People are living in fear, says Daniel Waggoner, the Fredericton businessman running as the Tobique-Mactaquac candidate for the People's Party of Canada in the Sept. 20 federal election.
Not only has the Trudeau government and the media promoted fear and overhyped the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic, those who disagree with the government message fear the loss of their freedom, Waggoner said.
He said government-induced fear was the critical issue in the federal election. He noted PPC's poll numbers continue to rise, putting them past the Green Party and closing in on the NDP.
"That speaks volumes," Waggoner said. "People are worried about their freedom."
He said mothers approach him on the campaign trail, telling them they are worried about the children. He said they don't want their children living in fear while being forced to wear masks and stay away from their friends.
Waggoner dismisses the suggestion that vaccines are the only solution, noting people have the right to get vaccinated or not. He sees vaccine mandates and passports as a direct attack on Canadian freedoms.
"The current government throws a lot of money at our CBC media cartel to scare people into being afraid of each other," he said.
Waggoner said the vaccine debate only magnified that debate and the divisions.
"Not only are they afraid of each other, but now they are afraid of the unclean, unvaxed, which to me is wrong," he said. "If you have not been vaccinated, you're not unclean."
Waggoner said the virus is a severe threat to a few, but he wants the government to keep the danger in perspective by exercising common sense and providing honest answers.
"There's no denying COVID-19 pandemic is real. There's no denying SARS-COV-2 virus is deadly to certain people for sure," he said. "Especially the elderly, people with serious ailments and people near death. That's just the statistics."
Waggoner said the virus is no threat to people like himself.
"I exercise. I eat well. I get lots of Vitamin D. I get lots of sun. I take zinc supplements," he said. "But our government has not said anything about any of this. All they said is the only way out of this is a vaccine."
Waggoner dismissed the numbers in New Brunswick ICU beds, describing the four people currently under ICU care as an insignificant number on a large scale. He said people end up in ICU with the common flu, adding the government doesn't mandate the flu shot.
Waggoner said while governments spend billions on a vaccine with a low mortality rate, 50,000 children a day globally die of starvation.
Waggoner also questions the hype surrounding climate change, noting climates have permanently changed. He said climate change used to be called global warming.
"Global warming and global cooling happen," he said.
Waggoner acknowledged the climate is changing but admits he is not sure of all the reasons.
"How much driving cars and cows play a role in that," he said. "I don't know."
While questioning climate change, Waggoner said he recognizes the importance of being good environmental stewards and taking care of the planet.
He said human action puts the earth in danger, whether it's plastics in the ocean or the threat of extinction of animal species. He said that the PPC understands a solid environmental policy would protect the earth for future generations.
During his travels around New Brunswick, Waggoner said he could see the demand for workers. He admits he doesn't have all the answers, noting the problem needs close study. He believes working people are available but need to be connected to work opportunities.
He doesn't see increased immigration as the answer, noting that most new immigrants depend on government assistance and are not part of the workforce. He said Canada's already generous emigration policies would see the workforce filled if that was the answer.
If Canada turns to immigration to fill the void, Waggoner said, it needs to focus on the educated and those with required skills.
As he travels the riding, Waggoner said he enjoyed a positive response to his message.
"I believe people are more socially conservative and in line with the PPC's policy beliefs," he said.
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun