4000 Health Care Workers in BC, Canada, Told By Health Minister to “Get a New Job”

On October 26, British Columbia Health Minister, Adrian Dix, told over 4000 unvaccinated health workers to get a new job. They have been terminated.

“throughout the pandemic these individuals risked their lives and were regarded as heroes”

The BC Area article states, While many in the community celebrate the departure of those workers, accusing them of being ‘against science’ or not wanting to get over this pandemic, others have tried to remind us that throughout the pandemic these individuals risked their lives and were regarded as heroes; they risked their livelihoods and careers over making this choice for themselves.

I cannot imagine how people could be celebrating the departure of health workers.

This loss of skill will not only affect nurses in hospitals, but numerous areas of health care.

Here is a breakdown by region as reported in Kelowna Now.

  • British Columbia-wide: 4,090 unvaccinated, 2,626 partially vaccinated
  • Interior Health: 1,369 unvaccinated (7%)
  • Northern Health: 376 unvaccinated (5%)
  • Island Health: 678 unvaccinated (3%)
  • Fraser Health: 644 unvaccinated (2%)
  • Vancouver Coastal Health: 522 unvaccinated (2%)
  • Providence Health: 122 unvaccinated (2%)
  • Provincial Health Services: 496 unvaccinated (2%)

Note that Interior Health is losing around 7% of their healthcare workers. The list does not include the 1,1996 long-term care or acute care workers who were suspended without pay on Oct. 12, as reported by CTV News Vancouver, bringing the total to over 6,000 workers.

A CBC article related that B.C.’s Minister of Jobs and Economic Recovery, Ravi Kahlon, said the B.C. government will invest in the health-care system to mitigate any challenges that arise from workers choosing not to get vaccinated and, ultimately, being let go.

In the same article Troy Clifford, president of the Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC, estimates that up to 200 of 4,500 paramedics in the province risk job loss. 

The ambulance shortage in BC was felt keenly during the summer heat wave as reported by The Globe and Mail in the article, ‘This isn’t a heat wave issue’: B.C. paramedics say there’s a systemic crisis in emergency care.” Here is an excerpt:

At least 719 people died in a week during the heat wave, three times what the BC Coroners Service says would be normal for that period. BC Emergency Health Services did not activate its emergency coordination centre until the day the heat began to subside.

“Our entire pre-hospital system collapsed, and it collapsed with warning that it was going to collapse,” a Greater Vancouver paramedic, who Global News is not identifying to protect his employment, said in an interview Friday.

The paramedic told Global News that one of the major problems first responders have faced for years is the requirement to stay at hospitals with the patients they are transporting until beds or nurses are available.

He said that often results in delays of 30 minutes to several hours, during which they are unavailable to take urgent calls.

“We have eight paramedics at any given time that are held at (Vancouver General Hospital), that are held at Burnaby General, because the nurses are overwhelmed with the amount of patients coming in,” he said.

Back in February of 2021, Vancouver City News reported a paramedic shortage that left 29 ambulances unstaffed on a weekend and increased urgent wait times to one hour and non-emergency calls up to 16 hours. A woman who had fallen on a sidewalk and broken her hip would be considered non-emergency.

Troy Clifford blames failures in recruitment and retention, a situation which hasn’t happened overnight and highlights issues with BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), responsible for running the ambulance service, and Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), the health authority that BCEHS falls under.

Nurses are overwhelmed at hospitals when ambulances arrive because hospitals are short of nurses. I am interested hearing just how the province plans to “mitigate” this exodus of workers. Since it takes 4-5 years to train an R.N., perhaps we can have an increase in nurses in five years. It’s unlikely that we will recruit nurses from other countries and leave them short, but it could happen. Throughout the pandemic our nurses have travelled to the U.S. to work, as they did beforehand. Maybe some of these nurses can be recruited.

And this is not a new problem. It is a “long-standing problem exacerbated by COVID-19,” according to a July 16, 2021 article in The Globe and Mail, entitled, Canadian nurses are leaving in droves, worn down by 16 merciless months on the front lines of COVID-19. Hospital beds have been closed, emergency hours scaled back and operating rooms shuttered. The Ontario government offered $75,000 bonuses to attract experienced out-of-province critical care nurses.

“We’ve seen nurses leave and leave and leave,” said Bernard Mathieu, an emergency physician at Montreal’s Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. “We see new, fresh nurses come in for orientation who decide not to stay because they see the quality of life they’re being offered is terrible.”

The article says that in Manitoba, more than 60 emergency doctors from three hospitals in Winnipeg sent a missive to the province, warning of epic levels of burnout. “Many senior experienced nurses in our EDs have resigned, while many others are planning to leave,” the letter said. “Morale and staffing are at all-time lows. We view the situation as critical, unsustainable and in need of immediate action.”

The reassurance from the Minister of Jobs and Economic Recovery regarding mitigating the problem is anything but reassuring.

If You Think They are Messing With Our Minds…They Are

The Great British Baking Show

I was going to write about how the vaccine mandate is putting Canadian health care in an unprecedented state of crisis, with services being shut down due to staff shortages and the BC Nurses Union president resigning in objection to the mandate. The last date for vaccination, to get full vaccination before the October deadline, passed on September 27 and that is the date one ER in particular had to close. Those vaccinated against covid appear to be living in great fear of getting covid and they are the ones imposing further restrictions, even on themselves. Of course there are exceptions when it comes to big business and big entertainment such as major sports leagues and the movie industry which have avoided significant disruption throughout the pandemic. I drove by a closed gurdwara (Sikh Temple) at the height of the pandemic lockdowns, only to see trailers and tents of a movie set on the parking lot. Gurdwaras are attended daily and also provide food for the needy, when they are allowed to be open.

Evenings we sit quietly at home, vaccinated, but not supporting mandates and special privileges for special groups. And during recent quiet evenings we’ve watched the latest series of The Great British Baking Show, filmed during the pandemic, everyone quarantined, of course, but it still does give pause for thought when you read the credits. Yes, taking advantage of the very activity I criticized. Well, now I have to pay for it, literally.

On my last post I wrote about the CBC’s drop in ratings. The CBC is Canada’s government-sponsored television and radio conglomerate that receives a base of $1.2 billion in funding annually from the Canadian government. Divide that by approximately 35 million citizens–not households–to figure out our compelled subscription rates.

This week as my husband and I came to the second last episode we paused it, to be continued the next day. To understand the popularity of the show on CBC Gem programming, the Toronto Sun reported recently that, “In the week of Sept. 6-12, just three CBC programs showed up in the top 30 shows watched by Canadians – the English language leaders’ debate, Coronation Street and The Great British Baking Show.”

As my husband and I tuned in the next day, we unexpectedly found we couldn’t access the episode we had paused. We couldn’t press ‘resume. We couldn’t even get into the show we watched the night before. Overnight, the two remaining shows, including the one we started watching, had been placed behind a paywall!

A little red flag on the last two episodes read, Try Premium. My husband kept going back and forth between the subscription requirement and the show, thinking there must be some mistake. I was less surprised.

Not only is our government-sponsored news and entertainment source now asking for premium subscriptions, but the CBC was recently also blasted for introducing paid advertising. To add insult to injury, the Trudeau Liberals promised an extra $100 million, annually, to the CBC in this month’s federal election.

Although the CBC is supposed to represent Canadians, it leans strongly to the left in its content, and is not particularly representative, given that the Liberal party, in the last two elections, lost the popular vote to Conservatives. This sheds light on the drop in ratings. Adding a $4.99 premium subscription requirement in the middle of a series, for the final two episodes, won’t help, even if the first month is free. Incidentally, the new age of consent seems to be 13, as that is the required age for a subscription.

P.S. On Oct 12 we discovered the paywall was removed. I suspect the CBC heard about this matter from a few unhappy viewers.

News Commentary – September 28, 2021

I am beginning a little experiment. Every day, like so many other people, I read and hear a lot of news reports. Like not as many others, I try to keep track of these reports. Now I’ve decided to share a commentary, my thoughts on what is happening around me, drawing out a few highlights.

Proverbs 5 warns against committing adultery and you may ask what this has to do with my commentary today. It goes on to say, “For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines your paths.” I believe that the only way out of the predicaments in which we find ourselves today is by taking a good look at how God views our lifestyle.

We are in trouble. I’ve wanted to be positive and say that things aren’t so bad. But they are bad.

I believe the only way out is by paying attention. Pay attention to how we, as individuals, are living our lives. Pay attention to our physical, mental and emotional health. Pay attention to our relationships. Pay attention to our need to provide for ourselves, and our need to stay strong and not give up. To keep walking forward. To stay above water and not drown. Maintain the faith that you can do this, and that, with God’s help, you can do it well.

In my previous article I wrote that writers are needed. You may have a message burning in your heart that we need to hear. You have a unique perspective and a way of saying things that is yours alone. It needs to be added to all the other voices.

I want to share something personal before I dive into my commentary. I edited my ‘About’ page and gave a summary of things which have affected my writing in recent years. I’ve been distracted by what is going on in the world around me. I’ve been busy trying to expose myself to information and to make sense of things. In the process, I have not always been understood. I’ve had the impression that what I was doing was not appreciated by everyone. I believed, and still believe, that the truth will come to light. And I believe I have a responsibility to be faithful in what I feel I am called to do, in the face of opposition.

Since this is a new endeavour, I may be tweaking things as I go along. For now I will just dive in.

The backdrop, to the news I want to discuss, is a book I am reading which came off the press recently, entitled, Willful Blindness, by Sam Cooper. It is a must-read, much more fascinating than a fictional crime thriller. On the back cover Calvin Chrustie, RCMP, summarizes the contents this way, “Canada is a haven for nefarious national security and trans national organized crime networks, and our democracy is at risk.”

The most recent big news in Canada is the release of Meng Wanzhou. Here is the initial CBC article. A Global News article clarifies, “In a statement, Canada’s Department of Justice said that there was “no basis” for proceedings to continue after the U.S. extradition request was dropped.” It adds, “Speaking Friday evening shortly after Meng’s departure, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that both Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were on their way back to Canada after spending over 1,000 days in detention in China.”

For three years we have waited for this issue to be resolved, while the two Michaels languished under trumped up charges, in a prison in China, in what China denies was a related ‘tit for tat’ arrest, although they were arrested on espionage charges days after the Huawei executive’s apprehension. Now China claims that the release of the two men was similarly unrelated to Meng’s release and Chinese officials state the men are out on bail due to health reasons and can be required to return at any time.

In a National Post write-up we read, “In a post on her Wechat account reported by state media, Meng called China her backbone and said her freedom was thanks to a powerful home nation.”

An article by yahoo!finance reflects on the significance of Biden dropping the charges, “The agreement opened U.S. President Joe Biden to criticism from Washington’s China hawks who argue his administration is capitulating to China and one of its top companies at the centre of a global technology rivalry between the two countries.”

The Guardian reports the view of some that “the intended victim, a global bank, knew the truth even as it was allegedly being lied to.”

Meanwhile, the headline in the Georgia Straight, a local Vancouver newspaper, reveals another detail, Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou loved Vancouver and has two homes worth at least $18.2 million.

Meng, as a “prisoner” in Canada was surrounded by security in her home and wore an ankle tracking bracelet, but was free to come and go as she pleased. The Canadian government even brought her family over to visit on one occasion. The Michaels did not have these luxuries and it was reported that the lights were left on 24/7 in their cells.

Yesterday we read this in a Global News article, Canada, China trade barbs at UN General Assembly over 2 Michaels, Meng Wanzhou. I don’t think this is the end of the story.

What do I conclude? I have no conclusions. I only know that the night before the releases I prayed that it was time. Did this have an impact? Maybe.

I think a shout out should go to Canada’s ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, who was responsible for ongoing negotiations that brought about these events.