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Thousands of Canadian aviation workers lose their jobs

“We are working to create a coordinated, coherent media message to up our presence. The goal is to recruit enough people that our force is felt economically,” said Matt with Free to Fly.




Thousands of Canadian aviation professionals were put on leave without pay Monday for not complying with industry-wide forced COVID-19 vaccinations.

The group, Free to Fly, a hub for Canadian airline professionals and travellers against the COVID-19 mandates, was started in April by two Canadian airline professionals.

“Yesterday, thousands of pilots, flight attendants and other Free to Fly aviation professionals were forced into unemployment,” said the group in a statement released to the Western Standard.

“They have been deemed unwelcome by employers they served safely and faithfully for decades, after insisting on their right to informed consent and health freedom. These men and women are exchanging current comfort and security to bravely stand for the future freedom of this once great nation.”

Matt, one of the founders who has asked that we only use his first name, is a pilot for one of Canada’s major airlines.  Matt and his wife, who is a flight attendant, were both put on leave without pay Monday

“Flying has been my dream since I was five years old,” said Matt in an interview.

“But I’m actually doing okay. I have the support of my family and the truth is, my wife and I have taken solace in banding together with like-minded people we’ve met through Free To Fly.”

Matt said membership for Free to Fly has been growing daily and sits just under 40,000.

“We are working to create a coordinated, coherent media message to up our presence. The goal is to recruit enough people that our force is felt economically,” said Matt.

Matt also said the group is working closely with lawyers who have a “proven track record for working on cases like this.”

“We plan to share stories from passengers and some of our airline professionals to show how people are suffering greatly with these new restrictions on travel,” said Matt.

Free to Fly has updated its website with a video that explains why tens of thousands of airline professionals would “give up lifestyle, financial security and, for some, a life-long dream career,” the statement reads.

“For things to go back to a free and fair society, we all have to give something up. But the longer we wait to stand up, the more we will all have to give up,” said Matt who encourages travellers and industry professionals to sign up on the Free to Fly website.

In the meantime, Matt said he and his wife plan to start a business together to support their family.

Monday, WestJet implemented the federal government’s mandatory vaccination policy for air travellers and put about 300 employees on leave without pay for not complying with the company’s vaccine mandate deadline.

“The implementation of these policies mark a major confidence milestone for our industry as Canadians can fly knowing that they are travelling within a fully-vaccinated ecosystem,” said Ed Sims, WestJet Group president and CEO in a statement.

“We are taking all necessary steps to ensure our guests are advised of the new requirements for travel prior to taking their next flight.”

According to the WestJet statement:

For Phase I, for travel between October 30 and November 29, 2021, in order to travel with The WestJet Group, guests must prepare to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a valid PCR test to demonstrate the requirements for travel. 

For Phase II, for travel on or after Nov. 30, 2021, only proof of vaccination for guests 12 years or older, with narrow exceptions, will be acceptable for travel on the WestJet Group.

Roughly 96% of all WestJet staff are fully vaccinated.

The Western Standard reached out to Air Canada for a statement but did not hear back in time for publishing.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

Melanie Risdon is a Calgary-based Reporter for the Western Standard. She has over 20 years experience in media at Global News, Rogers and Corus. mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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  1. Longo

    November 4, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Our unvaccinated corporate pilots fly and stay in the US and don’t have to isolate upon returning to Canada.

  2. Major Tom

    November 3, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    I prefer not to use the word ‘workers’……it reminds me too much of “Workers of the world…unite!” Instead, I’ll say……Thank you to the airline employees that stood tall for freedom….Those who are on the right side of history today…..will be on the right side of eternity tomorrow!

  3. Mars Hill

    November 2, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Good on this group, I’m confident they’ll paid paid for their time off and be ‘vindicated’ by what happens in the courts. Hang in there folks, things are not as they appear and good things are just around the corner. The psychopaths are as good as dead.

  4. The Real Kevin

    November 2, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    You have to understand what they want, before you can understand.

    They don’t want to see deplorables on their beaches. You, being able to go where you want, anytime you want, has always been particularly irksome to your moral and intellectual superiors.

    Don’t worry, none of their private jets will be delayed. And the Riviera will be so much nicer for them, without the eyesore of you there to spoil it.

    Your ability to travel is under attack. Pilots being fired, aircraft being grounded. That is a feature, not a bug. Same with electric cars. It won’t get you to where you want to go, so they want to take away the ICE that can and does.

  5. Baron Not Baron

    November 2, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    Hold the line!!!

  6. berta baby

    November 2, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Way to stand for freedom.
    Fuck the rest of them the truth is out there and the lie these world order cucks are pushing is more and more bullshit each day.

    Fauci the puppy abusing savage can take his mutated vaccines and his China cough and kiss my caboose.I won’t be bending my knee

  7. Left Coast

    November 2, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Every Cancelled Flight is one step closer to “Net Zero” . . . shut them all down. lol

  8. Declan Carroll

    November 2, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    This is how you get results. Each effected industry organizes in large numbers and coordinates to take direct action. The elites need to know if we are going to drown that we will be holding onto them for dear life and they are going to get dragged down and drown with us. Mass protest and general strikes.

  9. K

    November 2, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Controlled demolition. Fuck this country.

  10. David Fenske

    November 2, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Message for Ed Sims: “…forced vaccination infringes on the universally accepted principle of informed consent, and may even constitute a crime against humanity with major legal repercussions for those who lead, or collaborate with, its implementation.”

    PS. I am still waiting after 19 months for my COVID-cancelled flight refund.

  11. Jennifer Dyck

    November 2, 2021 at 12:32 pm

  12. Dennis

    November 2, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Right on Left Coast, and Air Canada can go to hell as well.

  13. eshea@teksavvy.com

    November 2, 2021 at 11:06 am

    I have joined and will continue to support.
    I have been a major frequent flyer for most of my career and now have retired. I still have many thousands of miles available to use at a number of airlines in Canada and the US.
    I will not patronize any of these airlines that force this mandate, and I hope others will join me.
    Absolute idiocy- I wonder how long they will let their business slide and let equipment sit idle before some accountant starts to squirm and they have to retract.
    Stay the course if you can!
    If they do want you back I would hope you would make them pay for this nonsense.
    I will not be owning any of their stock anymore as well.

  14. Jennifer Dyck

    November 2, 2021 at 10:40 am

    “From mid-December 2020 through Oct. 15, 2021, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) received 818,044 reports of injury following COVID vaccination, including 17,128 deaths.”
    “Coercive mandates of shoddily tested medical products and segregationist passports violate international human rights law,” said CHD President and General Counsel Mary Holland.

    Holland added:

    “We need brave citizens to peacefully refuse to comply with unlawful and unethical edicts that for the past year-and-a-half have been allowed to trump individual rights and freedoms. Those days are over. There will be no business as usual until segregationist and coercive medical policies advanced by government authorities end once and for all.”
    Organizers announced the protest after the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), which advises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on Tuesday recommended the agency authorize Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization COVID vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old.

    The vote to recommend authorization of this vaccine, despite evidence that COVID does not pose a threat to young people, is causing even more unrest among those concerned with the safety of COVID vaccines in all age groups.

    From mid-December 2020 through Oct. 15, 2021, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) received 818,044 reports of injury following COVID vaccination, including 17,128 deaths.

    “This vote by VRBPAC to put young children at risk of serious injury, and even death, is one more reason people need to stand up to tyranny, and let businesses and governments know we will no longer comply with reckless decisions that threaten the health of our children,” said CHD Executive Director Laura Bono.

    CHD chapters, coalition partners and local community organizers are planning mass gatherings of people in peaceful noncompliance to take place in high-exposure areas in many cities and states. Visit “Worldwide Walkouts” for locations and details. If you don’t see one for your area, reach out to others in your community to plan an event. Choose a location that is easy to get to and can be seen by many.” – Childrens’ Health Defense, 10/29/21
    The Canadian Chapter of Childrens’ Health Defense: https://childrenshealthdefense.ca/news/health-rights-and-freedoms/

  15. Left Coast

    November 2, 2021 at 10:36 am

    “proof of a valid PCR test” . . . . just laughable that they are so far behind the curve.

    2 months ago the US CDC finally admitted that the PCR Test could not tell the difference between any of the numerous Corona Viruses of which Wuhan & Delta are the lastest.

    So the “Test” has always been Useless . . . as Inventor Terry Mullis said years ago.

    Go to hell WestJet . . . anti-science buffons!

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Maskless teen student with asthma ostracized at Calgary Catholic school

“Kids in my class called me an ‘outsider’ which made me feel worse than I already felt,” said 14-year-old Darius.




A Calgary Catholic school has segregated and since banned a student from attending school for not wearing a mask, says the student’s parents.

And before that, teachers had even taped off an area around the boy’s desk “like a crime scene.”

Darius Lynn, a Grade 9 student at St. Helena Junior High School in Calgary, suffers from asthma and was permitted to go maskless at his desk during the 2020-2021 school year.

When Darius returned to St. Helena for the 2021-2022 school year, without his parents’ knowledge, he was advised he would be required to wear a mask full time.

He complied for the first few months but eventually reported to his parents in late November he was struggling to breathe while wearing the mask.

“I had no idea he was told to wear a mask again this year,” Darius’ mother Stephanie told the Western Standard.

“My husband and I just assumed he wasn’t needing to wear a mask again this year.”

Stephanie said she and her husband Paul reached out to the new principal and Darius’ teachers to request they allow their son the same exemption as the previous year.

They were told he would need a doctor’s note, which Stephanie said they have been unable to acquire.

“Mask exemptions are impossible to get,” said Stephanie.

“Right now, doctors are just too scared to write them.”

Stephanie said the school’s solution was to, “move my son’s desk into the hallway.”

Darius also spoke with the Western Standard and said the teenagers in his class referred to him as an “outsider” after he was moved into the hallway.

“When they did group projects, they would just send me to the library and I had to work on my own,” said Darius.  

“Kids in my class called me an ‘outsider’ which made me feel worse than I already felt.”

Stephanie said she and her husband tried to appeal to the principal, but “she wouldn’t budge,” so they reached out to the superintendent.

“We begged for her to let Darius back into the classroom but he ended up sitting out there for two weeks where he was discriminated against and basically ridiculed so we contacted the superintendent,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie said she emailed Chief Superintendent Bryan Szumlas with the Catholic School Board who helped the Lynns get their son moved back into his classroom.

“So, he was moved back into the classroom, which was good, but what we didn’t know was that his teachers taped off the floor around his desk like a crime scene,” said Stephanie.

“After they put tape on the floor around my desk, some of the kids in my class would step past the tape and pretend they couldn’t breathe,” said Darius, explaining the teasing he endured.

Darius said his teachers had witnessed some of the teasing, but said, “most of the time the teachers didn’t do anything about it.

“They (teachers) also made me wait a few minutes before I could move to my next class because there were basically a bunch of students in the halls.”

“It was just awful what they were doing to him. They were treating him like a walking disease and visibly segregating him,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie said Darius had to stay within his taped boundaries for about a week until Christmas break.

“After the break, the principal notified us that Darius wouldn’t be welcome back if he wasn’t willing to wear a mask,” said Stephanie.

“In fact, one of the communications with the school referred to his asthma as his ‘apparent asthma’ like we were making it up or something.

“They said he could move to the online schooling system or do their D2L system from home,” said Stephanie referring to a web-based learning system offered throughout the school division.

“He doesn’t do well online so we are just trying to do the best we can. He’s in Grade 9, he should be able to be with his peers to finish off his last year in middle school.”

Darius said he has mixed feelings about not returning to school.

“I’m just really upset that I don’t get to see my friends anymore, but I also feel like I have less distractions at home,” said Darius.

Stephanie said it’s been a hard year for Darius as he also had to walk away from community hockey due to the vaccination mandates and additional costs associated with frequent rapid testing.

“He is totally destroyed,” said Stephanie.

The Lynns have two other sons — both attending Notre Dame High School — one in Grade 11 who is special needs and one in Grade 12.

“The real kicker for us is that we have a special needs son who has never worn a mask, doesn’t social distance and we have never been required to show a doctor’s note for him,” said Stephanie.

“They have totally humiliated my son and I’m angry. We just want our son to be treated with dignity and compassion. He has lost hockey because of the mandates and now he isn’t allowed to go to school.”

The family has since been referred to Area Director Deana Helton with regard to their son’s situation.

The Western Standard has contacted the school principal along with Helton but hasn’t heard back yet.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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Copping strikes EMS advisory committee amid system strains, red alerts

The Alberta Provincial EMS Advisory Committee will provide recommendations on a provincial EMS service plan by May.




Health Minister Jason Copping has appointed MLAs R.J. Sigurdson (Highwood) and Tracy Allard (Grande Prairie) to co-chair a new EMS committee to address “unprecedented” demands on the healthcare system.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is also rolling out a 10-point plan to maximize EMS system capacity.

The government listed many aggravating factors driving the system strains including “EMS staffing fatigue and illness, hospital offload delays, more requests for patient transfers, delays in receiving new ambulances and specialized vehicle parts caused by global supply issues.”

The province has seen a plethora of “red alerts” reported by EMS members and tweeted by the Union of Health Care Professionals @HSAAlbertaEMS. A red alert is when there are no available ambulances for emergency calls.

The government also reported a 30% increase in 911 calls in recent months. There was no mention of personnel shortages caused by the government’s COVID-19 mandate.

“Alberta’s government has been supportive of EMS throughout the pandemic. As we approach the peak of Omicron cases, we know the EMS system is seeing significant strain, which impacts service. We recognize this is a challenge and are taking immediate steps to improve emergency care access while we explore longer-term solutions,” said Copping.

AHS will immediately hire more paramedics, transfer low-priority calls to other agencies, and stop automatic ambulance dispatch to motor vehicle accidents with no injuries. AHS is also “launching pilot projects to manage non-emergency inter-facility transfers, and initiating an ‘hours of work’ project to help ease staff fatigue.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of AHS is confident these actions “will allow us to better support our EMS staff and front-line paramedics, and in turn this will ensure our patients receive the best care possible.”

Additionally, AHS will issue a request for proposals in February to conduct a third-party review of Alberta’s provincewide EMS dispatch system.

“The objective review by external health system experts will provide further opportunities to address ongoing pressures, improve effectiveness and efficiency through best practices, and provide the best outcomes for Albertans who call 911 during a medical event,” the government said.

The Alberta Provincial EMS Advisory Committee will provide recommendations on a provincial EMS service plan by May. Committee representatives include “contracted ambulance operators, unions representing paramedics, municipal representatives and Indigenous community representatives.”

Sigurdson said the committee will consider taxpayers’ needs.

“Albertans expect that when they call 911 in their time of greatest need, EMS will always answer. The committee’s goal will be focused around ensuring and improving service to Albertans while supporting the most critical piece of that equation: our EMS staff across all of Alberta.”

Amber Gosselin is a Western Standard reporter.

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WATCH: O’Toole will not be welcoming the truckers in Ottawa

“It’s not for the leader of the Opposition to attend a protest on the Hill or a convoy, it’s up to politicians to advocate for solutions, in a way that’s responsible and respectable to the health crisis we are in.”




Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was asked six times during a Monday press conference about his stance on the truckers Freedom Convoy 2022, before giving a vague answer.

“We have been talking with the Canadian Trucking Alliance for several months,” said O’Toole told reports.

“We’ve seen a crisis in the supply chain coming for several months and we’ve proposed policies to try to help alleviate that. The most important of which is vaccines. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

O’Toole press conference

Other specific. questions on the truckers’ comments were left with vague answers.

But the end of the conference O’Toole said it’s not his place to get involved.

“It’s not for the leader of the Opposition to attend a protest on the Hill or a convoy — it’s up to politicians to advocate for solutions, in a way that’s responsible and respectable to the health crisis we are in,” O’Toole said.

“We’ve been trying to tackle the supply chain crisis, encourage vaccination, not ignore problems and divide the country like Mr. (Justin) Trudeau does.”

O’Toole said policies cannot be put in place which could contribute to supply chain issues, as Canadians are already worried about their grocery bills.

O’Toole said he was focused on the economic strain Canadians are having, with record inflation, cost of living, 30% higher gas prices and the housing market’s rising costs,.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard

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