March 17th 2023 marked the second day of the inaugural hearings of the National Citizens Inquiry in Truro, Nova Scotia. The gallery at the Best Western Glengarry was not quite so full as the day before, though attendance increased as the day wore on. Social media engagement for the event hovered around 8000 views.
As with Day 1 of the NCI there was no media coverage: none of the mainstream media outlets were present, even though they all received a press briefing in the run up to the event. And once again the Chief Medical Officers of Health and the Ministers of Health for each of the Atlantic provinces were nowhere to be seen.
Ches Crosbie, former leader of the Progressive Conservative party of Newfoundland and Labrador, opened the day’s hearings by recalling F. D. Roosevelt’s 1933 inaugural speech, in which he remarked during the Great Depression that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Crosbie drew parallels to that time of crisis with the COVID crisis of the last three years, highlighting, however, that instead of acting with courage, as Roosevelt’s speech inspired, the governments of Canada inspired fear within the people, and abandoned their established pandemic preparedness plans in favour of “a futile war against a virus”.
Indeed, it is worth noting that within the Canadian pandemic plan for influenza-like illnesses, it is admitted that: antiviral drugs would play a large part in treating the sick; self-isolation and quarantine measures are “voluntary”, not mandatory; widespread restrictions of movement are “impractical, if not impossible, to implement”; and that providing masks to healthy people is neither “feasible” nor “sustainable”, and that “little evidence exists regarding their effectiveness in reducing the spread of disease in the general population”.
Crosbie continued with a reiteration of the findings of the Cochrane Review, as echoed by Dr. Chris Milburn on Day 1 of the hearings, in which it is stated that “the pooled results of  RCTs did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks”, and there “were no clear differences between the use of medical/surgical masks compared with N95/P2 respirators.”
His final remarks concerned the purpose of the National Citizens Inquiry itself – to give a voice to the people of Canada, and do what no Canadian government has yet done: hold an independent review of the COVID policies enacted by our governments and corporate institutions.
The testimony provided to the Commissioners on Day 2 was more heavily focused on the NCI’s mission to provide a forum for the stories of Canadians who have been negatively impacted not by COVID-19, but by the measures taken to combat the virus. Those who testified were dental hygienists, nurses, educators and military veterans, each with decades of service and experience to themselves. Some lost their jobs, or their homes, or both; while others were silenced or ostracized for their choices or for attempting to hold their professions to account.
One nurse who testified at the hearings later stated that there were many nurses in Nova Scotia who quietly resigned before the enactment of the vaccine mandates in 2021. Shockingly, these nurses are not counted among the number of healthcare workers lost because of the mandates. Today, only British Columbia and Nova Scotia continue to require proof of COVID vaccination for healthcare workers. Both provinces also continue to experience healthcare crises. It’s hard to imagine how such policies wouldn’t contribute to the shortage of healthcare workers and resulting healthcare crises in both provinces. In recent months alone, two women died while waiting inexcusably long hours in Nova Scotia’s emergency waiting rooms.
Other witnesses provided testimony about the injuries they incurred following COVID injections. Witnesses also spoke about the ridicule or contempt they often received from the healthcare professionals attending them if they made a connection between their injuries and their COVID injections. Overwhelmingly their injuries were not reported to the Canadian Adverse Events Following Immunization system, a shocking fact revealed by Dr. Patrick Phillips on Day 1 of the hearings.
The expert witness testimony came from Dr. Joseph Fraiman, an emergency room doctor from New Orleans, Louisiana. His presentation focussed on his recently peer-reviewed paper “Serious adverse events of special interest following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in randomized trials in adults”, published in the journal Vaccine. He explained how he and his colleagues re-evaluated the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trial data using the Brighton Collaboration’s list of adverse events of special interest.
While the Pfizer and Moderna trials reported no serious adverse events after vaccination, Dr. Fraiman and his team found that there was a risk factor of 1 in 800 for a serious adverse event following injection (for context, most of the vaccines we are used to have a risk factor of about 1 or 2 in every million), and that overall, “there was a 16 % higher risk of serious adverse events in mRNA vaccine recipients” than in the placebo groups. Coupled with the data regarding the age stratification of serious illness from COVID-19 itself, Dr. Fraiman voiced his concerns about injecting these products into anyone under the age of 65.
He further went on to explain that there is no longer a good metric for actually establishing what the benefits of the injections are. Deaths from COVID-19 cannot be used as a metric, for the occurrence of deaths attributable to COVID-19 is now incredibly low (and one may argue that it could never have made a good metric considering the definition of a COVID death used here in Nova Scotia and elsewhere, as detailed by Shelly Hipson on Day 1); and nor can COVID hospitalization be used with any accuracy because of the incredibly high number of incidental COVID hospitalizations following the omicron variant – that is, people in the hospital for something other than COVID who just happen to test positive for it.
When asked by the Commissioners if one can label the Pfizer and Moderna products as “safe and effective”, Dr. Fraiman replied that one cannot do so with any certainty. His analysis of the clinical trial data shows they are far from safe, and there is no way to accurately measure their effectiveness.
From discussions with some of the audience members, it was clear that people from all walks of life were negatively affected by the measures and policies put in place to combat COVID-19. Several of the attendees of the event also attested to having lost friends and familial relationships because of their opinions and choices over the last few years.
This is why the National Citizens Inquiry is so important – to give a voice to those who have been, and continue to be, harmed by the COVID policies put in place by our governments and corporate institutions. It is a forum to hear the stories of real Canadians that have otherwise gone unheard during the last three years, as well as a platform for providing the information and expert testimony that has been ignored, censored and vilified.
The next hearings are set to take place in Toronto from March 30th-April 1st 2023, and a full schedule of the event’s hearings is available online. The petition to support the NCI across Canada can be signed at any time during the event, and I encourage everyone to do so. The NCI is a citizen led and citizen funded event, held and organized by the people, for the people.