World War Three might have started but all you get is this lousy column

What Just Happened? | Stephen Whitworth | March 20, 2022

Things had been going so well. Yes, global heating has changed from a decade-away threat to something causing big trouble now. And yeah, Canada is infested with diesel-powered, anti-vaccination truckwits bent on overthrowing Trudeau. And sure, the Scott Moe government’s Covid strategy is just them slapping their collective hands over their assembled ears and screaming “LA LA LA LA LA” even as the province racked up one of its deadliest pandemic months. But all that is just the usual background noise at this point. Aside from a heart attack brought on by one too many cinnamon rolls, I, personally, did not have to ponder imminent doom. Now? Now I have to worry about mushroom clouds sprouting worldwide like… umm, mushrooms, I guess. Thanks, Putin. You evil creep.

MONDAY, FEB. 14 It was a darned exciting Valentine’s Day as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked Canada’s 1988 Emergencies Act in response to disruptive anti-mandate protests besieging Potatowa, Ontario and several Canada-U.S. border crossings. [Editors note: I typed “Potato” instead of “Ottawa” by mistake but it made me laugh so I added the “wa” and let it stand. You’re welcome.] There was a lot of whining and fretting about it from radical Trudeauphobes and the morlocks now running the Conservative Party of Canada, but thanks to the declaration the protests were peacefully ended after, I dunno, weeks. Trudeau ended the use of Emergency Powers on February 23. He never even said the line, and we’re all sad about that.

TUESDAY 15 The Saskatchewan Party shocked political observers today with a byelection win in the New Democratic Party stronghold of Athabasca. The byelection was called after NDP MLA Bucky Belanger, who had held the riding since 1998, stepped down to run for the federal Liberals (he lost). Analysts speculated Athabasca voters might have abandoned the NDP because they were tired of being represented only by Opposition politicians (the NDP hasn’t formed government since it lost to the Saskatchewan party in the mid-Cretaceous period (2007)). Regardless, the byelection result appeared to spark a major shake-up in the NDP caucus with leader Ryan Meili announcing on Feb. 18 that he would step down to make room for a new leader. At press time, the only declared candidate for leadership of the once-dominant political party was Regina-Lakeview MLA Carla Beck.

FRIDAY 18 Hooray! Police finally arrested two leaders of the obnoxious and stupid Ottawa protest that had dragged on for weeks. Tamara Lich, who later showed up in court wearing one of those idiotic “I Heart Oil & Gas” shirts and Chris Barber were both charged with assorted charges. The protests had enraged Ottawa residents and pushed our writers and editors to consume higher-than-normal amounts of acetaminophen.

THURSDAY 24 In a rare bit of awesome news, a missing seven-year-old alleged to have been abducted by her father was found in Vernon, British Columbia, and was quickly reunited with her mother. The child had not returned after a scheduled custody visit in mid-November. The father, Michael Jackson (no relation), is alleged to have gone on the run with his daughter to stop her from being vaccinated against Covid. Wild, unfounded and irresponsible speculation in our home offices included baseless theories one or more of the “freedom” protestors arrested earlier in Ottawa knew where Jackson was hiding, and squealed. If so, good for the squealer.

In less awesome news, Russia invaded Ukraine today, putting the planet at risk of nuclear holocaust. Apparently Putin isn’t rationally evil, as hoped. He’s a Bond villain. Great.

THURSDAY 3 In its most recent weekly (ugh) update, the province reported February 2022 was Saskatchewan’s third-most deadly pandemic month with 142 deaths. That total, however, didn’t include the last two days, which, if trends continue, could put Sask over 150. We’ll find out after this paper goes to press. October 2021 currently holds the death record with 156 Covid fatalities.

TUESDAY 8 Finally: chief medical officer, meet the underside of a bus. As the Saskatchewan legislature resumes, Health Minister Paul Merriman said his government moved to weekly Covid reports on the advice of top doctor Saqib Shahab. It is unclear at press time whether this is true. And do critics even need to point out the weekly reporting schedule helps Merriman, Moe and the rest dodge daily bad news from its “everyone for themselves” pandemic mismanagement? Probably, but who’s gonna listen.