Where to find my articles

I have moved my writing over to Substack. My latest two articles are How I was Impacted by the Emergencies Act in Canada and The Long Conversation of the Truckers.

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Go Surfing or Commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

Last year, on the occasion of the inauguration of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was found taking a holiday with his family and enjoying the ocean waves in the West Coast village of Tofino. He wasn’t attending any commemorative events.

It really is difficult to know what to do on this national holiday. Should we follow his example and all go to the beach? Or is this a day of mourning? If that is the case, how much of the day should we spend in mourning? Should we spend an hour from 11:00 a.m. to noon and include a minute of silence? Is it alright to go to the beach afterward? Should we close all beaches to the public?

And that begs the question, what exactly are we commemorating?

I think the simplest explanation is to say we are mourning the children who didn’t come home from the residential schools. They lie buried in graves near the schools. It was not practical to send home their small remains due to the expense of transportation and probably the cost of embalming. If cremation had been done, then that might have changed the entire story because the remains would have been sent home. No, they were given a proper Catholic burial in the vicinity of the schools or churches. Neither the government, nor the schools, nor the families were willing or able to foot the bill to transport them home so now we have unmarked graves. Graves where the original wooden markers have disappeared over the years.

It seems that with this new holiday we will have a day of mourning for aboriginal children in perpetuity.

How many of the children who went to residential schools did not return? Did most of those who died, die of illness? Was the cause of each death investigated? Did any die a violent death? Who was responsible? Did some die as a result of deprivation or other reasons? One thing that has come of this holiday is this article and these questions, but the thought of repeating this every year is troubling. And the thought that efforts at truth and reconciliation haven’t happened in the past is simply not true. News articles bear witness to repeated reconciliation efforts. I think a maudlin preoccupation with abuse is a symptom of our age.

One can look at this from so many angles but first of all we have to admit that the Canadian government, in its wisdom, has for generations mandated that children from six to sixteen attend school, preferably the government-funded public school. Since it was impossible to have schools staffed by teachers in the regions where aboriginal families were scattered, a solution was found. Send the children to residential schools.

For generations parents have coughed up high tuition and boarding fees to send their children to residential schools. We actually call them boarding schools. They are reserved for the elite who can afford them. So separating children from parents is actually not a barbaric practice. But of course, these schools differ substantially from the primitive aboriginal residential schools and not only in terms of luxury. Parents of children in residential schools did not wield any kind of influence in the schools. The real difference between the two is choice. Parents choose to send their children to boarding schools. They are not mandated by the government to do so. Their children are not hauled away by government officials. That is the critical difference.

My immigrant forefathers reached agreements regarding schooling arrangements before arriving on Canadian soil, agreements that were subsequently ignored by the government. Many who would not comply were left with no recourse but to move to another country, and they did so. It was important to raise their children with their own values and without the intrusion of government. Their request to the Canadian government was to have their own teachers and to teach in their own language and this provision was denied.

Now we might say the government, at the time residential schools were implemented for aboriginal children, was being benevolant. Schooling, as well as room and board, were provided at no cost to the parents. But once again, the issue is that the will of the parents was not consulted. It was ignored. There was coercion and forced compliance. The government took it upon itself to replace the parent figure as the one who knows what is best for the children.

We are still up against this today. Parents who protest values they do want to see taught to their children in schools have their objections fall on deaf ears, or worse: they are outright ridiculed. I have witnessed this. Under pressure from special interest activist groups the United Nations mandates ideologies and our governments are compliant, or should we say complicit, in implementing this in a “we know better” approach. These activists carry on international surveillance to gauge compliance.

I am at a loss to know how we ought to behave on this holiday because it is essentially a Canadian holiday meant to point out the failings of our government to consider the wishes and needs of early inhabitants of this grand country. We are commemorating a mistake we don’t want to make again. Yet, in not so small ways, this mistake keeps being made. Government leaders think they know what is best and mess things up. In a few years we might see a Truth and Reconciliation Day for Truckers.

Community “events” are being planned. On Remembrance Day we commemorate sacrifices of honor made for our freedoms. In contrast, I find nothing to celebrate on the Day of Truth and Reconciliation and I’m not sure I want to risk attending these events.

Let’s remember that the Catholic Church is not to blame for being called to do the bidding of the government to educate, feed and house aboriginal children. Individuals who were there, who abused their role, should be held to account and efforts have been made to that effect, but I fear the time has passed now since the perpetrators of alleged abuses are no longer with us.

However, in terms of holding to account, there really is no excuse to continue to allow men with a penchant for young boys to be in positions of access to children within the Catholic Church or in schools.

I don’t want to offer excuses for anyone, but let’s remember that caring for large numbers of children who are away from their parents, around the clock, cannot be an easy task. And anyone who has lived a few decades has seen a tyrannical teacher. My first grade teacher ordered the students in the class who had run around inside during lunch hour to crawl around the circumference of the room, on their hands and knees, and one by one as they came by her, each would receive a strap. I can still hear the wailing and see the tear-stained faces. This was a public school, by the way.

I want to point out something that the media seems to be misrepresenting. There were no mass graves. There was no genocide. Genocide involves intent. Neither the Catholic Church, nor the Canadian government intended to wipe out aboriginal children. The intent was to educate. Some “survivors” have actually given testimony of benefits derived from an education. They would not describe residential schools as institutions of genocide. Yes, there was an abuse of power. But does that call for setting aside a national holiday?

When children died, whether of disease, or loneliness, or abuse, graves were dug for them and wooden markers with names were placed on the graves, according to Catholic tradition. The markers disappeared over the years as the graves were neglected, as I stated earlier. Aboriginal chiefs will tell you the graves are not a surprise. They have known about the graves. If we are talking about a Day for Truth, this should be part of the narrative.

Now we have set aside a day in which every person who settled in Canada, after aboriginals staked a claim here, is to share blame and be shamed for deeds in which they had no part. To me this is taking a very narrow view. I fail to see that anything positive will be accomplished by this holiday, because everyone, guilty or not, is set up to fall short of the required guilt sacrifice.

Canada Has an Open Wound – Let Me Explain a Few Things

There’s been a lot of ruckus in the past days over words that should not have been spoken to Chrystia Freeland during her visit to Alberta, however, no investigation has been made into what might have caused a verbal backlash and the obvious frustration.

I’m not familiar with the people involved and I’m not making excuses for them, but I’ve been watching as the anger and fear in Canada has increased. It is not without reason. The CBC coverage by Christian Paas-Lang of the incident is a clear example of exactly the reasons I am talking about.

The headline states, Chrystia Freeland latest target of public threats, intimidation against women in Canadian politics. The article makes us believe this was about Chyrstia Freeland being a woman and about women, especially black women journalists being targeted. Further, the implication here is that this attack was made by misogynists and racists. Where have we heard those familiar words before? It’s difficult to believe, but this was what Trudeau called people associated with the Freedom Convoy, not so long ago.

Let’s be clear about something. The person targeted was a very specific woman in power in the Canadian liberal government, namely the deputy Prime Minister of Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau has been targeted, frequently, himself, in recent months since he refused to meet with the trucker’s convoy, and refused to enable them to go back to their jobs. Whatever the reason, imagine an entity in power making it impossible for people to earn a living (not to mention the bank accounts he froze). However, calling attention to his race or gender could scarcely be fitting.

There is an open wound in Canada and it will not go away until there is either an apology and about-face from our Prime Minister or a change in government.

Day by day people see more of what they have been seeing for the past few years and it makes them angry. The Prime Minister of Canada is able to get away with name calling and dismissing Canadians who are in pain as a result of his unnecessary and illogical actions. There is an open wound in Canada and it will not go away until there is either an apology and about-face from our Prime Minister, or a change in government.

In Canada Indigo will not display the book on the right in their bookstores. Why not, when they are perfectly fine with the selections on the left?

This week a video aired in Canada of Jordan Peterson interviewing Dr. Leslyn Lewis, one of five candidates running for the leadership of the Conservative Party, Canada’s official opposition party. Lewis shared that when she ran for the party leadership in 2020 the Canadian media ignored her and gave Kamala Harris, an American, 800 times the coverage Lewis received around the same time. Leslyn Lewis is a black woman and also shared that she does not receive media coverage in Canada because the media sees her party as a “white, racist” party. Is there anything to be angry about here?

Trudeau tried to tarnish the truckers by tying them to any sketchy association, even calling repeated attention to the presence of a single Nazi flag within the vicinity of the truckers. It turns out that Chystia Freeland has a family heritage of working for Nazis, as does Klaus Schwab, the leader and founder of the World Economic Forum. I found this information freely available online. To many Canadian the WEF represents a loss of national sovereignty and Chyrstia Freeland is on the board of the WEF. Might that be a reason to be disturbed?

I think we can assume this was not a random attack on a woman, and what we are seeing is not attacks on black journalists, specifically, at all. People in Canada, like the protesters, feel they have lost their representation in the media. The above-mentioned article appears to be a rallying cry for further dismissing and shutting down concerned Canadians by calling on the government to enact stringent legislation throttling free speech. In other words, spelled out more plainly, find a means to silence opposition. More than anything, unhappy people need someone to listen to them. They want to know someone cares. After the truckers convoy Canadians increasingly feel that nobody in Ottawa is willing to listen.

Trudeau’s response to the episode was that this was, “unacceptable and this kind of cowardly behaviour threatens and undermines our democracy and our values of openness and respect.” How can Trudeau speak of values after his unacceptable response to Canadians, as a leader of Canada, name calling and labeling people as racists and misogynists? His contemptuous treatment of the Freedom Convoy is seen by Canadians as exactly the kind of cowardly behavior he is condemning. He needs a reminder that this is still a democracy, meaning people are represented by elected government leaders and actually have a say in what happens in this country. However, we have seen little, if any, representation in the Liberal-NDP coalition government we now have. The MPs are only representing the wishes of our Prime Minister and that is a problem.

The verbal attacks on journalists are not because they are female or women of color or of a minority group. The CBC made two retractions regarding the truckers and still, today,  this government-funded news organization fuels resentment against the Freedom Convoy protesters and any others who might have an inclination to see the Canadian flag as a symbol of freedom.

Yes, Chrystia Freeland represents a direction many in Canada do not want to take. It is no conspiracy theory that she is among the global elites who fly to Davos on their private jets and conspire how to rule the world. Canadians do not want a world health system where all of our medical information is no longer private. We do not want digital ID and a few of the other great proposals these wealthy global leaders are arrogantly presenting. We can see where this is leading. We do not want to lose our sovereignty and freedoms.

The world is reverberating with Schwab’s claim, “You will own nothing and be happy.” Does he really think that we don’t have any questions about who will own what we no longer own? Another gem out of the WEF is that there will be a temporary, painful period of transition but this is simply the cost of progress. In this case we don’t have any question about who will be impacted. I did, however, come up with a question this week. How many farmers did Bill Gates displace with his farmland acquisitions?

If you want to know more of what Canadians are resisting, you can get your Kindle copy of Klaus Schwab’s COVID-19: The Great Reset at Amazon for $7.63. That’s U.S. funds. Closer to $11.00 CDN. Jason Kenney, Premier of our province of Alberta, reported that he received a free copy, courtesy of Klaus Schwab, and so did others in positions of political authority in Canada. However, we ordinary citizens will have to buy our own copy. It’s probably worth it, though, because we need to wake up and determine what kind of action to take. Name calling will not accomplish what we need to see happen in our country, but it does have the effect of drawing attention.

Here is an update on September 16 from the author of The Freedom Convoy.

To Elon Musk: Why Not Buy Bots?

Photo by Alex Knight Pexels.com

The Elon Musk and Twitter saga keeps me entertained these days. From the initial outrage that a billionaire would dare buy a media company (not that this is unusual)…to the threats of lawsuits…to Twitter’s board’s insistence that Musk must indeed buy Twitter now…do you get the sense that somebody knows how to play this game?

Musk has put his purchase of Twitter on hold until he gets accurate information on bots on Twitter. For anyone who doesn’t know what bots are, well, they are “robots” essentially. In other words, not real people. The way I see it, someone might create 20 “fake” accounts, bots in other words, and then spam Twitter. What is the impact and why would anyone do this? The result is that it looks like some people have way more followers than they actually do, and that some ideas are much more popular or disliked than is the actual case. Why would anyone want to do this? You might be able to come up with a few reasons.

I’ve noted that certain more right wing figures, like for instance Tim Pool and Stephen Crowder, reported on their YouTube channel that within days of Elon Musk requesting information from Twitter about bots, they suddenly had a significant increase in Twitter followers, to the tune of tens of thousands. I’m pretty sure Twitter didn’t create more bots to follow them, because that is not what you do when you are trying to sell a business. Investors don’t want to learn there are more bots, maybe not even that there are bots. Is it possible that Twitter suddenly reinstated accounts it had closed? I don’t know. This would offset bot numbers, I would think, making it look like there was a lower percentage of bots. I’m just following a trail of information breadcrumbs as I try to understand this.

Twitter bosses and employees had a literal melt-down when Elon Musk began to pursue the purchase of Twitter and it’s not difficult to figure out why. Twitter has a lot of power. After all, it de-platformed a sitting president of the USA. To be forced to hand over this power to a billionaire, whose political views might not agree with theirs, well…you can imagine. You can also imagine that the decision to boot Trump off Twitter was not made in a Twitter vacuum. A lot of pressure was put on Twitter and other social media to influence the election in favor of Democrats. As this opinion piece says, “Controlling this public square of political debate has been of immense benefit to Democrats, the media, globalists, and the government bureaucracy.”

Here is a sample of what is going on, taken from a May 16 article by the New York Post, entitled, Elon Musk says Twitter claims ‘bot check’ broke NDA

Elon Musk on Saturday tweeted that Twitter’s legal team accused him of violating a nondisclosure agreement by revealing that the sample size for the social media platform’s checks on automated users was just 100 accounts.

“Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!” the Tesla CEO tweeted. “This actually happened.”

Shares of Twitter were down by nearly 10% in pre-market trading on Monday.

Musk Musk on Friday tweeted that his $44-billion cash deal to take the company private was “temporarily on hold” while he awaited data on the proportion of its fake accounts.

He said his team would test “a random sample of 100 followers” on Twitter to identify the bots.

When a user asked Musk to “elaborate on process of filtering bot accounts,” he replied: “I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate.”

I chuckled.

With power potentially shifting it is becoming necessary to shore up media control. CNN found a quote by Tom Wheeler who wrote on Tech Tank at the Brookings Institution where he is a visiting fellow, “The idea that a handful of platforms can continue to make their own behavioral rules even when those decisions harm the public interest is no longer sustainable.”

Until now, the Trump ousters at Twitter have been fairly successful in making decision they consider to be in the “public interest.” But with power slipping out of their hands they are doubling down on efforts to control “misinformation.”

Even Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now obsessed with controlling information, in the style of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Here is another link. Did you know that Ukraine is the first country, according to Wikipedia, to have a Jewish head of state and head of government? I find this interesting because the countries supporting Ukraine against Russia have shown some ambivalence towards Israel, particularly when the American embassy was moved to Jerusalem as recently as 2018, under Trump’s presidency. I know this has nothing to do with bots, but it does have a lot to do with who is influencing who. This one remains a mystery as it doesn’t quite fit the mold, particularly since Ukraine has typically been a Nazi safe haven.

A Yahoo News report states that in addition to shutting down his opposition in parliament, Zelenskyy is “combining all national TV channels, the program content of which consists mainly of information and/or information-analytical programs, [into] a single information platform of strategic communication” to be called “United News.” This is in order to combat Russian misinformation and “tell the truth about the war.”

It amazes me that when the Freedom Convoy of truckers arrived in Ottawa to protest newly implemented vaccine mandates targeting truckers, Prime Minister Trudeau immediately falsely presumed and reported that the Convoy was funded by Russians. He tried to convince Canadians we had an insurrection on our hands, funded by foreigners, and froze the bank accounts of those who donated to truckers who lost their livelihoods as a result of the mandate.

Maybe Trudeau didn’t get the memo that there was no truth to the Russia collusion campaign Hillary Clinton instigated against President Trump. It does make you wonder what will happen if these people muscle their way into information control.

The most recent report on Twitter bots is that bots now represent in the neighbourhood of 20% of Twitter accounts. Oh, dear.

When a Prime Minister Holds His People Hostage

Canadians cannot leave the country by air or rail if we are not vaccinated because we are not allowed on a plane or train. We cannot even take a plane or a train to another province if we are above twelve years old and not vaccinated.

As I write there is a court case in progress in B.C. that will determine the validity of vaccine mandates for Health Care Workers. Our heroes suddenly became villains and this is a most cruel way to treat our caregivers. These were the women, primarily, many of them recent immigrants, who donned layers of protective gear and faced a frightening pandemic with an unknown outcome. The did not cringe. They did not draw back. Yet our government is cringing from them and treating them like lepers.

At least the fact that a court case on behalf of the Health Care Workers is allowed is commendable. However, think of how disturbing it is that it has come to the point where we are surprised we can have our day in court: B.C. court allows case against Henry’s COVID-19 vaccination order to proceed

Everyone is getting covid, vaccinated or not. Vaccinated are dying of covid, as well as unvaccinated. This is not a vaccine, by definition. It is a shot.

Right now if you get covid, you are recommended (not required) to stay home for five days. Meanwhile, my 12 year old grandson who lives across the border will have to isolate for 14 days–even if he tests negative for covid before and during his stay–just because he is crossing a border. Canadian federal regulations. And note that he still can’t get on a plane after his 14 day isolation! So due to all this he will have to miss a family reunion and possibly his last chance to see his great grandmother. Let’s add that he has had covid and recovered, so he is forced to take a vaccine for a disease he already had. This is bordering on criminal.

The benefits of vaccinating children are not proven to be significant while the risk involved with vaccination is real. If it were my choice, I too would not vaccinate children and the primary reason is because it is taboo to mention vaccine injuries. We are being controlled. Compelled speech. Only say the party line, the politically correct thing. How much of our taxes have gone towards vaccine ads? Let’s not even begin to talk about money spent on tracing and testing. One must admit this is a business to keep going, lucrative as it is, especially now that the vaccine is not working and an antiviral treatment is selling fast.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/03/covid-pfizer-pfe-earnings-q1-2022-.html

Does any of this make sense? Meanwhile airports don’t have workers. Why? Federal mandates. My son and his wife missed their flight due to long security check lines and they were by far not the only ones. They had to shell out an extra $700 to reach their destination last month.

Does freezing the bank accounts of people who gave to the truckers make sense? My husband met someone at a Pierre Poilivre leadership rally who had their bank account frozen for one month because they gave a $25 donation to truckers. This is why people are coming to Poilivre’s rallies by the droves wherever he goes. Truckers, in their cabs, were not spreading covid. There was no need for a last minute call to mandate vaccines for truckers. The whole protest could have been avoided if our government had behaved in a reasonable manner. It’s time our Prime Minister stops holding Canadians hostage.

Totalitarianism Disguised as Public Health Measures?

We have all tried to figure out what has been going on in the past two and a half years. On the surface we saw what was hailed as a world-wide pandemic. Countries were initially thrown into confusion as they tried to respond appropriately. Well, that’s not going to happen again. The World Health Organization (WHO) has leaders in place who have a plan to coordinate and control global response in the event of any similar occurrence. This might be seen by some as subverting the sovereignty of nations as they sign over their health care autonomy to the WHO.

In the 2007 IHR report, which can be found on the WHO website, we read, “196 countries across the globe have agreed to implement the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR). This binding instrument of international law entered into force on 15 June 2007.” If you, like me, have wondered how the same message came from so many sources during the pandemic, it wasn’t an accident. It is because of this coordination. The recent news is that an amendment which will be much less accommodating is being worked on by an Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB). If you read the proposed amendment you will see that what will be lost is the need for consultation. This potentially gives more direct control to the WHO and that is the purpose. Representatives from some countries have enthusiastically recommended that sanctions be imposed on nations that do not comply.

Logo of Gavi and COVAX, gavi.org “COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the ACT Accelerator, co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO)”

The WHO is working in close partnership with an organization called The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), created in 2016, with cofounder and funder Bill Gates, in order to fund vaccine development and create global stockpiles. The CEPI is funded by countries using “vaccine bonds” as pledge supports according to wikipedia information, in addition to banks and wealthy financiers. Here you will find a full list of contributors. Notably, Germany and Norway have contributed extraordinary sums.

As stated on their website, the CEPI has an “innovative 2022-2026 plan which seeks to reduce the risk of future epidemic and pandemic threats, including CEPI’s ambition to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days – a third of the time it took to develop the first COVID-19 vaccine.” Dr. Richard Hatchett is president of CEPI. Among his impressive credentials is serving as Associate Director for Radiation Countermeasures and Research and Emergency Preparedness at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under Anthony Fauci from 2005 to 2011. Wikipedia also credits him for coming up with social distancing as a means to prevent the spread of contagious disease but I think this idea is not original with him. One of five recent appointees to the board of CEPI is Dr Anita Zaidi. Her bio says she is the president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Gender Equality Division and also serves as the Foundation’s director of the Vaccine Development, Surveillance, and Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases programs. No doubt there are many distinguished people coordinating the vaccine program.

The CEPI works with key agencies such as the FDA, CDC, NIAID, NIH, as well as pharmaceutical companies. There is an interesting reference in a New York Times article that states CEPI had made a “failed effort to get large pharmaceutical firms to agree to be partners without insisting on substantial profits or proprietary rights to research that CEPI helped to finance and produce.”

The CEPI was formally launched at the 2017 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. An inter-institutional roundtable, referred to as the Joint Coordination Group, helps with coordination efforts.

On the COVAX website we find behind the scenes work required for coordinating a worldwide vaccination effort. There is need for a Country Readiness and Delivery (CRD) “workstream” led by WHO, UNICEF and Gavi. The Research and Development and Manufacturing Investment Committee is a “multidisciplinary group with industry expertise that manages the allocations of funds under the Development and Manufacturing Workstream of COVAX.” From the website we also learn, “The RDMIC is comprised of the CEPI CEO, Gavi CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation President of Global Health, (ex-) industry R&D experts, (ex-) industry manufacturing experts, current active industry (non-vaccine) leaders and senior global public health leaders (including a CEPI Board member, to ensure linkages) and is accountable to the CEPI Board.” The CEPI website states, “RDMIC is a multidisciplinary group providing investment decision recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine projects.”

Vaccine development costs a lot of money and there is also a lot of profit to be made in this industry. The world is clearly in a vulnerable place when a pandemic hits. The question is, who guards against health care becoming more about financial gain and advancement of political agendas than the welfare of our loved ones?

Truth Can Be Misrepresented Rather Easily

This past week our province, British Columbia, announced the dropping of mask mandates, as of Friday, March 11. Masks will still be required in medical facilities.

On Friday my husband suggested we go to a mall to see how people were responding to the lifting of mask mandates. About 65% of the people we saw were not wearing masks. I entered two business with staff who were not wearing masks. Most staff were still wearing masks.

Last year BC briefly dropped the mask mandate but then re-instated it to coincide with a surge in the Delta variant.

During the early months of the pandemic B.C.’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, held back on mandating and encouraging mask wearing. We found comfort in Bonnie Henry’s daily, almost motherly, encouragement and admonition at the beginning of the pandemic as we sat isolated in our homes. It was reassuring to learn she has a background working with pandemics. When her approach differed slightly from that of other provinces we concluded that she was looking at the bigger picture and was in particular concerned about the psychological impact of a pandemic. She knew how important it was for us to remain calm and hopeful. She knew the necessity of health officials being able to maintain the trust of the public. And she knew it was crucial for people to be a support to one another during these trying times.

So much has changed since then. 

Two specific decisions eroded my trust in Dr. Henry. Both exhibited a change in what were once her strongly held beliefs. The first was implementing mask mandates after repeatedly telling us for weeks that masks did not offer significant protection against covid-19. The second was bringing in vaccine passports after saying on May 25, 2021 that “there is no way that we will recommend inequities be increased by the use of things like vaccine passports for services with public access here in British Columbia.” I wrote a letter to her, asking for an explanation, and received no response.

Not everyone is happy with the lifting of mask mandates. This is how the World Socialist Web Site news media and other sites responded to her decision:

“Thursday’s announcement is just the latest in a crush of decisions by provinces from coast-to-coast over the past five weeks that effectively implement the far-right Freedom Convoy’s demand that all anti-COVID public health measures be rescinded and the potentially deadly virus be allowed to run rampant.” (Note “far-right” is an opinion and does not accurately describe the truckers. Note also that the government-funded Canadian Broadcasting Company recently retracted two articles, one with a false claim that the Freedom Convoy had Russian influence and the other claiming that hefty donations to the truckers GoFundMe came from foreign sources. Both false insinuations originated with our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and served as his justification for employing the Emergencies Act against the truckers protest.)

In Burnaby Now you can read a similar opinion article that voices the fear that Henry is not “following the science” by lifting mask mandates.

The trouble is that we don’t know where to find the truth about the science anymore. It may not be so far-fetched to think that our governments and health officials are actually following opinion polls and have been doing so for some time.

Another question I have concerns the science. Is the science being communicated faithfully? This week I read an article referencing five instances of wrong conclusions being reported in “the science.” What led me to the article was my own observation when I decided to look for scientific research and scholarly reporting on the efficacy of masks.

I first went to the Mayo Clinic website where I found a recommendation that a cloth mask have multiple layers and is tightfitting in order to prevent “droplets” from escaping. Initially we were told that the virus was spread by droplets but a few months later scientists informed us that the virus was in fact spread by aerosol particles. This changed the whole mask-wearing paradigm since evaporated respiratory particles can get through a porous surface. Note, if we want to inhale air, we will have to use a mask with a porous surface.

On the Mayo Clinic website I read, “Can face masks help slow the spread of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Yes. Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

My search for data on the protectiveness of masks alone against the spread of the coronavirus was unsuccessful. I found a lot of discussion on comparisons between masks. I found studies done in labs, but no assurance that lab results translated to effective protection by masks worn by the general public. In fact there was evidence to the contrary.

I went to the CDC website where I read, “Masking is a critical public health tool for preventing spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask.

OK, that is like saying, “any condom is better than no condom.” Would you say a leaky condom is a “critical public health tool” in the prevention of transmissible disease? Because masks are “leaky.” There is scientific evidence for that. Hence the insistence on “layers” and “tight fitting.”

But how many layers of a “leaky” mask are enough? The Mayo Clinic website also says, “Don’t add layers if they make it hard to breathe.” So, added layers can make it hard to breathe and when a child says, “I can’t breathe,” we should listen. I have low blood pressure and a low oxygen level and sometimes I find I am just not getting enough air with a mask. But that is another issue.

The CDC advises us to “Wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.” And it further states, “Wearing a well-fitted mask along with vaccination, self-testing, and physical distancing, helps protect you and others by reducing the chance of spreading COVID-19.”

Wherever we read of the effectiveness of masks, note that it is always mentioned in conjunction with other protective measures. That is because, masks, on their own, are not sufficient protection. It has never been proven that masks are effective to prevent infection. Every reference to masks has a qualifier such as “tightly fitting”or a comparison of the fabric or weave or construction (N95 KN95 medical masks). One of the most troubling pieces of guidance offered is for people with hearing disabilities to wear a “clear mask.” We’ve always been warned not to put plastic over our heads. This is the same, unless there are breathable parts of the mask where air can enter. But do they not get the point that it is not the hearing challenged person who needs to wear a clear mask? They need to lip read others and they cannot do this if other people are wearing masks.

The CDC website goes on to say, “Masks and respirators are effective at reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when worn consistently and correctly.” Medical staff have to be trained to put on their masks, and they have masks that are rated for higher protectiveness. Masks prevent droplets from escaping, so, in the case of surgery, I would want my surgeon to wear a high quality mask.

I looked at an article referenced on the CDC site entitled, An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19. The authors claim to have synthesized the relevant information and conclude that “The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected respiratory particles in both laboratory and clinical contexts.” Preponderance of evidence in a court of law means that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true. Another research article referenced on the site states this result: A total of 3030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear masks, and 2994 were assigned to control; 4862 completed the study. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%).

Another article listed on the CDC site concerning masks states, There is moderate certainty evidence that wearing a mask probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory-confirmed influenza compared to not wearing a mask (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.26; 6 trials; 3005 participants). This is the “preponderous” evidence we have. It makes little or no difference. The “little” might tip us above the 50% threshold of evidence of truth.

Here is something more of interest I discovered. “While laboratory tests generally suggest that N95 masks are superior in performance to surgical masks, population studies in healthcare workers have not documented significant differences. This discrepancy may be due to the lack of proper fit when using N95s. Conversely, cloth masks generally perform poorly compared to N95 and surgical masks in laboratory tests. However, in part because of the global PPE shortage, cloth masks have become the most commonly used PPE by the general public. Despite their shortcomings, community-based research has demonstrated the efficacy of cloth masks in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.”

Do you want to hear about the community-based research on which mask wearing has been based? Here it is, from the same article:

As of July 2020, the CDC recommended that all Americans wear masks in public settings [20]. This recommendation was made, at least in part, due to a report from a hair salon in Missouri that demonstrated the efficacy of wearing masks [21]. In May 2020, two hairstylists in Springfield, Missouri received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 and were exposed to 139 clients in total since the onset of their symptoms [21]. Both stylists, as well as all 139 clients, wore some kind of facial covering while in the salon, with the stylists wearing either a double-layered cotton face covering or a surgical mask. Despite their proximity to the infected stylists, for appointments ranging from 15 to 45 min in duration, it was found that none of the 139 clients developed COVID-19 symptoms within the two-week quarantine period. Furthermore, of the 67 clients tested, all results were negative. Interestingly, the type of face mask worn by the 139 clients varied, with only two clients wearing N95 masks, 46% wearing surgical masks and 47% wearing cloth masks [21]. Although anecdotal, this incident suggests that consistent and proper usage of facial coverings can help minimize symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during close contact, as at a hair salon. In fact, it appears that COVID-19 transmission rates are generally lower in countries and regions where citizens are accustomed or required to adopt universal masking, such as many parts of Asia [22,23]. Simulations and mathematical models have also predicted that the adoption of universal masking would substantially curtail the spread of COVID-19 [24].

Yes, it is as a result of an anecdotal survey done by two hairstylists and because it “appears” that COVID-19 transmission rates are lower in regions like Asia…. This is the science behind mask wearing. Then, again, the article says, “Although there is a lack of published work evaluating the efficacy of universal masking by healthcare workers to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2, the continuous use of masks by healthcare workers in clinical settings is widely supported.”

We wear masks because the continuous use of masks is “widely supported.”

It is important to take careful note of wording when you read anything. It is, after all, the truth we want, is it not? And, as I have discovered, truth can be misrepresented rather easily. There is sufficient evidence for that.