Justin Trudeau has chosen to place all of the blame on the unvaccinated for the current spike in cases and hospitalizations. The problem is, this is only a half-truth. It is political scapegoating. The other half of the problem is Trudeau himself - and the rest of Canada's political elites who have declined to improve Canada's public health system for decades. There is so much more that our political leaders could have done to prevent, or at least mitigate, the current surge in Omicron cases and hospitalizations.
The influence of the private sector paid off for business owners, as they received more pandemic relief money collectively than individuals did. Justin Trudeau's federal government came out with a slew of programs to help those in Canada, but many of these predominantly favoured employers. According to a new CCPA report, businesses received $26 billion more in financial supports than individuals did on programs like the CERB. The result of the decision to direct more funds toward businesses was the maintaining of control in the hands of employers and managers. This meant there was less autonomy for workers to decide what to do with their own labour-power.
The internal logic of capitalism has tainted our government's response to the pandemic. Corporate profits were preserved, while the interests of the working class were disregarded. Pandemic austerity and vaccine nationalism were the primary themes of government responses, and have grave consequences for the working class and health of humanity. An alternative solution, worker-ownership, is good public health policy as it would empower workers to create their own safe pandemic working conditions.
Regina city councillors proposed legislation to ban advertisements from oil and gas industry. The industry responded with an astroturfing campaign. Here we have yet another example of right-wing politicians supporting powerful oil and gas corporations. These corporations are so powerful that they can shape narratives and create false populist movements.
Thus far, it is fair to say that Canada's strategy around rapid testing has been focused on preserving capitalist interests, while workers' interests have been cast aside. While Canada is confronted with a looming Omicron wave, rapid tests could play a crucial role in public health, if Canadian governments would allow it.
Our political leaders have a deficient understanding of reconciliation. What they want to reconcile are the contradictory interests between Capital and Indigenous self-determination. Ultimately, our political leaders, embodied by the Canadian state, side with Capital. There is a much more radical, transformative understanding of reconciliation available.
The Left has always had a strong tradition of emphasizing the importance of science and empirical understanding of the world. Remember that foundational socialists such as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels considered their approach to economics as "scientific socialism." Marx himself admired the scientific advances made possible by Capitalism. As Leftists, we should not dismiss the labour of the workers of these pharmaceutical companies, nor should we align with conspiracists, conservatives, or fascists.
What strikes me the most about the claims made by this coalition of covid-conspiracists, including anti-vaccine adherents, is just how close some of them are to understanding what is really going on. Some of them are actually on the brink of grasping broader left-wing ideas of class dynamics in society. Capitalism itself is not a conspiracy, obviously. What Covid-conspiracists miss though, is the collective class interest of these networks of powerful individuals.
With the facts in front of us — with even further evidence that corporations overwhelmingly produce the majority of our global greenhouse gas emissions — it’s clear that responsibility for the effects of climate change is not universal like the Anthropocene narrative claims.
In times of crisis, such as the current pandemic, the situation of the workers becomes even worse. Workers are left with a simple choice of either risking their lives to put food on the table for a minimum wage or being left without the means to sustain themselves.