Our Mad Premiers


“Ford threatened to shove an incendiary device into the “ying-yang” of any Pfizer executive if they did not give Ontario more coronavirus vaccines.” (CP24 – January 21, 2021).

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

January 24th, 2021



It would be funny if it wasn’t so deadly serious. Pfizer is reducing its shipments of COVID vaccine due to the need for a stoppage to upgrade its production facilities. So it is disappointing. But the company says it will still meet its commitment for total shipments by the end of March, and beyond.

That sounds reasonable given that its other customers will also suffer delays, including European nations where the our vaccine is actually being manufactured. And remember that hardly anyone had even heard of COVID last year at this time, so getting any kind and amount of vaccine here is a blessing.


The speed with which the vaccine was produced was impressive.

Ford scowl - cropped

Premier Doug Ford: not having a good day.

But that’s not good enough for Ontario’s fearsome premier who has called the Canadian president of Pfizer to complain, and is threatening to rent a truck and cross the land border to demand a million doses from newly installed US president Biden.

No doubt Ford’s demand would be well received, except that as bad as it is here with COVID, the US is worse. And does Ford really think Biden will give him a million doses when his biggest election promise was to inoculate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office.

Ford was largely responsible for the surge of COVID cases in Ontario. He loosened restrictions on social activity too rapidly in the late fall. But that he owns the surge hasn’t stopped him from casting about to lay the blame on someone else. In this case it is the Trudeau government and their contract with Pfizer. But it’s not the first time. He went after the Prime Minister over sloppy border control, though in that case rightfully so.

Not to be outdone in the crazy game is Ford’s BFF in Alberta, Jason Kenny, who has threatened to bypass the federal government and buy vaccine directly from…. somewhere. But his biggest headache today is that newly elected US president Biden has cancelled the Keystone oil pipeline, which Kenny was counting for extra cash on to help get Alberta out of its current hole.

Obama and Biden cancelled the pipeline back in 2015, but then Trump OK’d it again. Kenny must have thought Trump would win the US election because he poured $1.5 billion into the project and gave another $6 billion or so in loan guarantees. I guess he wasn’t reading the papers because everyone knew that Trump wouldn’t get re-elected, except Trump, of course.

Kenney + Trudeau

Not. the best of friends it would appear.

It was Biden’s election promise and Kenny went ballistic when the new president followed though on it. Kenny demanded Trudeau do everything but launch a nuclear missile on Washington to get him to change his mind But how could Canada apply trade sanctions over a pipeline permit that is entirely in the hands of the US president and over US territory? How does the PM ask Biden to compensate Alberta because its premier was betting that Biden wasn’t going to win.

There is a faint hope that some rules of the old NAFTA might still apply and help Kenny get some kind of compensation, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. There were a thousand jobs on the Canadian side building the pipeline to nowhere – the Jason Kenny line. Those jobs are gone and Albertans will likely eat the $1.5 billion and more.

Losing Keystone is not the end of the world. Oil production in Alberta will still continue unabated as will selling it to the US. Keystone was significant only because it would have allowed Alberta to export even more oil than it already does. So Alberta’s oil industry will continue to operate, it just won’t get bigger – at least not until the federally owned Trans Mountain pipeline twinning is operational.

Tesla 3

Tesla 3 – Take a ride in one – appreciate the near total silence.

But the reality is that fossil fuels are a dying proposition. Tesla sold almost a half million electric cars in the USA last year and now everybody is getting into the game. After all, gas powered vehicles cannot be sold in Norway after 2025, the UK by 2030 and Quebec and California after 2035. Does anyone other than Jason Kenny think the world needs another oil pipeline?

Jason Kenny might get some of his billions back by whining to Trudeau and Biden, and taking his case to NAFTA. But he won’t get Keystone back. There is no future for oil in Alberta, or anywhere, and the sooner Kenny comes to that realization the better for the people he serves.

Ontario should be glad that Doug Ford, as embarrassing as he can be, and not Jason Kenny is premier of this province. Now if only Ford could get our COVID numbers down.


Background links:

None of that Crap –    Trudeau Letter on Keystone –    How is it Going Jason

Keystone Options –    Raging Jason

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16 comments to Our Mad Premiers

  • Denise W.

    First he is too strict. Then not strict enough or fast enough. Then he tightens things up, and people complain. Under pressure he waits till boxing day to tighten things up more, and people say he waited too long. And if he did, the same people will be saying he was the Grinch. There is no one answer.

    What ever he says, that is just the legal minimum. We, using our brains, can be stricter for ourselves if we so choose. I do. As it is, most fools are just continuing on, ignoring the stay at home order.

    Pf having problems…Merck I believe announced that they are discontinuing attempts to make their own vaccine. Perhaps Pf could use their production facilities for their own. Not unlike defense contracts during WW2. Very often those who did not win the contract, wound up making the competitor’s product in their plant.

  • g.fraser

    Ray, so glad your back spinning your hatred of anyone non-Liberal.

    “So it is disappointing. But the company says it will still meet its commitment for total shipments by the end of March, and beyond.”……….sure is disappointing, how many more lives will be lost due to this supply chain interruption?? Ya, how did you say it…..disappointing. Others would call it horrific as lives will be lost due to this interruption. Ford could have been more eloquent with his word smithing but Ford did state the obvious, something the Federal Gov’t did not.

    Now where is JT in all of this?? Luckily, he did not leave Canada over the holidays like a few Liberal MPs as well as other Provincial & Federal party politicians. Oh, I haven’t forgotten about the asinine Healthcare CEOs and their sunny south trips. Stupid is as Stupid does. Since it will no longer be feasible to adhere to the recommended vaccine intervals, JT is trying to have Health Care Canada change the dosing intervals of the vaccine with little supporting data. Even Dr. Fauci, says delaying your second dose would be “taking a chance.” If dosing intervals are to be changed, I would go for the Moderna vaccine which appears to have a significantly higher efficacy after initial injection based on limited data.

    Yes, almost ever Province including those led by NDP, Conservative and Liberal gov’t have garnished enormous elevations in Covid incidence. Poor genomic testing for Covid variants may be one cause but Both the Provincial and Federal Gov’t have played a role in this devastation. The Federal Healthcare Act could have enacted a Pandemic policy, which the Provinces and Territories must fulfill. Truthfully, international travel is still happening (where do you think the Covid variants came from) and OMG, only recently have international restrictions been upgraded by the federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. NO Province should have been allowed out of stage 2 lockdown till the majority of Canadians had been immunized. We were learning to buy local, shop takeout, exercise outdoors, stay spaced, wear masks.

    WTF, We even let History repeat itself in regards to the LTC homes! Both the Federally & Provincially owned LTC as well as the privately run facilities are abysmal.

    When the Federal Gov’t talks about Universal Drug coverage, they are rarely talking about Brand name medications. It’s the cheaper Generics and hence big Pharma R&D dwindles especially in Canada where their Corporate tax rates will escalate to cover the Federal Covid tax bailout.

    I held my bated breath till at least Nov 6th after the USA elections. Ray must have a Magic 8 ball “I guess he wasn’t reading the papers because everyone knew that Trump wouldn’t get re-elected, except Trump, of course.” What other great insight do you possess?? Did you know about our GG and her prior indiscretions in Montreal that would have been apparent if JT had gone through the Federal Gov’t Vetting process instead of unilaterally mandating his proclamation of hiring her.

    Finally, as you said; “There is no future for oil in Alberta” why would the Federal Gov’t buy & own the “Trans Mountain pipeline twinning operation.” There is an incongruity here that I cannot fathom unless it was done by JT to appease China by delivering their unprocessed crude oil through an pristine environmental ecosystem.

    We are all in this together. Right or wrong, mistakes have been made & remade at all levels of gov’t by ALL parties. Until we act in unison, from the top down, we will continue to be in trouble.

    • David Barker

      OK. You make some good points, but also some daft ones.

      Ford, Kenney and others, including you I suspect, are bleeting about the disruption to the Pfizer vaccine deliveries. You are asking where is JT in all of this. Just what do you expect JT or Canada as a whole to do? What leverage is there to be used? The EU which represents 27 countries and a population of 450 million is also having supply disruptions with Pfizer. So Canada with a population of approximately 30 million and basically 13 separate, self-interested countries under a common flag bitching and complaining has absolutely no leverage. The same goes when contemplating the Keystone pipeline or unfortunately the 2 Michaels in China. What you, Kenney, Ford, or anybody else for that matter expects the federal government to do to change the course of action of Pfizer, the US government, or the Chinese is beyond me. Those matters are beyond our direct control.

      Personally I would have liked to see the federal government use its emergency powers to force the provinces to act in a concerted way to fight the virus and as regards to the distribution of the vaccine. But just imagine what tantrums would have been thrown by Ford, by Kenny, and of course by LA Belle Province. As an aside, when talking to new immigrants to Canada, I always jokingly tell them the most important phrase to learn is “except for Quebec”, because it affects every aspect of Canadian life.

      It’s time for Canada to grow up and become one country not the 13 separate self-centred0 countries, we call provinces, that currently exists. There should be for example a single national standard of health care to be delivered by the provinces. Also as another example there should be no trade barriers between provinces.

      Do you see trade barriers in the UK between England and Scotland or even between Lancashire and Kent within England?

      As to your comment regarding the GG you appear to me to be like most others in forgetting that when her name was announced to be the next GG there was tremendous applause across the political spectrum and society as a whole for the appointment. She was cheered by all as a role model, an inspiration, and a Canadian hero being a single mother and astronaut. Now it appears she had the same type of work area issues at her 2 previous appointments. How come nobody from either of those 2 organisations or any of the people that were impacted by her did not come forward to express concern over her potential appointment? And of course now everyone is questioning of did JT appointed her. But no one is questioning their own prior positions. Conveniently forgotten or ignored.

      Yes, you are correct. History sadly is repeating itself as respects the long term care homes. That is on the provinces not the federal government. But is another example of why a stronger federal government which could impose national mandated standards with powers to intervene would be a great step forward.

      You are also correct in your statement that we need to act in unison. But for fear of harping on about it, to do so we need to have a strong federal government dictating to provinces how they must act. Presently it’s the way around.

      • g.fraser

        “Ford, Kenney and others, including you I suspect, are bleeting about the disruption to the Pfizer vaccine deliveries. You are asking where is JT in all of this.”

        – 1st: Canada was a World Leader for NEW vaccines and Production capacity. Connaught Labs in Toronto & Institut Armand Frappier in Montreal put Canada on the map but our corrupt PM Mulroney (‘Airbus scandal’) privatized them and eventually they were sold to the Global Pharm Sanofi Pasteur & GSK respectively.

        The 2010 H1N1 Vaccine Task Force (PC gov’t) found that a lack of vaccine production capacity was considered a problem that needed rectifying in Canada. One of Public Health Agency key recommendations was “managing a contract with a domestic manufacturer to develop vaccines”…………..Dr. Tam was a contributor to this report.

        So not as beyond our control as you would think. Just like Canada’s PPE stockpile that was mismanaged, our leaders are too busy blaming the other political parties and protecting their own self-serving needs instead of looking after the Citizens who put them into power. Isn’t that what they are suppose to do?

        Furthermore,I haven’t heard a word from JT or any level of Gov’t talking about increasing our supply of the Moderna vaccine. From the data, it appears better than Pfizer in many ways. Also, I feel that Pfizer wanting to discuss ‘Corp taxes’ at a time like this is classless and distasteful.

        – 2nd: As for the Keystone pipeline, I was against this from the beginning. We have Irving Oil on the east coast which could do all our refining if a pipeline went east. Less pollution and more jobs but JT gave Provinces a say in Canada’s National Energy and the Energy East pipeline was cancelled (2016) due to opposition from the likes of Montreal’s Mayor Denis Coderre.

        As for the Trans Mountain pipeline, just bad in all regards. The environment catastrophe waiting to happen in the Queen Charlotte Islands will exceed that of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Forget about the billions already spent by JT and the billions more needed to finish this build; my question is who are we appeasing………China??

        So I don’t think these “matters are beyond our direct control.” They come with risks, no different than JT standing up to Trump’s Aluminum tariff with a dollar for dollar counter tariff.

        3rd: The Federal gov’t PSP investment board owes 100% of Revera’s LTC facilities. So, as I said before, all levels of gov’t are involved. And again, do we NOT learn from history??

        4rd and finally. As for our GG, there was a vetting process that JT did not follow. This process was put into place by the Harper regime and perhaps that is why JT listened to himself. He owns this! JT did not use the advisory board to suggest suitable candidates but instead went with his personal choice. That is hubris and yes, many cheered because they thought that due diligence had been done but many had heard rumours of her prior appointment.

        • David Barker

          Vaccine mass manufacturing capacity

          As you correctly state, Canada’s vaccine mass manufacturing capacity is zero due to some bad short sighted decisions made 20+ years ago. So this is not an avenue within Canada’s or Trudeau’s or anyone’s direct or immediate control. Sure the government can create a govt owned manufacturing facility or incentives the private sector, but that is not a short term solution. So not as much within our control as you might think. LOL.


          How is a west-east pipeline, crossing what 6 provinces, less of an environment intrusion than Keystone. It would be transporting the same heavy bitumen would it not and have the same rupture risks. Don’t get me wrong. I am a in favour of pipelines over rail &/or truck. Same goes for the Transmountain pipeline. It must happen. The crude will get to the coast, for sure. A pipeline is the safest way.


          Yes, the federal govt, not the Liberal Party or Tory Party, owns Revera. But whilst it is a crown corp no one expects the government to take a hands on approach to running the business. Certainly mistakes have been made and it seems repeated in short order. The govt’s actions should be to fire the present management and install a new one with clear and certain protocols, staffing and service levels mandated.


          I think you are really reaching if you sincerely believe that those who cheered Payette appointment did so based upon a sub-conscious comfort that a thorough background check had been done on a renown Canadian single mother hero astronaut role model. They, the masses, journalists, politicians were applauding the choice because she was the quintessential Canadian single mother hero astronaut role model. The same reaction would occur if Hadfield was appointed people woukd think “what need for a background check”.

          Again I ask, if her issues with HR were know to those at the Montreal Science Centre or the Canadian Olympic Committee, how come nobody came forward to decry her consideration?

          As sad as it is true, politicians, media types, and certain sectors of society are all to ready to cast stones, ignoring their previously held supportive positions.

          • g.fraser

            “but that is not a short term solution. So not as much within our control as you might think. LOL.”
            – As stated above, the recommendation of a domestic vaccine manufacture was one of the key-stone recommendations made in 2010 H1N1 report which Dr. Tam was apart of. Why have reports with recommendations when none are followed.This showed excellent foresight based upon the H1N1 pandemic of 2009. Knowing our Gov’t, we still will not a Canadian Vaccine manufacture or Canadian PPE supply company in place for the next pandemic. Why learn from History when we can make the same mistakes again.

            “JT gave Provinces a say in Canada’s National Energy and the Energy East pipeline was cancelled (2016) due to opposition from the likes of Montreal’s Mayor Denis Coderre.”
            – My point was, we still had another option. Energy East pipeline would have kept jobs in Western Canada as well as jobs refining of the crude bitumem in Eastern Canada. We don’t need to have our crude bitumen refined on the Gulf coast or in China. I’m still adamantly against the TransMountain pipeline and expect this to be an environmental disaster. Calculating the cost of purchasing and the future building of this pipeline, I would expect it to be at least 5x more than predicted. Finally, building over Mountain ranges is significantly more perilous than using existing pipeline corridors for a East Coast pipeline.

            “whilst it is a crown corp no one expects the government to take a hands on approach to running the business.”
            – That’s the problem. No one expects this BUT I do. The owners of this LTC have a responsibility & the governance to act upon a company that is 100% owned by the Federal Gov’t. History lessons again not learned! This is just a political microcosm of too many bureaucrats looking the other way.

            “renown Canadian single mother hero astronaut role model”
            – Well here is a lesson that we will hopefully learn. Canada is full of individuals whose public facade doesn’t match their true character. For example, PM undergoing his 3rd ethics review, Airbus scandal on another PM, CBC Ghomeshi sexual harassment scandal, Queen’s son involved with underage girls, sports personality & racial slurs, etc. All were thought to be renown role models but………..
            -There was an appropriate Vetting process that JT did NOT use. It was his personal choice. He OWNS this period. He also OWNS black face, OWNS the loss of a outstanding indigenous AG cabinet member, OWNS the SNC-Lavalin scandal, OWNS the loss Dr. Jane Philpott a politician of high moral standing, OWNS the WE scandal…….sorry I have to stop as I am getting depressed just think about the Covid missteps.

            Again, this is NOT about political parties, I have always voted, and at one time or another, I have voted for each party. I have also destroyed my vote when I felt there was no party worth while. I keep hoping though.


    Ford’s constant bluster and brag, blaming others for his lack of decision making is getting boring. “The buck stops here” seems to have turned into ” the buck passes here” . Calling Pfizer makes him sound good, but he would be better to spend his bluster on cleaning up the LTC homes and funding sick leave benefits for his province and “the little man””.

  • anneandavegmailcom

    Since passing the 2 years to next election Mr. Rivers articles are repetitively boring. All about those real bad guys who have begun making a dent in the genocide LTC and senior conditions previous govs failed to tackle.

  • Steve

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Canada produced more of it’s own drugs? Is it impossible to bring manufacturing back to Canada? Is there nothing we can do? And not just drugs.

    • David Barker

      The Liberal government, as in Trudeau Liberals, has initiated funding to build 2 new vaccine manufacturing facilities. But of course that will take time. In the interim we are dependent upon foreign corporations, and have to hope they live up to their contractual obligations to the Canadian govt.

      Don’t blame Trudeau or these Liberals, blame the Conservative and Liberal govts going back to Mulroney. Mulroney allowed Canada’s manufacturing capabilities to be sold off. Successive govts did not correct the problem.

      Canada needs to seriously look at its lack of manufacturating capabilities in all critical areas.

  • How do we end up with politicians who are so immature?

  • Ben Tuinman

    Agree totally with Mr Rivers. Only one observation I would like to make, and that is the final quote : “Now if only Ford could get our COVID numbers down”. With all respect, only the people in Ontario could make that happen. Ford laid out the guidelines, the rest is up to us!

  • Carol Victor

    Kenny is desperate….Alberta should have had both a sales tax and a contingency plan decades ago. but in typical Conservative fashion he just rang the same old bell again…no tax and no plan for the start up of a green economy.