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COVID-19

‘Leave the area now,’ police warn downtown Ottawa demonstrators

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OTTAWA — Police renewed warnings to downtown Ottawa protesters to get out of the parliamentary precinct Wednesday, this time with the federal Emergencies Act in their arsenal.

Officers walked along Wellington Street handing out notices to protesters encamped there, telling them they “must leave the area now.”

It’s not the first time police have issued such a warning, but it is the first time since the federal government invoked legislation that gives police new powers to take the situation in hand.

The bulletin says anyone blocking streets or helping others to block streets is breaking the law and could be arrested. It also warned the Emergencies Act gives police the power to seize vehicles that are part of the demonstration and ban people from travelling within a certain area.

“This means that anyone coming to Ottawa for the purpose of joining the ongoing demonstration is breaking the law,” the notice states.

Members of the blockade that has kept the capital at a standstill for nearly three full weeks have called the invocation of the Emergencies Act a scare tactic.

Trucks, RVs and other vehicles with Canadian flags or banners with the word “freedom” in giant letters along their front grilles remain on Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill, with drivers saying they will stay put until all COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions are lifted.

Jason McDonald, who manages the stage at the demonstration outside Parliament, is among the protesters who say they have consulted lawyers on what to do if the police move in to arrest them.

The business owner and demonstrator said the Emergencies Act “doesn’t bother us” and questioned whether the police would move in.

While the protest continued unabated outside Parliament Hill Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked inside of the West Block whether force would be needed to rid downtown of the demonstrators.

Trudeau said that is not his decision to make, but the Emergencies Act and additional police resources would “make sure that laws are enforced in a proportional way, in an approach that will be decided by the police of jurisdiction.”

Blockades are not allowed on Parliament Hill and surrounding streets, official residences, war monuments, airports, harbours, border crossings, piers, lighthouses, canals, interprovincial and international bridges, hospitals and COVID-19 vaccine clinics, trade corridors and infrastructure needed for the supply of utilities including power generation and transmission.

Trudeau invoked the act on Monday for the first time in Canadian history, with details of the regulations contained in cabinet orders published Tuesday night.

The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa urged parents demonstrating downtown to make arrangements for the care of their children should they become unable to care for their kids after potential police action.

Under the act, bringing children to the antigovernment blockades, participating in the protests directly or bringing aid such as food or fuel to those involved could result in a fine of up to $5,000 or five years in prison.

Ottawa police warned several times over the last few days of the 100 or so children living in the trucks parked outside of Parliament Hill. They called in the Children’s Aid Society to check on them, but also explained the kids are a complicating factor when it comes to planning a potential operation.

The society says if parents and children are separated following police efforts to end the demonstration, it will work to reunite families as quickly as possible.

The cabinet orders are now in effect but must all be confirmed by motions to be put to both the House of Commons and the Senate for a vote.

The government could take until next week to table the motion invoking the act itself, but has only until Thursday to do so for the motions on the specific powers being enacted, which will remain in place for 30 days unless the government revokes them sooner.

Conservatives have expressed frustration about the lack of the information they have been offered by the government, but NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh signalled his party will support the motion, calling the situation a crisis.

Tory House leader John Brassard said it felt like his back was up against a wall because of the lack of communication between the government and opposition parties.

“Even when the bombs were dropping over Britain, Winston Churchill showed respect for democracy by showing up in the house of parliament so I’m profoundly disappointed in that,” Brassard said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2022.

— With files from Marie Woolf

Laura Osman, Stephanie Taylor and Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

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Brownstone Institute

FOIA Doc Shows BioNTech Founders Postdated Start of C19 Vax Project

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From the Brownstone Institute

BY Robert KogonROBERT KOGON

As noted in my last article on BioNTech’s “brazen” avoidance of safety testing of its Covid-19 vaccine, BioNTech founders Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci claim in their book The Vaccine that the company’s Covid-19 vaccine project got underway on January 27, 2020. But documentary evidence released in response to a FOIA request (and included in the so-called “Pfizer documents”) shows that this is not true and that the company had in fact already begun preclinical, i.e. animal, testing nearly two weeks earlier, on January 14.

BioNTech R&D STUDY REPORT No. R-20-0072 is available here. The report is also referenced and discussed in an FDA submission on the preclinical study program that is available here. The below screenshot shows the study dates from p. 8 of the report.

In the book, Sahin claims furthermore that he only even became interested in the outbreak in Wuhan on January 24, after reading an article in the German weekly Der Spiegel (p. 4) and/or a submission to The Lancet (p. 6). But look again at the study dates above. BioNTech had already completed the first preclinical study for its Covid-19 vaccine the day before!

January 24, 2020 was a Friday. On Sahin’s account, he took the decision to launch his Covid-19 vaccine project over the weekend and unveiled his plans to his collaborators at BioNTech’s headquarters in Mainz, Germany on the following Monday: January 27 (ch. 2 passim and p. 42; see screencap below).

Sahin claims (p. 33) that it was at this January 27 meeting that he asked BioNTech’s animal testing team to prepare the preclinical program that was in fact already underway!

It should be noted that January 14, 2020, the start-date of the first preclinical study, was just two weeks after the first report of Covid-19 cases in Wuhan and just a day after the release of the full SARS-CoV-2 genome (drafts had been released previously).

BioNTech’s first preclinical study was evidently prepared before publication of the genome and in anticipation of it. As explained in the summary of the study (p. 6), its purpose was to test BioNTech mRNA formulated in lipid nanoparticles produced by the Canadian firm Acuitas. But the mRNA was here encoding a proxy antigen (luciferase), not the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 that would later serve as the target antigen.

The study looked at both biodistribution and immune system activation. As the FDA submission on the preclinical program puts it, “Platform properties that support BNT162b2 were initially demonstrated with non-SARS-CoV-2 antigens” (2.4 NONCLINICAL OVERVIEW, p. 7).

In The Vaccine, which was written with the journalist Joe Miller, Sahin and Türeci talk about the need to obtain the Acuitas lipids, which, they say, were more suitable for intramuscular injection than BioNTech’s own in-house lipids. But, again, they postdate the matter. Thus, on p. 52, we read: “The missing piece was still Acuitas, who had not yet consented to the use of their lipids. Then, on the morning of Monday 3 February, [Acuitas CEO] Tom Madden offered his help.” But BioNTech was already running tests using the Acuitas lipids three weeks earlier!

Furthermore, BioNTech was not able to formulate its mRNA into the lipids itself, but depended on the Austrian company Polymun to do this for it. As noted in The Vaccine (p.51), Polymun’s facilities are an 8-hour drive from BioNTech’s headquarters in Mainz. In the book, Sahin and Türeci describe the first batch of mRNA for the vaccine tests proper being packed up and driven by car to Polymun outside Vienna: “A couple of days later, a small Styrofoam box containing frozen vials full of vaccine would be driven back over the border to BioNTech” (pp. 116-117).

But presumably this same back-and-forth had to have occurred with the mRNA encoding the luciferase. This means that as a practical matter “Project Lightspeed” must have gotten underway even earlier: at least several days before the January 14 start date of the study.

Why did Sahin and Türeci postdate the launch of their Covid-19 vaccine project in their book? Well, undoubtedly because the actual start date – and we do not know when exactly the actual start date was – would have seemed far too soon. Based on the above considerations, it must have been at the latest just days after the first December 31, 2019 report of Covid-19 cases in Wuhan.

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  • Robert Kogon

    Robert Kogon is a pen name for a widely-published financial journalist, a translator, and researcher working in Europe. Follow him at Twitter here. He writes at edv1694.substack.com.

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Alberta

Preston Manning picked to chair review of Alberta’s COVID response

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Premier Danielle Smith has struck a committee to investigate how the Alberta government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and has appointed former Reform Party leader Preston Manning to chair it.

Smith, in a statement, says Manning and the panel will take feedback virtually from experts and the public, then issue a final report and recommendations by Nov. 15.

Manning is to pick the other panel members subject to approval by Smith.

The budget is $2 million, and Manning is to be paid $253,000.

Manning and Smith have been critical of government-imposed health restrictions such as masking, gathering rules and vaccine mandates during the pandemic.

Smith has questioned the efficacy of the methods and their long-term effects on household incomes, the economy and mental health.

She has criticized both Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the former chief medical officer of health, and the Alberta Health Services board for failing to provide good advice and help prepare for the pandemic, which she says forced the government to impose health restrictions and vaccine mandates.

Smith replaced Hinshaw and the board shortly after taking office in October.

The premier said Alberta needs to be ready for future health emergencies.

“There are valuable lessons we learned from the Alberta government’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency,” Smith said in the statement Thursday.

“It’s important that we apply those lessons to strengthen our management of future public health crises, and the panel’s recommendations will be key in doing so.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2022.

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