Climate change talk during pandemic a miscalculation

Congratulations to letter writer Robert K. Williams for his endorsement and applause for the stellar work which  Premier Doug Ford is doing on the Covid 19 file (The Picton Gazette, April 9, Premier should treat climate change as serious as pandemic) ; while protecting Ontario citizens. It is well deserved!

In fact it’s the Premiers across the nation who are doing the heavy lifting  in this crisis.

Putting climate  change front and centre at this time would be a miscalculation. One should note however last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau increased taxes on all Canadians by increasing the carbon tax. Strange timing indeed.

The best way at the moment to address climate change would be to convince  the government of  China to stop building coal fired electric generating stations, where multitudes of these dot the landscape; with more under construction.

I believe the high priority the Prime Minister gives to climate change may be a distraction in the current coronavirus crisis.

The U.S declared a ban on travellers from China entering the country on January 31, when one traveller turned up positive. Although the President was labelled  xenophobic, racist  and discriminatory, this is seen as a strategic decision in limiting the spread which is now racing through New York City. This decision however, was undermined by the Mayor of New York, Bill Deblasio, who scoffed at the decision  and on February 9 invited thousands of people to downtown Manhattan to mingle and celebrate the Chinese New Year.

At that time, and up until March 16, Canada had no travel guidelines in place. Travellers were arriving at Canadian airports from all over the world, for almost two months and were  not screened or questioned until the conservative media began raising the alarm bells. One Picton resident who flew in from overseas was shocked that there was a total absence of screening. She wrote a letter expressing her concern, which the  The Picton Gazette published in March.

As the battle to contain the corona virus continues, we need to thank all the frontline workers who are carrying on in the midst of COVID-19 – doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers, firefighters. And thanks to all those in the food and grocery business, as well as  pharmacies, long haul truck drivers, including all those who stock shelves, assist  customers and courteous cashiers who meet every shopper.

Robert C. Wilson