Thoughts on the current turmoil gripping Canada

Canada in turmoil

It is with immense sadness that I see every day the disharmony and the tearing apart of Canadian society.

I think the zenith of my despondency came in a recent news broadcast with a Canadian woman vocalizing, and with a placard, saying that she was going to “free Canada”.

Free Canada? Free Canada from what?

Any Canadian can start life by being supervised by a midwife or a doctor from conception to delivery – and this is all for free. Nobody needs fear of starting a family because of lack of money.

The children of such a union are educated for free from kindergarten to Grade 12. Canadians are at liberty to choose a private education or home schooling. Excellent public health and immunization is provided at no cost to the parents.

University or college does carry a fee, but is still partially subsidized by the governments.

Through life medical treatment is affordable — and mostly free. The wait times are difficult to tolerate, but mostly the seriously ill are seen and treated almost right away.

The pandemic of COVID-19 has put much stress on society. The governments are accused of being draconian — of pushing their wills on to the populace.

This is being fueled by a tsunami of disinformation and, quite frankly, lying. Absolute untruths which are proliferating on the internet every day.

I wonder how many protesters have taken advantage of this draconian government’s Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) and the subsequent Employment Insurance changes and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB).

I further soundly disagree with the often-chanted “it is my body and I can choose what I put into it.” This is not, in fact, true because “my body” may well be transmitting viruses, potentially passing on severe illness or death to those susceptible.

Many protesters want to exercise their “rights and freedoms.” These rights and freedoms have to be balanced by duties and responsibilities.

To put things into perspective, these “draconian measures” are not created by governments. They are public health measures, made by physicians and health-care teams — all of whom are highly trained and knowledgeable.

In British Columbia, we have been fortunate to have a competent and open public health office. I feel that we have been well informed throughout this ordeal — including being told openly and honestly that public health does not have all the answers.

There is no precedent. There is limited data to look back on.

But personally I feel that as public health transparently explain why these measures are needed, and why they are adjusted from time to time, we should all unselfishly comply.

Chris Pengilly is a retired family physician in Saanich on Vancouver Island. This column first appeared the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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