My home country is Austria, and despite the fact that I have lived half of my life in Valemount, I stayed connected and well informed about happenings over there. The alpine nation has considered vaccine mandates for every adult in the country and has threatened its citizens with fines for not getting vaccinated against COVID. There were mass demonstrations in the big cities almost every weekend for months, the health minister resigned over the matter, and many scandals involving government officials have been revealed lately. Finally they came to the conclusion that it is not necessary, at least for now, to mandate this vaccine. I watched several demonstrations, and was shocked to see an elderly lady, holding a white rose, being dragged away by police, and was glad to hear the mandate was scrapped for now. This issue has caused so much stress for everybody, and people have to unite again. The war between Russia and Ukraine is what everybody is now thinking about – after all, it’s almost on Austria’s doorstep, about 400 km away. A new flood of refugees is arriving, and decisions need to be made, how to best help.

By the way – does our prime minister know, that the pipes for TMX are purchased mostly from Evraz, a Russian Steel Company, whose main share-holder is Roman Abramovich, a dubious oligarch ( read: Death of a Dissident, by Alex Goldfarb, with Marina Litvinenko ).                     

Maria Lerch,