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Our dumb country: an update


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Belated welcome to Canada, Sir. We’re like this sometimes

Posted with permission from Paul Wells

Sir Mark, I presume?

Here at the Paul Wells newsletter, we get results. It just always seems to take more work than it should. Today we have an update on Sir Mark Walport FRS FRCP FRCPath FMedSci FRSE, who was asked last summer by the government of Canada to look into Canada’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I have known this since several days after Sir Mark’s work began. (Sir Mark is one of the UK’s leading medical research administrators. Over ’ome, I learn, if somebody is both a physician and a knight you address them as Sir Or Lady Firstname, followed by the appropriate abbreviations for their credentials, not as Dr.) I waited until November for the government to announce it, and was surprised when this didn’t happen. In fact I assumed my source was mistaken. (My source didn’t even want to be a source, they were just somebody who knew stuff and was chatting with me.) I have a longstanding interest in the notion that governments, being the creature of fallen humans, can benefit from introspection. So I thought some outside eyes-on the COVID response might help reduce the casualty count of some future catastrophe. The most recent of several posts I wrote to that effect is here.

My source kept assuring me that the Sir Mark thing was a real thing, and the government kept keeping schtum, so in November I finally gathered up my courage and wrote to the health ministry to ask whether this thing that I knew was happening was, you know, happening. The finest modern communications strategists have now perfected the government’s communications to the point where if you ask the government any question at all about anything at all, a process begins whereby dozens of people Working From Home figure out a way to suck your brains out through your nose using a ceremonial ceramic straw, and indeed this is what happened here.

Twelve days and two follow-up emails after I sent my query, a process I detailed with a kind of heartsick fascination in this post from November, I received this response:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant and complex health, social and economic impacts on our society.

As the Government of Canada continues its transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic response phase, internal and external partners are undertaking reviews of their role in the government’s response to COVID-19 and are identifying strategies to strengthen Canada’s preparedness for future health emergencies.

This reply was a thing of terrible maddening beauty, like the planet-smashing robot in the second-season Star Trek episode The Doomsday Machine, and I stared at it helplessly, the way William Windom did when the whale-shaped automaton finally turned in space and descended on him with its immense glowing orifice. This response, built up layer after layer by nameless armies of the powerless like the Pyramids themselves, managed to acknowledge the accuracy of my request while providing no actual information. It was the sound of one hand clapping, performed by committee.

Well, that was it for me. I tapped out. I was done. But Cathay Wagantall, whom I don’t believe I’ve met, picked up the baton from my shattered grasp. Wagantall is the Conservative MP for the riding of Yorkton — Melville, in Saskatchewan. Members of Parliament are allowed to send written questions to the government, which is required to reply. At the end of Nov., as I noted at the time, Wagantall put the following question on the Order Paper:

You can click on that to read it in full, but essentially she asked: What’s Sir Mark doing, when will we hear more, what’s it cost and why haven’t you said so?

The thing about the House of Commons is, it does have some powers, and thus cornered by one of its members, the government finally relented. On Monday the government tabled Sessional Paper 8555-441-2022 in response to Wagantall’s question. Here it is!

In this reply we learn real things, without quite learning the answer to everything Wagantall asked. In August Health Canada, PHAC and the Chief Science Advisor (that’s Mona Nemer) asked for an “independent expert panel” to “conduct a review of the federal approach to pandemic science advice and research coordination.” Sir Mark is indeed the panel’s chair.

Note that his mandate is narrow. He hasn’t been asked to look at medical supply, pharmaceutical production capacity, quarantine practice, stay-at-home orders, curfews, the wisdom of in-person vs. virtual schooling, or all the myriad of other issues that are worth looking at. This is neither proper nor improper, it just is what it is. Did you hear much about the advice Dr. Nemer provided the government during COVID, in her capacity as Chief Science Advisor? I bet you didn’t, though she wasn’t secretive about it, it just didn’t get much attention amid everything else that was going on. Sir Mark will apparently mostly be looking into how to make this little-noticed corner of the pandemic response work better. As for all the other stuff a government could look at — maybe they’ll leave it in the hands of a future generation of political staffers who are, for the moment, baristas! Maybe there’s some other after-action process going on, but we asked for the wrong one! One never knows, do one!

Sir Mark isn’t getting paid much, and, mirabile dictu, his report will be made public within two months. I’ve got a hunch that wasn’t the original plan.


The response to Wagantall’s Order Paper question is signed by Mark Holland, the Minister of Health. I notice that, like many ministers who were moved in 2023, Holland inherited his mandate letter from his predecessor, Jean-Yves Duclos. I also notice that mandate letters no longer contain this paragraph, which appeared in every mandate letter to the original 2015 cabinet:

We have also committed to set a higher bar for openness and transparency in government. It is time to shine more light on government to ensure it remains focused on the people it serves. Government and its information should be open by default. If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians. It is important that we acknowledge mistakes when we make them. Canadians do not expect us to be perfect – they expect us to be honest, open, and sincere in our efforts to serve the public interest.

I guess that was then.

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Canadian woman offered euthanasia after doctor acknowledged she was paralyzed by COVID shot

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Kayla Pollock, a 37-year-old mother from Ontario, was left paralyzed from the neck down after receiving a Moderna booster, only to be offered assisted suicide twice.

Canadian doctors offered to euthanize a women left paralyzed by the experimental COVID jab.

According to a February 16 report by The Canadian Independent, Kayla Pollock, a 37-year-old mother from Ontario, was left paralyzed from the neck down after receiving a COVID booster shot, only to be offered assisted suicide.

Before taking the experimental shot, Pollock worked in the small town of Mount Albert, Ontario, as a teacher and co-raised her son after a separation with his father. Pollock described herself as “fit, healthy, and very active” and enjoyed “hiking, being outdoors, gardening, and going places with her son.”

In 2021, Pollock, being immunocompromised and a type one diabetic, received two doses of the Pfizer jab after hearing mainstream media, politicians, and public health officials urge everyone to take the experimental shots.

Another reason that Pollock took the injection was to visit her father in a long-term care facility. Pollock said she did not feel any adverse effects after her first two shots.

However, in January 2022, Pollock took a Moderna booster shot, as she thought a third dose would soon be mandated to visit her father. Pollock recalled seeing police at the vaccine clinic and was told that it was because “people were upset that Moderna was being given out instead of Pfizer,” which nevertheless causes serious adverse reactions as well.

READ: Study finds heart inflammation risk 133x greater for teenage boys after Pfizer’s COVID shot

However, the effects only worsened until, on February 22, 2022, Pollock woke up and realized that she was completely paralyzed and could not move her body. Her boyfriend was home and called 911. She was then transported to Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario.

According to her medical records, the hospital staff considered Pollock a “crazy person,” dismissing her symptoms and claiming it was all in her head. Instead of treating Pollock, they ordered a psychiatric consult.

Finally, Pollock was given an MRI, which revealed that she had a very large lesion on her spinal cord. According to an audio recording taken by Pollock’s boyfriend, the neurologist said that his “gut impression” was that “it was caused by the vaccine,” adding that many people have had similar conditions.

Pollock was later diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a condition that interrupts the transmission of messages along the spinal cord nerves throughout the body. During her several-month stay at the hospital, Pollock revealed that doctors offered her so-called “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAID), or euthanasia, twice, but she refused both times.

While Pollock was sent to Lyndhurst Rehabilitation Centre in Toronto to undergo several months of intensive rehabilitation, she said that it did not help her condition.

Now, Pollock relies on personal support workers and friends to help her with her daily life, including helping her in and out of bed and preparing her meals.

She was forced to leave her job and her son, as she was placed on provincial disability and had to leave Mount Albert, where her son lives, to move to an apartment that could accommodate her wheelchair accessibility needs.

Pollock has applied for compensation through the federal government’s Vaccine Injury Support Program (VISP) but has yet to be approved. As a result, the pro-freedom organization Veterans 4 Freedom set up a GiveSendGo campaign to help her raise funds.

Unfortunately, Pollock’s story is not unique, as there were a total of 55,145 “adverse events” from COVID shots reported in Canada.

The injuries include 332 blood clots, 289 strokes, and 283 heart attacks. There have also been 198 cases of facial paralysis reported, with some 99 spontaneous abortions reported as well. There have been 79 kidney injuries reported and 37 instances of liver damage.

The Trudeau government heavily promoted the COVID jabs, which were rushed to market. It is still promoting the shots despite the harms caused, even recently approving yet another booster.

In 2021, Trudeau said Canadians “vehemently opposed to vaccination” do “not believe in science,” are “often misogynists, often racists,” and questioned whether Canada should continue to “tolerate these people.”

LifeSiteNews has published comprehensive research on the dangers of receiving the experimental injections, including heart damage and blood clots.

recent study done by researchers at the Canada-based Correlation Research in the Public Interest  found that 17 countries have a “definite causal link” between peaks in all-cause mortality and the fast rollouts of the COVID shots and boosters.

In November, officials with Canada’s Department of Health refused to release data concerning internal audits related to the COVID crisis that show “critical weaknesses and gaps,” according to their own department memo.

Additionally, information obtained in September revealed that the Public Health Agency of Canada neglected to report all adverse effects from COVID jabs and even went far as telling staff not to report all events.

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Learning loss piles up alongside snow while ‘e-learning’ collects dust

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From the Fraser Institute

By Alex Whalen and Paige MacPherson

During COVID school closures, students in the province missed at least 125 days of school between March 2020 and February 2022, more than any other province (except Ontario), generating a significant learning loss from which students have not caught up.

In a world increasingly connected by technology, and given the Nova Scotia government recently spent tens of millions of dollars enabling at-home learning, one might think that students would seamlessly shift to online learning during the recent snowstorms to avoid losing crucial instructional time. Unfortunately, that’s not happening.

During COVID school closures, the Nova Scotia and federal governments spent at least $31.5 million dollars on “virtual school” and other technological upgrades so students could, according to the provincial government, “succeed, even in an at-home learning environment.”

Unfortunately, the electronic learning infrastructure—which includes Chromebooks, laptops and iPads for students and teachers, and additional support and new teachers for Nova Scotia Virtual School—is collecting dust in a corner while Nova Scotia kids are falling further behind.

This isn’t some blip in an otherwise strong record of instructional time for Nova Scotia students. During COVID school closures, students in the province missed at least 125 days of school between March 2020 and February 2022, more than any other province (except Ontario), generating a significant learning loss from which students have not caught up.

Indeed, according to the latest results (2022) from the Programme for International Assessment (PISA), the gold standard of testing worldwide, Nova Scotia 15-year-olds trail the Canadian average in reading by 18 points and trail the Canadian average in math by 27 points. For context, PISA characterizes a 20-point drop as one year of lost learning.

Moreover, between 2003 and 2022, Nova Scotia student performance in reading dropped by 24 points—more than one year of learning loss—and dropped by 45 points in math. In other words, in math, 15-year-old Nova Scotia students today are more than two years behind where Nova Scotia 15-year-olds were in 2003.

These troubling trends underscore the need to put the existing e-learning infrastructure to work. During a recent two-week period, students in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education school district missed seven days of school due to snow. And some students missed an additional five days due to weather and power outages. That’s nearly three weeks. While more instructional time is not a silver bullet for student success—and with power outages, e-learning is not a perfect solution—it could still make a big difference.

According to international research, missed classroom time causes learning loss and impacts children for life, reducing their life-long earnings. Nova Scotia education researcher Paul Bennett found that lost classroom time due to inclement weather compounds absenteeism and sets back student achievement and social progress.

The Houston government should ensure that Nova Scotian students have access to teacher-directed e-learning when schools are closed and, like other jurisdictions in Canada and the United States, abandon the practise of simply cancelling school due to inclement weather. It’s simply common sense. The snow may pile up, but there’s no good reason why learning loss must pile up with it. Parents are right to demand access to the e-learning they’ve already paid for through their tax dollars.

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