Who declares what is essential? — In Brian Pallister’s Manitoba

An item you think isn’t essential could very well be essential for someone else — That’s the lesson I learned this morning as I was scrolling through my messages and came across a Twitter feed I was forwarded.

“Be nice to people,” — the Twitter feed began.

From the Twitter feed of @FredFredderson1 or as many know the account as “Mr. & Mrs. Fred Fredderson,” read an account of a dog owner trying to find balloons for their senior dog in a province where just about everything is deemed “non essential.”

Why you may ask? — They’re the only thing that keeps the 13-year-old dogs little feet warm in the winter.

Fredderson continued the thread explaining that they asked the retailer; “if there was some way I could buy them as essential products in Brian Pallister’s Communist Manitoba.”

Instead the worker on the other side of the line explained that she has been called “every swear you can think of.”

“I hate to be the bad guy, but I have to be,” said the retail worker.

Fredderson responded — “Isn’t it sick that you are made to be the communist enforcer?”

“Ya, I mean, I don’t make the rules. I can’t even scan the items, people from the IT department came and made it so we can’t sell the items if we tried. They had a big list and blocked them all.”

Fredderson explained to the employee what they needed the balloons for and it was upsetting to the employees — why?

It wasn’t the first time they saw someone really needed an item, but Manitoba’s power-hungry Premiere Brain Pallister deemed it “non-essential.”

Fredderson went on saying “They are taking the brunt of this while he sits in his mansion.”

The key of this thread wasn’t a boo-hoo pitty party however — it was to simply remind people to be kind to each other.

Fredderson finished the call with the retail worker telling them that “we are going to make it through this. I said it’s shit that they are forced to be the communist enforcers.”

“I told them it’s not their fault the government is mandating them to be enforcement, causing them to lose money.”

The worker responded saying; “I don’t care about the money, it’s the people, they are the ones I care about. They are inconvenienced, you can see it.”

Fredderson then said something that I hope to never have to feel as a retail worker in Ontario — “The hardest thing for them was the suffering due to the arbitrary ban on ‘non essential items’. They could feel it.”

My heart goes out to these retail workers in Manitoba, I know what it is like to work in the frustrating, sometimes rewarding, and dead-end that is the retail industry — but this would crush my spirits all the more.

I couldn’t imagine telling the mother who needed certain clothes for her child that they were deemed “non-essential” and that she wouldn’t be able to buy them for her children.

Just the essential “winter jackets, snow pants, underwear, winter headwear, gloves and mitts, socks, pantyhose, and winter boots” as the Manitoba government website says.

“Non-essential” clothing is deemed as; “footwear (excluding winter boots), non-seasonal clothing for adults and children.”

Fredderson continues; “You could feel the emotion through the phone; one employee was almost in tears. They don’t allow curbside pickup; many people shop there for cheap necessities; no longer allowed for purchase.”

They finished the Twitter thread showing their proud little pup with her balloons over her paws.

So what determines what is “non-essential?”

It’s not exactly crystal clear even while looking at the list of “non-essential” products the Province of Manitoba has put out.

For Premiere Pallister — it means restricting items that could be essential for somebody.

And let’s not forget our health is essential — yet Gyms are closed even though they aren’t driving up the cases like we are being led to believe.


ARTICLE: Retail and gyms aren’t driving Covid cases, Long-term care and workplaces are – so why are we locking everyone down?


From the whole team here at Diverge Media — Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you find joy in life even when times seem dark. Enjoy seeing your family and friends.

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