Experts and Government

Canada has something called the “COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel.” These are the experts from which the federal government gets its advice on how to handle the pandemic. 

The Prime Minister has repeatedly stated that his government follows the science in these matters, in order to protect Canadians. Unless, of course, it doesn’t look good politically.

He didn’t actually say that last sentence, but it is apparent in that there has been a resounding silence to the latest word from his experts. They maintain that mandatory hotel quarantine for arriving air travelers doesn’t work and should be scrapped. That government is ignoring them.

I will admit to having a certain interest in the matter. I have a room booked for Thursday night in such an establishment. No choice – you can’t fly to Canada without booking and pre-paying for what is essentially a fancy internment camp.

It is an insulting situation. The government requires people to pay for their own quarantine hotel. (Such a procedure is outlined in the Quarantine Act, but it has never been applied in such a widespread fashion.) The cost isn’t just for a room – it includes “security.” In other words, the prisoners are expected to pay the salaries of their jailors.

If there were a scientfic benefit, if the quarantine hotel stay was effective in preventing or even slowing the spread of COVID-19, then you could perhaps justify the civil rights violations. But it doesn’t. The scientific experts say so.

Not to mention that there have been outbreaks of COVID-19 in some of the hotels. Not from travelers but from staff – which puts the travelers at risk. And there have been assaults on travelers that all the prison-like security failed to prevent. And we won’t even talk about the assaults by the hired security guards themselves.

Is the government willing to acknowledge this and scrap the requirement? Apparently not. Which has me wondering why.

Hotel quarantine stays must be pre-paid, and are non-refundable, even if you have proof of a negative COVID test. The prices are considerably higher than a regular hotel stay. (There’s that “security” cost after all to make sure you stay in your room.)

Donations to political parties and candidates in Canada are severely restricted. You can’t buy a politician with a political donation – the amount isn’t worth their while.

However, there are no restrictions on donations made to charities. You can give as much money as you like.

I am wondering if perhaps some hotel owners have made recent donations to the Pierre ElliottTrudeau Foundation, an organization associated with the Prime Minister and his family. That might explain a lot, especially as to why the hotel quarantine remains despite the scientific eveidence it is useless.

If that turns out to be the case, it wouldn’t be the first time those giving to that fund have apparently received benefits in return for their donations. In the past there has been a perception of “cash for access” to the Prime Minister. I would not be surprised at all to discover that something similar has taken place this time.

Sad yes, but not surprised.

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