05 February 2021

Line jumpers

On a chilly morning in late January, three planes landed on the lone airstrip of a remote community in northern Canada.

The first two carried members of a mobile team from the Yukon territory’s health department who were there to give Covid-19 vaccines to the residents of Beaver Creek. The tiny settlement of about 100 inhabitants had been prioritised because of its older population, many of whom belong to the White River First Nation.

The third aircraft, a bush plane, was unexpected.

Onboard were the casino executive Rod Baker and his wife, the actor Ekaterina Baker, who had broken quarantine and flown to Beaver Creek for the sole purpose of receiving doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Over the next few hours, the couple travelled into town, posed as local motel employees, received their shots and then escaped as quickly as they had arrived.

As Canada struggles with vaccine shortages and delays, the Bakers’ deception has been met with scorn and disbelief. The incident – in which a wealthy white couple received treatment intended for the most vulnerable members of an Indigenous community – has cast a spotlight on the stark divisions of class and race that cut across the country...

In Beaver Creek, where residents found out about the couple’s ploy from local reporters, not the government, the immediate response was one of panic: thanks to its isolation, the community had not seen any confirmed cases of the virus, but age and pre-existing health conditions meant that its population was firmly in the demographic most vulnerable to Covid-19...

News of the Bakers’ trip reached the wider world when local papers reported that the couple had been fined for breaching lockdown rules. And when the size of the fine – C$2,300 ($1,800) – was compared with the couple’s wealth, the outrage only grew...

Last week, Yukon officials announced the tickets had been stayed and the Bakers were summoned to appear in court, where they will face charges for failing to self-isolate for 14 days and failing to act in a manner consistent with their declarations upon arriving in the Yukon. If convicted, they could face up to six months in jail. 
The rest of the story is at The Guardian


  1. Journalism. So important.
    Now all is needed is the power of the people, to just absolutely stop going to their casino and stop watching any shows she is in.
    We little people forget that them of massive wealth most often depend on us to feed their gross greed, and while we can't perhaps topple them from their eyries overnight, we can rattle their melons (perhaps thats a solely New Zealand saying) by stopping giving them our money.
    Not just one of us, all of us.
    Same applies to Amazon, the company that screws down the remuneration to it's workers and contractors and puts small businesses out of work, if we all simply stop using or buying from Amazon, their income stream dries up, and like a horrible, greedy fat leaf at the top of a tree, that is blocking out sunlight to all the other leaves and the wee fellas on the ground, eventually it will wither and die.
    Or come back under a different guise to fool us.

    1. Excellent idea to stop going to his casinos. The 9700 employees of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation that he was the CEO of and the countless people who work for companies that supply the casinos won't mind being put out of their jobs so that Mr. Baker can be shown the error of his ways. Their sacrifice would be worth it.

      BTW, he resigned as CEO on January 25, so no need to stop going to the casinos. He still has $28 million in stock options, so there is that.

  2. No question of privilege here!

  3. Wow. Just wow. And THIS falls solidly under the category of privelege.


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