Maxime Bernier: Lockdowns are “An Experiment and an Experiment that didn’t Work”

Written By Karl Fluri, Posted on January 13, 2021

On January 11 the Chance of Fluri show hosted PPC Leader Maxime Bernier for a thought-provoking discussion regarding the pandemic, as well as a possible 2021 election.

Mr. Bernier voiced his disappointment with both federal and provincial governments across Canada in their handling of the coronavirus stating:

I said, I think it was in March, last March. That you know, lockdowns are not the solution, and now they are doubled on it. Now we have lockdowns and a curfew here in Quebec, and maybe in other provinces.. And why is it not the solution? Because it isn’t working. And at the same time, you know, we need to have our freedom, and governments actually, right now, are looking at us as irresponsible children that they must tell what to do. But we are responsible citizens, and we don’t need lockdowns to fight this virus.

Bernier is voicing concerns many Canadians have expressed throughout this pandemic. If the measures aren’t working, then why are we doubling down? 

Later in the interview, he touches on the reasons as to why he believes those in power are still pushing these draconian lockdowns despite the mountain of evidence showing that they are doing more harm than good.

Bernier said,

What the federal government didn’t do is, they didn’t do a cost benefit analysis of the situation, and if you do that. I tweeted today, on my Twitter account, a nice interview from a Doctor in Alberta that was for the lockdowns in the beginning, and now he’s against that. And he said, you know, we need to do a real cost-benefit analysis of the impact of these lockdowns on the population, and now he’s asking for ending these lockdowns. So I think, I hope our politicians will listen to that, but I think that they like their power, some of them have a power trip, you know? They’re saying to people what they can do, what they cannot do, and we must just tell them, you know? that we are able to live with that, and that we’ve had other pandemics in the past, and we didn’t have any lockdowns. That was an experiment, and an experiment that didn’t work, so it’s time to stop that.

Here Bernier is discussing a Toronto Sun article focusing on a paper titled Covid-19: Re-thinking the Lockdown Groupthink by Dr. Ari Joffe in which he finds that the lockdowns, and their indirect effects, are causing far more harm than the benefits they afford.

Dr. Joffe is a specialist in pediatric infectious disease at Strollery’s Children Hospital in Edmonton, and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta.

As Dr. Joffe discusses in his paper the data clearly indicates that the lockdowns are not the path forward out of this pandemic, the unintended consequences of the lockdowns will greatly overtake any lives that may be saved.

As Bernier stated though, it is unlikely that our leaders will want to give up this newfound emergency power they have been granted as we are facing this crisis. This is likely why the government is not performing any type of cost-benefit analysis (publicly) on the situation, as they would then be required to act on those results.

We then learned about what a pandemic response coming from the PPC might have looked like had Bernie been elected in 2019.

Bernier explained his perspective, stating that:

I think that in the beginning the way to flatten the curve and to be able to deal with it, the problem is with our healthcare. We have a public, full public, healthcare system… and we’re spending a lot of money in healthcare in Canada. We need to have more competition there, it’s part of our platform. More competition, a mixed system, private delivery of healthcare and public delivery of healthcare, like in other countries, like in Sweden and other western countries that have a big system. It’s more efficient, and it’s less costly. So the problem is there in the beginning. That our politicians didn’t think they’d be able to deal with the virus because of the inefficiency of our healthcare system in Canada… 

You look at what happened and, I think I said in the beginning, I said that in March, so just in the beginning, no lockdowns. So for me, I’m against lockdowns. I believe we need to protect the older, and actually the older are under the responsibility of the provincial governments, so they just have to do their jobs at the provincial level, and they didn’t do that. 80% of the deaths were coming from older people in government long term care homes. So I think, for that, protect the older, no lockdowns, and deal with it. And also I think I’d get kind of a decentralized decision from the departments of healthcare in Quebec, or other provinces, now it’s all centralized in Quebec. And, you know? It’s very different in different regions of the country, different regions of our province, so decentralize. A decentralized way to take decisions, I think, that must be the best thing to do. People on the ground, they always know better than bureaucrats, or politicians, in Ottawa, or in Quebec, or Toronto.

So this plan starts by addressing the structural defects, such as long wait times and high costs of service, that plague our healthcare system. This while ensuring that we are protecting the most vulnerable amongst us, and allowing a far more dynamic decision-making strategy for the experts doing the work on the ground. 

This plan sounds far more sensible than the authoritarian state we are currently living under.

Through these measures Canadians could have avoided the economic fallout we are currently facing, and it is likely that we would be in a better position in the fight against this pandemic. 

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Instead, we face rising case rates, an endlessly expanding debt, the extinction of local or small Canadian industry, and a whole host of health problems ranging from increased rates of Cancer to increased opioid use and death. All this not to mention the mental health crisis Canadians will be facing with all of this burden and isolation.

Canada is currently in a very sad state, and it’ll take some major changes to our political landscape for things to get better. 

Maxime Bernier is proposing drastic, reformist, changes to Canada. Maybe this is the path we need to take? Watch the rest of the interview (above) to hear more about Bernier’s 2021 platform, and his plans for the country, to see if the PPC may be the party for you.

Karl Fluri

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