The public mood over the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have gotten more crazy and divisive as time has gone on. At times, it seems like you will be judged as either a “safety-at-all-costs” authoritarian or an anti-social conspiracy theorist depending on where you stand on public policy issues related to the pandemic.
Of course, we know this isn’t true.
These issues are always more nuanced than that. It is completely reasonable to be in favour of COVID-19 vaccines while also being against coercive passport policies. Individual liberty still matters during crises.
In British Columbia, the government is introducing a vaccine passport that lacks nuance and reason. The BC vaccine passport requires people to show proof of vaccination to enter many public spaces like gyms, restaurants, movie theatres and bars—without any space for those unable to be vaccinated. This policy doesn’t respect individual choice or even differences in personal health. It makes no accommodation for those unable to make a choice in the matter. And it shows how damaging it is to craft policies without nuance or care.
We are working with several courageous individuals who need better policies from their government. Policies that take into consideration the nuances in public health discussions.
First there is Erica, a teenage girl who was excited to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But shortly after getting her first dose, Erica developed heart inflammation. It is not safe for her to take a second dose. BC’s vaccine passport policy means Erica can’t see her friends in the kinds of public spaces teenagers love to go. And I believe in the last year and a half, kids have been isolated enough. Erica shouldn’t be excluded from society because she got sick.
Then there is Sharon, a woman who developed a partial paralysis of her arm after her first dose of the COVID vaccine, which her doctor and neurologist are confident is an adverse reaction. They’ve advised her against a second dose. What’s even more concerning is that Sharon is now pregnant. She is not willing to risk getting her second dose of the COVID vaccine because of the risk that it could cause more nerve damage to her own body or to her unborn baby. The vaccine passport means Sharon will be cut out of community centres and programming with her new baby. Isolating a new mom with a disability from society is cruel, and it could have serious impacts on her mental well being.
We are also working with Veronica, a medically complex woman who has overlapping disabilities, and who is contraindicated against many medications. Veronica has undergone around 15 surgeries, and her body does not react well to medical interventions. Due to her complex medical situation and the lack of information about how the COVID vaccine may interact with her unique set of disabilities and past drug reactions, Veronica is at higher risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine. Veronica already has enough challenges, but now vaccine passports are leaving her excluded from public spaces.
Telling these people to “just stay home” for the “greater good” is unacceptable in a society that claims to value liberty and individual rights. It is unacceptable in a Canada with constitutionally enshrined rights and freedoms.
That’s why we are fighting back.
Our first step is to challenge the policy using an administrative process called reconsideration. We’ve retained a talented lawyer named Geoffrey Trotter, one of the few lawyers experienced in this area of law.
Now we need your help too.
We expect this case to cost about $30,000. Because he believes so strongly in our cause, he has made a very generous reduction in his fees. But this case involves a lot of work, and even with a generous discount this fight is still expensive.
We’d be honoured if you could help us with even a small gift. Every dollar helps us fight for greater freedom. And this case in BC sets an example for all of Canada and will be helpful for fighting for all Canadians’ rights and freedoms.