Enforcement against the anti-maskers seems to have finally kicked off, as over the past week several prominent figures in the movement have successfully taunted authorities into taking action.
Two organizers of the Bowden ‘anti-lockdown’ rally, which drew hundreds the weekend of May 1, have been charged with breaking the Health Act. Chris Scott, the owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, was arrested after his latest anti-mask protest event, and many attendees were ticked. Down in Calgary, street preacher and far-right organizer Artur Pawlowski and his brother were arrested on Sunday.
It’s not just AHS who seems to have lost patience with the anti-maskers. Mainstream media seems to have finally noticed the plainly obvious—that the movement, like the Yellow Vests before it, is absolutely rotten with reactionary extremists. Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi described them on Monday as “thinly veiled white nationalists,” which is accurate if a bit of a misapplied pun, since, you know, veils are masks.
It may be satisfying to see some comeuppances but many of these folks are, I’m sure, quite happy to deal with some fines and court appearances in exchange for being valorized within the movement. If we’re lucky changing conditions will take some of the wind out of their sails soon. Vaccines are being deployed rapidly and the summer heat is nearly here. Add it to the list of things to be hopeful about: not only may we soon get a reprieve from the pandemic itself, but the anti-mask circus may soon, finally, take a break.
Of the over 24,000 people in Canada who have been killed by COVID-19, more than 17,000 died in residential facilities like seniors’ homes and long term care homes. And the most dangerous of those residential facilities are, overwhelmingly, the privatized ones. Journalist Nora Loreto, who has been tracking COVID deaths in LTC for over a year, joins Duncan on the Progress Report podcast this week to tell the grisly story of Canada’s for-profit deathtraps.
The Alberta Federation of Labour is meeting for their annual convention this week, and might wrap up with a different leader—Susan Cake, a policy analyst for the AFL, is challenging Gil McGowan for the presidency. McGowan has been the face of the labour movement in Alberta for several years; this would be quite a shakeup.
- Edmonton’s worst MLA and most obnoxious Facebook uncle, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu, got himself in the papers with an absolutely bizarre rant this week in which he claimed that the NDP, the federal Liberals, and “the media” want Alberta’s health care system to collapse to the point of disaster.
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