Transcription – English – Day 2 Opening Address

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Trish Wood:
Good morning, everybody. It's June 23rd, 2022. And this is day two of our Canadian COVID Care Alliance Citizens' Hearing on COVID 19. And the policy harms that attended the management of the COVID 19 virus. This is a place where we're recording the history of a part of the COVID 19 story rarely talked about, and the only way to ensure this does not happen again. Some of the harms that we're talking about today is to take an accounting to mark down the stories of the people in this country who were harmed in ways large and small during this period in our country's history. I'm Trish Wood. I'm the host of a podcast on Critical Thinking that's done a lot of reporting on COVID 19. And I want to just shout out very quickly to Sonia Anderson, who put this together. It's a miracle of organization and deep, deep thought. So we're grateful to her. She's with CCCA and also to the technical team here. Also, there's a lot of moving pieces and they're doing a bang up job. So thank you for that. Our esteemed panel is I'll start by introducing Preston Manning, who you all know as an elder statesman in this country. 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 has written and lectured extensively on public policy issues, including governmental and non governmental responses to the COVID outbreak.

Trish Wood:
Decades of public service. That's Preston Manning. Susan Natsheh is a retired pediatrician with a very serious academic background. She also is a cancer survivor. And that kind of changed the way she looked at the patient experience when she became one. And she is very ably managing external comms for the CCCA. And last but not least, David Ross, who is the founder of the CCCA. He was an FCPA and an FCPA, which took him through some deep thinking about leadership in that profession. And then he kind of ended up in this intersection of ethical thinking, also about research in health care when he was connected to Horizon health care and his deep thinking about that in the time of COVID 19 caused him to found the CCCA in early 2021. So I just wanted to start today. We had a great day yesterday, jam packed and lots of really interesting ideas were put forward. We heard a lot of pain from a number of people who were gravely hurt by not just by policy, but by a mindset that seemed to take over many, many people in in the health care and in the helping professions. And that was hard to hear. But for me, I guess. But I'd like to hear from the panel what they took away from the hearings yesterday.

Preston Manning:
Well, I think the what we were basically doing is listening. And a lot of the people we heard from yesterday that that was one of their complaints, that they had observations to make about the various policies that were adopted, the various protocols that were adopted. They had questions about them. They put questions to the political people. They put questions to the science people that put questions to the bureaucracy and didn't get answers. And I think one of the consequences of this hearing is going to be to compile those questions and see what can be done to actually obtain answers from them. That would be one conclusion from yesterday's session.

Trish Wood:
Anyone else?

Dr. Susan Natsheh:
Yeah, I have a few. Thanks. There were really a lot of alarming points that were raised yesterday, and a particular concern for me was the issues surrounding the impacts on children. Because they're such a valuable resource, of course. But there were few things that really stuck out as well. That code of silence that was described yesterday, the fear that people who have been involved in the front lines or impacted in other ways, their fear of speaking out for the repercussions they may experience. And all of our speakers yesterday were courageous to come out and speak as they did. And we have to remember that courage is contagious. And hopefully they'll their stories will motivate others to come and speak out and ask the right questions. And the other point that stood out for me was just the lack of follow up that has been implemented by the people who created the policies. These were described as unprecedented times and unprecedented virus and policies were implemented in haste with no accountability or follow up to see if there were going to be any harms associated with them. And then finally, for me, I always say the science has been evolving over the past two years, but our response has not. And just to question why that has happened. Thanks.

Trish Wood:

David Ross:
Yes, well, just to start off, I just really need to to clarify that Canadian COVID Care Alliance is is very minimally about me. And so the reason that I reached out to our courageous Canadian independent scientists and medical doctors and other health care professionals was because I just could see that that there were very, very few courageous ones. And I would hope that more would become courageous. And so really my role is to serve them. And and really this this whole crisis that that we have been in while it has well, it has resulted in in in social harms and economic harms. It started in the medical arena in the area of health care with the with the relationship that all Canadians have with their trusted family doctor for those who have one. And so, you know, the whole the whole thing is is all kind of wrapped up together. But the highlight for me yesterday was seeing the the courage and the strength of character of the people who testified. My. They they are. Are. Some pretty amazing Canadians. And so, you know, I'm just I'm just honored to be here and to and to and to listen to their story. And and, you know, we really we really didn't do justice to them.

David Ross:
And the format of this is very three very quick days. And really, these folks only have about 10 minutes to tell their story and a few minutes for us to ask questions and some we didn't even ask questions of yesterday. It's not because we didn't want to ask questions. We just we just ran out of time. And so really, this this whole hearing is is something that that really it can't be seen as an end. It has to be seen as a beginning. And so what we need to do is to encourage more Canadians to tell their stories and encourage a lot more Canadians to hear those stories. And, of course, ultimately, our hope is that is that there will be more hearings and even culminating in a in a national inquiry that's independent. And and that gets to the root of of all of what we have experienced as Canadians. So I just I hope that those who who didn't have enough time yesterday will forgive us. And I'm asking for forgiveness in advance for those today and tomorrow that we really won't have enough time to. But this is just a start. And we thank them very, very much for their courage to to come and to tell their stories.

Trish Wood:
Thanks, David. I just want to say one thing and that absolutely applauding the courage of the people who came yesterday. But for the people watching this on the live stream, I hope we're giving you a sense that you're not alone if you're struggling. Other people are struggling to. You're not crazy. Your experience has manifest throughout the entire country for many, many people. So I hope that this serves that purpose for for people to who are feeling alone and unheard.

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