that suggests some of the country’s highest earners were also receiving CERB money.
The benefit was mostly used by those who earned under $47,000 a year, but the reporting found that nearly 115,000 people earning between $100,000 and $200,000 a year had applied. Furthermore, nearly 15,000 people making over $210,000 a year applied for the benefit.
How you react to this news likely depends on which side of the political aisle you lean. And the thing is, both would be right.
More liberal-leaning thinkers might look at that and think it’s par for the course. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government knew people needed help right then and there, so they fast tracked the CERB program so people could immediately pay rent, pay bills and buy food. At the time, the government said it would work backwards to find those receiving the benefit who shouldn’t. If you think that way, you can be proud your government helped people when they needed help.
Meanwhile, conservative-leaning thinkers would look at the program and see it as another case of a left-leaning government spending first and asking questions later. And it’s not wrong to think that way. “In a world awash with debt, Canada is the new global leader,” wrote The Financial Post, reporting that Canada has seen the largest jump in non-financial-sector debt this year, according to the Institute of International Finance.
It’s true that when the pandemic struck, people needed immediate help from their government. However, it’s also true that the government needs to be responsible with taxpayer money and know it’s not handing it out to opportunists who don’t need it. And no matter which way a news outlet leans, you will always ‘choose your own adventure’ when you read the news, depending on your mindset and political leanings. – SL
Straining the system
Like the bad apples in a bushel, COVID-19 has proven to not only be dangerous to those who catch it, but also those who rely on services it is straining, including medical care.
Over the past week, there have been multiple stories about people missing out on “elective” surgeries that are anything but, people being discharged from hospitals early and others facing long wait times for necessary surgeries. This all comes at the same time that residents from Cedarcroft Place retirement home, some with COVID-19 and some without, are moved from the Stratford facility to hospitals in and around Huron County due to a lack of available staff.
It’s an expected side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t make it easier for those losing out. Whether it’s putting up with pain due to not being able to receive treatment, risking infection or being discharged early after absolutely necessary surgery, there are numerous people having to make tough decisions as a result of the pandemic.
There are also the people on the other side of that equation, the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who have to make difficult decisions about what they’re willing to risk to try and solve these problems.
From healthcare workers who are asked to relocate to a location like Cedarcroft, which has been overrun by COVID-19, to those who go into work every day knowing the people they treat may be infected, there is a lot being asked of them. Because of that, it becomes more important than ever to take what’s going on seriously and do everything we can to try and help lessen the impact of this pandemic. – JDS