Julianne Johnson says being a registered nurse is a “profession that runs deep in my veins” and is “part of my core identity.”
She quit anyway.
Johnson knew her October 8 resignation letter — that ripped into Alberta Health Services (AHS) rebuking its betrayal of health care workers with a vaccine mandate and raising alarms about patient care — could result in her licence being yanked.
She submitted it anyway — then posted it on her Facebook Page.
“They could take away my licence accusing me of spreading misinformation,” Johnson told Western Standard.
“Am I afraid to speak out? Yes. I’ve been attacked by some previous coworkers. I fear more what will happen to a country I love if I don’t speak out,” said Johnson, who worked as a casual RN since 2013 in five Alberta hospitals, the last being Grande Prairie’s Queen Elizabeth 11.
“It’s about the ethic of not only forcing the vaccine on all employees, but also the ethic of tolerating physicians forcing it on their patients. They claim equitable access for everyone, but that’s not happening. While AHS may not agree with it on paper, they’re tolerating it.”
A firestorm erupted over her letter to AHS officials. Johnson was praised for having courage to express widespread fears and frustrations. She triggered “outrage and backlash” from others who viewed her concerns as a personal affront and bullied her with “unfounded” accusations.
Johnson refused to get into a “catfight” distracting from her intended message.
“I lay the blame solely at AHS’s feet. They’ve created a system that will damage patients. If you take out nurses and doctors who are against this — they’re going to leave, be kicked out — especially in the rural areas, it’s going to affect access to care.”
AHS employees, including frontline health care workers must get their second COVID-19 dose by October 16 or be placed on unpaid leave. Many refuse for religious or medical reasons
“I’m a person of faith and my faith affects every aspect of my life, but I’ve received many vaccines in my life.”
Johnson, who contracted COVID-19 in April, won’t get the COVID-19 vaccination and explicitly told AHS why she resigned.
“I cannot ethically work for a company that tells the public they’re facing an unprecedented crisis necessitating lockdown measures, while simultaneously threatening to place thousands of health care workers and doctors on unpaid leave of absence,” she wrote.
“We have all safely worked, unvaccinated, for the duration of this pandemic, but now we will all be prohibited from providing care to our province, simply because of our vaccination status. What blatant disregard for our work dedication, skill, and education.
“I am genuinely appalled at AHS’s incredibly hypocritical treatment of its employees and physicians. Therefore, I cannot and will not work for AHS so long as they mandate the COVID-19 vaccine to all their staff with such complete and utter disregard for personal choice, medical freedom, and informed consent.”
Being coerced under duress and threat of job loss violates patient autonomy, informed consent, and right to refuse.
She claims AHS moved away from patient-centred care, patient autonomy, and informed voluntary consent.
“Nursing has always been a way for me to help people make the best decisions possible for their own bodies and their own situations. We were taught over and over again in university to give our patients all the information, and support whatever decision THEY made,” she wrote.
“Many nights I have sat down on the edge of a patient’s bed, or on a chair on a dark room, and answered question after question that they didn’t have time to ask their doctor(s) during the morning rounds. Countless times I have countered false assumptions … and offered possible solutions to situations that simply had not been previously addressed for that person. We called in patient-centred care.”
“Now we can only say what one side of the issue believes. Now everyone is forced to have the SAME treatment, regardless of whether it endangers their life, is statistically useless to them, or could actually help them … That’s not what I signed up for,” she wrote.
Until now, sharing information has been required in the nursing profession.
“Imagine a health care system where new information is stifled if it doesn’t conform to previously held beliefs/information. Pretty stagnant at best. Deadly at worst,” she wrote.
“Now imagine that all professionals who have the courage to ask unpopular questions, and who are all curious enough to look at the other side of the coin, are all gone. Only those who agree with every AHS mandate are allowed to remain. Now you have totalitarian healthcare. Deadly at best. Genocidal at worst.”
Johnson claimed unvaccinated family members are being refused care and chastised AHS for it.
“I cannot ethically practice nursing for a company/government that has such disdain (for) patient autonomy,” she wrote.
“I cannot ethically work for a company/government which will refuse pacemaker surgery to a patient simply because of their vaccination status.
“I cannot ethically work for a company/government that tolerates obstetricians refusing care to pregnant mothers and their babies who choose to wait until after birth/breastfeeding to receive a vaccine that is NOT Category A in pregnancy,” she wrote.
Johnson, who comes from a medical family — her father is a physician — has volunteered on medical missions in Sierra, Leon, Congo, and Iraq.
“I’m concerned about the future of health care and where it will go if people aren’t willing to stand up and don’t recognize the ethical landslide that we are stepping in.”
An AHS director of patient care offered to meet.
“I’m considering a meeting. It’s good to tell people face-to-face what you believe.”
Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
BRADLEY: No Central Bank Digital Currency can stack up to Bitcoin
Why Bitcoin will always be the superior digital currency.
These days, many countries are considering introducing their own Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
The Bank of England recently released a research paper discussing the possibility of creating its own digital currency, saying it has “not yet made a decision on whether to introduce CBDC”.
In July 2021, the Bank of Canada issued a discussion paper called “The Positive Case for a CBDC”, citing it “could be an effective competition policy tool for payments” and “could also support the vibrancy of the digital economy.”
But no country is moving faster on this front than China.
The Central Bank of China has already introduced a digital yuan, which is expected to eliminate physical cash and provide a centralized payment-processing network.
As China continues to expand its CBDC implementation beyond its trial run in some cities, more of its citizens will be forced into using the government’s app to identify themselves, store their wealth and make everyday purchases. That means the Chinese government will be able to track purchases and even freeze or close personal accounts, for whatever reason they see fit.
That is a terrifying prospect – and it highlights one of the many reasons bitcoin will always be superior to any currency issued and controlled by any government.
The Bitcoin network uses blockchain technology to track the status of the network, including user balances and transactions. This allows transparency and decentralization by nature. Perhaps most importantly, this means that the system cannot be controlled or influenced by any one person, company or government.
China’s digital yuan – and any CBDC under consideration – have the complete opposite fundamentals. With a CBDC, one central bank has ultimate control and power over the currency, not to mention the ability to track and even reverse everyday purchases.
It’s a particularly worrisome situation in China, where its government has been pushing a social credit system that, at its core, rewards or punishes people for their economic and personal behaviours. As the country implements its digital yuan more broadly, there are fears China could use its CBDC to extend control over even more of its citizens’ rights and freedoms.
We don’t face that threat in western countries yet, but that’s not to say we are immune from the possibility. If Meta’s recent announcement that it’s shutting down the face recognition system on Facebook is any indication, our society is definitely not keen on being monitored, controlled, or surveilled in any way.
From 2013 to 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice ran Operation Choke Point to monitor and crack down on payments for what the government deemed “high-risk activities”, ranging from online gambling and payday loans to pornography and surveillance equipment sales. These activities were not illegal but they offended the government’s moral compass – a slippery and scary slope.
Most recently, in October 2021 U.S. President Joe Biden and his government backed down from requiring the IRS to collect data on every bank account with more than $600 in annual transactions.
Infringements like these on our privacy are unacceptable. But the likelihood of them happening will grow exponentially if, and when, western governments introduce their own CBDCs.
Aside from a potential loss of personal freedom and privacy, CBDCs would introduce another undesirable outcome: even greater inflation than we’re experiencing today. Governments, including our own here in Canada, are printing money faster than ever, which simultaneously drives inflation and devalues personal wealth.
As Saifedean Ammous writes in his fantastic book, The Fiat Standard: The Debt Slavery Alternative to Human Civilization, “CBDCs would allow for the implementation of…inflationist schemes with high efficiency, allowing for increased central planning of market activity. Government spending would proceed unabated by whatever little discipline credit markets currently exert. Real-world prices are likely to rise, which would lead to more control over economic production to mandate prices.”
To sum this up, CBDCs could lead to higher inflation, less personal autonomy, and more government meddling. For those reasons, whenever I’m asked if the introduction of CBDCs will kill bitcoin and its relevance, my answer is a resounding, “No.”
Central bank digital currencies are not the same thing as bitcoin. They aren’t even competitors with bitcoin, nor will they ever replace bitcoin. They are a distraction. In my opinion, CBDCs will only create greater demand for bitcoin and its many advantages.
Bitcoin offers individuals the profound ability to own sound money, protect their wealth from inflation and keep governments from micro-managing their finances. That is certainly not what CBDCs will do, and it’s why we should all be very apprehensive about giving central banks the ability to issue, oversee and control digital currencies.
No CBDC can, or ever will, stack up to bitcoin.
Guest Column from Dave Bradley, Chief Revenue Officer at Bitcoin Well
@bitcoinbrains on Twitter
Sponsored by Bitcoin Well
ROYER: Canada ignores Alberta. Because it can
The only conclusion is that Canada is not a functioning, modern federal democracy. It caters almost exclusively to the needs of the two primary provinces.
Crickets. That is the sound of Canada’s response to Alberta’s request to consider revisions to the equalization program over a month ago. What does the deafening silence say about Canada?
Trudeau brushed off the referendum saying that he couldn’t unilaterally address the issue, although he clearly can. His government has several bilateral agreements with provinces other than Alberta. He can agree to change the equalization formula to drain less wealth from Alberta and Saskatchewan in the first place.
The federal Conservative Party’s silence is due to their leader Erin O’Toole’s decision to pander to Ontario and Quebec, taking the West for granted.
The silence has made one thing absolutely clear: Alberta has no voice in Canada. Voting against the Liberals hasn’t worked. Voting in a couple of Liberal MPs hasn’t helped. Relying on protection provincial sovereignty under the constitution has proven to be useless; Trudeau’s government intercedes into those defined powers with impunity.
All that remains is to look at the big picture. Alberta had no democratic input into decisions that dramatically diminished its economy. Wealth continues to be drained from the province and it has no means to stop it. A referendum — the ultimate expression of democratic rights — is ignored. What does this make Canada?
First, it clearly is not a modern democratic nation. Modern democracies give voice to minorities and seek compromise.
We do not have a federal government. There is no structural input from the far reaches of the country in the nation’s decision-making process. It is a central government, serving only the centre.
We are not really a federation either. Rights of the lesser provinces are extinguished at the whim of the central government. Those intrusions are dutifully upheld by the Supreme Court, an institution with a majority of judges from central Canada. The Senate is completely ineffective in protecting the federation. It over-represents Quebec and Atlantic Canada, is appointed at the sole discretion of the prime minister and has very limited powers to disagree with him. Alberta’s attempt to introduce democracy into the selection of Senators has been ignored by the prime minister.
Power is extremely concentrated. Trudeau’s emissions cap on hydrocarbon production is just the most recent example. No discussion with Parliament or the provinces was taken; he just made the decision with his personal staff, and announced it
He has this power because hyper-partisanship, strict party discipline and the overly centralized government concentrates power. We’ve abandoned our historic Westminster Parliamentary system of government and taken on an American style constitutional system with judicial supremacy, but with an all-powerful prime minister that lacks the checks-and-balances placed upon an American president.
The only respectful response to Alberta came from Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe. He called for his province to become a nation within a nation, a status effectively granted Quebec. Neither the federal structure nor the national parliament protect the outlying provinces. They now need to gain near national powers in order to protect themselves from the central government.
The only conclusion is Canada is not a functioning, modern federal democracy. It caters almost exclusively to the needs of the two primary provinces: Ontario and Quebec. The concentration of power and the malleability of federal sovereignties has makes the prime minister effectively an elected dictator. The only check on the prime minister’s power is in an occasional national election, the results of which are determined almost entirely in Ontario and Quebec.
So, what is Canada? It is a country in which the central provinces in conjunction with the central government have dominion over the outlying provinces, and those central provinces elect a prime minister who is given near royal prerogative.
Our country is called (at least officially) the Dominion of Canada, a constitutional monarchy. By the word dominion are we saying that the centre has dominion over the rest of the country? And does constitutional democracy say that the constitution concentrates power into the hands of a single person?
We can do better.
Randy Royer is a Western Standard columnist
VENKATACHALAM & KAPLAN: Oil and gas production is essential to BC’s economy
Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors.
Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan of the Canadian Energy Centre
British Columbia has been producing oil and natural gas since 1952. In fact, as of 2018, BC produced 32% of Canada’s natural gas production and 2% of Canada’s conventional daily oil production. British Columbia collects royalties from oil and gas development, supporting the economic prosperity in the province.
Want to know how important the oil and natural gas industry is to the BC economy? Using customized Statistic Canada data from 2017 (the latest year available for this comparison), it turns out oil and gas in BC generated about $18 billion in outputs, consisting primarily of the value of goods and services produced, as well as a GDP of $9.5 billion.
As for what most of us can relate to — jobs — the BC oil and gas industry was responsible for nearly 26,500 direct jobs and more than 36,100 indirect jobs (62,602 jobs in total) in 2017. Also relevant: The oil and gas sector paid out over $3.1 billion in wages and salaries to BC workers that year.
Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors. That included $600 million from the finance and insurance sector, $770 million in professional services, and $2.8 billion from the manufacturing sector, to name just three examples.
Spending by the oil and gas sector in BC is not the only way to consider the impact of the industry. Given that a large chunk of the oil and gas sector is next door in Alberta, let’s look at what Alberta’s trade relationship with its westerly neighbour does for BC.
BC’s interprovincial trade in total with all provinces in 2017 amounted to $39.4 billion. Alberta was responsible for the largest amount at $15.4 billion, or about 38%, of that trade.
That share of BC’s trade exports is remarkable, given that Alberta’s share of Canada’s population was just 11.5 percent in 2017. Alberta consumers, businesses and governments buy far more from BC in goods and services than its population as a share of Canada would suggest would be the case. Alberta’s capital-intensive, high-wage-paying oil and gas sector is a major reason why.
If Alberta were a country, the province’s $15.4 billion in trade with BC would come in behind only the United States (about $22.3 billion in purchases of goods and services from BC) in 2017. In fact, Alberta’s importance to B.C. exports was ranked far ahead of China ($6.9 billion), Japan ($4.5 billion), and South Korea ($2.9 billion)—the next biggest destinations for BC’s trade exports.
BC has a natural advantage for market access in some respects when compared to the United States. For instance, BC’s coast is near to many Asian-Pacific markets than are U.S. Gulf Coast facilities. The distance between the U.S. Gulf Coast and to the Japanese ports of Himeji and Sodegaura is more than 9,000 nautical miles, compared to less than 4,200 nautical miles between those two Japanese ports and the coast of BC.
The recent demand for natural gas in Asia, especially Japan (the largest importer of LNG) and price increase for natural gas, presents an exciting opportunity for BC oil and gas industry. The IEA predicts that by 2024 , natural gas demand forecast in Asia will be up 7% from 2019’s pre-COVID-19 levels.
Be it in employment, salaries and wages paid, GDP, or the purchase of goods and services, the impact of oil and natural gas (and Alberta) on BC’s economy and trade flows is significant.
Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan are with the Canadian Energy Centre
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BRADLEY: No Central Bank Digital Currency can stack up to Bitcoin
ROYER: Canada ignores Alberta. Because it can
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- Sask Polytech ditches vax policy but burdens unvaxxed with testing costs
- BRADLEY: No Central Bank Digital Currency can stack up to Bitcoin
- ROYER: Canada ignores Alberta. Because it can
- CRA wants more tax filers to file online
- VENKATACHALAM & KAPLAN: Oil and gas production is essential to BC’s economy
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