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Delta Hospice Society envisions new private MAiD-free facility

“No government money, no government land, no government interference, and most importantly – no government forced killings!” read the society’s statement on its new plans.




The Delta Hospice Society is trying to build anew less than four months after losing their ten-bed hospice due to a B.C. provincial directive that required medical assistance in dying (MAiD) to be offered onsite.

“No government money, no government land, no government interference, and most importantly – no government forced killings!” read the society’s statement on its new plans.

Society president Angelina Ireland told the Western Standard there is both great demand and need for the “sanctuary” they want to build.

“It would be a place where there would be no euthanasia allowed. No one would speak about euthanasia and people could come there from all over…to die in peace. We’d give them a proper palliative care experience as an authentic one. And they would be taken care of until their last breath,” Ireland said.

“We’ve spoken to people all over…People are very, very frightened. And so we think we’d better move forward and create a ‘safe space’ as the left just likes to call it, a safe space for the dying… because so many times you’re being harassed, coerced, pressured into accepting MAiD. So we want a place where people can go and never have to deal with that.”

The society made national headlines as its hospice would not offer MAiD onsite, though it would allow patients who chose death to have it administered a nearby hospital. The hospice building and operations were privately owned and operated but were built on government land. The Fraser Health Authority refused to renew the contract with the province to run the hospice, then unilaterally cancelled a 35-year land lease.

The hospice and accompanying supportive care centre, built with $8.5 million of private funds ten years ago, was closed March 29. On April 15, the health authority re-opened the hospice as a government-owned and run institution that would offer MAiD onsite.

Euthanasia advocates who oppose the society’s mandate attempted court action to disallow an online annual general meeting (AGM) and force one in person. However, on July 13, a judge ruled the membership could have a special online meeting to ask society members if they want a virtual/electronic AGM. If approved, the AGM is expected for September.

Ireland said they contemplated a legal challenge of their former facility’s seizure, but were advised that a legal fight would cost $70,000 and fighting again after a likely appeal would probably cost another $70,000. The board decided instead to put time and money towards a new hospice while they continue to operate a thrift store and programs.

The board also has a vision to have a national movement towards hospices of this kind called “Hospice Sanctuary.” Their new website www.hospicesanctuary.org lays out the new vision and its membership drive.

“We want people to call us and tell us their stories, tell us about the pressure that they feel or have been subjected to around MAiD,” Ireland said. “We need to call for perhaps a provincial or national inquiry as to what the hell is going on out there with elderly people, with sick people.”

Ireland believes MAiD is a cost-cutting measure for the government since euthanasia costs $400 to administer, but palliative care costs $700 to $1200 every day.

“Everyone wants to romanticize – oh they’re having a wonderful calm death. Nobody actually knows the medication or the drugs that are involved in euthanasia. It’s the same drugs they use on death row…that paralyzes people, and then basically drowns them, right? Their lungs fill up with liquid and they die,” Ireland said.

“But the reality is a very ugly and almost sinister place that this country has gone to, a rich nation, a nation of compassion that wants to take care of its people. And all we’ve done is just facilitated death.”

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan


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Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.




The Alberta government’s new vaccine mandates for businesses, entities and events are in effect.

Each organization must follow one of two options: implement the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) requiring proof of vaccination or negative test result, plus mandatory masking, to continue operating as usual, or comply with all public health restrictions as outlined in Order 42-2021.

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.

The REP allows operators to avoid the majority of public health restrictions with the implementation of a proof of vaccination program, although vaccine requirements for staff are at the employer’s discretion. Face mask mandates are still required in all indoor spaces.

The program doesn’t apply to those under 12 years of age and businesses that need to be accessed by the public for daily living purposes, including all retail locations. As well, employees, contractors, repair or delivery workers, volunteers or inspectors will be permitted access to spaces without requiring a vaccine passport.

To enter spaces participating in the REP, adults need to provide valid photo identification that matches their paper or digital vaccine record showing name, vaccine type and date of administration. From now until October 25, proof of partial vaccination (one dose) will suffice, however after that date, proof of full vaccination (two doses) will be required. Those under 12 will only need to show vaccination paperwork.

Indoor entertainment, event and recreation facilities that don’t implement the REP will be limited to one-third capacity of their fire code occupancy and attendees must be in household cohorts or with up to two close contacts if they live alone.

Outdoor events and facilities have no capacity restrictions, but attendees must maintain a two-metre distancing between households.  

Restaurants that don’t follow the REP cannot offer indoor dining, and outdoor dining will be limited to six people per table from one household, and liquor sales will have to end by 10 p.m. with consumption cut off by 11 p.m.

Retail, shopping malls and food courts aren’t eligible for the REP, therefore will be reduced to one-third capacity of fire code occupancy and are required to stop all in-person dining, switching to take out only.

Indoor private social gatherings will be permitted for those that are vaccinated to a maximum of two households up to 10 (vaccine eligible) vaccinated people. There are no restrictions for children under 12. For those who are unvaccinated, indoor social gatherings are not permitted.

Private outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 200 people who are socially distanced.  

Churches will be limited to one-third of fire code capacity and masks and social distancing are still mandatory in places of worship.

Employees are mandated to work from home unless their physical presence is required for their duties.

Proof of vaccination will not be required to enter a polling place for Monday’s federal election although physical distancing, masking and other transmission reducing measures will be in place.

For more information on the Restriction Exemption Program, click here.   

Risdon is a reporter at the Western Standard

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Hockey arena backs down on banning unvaccinated kids

Within hours of the Western Standard posting the exclusive story, Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy.




Public pressure has brought minor hockey out of the penalty box in Cochrane.

Following an exclusive story by the Western Standard on Saturday, along with mounting pressure from the community, a Cochrane sports facility has revamped its vaccine passport policy.  

The Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) and Hockey Alberta were not mandating a vaccine passport system, but Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) announced it would be requiring proof of vaccine status for anyone 12 and up.

Within hours of the story being posted, CMHS President Cory Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy with this statement: “Youth between the ages of 12 (vaccine eligible) to 18 years of age are exempt from the REP vaccination requirement to enter the facility for the purpose of participating in a youth organized sport organization. Examples include (but not limited to) Cochrane Minor Hockey, Ringette, Cochrane Minor Soccer, Lacrosse, Cochrane Figure Skating Club, Comets, Junior Lifeguard Club, etc.”

Although youth may access the facility without being vaccinated, all adult spectators, coaches, volunteers and organizers of any youth activity “must show proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test, or medical exemption to gain entry to SLSFSC premises.”

“Although this helps our kids get on the ice in Cochrane, it’s still an issue at lots of other facilities, especially in larger facilities in Calgary and Airdrie,” Oaten said.

Oaten, who works in the insurance industry, points out the “huge liability issue” this poses to his and other sports organizations.

“Originally, Spray Lakes pushed us to collect this medical documentation from our members,” he said.

The CMHA board consists of 18 volunteer members.

“They can’t put those expectations on a board of volunteers. It’s a big legal issue for us,” Oaten said, adding he and his board refuse to take responsibility for requiring proof of vaccine or the collection of their members’ private medical information.

Oaten was informed the SLSFSC will now have its own security checkpoints set up in the facility and will take responsibility for checking the vaccine status of anyone 18-plus entering the building.

Oaten anticipates families will still pull their kids from hockey and other sports programs as those who remain unvaccinated will not be permitted in the facility to accompany their child.

Hockey Alberta stated on their Facebook page they are working with the Alberta government on how last Wednesday’s announcement will affect hockey for Alberta players. Oaten has asked his members to hold off on making a decision to pull their child from the program until Hockey Alberta comes forward with their updated season plan.

The Western Standard reached out to the SLSFSC for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard

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