While most Americans are aware of the unprecedented illegal migration crisis ongoing at the southern border, it’s likely that considerably fewer have noticed the country’s once placid and benign neighbor to the north has been inching dangerously close toward authoritarianism.
In response to Covid-19 and the new Omicron variant, the Canadian government quietly introduced a series of sweeping public health measures that would make even the most radical of U.S. Democrat governors pause. Last week, the province of New Brunswick announced it would allow grocery stores to ban unvaccinated shoppers from buying food.
According to Health Minister Dorothy Shephard, the move is necessary due to a “very concerning” spike in coronavirus cases. Evidently, Shephard is less concerned over the prospect of starvation. The province recorded a total of just two Covid deaths on the day the new rules were announced.
Recent changes to pandemic protocols in British Columbia mean that houses of worship will be required to check for proof of vaccination against Covid-19 if they wish to exceed 50 percent of seated capacity. Imagine being turned away from a church — prevented from freely exercising your religion — during one of the most sacred times of the year.
In Canada’s third-largest province, some so-called religious leaders can hardly wait to begin enforcing the new government mandate. “If they (congregants) want to join, they have to be vaccinated,” a priest told a local newspaper. So much for Romans 15:7.
As if things couldn’t get any more absurd, as of this month, unvaccinated 12-year-olds are barred from flying on airplanes in Canada. They, along with all unvaccinated teenagers and adults, will be unable to board, even if a negative Covid-19 test is provided beforehand.
Public health officials have yet to explain how stopping children who’ve tested negative from getting on an airplane increases public safety. Meanwhile, the Canadian government’s own statistics show that a total of just eight Covid deaths have occurred among children aged 12 to 19 since the pandemic began, which accounts for roughly 0.03 percent of all Covid deaths nationwide.
It’s difficult to overstate how genuinely alarming all of this is for a supposedly free society such as Canada to endure. But perhaps even more alarming is the extent to which the country’s polite, passive citizenry has embraced virtually all of it. No matter how tyrannical, no matter how obviously divorced from science the country’s leaders and their policies become, Canadians are largely still accepting this state of affairs.
Is there evidence to suggest that unvaccinated 12-years-olds on airplanes are a significant vector for transmission of the coronavirus? Is that a medical determination? If so, can we see the government’s underlying data?
These aren’t the types of probative questions Canadians are accustomed to asking of their political leaders. But that doesn’t mean they’re unimportant. On the contrary, these are precisely the rational, science-based questions that need to be asked in times like these.
What’s happening to one of America’s closest allies and biggest trading partners at the hands of progressive technocrats is instructive for observers in the United States: When you tolerate gross infringements on individual liberty — when you so cavalierly sacrifice fundamental freedoms in exchange for the pretense of security — it becomes extraordinarily difficult to change course.
That’s no longer merely a lesson from history. It’s a lesson from the present. Americans would be wise to heed its warning.