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  • Writer's pictureJames Gollinger

Questions from Constituents #3

Updated: Jan 19

Something that, surprisingly, hasn't really come up yet.

Q: I am wondering what your position is/was regarding the governments' covid 19 response. I'm particularly interested in what you think about the restrictions and mandates that were put in place, and how you would respond should these be re-implemented in the coming months.

A: I could speak at length regarding the pandemic response but in the interest of brevity: it failed.

We did not, and likely never will, achieve "Zero Covid". The untested mRNA inoculations have not, according to Public Health data, been shown to significantly reduce infection, hospitalization, or death, nor do they stop transmission. There was never a scientific justification for their use. They were also promoted to children, the least vulnerable group in terms of infection and death from Covid-19. Evidence from multiple countries suggests that the mRNA inoculations being administered are far more dangerous than the vaccines we are accustomed to. The reporting tool used by Pfizer in their phase 2 clinical trials in the USA (VAERS) reports that there are as many adverse events due to the mRNA inoculations over 2 years as there were for every other vaccine combined over the last 20 years, and this could be an underestimation by a factor of as much as 100.

The travel mandates came only after cases were common across Canada, and were therefore also not justified. "Physical distancing", which is still being prescribed and practised by Public Health, was a ridiculous measure that only made sense if Covid-19 was primarily spread through liquid droplets, while we've known it is airborne since early 2020. The risk of "asymptomatic spread" was largely overblown and was never, to my knowledge, demonstrated.

I'm not 100% sure regarding the efficacy of masks in stopping the spread of disease but I can state, backed by data, that outbreaks occurred all over the country while mask mandates ensured 99.9% of people were wearing them, including in schools and prisons where administrators have heightened control over compliance. At the same time, many outdoor events occurred during the summer of 2020 and afterwards, in which participants were largely not masked, which didn't result in case spikes. These include the large gathering at Trinity-Belwoods park in Toronto in 2020, several BLM rallies across the province, and the 3-week Freedom Convoy event in Ottawa last February.

During this same period, our schools were having students wear masks outside and stand apart, not to mention the plastic dividers in the classrooms. Schools were closed with little notice or justification. Discrimination has appeared, at a systemic level, against anyone who has not received enough of the mRNA inoculations; first if they weren't "Fully Vaccinated", and now if they are not "Up to Date". Our school system, as well as our public health institutions, are not operating based on publicly available data or scientific evidence, but by the personal feelings of their boards of directors, a fact that I personally confirmed with Public Health some months ago.

I do commend the implementation of online schooling options for students, but I think this practice comes with many new challenges and needs to be studied carefully to see how it impacted the education of students.

While it's important to maintain partnerships with agencies to promote health, our goal as a school board is helping our students reach their best in terms of education. During the pandemic, while the board subjugated themselves entirely to the recommendations of Public Health, they also failed to hold EQAO testing for two years. This test is one of the only metrics that measures general academic achievement and so we currently have no idea how the pandemic, and the government response to it, has affected the education of our kids.

My first priority, if elected, would be to form a committee to study the effects of the pandemic, and the related government responses, on the education and health (mental as well as physical) of our students in order to determine the current status of our student population as well as any interventions or supports we may need to implement to recover from this unprecedented event.

Generally, I oppose health mandates. I think that everyone is responsible for their own health; they know their own circumstances and they alone can properly balance risks and protections of a given health intervention. Governments across the world have demonstrated that they can make mistakes, and when they mandate those mistakes it negatively affects everyone.

Any health mandate restricting the freedom of students and parents coming from either health institutions or the provincial government should come with all the data and studies required to support it's adoption. If the board is able to review the data, and can agree that the mandate is justified, I could accept it's adoption under specific and binding limits, such as a maximum period of time. If the data is not available, I would oppose any and all health mandates to the extent of my abilities and in my capacity as a member of the UGDSB.

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