It is not obvious for how many businesses she speaks, but Old Strathcona Business Association executive director Cherie Klassen has made an Edmonton Journal headline: she said the city’s businesses do not like the idea of exemption cards that permit people not to wear face masks.
Here’s the funny part: a number of businesses do not like it when people enter their premises wearing hoods or, heavens forbid, dark glasses. They do not like being robbed, and experience tells them many robbers prefer going around masked.
But mass hysteria changed most people into sheeple, and, not used to question official figures, they just buy the theory that government (in this case, Edmonton’s city council) know best what’s good for them.
If the sheeple did their homework, they would have known that the World Health Organization (WHO), the body responsible for causing the artificial panic in the first place, has been wavering on the use of face masks, going between such extremes as everyone should wear them at all times all the way to face masks do not protect anyone from anything.
Well, face masks do protect us from the spread of bacteria. Not from viruses. And wearing face masks can end up in unusual side effects (self-contamination, for example, or, in some cases and situations, carbon monoxide poisoning).
Who’s right, who’s wrong?
A number of Canada’s constitutional lawyers question whether provincial and municipal governments had not acted beyond their powers (ultra vires is the Latin legal description of it) when they appropriated unusual powers to themselves.
Those governments said that extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. Those lawyers do not question the extraordinary times statement. They question whether those governments have the right to impose draconian measures for which they have no mandate from their boss, their voters.
We can expect tons of motions, counter-motions, arguments, counter-arguments, all this to be followed by some kind of a binding decision which can go either way: history teaches us that it does not necessarily have to be the side that is right that will prevail.
Speaking of history, a warning (caveat in Latin): Nazi Holocaust was perfectly within Germany’s laws at the time.
So, who knows?
There are more things we do not know.
For example, the Edmonton Journal article quotes one person, Ms. Klassen, while claiming that (verbatim) “Edmonton business organizations are pushing back against mask exemption cards being offered by the city, concerned they will be abused and lead to increased non-compliance.”
How Ms. Klassen arrived at her conclusions, the Edmonton Journal story does not say. How many business owners did she ask? Did she ask in Old Strathcona only? Did she ask elsewhere, too? How many agreed with her statement? How many did not?
To sum up: what justified the Edmonton Journal headline? Again, verbatim: City of Edmonton facing backlash over mandatory mask exemption cards, more than 1,660 doled out in early days
To be fair, the story also quotes an Edmonton radiologist and clinical assistant professor at the University of Alberta, Matthew Butcher. Not that he is unbiased (but, then again, who of us is not?). He represents a group of whose existence many might have not had an inkling until now: Masks4Canada.
So far as Dr. Butcher is concerned, the exemption cards for people unable to use face masks should be issued using the same standards used for accessible parking placards. You can get a placard like this only when your medical attendant confirms (in writing) that you require one.
Otherwise, Dr. Butcher suspects, people will cheat just so they can disregard the government order they have to wear a face mask.
Considering most physicians won’t see their patients these days, operating through so-called “telephone medicine” systems, instead, one wonders just how Dr. Butcher imagines this could be achieved.
Of course, he is a radiologist, that is, he does not see patients. He sees images taken by the modern gadgetry of today’s medicine, describes what he sees, and sends his findings to the patient’s physician.
On one hand, on the other …
The Edmonton Journal followed up with a story that opens with an unsupported statement that the exemption card program faces stiff opposition from local businesses. That is, if one does not accept a link to the previous day’s insufficient story as proof of what is happening.
City of Edmonton COVID-19 task team chairman David Aitken told the paper that the city hopes people will be honest and they won’t abuse the exemption card program.
This is called CYA (an acronym that stands for Cover Your Behind).
What followed was an exercise in bureaucratese. To quote the Edmonton Journal story: “Compliance of the new mask bylaw remains high, Aitken said, with about 85 per cent of people wearing masks across all indoor public spaces. About 90 per cent of passengers have been wearing masks on the transit system and 96 per cent of recreation centre guests, Aitken said.
“If these high compliance figures start to drop or the number of exemption cards skyrocket, Aitken said the city will re-evaluate the program.”
End of quote.
In addition, Mr. Aitken suggested that businesses are free to refuse service to the unmasked, but he would rather if they didn’t.
How frightfully magnanimous.
Considering some businesses are breaking the law these days, and getting away with it, fat chance.
How? Simple, my dear Watson. The only legal currency in Canada (or any other country in the world, for that matter) is that issued by the government-appointed financial institution. That is: banknotes and coins. Other means of payment must guarantee that they end up with exchange of currency eventually. Which means that businesses that proclaim they will not accept payment in cash are breaking the law.
Now, granted, this would be outside of a municipal government’s jurisdiction, but since they have been trying to grab (and hold on) power that has never been theirs in the first place, why should they not act?
That the Edmonton Journal is no longer a newspaper, and a good one, to boot, but, rather, just a paper, is quite sad.
But that’s not the real point. Here it is: Edmonton’s city parents have got themselves into a stinky mess, and they don’t know how to get out of it (and still smell like roses).
Who voted them in?