BC Volunteers Launch MLA Accountability Initiative

The accountability of our elected officials is considered a basic tenet of democracy. An MLA Accountability Initiative was launched by Common Law Education and Rights (CLEAR), Truth Matters and other Freedom groups across BC on February 22 and followed up on April 28. Volunteers presented MLAs or their staff at 22 different offices with information packages providing accurate, up-to-date Covid science and questions to be asked in the BC Legislature regarding the impacts of the government’s actions on Charter rights and freedoms. The first round was completed one week prior to the opening of the Legislature to give MLAs time to read the material. The initiative was followed up by phone calls, letters and additional visits to MLA offices. Volunteer Kyle Cardinal travelled to Victoria to personally ensure the packages were delivered to the Legislature and all 87 MLAs.

“They’ve received the information in-person and by email, so none of them can claim not to have received it,” says Truth Matters volunteer Marcie Crozier. “We also sent press releases and the letters we sent to MLAs to a hundred media outlets in BC.”  

Kootenay Freedom volunteer Nadine Podmoroff reported that the Castlegar office of MLA Katrine Conroy (Kootenay West), current Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, is closed, with a sign reading: “Working from home.” Like Conroy, most MLAs seem to be working from home.

“So you have to wonder why we’re paying rent for Conroy’s office if she isn’t using it,” says Podmoroff. “They are purposely ignoring questions that people within the constituency are legitimately asking.”

A similar response awaited those who met outside MLA Britny Anderson’s office (Nelson-Creston) on April 28th. Although staff was present, the door was locked and volunteers seeking their attention were ignored. Nelson City Police showed up but did nothing, as the event was peaceful. According to Kelowna volunteer David Lindsay of CLEAR Freedom, about 20 people gathered outside the office of Opposition Health Critic Renee Merrifield (Liberal), who was in Victoria at the time. A secretary for Merrifield accepted more supporting material and listened to questions and concerns. When asked why Merrifield hasn’t posed any questions in the Legislature she said she didn’t know.

Useful questions left unasked by our elected representatives. Photo by the author.

“I explained to her how angry we were, along with thousands of others,” said Lindsay, “that Merrifield has failed to ask our questions in the Leg and contributed to our enslavement, along with deaths, pain and suffering of people without factual or legal basis.”

In Salmon Arm, about 25 people protested peacefully outside MLA Greg Kyllo’s constituency office. Again, Kyllo—who serves as BC Liberal Party Deputy Caucus Whip and Official Opposition Labour Critic—was not in the office and is said to be working from home. Only two BC MLAs have spoken out so far: Doug Clovechok (Columbia River-Revelstoke) and Tom Shypitka (Kootenay East). They spoke on behalf of employers and workers frustrated with province-wide restrictions allowing only outdoor patio service for restaurants. Clovechok and Shypitka pointed out the fallacy of a one-size-fits-all regulation from the balmy provincial capital in Victoria when parts of the BC Interior were still experiencing near-zero temperatures. They advocated for a regional approach to guidelines. Federal MP Rob Morrison (Kootenay-Columbia) stated he would follow their lead in Ottawa. “We need evidence-based decision-making if we are to shut down businesses that are hanging on by a thread,” said Morrison.

Among the questions proposed for legislative debate is one that asks: “Exactly how many cycles is the Ministry using in its PCR tests at present, and has this been consistent from the beginning, or has the Ministry used different numbers of cycles in the past, and if so, how many?” Regarding Covid vaccines, the question is raised: “Historically, it has taken about seven years for a vaccine to go through testing and reach the market. The present vaccines have been rolled out in less than six months… these vaccines are the first mRNA vaccines to be tested. With these documented facts in mind, why is this Government promoting vaccines that are still in the experimental stage, and that have been and continue to be only experimented upon humans?”   

“We checked the Hansard records,” says Nadine Podmoroff, a volunteer with the Kootenay Freedom group. “After one month of legislative session, not one MLA had raised any of our questions in the Legislature.”

The official record of the BC Legislature, The Hansard, reveals that MLAs have spoken about how important it is to get Covid vaccines to elderly and Indigenous communities as fast as possible. Official Opposition criticism so far has been limited to chastising the government for not distributing vaccines fast enough. Questions about potential adverse reactions to this experimental, trial phase vaccine have so far been left unaddressed. The US database Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), which is voluntary and thus captures only an estimated one percent of all such reactions, records more than 118,000 adverse reactions in that country alone from these new vaccines, including 3,544 deaths.[1] This is more than American deaths from all vaccines combined during the past 15 years. Canada’s adverse events reporting system continues to insist upon a “one in a million” adverse reaction rate that is not supported by other data. Questions remain as to the accuracy of both these databases.

Volunteers plan to continue monitoring the Hansard and MLAs’ record of action or inaction, with further actions planned to hold their MLAs accountable. Local activists are building a coalition with Alberta groups raising similar concerns with their MLAs. The Truth Matters (https://www.truth-matters.ca/) website provides the documentation, MLA letters and other resources available to anyone who wishes to use them.

To date only automated responses to this reporter’s questions have been received from the four MLAs queried.

[1] Source: “Significant Jump This Week in Reported Injuries, Deaths After COVID Vaccine,” Megan Redshaw, The Defender (Children’s Health Defense), based on VAERS data, April 30, 2021: https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/vaers-significant-jump-reported-injuries-deaths-after-covid-vaccine/?utm_source=salsa&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=6c195508-d790-4cb1-b562-47b578dd9577

About seanarthurjoyce

I am a poet, journalist and author with a strong commitment to the environment and social justice. If anything, I have too many interests and too little time in a day to pursue them all. Film, poetry, literature, music, mythology, and history probably top the list. My musical interests lie firmly in rock and blues with a smattering of folk and world music. I consider myself lucky to have lived during the great flowering of modern rock music during its Golden Age in the late 1960s/early '70s. In poetry my major inspirations are Dylan Thomas, Rilke, Neruda and the early 20th century British/American poets: Auden, Eliot, Cummings. My preferred cinema includes the great French auteurs, Kirosawa, Orson Welles, and Film Noir. My preferred social causes are too numerous to mention but include banning GMOs, eliminating poverty (ha-ha), and a sane approach to forest conservation and resource extraction. Wish me—wish us all—luck on that one!
This entry was posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19 lockdowns, Democracy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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