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LETTER: Federal government missing the mark during pandemic

Reader Fred Hughes says political leaders and parties need to be held responsible

While the protection of its citizens regarding health issues is a provincial mandate the procurement of life-saving vaccines during a pandemic was loudly and proudly declared by the federal government as theirs. Now that the third wave has arrived we are seeing in true colour how the federal government has been an abject failure in protecting the citizens of Canada from this pandemic.

As the federal government treats all provinces equally (don’t bother mentioning Quebec) lets use the vaccine experience in British Columbia as a gauge of the response so far in Canada.

According to the BCCDC, as of April 2 there had been 700,855 first shots administered. With British Columbia’s population of 20 years and older being shown as 4,142,412 that looks like approximately 17 per cent of the population has been vaccinated in the first quarter of 2021. But wait, the bulk of our vaccine supply requires two shots for full protection so the actual rate of vaccinations is only 8.5 per cent in our first three plus months of vaccination. At this rate full protection of our province and Canada won’t be accomplished until the fall of 2023! This is NOT acceptable.

Politicians continue to brag about the large numbers of doses that are coming in the future and when that future arrives there are always excuses why it didn’t materialize. That raises the question of whether the politicians were talking based on actual information or for political gain.

Heads need to roll. Political leaders and parties need to be held responsible and lose their ability to continue to govern if this is the model they choose to use. The current federal government’s opaque actions like the WE debacle, and focus on gender equality, aboriginal rights and carbon taxes needs to be set aside temporarily while we deal with a once-in-a-century existential threat to our lives. Let’s focus on what is important to all Canadians which is the life and death threat of COVID-19. Let’s stop being a third world country in our approach to securing vaccines and use our existing political capital in this crisis. I’m telling the federal government to be more open and more assertive on this issue or move aside and let someone else do it.

Fred Hughes

Castlegar

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READ MORE: LETTER: Covid blame should fall on leaders, not youth



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