People are suffering across Canada. Pick a province and everyone has some hurting happening, much of it due to the havoc Covid-19 has been wreaking on people’s heath with the after-affects with the livelihoods. People struggling financially is commonplace, many small businesses are backed into a corner by being shut down. 

We have political turmoil and while that seems like an rather simplistic obvious statement from those to the ordinary person, those who are affluent or in political office don’t seem tone understanding the ramifications of their actions, or they just don’t care. "Ordinary" people are fighting back, rightly or wrongly.

Word from provincial media in Alberta is that there are some businesses, especially food establishments in rural area are defying the rules by opening. Many are saying how awful it is. How reckless they are and how they should be ashamed for not caring or not following the rules. Show regard for others around you.  Governments and health authorities are telling people not to ignore the rules. 

There are those informed and compassionate people who want this to be over are following the rules put forth by the government, forgoing their family, social and personal lives, wearing the masks, and getting tested. 

Meanwhile…

Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes does an interview (during the last week in January) with the Western Standard (think Alberta version of Rebel Media) that testing in Florida (Florida?!) is better and alludes to the fact testing in Alberta/Canada isn’t effective; politicians and top media officials across Canada and not only Alberta have been caught flying to vacation spots or visiting families in other provinces. 

The now ex-Great Canadian Gaming Corp. CEO Rodney Baker and his wife, Ekaterina are accused of flying to a remote Yukon White River First Nation in Beaver Creek, posing as workers and getting a Covid-19 inoculation. This not only breaks every etiquette, decency and written law but speaks a lot to affluent privilege.. one could easily add white privilege.

Julie Payette was the Governor General who served for three years, get a $150,000 per year pension for life after she resigned due to a damning report about how her and assistant abused, and shabbily treated staff and everyone around them. Her annual expense account could go as a high as $206,000. 

And then government and political pundants wonder why there is so much angst out there and to the extreme… talk of western Canadian separation.

Separation isn’t the answer. Separating from Canada isn’t a matter of throwing a polite, politically-filtered temper tantrum i.e. such as the Alberta premier did when the Keystone Pipeline papers were revoked by the newly instilled leader of the United States. 

And I quote from the Alberta government website: ”In 2018, Alberta exported $102.32B worth of goods to United States, making it the 1st ranked country in terms of Alberta’s exports.” The United States did 4.9 trillion in trade in 2016 (United States Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis), $1.9 trillion went to Canada. Most of the country aren’t economics majors or political geniuses, but it doesn’t install much confidence in government does it?

This turmoil is a warning to those in power that people aren’t taking it any longer. There is no more restlessness, those who are impatient are fighting back. Social media isn’t full of keyboard warriors deep within the basements of their parents homes anymore. People are becoming more organized. Look how a semi-organized social media frenzy could whip up people into a lather in the United States. 

How else can you explain someone like Donald Trump, after all that he did and didn’t do, still was able to get many from all walks of life including law enforcement to storm Congress and for him to have a tinge of support. 

Remember that scene near the end of the movie A Bug’s Life? At the end, the hard working ants got it figured out. 

Hopper: Let this be a lesson to all you ants! Ideas are very dangerous things! You are mindless, soil-shoving losers, put on this Earth to serve us!

Flik: You’re wrong, Hopper. Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers. I’ve seen these ants do great things, and year after year they somehow manage to pick food for themselves *and* you. So-so who is the weaker species? Ants don’t serve grasshoppers! It’s *you* who need *us*! We’re a lot stronger than you say we are... And you know it, don’t you?

2020 may not have a lot on 2021.

Ryan Dahlman is managing editor of Prairie Post East and Prairie Post West.

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