April 4, 2021

I live in Ontario, which is currently governed at the provincial level by the Progressive Conservatives under Doug Ford. Despite a growing body of peer reviewed studies and hard data that lockdowns do little to alter the trajectory of COVID-19, we’re headed into our third lockdown and year two of what looks like an outright war on small business.

The MPP for my riding is Kinga Surma, and throughout all this she’s been dutifully posting to her Facebook page in the “we’re all in this together” vein. I would occasionally reply in the comments. Like when she announced a new provincial funding program for small businesses I commented that small businesses don’t want welfare or loans, they want to open up shop and run their companies.

A few days ago she posted a video about working under COVID-19 conditions, it was warm and fuzzy, had her dog in it. In the comments I posted a picture of the now defunct Artisano’s restaurant on Islington, captioning it as “here’s a business in your riding which has gone bankrupt after 14 years thanks to your party’s lockdowns”.

…another one bites the dust. #OntarioLockdown

It got a couple of “likes” and comments from people who used to like going there. Then a guy named Dan Jacobs swooped in and chided me that Artisano’s wasn’t in Kinga Surma’s riding. Complete with an insulting gif.

He’s not wrong, come to think. Etobicoke Center stops at Bloor, Artisano’s is actually in Etobicoke Lakeshore under fellow Progressive Conservative Christina Hogarth.

I replied to him that, be that as it may, I thought he was missing point. He didn’t, and posted another insult…

This guy still didn’t get it. I wasn’t upset because I can’t read a map. I’m upset because small businesses are going bankrupt all over the place under lockdowns (which even the WHO said should no longer be used), and the provincial PC’s are doubling tripling down on another one.

Anyway, last night I was coming back from picking up dinner from one of the businesses that has managed to stay open and since I was north of Bloor, I started taking shots of businesses we had lost over the last year.

Along came Jacobs, following me onto my own thread and insulting me yet again, since none of the defunct businesses I had posted were in Ms. Surma’s riding after all….

After consulting the riding map, it turns out Jacobs is right again by a smidge. But I still can’t figure something out….

When the entire point of this thread is the countless businesses that have gone bankrupt under lockdowns, why is this guy bobbing and weaving and insulting me in the defence of my MPP, Kinga Surma? Is he deliberately being obtuse? Is he missing the point that the Progressive Conservative policy of ineffective lockdowns is killing small businesses across the entire province on purpose?

…and there it is. Dan Jacobs is a Progressive Conservative party staffer, currently with Doug Ford’s Office of the Chief of Staff and in 2018 he was Kinga Surma’s campaign manager.

For some reason he didn’t mention that part when he was hurling insults  and belittling me. When I posted this to the now contentious Facebook thread, he became even more belligerent and continued with ad hominem attacks…

The entire Facebook thread under my profile is here (at least until Jacobs scrubs his comments, he’s already deleted everything from the thread on Kinga Surma’s page).

The “Captain Crypo” dig is probably a reference to my new Crypto Capitalist newsletter, his condescension toward a new small business I’ve launched under lockdown being apparent. This is ironic, given that if all goes well a few much needed jobs may be created and the tax revenue it generates will help pay Jacobs’ $139,521 annual salary (closer to 200K with benefits).

 

Of course, we all know where this is going. I was about to ask Jacobs what his plan was going to be when I go out today, and take some pictures of bankrupt businesses well within the Etobicoke Center riding. Was it his contention that there were no bankruptcies within Surma’s riding?

He blocked me before I could ask, so I have to pose the question here rhetorically.

If you’re a constituent in Etobicoke Center, or even an Ontarian small business owner, maybe you should raise the question with your local MPP and ask them about this as well. Just make sure you get the riding boundaries correct, otherwise their (taxpayer bankrolled) advisors will be all over you to remember your place.

Imperiousness on Display

What we have in this exchange is a microcosm of our relationship with our government in general. It wouldn’t matter if Liberals were in power provincially instead of the PC’s. This is the imperiousness of the entire political class on display, at all levels:

Distracting from the real issues when laid at their feet, they will bob and weave trying to make the discussion about something else, then try to gaslight you that you’re the one avoiding the “issue at hand” (such as whether you’re complaining to the right MPP about businesses going bankrupt all over the city).

In the olden days, politicians and their minions would at least try to fake sincerity toward the plight of those whose livelihoods have been destroyed by policies that are demonstrably ineffective, i.e

“Yes, it’s a terrible situation, for the record those businesses you posted are in Etobicoke Lakeshore, but you’re right, this is a problem across the province and we have programs in place trying to address it”

Would have been an old-timey political response. But as the ruling class and the media keep telling us, there’s no going back to the old normal.

We’re in the New Normal now, I guess that means it’s a world wherein our political betters are completely unaccountable and privileged.

It means that when you raise your concerns as a citizen and a taxpayer you will be treated with derision and contempt.

It means they will belittle and mock your vocation, even follow you around on social media to harangue and hector you.

It means they don’t have to care that small businesses are going bankrupt all over the province because their six-digit salaries are guaranteed by our tax dollars.

Because we’re just the citizenry, the taxpayers and the small business owners of this province. In their political calculus, we’re too small to matter… until election time. Jacobs’ insults toward me about “broken clocks” are apt here. When the next cycle comes, they’ll be at our doors yet again with their empty platitudes, blowing smoke up our asses and asking for campaign contributions.

Well, I for one will never vote nor contribute to a major political party ever again. I recommend everybody do the same. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals are self-serving plutocrats and the NDPs are the self-serving plutocrats in-waiting.

If you’re left of center, throw in with the Greens and if you’re conservative go with PPC federally and Libertarians provincially. Even if none of those parties can win (yet), 5% of the voters defecting to each party will cost a lot of incumbents their jobs. These major parties need a good ass-kicking.

As incidents like this one show, our political overlords are tone deaf, out-of-touch and in desperate need of a reality check.

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About the author 

Mark E. Jeftovic

Mark E. Jeftovic is the founder of Bombthrower and CEO of easyDNS.com, a company he co-founded in 1998 which has been operating along the lines described within these pages.

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  1. As I tell my friends here in the States, you’re not going to vote your way out of this. These people do not care and will continue to take advantage of you.

    Good luck.

  2. This is so discouraging. Its bad enough that we have a Federal Government bereft of competence, morality and leadership whose only guiding principle is power. now we have a bunch of CPC bumpkins who talk about science ignore it daily. Time after time the predictions made by the "Science Council" is orders of magnitude incorrect yet they keep getting trotted out as experts. And for gutless Dan Jacobs to parry your bringing a serious issue with trivial deflections is contemptable.

  3. So well said and on the mark Mark. As a small business owner, and now a struggling one at that, my only hope is that sales will eventually return to pre-covid 'normal'. We're still at 50% and it's just not improving.

    I have vowed to NEVER VOTE AGAIN for anyone on any side. What's the point, they're all crooks. I see this insanity likely stretching into a decade and watch from the sidewalk's edge as the conservative party slips quickly down the slope into socialism (wow THAT happened fast!) embracing every shade of 'wokeness it can grasp. I doubt there will be elections any time soon.

    There's a hard reality all around us but few see it. Civilization as we've known it until now is but a thin veil. Let's hope the experimental gene therapy 'approved for experimental use' 'vaccines' don't kill the smart people or it's dark ages for everyone for a long long time.

    Lucky for me, I've got Charles' books in print so I'll have something to do when i'm not beating back the zombies if the whole things goes poof. LOL

    1. Ontario is headed to the polls on June 2, 2022.

      I swore off politics after my run in the 2015 Federal election for the Libertarians, but this episode has me seriously considering running in Etobicoke Center next year. If not as a Libertarian then as an independent, or maybe a new party altogether. 😉

      It feels like I’d have a shot at beating the spread between the PC’s and the Libs (8% in the last one) so that could make it interesting.

        1. Thanks Alek.

          I think breaking the political complacency in Etobicoke Center next year is an achievable goal. The margin between CONs and Libs was 8% in ’18, will likely shrink. Who knows, by this time next year perhaps the entire riding could be winnable by an independent. Wouldn’t that be something.

  4. Nothing like a few technicalities to distract from a valid point.

    Reason doesn't work in a society that no longer values facts.

    Mark, I can't imagine the drain of participating in social media. Cost of doing business I suppose. Keep fighting the good fight…

  5. Wow!! Politicians and bureaucrats and staffers are the same everywhere. I live in Florida and work in campaigns and also lean Libertarian – mainly because the Demopublicans and Republicrats are largely the same. This Dan Jacobs guy is likely overpaid by precisely the amount of his salary. Keep fighting back and let him show how small he is. My prediction for 2021 is that somewhere one of these political types will so enrage the public that they will be boiled and eaten. He could be the one!

  6. There's also the possibility that the business owners/employees may have lived in Etobicoke Centre, even if their shops were located outside of it.

  7. Hi. Why not launch an official complaint (preferably in person) against this shamelessly immature and insulting figure? The minimum standards of professionalism clearly have not been met here.

    1. There is no in-person, we are under lockdown so nobody will be at the constituency office (the video that set all this off was a fluff piece about working remote in this new normal).

      I did email the MPP office, crickets.

      My guess is, unless this actually became a news story, they won’t respond at all. Which also tells you everything you need to know about career politicians.

  8. This can be replicated across the "west" which is why you should drive for Revolution or War. Then you will be on the winning side and the apparatchiks will be on the losing side.
    TINA, literally is True.
    It is what is going to happen to all of us. Extinction is a very Green Policy.

    Think of Bojo endorsing a massive defence uptick as the UN finally votes against nuclear weapons! Where does that come from. His personal 'hate you all'…

    Thank you for crystallizing every day experience. But remember they are not 'drug free' They are paid.

  9. Mark, you speak the truth. We matter not until election time. It's everyone's duty to remember this bull sh*t when the elite come rolling around again looking for us sheep to shear.

  10. WOW, a civil servant publicly ridiculing a citizen, which funds said servant's income. Incredibility disrespectful, how would such actions be viewed by T. Jefferson ?, which reminds me of this quote " When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson.

  11. Sad to see so many local small businesses go under. So much more as it seems discretionary. It seems the Party picks the winners. These politicians and their minions are disconnected from the people they supposedly represent. Time for a house cleaning. The good people of Canada, and here in the US need to get involved as we can no longer assume that the interest of constituents are being looked after. Why can we cram elbow to elbow in a plane but not sit distanced in many small businesses?

  12. This Jacobs guy is what's wrong with the Conservatives. They were infiltrated by this catty truck stop glitter mafia under the guise of tolerance, and they've alienated their base. If this guy still has a job on Friday, I'm withdrawing my support from Ford.

  13. Hey Mark,

    I am aghast at the contemptible responses from a public servant. It highlights many deep problems. My question is around your thoughts on how to open up yet not let the health situation get completely out of control. Do you have something published or can you reply with how you see that working? I've followed you for years and generally have similar viewpoints but I am a bit confused how we manage a pandemic but let businesses run as before. I know what we are doing is not working. We open/close/partly open/close and it doesn't seem like it will ever end, but what would work better?

    1. Hey Kevin, the main thing is the government got locked into one track and would not waver from it: lockdown, wait for vaccines.

      If you go look at Tom Woods’ “Charts CNN forgot to show you“, he’s compiled a lot of data showing that lockdown or no lockdown, COVID will lay its own course through the population.

      What really bothers me is that there are data and studies about other non-pharmaceutical interventions that could have had a real world impact: Vitamin D and Zinc are not controversial but known to be efficacious – a widespread public awareness campaign to encourage people to bulk up on these things would have been better than locking everybody away and waiting. If the government was not sure about these measures, then they could have initiated multiple “warp speed” type operations to find some. Instead they just locked down, dug in, and spent their time spinning the media instead of going balls to wall to find avenues, any avenues that could have helped.

      That’s without even going near “controversial” interventions (that are only controversial because Trump favoured them) like Ivermectin or HCX.

      There are two main media points which should have been questioned and researched independently:
      1) casedemic: what is a case? A positive PCR test on a CT > 35 or, the old fashioned definition: somebody exhibiting symptoms who requires medical attention.

      2) asymptomatic transmission. My understanding is that there has never been a respiratory pathogen that transmitted asymptomatically. So why the hysteria? Either something is different about COVID-19, in which case why is it different? or most of these cases aren’t cases.

      The load on the hospital system: I’ve been in touch with some people in the health system who tell me the load can be high at times, but it is on par with heavy flu seasons.

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