Transcription – English – Dean Allison, Colin Carrie, Nadine Wilson and Steve VanLeeuwen

07. Dean Allison, Colin Carrie, Nadine Wilson, and Steve Van Leeuwen.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

07. Dean Allison, Colin Carrie, Nadine Wilson, and Steve Van Leeuwen.mp4: this mp4 video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Trish Wood:
Next we go to what we're calling our cross partisan panel stories from constituencies which which means essentially we've got four of. Politicians, elected representatives on who have people that they represent, and they're going to talk about what their constituencies have told them and what kind of help they said they needed and what could be done differently in the future. So I'll just it's a multi speaker zoom screen, I believe. So it should be four squares and in one square we have Dean Allison. Is that you, Mr. Allison? There I'm looking at.

Dean Allison:
It is.

Trish Wood:
Great. And, well, you're not Nadine, so you must be Steve, are you Steve Van Leeuwen. What about?

Steve Van Leeuwen:
I'm Steve over here.

Trish Wood:
Okay, great. And Colin Carrie.

Colin Carrie:
Colin Carrie, member of Parliament for Oshawa.

Trish Wood:
Brilliant. Thank you so much. Bear with me. And is Nadine Wilson coming?

Nadine Wilson:
Yes. Good morning. Good morning. How are you?

Trish Wood:
Hi, Nadine. We're not seeing you on the screen. We've got to take that screen. Brilliant. If it's easier for tech, I don't need to have a screen up there. You can just do the four squares. Might be easier on the eyes because I think they might be bigger. So let's get that going, if you can. Thank you. Perfect. So what I'm going to do is ask a couple of questions and you don't need I don't think you need to be specifically asked. You can kind of talk amongst yourselves, I think, too. And the panel also wants to engage. But but let's let's start on point one, which is and maybe we'll go to Dean first on that and then we'll just let it evolve. But what was the impact of COVID 19 policy on your constituents in Ontario?

Dean Allison:
Et cetera. I should just before I get started, I just want to say to Preston there. Preston is a reason I actually got involved in politics over 22 years ago. It's all his fault. I was minding my own business, writing the business. And here I am, 18 years later, still in politics and, Preston, I'm going to blame you 100% for that. So anyways, I just want to say hi and thank him for his influence on my life to get in politics and get back. I live in my ridings, Niagara West, and I live in a riding that's about a half an hour from the border, depending on where you are. And so I can tell you hundreds of stories of the way this has affected my constituents. As you can imagine, in any or many border towns, there is a whole bunch of relationships that are cross border. We've got people that have married, we've got sisters, we've got aunts, we've got uncles, there's all kinds of things. And that is certainly one of the major issues that's been dealt with or we had to deal with during the course of COVID over the last two years is the isolation, the inability to get together for family events. And I'm sure that's been a theme of what's going on. There's been a whole bunch of reasons why people could not get together.

Dean Allison:
And I can just give you two specific stories and then I can add more later. And like I said, I've got hundreds of stories, but we don't have time for all that. The first one is a constituent of mine whose daughter married someone from the US and actually lived across the border and probably 30 or 35 minutes and they actually had a hard time. It's almost impossible for them to be able to go over because of changing restrictions, the necessity to quarantine or not to quarantine. And the list goes on and on. And you know, just in terms of how effective the system was one time when they were finally able to come, her family members were vaccinated, they came over. It was a time when you still needed to test. They showed up and they test. They had that. They did. They put in the box in the mailbox and they were only there for the day and they went back three days later. The package has still not been picked up in terms of the testing. So we talk about the effect, the inefficiencies in the system and how crazy that is. I think probably one of the most troubling stories and once again, lots of these is I had a friend of mine that ended up in St Catherine's General Hospital and he went in.

Dean Allison:
And what happened was for a number of reasons, the floor got covered. His family were not able to be there. And so his family who were there for most of the time because they weren't sure what was what was wrong with him and they abdicated. You know, it's like medication should come at 6:00. No doctors, no one around. No one had a clue what was going on because doctors were, of course, stretched thin. They'd fired most of their staff, well, for fire boats, but they certainly fired some. And so what we ended up seeing was no advocate on behalf of the patient. He reached out to me. He was still lucid. He was talking to me on on on texting. He told his family that he wanted me to get him out of there and send him to Hamilton General, which I don't have any ability to do. And within a day he was dead and he died of sepsis, you know, and you think about a first world country, someone dying of sepsis is insanity. It makes no sense whatsoever, you know. And so what's troubling to me is here is somebody that was healthy. Obviously, if you're in the hospital, you're not perfectly healthy.

Dean Allison:
But they couldn't figure it out. They didn't know what was going on. They were short staffed. The communications was there. The family who had been with them for the first week were now no longer to be present. And so who was his advocate? Because people didn't know what was going on. People weren't following charts. They weren't doing anything. I would say the the hospital was responsible. Now, I don't think the family ever pressed charges. They didn't. Once again, you go through a grieving process. It's not like you want to continue the you know, keep keep pushing on these things. So I look at those two specific examples where family members were intentionally not allowed to get together and we're not allowed to participate and we're not allowed to be a family functions and the list goes on for deaths across the border and what happened obviously for smaller services here in Canada, etc., etc.. But you see a person going into a first world country hospital for something that quite frankly should have been dealt with and could have been fixed and not leaving the hospital and dying, leaving two kids and a wife. And I think that is absolutely unnecessary. I think it's tragic and I think it's very sad.

Trish Wood:
Well, that's a really interesting point. I'll move on to to maybe Nadine next. But just just to say that the idea that people were being prevented from advocating for their loved ones in hospital, that's a big thing. Right. And so not being able to be there can lead sometimes to bad, bad results. Nadine, are you willing to go next?

Nadine Wilson:
Yes. Yes. Thank you. I'm a sitting independent MLA. I was elected for four terms. I've been married 40 years, have four children, nine grandchildren, married a cattle rancher. So my values and morals were very common sense. I had a disagreement with the current sitting government over what was occurring during the pandemic with restrictions and the mandates and the vaccine. So I left the Premier accepted my resignation. I was deputy speaker. I resigned from that as well. Came home to my office not expecting. I didn't know what to expect. I had to hire more staff at my office. The people that were calling that were emerging from this pandemic, they were saying their communities were killed. They couldn't bury their dead, they couldn't celebrate weddings. They did not have a community anymore. And they were calling me because. The offices of their MLAs across Saskatchewan were not receiving phone calls. The offices were possibly closed. I kept my office open the whole time over the two years. If they did reach an MLA, an elected official, they were ridiculed, laughed at or discriminated. So I became the MLA for Saskatchewan, receiving all these phone calls from people saying. We have no one to call. No one is listening. There were mental health issues. Individual thinking was repressed. Job losses. Fear of being denied. Access to health care due to their injection status.

Nadine Wilson:
They were feeling devalued, unwashed, unloved. Our premier said, I'm going to make it uncomfortable for you. And they lost respect for the government. Their inability to travel, they became hostages in their own country. They had uncertainty of the future. They felt they were not worthy in society anymore because of the two years of propaganda. They were hurt, bewildered, angered, stressed. And so as I hired more staff, we sat and listened to the thousands of people from across Saskatchewan saying, where do we go from, from here? What do we do? I had families calling me, saying, call me when things are back to normal. And they flew fled to Nicaragua. They fled to Mexico. Montana. So the conclusion of this was there was so much pain and uncertainty and the lack of dignity and respect for all people that. We decided we just have to keep our office open and keep listening. And I appreciated the last few days of testimony of of listening to all the pain and suffering that has occurred that probably didn't have to occur. And I know we have to heal and unite and encourage citizens to take a very firm stand. Where do we go from here? So that was that was my last two years. I was like, thank you.

Trish Wood:
Thank you. So let's go to Steve. Is it Van Leeuwen? Have I got that right?

Steve Van Leeuwen:
Yeah. It's Steve Van Leeuwen. Yeah.

Trish Wood:
Okay, wonderful.

Steve Van Leeuwen:
Thank you. So I would probably say the biggest thing that we faced and was the frustration was definitely the aspect of the fear that was promoted within the within the communities. And as that continued to roll along, it would be the aspect of citizens not having anyone to advocate for them, someone to speak to and really communicate back with them. And I believe that that's probably because there is such a as influx of calls to our MP's MPP offices, but also that there was nothing available for them to do as well. Through this through the whole two years, you couldn't you couldn't function at all. So if I explain a little bit, my background is I'm a business owner, we own dealerships, so we have storefront to the community. So there's there's lots of access there. But I was also a municipal councillor for 12 years. I was the deputy mayor of the area for and which actually interesting enough, I had to take over for a little while as mayor when the mayor was sick. And what happened was, as you saw, a lack of trust or a lack of effectiveness from the community to to be able to touch their MPs or MPPs. It slowly came down to their local municipal councillors. So the stories that we've heard previously and what you've heard over the last couple of days, that was my phone just it was literally you can't you couldn't work, right? So there's that that phone continues to ring. People are walking in the front door. They're looking for someone to take care of them, someone to help them through this pandemic.

Steve Van Leeuwen:
So it was as as someone who is very, very accessible as a councillor, that that was very difficult to to navigate. One of the one of the benefits at that point was I was able to then kind of join the end of lockdown group to say, you know, this is not working. This is there's something wrong, there's we need to take another look and we need to get a dialogue happening within within these not only higher level, but also lower level governments. So that was that was incredible to start that process. The the phone calls from residents who finally felt like people were listening, there was a small piece to say, okay, how can we want to tell our story? Really, really was good. But it became very difficult to navigate. And once again, we saw within the public realm and within the government realm a sense of disparity. And I would say mostly disparity within the community is because what we found was then the councils and the municipalities, they didn't want to touch these subjects. So in our situation, immediately after it was the the conversation happened about we need to talk about what is happening and, and is this really what's best for a community? Immediately the councils were like, whoa, we, we don't want to go there. This is for the highest level of government. Even though we are the ones seeing and talking and speaking to the to the people, immediately there was that sense of going, how do we get rid of these people? So so for example, in my case, they had it actually had to remove me as deputy mayor.

Steve Van Leeuwen:
The interesting part is they sent me to the integrity commissioner of Ontario. So so this is this is the life of a of a municipal councillor who also has to meet those those kind of integrity aspects. The Integrity Commissioner spent nine, about nine months on this on this file township, spent about 50,000 in tax dollars to to pursue whether I had acted in integrity. So then what happens is you go through they go through your emails, your phone calls, whether we hindered the police, whether we it was it was quite something to be in the municipal government, in a leadership role, trying to help people and advocate for them and then to have yourself under the scrutiny of of an integrity commissioner. So thankfully, after he produced a 54 page report that says that that we act not only to act with integrity in every area, but also that the information that we were sharing and the information that we were speaking about was correct. So what was what I find amazing is to even go through the the the system, to go through these integrity commissioners of Ontario and to still have that information to come forward and say this was true. There is a desire to say, okay, thank you. We don't want to listen to that. We're not willing to open the dialogue. Let's set that aside quite quickly.

Trish Wood:
So thank you, Steve. I'm going to move on to call and carry. And then what I'm going to say is maybe just the panel can when Colin has done his bit, the panel can then take over the questioning.

Colin Carrie:
Okay. Well, thank you very much. And I do want to start off by thanking you for putting together this citizenship hearing from the grassroots up. And I hope it stimulates more of these because it's something that we do have to take a look at and review what we've done and how we've handled things. As far as my constituents are concerned, most of the constituents I heard from were constituents who are suffering. I didn't hear from people who were going, you know, the CERB is great. You know, my job is looked after. I can work from home. I heard from people who were suffering mainly because of their choices in in life. I think one of the things that most serious has come out of this entire process for all of us is a loss of democracy, like Steve was saying. I'm seeing more and more people distrust our institutions. So not only government, but our courts, the medical system, your your previous speaker, Dr. Schabas, I think his name was, I thought, put things forward. The misinformation and the lack of logic in moving forward and the feeling that Canadians are stupid and they're not. And when they are presented with different information, that just doesn't make sense. So I heard from small business people who said, look, Costco's open and there's like 500 people in there, but the government doesn't want me to open my doors like I've got bills to pay.

Colin Carrie:
I don't want to be dependent on government for handouts. I want to be able to be independent. These are the people that I heard from. And to see how our media. Anybody who speaks out. And Dean and I are very cognizant of this and I'm sure our other speakers are as well, that you get cancelled every time you make something a statement that they don't like. That's not part of the agenda. You know, just an example, when I tried to make a question on the World Economic Forum, which there are some legitimate issues to be spoken about, basically shut down. So I don't want to take too much time here, but I think the things that we're losing is our democracy, our trust in our institutions. We're seeing separation of families, demonization of individuals for no good scientific reason. This is bullying that we're seeing that Steve went through by governments, bullying people by colleges of physicians and surgeons, actually taking away people's licenses because they're looking at the best interests of their of their staff. So this is or of their patients, this is absurd. And we do need to be able to come up with ways to hold people to account. And I'm hopeful that what you started with the citizens hearing, perhaps we could expand this and move it forward.

Trish Wood:
Okay. The panel wants to start some questions. That would be great.

Preston Manning:
Well, I'll start, first of all, thanking you for even serving in the positions that you're in these days. Being in the political arena is no fun, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit people to participate in the democratic process. So we thank you for what each of you are doing. One of the questions that we've been putting even this morning, particularly to some of the business people that were shut down, was when these things happen to you, did anyone from the government, from the bureaucracy, from the elected officials, from the regulatory side acknowledge what you were going through and suggest some kind of remedy? And the answer to that question of the ones we put it to was very direct and very simple and was one word. No. And I guess I'm wondering from each of your perspectives what could be done from the standpoint of an elected official to acknowledge, let's just take the business case. There's all kinds of other effects. What could be done to acknowledge the pain and the difficulty these people are going through and to respond in some kind of a way other than just listening to them?

Colin Carrie:
Well, maybe if I can start, Preston. Excellent question. My office, like Nadine's and I think probably the best thing I ever did was keep my office open. We stayed open at the early times, 24 seven. I had and I applaud my staff. We were very active trying to get people back to this country. And we were the only office or one of the few offices that were actually open that could answer the questions. And I think the despair and suffering that you have heard the last couple of days is real. And the truth is, government hasn't been listening. What we have been able to do, though, is direct people to where some of the assistance is coming through, making sure the programs like the CERB and the government assistance, the loans to facilitate these things. But some of it was extremely frustrating because of what was available and because governments weren't listening to what people needed versus what the bureaucrats found was very easy for them to to provide to people. So with those comments, maybe I should give my colleagues an opportunity to comment as well.

Dean Allison:
May I just jump in then? So we made sure we did a bunch of Zoom meetings through chambers of commerce. So we literally with my, my, my guy also happened to be a provincial conservative who was in government at the time here in Ontario. So together we did a number of meetings on Zoom and really freaking out, had no idea it was going on. We explained programs try to do that stuff and I will give kudos or kudos are due. You know the original program for wage subsidy I don't know if you guys remember this actually didn't do much. It was like 10%. It was terrible. It was nothing. There was a bunch of stakeholders, you know, opposition parties like our party that said, hey, that's not going to work. And they raised the level to 75%. That was that was key for a number of businesses that were absolutely going through very difficult times. And once again, at the end of the day, if your business is not open, 75% of wages is great. But that only represents a third of your costs if if that. So we tried our best to steer people and to go on their behalf. I remember a limousine driver company who couldn't get money from the provincial government for a loan or for a grant because his business was to shut down. But everything that he did, absolutely. You know, in terms of wine tours, border, cross border, all that stuff was all done, but he didn't qualify it. So we certainly reached out to our provincial counterparts and tried to lobby on their behalf as an elected official would do as I'm sure all my colleagues on the call here would do as well.

Preston Manning:
I think you're on mute there, Nadine.

Nadine Wilson:
Can you hear me now? Yeah.

Preston Manning:
There you are.

Nadine Wilson:
Thank you. Thank you. We had quite a few constituents call us about health and hospital practices that they were being discriminated against. So we assisted them, navigated them through the health system so they could get some immediate surgeries. We found a lot of surgeries were being cancelled or. Having trouble getting through to the doctors. And we were able to navigate through that with some of the constituents weren't able to. And we also helped students in schools. There were quite a few elementary. Actually, and even post-secondary students that were being discriminated against. And we would advocate for them either through some of the lawyers we found or just continue to press that the public has to stand up for themselves. And of course, it's safety in numbers. So we would bring groups together so they would feel comfortable. We brought awareness into some of the legislature regarding different bills. I was able to speak up regarding, say, nonpartisan security. A bill 70 that was being passed in Saskatchewan regarding our security belongs to the people, the building. However, it was going to belong to the crown now and they could say who could come in the assembly now. So this bill was introduced in response to a peaceful citizen's protest, protest against some of the mandates. So I just kept pressing and try to bring awareness and people together. And that seemed to bring some hope to the citizens of Saskatchewan. Thank you.

Steve Van Leeuwen:
Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for that question. It's a good one because I think the big one actually, I like the word awareness. Most people that went through this, especially in the business owner side of things. Myself being one of them is that a lot of the citizens didn't understand what is and what is actually law, what's legal and what is recommendations. They're trying to navigate these rules and still run a business. It was interesting in the Integrity Commission report, it actually referenced the fact that in I think 13 months the government changed the rules 72 times. That was six every six days the government changed the rules. And this is so this is in the report. Say, as a business owner, that's impossible to navigate. So so for myself, being in the community, many, many questions I had the ability to have, I say maybe the joy of having Ministry of Labor multiple times, the police multiple times. We were able to stay open, mostly because I enjoy paperwork and I enjoy awareness. And so but to pass that on to people is key. But you ask something that was is something is the next step, what can we do? Well, what should we as the as the government or as policymakers to say, how do we help? And I think that the number one thing, you know, you can put money towards it.

Steve Van Leeuwen:
You can say there's a lot of business, a lot of debt, a lot of suffering. But the government is the people. It's not an entity in itself. The government represents the people. And sometimes you look at it and think, do you take more money and put it back out? Do you keep doing this? It's a very, very difficult thing because now you have, again, more debt layered on more. It always has to be paid back. I believe the number one thing that people are looking for is protection in the future. To know that this can't happen again, that they they understand their rights. They are aware of what's happened. And let's not make this mistake again. That's got to be the moving forward close. We need to be aware and we have to prevent. So.

Preston Manning:
Well, thank you for that. One more question that's relevant to what we're doing. We see an increasing public demand for an independent national investigation into how this whole thing was handled. And the challenge is how to set that up, because it almost has to be non governmental because you can't ask the government to to investigate itself on this issue. But if such a commission or investigation was set up and you could frame the terms of reference for it, and I know that's a huge question, but what would be one term of reference that you think would be important to any national investigation into this issue if that were set up? Well, just one or two terms of reference for such investigation. I think we all speak at once.

Colin Carrie:
I'll say, Preston. I'd love to see accountability. You know what Steve was saying? We can't have this again. I think it was Thomas Jefferson. If I remember the quote, when the public or citizens are afraid of the government, you have tyranny. And when the when the government is afraid of the citizens, you have democracy. Another quote that was brought to my attention, It's easier to fool a man than to get a man to admit that he was fooled. So there was a lot of communication that was sent out, as Dr. Schabas, I think was stating. And these were intentional in some cases, I would say misleading information in order to get people to take a vaccine or follow an agenda. I'm going to bring up a term nudging and communication nudging. These are real phenomenons that psychologists use in order to get people to conform. And I think we should be looking at due diligence and negligence, perhaps even criminal negligence among some officials that did not perform their due diligence, due diligence. And instead, we're using talking points instead of performing the duties that the public expects of them. In other words, the health and safety of Canadians, Health Canada, the public health agencies of Canada and throughout the provinces, the colleges of physicians and surgeons have a duty to protect Canadians. And in my viewpoint, they didn't do that very well. They didn't do their due diligence. And I think there needs to be some accountability.

Dean Allison:
Thanks, Colin. I was going to say certainly the College of Physicians and Surgeons. I know it's been raised before. The second thing I just say is that we did have pandemic planning in place. There were plans nationally, provincially, all across the board. And, you know, anybody that follows these things knows that none of them were actually followed. And so I heard it said by many people that are into pandemic and emergency planning, you need to have doctors, you need to have public health at the table, but they shouldn't be in charge of the table. So we have to take a whole government approach. It needs to be everybody. It needs to be mental health, needs to be businesses. It needs to be transportation supply chain. Our supply chain has been destroyed since then and it is not getting any better. And we have got to have issues. We have issues with food and food shortages and fertilizer, and the list goes on and on. But I really believe we should look into why was it that we had pandemic plans in place at the national level and at the provincial level and the local level? Why do we throw those out? Why do we choose not to follow them? And why? Why, why did we ever bother having them if we weren't prepared to follow them? Okay, that's a good point.

Nadine Wilson:
I think I'll jump in here as well. Something we haven't talked about is the media and how they published stories that were misleading. And something's happening here.

Preston Manning:
We can still hear you.

Nadine Wilson:
You can still hear me. Okay. So the media, which published stories that were found to be false or misleading, I think we have to maintain a list of them or have a list published in a prominent place for the public to access so they can find and resource themselves. Those news reports. The two years of propaganda that went on for the public, all the fear mongering that didn't have to be that way. We need accurate information. And then also, as the panel was discussing, debate is needed to restore the sanctity of doctor patient relationship without interference by the College of Physicians. We need to restore faith in in the health. And your own personal doctor. And there should be serious consequences for these health agencies and even individual employees that fail to provide full disclosure. A lot of this topic we're talking about or what the constituents have talked to us about. Some said maybe we need fines for. People. In different agencies. But as time goes on, it's the people that drive this. It's the power of the people. And they will let us know what they want and where do we go from here? Thank you for your time.

Steve Van Leeuwen:
And thank you. I would agree and concur with the word accountability, especially for someone who's who's working within a municipality constantly. I always think back to the, you know, the Walkerton water situation, and we have a water system we maintain every year. And I have to sign off saying I'm accountable for this water system and I'm legally liable for this water system. And so what I find is interesting is if you receive a report forward that says, hey, this is we need this, then I'm more inclined to say, let's do this because I'm legally liable for this this water system. And we've heard already previously that when you know that, you're you're inclined to say, let's go overboard a bit. The issue with this aspect was we were there was no accountability. The opposite way of what did you know of the harms that were happening through this pandemic with the policies that you put into place. So there was the ability to to ignore it or at least put it on the back shelf and say, I don't have any accountability, and therefore I will just choose to implement these policies without looking at the big picture. And the reason I say that is if if we were to have some type of inquisition, if you want to use the term into into what happened, generally, I would say that it would come back to what did you know when you created these policies, what knowledge was shared with you.

Steve Van Leeuwen:
And so, for example, I had the pleasure of working with COVID Care Alliance. We, we had Sonya and, and some lawyers and the University of Guelph. We made this beautiful presentation. In fact, we saw the video of some of the presentations at kind of the break there around 11. And we presented this to our local council and we presented four pages of documentation, information and and voted to try to say, let's end these at least the mandate of the vaccine, because it doesn't it's not helping. And even though it failed, the ending statement is you can now never say, I didn't know. And I think that's the reality. Everybody wants to say I didn't know. But we need to say, if you did know, you now have to be held accountable because that will that's the mechanism to prevent this from happening in the future. So if I knew, I have to do something about it. Thank you.

Colin Carrie:
Okay.

David Ross:
Thank you, folks, for for sharing your comments. I guess one of the things that stands out to me is that all four of you continue to listen to your constituents. And quite frankly, this seems to be rare. Are you aware of any other of your colleagues? Or maybe I guess if I say that's that's not really descriptive enough. What percentage of your colleagues do you think maintain the same degree of approachability and responsiveness to their constituents that you folks did? And I'm not not asking you to to indict everyone else, but I'm just looking. Do you do you have a sense that that perhaps the majority of your of your colleagues, whether you're MP or MLA or municipal councillor, do you have a sense that that others also maintained a good and acceptable level of approachability and responsiveness for their constituents?

Colin Carrie:
That I think, as in one of my answers, I said the best thing we could have done is stay open. And we were able to help stick, handle people to get the support that they needed and to comment on my my colleagues. It's very difficult because I do have friends in all parties in the House of Commons and I think sincerely people want to do the best that they can. However, members of Parliament are just like everybody else, and they some of them believe in the government, believe in our institutions. Some of us question everything. And I'm a cynical guy, I'm a skeptical guy and gets into trouble, all kinds of things. But I always ask questions. I don't believe the government and coming from my background, I'm a chiropractor. I was also parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health for five years, which is the longest serving Parliamentary Secretary for health. I was there in 2009 when the WHO changed the definition of pandemic so that it was no longer going to be serious disease. I forget exactly what the the comment was, but I think it was they took out with enormous numbers of deaths and illnesses. They changed those definitions, which allowed pandemics to be more readily culled. This past summer, when the W.H.O. changed the definition of, I think, herd immunity, the CDC changed the definition of vaccines. There was no media, there was no parliamentarians bringing that up except a few of us on this panel questioning, questioning, questioning. So I do believe that most elected representatives do want to help their constituents, but they believe the media, they believe the agenda. They believe what's putting out. And most of them want hope that this is over. They don't want to believe they don't want to turn over the stone and see what's underneath the stone. That could be the problem that they're avoiding. So those of us who see the problems, I think it's the onus is on us to point them out and try to improve it so that next time we know we never go through this again.

David Ross:
Anyone else want to provide a response on that? As to the degree of responsiveness and approachability?

Nadine Wilson:
I can certainly, yes. As Colin alluded to, most elected officials go in for the right reasons. They believe they're able to help their communities. And unfortunately, because of the propaganda. Finding the truth and resources or their beliefs. I was the only one out of 61 elected officials who decided to question it. And I'll just leave it at that.

David Ross:
Thank you.

Dean Allison:
Yeah, go ahead, Steve, and I'll make comment up to you, Steve.

Steve Van Leeuwen:
Okay. Thanks, Steve. Yeah, I think it's very interesting because I do agree that everyone goes into this because they want to serve their community. I think there was a huge amount that said, but what can I do? But to follow the narrative. And and so that was that hopelessness, that helplessness. And there are, of course, varying opinions. We do need to continue to speak about it, even though that section is over. Some of what I found is encouraging as as a word of encouragement was I had obviously, I was voted out as deputy mayor for standing and saying, we need to we need to do more for our citizens. It was about six months later one of the fellow councillors who actually voted to remove me came back and said, I will forever live with the shame of what I did and has changed his complete his opinion absolutely, completely 180 and has become a very good advocate in helping me work through some of the the issues. So. So we do need to work through that and keep speaking about it because there's there's that that ability to change minds as well. But it was very slim and very few amount of people were able to stand up and say, we would like to put a stop or at least have a conversation with this.

Dean Allison:
Thanks, Steve and David. Thanks for the question. Know I go back to my colleagues said at the end of the day, I think people want to do the right thing. The challenge has always been the peer pressure. It's kind of like we left high school. But peer pressure. Peer pressure falls around your whole life. You know, I organized a couple of meetings with with with with colleagues over the course of the pandemic. One was with David Redmond. A number of people showed up, but the other one, Colin, was with Pierre Cary. I got 40 offices out to hear Pierre Kory talk about ivermectin, the science, etc., etc.. The leadership at the time was not happy with me having that meeting, but 40 MPs were in office that showed up, so that shows you there's an interest. And yet I continue to talk about ivermectin as an option. You should be made available, blah, blah, blah. But I've been ridiculed nationally, locally. I mean, the Toronto Star has done hit jobs. It goes on and on. Most MPs don't want that. They know no politician wants to have the mob come down. And that's exactly what happened. Steve, the mob came down on him for expressing a different point of view. And so I think the I think people are pretty decent. There's some that don't don't believe it, don't want to challenge it, don't believe the status quo, believe the narrative.

Dean Allison:
But I think what people are really concerned about is being on the side of public opinion slash the mainstream narrative or the legacy media, whatever you want to call them at the time. And so the challenge is always, you know, am I going to have to deal with a hit piece of my and we don't we don't want to respond to it because then you're just in their story. You don't get they've already written the story and they look to you for a comment. So I think that's really the challenge is that there's a lot more people that want to step forward and want to say things and are at least willing to have a dialogue. I've said all along, let's let's just bring the data out. Let's have a conversation around the data. Let's not change the data. Let's not keep redefining what the definition is, like Colin said, let's talk about data and then I'll bring people that support my point of view and you can bring your people and we'll have a great conversation. And I think people are just scared about having to deal with the mob/media mentality that comes as a result of having a difference of opinion.

David Ross:
Thanks, folks, there. It's good. Steve, I'd like to I'd like to applaud your colleague who came to you. And I would say that that demonstrates integrity. You know what? It's okay to be wrong, but integrity says you own up to it and you do your best to make it right. And so I think that that's that that's commendable. I'm sure all of us will admit that we've been wrong a few times. And and and it's okay right to where is human. And so we just, you know, to me, the you know, the fact that that we're dealing with so many so many people who have testified here that they that they you know, they they did their best to be heard but couldn't be heard. To me, this is just this is from the human perspective. This is this is the big tragedy. And that's what's caused people to lose their. And you folks have expressed it well, you know, to lose their trust in our institutions and our governments and in media and and in the medical profession. It's it's it's it's a tragedy. I'd like to believe that it can be repaired, but it can't be repaired. If it's not addressed, it will only get worse. So that's that's that's kind of I'll leave that at that. So.

Dean Allison:
Well, thank you, David. Could I just add.

Trish Wood:
Go ahead. Yes, go ahead.

Dean Allison:
I'm sorry. I just want to add one more thing. I think the other side of the coin is also tenure in this business. Colin and I have both been elected 18 years as of this month. You know, there's a lot of new people in the system and people are trying to figure out where the washrooms are. The challenge is politics has always been a team sport which has its advantages and disadvantages. If you go to the States, you can hate the president and be a Democrat and still be concerned about border policy. And you can still speak up about it and not have that problem. I believe we've been elected to represent our constituents and people's points of view and voices. A challenge for a new elected official is, Wow, I'm not even here. Will I even make it? Well, I make it past lunch, you know, to figure that stuff out. It's tough. There's a ton of peer pressure. And I believe that the newer you are in the system, the tougher it is to understand the nuances where you're at. And so you just sort of keep your head down and sort of move forward.

Trish Wood:
Thank you very much for doing this. It was very moving to hear you speak about your constituents with such care and hearing that you left your offices open at a time when people were closing down and running away. It's lovely. Nearly restores my faith in politics almost. So thanks very much for doing this. I'm very, very grateful. And this is the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, a citizen's hearing examining Canada's COVID response. Bye bye. Thank you.

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