I must agree and disagree

Written by ECA Review

Dear Editor,

In response to Brenda Schimke’s column in your Nov. 19 issue, I must agree with her on some points and disagree on others.

Yes, our front-line healthcare workers have been hit very hard by the COVID-19 virus scare and the virus has and will continue to take lives.

I don’t agree with many of her other assumptions.

First of all, there is no scientific consensus on many of the aspects of this virus. One of the best examples of that was a presentation made by Dr. Roger Hodgkinson, who is a recognized authority on the subject, to the Edmonton city council on Nov. 13.

He lays it out pretty simply that this whole thing has been way overstated by many for quite some time and he effectively debunks a great deal of the misinformation that has been put out there by irresponsible people.

I strongly suggest that everyone check it out with an honest and open mind. I’m told it can be googled and is also available on YouTube and other social media outlets.

The notion that this virus will somehow overwhelm and crush our entire public health system is pure fear-mongering and it needs to be called out as such.

The verifiable numbers simply don’t justify those claims. In short, there is at best a flimsy argument for mandatory masking and none at all for massive lockdowns. This is a clear case of the cure being worse than the disease.

And no, I am not trying to minimize the virus’ impact on those who are indeed affected by it. Of course those people should have the benefit of all the treatments and care available.

That brings me to my next point. Until recently I worked at a senior care facility and I have seen the business close-up.

The COVID-19 scare has caused the many shortcomings of the system to become apparent to the general public and to that I say, “It’s about time!”

However, in the present premier’s defence (and I’m not a fan of his) I would point out that these problems were well established long before he came along.

Several previous governments had numerous warnings and at least as many opportunities to deal with them and they all failed miserably.

Front-line understaffing is chronic in healthcare everywhere in Canada and it is at the core of almost every problem the industry faces.

This is a direct result of each province running its own monopoly.

In our case, Alberta Health Services (AHS) has sold access to their monopoly to certain preferred operators.

The claim that these for-profit ventures are examples of free enterprise in action is patently false.

They are still monopoly ventures because real competition isn’t allowed.

This lets them wring every possible dollar out of the operation while putting back as little as possible.

Consequently, the system suffers from all the usual ailments of any monopoly. That’s how we ended up with a hopelessly undersized and demoralized workforce, willfully neglected seniors and an unaware public because no one is accountable. What could go wrong?

And thirdly, I take issue with your claim that conservatives around the world have somehow abandoned the sick and infirm to their fate in favour of the almighty buck and some inexplicable affection for individual rights.

It’s small “c” fiscally responsible conservatives the world over who keep billions of people gainfully employed, fed, clothed, sheltered, educated, cared for and sometimes even a bit happy with their lives.

And since when is it selfish or cruel to want to protect ordinary people from pernicious governments and their minions who have no motivation except their endless lust for everyone’s money?

People just want the truth about this virus, and we definitely aren’t getting it from the powers that be.

If we had the solid, honest and timely information we are entitled to, we could make up our own minds about how to deal with these things.

What we don’t need is more power-hungry bureaucrats telling us these poison pills (lockdowns and masking) are good for us.


Ray Cerniuk

Stettler, Alta.

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ECA Review