February 15, 2022 Message to the Membership

Posted on February 15, 2022 in

February 15, 2022 Message to the Membership

This week’s message will be a little different from those past in that I’ll deal with three timely topics, so please forgive my wordiness. 

Firstly, we now have a federally mandated Emergencies Act in place. Like several other commentators that I’ve heard, I believe this is overkill. 

Why, you ask? Well, The Emergencies Act replaces the War Measurers Act, which was only enacted three times in the history of Canada. When were those three times, you ask? Well, the first two were for these little incidents known as the First and Second World Wars, respectively.  

The third was when PM Trudeau 1 (the pirouetting one, also famous for his ‘Just Watch Me’ comment at the time) enacted it to deal with the FLQ crisis in Quebec in 1970. Many suggest that was an overreach at the time, but nonetheless, it’s part of our history. So three times in total we’ve declared this type of Act, and now, with Trudeau 2 at the helm, it’s been declared once again, in its new format known as The Emergencies Act. 

It’s funny how the first defense of it is that ‘It’s Not Martial Law.’ Well, if that’s your go-to, methinks we might have overreached again this time around.  

What exactly is the legal system designed for? I thought we had laws in place regarding traffic, starting with summary ticket offences and incrementally working itself up all the way to incarceration. And I thought we had police officers hired to uphold the law, to protect and serve, to mediate when required, to maintain civil liberties. I know this last one has some grey areas to it as protestors and their supporters will hold that as item No. 1, but they can’t do so at the expense of any or all other laws.  

And I thought we had a judicial system that was built around the whole notion of, firstly, presumed innocence until proven guilty. But upon being found guilty, punitive actions, including ordering, penalizing, fining and incarcerating, depending upon the severity of the crime, would take effect.  

It’s called Law and Order. It’s not just a TV show, it’s a reality that should be more than enough to deal with the protest that’s been taking place in Ottawa over the past couple of weeks.  

But noooOOOoooo. That’s apparently not enough. We need to, in effect, replicate the law, the Act, that was declared when we went to war. Let’s note again, that this was done for the First and Second World War. Since then we’ve had missions (ie: war combat) in Korea and Afghanistan, and even then, the War Measures Act, the predecessor to the Emergencies Act, was not declared. But this current protest somehow exceeds the need of those times. (Not to mention the nation’s reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks or the Oka Crisis, for instance.) 

But a bunch of truckers and other protestors clogging up Ottawa streets somehow seem more challenging than the Taliban. Uhm, OK, if you say so. 

Enough on topic No. 1, moving on to the next topic, the issue of vaccine mandates now lifted in Saskatchewan and the soon-to-be lifting of the masking mandates. We held an informative webinar this morning featuring Ken Dueck, Executive Director of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Business Response Team, and Shane Buchanan, a Labour and Employment Lawyer with MLT Aikins. They answered many questions employers have regarding the present and future workplace, with these mandates and public health orders now changing. 

If you missed it, you can take it in via our website at nsbasask.com and further to that, if you have specific questions, we can put you in touch with Ken and Shane directly. So please check our website and give us a call if you would like. 

Long story short, the workplace of today and into the future in many ways is certainly going to look differently that it did prior to COVID-19, but there will also be things that will remain. It’s important for you to know the distinctions, so please ensure that you educate yourself. 

One final note is that these weekly messages are, for me, a double-edged sword. Sometimes I have fun with them and they roll off my keyboard fairly quickly. While other times it can be a sad state of affairs resulting in me staring at a blank screen while the itty-bitty selection committee in my head keeps scrambling for a topical, informative (and sometimes humourous) angle to pursue. Sometimes this takes considerably more time than I can afford. 

Plus, once COVID is effectively ‘in control’, I don’t know if I could reasonably expect to inform and/or entertain you on a weekly basis. So, I guess what I’m saying is that this relationship we now enjoy is going to likely change over the next little while. Just exactly what that looks like has yet to be determined, but my assumption is that they will be more sporadic than their current weekly commitment. 

We’re going to start with next week, as I’m taking an extra day of holidays, and I can guarantee you, as much as I love to provide you with my thoughts, I’m going to take a pass next week, while I enjoy my time away. But I’ll be back the following week, perhaps with further indication of what the future of this little rant space holds. 

Until next time, be safe, be smart, be considerate, be well, but most of all, be kind.  

Keith Moen 

Executive Director 



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