The Ontario Legislature resumed for the fall sitting after an abbreviated summer recess.
Unfortunately, the State of Emergency powers enacted in March remain much in effect with Bill 195, the government remains shielded from accountability and transparency, and all decisions regarding COVID measures are removed from Legislative oversight and are enacted through the COVID Command Table.
The Premier continues to refuse to identify who comprises the membership on this command table and will not release their agenda, minutes, or communications.
As we saw this summer, many members remain reluctant to speak out for fear of reprisal and removal, as happened with the MPP for Cambridge who voted against Bill 195.
The included video in this edition of the Scuttlebutt provides context and clarity to the concerns I have heard from my constituents, which I hope you take a few minutes to watch and consider. Whether you agree with these sentiments or not, it is most important that we all understand what is happening to our society during covid.
While my offices remain open, the calls for assistance and help have increased exponentially while the numbers of people visiting my offices has diminished.
As a result of my advocacy, my office has been overwhelmed with supportive emails from across Ontario, Canada, and indeed, the globe. While I appreciate the time and effort that people have put into offering constructive advice, criticism, and simply telling me of their experiences, I would get nothing else done if I were to respond to each of the suggestions, concerns, and stories so many people continue to send me.
Your support for my position is best demonstrated by actions of your own.
I cannot do this alone. I need your support if we are going to change the current narrative and move societal interests back towards normalcy. I need you to write to your MP, your MPP, your municipal councils and Health Units. I need you to write letters to the editors and encourage their publication in both local and larger news agencies. I need you to not only be public on social media and counter the falsehoods and fear that is currently driving the public agenda, but more importantly engaging in conversation with friends, family, and neighbours.
A complete list of pertinent and relevant facts and my videos regarding COVID can be found on my website here.
P.S. Feel free to share this and any of my posts on social media with friends and family.
COVID & Upholding My Oath of Office
In my riding of Lanark, Frontenac and Kingston, and indeed in Ontario, and across Canada, and throughout much of the Western world, we find ourselves on the Horns of a Dilemma.
As an elected representative, I do not have the ability to embody nor promote each and every perspective of the 100,000 people I serve. My responsibility is to listen and talk to as many people as possible, to become knowledgeable and understanding of their concerns, and to learn how our laws and policies impact and affect them.
Once those deliberations are completed and held up against and through the lens of history and experience, examined and evaluated with the magnification of that knowledge, and then measured using empathy and compassion, I must reach a determination of what is the right path forward.
I have done this and I have chosen which path to take, which road I believe will lead to the best outcomes, and shall see and judge in the fullness of time, the outcomes of my actions and advocacy.
Seven months ago the World Health Organization declared a pandemic and our Premier declared a State of Emergency.
Many people saw these declarations as a necessary response to an imminent, credible, and grave risk to our lives, our safety, and our security.
Many people pushed, as did the media, that the government take actions to protect us from this danger.
But in our haste, by ignoring our past experiences, our history, we compounded this threat.
We did not rely on facts, but on speculation, we did not rely on evidence and data, but on computer models and projections.
But ultimately our best defence against any threat, real or perceived, has been, and always will be, our ability to think for ourselves, to think critically and measure the risk.
However, even this defence was thrown away in favour of expert opinions.
My commitment to my oath of office, and my convictions, have often put me at odds with my own political party, sometimes with local governments, and frequently with bureaucrats, special interest groups, and corporate businesses. I have paid a price for these convictions, including being removed from party favours, being subjected to law suits and trumped up allegations of harassment and wrongdoing. Speaking truth to power always comes with a price, but it is a cost I have always, and will always accept.
As an elected representative, I have a duty not to just act in the best interests of today, but also for tomorrow, and next year, and in my constiuent’s interest, including their children and grandchildren.
I will always do everything possible to help ensure the future is better, more prosperous, and more just, than yesterday.
Oftentimes it is difficult to see that our haste today can lead to greater hardship tomorrow, that safety and security in the present can create grave hardships and burdens in the future.
I will not be swayed by short term electoral gain. I will not be coerced or bullied by those large corporate interests that are profiting from and prolonging these fears.
No longer must we rely on predictions, models, and misinformation.
The evidence is clear and without a doubt, the probability of becoming sick or dying from COVID presents little risk to 99% of our population, and of those who may fall ill, 99% are expected to recover with little side effect.
This is not the catastrophic models predicted seven months ago, but it is the facts today.
But what the academic modellers never considered, what the headline seeking media never reported upon, and what our political leaders disregarded was; what are the consequences of our actions, our policies and our laws.
To all of them, the cost was of no concern, unimportant and irrelevant in the face of COVID. Expediency was their only solution.
But we all know that in life, we ignore consequence at our peril.
Since May of this year, I have opposed the continuation of many of these COVID policies, a position not all my constituents favour, nor understand.
But let me dispel any misunderstandings.
While less than 1% of 1% are at a high risk to the COVID virus, many of the 99% who are not at risk, are paying a terrible price, a cost they can never hope to repay, nor their children or grandchildren. It is not just a cost in financial terms, although there is indeed a monetary cost, but a far more costly price will be paid. The costs include:
- our freedom to have a dissenting voice;
- to have honest forthright discussions, free from censorship to find truth;
- our personal responsibility to take care of ourselves, our family, and our health;
- our rights as free men and women to congregate together either in worship, prayer, or party;
- our elderly and sick loved ones who are isolated and left alone;
- our liberty to move freely between house or cottage, between towns and provinces;
- to seek better employment; or
- to visit our loved ones, grieve the passing of our friends and family members, or celebrate the uniting of our children in marriage.
It is not just the cost of losing our own personal freedoms and responsibilities, but also diminished access and availability to those services which we have earned and paid for. No longer can we:
- meet with our family doctors and access needed and timely medical treatments or diagnostics; and
- To give our youth a quality education, help them develop healthy social relationships through school, sports and recreation, and prepare them for gainful employment and a productive life.
Our social fabric and cohesion is being stressed with tragic increases in suicides, overdose deaths, domestic violence, depression, anxiety, and despair.
And we are forsaking our youth and future generations ensuring they will never have what we have, it is a cost that is too dear a price for me to promote or accept.
Without debate or vote, we have embraced arbitrary rules, we have thrown away the rule of law, we have accepted unaccountable authority instead of representative government, we have empowered governments to deprive people of their businesses, employment, and livelihoods. Socialism is neither a cure nor a remedy for COVID.
I will continue to discharge my oath of office and my commitment to my constituents, conscientiously, without fear or favour, and with honesty and compassion for all those who carry the great burdens of our times and whose voices are seldom heard in the Halls of Power.
But I will never ask that our children and grandchildren pay with their future, for our false sense of security today.
As the elected member for Lanark, Frontenac, and Kingston, I have sworn an oath of office on four occasions, to uphold our constitution and to represent the people to the best of my abilities.
It is an oath I hold dear and the discharge of my responsibilities has been met with overwhelming support through 13 years.
But never again can we allow the common men and women of Canada to become second class citizens in our own country and be lorded over and subjected to an unelected, unaccountable group of bureaucrats and experts.