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To wear, or not to wear a homemade mask? That is the question.


7 minute read

To do or not to do? That is the question. With my apologies for butchering William Shakespeare’s 1603, Hamlet script from Act 3, Scene 1.

Should I? Should we, wear a homemade mouth and nose masks every time we leave our residence? With so many mixed messages, what to do? It is a simple fact and without question; frontline medical workers and first responders need the store-bought medical masks right now.

Like most, I have had my days consumed by #Covid19 coverage and updates. A Google search of “coronavirus” gave me 6,220,000,000 results back in just 0.58 seconds. A life-time of reading and then some.

One world leader says this, other world leaders says something else. The World Health Organization (WHO) says this, the United Nations (UN) say that. Medical professionals can have conflicting messages from city to city and province to province. Add the stress of watching a virus spread, cratering economies around the world; our heads are spinning with over information.

Canada’s official position backed by Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, has been strongly against everyone in the country wearing homemade face masks. In a recent press conference Tam said, “What we worry about is actually the potential negative aspects of wearing a mask, where people are not protecting their eyes or other aspects of where the virus could enter your body, and that gives you a false sense of confidence,”  and added, “also, it increases the touching of your face. If you think about it, if you’ve got a mask around your face sometimes you can’t help it.”

Canada’s stance aside, in recent days, Western and European countries are starting to join Asian countries’ practises, where the rules for the population are either voluntarily or it’s mandated to wear a face mask in a public setting; some countries with strict penalties. This of course a major U-turn for many countries, considering how there are “Anti-mask laws” in place.

The US Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adam in a scene from his “how-to” video on how to make a face mask, with-out sewing.

On April 3rd, US President Donald Trump, announced his administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending on a voluntary basis, that Americans wear “non-medical cloth” face coverings. Trump also added that right now he would not partake in the mask wear practise, saying, “Maybe I’ll change my mind.” The Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adam posted a “how-to” video on how to make a face mask, with-our sewing.

In the Czech Republic the prime minister, Andrej Babiš has taken a much stronger stance, mandating the covering the nose and mouth at all times outside the home. Aside from closing the boarders and all non-essential businesses, restricting public gatherings, the leader sees the new move as, “vital in controlling the spread of Covid- 19”. The Czech leader has also urged all other governments to follow their lead.

The Czech government became the second country behind Slovakia, in Europe to impose mandatory mask-wearing. No, the Czech government is NOT supplying its 10-million citizens with masks, pharmacies are not selling surgical and medical grade masks to the public, they are for front-line workers.

Without missing a beat and backed by a #Masks4All movement many “how-to” online videos popped-up including one featuring the Minister of Health of, Adam Vojtěch.

Tens of thousands of Czech’s along with businesses nation-wide immediately began churning out homemade masks out of a variety of fabrics. It has been reported that within a short number of days, there was enough for everyone going outside.

Well it turns out, not “everyone” that went outside was wearing a mask. On April 3rd, Czech police were called to a favourite area for nudists. No shirt, no shoes, no pants, no issues, but no face mask, that is a problem! It is not known if any of the sun absorbing naturalists were issued a $800US fine for public disobedience that came along with the Czech government’s new rules.

Czech police were called to a favourite area for nudists. No mask? That is a problem. Photo/Police Czech Republic

As the debate to wear or not circle’s the globe, there is no ignoring that mask wearing countries like, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore have not had the horrifying mass outbreaks like those in Italy, Spain, New York now quickly spreading across the US.

Medical staff work wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE), will there be enough to last through this COVID-19 pandemic? THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

There is a worried thought the, “Lull it could give” the population but people know there are still all the other social distancing and sanitation rules. The biggest worry by far is for the front-line medicals workers plus all the first responders. There is a mask shortage now, forcing health workers to disregard basic coronavirus infection control by washing disposable masks and reusing other items already. A mandatory face mask rule could lead to the risking of tens of thousands of people.

No matter voluntary or mandatory, we all must know that medical and 1st responders come first; the general public should wear cloth masks.

Click of photo, learn how to make a homemade cloth face mask. NO sewing required!


Enbridge to purchase three U.S. utilities for $14 billion in cash and debt

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The Enbridge logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 9, 2018. Enbridge Inc. says it has signed a US$14 billion cash-and-debt deal to purchase three U.S.-based utility companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh


Enbridge Inc. says it has signed a US$14 billion cash-and-debt deal to purchase three U.S.-based utility companies.

The Calgary-based energy infrastructure giant says the three utilities, owned by Dominion Energy, Inc., are The East Ohio Gas Company, Questar Gas Company and its related Wexpro companies, and the Public Service Company of North Carolina.

Enbridge says it will finance the deal through a combination of $US9.4 billion of cash consideration and US$4.6 billion of assumed debt.

The Canadian company says the deal will double the scale of its gas utility business and will serve to balance its asset mix evenly between natural gas and renewables, and liquids.

Enbridge says following the transaction, its gas utility business will be the largest by volume in North America with a combined rate base of over C$27 billion and about 7,000 employees delivering over nine billion cubic feet per day of gas to approximately seven million customers.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in 2024.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2023.

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Police seize 35 computers, nearly one million photos and videos, arrest 8 suspects for child sexual exploitation

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News release from ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team) Internet Child Exploitation team

Operation ICE Storm 5

Operation ICE Storm 5 has led to the arrest of eight child sexual exploitation suspects. ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation team made the arrests over the past three months in Calgary and Coalhurst, Alta.

Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) team launched Operation ICE Storm 5 in April 2023 and focused on high-level targets that were sharing and distributing vast collections of child sexual exploitation materials via peer-to-peer file sharing networks.

Operation ICE Storm 5 prioritized suspects with the largest collections and some of the most graphic content. To date, nearly one million child sexual exploitation photos and videos have been identified. More than 35 computers and electronic devices were seized resulting in terabytes of data for forensics technicians to analyze.

At this point of the investigation, ICE investigators do not believe any of the victims are from Alberta, or that any hands-on offences had taken place.

Anyone with information about this investigation, or any child exploitation offence is encouraged to contact police or

A total of eight suspects were arrested and each face charges of possession of child pornography, access child pornography, and make available child pornography:

  • Claudio Foglia, 60, of Calgary;
  • Warren Flemming, 40, of Calgary;
  • Craig Drumgold, 49, of Calgary;
  • Tyler Sartison, 54, of Calgary;
  • Derek Eichele, 59, of Calgary;
  • Chris Jenkins, 31 of Coalhurst, Alta.;
  • Thomas Weatherhead, 51, of Calgary;
  • Jesse Carlson-Lepage, 35, of Calgary;

Operation ICE Storm 5 relied on the assistance of a number of police agencies, including: Calgary Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, Canmore RCMP, and Coalhurst RCMP.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

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