The threat of COVID-19 has passed. But the threat of COVID-19 policy remains for the thousands of healthcare workers terminated as a result of their decision to refuse the COVID-19 genetic vaccines. And the threat of COVID-19 policy also remains for all British Columbians who wish to preserve our essential right to informed consent, and our essential freedom to refuse both unwanted medical interventions and non-consensual experimentation. To be perfectly clear, COVID-19 restrictions are not over in BC—not by a long-shot. On the contrary, the temporary restrictions brought in ostensibly to deal with COVID-19 are now formalized. In other words, these emergency measures, which flagrantly violated the rights and freedoms of British Columbians, have been written into BC law on a permanent basis.
Unvaccinated BC Healthcare workers have been stripped of their right to employment since October 2021. Hailed as heroes the year before, thousands of vitally important healthcare professionals have been fired, with nearly half of these in the Interior and Northern Health regions. Rural hospitals throughout BC are unable to operate their emergency departments due to staffing shortages. And just as the province is experiencing a healthcare crisis—fuelled by this staffing shortage—continuing COVID-19 restrictions are forcing highly trained and experienced health care workers to leave BC for work in other provinces or take early retirement
BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued a series of catastrophically harmful and apparently unlawful public health orders. The most recent of these, released on April 6, 2023, mandates COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment for healthcare workers and as a condition of enrollment in training for healthcare professions. When rights restrictions are imposed upon a population in the context of a public emergency, there is a legal requirement that the restrictions be necessary, legitimate, proportionate, and temporary. To begin with, this public health order is utterly unjustified, because there is no COVID-19 emergency in BC. Even worse—showing a blatant disregard for the law—this particular order is not only unnecessary, illegitimate, and disproportionate, but it has no termination date.
When we examine this order, we see that the Public Health Officer has formally terminated all of BC’s unvaccinated healthcare workers, even those who practice alternative medicines such as acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy and chiropractic medicine, to list a few. There is essentially no recourse for these healthcare professionals and support workers. Stripped of income, not eligible for unemployment insurance, and not eligible for legal aid, our terminated healthcare workers have no means to effectively challenge the lawfulness of this order.
The order, Issued by Bonnie Henry on April 6, 2023, should be terminated immediately. Furthermore, those deprived of employment by the order should be reinstated and receive fair compensation for loss of income and other consequential damages. There is no justification whatsoever for a vaccination, or a vaccination status requirement for healthcare workers. Even the World Health Organization has announced, on May 5, 2023, that COVID-19 no longer constitutes a pandemic. Public health orders that coerce individuals to accept a medical treatment not voluntarily chosen can arguably never be considered lawful, even in a state of public health emergency. Orders, such as that of April 6, 2023, that use the coercion of job loss to compel involuntary submission to injection with a pharmaceutical product that is either ineffective, unsafe or properly considered experimental, are always unlawful and prohibited by both Canadian and international law during normal and emergency times.
In addition to blatant disregard for the law, the public health order of April 6 ignores established scientific facts. The order fails to acknowledge that COVID-19 genetic vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission of disease. The last date that the BC Centre for Disease Control released data linking COVID-19 vaccine status to hospitalizations and deaths was on June 23, 2022. During the period of January 2 to June 18, 2022, some 74% of British Columbians who were hospitalized and 81% of those who died with COVID-19 were double or triple vaccinated.
The April 6 order completely ignores the proven effectiveness of natural immunity. This is indefensible. One would expect levels of natural immunity to be very high in these healthcare workers in view of their increased exposure to COVID-19 patients during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The vast majority of people in BC have now acquired both natural and vaccine-induced immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Unvaccinated health care workers simply do not pose a greater risk to patients than their vaccinated colleagues.
The April 6 public health order also ignores mounting evidence available in government vaccine injury reporting systems such as VAERS in the US, EudraVigilence in Europe and the World Health Organization’s VigiAccess databases. These databases show more vaccine injuries, hospitalizations, and deaths from the COVID-19 genetic vaccines than from the 80 other vaccines combined over the past 30 years. The risks of these injuries has been well documented to be unacceptably high for a vaccine given to healthy adults. For example, published data from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows a risk for symptomatic myocarditis or perimyocarditis in about 1 in 1900 males aged 18 to 29 years after the second inoculation with the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. Mandating COVID-19 vaccination puts the health of healthcare providers at risk, and endangers the health of all people in our province.
The April 6 order also prohibits unvaccinated and non-disclosing students, faculty, and staff, in post secondary institutions, from any work in healthcare settings. The order thereby prevents unvaccinated students from completing training in the health care professions and other occupations. This is particularly egregious given that there is no factual basis for assuming that unvaccinated students pose any COVID-19-related risk to those in health care facilities. Furthermore, by barring admission to healthcare premises, this order also effectively prevents unvaccinated and non-disclosing staff and faculty from remaining employed.
The April 6 order bans already certified and desperately needed health care workers from employment. It thereby further reduces timely access to competent health care in BC even as patients suffer life-threatening health care delays because of short staffing. And for those who are not yet aware, BC is indeed facing a health care crisis. More than 35 emergency room physicians in Surrey have warned BC authorities that patients are going without timely care and even dying due to a shortage of staff, acute care beds and adequate hospital accommodation.
With the second worst wait times for cancer patients in all of Canada, BC’s provincial government has announced that starting May 29, 2023, the province will pay to send patients currently awaiting radiation therapy in BC to the US for treatment. The financial costs for this program will be enormous. Additionally, it will place increased stress upon patients with an attendant decrease in positive outcomes. At the same time, patients unable to travel for treatment will be faced with increased risk of death due to further treatment delay. In a particularly sad twist of irony—considering both the terrible cost of cross border radiation treatment and the groundless prohibition of employment for unvaccinated healthcare workers in BC—vaccination is no longer required for healthcare workers in Washington state!
By limiting the pool of trained health care workers allowed to serve the critical needs of cancer patients—even as BC cancer treatment centres are being plagued by staff burnout—the April 6 order compounds the problems that BC’s healthcare system is facing. It requires no great flight of the imagination to see that this public health order will inevitably lead to enormous harm for the people of British Columbia—particularly those in need of urgent care.
Apart from Nova Scotia and BC, none of the other provinces require mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare workers at this time. In contrast to BC, public health authorities in many other countries, including Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, no longer even recommend COVID-19 vaccinations for healthy adults and children. It is time for the BC Ministry of Health to acknowledge what has become plainly obvious to health authorities elsewhere—COVID-19 is no longer considered a threat, and the harms of these genetic vaccines outweigh their benefits. Healthcare workers should not be coerced into submitting to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination their training and experience does not support.
“The April 6, 2023 Public Health Order must be terminated immediately. Our healthcare workers must be reinstated with compensation. Unlawful orders, such as this, must never again be imposed upon the people of British Columbia. Those responsible must be held accountable.”
The April 6, 2023 Public Health Order must be terminated immediately. Our healthcare workers must be reinstated with compensation. Unlawful orders, such as this, must never again be imposed upon the people of British Columbia. Those responsible must be held accountable.
GD, MC, SP