01. Opening Statements.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix
Welcome everybody I’m Trish would I former that way former CBC journalist, author, producer and director. Now, for the past two years, the producer and host of the Trish Wood Is Critical Podcast. This wonderful, wonderful conference is called A Citizens’ Hearing, and it is absolutely and utterly needed. We need to hear the testimony and the evidence of people who have struggled through COVID 19 for a variety of reasons. It’s June 22nd, 2020 to mark the date. I just want all of us to begin today by taking a deep breath and understanding what’s happening here and how important this is. We’re here together. We’re giving evidence. We’re recording history, even though many of us are battered and bruised. Still proudly Canadian and laying down the story of the pandemic from a side that was rarely even mentioned by the news media. Sometimes it was, but certainly not often enough. And the people speaking here today, many of them, I’m sure, will say they felt shunned and pushed aside and not listened to during some of the dark days of the COVID 19. Epic. We are listening to you. That’s what we’re here for. So after two years of believing nobody was listening, we’re gathering to participate in this solemn event together. I’m just going to quickly say I am dedicating my role here today to the memory of Kai Matthews, a 19-year-old kid from Nova Scotia, who could not access medical care for what proved to be a terminal case of meningitis because the system appeared to be too focused on COVID 19.
Many attempts to get him admitted to the hospital failed. The ambulance they called would not take him in because he hadn’t had a negative COVID 19 test. He was dead in 24 hours. So that’s who I’m thinking about today. But I’m thinking about a lot of people who have stories not unlike that. Here’s what we’re doing. We want to hear and examine testimony from Canadians as to the impacts of health protection measures adopted by our governments to cope with the COVID pandemic. This is not a legal exercise. It’s not a court. It’s not a royal commission authorized by any government, and its findings are not binding on any government. This is a citizen organized hearing. It will hear and assess testimony as to the personal impacts, the health impacts, the impacts on rights and freedoms, the impacts on jobs and incomes, etc., of the health protection measures adopted by our governments. We will hear alternative narratives with respect to the medical and scientific perspectives of the pandemic and how it was managed. Hopefully we will hear suggestions as to how such a crisis could be better managed in the future, and that this hearing will generate increased public demand for a full blown non governmental national investigation into government management of COVID 19. Before I introduce our panel, I’d like to I’d like to introduce you to Anderson of the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, who put this unbelievable event together, this historical event. And here she is. Here’s Sonya.
Thank you, everyone. I wanted to let you know that over the past few weeks, my phone has been ringing off the hook. My email inbox has been overflowing with your stories that are heart wrenching. And we wanted to make sure that we gave your stories a platform so that your voices could be heard. That’s what the next three days are all about. But in addition to this, I want you to know there are many of you that reached out that we just couldn’t fit into these three short days. And we will continue to listen to your stories. Check back to the website, which is CitizensHearing.ca, and over the coming months, we will continue to upload your stories, whether in written format or video format, because we feel that it’s really important that your stories are heard and we’re hoping to share them far and wide across this great country of ours, as well as with our elected officials. So I thank you so much to those of you the brave citizens who have come forward to share their stories over the next three days, and to those of you who will continue to do so in the coming months. Thank you.
Thank you, Sonya, very much. So I’d like to start introducing the panel. The panel by. Introducing you. Sorry to to Preston Manning, who actually needs no introduction. That’s why I hesitated for a moment. But just in case you don’t know who he is, you should. Preston Manning spent 23 years as a management consultant before entering federal politics. He was the founder of two federal political parties, served as the leader of the official opposition from 1997 to 2000, and was his party’s science and technology spokesperson. He’s written and lectured extensively. On public policy issues, including government and non governmental responses to the COVID outbreak. Next is Susan Natsheh, a pediatrician who got her postgraduate degree in pediatrics at Queen’s University and completed a clinical fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at the Hospital for Sick Children. And she worked at the St’ John Regional Hospital for seven years. Subsequently, the she and her family moved to Ontario with plans to stay home for the short term and raise her family. She soon became intimately familiar with the patient side of medicine when diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. She has contributed to her community by volunteering as a board member at the local YMCA in Minor Sports Group and at her children’s schools.
Currently, she co-chairs the External Communications Committee of the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, where she’s been a member for over a year. And David Ross. David Ross is a CPA FCA, a fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of New Brunswick. David has served in the ethics leadership of his profession, both nationally for over 20 years, currently serving as chair of the Unified Rural Standing Committee and provincially for over 25 years, currently serving as chair of the Complaints Committee. Earlier this year, David completed four years of service as the community representative on the Research Ethics Board of Horizon Health Care Corporation. New Brunswick’s English Language Hospital Network. It is in this intersection of professional ethics, health care and critical thinking that prompted David’s interest in the COVID crisis, leading to the founding of Canadian COVID Care Alliance, an organization of independent Canadian scientists, doctors and other health care professionals committed to developing and providing balanced, evidence based scientific information where he served as the president since its founding in early 2021. I believe David has a few words.
Thank you, Trish. And I want to welcome everyone to the Citizens’ Hearing that we are conducting today in the next two days. Really, this is a very important process. Trish has already mentioned about Canadian COVID care alliance. And it’s an alliance of of independent scientists and doctors and other health care professionals. Close to 1000 now across Canada. And so these are people who care for Canadians and they care about both the scientific truth. And and they want to make sure that that the that the science and the evidence is presented in all of its fullness. So really, I don’t want to take a whole lot more time right now, but my my main objective here now is just to thank and to repeat what Sonya said is to thank the courageous people who are going to testify here over these next three days. It’s not an easy thing to to to to go public with with one’s own personal story, especially when it’s a story of of pain and a story of loss. And so I salute and we salute each of you, and we thank you for coming to share your story. And we look forward to others doing the same, so that we can so that we can restore our nation and and bring some healing to our people. Thank you.
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