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Premier Doug Ford and the politics of policing

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When Dean French calls, people pick up.

With good reason. For better or for worse, he speaks for Doug Ford.

As chief of staff, he is the eyes and ears of the premier. He also has Ford’s back — and vice-versa.

The loyalty between these two eerily similar soul mates — chief of staff and cheerleader in chief — is reciprocal, as the premier made clear Wednesday.

No matter what lines are crossed. Even on matters of law and order.

Turns out the premier’s office, rather like the now notorious White House, knows better about law enforcement. Speaking on the premier’s behalf, French has now taken to dictating whom police should arrest, and when:

As the Toronto Star’s Rob Ferguson reported this week, French set off alarm bells among his fellow Tories — those who haven’t forgotten their fidelity to public service — when he demanded that front-line cops do his bidding, the better to enhance the premier’s public profile. In two conference calls on the morning of Oct. 17, French issued edicts to senior staff that police be instructed to raid outlaw cannabis stores so that “people in handcuffs” would appear on a noon newscast on the very day marijuana was legalized.

Asked to respond, the premier’s office gave evasive answers — trumpeting their achievements while dodging Ferguson’s direct questions. Confronted in the legislature, Ford stood behind his man — just as he has rallied behind other embattled Tories in recent weeks.

By law and convention, political staff and cabinet ministers don’t exercise direct control over police operations. Their authority is limited to overarching policy and overall legislative frameworks, a separation of powers intended to prevent politicians and staff from manipulating or meddling in policing.

As we’ve seen in the U.S., one reason is to prevent politicians in power from seeking retribution against their predecessors, or other political enemies. “Lock her up!” takes on a chilling significance when a premier’s chief of staff believes he can tell police whom to go after.

This isn’t French’s first attempt to bend the rules, and judging by the premier’s loyal support, this won’t be the last. Ford once again ducked media reports that his chief of staff telephoned the chair of the board at Ontario Power Generation to demand the firing of a political adversary, vice-president Alykhan Velshi (for the sin of disloyalty to former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown).

“I just want to be clear I support my chief of staff 1,000 per cent…He works hard, he’s honest, he has integrity,” the premier insisted as he dismissed questions about lines crossed.

That’s the same language Ford used when Michael Tibollo, his then-minister of community safety and corrections, became an albatross after boasting about wearing a bulletproof vest while joining police in the Jane-Finch area, and feebly trying to explain away his past legal tangles in private life: Tibollo “is the most credible minister down here — he has integrity, he has transparency and he’s an absolute champion,” Ford said at the time. “I’ll stand beside him any day, 365 days a year — I have 1,000 per cent confidence.”

Upon reflection, he demoted Tibollo in a cabinet shuffle.

Same with Jim Wilson, his scandal-prone economic development minister, whom Ford fired just hours after singing his praises as part of an “all-star” cabinet — his favourite turn of phrase for the Tory team.

Cabinet ministers, of course, come and go, serving at pleasure of the crown — or more precisely, at the whim of the premier. But a chief of staff is at the locus of power, operating as an extension of the premier so that mere ministers and senior staff almost always acquiesce.

Not all do. Veteran lawyer Ken Bednarek, the top adviser to the minister of community safety at the time, may have paid the price for dissenting. Bednarek, who has declined comment, was fired shortly after those improper phone calls from French.

There is only one person more powerful than a chief of staff gone awry — the premier himself. French is an unelected apparatchik, but the premier is accountable to voters, and the legislature, for his actions (and inaction) while his chief of staff runs amok.

When push comes to shove, French wields power not only because he speaks for Ford, but because Ford speaks up for him. The reason the premier’s chief of staff acts like a chief of police is that Ford cheers on his soul mate, as enabler in chief.

Martin Regg Cohn is a columnist based in Toronto covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @reggcohn



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These US entities partnered with the Wuhan Institute of Virology — time for a criminal investigation?

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(Natural News) The Wuhan Institute of Virology from which the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is believed to have “escaped” has a number of questionable partnerships that are worth looking into in light of the pandemic.

Most of them are universities, including the University of Alabama, the University of North Texas, and Harvard University. There is also the EcoHealth Alliance, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Wildlife Federation.

While the relationships between these entities and the Wuhan Institute of Virology may be completely innocent, there is no way to really say for sure without a proper investigation. And this is exactly what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for, as is the nation of Australia.

Pompeo and the folks down under, along with millions of Americans, would really like to know the true origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). An increasing number of people simply are not buying the narrative that the novel virus originated in bat soup at a Chinese wet market, and this even includes mainstream media outlets like Fox News.

The only way to really determine what was going on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and who else might have been involved. is to open the place up for an international investigation. But communist China is against this, of course, accusing Australia of “petty tricks” and collusion with the United States.

“Overnight, I saw comments from the Chinese Foreign Ministry talking about a course of activity with respect to Australia who had the temerity to ask for investigation,” Pompeo is quoted as saying in response to China’s aggression against a proposed investigation.

“Who in the world wouldn’t want an investigation of how this happened to the world?” he added.

As the U.S. aims to get back on track economically speaking, Pompeo believes that now is the time to hold communist China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and whoever else may have been involved accountable for unleashing this pandemic on the world.

“Not only American wealth, but the global economy’s devastation as a result of this virus,” Pompeo further stated. “There will be a time for this. We will get that timing right.”

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New U.S. analysis finds that lab in Wuhan, China was “most likely” origin of coronavirus release

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(Natural News) While American Leftists and most of the Democrat Party continue to serve as apologists for the Chinese Communist regime over its role in creating and then perpetuating the coronavirus pandemic, a new U.S. government analysis concludes that COVID-19 “most likely” escaped from a lab near Wuhan city.

The Washington Times reports that the analysis cataloged evidence linking the outbreak to the Wuhan lab and has found that other explanations for the origins of the virus are not as credible.

The paper reported:

The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.

However, “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.

“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by the Times.

ChiCom officials have claimed that the virus’ origin is unknown. However, Beijing initially stated that coronavirus came from animals at a “wet market” in Wuhan where exotic meats are butchered and sold in disgusting conditions.

Chinese officials claim that COVID-19 went from bats to animals sold in the market last year, then infected humans.

U.S. intelligence officials have increasingly dismissed that explanation, however, as attention has begun to focus on evidence suggesting that Chinese medical researchers were working with coronavirus in the country’s only Level 4 facility, which is in Wuhan.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that intelligence agencies are investigating whether the virus escaped from a lab or was the result of a naturally occurring outbreak, but that analysts have ruled out reports that COVID-19 was manmade.

‘The most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off’

“At this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural,” the general said on April 14, “but we don’t know for certain.”

The analysis said that the wet market explanation does not ring true because the first human diagnosis of coronavirus was made in someone who had no connection to the wet market in question. And according to Chinese reports, no bats were sold at that particular market.

At the same time, several questionable actions and a growing paper trail provide clues that the virus actually escaped from a lab, even as China begins to clamp down on those information streams.

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The biggest media lies about the coronavirus: Origins, treatments and vaccines

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(Natural News) If there is one thing that most everyone can agree on concerning the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is the fact that there is no shortage of conflicting information out there about the nature of it. And the mainstream media is certainly doing its part to steer the narrative as part of a larger agenda, using plenty of misinformation along the way.

The following are among the most commonly parroted lies about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that aim to distort the facts and deceive you into believing falsehoods about this pandemic:

Media LIE: The virus is not man-made

From the very beginning of this thing, the official narrative was that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) came from a Chinese wet market where bats and other “exotic” animals are sold as meat. But the world later learned that it actually more than likely “escaped” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The mainstream media and social media platforms went nuts trying to censor this information and even called it  “fake news.” But eventually it became undeniable that bat soup was not responsible for spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) around Wuhan and eventually to the rest of the world – hence why we continue to call it the Wuhan coronavirus rather than just COVID-19.

We have even seen attempts by the media machine at making the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) a racial issue because there are supposedly more “people of color” coming down with it than people with fair skin, which further detracts attention away from the source of this virus.

Media LIE: Hydroxychloroquine is extremely dangerous and doesn’t work

The minute that President Donald Trump announced that hydroxychloroquine may be an effective, and very inexpensive, remedy for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), the mainstream media immediately began decrying this claim as fake news, even though Anthony Fauci himself praised hydroxychloroquine back in 2013 under Barack Obama as being some type of “miracle cure” for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

There have even been studies conducted that were designed to intentionally smear the drug as both ineffective and dangerous, though one in particular purposely left out zinc, which appears to be a critical co-factor in supporting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine – in other words, politics as usual.

Media LIE: Only a vaccine can save us from coronavirus

Many politicians and public health officials are parroting the lie that the only way America can come out of lockdown and go back to “normal” is to get vaccinated with some future vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that does not even yet exist. A vaccine, we are repeatedly told, is the only thing, or perhaps some new “blockbuster” antiviral drug, that can cure the world of this scourge and make everything happy and wonderful once again.

Meanwhile, not a peep is being made about things like intravenous (IV) high-dose vitamin C, which is being successfully used in other countries to stem the tide of infections without the need for new drugs and vaccines.

By omission, nutrition is pointless

Speaking of natural approaches to overcoming the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that are being systematically ignored by the mainstream media and most in politics, have you heard anyone mention the importance of nutrition in all of this? We did not think so, and this is intentional.

Regular readers of this site over the years should know by now that the single-most important thing you need to do to stay healthy besides exercising regularly is to feed your body the nutrition it needs to naturally ward off illnesses, including those associated with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Research compiled by the Lewin Group reveals that nutritional remedies such as calcium, vitamin D, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and more all play a critical role in fortifying the immune system, which, if properly nourished, should have little problem fending off disease.

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