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LETTER – Walsh: Get rid of unethical mass vaccination mandates in B.C.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Image: BC Govt photo)

Dear Min. Dix and Dr. Henry:

Nov. 9, 2021

As a three-term Kamloops City Councillor, I am pleased to see that city administrators have shown some common sense and compassion by backing away from the very harsh Covid-19 vaccination mandate that was originally proposed for our city employees, who were at risk of losing their livelihoods if not vaccinated.

The city is now planning to bring forward an alternative scenario that requires frequent rapid testing for those who are not vaccinated, a far less harmful option, and one which brings even better safety to the workplace in my studied opinion.

I note that this transition to a much more positive outcome was made possible after the Province of British Columbia offered to step up and pay for the frequent rapid testing, for which I heartily congratulate you.

But I must share with you that I am convinced mass vaccination mandates across B.C. are unethical and quite an affront to basic human rights, and even to democracy as we have known it.

The purpose of this letter is to request that you take a second look at the suffering and harm you are putting into place by establishing and encouraging vaccine mandates in various jurisdictions and workplaces right across the province.  It’s a huge and unnecessary tragedy, hurtful to a lot of good citizens — is this really the legacy you want to leave after working so long and hard to try to be seen to be acting with balance during this pandemic?

Dr. Henry, have you forgotten that one basic principle essential to the Hippocratic Oath: “First do no harm”?  How many children and families are about to be seriously harmed with widespread, far-reaching firings over vaccination mandates?

Min. Dix, have you forgotten that BC human rights law directly speaks against political vaccination mandates without a priority consideration for human rights?  The B.C. Human Rights Commissioner has stated that any vaccine mandate must be “necessary due to a lack of less-intrusive alternatives: vaccine policies should be a last resort, relied on only if other methods—- such as social distancing, implementing work from home policies, and wearing masks — are ineffective.”  We now know, of course, that ‘frequent rapid testing’ must be added to that list of options.

I urge you both to dig in a little harder by bringing these less intrusive alternatives into play in critical situations right across our province – until you do, can you really say we are at a place of last resort?

I request that you now step up and show greater balance and have some compassion for thousands of innocent, hardworking people who are to be fired over vaccination mandates, simply by offering them the same frequent rapid-testing alternative that has been given Kamloops.  The precedent has been set, why should this not be offered elsewhere?

As it brings forward its new plan, the City of Kamloops obviously intends to first go with the less intrusive methods spelled out in human rights law according to the Human Rights Commissioner, and I am quite confident we will be able to do this successfully. Why can’t the province do the same?

Quebec, Ontario Drop Vaccine Mandate Rules

The Ontario and Quebec governments – worried about a huge loss of workers in hospitals and health care – have dropped their vaccine mandate rules.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his government won’t require hospital workers to get vaccinated, while most health-care groups believe the shots are necessary. Hospitals could continue allowing workers to be regularly tested for COVID-19 instead.

Continuing to force the 22,000 unvaccinated Quebec health-care workers to get the shots or lose their jobs would have “devastating consequences,” said Health Minister Christian Dube.

Canada Report: Ontario, Quebec drop vaccine mandates for health workers (theledger.com)

Respectfully,

Coun. DENIS WALSH

About Mel Rothenburger (8573 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

8 Comments on LETTER – Walsh: Get rid of unethical mass vaccination mandates in B.C.

  1. With most of us having been exposed to covid and now having naturally-acquired immunity, does it really make sense to mandate vaccines?

  2. The City of Kamloops is doing this undoubtedly to shut him up
    And quoting the Hippocratic oath….what a hypocrite

  3. Sean McGuinness // November 9, 2021 at 2:53 PM // Reply

    With the same logic, I guess the war effort during the second world war was also an infringement on our rights. Food was rationed, extra rules put in place etc. We may also have to make rules to fight climate change, yet another infringement on our rights. The larger point is that the greater good sometimes justifies the means. Vaccine mandates are a case in point.

  4. Jennie Stadnichuk // November 9, 2021 at 2:39 PM // Reply

    OK, I understand what Councillor Walsh is saying. It seems that he has done his research with Human Rights Legislation. What I don’t understand is why is it such an issue for those city workers or others to get immunized? That is other than a small minority that have health issues. I strongly believe we ALL must be immunized as throughout the lives of most of us we have lined up and received “a shot” of something: Starting with when I was in Elementary School: Diptheria, Pertusis, Tetanus, then later Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella. And then Typhoid esp. if travelling in certain countries. Booster shots came later. I believe in vaccine Mandates because when I hire a tradesperson or any other person (ie to do hardworking) I want to feel safe when answering the door and showing them the work that needs doing! Not all of them wear masks. When I eat at a restaurant, I assume the SERVER is immunized, but is she/he?? I want to know, not just assume that we ALL have been RESPON- SIBLE by getting immunized. Even though I support the Canadian Code of Human Rights (correct name?) I also believe that we must ALL take responsibility for not bringing a contagious illness onto our fellow human. Yes, the vaccines are not perfect and we need to get a booster. Mr Walsh quotes the Hippocratic oath: “First do no harm”?yet fails to put himself into the shoes of those of us who have complied with health recommendations. We have been respectful of society by becoming immunized! WHAT IS A LEGITIMATE REASON FOR NOT BEING IMMUNIZED?? (other than those few who have legit health reasons: backed up by a Doctor’s note). And,,, about frequent Rapid Covid Testing? why should those responsible BC/Canadians have to pay for this??

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