Where Has our Democracy Gone?

On January 24th a concerned Nova Scotian sent an email to roughly 100 MLAs and media affiliates calling for a debate in the legislature on the measures our provincial government has undertaken since the start of the COVID pandemic. Simply put, the email asks for a return to democracy.

The email cites data collected from the government’s own dashboards and from recent Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) requests. They show how on January 4th 2021 there were 6 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the province, for an active total of 27, while on Jan 4th of 2022, there were 1020 new cases of COVID-19 reported for a total of 6439 active cases.

What happened in that time that could have influenced the dramatic upward trend of active COVID-19 cases? Could it have anything to do with the 1,792,946 doses of COVID vaccine that have been administered to the public? Will we ever know if even asking that question is taboo?

Yet is that not the point of living in a democratic society – that we can question and debate with those with whom we disagree, so that we may all make our collective way closer to that enigmatic ideal we call “truth”?

For almost two years our provincial and medical officials have told us to hold out for that saving grace, the vaccine. We thought that we’d all be able to take off our masks, return to our jobs, open our businesses, eat at a restaurant and play organized sports once we had rolled up our sleeves. And yet, after administering at least 2 doses to most of the province, the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to climb, we’re all still wearing masks, restaurants and other businesses keep having to alter their capacity limits, and those of us not forced out of a job for not having a jab are still working from home. So when, the email asks, are the elected representatives of the people of this province going to start asking questions about whether these measures are working?

On September 8th 2021 the Premier Tim Houston and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang, announced the ‘proof of vaccination’ system for many areas of public life in Nova Scotia. Dr. Strang claimed that it “will help keep communities safe, ensure children and youth can safely attend school, and protect the health-care system and its providers”. A FOIPOP request asking for evidence, proof or records that back up that statement was submitted, and apparently the Department of Health and Wellness “does not have custody or control of records” that would satisfy such a request.

So 80% of the province has gotten their 2 doses of vaccine, so that we may reach stage 5, and the province has no records to show that the vaccines will actually “keep communities safe”? Why then, do we continue to encourage vaccine uptake, enforce vaccine mandates and proof of vaccination when there’s no record or evidence to suggest such measures operate as intended? And we’re still seeing people, even with three doses, contracting COVID-19, being hospitalized, and dying. Doesn’t all this deserve a conversation in our legislature?

What’s also shocking is the number of injuries and deaths that have occurred in otherwise healthy people from the “safe and effective” vaccines themselves. As the email shows, citing provincial government data, there have been at least 10 deaths within 30 days of vaccination, 112 permanent and serious injuries (101 of which required hospitalization), and 52 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis (injury to the heart). If this were any other medical product not only would we expect fierce debate on the usefulness of such a product, but it would have been pulled off the market entirely.

So I will echo the sentiment of the email sent to our MLAs and media outlets – where has our democracy gone? Where are the conversations and questions around the effectiveness of these measures, especially when FOIPOP requests reveal that there’s no evidence to support the claims that they are effective? Where are the voices of those who represent the people? 

Democracy is not a lofty political ideal. It is a pragmatic way of life; it is simply having the ability to voice questions and to challenge ideas. We may not always agree, and we don’t always have to, but when an apparent emergency lasts 2 years, and imposed measures clearly don’t work as intended, we should at least be asking why we are continuing with them.

As the old adage goes, there are always two sides to every story. Sadly, for the past two years the general public has only ever gotten one side of the COVID narrative, but as this email shows, along with countless other FOIPOP requests, (see this video and this video for the results of many of those requests) a trove of information, and thus context, that has been missing from the discussion. 

So, is it not time to return to a democracy, and ask for the whole story?

– Aldous M. Cluverius

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How have I been? Well…

How have I been? Well…
I suppose it starts with the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa. It was an emotional few weeks, and it culminated in a violent quelling of a peaceful protest, which was perfectly in line with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Section 2(c) (the fundamental freedom of peaceful assembly). It was legal to participate in, and fund, such a gathering until the government decided to pass orders and measures which made it illegal.

Judicial Review update: April

All motions were granted by the court; a much desired outcome for CANS and its members: “The Applicant, Citizens’ Alliance of Nova Scotia (CANS), comes before this court seeking to engage the Judiciary to perform a vital and rigorous ‘check’ among the ‘checks and balances’ integral to Canada’s constitutional democracy. The Applicant is asking the Judicial branch of government to take a critical look at decisions and actions taken by the Executive branch of government to determine if they are reasonable and lawful”

Bill 419

Interestingly PHIA already has provisions – 31(l) and 38(1)(g) – which allow for the Minister to collect personal health information for the purpose of planning and management of the health system. It also already contains provisions for the Minister to collect that information for the purposes of creating or maintaining an electronic health record at 31(o). The difference now, however, seems to be that custodians will no longer be able to refuse to disclose your personal health information to the government.


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  1. I am very much in agreement and I particularly have concerns that “on a whim” similar actions can be taken again. I have spoken out as much as I can to no avail. Accountability and a plan that this does not happen again must take place.