Civil Rights and Covid-19

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Pondering
Civil Rights and Covid-19

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-public-health-restriction...

Since the public health emergency was declared in March, police across the province have had the power to serve a notice of infraction for gathering in groups of two or more. Quebec prosecutors could then set the fine as high as $6,000.

By April 4, police were authorized to use their own judgment — issuing tickets of $1,000. With fees, that comes out to more than $1,500. For minors, the fine can't top $500.

The rule is, if you don't live with that person, you're not supposed to be in close proximity of them. That hasn't changed, but some people were left confused by the security minister's comments on Wednesday, said Longueuil police spokesperson Const. Mélanie Mercille.

Pondering

I know it is a threat, but I find the above too draconian and unnecessary. There should be patrols and people should be reminded. Playgrounds are closed. Businesses are closed. Beyond that people should be educated. Social pressure will take are of the rest. That would mean some infections but so does opening up the economy. Let those people determined to congregate be the volunteer first wave.

Barring family members from care homes was and is outrageous when protecting them from covid already massively failed and there wasn't and isn't enough staff to look after them. By what right is this happening? What rights do we give up if we voluntarily enter a care home? What rights do families have?

Most if not all seniors over seventy live each day as if it could be their last particularly if they need the care of a nursing home. It is far more important to them that they see loved ones as opposed to living longer in solitude. Seniors have been dying of dehydration and loss of the will to live. People will be haunted forever by the thought of their parents dying alone and feeling deserted by family in their last days.

It isn't like everyone is in full isolation. Many workers are still out there including staff at those homes. If they were being properly cared for it would be bad but under the circumstances it is criminal.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

New Campus Sexual Assault Rules Bolster Protection for Accused Students

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday unveiled new sexual assault policies for college and school campuses that weaken the rights of sexual violence survivors while bolstering protections for people accused of sexual harassment or assault. The new rules — set to take effect in August — also reduce the legal liabilities against colleges and schools, and narrow the scope of which cases schools and colleges are required to investigate. Advocacy groups supporting survivors of sexual violence have vowed to fight the new policies. Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, denounced the rules, saying, “This is all part of this administration’s ongoing attempts to undermine the civil rights of students. All students deserve an educational environment free from sex discrimination and violence.”

Viral Video Shows LAPD Officer Violently Punching a Man Arrested for Trespassing

Cellphone footage has emerged of a Los Angeles Police Department officer repeatedly punching a man being arrested in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in late April. The video shows the man with his back toward the officers, standing near a fence with his hands behind his back, when one of the officers begins punching him behind the head and body, hitting him over a dozen times while yelling profanities. The man then tries to take a few steps away from the officer as the officer walks toward him again, punching him several more times. The man doesn’t fight back. The police officer has since been ordered to stay home pending an internal investigation. He has been identified as a 20-year LAPD veteran named Frank Hernandez. The Los Angeles Times reports Hernandez has been involved in three on-duty shootings during his career. In 2010, Hernandez shot dead a 37-year-old Guatemalan immigrant named Manuel Jamines, sparking protests.

Anger Mounts over Killing of Ahmaud Arbery, Black Jogger Shot to Death by 2 White Men in GA

Nationwide condemnation is growing over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old African American man who was shot dead while jogging by two white men in Brunswick, Georgia, in February. Shocking video emerged this week showing the two armed men waiting to attack Arbery while he ran down a narrow road. The men have been identified as former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis. A friend of theirs filmed the video showing the ambush and killing of Artery. Basketball superstar LeBron James tweeted, “We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the killing, writing on Twitter, “The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder.” There have been no arrests so far in the case, which is now going to a grand jury.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

“Weaponized and Racialized”: Police Departments Use COVID-19 to Target Black & Brown Communities

Viral images have shone a spotlight on uneven policing. Some show police officers distributing masks to White residents in crowded New York City parks — and apparently arresting no one. Meanwhile, videos have emerged of violent crackdowns on social distancing measures in Black and Latinx neighborhoods. We continue our look at how Black and Brown communities are being disproportionately targeted and policed in New York City’s enforcement measures during the pandemic, and also discuss how officers have ordered protesters to disband, citing executive orders from the mayor and the governor that ban “any non-essential gathering of individuals of any size for any reason.”

quote:

AMY GOODMAN: I want to talk about some of the disproportionate approaches of the Police Department, and disparate approaches. So, you have, last week, on the same weekend when police officers were distributing masks to White residents gathered in — oh, in crowded parks, not involved with social distancing — pictures were going online. Pictures were going, showing White people crowded in Central Park. At the same time, you had a different group of New York police officers attempting to shut down a press conference and a protest in Manhattan’s East Village. The event was organized by Reclaim Pride Coalition [to] protest Mount Sinai Health System['s] invitation to partner with the right-wing evangelical group Samaritan's Purse to open medical tents in Central Park, that happened a while ago. The officers ordered the protesters to disband, and gave one of them a summons saying she had violated social distancing rules issued in executive orders from the mayor and the governor that ban, quote, “any non-essential gathering of individuals of any size for any reason.” So, you have both the arrests around social distancing and the arrests around protests, Norman Siegel. Can you talk about this?

Pondering

Those are terrible examples but they are in the US.  I'm questioning what our civil rights are in Canada and which are being breached.

Is there a balance between civil rights and protecting the public? People are getting massive fines for being on public property even if they are not under personal quarantine.

Is it disproportionately hitting areas of greater poverty because of the lack of backyards?

Misfit Misfit's picture

I don't think it is because of the lack of back yards. I perceive that it has more to do with the race, the sexual orientation, and the affluence of the people involved.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

BCCLA Reacts: Canada Border Services Agency officers investigated for hundreds of misconduct complaints

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is horrified at the revelations of gross misconduct by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers uncovered through an access to information request by CBC news.

Media reports reveal that CBSA conducted over five hundred investigations of its officers between Jan 1, 2018 and early 2020. Allegations and investigations into CBSA officer misconduct included improper search, sexual harassment, bribery, theft, excessive use of force, abuse of authority, collecting women’s personal phone numbers, and more. Though many details from the access to information documents are redacted, those that have emerged paint a horrifying picture of officers gloating and boasting about harassment, abuse of authority, and sexual violence.

According to Meghan McDermott, Senior Staff Counsel at the BC Civil Liberties Association, “These complaints reveal what happens when we give unchecked power to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers, who have wider powers than police agencies. Every major police agency in Canada has some form of independent oversight, yet, despite its immense powers, there is no independent civilian oversight body to investigate CBSA officer misconduct or review CBSA policies. We urgently need robust CBSA accountability and external oversight, and more needs to be done to tackle the marginalization of migrants and refugees created by our immigration enforcement policies.”....

Pondering

Misfit wrote:

I don't think it is because of the lack of back yards. I perceive that it has more to do with the race, the sexual orientation, and the affluence of the people involved.

I live in downtown Montreal. If I had children/teens right now how could I keep them indoors 24/7 or on a small balcony for months?

Women and PoCs are less likely to be affluent enough to own a house with a backyard.

Aristotleded24

This is an excellent topic, and one that deserves attention. This talk of a "new normal" to me is about getting people to accept more limitations on their freedom in the name of "safety." Look at the fact that almost all of our social interaction is taking place digitally and that many businesses are encouraging people to pay electronically. That means the space for us to move and conduct business without being put under surveillance is very small and continually shrinking. All kinds of tech solutions are being proposed:

Quote:

SenseTime told the BBC its tech has been deployed in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Other companies such as Megvii advertise a similar product, which has been rolled out in Beijing, according to the company, and describes it as an “AI-enabled temperature detection solution that integrates body detection, face detection and dual sensing via infrared cameras and visible light.”

In Russia, facial recognition technology has been deployed to ensure that quarantined individuals do not leave their homes or hotels. 

It’s not just external cameras being used to track individuals. It’s also the very device many people take with them everywhere, our smartphones. Telecom companies in China are handing over records of customers' movements to the government as well as letting users know if they have been in an impacted area recently, while places such as Singapore have worked to trace infected individuals’ movements through data from ride-sharing apps, Monash University academics, in Australia, found.

But as the article goes on to note later on:

Quote:
But these are extreme measures taken to address an extreme situation. They should not be treated as normal, reasonable or inevitable. To do so means they might just outlast the scope of the pandemic and fundamentally change the lives of billions of people.

Edward Snowden also spoke up, and as he said:

Quote:
There is nothing more foreseeable as a public health crisis in a world where we are just living on top of each other in crowded and polluted cities, than a pandemic. And every academic, every researcher who's looked at this knew this was coming. And in fact, even intelligence agencies, I can tell you firsthand, because they used to read the reports had been planning for pandemics.

...

As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world. Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept? No matter how it is being used, what’ is being built is the architecture of oppression.

I remember how scared people were after 9/11, but the level of paranoia and fear among the public about coronavirus is far worse and far extensive. I remember at the time reading about how the government was using the crisis to restrict our civil liberties, and reading about how the government would use terrorism to divide us against each other and to restrict our freedom of movement. Yet as scared as I was about it, the worst possible scenario pales in comparison to the restrictions we are currently living under and how micro-managed our lives have become if we dare to leave our safe bubbles.

Aristotleded24

Speaking of civil liberties violations:

Quote:

Dozens of churches in Manitoba are banding together to ask the province to lift all COVID-19-related restrictions that limit how they can worship. 

The current guidelines limit public gatherings to 25 people indoors, and 50 people outdoors. 

That will double next week, when Phase 3 of Manitoba's reopening strategy begins. 

Still, some church leaders believe they should be able to set their own restrictions and have created a website called Reopen Manitoba Churches to lobby the provincial government. 

A letter posted to the website that is addressed to Premier Brian Pallister says the churches feel the restrictions are unjustified, given the province's low case numbers, and that they infringe upon their Charter rights. 

"The free assembly of the church is not incidental to Christian worship but is an essential component of our worship. It is not the role of the state to determine that online resources substitute as a peaceful assembly," the letter says.

I agree with what these churches are trying to do. It is time to lift these restrictions and allow people to worship in whatever faith tradition they choose, if they belong to one. I also think that every covid restriction put in place, whether it be how far apart we have to stand in a grocery store, to how many people can meet in a room to whether provinces can set up travel restrictions, needs to be the subject of a vigourous, tough challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The fact is, we the people have had no democratic input on either the restrictions coming into place, or when and how they will be lifted. The health authorities never made a valid case. We need to make these challenges so strong, so bold, and so voiciferous that the government doesn't ever think about even trying to attack our freedoms and liberties for this long without a good reason. There are already provisions within our legal system that allow for sacrificing individual liberties for the greater good if the situation calls for it. These challenges will finally force the government to make a proper case. Additionally, I also support citizens of every other country challenging their restrictions under whatever human rights framework they have.

Incidentally, this story shows the hypocrisy of the Pallister government and the PC Party. This is a party that had no problem enlisting churches to advance a bigoted anti-LGBQT agenda, and yet he stands aside when their basic Charter rights to free assembly are under blatant attack.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I remember how scared people were after 9/11, but the level of paranoia and fear among the public about coronavirus is far worse and far extensive. I remember at the time reading about how the government was using the crisis to restrict our civil liberties, and reading about how the government would use terrorism to divide us against each other and to restrict our freedom of movement. Yet as scared as I was about it, the worst possible scenario pales in comparison to the restrictions we are currently living under and how micro-managed our lives have become if we dare to leave our safe bubbles.

I can't imagine how any sensible person could have been frightened by 9/11. It was obviously a one-off attack by jihadis, with no capability of continuing their attacks. I was a bit frightened by what the reactions of the Cheney/Bush administration would be, and they were terrible. But future terrorist attacks from Al Qaeda? Never in the cards.

It was certainly never a threat to me in Hamilton, or you in Manitoba. Covid-19, on the other hand, is a much more real threat to both of us than terrorism ever was. I'm not particularly scared even though my risk of death is high if I become infected. I'll do my best to avoid death for as long as I can, but when my time is up, all my problems will be over.

Do you have evidence, in the form of polls or similar, that people actually are frightened enough to give up their civil liberties, rather than just doing what they see as the sensible thing in the circumstances?

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Covid-19, on the other hand, is a much more real threat to both of us than terrorism ever was. I'm not particularly scared even though my risk of death is high if I become infected. I'll do my best to avoid death for as long as I can, but when my time is up, all my problems will be over.

Sure, covid is a real threat. Along with environmental pollution, influenza, heart disease, cancer, even a possible ruptured blood vessel that you or I didn't know we had. I find that keeping in good mental health is not conducive to overly focusing or fretting on these things.

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Do you have evidence, in the form of polls or similar, that people actually are frightened enough to give up their civil liberties, rather than just doing what they see as the sensible thing in the circumstances?

No actual polling data, but a general sense that we need to do what we need to do in order to stay "safe."

Has anybody thought how long the circumstances will last? What if we never have a vaccine? Does that mean we need to stand in certain spots in the grocery store and I will have to pre-book all of my work-outs in a gym now and forever until the end of time?

This is the classic case of the boiling frog. You don't put a frog into boiling water, you put the frog in room temperature water, then slowly turn up the temperature. The same playbook was rolled out with covid. First they told us we had to shut down to stop the spread of the virus. Then they told us that the virus would do a second wave, so we have to re-open in stages. Then they told us that we had to wait 18-24 months for a vaccine before life would ever return to normal. Then they told us that there has to be a "new normal."

Anyone who has even a remote knowledge of how emotional blackmail works, along with basic media literacy and critical thinking can see that we are targets in a psychological terrorism operation. So many smart people would easily call out these tactics in a second if they were directed at a "terrorist" threat.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Sure, covid is a real threat. Along with environmental pollution, influenza, heart disease, cancer, even a possible ruptured blood vessel that you or I didn't know we had. I find that keeping in good mental health is not conducive to overly focusing or fretting on these things. 

So you don't use seatbelts or try to avoid pollutants? Covid 19, unlike those other dangers, has overwhelmed health care systems.  It has led to crematoriums being overwhelmed and bodies stored in refridgerator trucks. 

You seem to be promoting a situation that would force health workers to either risk their lives or refuse to work due to the continued worldwide shortage of PPEs. Apparently we are close to being able to produce enough in Canada for Canadian health care workers needs but you can be sure we will be shipping out the "excess" not making them available to the general public for regular wear. 

The government has not even tried to really educate people about how viruses work in comparison to bacteria and mold and how it moves in the air and on surfaces. 

My neighbourhood is now party central so I guess I will be mostly staying home for a very long time to come. I can go out in the early morning before the crowds show up. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Sure, covid is a real threat. Along with environmental pollution, influenza, heart disease, cancer, even a possible ruptured blood vessel that you or I didn't know we had. I find that keeping in good mental health is not conducive to overly focusing or fretting on these things. 

So you don't use seatbelts or try to avoid pollutants? Covid 19, unlike those other dangers, has overwhelmed health care systems.  It has led to crematoriums being overwhelmed and bodies stored in refridgerator trucks.

You have used this sensationalist talking point repeatedly, and it's getting tired. This has not happened anywhere in Canada, hospitalizations are down across the board, and most regions actually have the capacity to (God forbid) handle more hospitalizations, if they have to.

Aristotleded24

Here we have another arbitrary extenstion of the emergency orders in Manitoba. This is getting ridiculous. 4 months in and well below 1% of the population has been infected with covid. It should be a hard-and-fast rule that once a state of emergency is declared, that said state of emergency cannot be extended unless agreed upon by majority vote in whatever legislative chamber is responsible for that region.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Well they opened up travel between provinces and after 13 days of no new cases in Manitoba, today we have 5 new cases reported. At least a couple of them are traced back to flights that came in to Winnipeg from Calgary.

Aristotleded24

So they opened up travel for people from out of province, and yet haven't opened up the churches for people who have stayed inside the province? This isn't adding up for me, there are so many double-standards and inconsistencies, and they have to be called out.

Aristotleded24

"This is getting ridiculous:"

Quote:
Chaise Corydon, known for its usually busy patio, got its first ticket for $2,542 in mid-June for not spacing its table and chairs enough. At the time, the owner thought a warning should have sufficed.

On Friday, the restaurant received a second ticket for $2,542 because some patrons were dancing and not physical distancing.

"This is getting ridiculous these [inspectors] are out of control," said Shea Ritchie, the owner of Chaise Corydon. "This is every authoritarians' dream situation."

The article goes on to explain that the owner had hired a DJ to attract more people, and some were moving to the music while in line for the restroom. This to me is over the top, and the covid pandemic is actually making me sympathetic to the business community. Are there some businesses who deserve to be hit with fines for violating health rules? Probably. But to be micromanaged to this extent? It looks to me like the government, looking to fill the hole in the budget that was blown by covid, is using it as an excuse to harass businesses, and given the current climate, the public is going to be on their side. Meanwhile, there are barriers that workers who want to complain about their workplaces to the Labour Board face in this province.

This is going overboard. Charter challenges now!

Aristotleded24

So now we have an anti-mask petition that has been struck down. Regardless of how you feel about mandatory mask wearing, the principles of democracy and free speech means that people who disagree with that policy have a right to express that opinion and to advocate for public policy that is in line with their views. There is already enough evidence that the ruling class is using the pandemic to control people's behaviour. Things like this give the conspiracy theorists legitimacy that they don't need. I think that counter-petitions in favour of mandatory mask wearing are a much more effective response than demanding that dissenting views be purged.

NDPP

Mask Mandates & Why You Should Wear Masks Made Simple

https://twitter.com/MoonofA/status/1283809292550840320

Aristotleded24

NDPP wrote:
Mask Mandates & Why You Should Wear Masks Made Simple

">https://twitter.com/MoonofA/status/1283809292550840320

This isn't about whether or not wearing a mask is a good idea. Mask wearing is a good idea, and I will take mandatory mask wearing for 2 months over months-long lockdowns. It's about the right of people to express dissenting views, even if those views put them at odds with the majority. You have devoted a great deal of your time to exposing the crimes of governments in this part of the world. If anti-mask advocates or covid conspiracy theoritsts are successfully silenced in these times, do you think for one second that you won't be silenced or deplatformed if our government was openly at war with another country? Freedom of speech is for everyone, not just the people you agree with. If you're not willing to even acknowledge when freedom of speech for someone with whom you disagree is under attack, then you have no leg to stand on when fighting for your own freedom of speech.

I can't believe how stupid the left has been on the coronavirus to not see that these are the same fear-mongering techniques that governments use to justify fighting terrorism, or how unprepared the general public is going to be to accept refugees from other countries after being told for months that it's not even safe for people to visit their own family members. As much as the left claims to hate religion, they certainly have made a religion of worshiping "science" as an absolute mandate to be followed. They deride religious fundamentalists for rigid adherence to dogma and ideas about God but are too blind to see that they are behaving in exactly the same way.

Aristotleded24

Using covid to crush cash:

Quote:

Kim Brown: So, doctor, can you talk to us about how the recent coronavirus pandemic is being used to restrict the use of cash? And some argue that, perhaps, we should be going more digital in the age of this pandemic because it will reduce hand-to-hand transmissions of handing over physical currency to a person, but also currency is crawling with germs, and all kinds of things that could possibly get us sick. So, is this not a good idea to transition away from cash at this particular moment?

Dr. Norbert Har…: I have to say that I can understand with some people who have to work out there they feel uneasy about it, but everybody who’s been looking into it is saying, health experts are saying that it’s not really dangerous. And there’s absolutely no indication that this disease is transmitted via cash, but it’s true that the banks and the financial sector, in general, are really using that argument, and they’re putting it on their web pages, they send out mailings where they suggest that cash is dirty, and that you should go digital. But there’s really no basis for that claim. It’s just something they wanted all along. We’re basically part of that drive to get rid of cash because they don’t like cash, it’s a competitor and it costs them money. They don’t make any money if you pay cash. And so, they don’t like it, so they just use that.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Hamilton's bylaw requiring masks in all public, enclosed spaces went into effect this Monday. Naturally, a few right wing nutcases held a protest against it, but I went to get supplies today for the first time this week, and I saw 100% compliance. I went to Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro supermarket and the LCBO. I didn't see a single person not wearing a mask, or protesting over the rule. Thank goodness that common sense seems to be prevailing.

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Hamilton's bylaw requiring masks in all public, enclosed spaces went into effect this Monday. Naturally, a few right wing nutcases held a protest against it, but I went to get supplies today for the first time this week, and I saw 100% compliance. I went to Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro supermarket and the LCBO. I didn't see a single person not wearing a mask, or protesting over the rule. Thank goodness that common sense seems to be prevailing.

I also saw today that Ontario's numbers dropped quite a bit. If the mask mandate made a difference, then this is about the time when that would show in the numbers. It also seems to me that a mask mandate for 8 or 10 weeks is a far smaller infringement on people's rights (essentially on par with mandatory seatbelt use) and liberties than lockdowns and restrictions on movements that can last for months.

Aristotleded24

Dictator Doug:

Quote:
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has removed a Cambridge, Ont., legislator from the Progressive Conservative caucus for voting against a controversial government bill.

Ford issued a statement today saying Belinda Karahalios will no longer sit as a member of the Progressive Conservative caucus.

Karahalios voted against a government bill that grants it powers to extend or amend some emergency orders a month at a time, for up to two years.

She called the bill an “unnecessary overreach” on parliamentary democracy shortly after the vote.

I absolutely agree with Karahalios. An emergency implies a danger or threat which is iminent. The situation with covid is more ongoing. There is some time to watch these trends and come up with a plan of action, and there is no reason to stifle public debate on this topic. Ford has a massive majority, it's not like he wouldn't have the votes to extend the emergency orders. Sure, he says the ability to extend emergency orders without consulting Queen's Park will only be used for covid. Is anybody here that naieve to assume a government wouldn't extend emergency orders for its own agenda?

Emergencies are for iminent threats, like storms, floods, fires, or something like that. Something happening over the longer term requires public debate and input, especially with the massive reshaping of our lives that the government is asking of us to fight this thing.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Using covid to crush cash:

Quote:

Kim Brown: So, doctor, can you talk to us about how the recent coronavirus pandemic is being used to restrict the use of cash? And some argue that, perhaps, we should be going more digital in the age of this pandemic because it will reduce hand-to-hand transmissions of handing over physical currency to a person, but also currency is crawling with germs, and all kinds of things that could possibly get us sick. So, is this not a good idea to transition away from cash at this particular moment?

Dr. Norbert Har…: I have to say that I can understand with some people who have to work out there they feel uneasy about it, but everybody who’s been looking into it is saying, health experts are saying that it’s not really dangerous. And there’s absolutely no indication that this disease is transmitted via cash, but it’s true that the banks and the financial sector, in general, are really using that argument, and they’re putting it on their web pages, they send out mailings where they suggest that cash is dirty, and that you should go digital. But there’s really no basis for that claim. It’s just something they wanted all along. We’re basically part of that drive to get rid of cash because they don’t like cash, it’s a competitor and it costs them money. They don’t make any money if you pay cash. And so, they don’t like it, so they just use that.

Also, cash can't be easily traced. Many establishments won't accept cards for purchases under 10$.  Stores aren't allowed by credit card companies to give discounts for paying in cash.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Using covid to crush cash:

Quote:

Kim Brown: So, doctor, can you talk to us about how the recent coronavirus pandemic is being used to restrict the use of cash? And some argue that, perhaps, we should be going more digital in the age of this pandemic because it will reduce hand-to-hand transmissions of handing over physical currency to a person, but also currency is crawling with germs, and all kinds of things that could possibly get us sick. So, is this not a good idea to transition away from cash at this particular moment?

Dr. Norbert Har…: I have to say that I can understand with some people who have to work out there they feel uneasy about it, but everybody who’s been looking into it is saying, health experts are saying that it’s not really dangerous. And there’s absolutely no indication that this disease is transmitted via cash, but it’s true that the banks and the financial sector, in general, are really using that argument, and they’re putting it on their web pages, they send out mailings where they suggest that cash is dirty, and that you should go digital. But there’s really no basis for that claim. It’s just something they wanted all along. We’re basically part of that drive to get rid of cash because they don’t like cash, it’s a competitor and it costs them money. They don’t make any money if you pay cash. And so, they don’t like it, so they just use that.

Also, cash can't be easily traced. Many establishments won't accept cards for purchases under 10$.  Stores aren't allowed by credit card companies to give discounts for paying in cash.

That's true, however often there is often a cost to the retailer to use the credit card. That's why many places will charge a fee (say $0.25) for any card transaction under a certain amount.

Aristotleded24

Possible Charter challenges to travel restrictions?

Quote:

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says travel restrictions at New Brunswick's borders could violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Cara Zwibel, a lawyer with the organization, said rules preventing some Canadians from entering the province conflict with mobility rights.

"I think that this freedom to travel freely within the country is something that is a part of being Canadian," she said. "A part of living in a country is you can move around in it."

The charter includes the right to move to, reside in, and earn a livelihood in any province. While other types of travel are not specifically referenced, the association believes they should be implied.

New Brunswick closed its borders to non-essential travel under the state of emergency in March. Checkpoints staffed by peace officers have been used to screen and control travellers.

Even though I agree with travel restrictions, I still support the idea of challenging them in court. The restrictions we have lived under are unprecedented, and unless challenged, the government will not hesitate to impose these restrictions again for its own benefit. New Brunswick is essentially the gateway to the Atlantic provinces over land, and had among the toughest entry restrictions in the country. I think the government can make a strong case by pointing to the fact that the entire region is nearly covid-free. If these restrictions are overturned in court because they violate the Charter, then that is the fault of the government for not making a solid case, not the fault of the CCLA for exposing that. If we are confident in our approach, we should welcome challenges and questions. It's only when you try and squelch dissent that people think maybe your ideas aren't as good as you think they are.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

So now we have an anti-mask petition that has been struck down. Regardless of how you feel about mandatory mask wearing, the principles of democracy and free speech means that people who disagree with that policy have a right to express that opinion and to advocate for public policy that is in line with their views. There is already enough evidence that the ruling class is using the pandemic to control people's behaviour. Things like this give the conspiracy theorists legitimacy that they don't need. I think that counter-petitions in favour of mandatory mask wearing are a much more effective response than demanding that dissenting views be purged.

And that right has not been challenged. Change.org is a private site like Rabble and Babble. Just like babble has limits on free speech so can Change.org. They have a reputation to consider.

The petition lied to the public about a topic that threatens public health.

If they want to do that they will have to buy their own server and organize their own petition.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

So now we have an anti-mask petition that has been struck down. Regardless of how you feel about mandatory mask wearing, the principles of democracy and free speech means that people who disagree with that policy have a right to express that opinion and to advocate for public policy that is in line with their views. There is already enough evidence that the ruling class is using the pandemic to control people's behaviour. Things like this give the conspiracy theorists legitimacy that they don't need. I think that counter-petitions in favour of mandatory mask wearing are a much more effective response than demanding that dissenting views be purged.

And that right has not been challenged. Change.org is a private site like Rabble and Babble. Just like babble has limits on free speech so can Change.org. They have a reputation to consider.

The petition lied to the public about a topic that threatens public health.

If they want to do that they will have to buy their own server and organize their own petition.

That's technically true, however it is also true of Google and Facebook. The reach of those companies is so big that they effectively have a monopoly and can shut down any discourse they dislike. That should trouble anyone. As for lying about public health? There are so many bigger examples of people and powerful institutions who are allowed to lie (WMD in Iraq, anyone?) which I would argue are far more destructive than allowing a petition against mandatory mask wearing that would probably be overwhelmed by even more people sigining in favour of mandatory masks.

NDPP

Details Emerge of Vaccine Choice Canada Lawsuit Over Coronavirus Response

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/coronavirus-charter-challenge-1.5680988

"...The legal action is a charge under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the country's pandemic response measures, including compulsory face masks, the closure of businesses and the enforcement of physical distancing...Jacob Shelley, an assistant professor of health law and ethics at Western University in London, Ont, who examined a copy of the lawsuit provided by CBC news [said]...given the content of the lawsuit, a public debate over masks risks being overshadowed by other claims that aren't supported by science..."

pookie

I used to respect Rocco Galati (the lawyer representing Vaccine Choice Canada quoted in #31) but he has gone completely off his rocker.  The statement of claim is a shmorgasbord of conspiracy theory and quackery.  There are a couple of valid questions buried under a Mt Everest of dreck.  The lawsuit should be struck and someone more serious should proceed with a new one.  Otherwise it risks tainting the court.

kropotkin1951

This is a nuisance lawsuit that the CBC is using for click bait.  Most of the claims would appear to be better suited to the Ontario Human Rights system for adjudication.  I remember years ago when the CBC and other MSM reported extensively on a class action suit launched against the BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union for their business losses during a strike. It too raised valid issues but all of them where matters under the jurisdiction of the labour board. The news media when they mentioned that fact did it as a minor footnote. The suit was withdrawn when the BFMWU responded and the suit bringers paid the union's legal bills. Politics is politics in many things.

Aristotleded24

So now Manitoba is the latest jurisdiction to roll out a covid alert system. Note that the green level is to be reached when "The spread of COVID 19 is broadly contained and a vaccine and/or effective treatment is available." Until then, there are limits on gathering sizes indoors and outdoors at the higher levels.

Why are we okay with Dr. Roussin deciding this for us? I thought in a democracy, the people decide. For one, limits on indoor capacity is a health risk for people freezing to death outside in the winter. But more broadly, capacity limits on gatherings, especially in a context where we don't have a vaccine or effective treatment and may never have, is a blatant attack on our right to free assembly which is guaranteed by the Charter.

No, I am not okay with this. These restrictions should be challenged in court, and the government allowed to make its case. There are already provisions in the Charter that allow certain rights to be suspended for the greater good. If the government makes a solid case, then the restrictions will stay in place. At least that is a better outcome than just rolling over and accepting these limitations. To paraphrase George Carlin, if your rights don't apply in a crisis, they don't apply at all.

Bacchus

Or they just use the notwthstanding clause and do it anyway

Aristotleded24

They could, but at least then the government would be on the hook for whatever decision it made, and they would be the ones risking public blowback. Far better to me than hiding behind the medical authorities.

Aristotleded24

See how police in Victoria, Australia handle people who don't wear masks

I wonder if anyone on the left will notice this and speak out about this blatant act of brutality?

Aristotleded24

Anti-covid protests lead to arrests in Germany:

Quote:

Police in Berlin have arrested 300 demonstrators during protests against Germany's coronavirus restrictions.

Some 38,000 people took to the streets in the city for mostly peaceful demonstrations.

Later hundreds of protesters, many from the far right, tried to storm the Reichstag, the home of Germany's federal parliament.

A number of people were arrested and German politicians condemned the attack as "shameful" and "unacceptable".

Some of those involved had insignia from the far-right Reichsbürger (Reich Citizens) movement. Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: "Nazi symbols as well as Reichsbürger and Imperial German flags have no place in the German Bundestag."

Earlier some 200 people were arrested at one rally, which the authorities blamed on right-wing agitators who were said to have thrown stones and bottles.

Aristotleded24

So to ask a question I asked earlier:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

See how police in Victoria, Australia handle people who don't wear masks

I wonder if anyone on the left will notice this and speak out about this blatant act of brutality?

Looks like the answer to my question is no. If the woman in the video was black, this incident would have circulated and people would have rightly demanded justice and accountability in this case. Yet for all the various left-wing sources of news I follow, why am I only finding out about this now? This happened a few weeks ago, and yet I stumbled across this when some right-wing YouTube channel from Australia showed up in my "Recommended" section. What's with the hypocrisy of the left not paying attention to these kinds of abuses of power in enforcement of covid restrictions? Even if you agree with whatever law this officer was enforcing, he was clearly out of line.

If we let the right-wing own this issue, we are going to look like massive hypocrites.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Do you seriously think the right wing is owning this issue? Give your head a shake. The right wing is organizing rallies to protest mask wearing, social distancing and potential vaccines.

Aristotleded24

If the only people talking about a policeman choking a woman are the people on the right, then that certainly does not reflect well for anyone on the left. Yes, people on the right are organizing rallies to protest these things, but that is their freedom of speech to do so. We can use our own freedom of speech to organize and rally for what we believe in. For example, most people everywhere support mandatory masking, so if we rally to make it a thing, we will win on that one.

As to the issue of the video I posted, maybe this young woman should have worn a facemask. Does she deserve to be choked for not doing so?

Aristotleded24
Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

If the only people talking about a policeman choking a woman are the people on the right, then that certainly does not reflect well for anyone on the left. Yes, people on the right are organizing rallies to protest these things, but that is their freedom of speech to do so. We can use our own freedom of speech to organize and rally for what we believe in. For example, most people everywhere support mandatory masking, so if we rally to make it a thing, we will win on that one.

As to the issue of the video I posted, maybe this young woman should have worn a facemask. Does she deserve to be choked for not doing so?

We have no control over what is happening in Melborne. There are many terrible things happening in many countries. We can't possibily be aware of and comment on all of them. Obviously no one agrees with this woman getting choked for any reason and if it happened in Canada you can be sure we would know about it and react.

You want "the left" to object to all Covid restrictions based on individual rights but "the left" is not libertarian. "The left" recognizes that we are in a worldwide pandemic. "The left" concerns itself with abuses of power of government but most of us don't consider general Covid restrictions to be abusive. If anything my concern is the government of Quebec's failure to put proper measures in place to protect students. It seems there is a similar concern in Ontario.

You are barking up the wrong tree trying to convince us (as leftists) that Covid measures should be up to the individual. That is the libertarian and extreme right wing position. "The left" supports collective action through elected governments.

Aristotleded24

Newfoundland and Labrador travel ban upheld in court:

Quote:

In a ruling released Thursday, Justice Donald Burrage wrote that the travel ban does indeed violate Section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which allows Canadians to move freely throughout the country.

However, Burrage said the ban is protected by Section 1, which allows for reasonable exemptions to the charter.

Lawyers acting for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Halifax resident Kim Taylor filed the court challenge in May, after Taylor was denied a travel exemption to attend her mother's funeral in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

"While restrictions on personal travel may cause mental anguish to some, and certainly did in the case of Ms. Taylor, the collective benefit to the population as a whole must prevail," Burrage wrote in his decision.

"COVID-19 is a virulent and potentially fatal disease. In the circumstances of the case, Ms. Taylor's right to mobility must give way to the common good."

Aristotleded24

Party's over in Quebec?

Quote:

Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault sought to clarify the government's message around the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions, saying police won't be allowed to enter a private residence without consent or a warrant.

"I want to be clear on this: the inviolability of private homes is a very important right, fundamental in Quebec," Guilbault said at a news conference Wednesday in Quebec City. 

Guilbault added, however, that if the epidemiological situation worsens "dramatically," the government would consider giving that power to police.

"It is not our intention," Guilbault said. "No one has a crystal ball."

...

The government is working on a plan that would give police the power to directly fine those who organize illegal private gatherings in their homes. But Guilbault reiterated that police would still need a warrant or consent to come inside.

Under the new authorization, police would issue the fines, instead of having the amount determined later by the Quebec Crown, the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales.

Guilbault asks all citizens to contact police immediately if they witness anyone breaking the rules. 

Her statement comes after Dr. Horacio Arruda mentioned Tuesday that public health is in discussions with the ministries of Justice and Public Security about allowing police to entering residences. Arruda, the province's public health director, backtracked just a few minutes later, but the result was confusion.

Civil liberties advocates have expressed concern that giving more power to the police could cause more harm than good, especially for the province's more vulnerable communities.

So if I'm understanding this correctly, instead of picking its battles and letting a few things slide, the government is prepared to compound the risk of covid transmission by potentially exposing police officers and their close contacts to the virus? They are prepared to possibly have police agencies be short-staffed as officers isolate after being in contact with partygoers where covid was confirmed? What if an officer finds out a few days later that (s)he has been exposed to the virus, what will that mean for the public? Police officers come into contact with large numbers of people daily, so now they have to track down anyone the officer has arrested, any witnesses or complainants the officer interviewed, any motorist the officer pulled over, and the list goes on and on. And the government is willing to risk all of this over house parties?

The civil liberties implications of this order are obvious, so they don't need any comment. I wouldn't even bother attacking this on civil liberties grounds because then it would be dismissed as not caring about people's lives. The focus needs to be on the problem this would pose for public health. We were told to limit our interaction with people to reduce the spread. How does asking police officers to interact with party goers when we have the choice to look the other way compatible with containing this thing?

Bacchus

20% of cases in the US can be traced to the Sturgis Motorcycle rally.  And in Ontario a lot of the new cases have been traced to these parties so yes over a house party

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Front line workers in hospital and care homes are more exposed than any of these police officers who might have to enter a den of COVID-sharing partiers to enforce public health directives. These are public services that are the first line of defence for something like this and it is highly probable that it is part of their job description.

 

Aristotleded24

I can't believe the last 2 posts I just read. Obviously having a house party poses a risk of covid transmission among party-goers and their close contacts. If you're that scared of covid transmission, why would you compound those transmission risks by exposing police officers and their close contacts and the general public downstream?

And since nobody seems to be seeing the obvious civil liberties implications, let me spell this out clearly: who do you think is going to be targeted by these measures, white, Canadian-born middle-class residents, or immigrant communities where extended families play an important role?

Quote:

Civil liberties advocates have expressed concern that giving more power to the police could cause more harm than good, especially for the province's more vulnerable communities. 

Guilbault's call for citizens to report infractions to police is the type of behaviour that's a concern for Alain Babineau, a former RCMP officer who works with the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations. 

When neighbours call the police on members of vulnerable communities, it can result in racial profiling, he said. 

"This could open the doors for some of these complaints and some of this profiling," Babineau said. "We need to be concerned with civil liberties."

He said the important thing is to ensure that police officers respect the rights of civilians.

Aristotleded24

Australian police response to covid "harsh:" Human Rights Watch

Quote:
Victoria’s police have used harsh measures during the Australian state’s Covid-19 lockdown that threaten basic rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Victoria’s parliament should reject a new attempt to broaden police powers.

Victorian police have engaged in abusive practices during the pandemic that raise concerns about their commitment to upholding human rights. Premier Daniel Andrews said on September 12, 2020, that imposing curfews was about giving law enforcement “the easiest set of rules to enforce.” He asserted that the curfew would remain in place “because it was not about human rights, but rather a matter of human life.” A bill passed by Victoria’s lower house would expand the authority to detain people during the pandemic crisis.

“Rights should be upheld and reinforced during a pandemic, not abandoned,” said Elaine Pearson, Australia director. “Several recent incidents raise serious concerns that Victoria’s police are taking excessive or disproportionate action against suspected lockdown violators.”

Metropolitan Melbourne has been living under a strict second lockdown since the first week of August, with a daily curfew, currently from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and residents only allowed to leave their homes within a five kilometer radius for a limited time to buy food, provide care, exercise, or attend approved work that requires permits. Victoria faced a severe Covid-19 outbreak after a mismanaged hotel quarantine effort in May. The total number of Covid-19 cases in Victoria as of September 22 was 20,076, with 766 deaths. The majority of these cases resulted from the second outbreak, most of them residents of aged care homes, which led to the second lockdown.

...

An Indigenous man riding his bike to work at about 5:30 a.m. on September 3 alleged that Victoria police tackled, assaulted, and racially abused him. Police say the man failed to stop when asked for a permit check. The police did not have their required body cameras turned on so there is no independent record. The man’s workplace union plans to lodge a complaint with Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) for an independent review. The police said that after an internal debrief they were satisfied with the level of force used.

...

International human rights law, such as found in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), recognizes that in the context of a serious public health threat, restrictions on some rights can be justified. But such restrictions must have a legal basis, be strictly necessary, neither arbitrary nor discriminatory in application, of limited duration, respectful of human dignity, subject to review, and proportionate to achieve the objective.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

You certainly are covering all angles on the impacts of COVID-19. Were you not worried just days ago about the dangers strict COVID-19 policing might cause to police officers?

Aristotleded24

I really don't understand the question. The main issue that I had with the issue of strict covid-policing on public health was not just the issue of compounding the dangers of spread among the officers and their close contacts (although that is a concern on a human level) but that this also comounds the possibility of officers spreading it among the general public. That's an especially pertinent danger if you take the view that the virus is so dangerous that human contact should be minimized at all costs.

Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on. Once a house party starts, viral transmission starts, and sending police officers to ticket party-goers does not put the toothpaste back in the tube. Downtown especially, very often the police interact with people who are vulnerable to bad outcomes for covid for whatever reason. These people have enough to worry about as it is without being potentially infected by an officer who broke up a party three days ago.

Of course you could isolate officers immediately after they break up the party, but how practical is that? What staffing shortages will that create? Will court cases be delayed or even thrown out because officers were not available to testify due to isolation? Do you send them home to isolate or set up an isolation facility separate from their families?

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