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Eminent doctor says seniors care needs overhaul

Dr. Samir Sinha is setting national care home standards, but says home care needs more emphasis.




Canadians have lost faith in the country’s long-term care system, says the doctor tasked with trying to reform them.

Dr. Samir Sinha, director of Health Policy Research at Ryerson University’s National Institute of Aging, told the Western Standard the pandemic made Canadians more averse to care homes than ever.

“Canadians have never aspired to end up in a long-term care home. Pretty much everybody would like to stay in their own homes for as long as possible,” Sinha said in an interview.

“What this pandemic has done is given by the first wave, 80% of Canada’s reported deaths, had occurred in long term care and retirement homes, people realized they have been long underfunded and, as a result, poorly staffed.

“Canada’s rate of [COVID-19] death in its long-term care settings are about twice the international average overall, and the highest rate of any country in the world.”

Public health orders and care home policies were hard on residents, 90% of whom have a cognitive impairment, and 60% of whom have dementia, said Sinha.

“A video visit, that might not be the same as having family members and friends come in, physically, to hug you and hold you and just hold your hands,” Sinha said.

“For a lot of families, they just couldn’t bear the fact they couldn’t interact with their loved ones, let alone the residents who were beside themselves. People were literally pulling their loved ones out of care, repatriating them home, just because they couldn’t stand the isolation and being separated in that way.”

The agony seemed worse than death to some care home residents. In Toronto, 90-year-old Nancy Russell chose euthanasia despite not being ill or dying.

“She just truly did not believe that she wanted to try another one of those two-week confinements into her room,” her daughter told CTV.

Ironically, friends and family were allowed to gather around while a doctor administered her death.

“There were reported increases in symptoms of depression, and anxiety, mental health symptoms amongst residents, but also a huge increase in what we call chronic prescribing [of] antidepressants, antipsychotics, and so on. This isolation can only really make your memory and mood issues worse,” Sinha said.

“I’ve had several patients who’ve lived through prolonged lockdowns in their own long-term care retirement homes, and it was quite devastating for some. Those lockdowns hasten their deaths or hasten their cognitive and functional declines. A lot of my patients really, really struggled with significant loneliness, isolation. And it was really a traumatizing experience.”

Sinha has been tasked by the federal government to establish better standards for such homes.

Canada spends a lower percentage of its GDP on long-term care than the OECD average and directs just 13% of that towards home care.

Sinha said Canada could learn from Denmark’s example.

“It aligned itself with what people actually want and need…to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. It also made sure that by providing good quality care in people’s homes [unlike] Canada, where 15% of our acute care hospital beds are filled with people literally being held hostage because there’s not enough care to send them back to their own homes,” Sinha said.

Canadians receive medical assistance in dying [MAiD] with no out-of-pocket costs, while palliative care can be expensive and hard to find.

“One of the big things we need to worry about is, in a country that also doesn’t have adequate palliative care services available to Canadians, medical assistance in dying is enshrined,” Sinha said.

“In some cases, if you want to die at home, you’ve got to pay a huge amount…There is a concern that people will choose MAiD or be pressured to think about that more because there just aren’t adequate options available.”

Lee Harding is a Western Standard correspondent living in Saskatchewan.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Left Coast

    August 17, 2021 at 10:19 am

    The Dr. is on the right track . . . Canada’s feckless Politicians are more concerned with wage increases and light workloads than the Citizens.

    Everything done by the Provinces & the Federal Govt during the Plandemic was WRONG.

    “Most of the people who died from COVID-19 in Canada were over the age of 85 and had dementia, Alzheimer’s, chronic heart disease and other pre-existing “cardiovascular and respiratory conditions,” according to a shocking new report from the federal government.
    Nine in ten deaths had a secondary cause listed on the death certificate.

    The Statistics Canada report, released July 6, found that 94% of all Canadians who died of COVID-19 in 2020 were seniors older than 65. Of those, more than half were over 85 years of age, and the majority were residents of long-term care homes.

    This led the report to conclude that those who died from COVID-19 “may have been at a high risk of dying over this period regardless of the pandemic.””


    Death rates in countries that rely on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the treatment of Covid-19 appear to be dramatically lower than death rates in countries that discourage the use of the drug. A new study claims that the death rate in the countries that used HCQ early on was 79% lower than in countries where the drug was not used.

    So WHY didn’t our Nobel Drs. & so-called Health Experts tell us that HCQ, Ivermectin, Zinc, Vit. D/C could help keep us out of the Hospital? 1000s of lives could have been saved if this information was available to the public.

    Canada = Big FAIL ! ! !

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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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