Fed Report #003

Welcome to the third edition of the Fed Report. Today I will cover the below topics.

  • Freeland’s Disney+ Gaff
  • CUPE/PC Update
  • The Return of Masking in Schools
  • Emergencies Act Inquiry Update

Freeland Shows Canadians How to Save $14 a month

Most of you have likely viewed the circulating video of a socially disconnected Chrystia Freeland. Our Deputy PM and Finance Minister suggested that Canadians struggling to pay the bills can take her lead and cancel their Disney+ subscription. At a time of record inflation, rising lending rates, 1.13 Trillion dollars in debt, and a race toward recession, this shows how tone def our current leadership is. In a follow-up video, Freeland apologizes for her comments and acknowledges her financial privilege.

How can we trust someone to make high-level, high-impact fiscal decisions for the people of our nation when this is the absurd ground-level advice offered to struggling Canadians? The video is more than a gaff. It is a window into how disconnected the political elite is from Canadians’ economic problems—the video warrants embarrassment for the Finance Minister and the Liberal Leadership.

CUPE vs FORD

CUPE and the Ford PC’s have returned to the bargaining table. The Ontario Premiere promised to repeal Bill 28 if CUPE ended their Province-wide strike on behalf of school support worker pay. I’m glad to see the matter moving forward, but I am of two minds regarding the actions that came before this temporary resolution.

Everyone deserves more money, especially when accounting for the rising cost of living and devaluation of our dollar. I also disagree with strongarm tactics that undercut the fundamental rights of citizens. But CUPE is not innocent in this exchange. I don’t say that in defense of Ford, but rather as a parent who doesn’t appreciate my children acting as leverage in public negotiations. After the 2.5 years that parents and kids have experienced, CUPE could have been more considerate and tactical in ramping up negotiations rather than striking in their chosen manner. I appreciate the workers of our Public sector, especially those who do the daily work that keeps our institutions running while being paid the least. With that being said, however, public sector workers need to understand their privilege as well. You receive guaranteed pay with benefits and ongoing raise expectations (even when less than what you deem reasonable). When income becomes stale for too long, your union can take actions, which in this case, hold society hostage until satisfactory negotiations are reached. The vast majority of the private sector pays for part of this public privilege but does not receive the same in return. Immediately defaulting to strike action after the ups and downs of the pandemic was the wrong approach, and I didn’t hear any of the CUPE conversation revolving around the well-being of children along the way.

If unions aren’t careful, they will motivate the Provincial Government and parents to move toward a two-tiered education system with privatized options. The Fraser Institute estimated in 2020 that it costs an average of $13,961 per year per student for publicly funded schooling in Canada. One of the top private schools in my city (London, Ont) charges between $13,000 and $16,000 per year per child, including their daily lunch. It is well understood that public institutions, while critical for society, are notoriously bloated and inefficient. Doug Ford and the PC’s can have the last laugh in this matter anytime they choose.

The Return of School Masking?

Public mask mandates are a polarizing topic, especially in schools. With rising hospitalizations, many are begging for the return of mask mandates beginning with our educational institutions. I, for one, am over the hysteria and calls for restrictions. While I understand a person’s concern that would lead them to want everyone in their proximity to mask, it should ultimately be the individual’s choice in most settings. I say most because medical settings, long-term care facilities, and other spaces which house specifically vulnerable demographics must take an alternative approach to the public standard.

Regarding schools, forced masking could be a net negative, especially under current circumstances. For one, most kids wear cloth masks, or they wear surgical masks ineffectively while constantly shifting and touching their faces. I have three young children, so I am referring to primary schools here. Second, the science on the effectiveness of communal masking (vs one way) is all over the place. Third, the potential adverse effects of hours of mask-wearing, whether it’s decreased learning development in young kids or Titanium Dioxide particles found in inappropriate concentrations, need to be fully understood. Lastly, and most obviously, kids are incredibly resilient to COVID -19, and their resilience is getting stronger over time, not weaker. Lastly, if you recall in April of this year, local school boards tested their authority by trying to implement local mask mandates after Public Health dropped the Province-wide restrictions. Even though no mask mandates, no lockdowns, and no new regulations returned within the Province, COVID cases steadily dropped on their own literally the day school boards were denied the right for local bylaws.

Part of the current cry for the return of masking is due to the growing number of pediatric emerge admissions. But according to the recent Ontario Pediatric Census, while 111 of 112 peds ICU beds are full, only 2 of those children have COVID-19. There is also the astonishing issue of a fever medication shortage that seems only to affect Canada. Recently, the media suggested that a lack of bilingual labeling is at least partly driving the deficit, an absurd barrier that the feds should have bypassed months ago. Pointing the finger at COVID and the solution as masking is easy, but I don’t know if the data supports that direction.

In any case, concerned parents should be free to send their child to school with a sealed N95, and that child should not be subject to bullying or negative commentary by non-masking peers. Still, parents who would prefer their child enter the learning experience without a mask on their face deserve that choice as well.

For those interested in more statistics. From Public Health Ontario and Stats Can, here is a timeline comparison of all COVID waves with age stratification of risk and outcome including where we are today as some call for return of restrictions.

Emergencies Act Inquiry

As the EA inquiry presses on, things look grimmer for Trudeau. Aside from anecdotal tales or opinions of public officials with their reputations on the line, the Prime Minister does not appear to have met the necessary threshold for invoking the act. Instead of writing what has already been written, I’m going to link to a Financial Post article by former Minister Joe Oliver, which summarizes much of what has happened.

Healthcare Spending Inefficiencies

“Free” doesn’t always mean “Good”; in healthcare, Canada is making a poor case for the Universal model. A recent report by the Fraser Institute shows how dismal Canada ranks among OECD countries.

I believe we should provide Universal Healthcare to our citizens. It’s an act we should take pride in. But Government institutions have a habit of devolving into bloated inefficiencies, and Universal Healthcare in Canada is a mess. When you leave these systems unchecked and allow floods of money into top-heavy administrative machines without real accountability, these are the results you get.

Thank you for reading this edition of the Fed Report. Please feel free to share, and if you have any comments, please add them below or contact me directly at contact@tommycaldwell.net

1 thought on “Fed Report #003

  1. Regarding the Ontario school issues. The median is ok to printout the $39,000 annual income reported by the unions but do not printout this is for 194 days of work nor do they point out they collect EI for the summer months. Nor that the union includes part timers that come in for 2 or 3 hours per day for lunch or after school support.

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