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The Rouleau Commission’s recommendations: Laundering the government’s agenda for censorship and expanded emergency powers

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From the MacDonald Laurier Institute

By Ryan Alford

In this commentary, Ryan Alford examines how the Rouleau Commission’s personnel, agenda, and fundamental assumptions were all determined by Cabinet, the very body whose actions it was charged with assessing.

On August 31, Minister of Public Safety Dominic LeBlanc issued a six month progress report on implementing the recommendations of the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC), also known as the Rouleau Inquiry. It is notable for what it explicitly notes as being implemented, and for what remains to be implemented without significant comment. That said, it would be an error to begin with a comparison between what the Final Report of the Rouleau Inquiry recommended and what the federal government is now implementing. Rather, the critical point of comparison is between the Order-in-Council establishing the Commission – that is, Commissioner Rouleau’s marching orders from the Government – and the legislative agenda that is now being pursued.

The Emergencies Act itself calls for a mandatory public inquiry into “the circumstances that led to the declaration [of an emergency] being issued and the measures taken for dealing with the emergency.” Before the POEC, civil libertarians had understood this to mean that the mandate of any inquiry would be to examine whether the government had a reasonable basis to conclude threats existed to national security that could not be dealt with under any other Canadian law, and whether the emergency measures taken by the cabinet conformed to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In short, it was always assumed the Inquiry would have a tight focus on whether a national emergency, as defined by law, existed and whether the declaration (and every action taken under it) had been constitutional.

That reassuring assumption proved unfounded. In the Order of April 25, 2022, the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, redefined the meaning of the “circumstances that led to the emergency”, which now included “the impact, role and sources of misinformation and disinformation, including the use of social media”. It also directed the Commissioner to “make recommendations, as pertains to the matters examined in the Public Inquiry, on the use or any necessary modernization of [the EmergenciesAct”.

Thus, cabinet dictated the fundamental assumptions that guided the Rouleau Commission. Two of these assumptions stand out from the others. First, that misinformation and disinformation on social media had a significant impact on the organizers and participants of the Freedom Convoy. Second, that the Emergencies Act might need “modernization”. Both of these premises are highly problematic and should not have been granted at the outset of the hearings (i.e.: prior to the admission of any evidence).

The hearings phase provided ample demonstration of the spuriousness of these assumptions. Witness testimony reiterated that the concerns of Freedom Convoy protestors were practical and political in nature. Many had been directly affected by vaccine mandates that curtailed their ability to work and travel. Others expressed the view that these mandates had expanded the powers of government beyond what was acceptable. While these might not have constituted an indisputable justification for a sustained and disruptive protest, there was no evidence presented in the hearings that the Freedom Convoy protests were predicated chiefly, or even substantially, on social media-borne misinformation or disinformation.

Second, the only testimony from witnesses that supported the notion that the Emergencies Act needs to be modernized came from those closest to the heart of the federal government, namely the National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister and the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council Office (PCO). The documents, chiefly emails, expressing their concerns about the purportedly antiquated requirements for declaring a public order emergency seemed to follow shortly after the Director of CSIS had circulated a memorandum conveying his opinion that these requirements had not been met.

Essentially, when the request to conclude that a public order emergency existed had been rebuffed by CSIS, the RCMP, and, most critically, the Intelligence Bureau of the Ontario Provincial Police, which was at the time coordinating on the ground intelligence collection, senior government bureaucrats started to express concern that the Emergencies Act and the CSIS Act were out of date.

Many observers found this claim unconvincing; not least because, unlike many pieces of public safety-related legislation – for instance, the Criminal Code – neither the Emergencies Act or the CSIS Act had been previously flagged as in need of updating as both are relatively modern pieces of legislation, enacted in 1988 and 1984, respectively. Notably, these laws themselves had been passed in response to the serious abuse of the War Measures Act during the October Crisis of 1970 and, in the decade that followed, the unlawful activities of the National Security Division of the RCMP, as detailed in the final report of the McDonald Commission (1981).

Accordingly, it was not surprising that, in the three decades since the enactment of these two laws, there had been no amendments that would have loosened the legislated restrictions on federal government’s ability to expand its own powers at the expense of Parliament and the provinces. The Order-in-Council nevertheless mandated that the Inquiry consider the issue of the “necessary modernization” of the Emergencies Act, and the Commission continued to take this directive seriously – even after it had become apparent that the argument that modernization was needed had originated in an internal dispute over whether a declaration of a public order emergency during the Freedom Convoy would be unlawful. (All of the police and intelligence agencies consulted by the government had concluded that the statutory and constitutional requirements for the use of the Emergencies Act had not been met).

What is even more problematic is the possibility that Cabinet had made the call to invoke the Emergencies Act on the premise that it was appropriate to measure the facts on the ground in Ottawa against the standard of an “evolved” interpretation of the Act (likely at the urging of senior bureaucrats). This may well have been the same logic employed by Minister of Justice David Lametti. We’ll likely never know for sure, owing to the Prime Minister’s assertion of solicitor-client privilege over a secret memo outlining the Justice Department’s legal argument for invoking the Act, which convinced the Cabinet to come to the opposite conclusion from the one stated in the Director of CSIS’ memorandum of the previous day.

Accordingly, by directing the Rouleau Commission to consider whether the Emergencies Act needed to be modernized, the Cabinet may have been clandestinely requesting that the Inquiry bless its novel (and secret) interpretation of legal definition of a public order emergency. This interpretation would, as such, receive a retroactive justification if the Commission were to conclude that the Minister of Justice had merely been anticipating the legislative changes needed to modernize the Act.

For obvious reasons, this request could not be made explicitly. If the Cabinet did, in fact, rely on the “evolved” definition in a closed-door meeting protected by Cabinet and solicitor-client privilege, this would be a constitutional abomination they’d rather not see come to light. The Emergencies Act specifies a narrow range of conditions that allow the Cabinet to assume the power of Parliament to pass laws – a problematic exemption from the basic principles of responsible government at best. If the Cabinet decided to surreptitiously amend the legislation that allows it to invoke these extra-parliamentary powers, it is effectively asserting the supremacy of the executive over the legislative branch. Cabinet cannot be confined within legal bounds if it reserves for itself a secret power to adjust these bounds outwards at will.

The second assumption embedded in the POEC’s mandate received more explicit treatment in LeBlanc’s progress report. It noted that the Final Report had charged the government with addressing “social media misinformation and disinformation”, and that the Commission had made specific recommendations that “the federal government work with its partners to further study the impact of social media . . . while addressing the serious challenges that misinformation, disinformation, and other online harms present to individuals and Canadian society”. Suffice it to say that Minister LeBlanc’s progress report makes it clear that this particular recommendation is being taken very seriously.

Of course, when the Cabinet directed the Rouleau Commission to provide recommendations related to social media misinformation, it had already reached firm conclusions about the need to implement far-reaching censorship of online expression. However, in purporting to merely be implementing the recommendations of a Public Inquiry, the federal government may be able to divert attention from the fact that some of the most contentious elements of this legislation have already been passed. This includes provisions that would allow the a committee established under the CRTC’s regulatory authority to assess and censor individuals’ social media posts. Additionally, it can point to the recommendations of the Rouleau Commission as a justification for the decision to funnel still more governmental funding to purportedly “neutral” civil society organizations and academic research centres that inevitably take the position that increased governmental censorship is necessary and justifiable. (See, for instance, Ontario Tech University’s Centre on Hate, Bias, and Extremism).

Indeed, this dynamic of finding purportedly neutral sources for highly contentious proposals was present within the Rouleau Commission itself. Having failed to obtain testimony that demonstrated the need for censorship and increased emergency powers in the Inquiry’s evidence phase, the Inquiry’s in-house Research Council commissioned (and paid for) submissions from a number of academics well-known for their advocacy, some of whom were affiliated with and even co-authored their submissions with notoriously politicized and ideologically biased organizations, such as the Canadian AntiHate Network.

Finally, when it came time for the culmination of the policy phase of the Inquiry, the roundtables charged with shaping the Commission’s recommendations were packed with experts with ties to the Trudeau government, notably exTrudeau Foundation CEO Morris Rosenberg. (Rosenberg was also the author of the report commissioned by the Privy Council Office that concluded that foreign interference had not affected the 2021 federal election; Rosenberg’s report concluded, contentiously, that “domestic actors” should also be a subject
of concern.)

On the question of whether the government will propose amending the Emergencies Act, LeBlanc’s progress report is considerably more evasive. This is likely because detaching the definition of a public order emergency from the definition found in the CSIS Act, as Rouleau recommended, would dramatically expand the federal government’s power to declare an emergency. If the legislative amendment tracks the Cabinet’s desires, the Emergencies Act could be triggered by any activity that threatens the “economic security” of Canada. As the more critical policy experts noted at the roundtable (and in their policy recommendations), this definition is practically limitless, as any disruptive protest (or strike, lockout, mass gathering, boycott, etc.) could have an “impact” on the national economy.

Accordingly, it seems likely that, before proposing such an amendment, the government will want to gauge the prevailing winds in Parliament. The surest indicator of unfavourable conditions would be the rigorous assessment of the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency, which has equal status under the Emergencies Act with the Public Inquiry, and should not feel any need to defer to its findings – particularly as the Rouleau Commission’s personnel, agenda, and fundamental assumptions were all determined by Cabinet, the very body whose actions it was charged with assessing.

The Special Joint Parliamentary Committee can serve as a neutral judge, and it should exercise independent judgment when compiling its own definitive report. The Committee will be an especially important arbiter of the key issue of whether the federal government, having expanded the scope of its emergency powers in secret, should receive retroactive benediction in the form of a newly amended Emergencies Act, which would encompass responses to “economic threats” (an illusory limitation, to be clear). Such an outcome would make Cabinet, and effectively the Prime Minister, our true sovereign.

About the author

Ryan Alford is a Senior Fellow of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at
Lakehead University, and a Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario. He was also granted the status of a Party by the Public Order Emergency Commission and appeared in that capacity before the Rouleau Inquiry.

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Brownstone Institute

Pfizer Lied to Us Again

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From Brownstone Institute

BY Ian MillerIAN MILLER 

There used to be a time where claims from pharmaceutical companies may have been treated with some degree of skepticism from major institutions and media outlets.

Yet in late 2020 and into 2021, suddenly skepticism turned to complete blind faith. But what changed? Why, political incentives, of course!

Initially, Covid vaccines produced by Pfizer were seen as dangerous and untested; they were considered a Trump vaccine that only idiots who were willing to risk their own health would take. However when the 2020 election had been officially decided, and Biden and his political allies represented the Covid vaccines as the pathway out of the pandemic, a moral choice that would help yourself and others, narratives and incentives changed dramatically.

Pfizer became a heroic symbol of virtue, and all questioning of Covid vaccines was grounds for immediate expulsion from polite society, regardless of the actual efficacy of Pfizer’s products.

Much of the blame for the vaccines’ underperformance could be placed on Pfizer itself; the company relentlessly promoted hopelessly inaccurate efficacy estimates and supported efforts to unnecessarily mandate mRNA shots.

Sure enough, on the back of progressive orthodoxy, corporate and institutional incompetence and media activism, they proudly reported record revenues.

We all know how that turned out in 2022 and 2023.

Skepticism towards Pfizer’s vaccine was obviously quite well warranted. And it turns out that now we, and of course, Pfizer’s chief promoters in the media and public health class should have been even more skeptical.

They weren’t.

Pfizer’s Claims On Covid Treatments Were Wildly Inaccurate

As the Covid vaccines failed spectacularly to stop the spread of infections and did nothing to lessen all-cause mortality or even decrease population level Covid-associated deaths in highly vaccinated countries, Pfizer saw another opportunity.

Sure, their signature product failed to perform as expected. So why not create another one as an antidote?

Enter Paxlovid.

Paxlovid, an antiviral drug, was supposed to help individuals with symptomatic Covid, who’d already been infected, recover more quickly and lessen the risk of severe illness. Sounds great right?

It would appear that it sure did to Anthony Fauci and the cadre of media-promoted “experts.”

Fauci praised Paxlovid in 2022, after the mRNA vaccines and booster doses failed to prevent him from contracting Covid. Bizarrely, Fauci implied that the same Pfizer products that he demanded everyone take would not have been enough to keep him healthy, saying that he believed Paxlovid had kept him out of the hospital.

Never mind, of course, that Fauci had a “rebound” case of Covid-19 after taking Paxlovid and getting vaccinated and boosted. Acknowledging imperfections would undercut his desire to get everyone to take more of his preferred products.

Paxlovid made headlines again later in 2022 as Rochelle Walensky also praised Pfizer’s efforts, despite once again testing positive for “rebound” Covid after Paxlovid treatments.

Even today, the CDC’s own website says Paxlovid is an “effective” treatment for those who’ve contracted the virus and want to avoid severe illness.

There’s just one problem; it’s not true.

A newly released study on Paxlovid on randomized adults with symptomatic Covid; one subset was given Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir-ritonavir) or a placebo every 12 hours for five days, with the intent of determining how effective it was at “sustained alleviation” of Covid-19 symptoms.

In this phase 2–3 trial, we randomly assigned adults who had confirmed Covid-19 with symptom onset within the past 5 days in a 1:1 ratio to receive nirmatrelvir–ritonavir or placebo every 12 hours for 5 days. Patients who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and who had at least one risk factor for severe disease, as well as patients without such risk factors who had never been vaccinated against Covid-19 or had not been vaccinated within the previous year, were eligible for participation. Participants logged the presence and severity of prespecified Covid-19 signs and symptoms daily from day 1 through day 28. The primary end point was the time to sustained alleviation of all targeted Covid-19 signs and symptoms. Covid-19–related hospitalization and death from any cause were also assessed through day 28.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t effective at all.

Their measured results revealed that there was effectively no difference whatsoever in the “sustained alleviation” of symptoms between Paxlovid and a placebo. Those taking Pfizer’s miracle antiviral treatment saw their “signs and symptoms” resolve after 12 days, while the placebo recipients took 13 days.

The median time to sustained alleviation of all targeted signs and symptoms of Covid-19 was 12 days in the nirmatrelvir–ritonavir group and 13 days in the placebo group (P=0.60). Five participants (0.8%) in the nirmatrelvir–ritonavir group and 10 (1.6%) in the placebo group were hospitalized for Covid-19 or died from any cause (difference, −0.8 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, −2.0 to 0.4).

This is the product that to this day is relentlessly promoted by the CDC, the media, and politicians as an effective tool to reduce the severity of symptoms and the length of illness. And it was virtually meaningless.

Even with regards to the most severe outcomes, hospitalization, and death, the difference was negligible. Confidence intervals for the difference in outcome even stretched to a positive relationship, meaning that it’s within the bounds of possibility that more people died or were hospitalized after taking Paxlovid than a placebo.

Succinctly, the researchers confirmed in their summary that there was no difference between the two treatments.

The time to sustained alleviation of all signs and symptoms of Covid-19 did not differ significantly between participants who received nirmatrelvir–ritonavir and those who received placebo.

But who are these researchers, you might ask…surely they’re fringe scientists, desperate to undercut a big, bad pharmaceutical company, right? How else could their conclusions so thoroughly undermine Pfizer?

Let’s take a look at the disclosure to see who funded this study, designed the trial, conducted it, collected the data, and analyzed the results. Surely, that will reveal the nefarious intentions behind this dastardly attempt to cut at the heart of Pfizer’s miracle drug.

Pfizer was responsible for the trial design and conduct and for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The first draft of the manuscript was written by medical writers (funded by Pfizer) under direction from the authors.

Oh. Oh no.

Pfizer created the trial, conducted it, collected the data, and analyzed it. And it found that Paxlovid made no difference to the resolution of symptoms or with keeping people alive or out of the hospital. That has to sting.

Even worse, Covid vaccination was once again proven to be almost entirely irrelevant where results were concerned. Results were the same between “high-risk subgroups,” meaning those who had been vaccinated but had an elevated risk for more serious symptoms, and those who had never been vaccinated or had received the last dose more than a year ago.

Similar results were observed in the high-risk subgroup (i.e., participants who had been vaccinated and had at least one risk factor for severe illness) and in the standard-risk subgroup (i.e., those who had no risk factors for severe illness and had never been vaccinated or had not been vaccinated within the previous 12 months).

So not only did Paxlovid not make a difference, but vaccination status AND Paxlovid wasn’t enough to create a sizable gap in outcomes between healthy, unvaccinated individuals.

But wait, there’s more.

Viral load rebounds were also more common in the Paxlovid group, and symptom and viral load rebounds combined were more common among those taking Pfizer’s treatment. While percentages were generally low, other studies have pegged Paxlovid-associated rebound as occurring nearly one quarter of the time.

So it’s not particularly effective at reducing symptoms or resolving them more quickly, doesn’t lead to statistically significant improvements in the most severe outcomes, and is more likely to result in a rebound case of the illness it’s supposed to be protecting you from.

Sounds exactly like the type of product that Fauci, Walensky, and the CDC would praise, doesn’t it?

Paxlovid is the entire Covid-pharmaceutical complex summarized perfectly. Created to solve a problem that was supposed to be fixed by another product…understudied, overhyped by the “experts,” and prematurely authorized by a desperate FDA…and ultimately shown to be mostly ineffective.

Once again, the actual science disproves The Science™. And once again, we’ll get no acknowledgment of it or apologies for the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted. Can’t wait to see what Pfizer does for an encore.

Republished from the author’s Substack

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Japanese study finds ‘significant increases’ in cancer deaths after third mRNA COVID doses

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From LifeSiteNews

By Calvin Freiburger

Cancer deaths started rising again in Japan in 2021, and one study concludes it ‘may be attributable to several mechanisms’ of the mRNA-based COVID vaccines.

A new study has found “statistically significant increases” in cancer deaths after taking a third dose of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, according to a Japanese study published April 8 in the journal Cureus.

The study looked at age-adjusted mortality rates for multiple types of cancers from 2020 to 2022 in Japanese government data. “No significant excess mortality was observed during the first year of the pandemic (2020),” it says. “However, some excess cancer mortalities were observed in 2021 after mass vaccination with the first and second vaccine doses, and significant excess mortalities were observed for all cancers and some specific types of cancer (including ovarian cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer, lip/oral/pharyngeal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer) after mass vaccination with the third dose in 2022.”

Notably, the rollout of the COVID vaccines coincided with an interruption and slowing of declines in cancer mortality rates that had been observed across all age groups over the span of the preceding decade. Third mRNA doses correlated with “significant excess mortalities” of all cancers, including breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer as well as leukemia. Almost all of the COVID vaccines at issue were mRNA-based, with 78% of those being from Pfizer and 22% from Moderna.

“For all cancers, we estimated the excess mortalities to be -0.4% (-0.9, 0.1), 1.1% (0.5, 1.8), and 2.1% (1.4, 2.8), respectively, indicating no excess in 2020 and statistically significant increases in 2021 and especially in 2022,” the authors write.

Changes in 2020 can be attributed to the height of the lockdowns forcing delays and cancellations of surgeries and other cancer treatments, but the researchers note several potential causal links between the vaccines and cancer deaths in 2021 and beyond.

“Some studies have shown that type I interferon (INF) responses, which play an essential role in cancer immunosurveillance, are suppressed after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-LNP vaccination,” they write.

“SARS-CoV-2 vaccine has been shown to cause immunosuppression and lead to the reactivation of latent viruses such as varicella-zoster virus (VZV, human herpesvirus 3; HHV3) or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) in some cases,” the add. “These phenomena could also help explain the excess deaths from lip/oral/pharyngeal cancer in 2022 when mass vaccination with third and later doses was underway.”

The researchers conclude that “[t]hese particularly marked increases in mortality rates of these ERα-sensitive cancers may be attributable to several mechanisms of the mRNA-LNP vaccination rather than COVID-19 infection itself or reduced cancer care due to the lockdown. The significance of this possibility warrants further studies.”

“I have long suspected a cancer link to the vaccines just based on the science of immunology,” MIT researcher Stephanie Seneff told The Epoch Times in response to the study. “What I think is happening, broadly speaking, is that the vaccine is causing impairment of the innate immune response, which leads to an increased susceptibility to any infection, increased autoimmune disease, and accelerated cancer progression.”

In 2021, Project Veritas shed light on some of the reasons for such under-reporting with undercover video from inside Phoenix Indian Medical Center, a facility run under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Indian Health Service program, in which emergency room physician Dr. Maria Gonzales laments that myocarditis cases go unreported “because they want to shove it under the mat,” and nurse Deanna Paris attests to seeing “a lot” of people who “got sick from the side effects” of the COVID shots, but “nobody” is reporting them to VAERS “because it takes over a half hour to write the damn thing.”

An analysis of 99 million people across eight countries published February in the journal Vaccine–the largest analysis to date–“observed significantly higher risks of myocarditis following the first, second and third doses” of mRNA-based COVID vaccines, as well as signs of increased risk of “pericarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis,” and other “potential safety signals that require further investigation.” Earlier this month, the CDC was forced to release by court order 780,000 previously undisclosed reports of serious adverse reactions.

In Florida, a grand jury impaneled by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is currently investigating the manufacture and rollout of the COVID vaccines. In February, it released its first interim report on the underlying justification for Operation Warp Speed, which determined that lockdowns did more harm than good, that masks were ineffective at stopping COVID transmission, that COVID was “statistically almost harmless” to children and most adults, and that it is “highly likely” that COVID hospitalization numbers were inflated. The grand jury’s report on the vaccines themselves is highly anticipated.

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