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Hardships and kindnesses as BC fires rage

The BC fire map lists many “Wildfires of Note,” including 16 in the Kamloops area, 1 in the Northwest, 5 near Cariboo, 5 in the Southeast, and 4 near Prince George.

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By Lee Harding

As fires rage across British Columbia, thousands of residents have been forced to flee their homes, including two who shared their stories with Western Standard

Karen was displaced from her farm a 40-minute drive northwest of Vernon. She is married to a prominent professional and asked that her last name be withheld.

“We saw the fires igniting. And I don’t know if they really jumped on it because of all the other fires that were happening around, especially with that Lytton fire,” Karen told Western Standard.

“We prayed and were asking the Lord for protection and things were looking okay. And then all of a sudden, we were all on the evacuation alert…They came in on Sunday… around 1:30 [am] to tell us that we had to leave. And so we were already packed and were heading up the driveway, and spent the night at my husband’s office,” said Karen, who volunteers for an evangelistic organization.

“A colleague of my husband, he called up…and asked him if [his] house was empty. And they said, yeah, it was. Nobody had been in it for months…It’s very perfect. Just the timing of how the Lord allowed everything to just unfold, that we don’t have to worry about going into the hotel. We didn’t have to worry about going into a place that people might have COVID.”

Karen was allowed a visit home when the winds were favourable but had to leave again. Authorities are providing security in the area.

“Last Sunday night we came back because we wanted to check on our place because we have our horses and cows in the hay field,” Karen said.

“The animals are good, farm is good, everything looks really good. The [authorities] set up the water around the house, so we’re all protected. Right now there’s a whole bunch of water. We have our irrigation system…so that we can pump water on the house and the trees that are surrounding us.”

Sandy shared her story but asked for a pseudonym. She fled at 11:30 pm on August 1 and received shelter in Kelowna.

“I have to say the Salvation Army is amazing. [They] gave three nights hotel and meals and $200 per person for clothes and toiletries. My daughter literally left in her slippers, and I unfortunately grabbed all tops. We were told to only take three days’ clothes,” she told Western Standard.

“I called insurance and now I’m concerned as if these communities burn it will cost trillions. My home insurance policy is two million [dollars] and I don’t think the insurance company has enough money.”

The mother of two said “The BC government is a joke,” and was critical of the province’s fire response.

“Horgan waited to last minute and now [it’s] too late for water bombers – zero visibility,” Sandy said.

“They make us check the cordemergency.ca or BC fire map or the regional district for evac notices. No amber alerts, no air raid sirens, we literally had to keep checking websites. At least Kamloops paid into an app that gave their community notices to their phones…. Many seniors don’t do technology and they were the ones that had no clue and waited to last minute.”

If anyone pillaged Sandy’s home in Kamloops, they could survive most anything but the fires themselves.

“I’m so, so pissed off as I’ve been hoarding for 4 four years prepping – medical supplies, food, toiletries,” Sandy said, estimating the value of her stash at $20,000.

“My end of the world pantry. Had to leave it and 50 packages of toilet paper, 30 bottles laundry [soap, and] 5 cases of medical supplies. I was hoping I could help a lot of people when the time came.”

The BC fire map lists many “Wildfires of Note,” including 16 in the Kamloops area, 1 in the Northwest, 5 near Cariboo, 5 in the Southeast, and 4 near Prince George.

Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based correspondent for Western Standard and former B.C. resident.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. K

    August 9, 2021 at 7:34 am

    What a horrible country we live in. We don’t know how to do anything, never mind fight fires on time. Everything is reactionary in this ridiculous clown-world hellscape.

  2. Left Coast

    August 8, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    As long as Canadians keep electing absolute Kno-Nothings to lead their Provinces & Country . . . the future will be bleak . . . we have been in a Downward Spiral since 2015 . . . wake the hell up folks.

    Remember when . . . .
    World’s Richest Middle Class . . . NY Times
    World’s Best Reputation . . . Reputation Institute
    Best Wage Growth in G7 Nations . . . 2007-2012
    Best Oilfield Salaries in the World . . .
    Best Oilfield Enviro Regs in the World . . . Harvard Bus School
    Best Country to do Business . . . . Forbes
    World’s Best Debt to GDP Ratio , . . OECD

    ALL of that is in the REAR VIEW Mirror today Canada . . . .

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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.

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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
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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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.”

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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
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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

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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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