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‘Madeline’ ponders euthanasia as MAiD surges in BC

“I want to live, and with more support I can…I shouldn’t have to beg for my life,” Madeline said.




A Vancouver woman with chronic fatigue could be one of many B.C. residents who will receive medically-assisted death (MAiD) in what promises to be another record-breaking year for euthanasia in the province.

The woman, known by the psuedonym Madeline, was highlighted in a feature article last month by Moira Wyton for the Tyee. Madeline has myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome which compromises her respiratory, muscular, nervous and immune systems.

The results are impaired cognition and mobility, trouble sleeping, extreme pain, and, of course, great fatigue. Unable to receive adequate care, she has been considering MAiD for more than a year.

The mitochondrial, post-viral condition developed after Madeline had two long bouts of mononucleosis. She said vitamin injections make her life “less horrifying” but are not covered under B.C.’s Medical Services Plan. Her monthly $1,358 of disability assistance can’t cover her treatment, yet her diminished quality of life qualifies her for MAiD.

“They would rather see me die than recognize my illness and pay for the treatments that keep me alive,” said Madeline.

“My death is no more inevitable than a diabetic’s who can’t get insulin.”

The condition robbed the trained actor and playwright of her career more than 20 years ago. The Vancouver resident’s health problems have compounded over the years and now number more than two dozen. In addition to allergies, edema makes her body swell. Hypoxia is worse, leaving her feeling like she can’t breathe because their cells can’t properly absorb and use oxygen.

“Nothing in life is fully enjoyable, because the death clock beats on in my life, and it just never had to be this way,” Madeline said.

When Madeline met with a doctor concerning MAiD, she told Madeline she had seen patients with her condition before.

“It was infuriating that people on the frontline are seeing that this disorder can kill, and the rest of the community won’t even acknowledge that,” said Madeline. 

“MAID isn’t giving up; it’s just being brutally practical about what’s happening and that it’s because the larger system has abdicated on my whole disease.”

Madeline has told few personal friends about her plans to die. Such news inhibits a normal friendship. On the other hand, she doesn’t like the thought of loved ones finding out of her death later as a shocking surprise.

“The ticking clock taints every moment,” she said.

Madeline began a podcast in May named ‘I Am Madeline,’ The description for the most recent episode, released July 22, begins with the words of Ebenezer Scrooge: “’If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.’”

Her podcast has motivated donors to her Go Fund Me page. The $12,000 raised allowed Madeline to receive enough vitamin injections to stop her hypoxia for the first time in more than a year. 

“I want to live, and with more support I can…I shouldn’t have to beg for my life,” Madeline said.

“I could have been even more stable instead of at my current level of deterioration if my treatments were funded 10 years ago…I fight for me, but purpose is also so important. I am not alone, not by a long shot.”

In the first six months of 2021, 923 BC residents received medical assistance in dying, putting the province on pace for 1,846 deaths. In 2020, BC’s 1,572 MAiD represented 4% of all deaths in the province. In 2019, MAiD was administered 1,280 times in BC.

In 2020, 7,595 people received assisted deaths across Canada, a 34% increase from the 5,660 in 2019.

Government committees in Ottawa and Québec are discussing the expansion of MAiD to people unable to give consent who requested death in an advanced directive and to children, as well as appropriate rules for giving MAiD to those with mental illness.

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

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  1. Lori Ryde

    August 10, 2021 at 1:24 am

    She should take Plexus. I know piles of people who have had great results.

  2. Steven

    August 9, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    I thought the AB NDP were heartless. BC NDP win hands down on the heartless meter.

    What a sick society when we won’t help & look after people who could live a life without pain & suffering. The article above validates my statement. Easier to exterminate then provide needed services. She shouldn’t have to pay for her treatment to remain a contributing member of our society.

    Heartless bastards these socialists are.

  3. GonadTheRuffian

    August 8, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    This is what happens when you give billions of dollars away to foreigners instead of your own people.
    This is what happens when you abandon the concept of charity begins at home.
    And the empty headed, virtue signaling, Soviet Canucks just sit in front of their Propaganda Boxes with that empty headed drug/alcohol induced smile plastered on their stupid faces.

  4. John Lankers

    August 8, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    How Canada has changed. 25 years ago Robert Latimer was sentenced to life in prison for ending his daughter’s suffering and today …. it seems like a human life is worth less than that of a dog. At least my dog isn’t being put on some yearlong waiting list when she needs surgery, she gets it the same day.

  5. S

    August 8, 2021 at 10:59 am

    This demonstrates pure evil and a failure of our provincial and federal government’s. How is this not a crime? Where are this woman’s rights to get the medical attention she needs. I can’t wait to leave this country for good. Totally f*c*ed up system.

  6. Left Coast

    August 8, 2021 at 9:51 am

    “In 2020, BC’s 1,572 MAiD represented 4% of all deaths in the province. In 2019, MAiD was administered 1,280 times in BC.”

    More people dying by Assisted Suicide than COVID . . . ditto for the Drug Deaths . . . But the Fools in Victoria locked down the Province over Sars 2 aka the Wuhan Flu?

    Another sad story regarding the Decades of Failure of Canada’s Cuban Style HC System . . . 30 something in the World but dumb Canooks are really “proud” . . . just insane!

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Chu wants meeting with Gondek ‘to tell the truth’

Mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek told a city hall press conference she will not swear Chu in, when council meets for the first time on Monday.




Embattled Calgary Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu wants to sit down with incoming mayor Jyoti Gondek to plead his case about a sexual incident 24 years ago.

Gondek said Thursday she will refuse to swear in Chu during the first council meeting on Monday.

“I want her to hear the whole truth. I will provide that to her,” Chu told reporters at a press conference.

Chu also offered to sit down with other incoming council members — most of whom are calling for him resign — to explain his side of the story.

“I always work with anybody but they have only heard media reports … some of which has been untruthful,” said Chu.

“I will sit down in private with them and answer any question they have.”

He added he thought it would be a judge who does the swearing-in.

“I was duly elected by the people of Ward 4. I told the truth,” he said, adding was surprised at the amount of support he has received from Ward 4 voters in e-mails and letters.

Chu said this would be his last election as he was a proponent of term limits for councillors at three terms.

“The Sean Chu situation continues to get more disturbing,” Gondek said prior to the press conference.

“This is a travesty for the young woman that was courageous enough to come forward … she needs to have this taken seriously, and he needs to resign in order for that to happen.

“[Chu] can absolutely show up. He won’t be sworn in by me.”

In his only interview so far, Chu had told the Western Standard on Tuesday he had no intention of resigning, but did apologize to a woman he had a sexual encounter with 24 years ago.

Since then, pressure has mounted with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Gondek, most of the incoming council, and even local Conservative MPs all saying Chu should resign.

At the press conference, Chu apologized to the woman who was involved in the original incident and his family.

“My daughter is crying a lot. My children are going through a lot,” Chu said, asking for his family’s privacy.

“I’ve had CTV camping out at my house.”

Chu confirmed other details he told the Western Standard during the exclusive interview on Tuesday.

City of Calgary officials confirmed Chu won the election race in Ward 4 by a mere 52 votes after allegations surfaced last week of his involvement in August of 1997 with a girl who was just 16 at the time.

“This was nothing but a political assassination,” said Chu.

Chu, who has represented Ward 4 since 2013, also fired back at some media reports which he claims were completely wrong.

Chu, then a serving Calgary Police Services officer, said he met the unidentified girl at a pub near Macleod Tr. and 94 Ave.

At some point in their interaction, Chu caressed the girl’s leg, an incident that later earned him a letter of reprimand on his file.

Chu said the girl seemed interested in him so when he was off duty he changed into civilian clothes and went back to the pub to meet the girl.

The evening continued with Chu and the girl eventually heading to his home.

Chu “categorically” denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

He said at the home, the two had consensual foreplay before she asked to go home.

Chu also addressed a 2008 fight with his wife that ended with police responding and seizing a firearm.

The incident happened in February 2008, when Chu was running in a provincial election for the Progressive Conservatives in Calgary-Buffalo.

He said his wife ran to a neighbour’s after a verbal argument. Chu said his now ex-wife never intended to call police, but the neighbour did.

After consultation with the Edmonton Crown, no charges were laid.

“This was at the lowest point of my life,” Chu said, adding he sought mental health help after it.

“I have never threatened or harmed my wife or children.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

During the investigation, Chu underwent a lengthy lie detector test asking him questions about consent and if a weapon was used. Chu said he passed all the tests.

Premier Jason Kenney described the allegations as “appalling,” but said he didn’t think there was any way for the province to remove a councillor who hasn’t been convicted under the Criminal Code.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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WATCH: Vancouver restaurant served closure order for non-compliance with ‘Public Health Act’

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the closure order.




Another BC restaurant has been ordered to close its doors in the name of public health.

“I’m a mother of four,” restaurant owner Rebecca Matthews pleaded with health officials and police.

Corduroy Restaurant — nestled in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood — has been offering service to customers without checking their vaccination status against COVID-19.

Under the BC Vaccine Card, people are required to show proof-of-vaccination against COVID-19 in order to access a variety of settings, such as dining.

In response to Corduroy having potentially committed the crime of serving unvaccinated customers, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) sent environmental health officer Ryan Hammel — accompanied by Vancouver police — bearing a closure order for non-compliance on Wednesday.

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the order, whilst listing off several more “health hazards,” such as “failing to comply with the Face Coverings Order.”

The closure order — signed by VCH medical officer, Dr. Michael Schwandt — says the establishment must remain closed until authorized by a medical officer.

Matthews told the Western Standard health officials showed up at her restaurant on Tuesday morning to “investigate some complaints.”

On Wednesday, Hammel served the closure order.

WATCH: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVQ1f8nhN2m/

“They wouldn’t even discuss anything with me,” said Matthews.

“We reduced our hours, we started doing counter service … these are all things that are — according to the provincial health orders — considered safe.”

Matthews said she’s looking into the closure order to determine how best to proceed.

“I have a family, but at the same time we still want to create a space for people that don’t have anywhere else to go … so we’re just trying to navigate the next steps in the best way for everybody, including my family. Our plan is not to just go away,” she said.

Wednesday is not the first time Corduroy has taken a hit for defying provincial health orders, as its license was suspended six months ago for offering in-person dining, when no such thing was permitted.

During a September 20 staff forum, the Chief Medical Health Officer of VCH, Dr. Patricia Daly, said vaccine passports in settings such as Corduroy’s are not intended to prevent transmission.

“The vaccine passport requires certain people to be vaccinated to do certain discretionary activities such as go to restaurants, movies, gyms … not because these places are high risk,” said Daly.

“We’re not actually seeing COVID transmission in these settings, it’s really to create an incentive to improve our vaccination coverage.”

A Go Fund Me has been set up for Matthew’s by a verified third party to cover legal fees so Corduroy can “continue to stand up for the rights of their patrons, their medical privacy and choice.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard

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Gondek appoints controversial Carter as chief of staff

He received $130,000 in severance for his six months as chief of staff for Alison Redford.




Incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek has appointed Stephen Carter, formerly Premier Alison Redford’s chief of staff and Naheed Nenshi campaign manager, as her own chief of staff.

Carter masterminded Gondek’s campaign and saw her come from well back in early election polls to an eventual easy victory over rival Jeromy Farkas.

Carter in February also threatened to sue the Western Standard when it published a story about a former Calgary city councillor filing an official complaint with Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer alleging Gondek used third-party funds to pay for a city-wide brochure mail-drop.

Almost immediately after publishing, Carter threatened Western Standard News Editor Dave Naylor with a lawsuit. He tweeted:

“That was quick: Ok. You will be getting a letter from our lawyer shortly. Straight to Jono? Does he defend you as well?”

We told Carter that any further correspondence should be directed to our lawyers. 

He then took to Twitter to brag about his impending lawsuit to shut the Western Standard up. 

Carter never followed through on his threats.

Carter was once famously referred to as “Chief of Stiff” by the Calgary Sun after he become embroiled in a scandal where he didn’t pay his bills.

The Sun reported a company owned by Carter, Carter McRae Events, “owes more than $600,000, most of it to the University of Calgary, and hasn’t coughed up a cent in court-ordered judgments.”

He resigned from Redford’s staff and received $130,000 in severance for his six months work.

Stephen Carter (photo credit: Calgary Sun)

“If that’s the full amount, that’s still pretty eye-popping,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith at the time.

“A six-figure severance for six months worth of work? An employee who voluntarily leaves should not get severance at all. This certainly doesn’t happen in the private sector.”

Carter, who had been Redford’s strategist in the 2011 Tory leadership race, became her chief of staff when she took office in October of that year.

He was also the mastermind behind Nenshi’s unexpected election victory 11 years ago.

Gondek also announced Amie Blanchette as deputy chief of staff, Catherine Seymour as operations manager and Allison Bates as communications advisor.

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