Ridiculous procedural excuse to boot Adamson case out of Court

Ridiculous procedural excuse to boot Adamson case out of Court

You mean to tell me that his team of topflight lawyers FORGOT ? to put in a Notice of Constitutional Question? !
I hardly think so.

This is only the beginning. The tyrants who have trampled our rights these last 15 months simply don’t want this case to see the light of day.

In November 2020, Skelly’s restaurant in west Toronto became a high-profile flashpoint when he defied orders to close indoor dining to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police, who arrived in large numbers to enforce compliance.

Skelly became an early focus of anti-lockdown anger. He maintains the order and the government’s response were unjustified and unconstitutional.

The city sought a court order restraining Skelly and his company, Adamson Barbecue Limited, from contravening the Reopening Ontario Act, the province’s regulations on what can and cannot be done in the fight against the virus that causes COVID-19.

That restraining order, opposed by Skelly, is what brought the parties to court Monday, but for Skelly, it was about far more than his ability to serve food without government permission.

Supporters gather and barbecue outside Adamson Barbecue on Nov. 27, 2020.
Supporters gather and barbecue outside Adamson Barbecue on Nov. 27, 2020. Photo by Ernest Doroszuk/Postmedia

Leading up to Monday’s hearing, Adamson Barbeque’s website was pushing his legal case along with his brisket and short ribs, a court challenge branded the “the BBQ Rebellion.”

“My lawsuit has very little to do with my restaurant. It is a constitutional question of the Reopening Ontario Act, and the evidence (or lack thereof) used to justify it,” Skelly said in a written statement prior to the hearing’s start.

“If this challenge is successful, entrepreneurs can reopen their restaurants, bars, gyms and salons, children can go back to school, and everyone can gather together to celebrate, mourn and worship.”

He refers to it as Canada’s most important constitutional case.

“My lawyers tell me that the courts tend to rule with public opinion. While the tides are turning, the media won’t report any counter-narrative, so much of the public consciousness in Canada is still blanketed by fear. I’ve done the best I can to disseminate this information, the rest is up to us on the big day,” he wrote to supporters.

In response, his case attracted a rush of interest.

People logging in to watch the online hearing quickly exceeded the maximum capacity of 500 long before court started, meaning there wasn’t room for the judge or the province’s lead lawyer to be let into the hearing.

Most observers seemed to be Skelly supporters. One man was wearing a gas mask until the court asked cameras be turned off to reduce broadcast bandwidth. The online names of some observers included Open Ontario, Ontario Stands with Adam, WhoDoYouServe, GoAdamGo, Dr. Freedom, SeeThe Truth and Let’s Go Adam!!!!.

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A plea from the court registrar for some to volunteer to leave eventually allowed the judicial participants in, and for the hearing to convene.

Observers didn’t get the fireworks or debate they had hoped for. Instead, they got a muted argument over judicial jurisdiction.

Zachary Green, representing the province of Ontario, argued there was no procedural basis to entertain Skelly’s constitutional objections.

He said Skelly has not embarked on any court application claiming relief against the province, he has only contested Ontario’s motion against him and his restaurant. Green said that violates established rules of procedure.

In court materials, the province said Skelly’s wide objections about the COVID response — called “far-fetched grievances” — far exceed the scope of the government’s action against him, which is only to close his restaurant, when everyone is told to, for health reasons.

“Indeed, they are vexatious,” the government’s court filing says.

Michael Swinwood, representing Skelly, replied that the constitutional element of Skelly’s defence has been clear from the start. If the province objected to his constitutional questions, they should have asked a judge to strike them out of their reply to the court.

“It is straightforward, and we complied with what was asked of us,” Swinwood told court.

Pre-trial procedures, including judicial case management conferences and the examination and cross-examination of expert witnesses, went ahead arguing the wider constitutional issues without any complaint or objection from the province, he said.

“It was always understood to be a notice for constitutional relief,” Swinwood said.

In court materials, Swinwood said the government’s responses to COVID-19 were not based on scientific principles or respect for human rights and are more intrusive than available alternatives.

“The epidemic of fear has ruled people and governments, and not sound scientific analysis,” Skelly’s materials say.

Judge Jasmine Akbarali, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, briefly adjourned court to deliberate before returning with her verdict.

“I regret to say, I do not think I have the jurisdiction to proceed to deal with these issues on their merits today,” she said.

“I do not think the hearing has been constituted in such a way to give me that jurisdiction, and it is in nobody’s interest to go ahead with the two-day hearing that is easily vulnerable on appeal on the basis that I didn’t have jurisdiction.”

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Written reasons were to be issued later.

Supporters of Skelly seemed upset with the ruling.

“Bullshit,” said one to the court. “This is injustice,” said another. The hearing was terminated just as many others were unmuting their microphones.

After court, Skelly’s lawyer expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome.

“The courts have no appetite for constitutional challenges to COVID-19 lockdowns and protocols,” Swinwood told National Post.

“Technical procedure is to rule over substance. Our freedoms are in peril and the court refused to take jurisdiction over the matter despite the rules that are designed to be flexible so that serious matters can be heard and not summarily dealt with.

“There is something deeply amiss,” he said.

Green deferred to the Ministry of the Attorney General’s spokesman for comment on the case. The ministry declined to comment, “as this matter is before the court,” said spokesman Brian Gray.

On Twitter, Adamson Barbecue’s branded account has been railing against COVID restrictions and related issues, including vaccinations, which they call “experimental gene therapy.”

The matter is expected to return to court at a later date, once a constitutional application is filed in the court.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/the-bbq-rebellion-gets-turned-away-from-court-delaying-face-off-over-covid-lockdowns?fbclid=IwAR0dXqtsqWIx8RgXJdlEmCTsN2MOMBA1W3i0YVmBRiVfwldoKhAqQd7FYnk

‘We are entering very dark times’ – Nick Hudson on censorship; FMF award

PANDA

‘We are entering very dark times’ – Nick Hudson on censorship; FMF award

by Claire Badenhorst

The Free Market Foundation has presented its very first award to PANDA co-founder Nick Hudson for freedom of expression, decentralisation, and an evolutionary approach. Alec Hogg caught up with Hudson to unpack what the award means to him and the rest of the PANDA team. “It’s been a long, hard struggle and a lot of the people at PANDA have put up with enormous risks and challenges to their livelihoods and careers,” Hudson explains. “So to have this recognition for them I think is particularly welcome and important.” – Claire Badenhorst

https://iframe.iono.fm/e/1063246

Nick Hudson on the award PANDA received from the Free Market Foundation:

It was a delightful surprise, yes, and we had a wonderful evening last night with a fairly lengthy presentation and [I] thoroughly enjoyed it. I think true to their colours, they were looking at the work that PANDA had done and our fight against dogma and a very bigoted version of science, and I think they saw in that something that was consistent with the values of their organisation, and I think it was on that basis that the citation reads as it does and they decided that the members of PANDA deserved the recognition and it was very welcome. You know, it’s been a long, hard struggle and a lot of the people at PANDA have put up with enormous risks and challenges to their livelihoods and careers. So to have this recognition for them I think is particularly welcome and important.

On why people at PANDA are under pressure:

There’s a very strange authoritarian aspect that has infiltrated our academic institutions and public health institutions and this notion of science as an authoritarian concept, as there being such a thing as settled science, as science is something that you should follow, almost a trademarked ‘the science’ kind of concept. And it’s very antithetical to what science is actually about, which is conjecture and criticism, dissent and debate, driving the formation of new knowledge, the creation of new knowledge. It’s in that authoritarian environment where somebody who looks at the data has a different interpretation and sees the world differently from the average person. You know, they’re at risk of being cancelled and censured and bullied, really, by these people who are doing something that couldn’t, in any normal world, be described as scientific.

Well, it’s symptomatic of the really weird thinking of a lot of our critics because none of what we have to say is anything to deny the existence of Coronavirus. Our perspective from the beginning has been that the response has been disproportionate and later on the response has actually worsened the situation. So it’s rather strange to attack people who take this perspective and support it with data and quality scientific perspectives and somehow refute it by things getting very bad in a country that has had amongst the most insane policy responses on the planet.

On why he says our policy responses were insane:

We have adopted policies which were already evidently not working in the rest of the world. It didn’t take a lot to look at the emergent data. We did it a year ago. And since then, around 50 papers have been published showing that the stringent restrictions that have been imposed have done nothing. They, of course, have lots of collateral damage involved and they worsen the public health outcomes in that regard but it’s been quite patently clear for more than a year now that lockdowns, which were ruled out by all prior policy guidelines for respiratory virus policies, have indeed been a bad idea and that those guidelines ruled them out for good reason. It’s not a very contentious thing to be saying. The contentious thing to say is that lockdowns are good and that they should continue. That is the novel and unusual thing to be saying and it’s been proven wrong systematically through the entire course of this pandemic. There isn’t a single country’s curve where we can see the beneficial impact or the imposition of restrictions or mask mandates or the detrimental effect of the release of those restrictions or mask mandates. And it’s just been astonishing to me.

You know, when Texas opened up and said, that’s it, no more mask mandates, no more lockdowns, these guys on the other side of the debate called them Neanderthals, predicted disaster and it’s been months now and absolutely nothing has happened. You would think that at some point these pro-lockdown people would start to eat some humble pie and stop encouraging policymakers to enact these restrictions.

On the third wave in Gauteng: 

Yeah, it’s a terrible situation. It just wouldn’t be made any better by continuing with mask mandates or going to Level 5 or whatever. I mean, there’s just no evidence for that claim being valid. And, you know, your heart goes out to anybody who’s in that kind of position of having to make these life and death decisions, but I believe very firmly that we’re in this situation precisely because we locked down so hard at the beginning. It would have been much better for us to have pursued the effective strategy of countries like Sweden.

The other thing that’s relevant here and not being talked about enough is that there appears to be a quite high representation among the sick people who are recently vaccinated. And that is not being analysed and discussed enough because that’s another area that is profoundly censored but it’s a conversation that has to be had. We see all around the world resurgences in Coronavirus deaths that coincide with the inception of mass vaccination plans. We have our theories as to what may be causing that and those theories may be wrong but the discussion should be had. Instead, what we get is this blanket silence with no debate happening and everything that we learn has leaked out of official forums and that kind of thing.

On what PANDA stands for: 

So we stand for proportionality in response and the importance of conducting cost-benefit analysis before conducting massively impactful restrictions, number one. Number two, we have since the very beginning pointed out that these non-pharmaceutical interventions by and large just haven’t shown any benefit in the data and that the one that held a lot of promise, which was to concentrate on ventilation, especially in hospital and nursing home settings, to reduce the viral titers in the air in their settings was one thing that was really worth paying attention to. That’s only been belatedly acknowledged by the World Health Organisation in the last few weeks. Both the World Health Organisation and the CDC have quietly slipped onto their websites paragraphs saying that, yes, airborne aerosol transmission is an important component of transmission of Coronavirus, and the World Health Organisation for the first time made a nod in the direction of the importance of maintaining good infection control by use of improved ventilation. We’ve been saying that since May last year. Now it gets recognised. Instead, people continue running around doing all the things that they did when WHO initially emphasised fomites and droplet transmission – all the sanitising, all the social distancing stickers, the weird little bits of Plexiglass and so on are still what you see when you walk around. Those are, in our minds, just a completely poor effort in light of the scientific evidence that’s emerged.

On the effectiveness of mask-wearing: 

I mean the intuition is, yes, that some percentage of the droplets, the larger droplets would be stopped by a mask – but that’s only a one-stage analysis. The next stage is, once large droplets have been stopped by your mask and you exhale over those droplets, you cause them to turn into aerosols which stay suspended in the air. That’s also not a very difficult intuition to grasp and it’s a better one because it’s consistent with the data, which, as I say and have repeatedly said, is consistent with there being no benefit to a slight harm from the imposition of mask mandates.

I don’t think you should wear a mask. It’s a kind of fantastical idea that viral transmission of respiratory viruses will be stopped by cloth masks. Even the idea that surgical masks are effective is extremely contentious and seems only to be valid to a small degree in the highly controlled settings where the masks are fitted and worn by qualified professionals. There’s modest evidence in favour of those but there’s absolutely nothing to support the effectiveness of cloth masks. The experiments that have supposedly been done to support them are all highly contrived and the European CDC, which did an analysis of the studies that had been conducted, came to the conclusion that all the evidence in favour of mask-wearing was of no evidentiary quality and most of it reflected strong bias. And, you know, you can’t really argue with an analysis like that.

On Covid censorship and the oppression of free speech:

From the start, this whole response to Coronavirus has adopted a decidedly technocratic securicrat surveillance-type tone with oppression of free speech, with all sorts of impositions on liberties and rights that are considered the norm in democratic societies. We’ve been promised time and time again that it was just temporary and that it was two weeks or three weeks or until the vulnerable had been vaccinated or until whatever. The goalposts just keep moving. It should be clear to any thinking person that what we are seeing is an assault on liberal values and it’s not done in the interest of public health. It’s not about a virus.

I think the thing that’s not entering the public discourse nearly enough is the extent to which our institutions of media and public health have been captured by a handful of entities, with the effect that neither the journalists nor the scientists could even speak out if they disagreed with the policies or conventional narratives of the times. And that is just becoming more and more evident by the day. Editorial policy is not free and scientific opinion is not free. So we are entering, I think, very dark times. And this is one of the the hushed-up stories.

There are elements of ideology and culture that I think are the easiest ones to describe. Our universities for decades now have been teaching the completely bogus narrative of postmodernism, of critical theory. This is where wokeness comes from in all its manifestations. This is where safety culture and cancel culture come from. They are fundamentally illiberal ideas. They are fundamentally unscientific ideas. And we can’t get too surprised when we see that our culture is full of people who behave in this fashion. So that’s my starting point, is to talk about ideology. But we also need to look at, as I say, at the influence of some of these super national organisations and the degree to which they have captured our institutions. You cannot find a single mainstream scientist who is not subject to that kind of pressure and who could actually speak out even if they decided that they disagreed with what is being done.

The central question is, why is there no discussion? Why is there no debate? Why are critics of public policy not being engaged with openly and in the public eye? And there are several reasons for this. First of all, there’s this stranglehold that these supernational organisations have, which we’ve already spoken about and secondly, there’s a problem in the culture – an ideological problem – that is antithetical to normal scientific discourse. But thirdly, a lot of these scientists are in very conflicted positions and one of the main reasons they will not entertain debate is they are fully aware that those conflicts will be exposed. So I see it as a three-fold problem that’s very serious and very costly to our society.

On what happens to PANDA next:

We carry on fighting. With every passing day, people come around to our view and begin challenging the narrative that they’ve been fed. They begin seeing that what public health officials all around the world have done is to promote a narrative of fear – fear that causes people to possess a completely distorted perception of risk. The fear is always going in one direction, which is towards overestimating risk and, you know, in those circumstances, it’s terminal to critical thinking and to the ability to make wise decisions and evaluate risk appropriately. So what we see is with every passing day, people wake up one by one and once they’ve woken up, once they come in the direction of open science, in the direction of facts, data and evidence over this very false narrative, it’s an absorptive state. They never turn around and go back into the fear mindset. We don’t see people who have sat down with us and gone through the information in the cold light of day, looking at our perspectives, you know, from a calm and considered perspective, we don’t see those people suddenly waking up the next morning and and wetting the bed. So we believe that that will just continue, that it’s a slow and gradual process of bringing people back to sanity, back to a sense of proportionality and perspective.

I suspect the organisation will remain involved in science rather than gravitate towards politics because it’s not only public health that is subject to this kind of very almost Stalinist approach and culture. I think as we go the frame of reference will expand. The very important thing is that for a lot of the scientists who are involved, many of whom have to be cryptically involved, PANDA represents an absolute lifeline. It connects them back to the science that they first fell in love with and it seems to me that in many ways, PANDA presents the only place to them where they are able to have open debate and discussion with their colleagues, where they’re allowed to be wrong without being shouted at and allowed to learn and change their minds. The scientists appear really to enjoy that. Our weekly open science meetings are now so well attended that we’re thinking of having to break them up into channels. And it’s really a joy to be involved in that because the rest of the week we confronted by this shouty, woke kind of attitude that seems so disconnected from the real world and from the data. So it’s almost as if PANDA has become an oasis for people who love science as opposed to, you know, loving dogma.

On the team at PANDA: 

I guess it would be much more depressing if I didn’t have access to such wonderful people and if I wasn’t able to tap the brains of these guys to understand what’s going on. And I mean, the last week was a case to point, again, something not mentioned anywhere in the mainstream media because it runs in the face of the narrative but very big news.

A scientist has managed to uncover the deleted sequences from the database of genetic variants of Covid, which has been a source of great suspicion and head-scratching for us. There was in this database a move taken by a Chinese scientist to delete sequences which he had uploaded. Now, this guy managed to track those sequences back, they were originally up in the cloud and they turned out not to have been entirely deleted. And so he managed to discover these sequences and what they reveal is fascinating because it shines a light on the much larger diversity of the cluster of viruses that you would describe as the SARS viruses. It raises the question that we’ve been saying is suggested by the epidemiological data of whether this virus wasn’t actually around much earlier than the December 2019 Wuhan outbreak. It could quite possibly, based on these phylogenetic trees, have been around for years before and that highlights the craziness of the policies we’ve been pursuing. If it wasn’t even noticed, if there was no epidemic being spoken about, when the cluster of viruses was in broad circulation, then that would really draw the line under efforts to speak of lockdown appropriateness or effectivenes

U.S. senator Josh Hawley wants Canada on religious freedom watch list over pastor COVID-19 arrests

U.S. senator Josh Hawley wants Canada on religious freedom watch list over pastor COVID-19 arrests

Bob Weber The Canadian Press Published 2 days ago Updated 2 days ago Comments Text Size % buffered 00:00

Supporters gather outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church appears in court after he was arrested for holding Sunday services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Stony Plain, Alta., on Feb. 24, 2021. JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

A U.S. senator has asked that Canada be investigated for violating religious freedom over the arrests of Alberta pastors accused of flouting COVID-19 restrictions.

In a letter released Thursday, Missouri Republican Josh Hawley asked his country’s Commission on International Religious Freedom to consider putting Canada on its special watch list.

“I am troubled that our Canadian neighbours are effectively being forced to gather in secret, undisclosed locations to exercise their basic freedom to worship,” Mr. Hawley wrote.

“Frankly, I would expect this sort of religious crackdown in Communist China, not in a prominent western nation like Canada.”

Judge dismisses charter application of Alberta pastor on trial for violating health orders

Mr. Hawley refers in his letter to the arrests of Alberta pastors James Coates and Tim Stephens.

Mr. Coates spent a month in the Edmonton Remand Centre after he violated a bail condition not to hold church services that officials said were ignoring COVID-19 measures on capacity limits, physical distancing and masking. He was released March 22 after pleading guilty and was fined $1,500.

Mr. Coates, who is a pastor at GraceLife Church in Spruce Grove, has argued provincial regulations meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 infringed on his and his congregants’ constitutional right to freedom of religion and peaceful assembly.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled his religious freedoms under the Charter were not violated.

Mr. Stephens remains in remand after being arrested last week following repeated public complaints over an outdoor service that officials say broke public-health orders. Calgary police and Alberta Health Services allege that Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church chose to keep holding services without respecting orders on physical distancing and capacity limits, even after his church had been twice ordered closed.

Litigation director Jay Cameron of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which is representing Mr. Stephens, has accused Alberta Health Services in a statement of being “engaged in an intentional act of public deception and abuse of authority in arresting pastor Stephens and others.”

Political Prisoner Dr. James Sears Begins His Third Week in Jail, Pending Appeal

Political Prisoner Dr. James Sears Begins His Third Week in Jail, Pending Appeal

TORONTO. June 27, 2021. Political prisoner Dr. James Sears sentenced to the maximum, a year in prison, for violating Canada’s notorious “hate law”, Sec. 319 of the Criminal Code remains on hold in the South Toronto Detention Centre.

His appeal of his 2019 conviction was denied in a June 14 ruling. The editor of the satirical tabloid YOUR WAR NEWS immediately sought leave from the Ontario Court of Appeals and bail, pending the appeal. He was finally able to get word to his supporters today. A combination of COVID fearfulness and the sclerotic nature of Ontario’s justice system at the best of times has kept the brilliant writer and medical doctor behind prison bars.

A judge will render his decision by Zoom. The judge must read over the materials filed and decide whether there is any merit to his application for leave. If he decides there is, Dr. Sears will be released on bail.

He is in good spirits and is hopeful.

In January, 2019, Judge Richard Blouin found Dr. Sears and his co-accused Leroy St. Germaine of “wilfully promoting” hatred against privileged groups, namely, Jews and women in his satire.

Amnesty International considers a person a “prisoner of conscience” or political prisoner if they are punished or jailed solely for the non-violent expression of their political, religious or cultural views.

Peterborough police won’t ticket cast & crew of CBC show for handshakes, laughter

Peterborough police won’t ticket cast & crew of CBC show for handshakes, laughter

ds

We recently returned to the lovely little city of Peterborough, Ont., where the local constabulary take a very dim view of any sort of merriment in this day and age of COVID-19. You might recall our previous trip to Peterborough in April. We were there to cover an anti-lockdown protest staged at Confederation Square.

Shamefully, speakers such as PPC leader Maxime Bernier and Ontario MPP Randy Hillier were issued tickets by the Peterborough cops for… well, um, that’s a very good question. Last time we checked, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly were still enshrined rights in Canada — even during a pandemic. Heck, just ask the Peterborough police, whose members took a knee at this very same square last summer in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Yes, it’s all so very confusing, isn’t it?

And get this: several weeks after the Peterborough anti-lockdown event, I was served with a summons at my personal residence. Which is odd, given that I was not an organizer nor a speaker nor even an attendee. I was just there as a journalist covering the proceedings, and again, last time I checked, freedom of the press was still a thing in Canada — even during a pandemic.

But things went from odd to downright bat-shite surreal when I was later served disclosure, where the “evidence” of my crimes was duly noted. Which is to say, Staff Sgt. Dan Maclean noted that I had been spotted “shaking hands” and — wait for it — “laughing” on several occasions. Heck, Staff Sgt. Maclean even provided photographic evidence of my hand-shaking and laughing crimes against humanity. He even submitted my driving abstract.

Did you know, folks, that back in 1981 I was nabbed for doing 60 km/h in a 50 km/h zone? Oh, the humanity!

In any event, we thought we would drop by to check out the filming of a Murdoch Mysteries episode in Peterborough.

Alas, given that this is a CBC show, I’ve never seen a single episode, but I’m told that it takes place in Toronto in the 1890s. Ah, the 1890s! A time when shops were actually open in good ol’ Hogtown and a patron could enter such shops without having to don a face-diaper.

Anyway, we have it on good authority that the script called for some of the actors to actually shake hands. And laugh. And we certainly saw outbursts of laughter by the crew members on site — along with a few raised middle fingers aimed at me and my cameraman, Syd. All of which is very odd, given that Murdoch Mysteries is a CBC production, which means Syd and I and millions of other Canadians are involuntarily funding this show via our tax dollars. So, when you think of it, we are actually stakeholders, not interlopers. But I digress…

In any event, we felt it was our civic duty to reimagine ourselves as a couple of COVID-Karens and rat out this production to the cops. I mean, hand-shaking? Laughing? That’s super-spreader stuff according to the Peterborough Police Service, isn’t it?

But alas, the Peterborough cops would not come to the set to issue tickets or even investigate. Gee, maybe they’re fans of Murdoch Mysteries? It is a show about law enforcement, after all…

Bottom line: yet again, when it comes to COVID crimes, it would appear that it is one law for thee, one law for me.

Golly, just where is Detective William Murdoch of the Toronto Constabulary when you really need him?

Former Judge Brian Giesbrecht on The Kamloops Cemetery. There’s no “genocide” here but those who died, largely from flu and tuberculosis which were killers until just a few decades ago.

Frontier Centre For Public Policy

The Kamloops Cemetery

Commentary, Aboriginal Futures, Brian GiesbrechtJune 6, 2021

The discovery of human remains at the site of a former residential school has set off a firestorm that has already resulted in demands for another national inquiry, and massively expensive forensic and excavation projects. But maybe we should take a pause, and ask some questions.

 The Kamloops Indian Residential School operated as a residential school from 1890 to 1969. Its peak enrolment was around 500 in the 1950s. Although there has understandably been an outpouring of sympathy, it is not clear at this point how many of the bodies detected were residential students. It’s also not clear that there was even anything sinister about the discovery.

 In fact, it is shocking that many people seem quite willing to accept slanderous conspiracy theories about teachers and priests murdering, and secretly burying, hundreds of children. There are many forgotten cemeteries in Canada. It is far more likely that the deaths simply reflected the sad reality of life back then. We should take a look at the history.

 Tuberculosis was a major killer, and it didn’t spare children. From 1890 until the 1950s it was responsible for many child deaths. Influenza was also a particularly deadly disease for indigenous people. The 1918 Spanish flu killed a disproportionate number of indigenous people, but even ordinary influenza was particularly deadly for them. Other diseases that have all but disappeared now, like Whooping Cough, Meningitis and Measles, routinely took yesterday’s children.

 Disease took many from every demographic, but indigenous people suffered most. They died mainly in their home communities, where the Grim Reaper was always close by. Infected children entered residential schools, and infected others. Many died.

 In our comfortable times we forget how hard life was a hundred and more years ago – Dickens’ world of chimney sweeps, and the Poor House. Stories are now being written about Canada’s “Home Children”, for example. These were mainly English orphans, and children from poor homes, who were taken from their parents and sent by themselves to Canada. Little children – some as young as seven – would arrive with cardboard signs around their necks advertising their free labour.

 Boys would be taken by farmers and used as labour, in return for their keep. The girls would be used as domestic workers. Some received good treatment – some were treated very badly. Many died alone and forgotten. It is a coincidence that the number of “Home Children” roughly equaled the total number of children who attended residential schools – 150,000.

 The Home Children are one example only of the sadness that was part of the lives of all poor children who had the misfortune to be born in those times. Indigenous children suffered more than most. This historical snippet in no way mitigates the importance of the Kamloops discovery. But we should consider the harshness of previous times, before letting emotion overtake good sense.

 The dead should be appropriately honoured, but we should be mindful that some opportunists will exploit these dead children for financial and political gain. The residential school story has now been exhaustively told. Canadians have heard it – and we get it. We have sympathized, and billions of dollars have been paid by people, most of whom weren’t alive then, to people who mostly weren’t either.

 Brian Giesbrecht, retired judge, is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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C.L.E.A.R. END THE LOCKDOWN Rallies in the Okanagan June 26- July 1

C.L.E.A.R. Kelowna rally this Saturday, June 26th @ Stuart Park, 12 Noon.
Many of us never would have thought we would be in this situation a year later. But it is safe to say that without all of our opposition, in all their varied forms in the Province, we would be in a much worse situation than we are today. For that, all the thousands of true freedom believers, deserve credit for their sacrifices. Our rallies will continue this weekend and we urge everyone to come out. It will likely be our first real hot weekend, we will have water available at the C.L.E.A.R. table.
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photo 2021-04-08 22-41-49 Thank you so much to all our cherished speakers, volunteers and freedom activists who came out to our MEGA Rally this past Saturday. Many of you expressed your appreciation for the wonderful presentations by each speaker. These speakers are truly inspiring to everyone who absolutely refuses to bow to government tyranny, and falsified COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
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kelowna mega rally With the B.C. Government extending the emergency order in place from July 1, now to July 6, we have further proof that these government politicians and health officials cannot even be trusted to keep their word. This time, the stated reasons were: “…to allow staff to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.” What these actions are of course, were not specified. More reasons will be falsified this fall to provide them with justification for further or extending restrictions on our rights and freedoms.
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WE LOVE YOU CANADA celebration on July 1st in Kelowna!
Starting at 12:00 – 10:00 p.m. in Kelowna at City Park (at the beach by the bridge). A full day of exciting speakers, musicians, entertainment and activities for all. Hosted by Art Lucier, Kyle Delfing, and Mitch Murphy.

Featured Speakers:
Kyle Delfing, PPC
David Lindsay, CLEAR
Ted Kuntz, VCC
Chris Elston, aka Billboard Chris
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World Wide Rally will be on July 24th, 2021
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photo 2021-06-23 19-45-46
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CLEAR - White- Final 2 C.L.E.A.R. Penticton rally 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. @ Warren & Main
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photo 2021-06-23 10-33-50 June 26, 2021 Freedom Rallies
Kelowna 12:00 – 2:30 p.m. Stuart Park

Vernon 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Polson Park, at the Fountain Potluck Picnic 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Kamloops 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Riverside Park
Cranbrook 12:00 pm At the Elephant Speakers: Doris Reimer & Katherine Kowalchuk (Lawyers4Truth)
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THE LATEST VICTIM OF CANCEL CULTURE: Monsignor Owen Keenan Said Residential Schools Did Much Good & is Now Under Fire from the Anti-Catholics & the Woke

THE LATEST VICTIM OF CANCEL CULTURE: Monsignor Owen Keenan Said Residential Schools Did Much Good & is Now Under Fire from the Anti-Catholics & the Woke

Social Sharing

Clips of last Sunday’s controversial sermon widely criticized on social media

Samantha Beattie · CBC News · Posted: Jun 24, 2021 5:00 AM ET | Last Updated: June 24

Rev. Owen Keenan, a Roman Catholic priest in Mississauga, Ont., west of Toronto, gives daily mass at the Merciful Redeemer Parish on June 15, 2021. He is under fire for comments about residential schools he made in a recent sermon. (Merciful Redeemer Parish/YouTube)

A Mississauga, Ont., priest is under fire after a sermon referencing the “good done” by the Roman Catholic Church in residential schools, saying some might go so far as to even thank it.

During his sermon at the Merciful Redeemer Parish last Sunday, Monsignor Owen Keenan referenced the Kamloops, B.C., residential school where the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation reported it had discovered the preliminary remains of more than 200 children in unmarked graves in May.

“Two-thirds of the country is blaming the church, which we love, for the tragedies that occurred there,” he said on a video originally posted to the church’s YouTube page but since deleted. Clips of his sermon continue to circulate on social media.

“I presume the same number would thank the church for the good done in those schools, but of course, that question was never asked and we are not allowed to even say that good was done there. I await to see what comes to my inbox.” 

‘Extremely harmful to reconciliation’

A clip of Keenan’s comments sparked outrage on social media, with one person tweeting that the priest’s comments were “really disgusting” and that “the Church is not the victim.”  https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1407034853208563719&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbc.ca%2Fnews%2Fcanada%2Ftoronto%2Fmississauga-pastor-catholic-church-residential-schools-1.6077248&sessionId=6d223c00a2342d68bbddc4c179704f7fb0073c3e&siteScreenName=cbc&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, a practising Catholic, said  she was “extremely disappointed” by her pastor’s comments about residential schools.

Reading from a prepared statement at a news conference Thursday, the mayor called Keenan’s homily “deeply insensitive to Indigenous Canadians, particularly at a time when Indigenous communities are in pain as they unearth more mass graves at the sites of former residential schools.”

“His comments show a fundamental misunderstanding of one of the core tragedies of the residential school system in Canada,” she said. “The children were forcibly separated from their parents.”

Crombie said how Canada’s history has been taught obscures the truth behind what really happened: The federal government and many churches, including the Catholic Church, operated these schools for close to 150 years, committing atrocities and silencing voices forever.

“No apology from the federal government or the church will be enough to undo the havoc that was wreaked through these institutions,” Crombie said. “But an apology is where we must start. It’s a basic and it’s a fundamental foundation to our reconciliation.”

Dr. Suzanne Shoush, who is Indigenous, works for the Catholic-run health network Unity Health Toronto. She is demanding the Pope apologize for the church’s role in residential schools. She said comments like those made by Keenan are damaging to reconciliation and exemplify why Catholic leaders need to intervene. 

“This is part of the reason why we keep pushing to have a formal asking of forgiveness to Indigenous people in Canada from the Pope himself,” she said. 

“It’s really critical that it comes from the leadership so that we stop having these incredibly ignorant and harmful comments coming from across the church. I think that what we’re seeing is extremely harmful to reconciliation.”

An undated photo of Kamloops residential school students and a priest. (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)

Keenan also said in his sermon that while the church should apologize for its participation in the “ill-devised government project,” it should also wait to find out who was buried at the Kamloops site and why before “rendering ultimate judgment.” 

During a mass on June 6, Keenan said the discovery was “very sad” and a symbol of the “ongoing tragedy” of government policies against Indigenous people, but also that:

“We don’t know how those children died. We don’t know, we can’t know, if they would’ve died if they stayed at home.”

While he called for prayers and reconciliation, he also said, “Many people had very positive experiences of residential schools. Many people received health care and education and joyful experiences.

“They weren’t universally awful. But there’s still no place for the horrors that are alleged to have occurred there.”

Residential school survivors have shared horrific accounts of abuse, starvation and neglect, and difficulties getting  documents from the Catholic Church, which ran the majority of  the schools. The final 2015 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins by stating that what took place at residential schools “can be best described as ‘cultural genocide.'” 

“The church actively sought to exercise exclusive control over the welfare of these children and therefore are exclusively responsible for the conditions which these children lived in,” Shoush said.

In a statement to CBC News Wednesday, Keenan defended his comments, saying that he was trying to help his congregation struggling with negative news about the church. 

“I am deeply sorry, embarrassed, ashamed and shocked at the revelations of abuse, destruction and harm done in residential schools across this country,” he said in the statement. “I in no way condone the system …  As a Catholic and a priest, I wish I could say ‘I’m sorry’ to everyone who suffered harm.”

The Archdiocese of Toronto said in a statement it’s been in contact with Keenan “to convey the deep pain and anger” some felt. He has “pledged to fully educate himself” about the history of residential schools. 

“We apologize to anyone offended by his remarks,” the archdiocese said. 

Pastor criticizes Pride flags at schools

In the same sermon, Keenan criticized Catholic schools for flying Pride flags this month, saying the church had hoped they’d show “courage” by displaying a cross or sacred heart instead. He described the Pride flag as “the standard of contemporary sexual licence” that’s replacing Catholic symbols.

Keenan did not respond to questions from CBC News about his comments toward the LGBTQ community. 

Crombie said she told Keenan his comments have no place in the city of Mississauga. 

Priest under fire after sermon on the ‘good done’ by Catholic Church on residential schools

Social Sharing

Clips of last Sunday’s controversial sermon widely criticized on social media

Samantha Beattie · CBC News · Posted: Jun 24, 2021 5:00 AM ET | Last Updated: June 24

Rev. Owen Keenan, a Roman Catholic priest in Mississauga, Ont., west of Toronto, gives daily mass at the Merciful Redeemer Parish on June 15, 2021. He is under fire for comments about residential schools he made in a recent sermon. (Merciful Redeemer Parish/YouTube)

A Mississauga, Ont., priest is under fire after a sermon referencing the “good done” by the Roman Catholic Church in residential schools, saying some might go so far as to even thank it.

During his sermon at the Merciful Redeemer Parish last Sunday, Monsignor Owen Keenan referenced the Kamloops, B.C., residential school where the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation reported it had discovered the preliminary remains of more than 200 children in unmarked graves in May.

“Two-thirds of the country is blaming the church, which we love, for the tragedies that occurred there,” he said on a video originally posted to the church’s YouTube page but since deleted. Clips of his sermon continue to circulate on social media.

“I presume the same number would thank the church for the good done in those schools, but of course, that question was never asked and we are not allowed to even say that good was done there. I await to see what comes to my inbox.” 

‘Extremely harmful to reconciliation’

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, a practising Catholic, said  she was “extremely disappointed” by her pastor’s comments about residential schools.

Reading from a prepared statement at a news conference Thursday, the mayor called Keenan’s homily “deeply insensitive to Indigenous Canadians, particularly at a time when Indigenous communities are in pain as they unearth more mass graves at the sites of former residential schools.”

“His comments show a fundamental misunderstanding of one of the core tragedies of the residential school system in Canada,” she said. “The children were forcibly separated from their parents.”

Crombie said how Canada’s history has been taught obscures the truth behind what really happened: The federal government and many churches, including the Catholic Church, operated these schools for close to 150 years, committing atrocities and silencing voices forever.

“No apology from the federal government or the church will be enough to undo the havoc that was wreaked through these institutions,” Crombie said. “But an apology is where we must start. It’s a basic and it’s a fundamental foundation to our reconciliation.”

Dr. Suzanne Shoush, who is Indigenous, works for the Catholic-run health network Unity Health Toronto. She is demanding the Pope apologize for the church’s role in residential schools. She said comments like those made by Keenan are damaging to reconciliation and exemplify why Catholic leaders need to intervene. 

“This is part of the reason why we keep pushing to have a formal asking of forgiveness to Indigenous people in Canada from the Pope himself,” she said. 

“It’s really critical that it comes from the leadership so that we stop having these incredibly ignorant and harmful comments coming from across the church. I think that what we’re seeing is extremely harmful to reconciliation.”

An undated photo of Kamloops residential school students and a priest. (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)

Keenan also said in his sermon that while the church should apologize for its participation in the “ill-devised government project,” it should also wait to find out who was buried at the Kamloops site and why before “rendering ultimate judgment.” 

During a mass on June 6, Keenan said the discovery was “very sad” and a symbol of the “ongoing tragedy” of government policies against Indigenous people, but also that:

“We don’t know how those children died. We don’t know, we can’t know, if they would’ve died if they stayed at home.”

While he called for prayers and reconciliation, he also said, “Many people had very positive experiences of residential schools. Many people received health care and education and joyful experiences.

“They weren’t universally awful. But there’s still no place for the horrors that are alleged to have occurred there.”

Residential school survivors have shared horrific accounts of abuse, starvation and neglect, and difficulties getting  documents from the Catholic Church, which ran the majority of  the schools. The final 2015 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins by stating that what took place at residential schools “can be best described as ‘cultural genocide.'” 

“The church actively sought to exercise exclusive control over the welfare of these children and therefore are exclusively responsible for the conditions which these children lived in,” Shoush said.

In a statement to CBC News Wednesday, Keenan defended his comments, saying that he was trying to help his congregation struggling with negative news about the church. 

“I am deeply sorry, embarrassed, ashamed and shocked at the revelations of abuse, destruction and harm done in residential schools across this country,” he said in the statement. “I in no way condone the system …  As a Catholic and a priest, I wish I could say ‘I’m sorry’ to everyone who suffered harm.”

The Archdiocese of Toronto said in a statement it’s been in contact with Keenan “to convey the deep pain and anger” some felt. He has “pledged to fully educate himself” about the history of residential schools. 

“We apologize to anyone offended by his remarks,” the archdiocese said. 

Pastor criticizes Pride flags at schools

In the same sermon, Keenan criticized Catholic schools for flying Pride flags this month, saying the church had hoped they’d show “courage” by displaying a cross or sacred heart instead. He described the Pride flag as “the standard of contemporary sexual licence” that’s replacing Catholic symbols.

Keenan did not respond to questions from CBC News about his comments toward the LGBTQ community. 

Crombie said she told Keenan his comments have no place in the city of Mississauga. 

“He expressed his shame and remorse,” she said. 

Keith Baybayon says schools help make LGBTQ students feel more included and safe by flying the Pride flag. (Jared Thomas/CBC)

LGBTQ activist Keith Baybayon, who is also a student trustee with the Toronto Catholic District School Board, said members of the Catholic Church have ramped up these kinds of comments as more Ontario school boards agree to fly Pride flags every June. The flag holds a special meaning of inclusion for the LGBTQ community that the cross doesn’t, he said.

“Flying the Pride flag can really express solidarity that the school boards have with their LGBTQ students and staff, ensuring that they belong, their voices are heard,” Baybayon said. 

“We’re not taking away the cross. We’re not taking away the sacred heart. They’re all going up there to ensure that every single person is represented in our board.” 

oard.” 

Support Monsignor Owen Keenan’s right to free speech. Mississauga’s Merciful Redeemer Parish. Email: Pastor@mercifulredeemer.orgAddress: 2775 Erin Centre Blvd, Mississauga, ON L5M 5W2Phone: 1 (905) 812-0030