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Freedom arrives across the West, yet masks remain

The Western Standard solicited feedback from citizens free from lockdowns for the first time in 16 months. In Victoria, IBM employee Daniel Kersey says most faces remain shrouded.




BC and Alberta lifted pandemic restrictions July 1 and Saskatchewan followed July 11, yet many in the two provinces are still wearing masks.

The Western Standard solicited feedback from citizens free from lockdowns for the first time in 16 months. In Victoria, IBM employee Daniel Kersey says most faces remain shrouded.

“Most places I have been to have signs that say it’s recommended to wear a mask while shopping. Other small businesses ask that everyone still wear a mask and then others have taken down the mask sign altogether. BC Transit and other public transportation are still requiring masks,” Kersey said.

“Most behind-the-counter workers still wear masks. I’ll see maybe two to four people in a store of fifty to eighty not wearing one. Not too many walking around outdoors with masks on anymore.”

Mariola Holst reported the same from Vancouver.

“Home Depot, Costco, Rona in Vancouver full of masked people, including all the staff. I wanted to scream!” Holst said.

Others in the greater Vancouver area had similar observations, including 79-year-old Esther Lindberg.

“Too many are still wearing masks in Langley, some out of fear of what others will do to them if they take it off. I’m again free to ride buses, shop, and enter my building without one. Free to breathe at last!” she said.

In Burnaby, Pascal Therien said three-quarters of people at her gym still wear masks, “most of them fully vaccinated. I can see plenty wearing it outside and in their car. Tons of fears still, I would assume. (mainstream media) is doing a great job.”

Laura Gebbinck says people are playing it safe where she lives also.

“Chilliwack is still wearing masks at banks, malls, grocery and drug stores so far. I have seen only a couple of tellers without a mask. Arrows still on the floor at grocery, dots on floor removed at credit union, but only two employees without masks.”

Others, including some in the Okanagan Valley, have fully embraced their freedom.

“Love it! Can breathe and inhale fresh air and see people’s faces again! More and more are no longer wearing masks except for salespeople and cashiers etc,” said Karen Cowling in West Kelowna.

“Here in Kelowna – K-Town – people are out and about and set free. It is freedom, freedom, freedom at last!” said Danny Richardson.

The vibe hasn’t changed much in Calgary, according to D.A. Kulscar.

“Still feels like pandemic and in some ways worse thanks to the Calgary Stampede forcing people to show proof of vaccines or take a rapid Covid test in order to enter Nashville North tent on the Stampede grounds,” Kulscar said.

Alberta’s capital presents differently than the towns around it.

“Everything is back to normal in Edmonton, even the traffic. Still about 75% to 80% of people wearing masks,” said Jason O’ Brien.

“In Sherwood Park and the outer communities, far less people are wearing masks. In church hardly anyone is wearing masks in my town,” reports Wendy Statters.

Scott Broad says the new normal looks like the old in Spruce Grove. “My life is pretty much normal, has been for months. Was at grocery store this morning, saw one person with a mask. Had breakfast in a full restaurant.”

Masks cause some tensions in both provinces. In Langford, B.C., Sandra Millington said at grocery and clothing stores, “80% [are] still masked, [and there’s] public scorn at those who are free.” 

In Alberta, Angela Thompson dislikes covered faces.

“People still wearing masks in Lethbridge. They have become a badge of dishonor. Hoping they will snap out of this malaise,” Thompson said.

Before the 11th, Jennifer King said, “Lloydminster is all over the place. Places that fall under Sask. health still wear masks and places that fall under Alberta health don’t. Tons of people wear masks in their cars,” she laughs. 

“I haven’t been wearing a mask for the last four months.”

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan.

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  1. Mars Hill

    July 14, 2021 at 1:28 am

    Woke and compromised (and worse) companies keeping masks on their employees and sheeple wanting to keep their ‘virtue’ – that would cover 95% of it. When the hammer comes down there will be no sympathy in this part of town, no shaming either, just moving on.

  2. Left Coast

    July 13, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Where do these people get their information? Do they just make it up ?

    There must be a Dozen Studies out there today, the last being MIT, & Stanford U just before that . . . examining the “Mask” issue. Both these studies concluded that Masks were useless, as did the Danish Study and many more.

    When you are dealing with a Virus that is 1000 Xs smaller than the holes in the Best N95 surgical mask . . . what is complicated for these fools? They are obviously followers who just want to conform.

    And on the Vaccine File . . .

    The number of deaths linked to vaccines this year has absolutely skyrocketed. According to the CDC’s own data, in 2021 n the first 3 months, the VAERS website recorded over 1,750 deaths due to vaccines in the US.

    Last week they were reporting 6,985 deaths, and this week that number jumped up 2,043 to 9,048.

    That number is now at 9,195

    “The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database contains information on unverified reports of adverse events (illnesses, health problems and/or symptoms) following immunization with US-licensed vaccines. Reports are accepted from anyone and can be submitted electronically at http://www.vaers.hhs.gov.”

    There have been 411,931 adverse reactions reported to the vaccine.

    Also, last week there were 1,505 COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

    That means there were more Covid vaccine deaths in the United States last week than Covid deaths in the United States last week.


  3. Andrew A

    July 13, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Let them wear masks. I’m OK so long as I’m not required to wear one. Masks should never have been mandatory.

  4. K

    July 13, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    At least it’s easy to discern those with full-blown mental illnesses and brainwashed communists now. 60/40 masked/unmasked in Calgary downtown Superstore based on my own observations this weekend.

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BC healthcare worker says she’s still suffering adverse effects six months after COVID shot

The 39-year-old youth crisis worker is told she must get her second dose, despite having suffered adverse effects.




Dawn Slykhuis, a 39-year-old youth crisis worker has been told she must get her second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, despite still experiencing adverse effects following dose number one.

Slykhuis, who tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020, got her first shot in April 2021.

“I waited a full six months to make sure that I wasn’t going to have a reaction,” Slykhuis told the Western Standard.

“I got the dose on April 28, and then on May 18 I experienced acute sharp pain in my head, like someone was shooting lasers through my brain.”

Slykhuis said the pain lasted for about a week before settling into a more chronic dull pain, and so — fearing the possibility of cancer — she sought medical attention amid an unrelenting series of bad headaches coincided with a sporadically spiked heart rate.

“They expected nerve damage,” said Slykhuis, who began losing feeling in her left arm.

“It got so tingly yesterday I had to go for a CT. I’m waiting to see a neurologist on November 8.”

Dr. Steven Pelech, president and chief scientific officer at Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation, and chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee at the Canadian Covid Care Alliance, has been voicing concern over potential health risks COVID-19 vaccines may impose — specifically myocarditis.

“Contrary to what a number of people have said, there is no such thing as ‘mild myocarditis,’” Pelech told the Western Standard in an August interview.

“It’s the destruction of the myocytes, the heart cells that contract. When those cells die, they are not replaced in your body and are instead replaced by scar-tissue, which is from fibroblasts — skin cells which don’t have contractile activity, so the remaining muscle cells have to get a little bigger in order to compensate.”

Dr. Charles Hoffe, a physician who practiced in Lytton, BC for over 20 years raised similar concerns to that of Pelech, and he reported patients suffering severe adverse neurological and cardiovascular effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is now clearly apparent with medical evidence from around the world, that the side-effect profiles of the various gene modification therapies against COVID-19, have been vastly understated by their manufacturers, who were eager to prove their safety,” wrote Hoffe in an open letter to BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Interior Health Authority (IHA) suspended Hoffe’s emergency room privileges and he is currently being investigated by IHA and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPBC) for promoting “vaccine hesitancy.”

Hoffe is represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).

Several European countries suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for people under the age of 30, citing heart inflammation as well as inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart.

Iceland has halted the Moderna vaccine for all ages.

“I am a healthy 39-year-old that’s never had nerve damage and all of a sudden I have chronic head pain, nerve damage, and I’m experiencing cognitive deficits as well, which is really hard to talk about because now I want to cry,” said Slykhuis.

“I’m like an old lady seeing my brain slip away. Making errors, dropping things. It’s pretty scary, well, it’s terrifying… to be experiencing these symptoms and still be forced to get another dose to keep my job in healthcare.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard

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It’s down to the wire for AHS employees as deadline looms for vaccine mandates

Although the statement from AHS says their COVID-19 vaccine policy is mandatory any “employee who is unable to be immunized due to a medical reason or for another protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act will be reasonably accommodated.”




Tomorrow is deadline day for AHS workers.

The deadline of October 31 for Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) vaccine mandate is just over two weeks away when all employees and contracted healthcare providers will have to be fully immunized.

The AHS policy was released on August 31 and stated, “the latest an employee could receive their second dose to be in compliance with the new policy is October 16, 2021, which allows for the two weeks that must pass to be considered fully immunized.”

The Western Standard has heard from a number of lawyers representing thousands of clients on many fronts who are looking for legal support in pushing back against these workplace and post-secondary institution vaccine mandates.

One of those lawyers, Jeffrey Rath, of Rath & Company, was recently retained by MyAPSChoice, a group consisting of over 4,000 public service and government employees.

Based on a number of legal claims including violations of constitutional rights and freedoms, employment laws, human rights laws and breaches to the Freedom of Information Act, Rath has been advising his clients to not cooperate with the mandates.

Rath has also released a “generalized open letter” for anyone to use in any workplace or post-secondary institution where a worker or student is facing a mandate to be vaccinated “against their will.”

The letter states: “It is my legal opinion that any policy that vitiates the consent of an employee (including staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and other persons acting on their behalf) by threatening to either terminate or suspend them in order to coerce the employee into being vaccinated is a violation of Canadian Law.”

The letter goes on to cite laws protecting one’s medical privacy and highlights courses of action available including exemptions.

Rath also advises that people do not reply electronically or provide their consent for access to their private medical information and that demands for proof of vaccination be responded to in writing via regular or registered mail.

Page six of the document includes a legal letter that can be used by anyone wishing to claim a legal exemption based on “the illegality of the policy under section 7 of the Charter (of rights and freedoms).”

“This is my generalized legal opinion without reference to any one individual personal circumstance,” said Rath advising that people are welcome to email him if they have more specific circumstances that may require legal assistance or if they are interested in registering as a class-action litigant.

Although the statement from AHS says their COVID-19 vaccine policy is mandatory any “employee who is unable to be immunized due to a medical reason or for another protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act will be reasonably accommodated.”

“This is an extraordinary but necessary measure to help protect our vital frontline healthcare teams and help us maintain a safe environment for all patients and clients” said Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO of Alberta Health Services.

An AHS official told the Western Standard that “AHS employee requests for accommodation will be reviewed by an Accommodations Adjudication Panel” which includes members from Human Resources, Employee Relations, WHS, Ability Management, and Organizational Ethics.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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WS EXCLUSIVE POLL: Vast majority of Albertans will vote in Senate election




Near seven out of every 10 Albertans are prepared to mark their ballots in the provincial Senate elections on Monday, according to a new poll done exclusively for the Western Standard.

The Mainstreet Research polls show 67% of Albertans said they would vote in the race to elect three senators-in-waiting.

Courtesy Mainstreet Research

Only 16% of Albertans said they would not participate in the election while another 17% were still not sure whether they would vote at all.

The polling shows a Conservative slate of candidates are currently in the lead, garnering the support of 30% of those surveyed.

Independent candidates are sitting at 17%, People’s Party of Canada candidates at 13% and 28% are still making up their minds.

A total of 12% said they would vote for a combination of candidates.

For those who intend to vote for the UCP in the next election, 75% said they would be voting for the Conservative candidates. For NDP supporters, 37% said they would vote for Independent candidates.

Courtesy Mainstreet research

PPC candidates were the favorite choice of 43% of those aiming to vote for the Wildrose Independence Party.

Mainstreet President and CEO Quito Maggi said while he “expects a slate of Conservatives to be elected” he “was surprised at the number of people who were going to select a mix.”

A full list of the candidates can be found on the Elections Alberta website here.

The analysis in this report is based on results of a survey conducted on October 12-13, 2021, among a sample of 935 adults, 18 years of age or older living in Alberta. The survey was conducted using automated telephone interviews (Smart IVR). Respondents were interviewed on landlines and cellular phones. The survey is intended to represent the voting population in Alberta. 

The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.2% at the 95% confidence level. Margins of error are higher in each subsample. Totals may not add up 100% due to rounding.

Tomorrow: The Western Standard‘s exclusive poll on party support in Alberta.

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