The divide with the U.S. will widen in 2022

The gap between Canadian and American values will grow wider in 2022.

image: Globe and Mail

Once, what seems long ago, we were happy with our southerly neighbours. The mood soured with the improbable election of Donald Trump in 2017. Then the proportion of Canadians who saw the United States as “a negative force in today’s world” grew to 6 out of 10. In the eyes of Canadians, that made America the most negative country.

Canadians even saw North Korea as less negative than the U.S.  North Korea  was second at 46 per cent.

Before the election of Trump, we had an overwhelmingly positive opinion of the U.S.

And why not? We have historically had a positive opinion of the U.S. for good reason. Our friends, relatives, and business partners in the U.S. are often within driving range.

My dad was born in the U.S. and became a Canadian citizen when he married my mom. I often visited my aunt in Ventura, California when she was still alive.

Like many Canadians, I once saw the United States as a bustling place where exciting developments in technology and culture were constantly taking shape.

Today, I see a dangerously fractured society that is diminished and dangerous.

Political events in the U.S. are alarming.

One year ago the impossible happened when thousands of radicalized, ill-informed Americans stormed the Capitol building to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as president.

It’s astonishing that 39 percent of the Republican Party refuse to accept Biden as president.

The angry mob that attacked The Capital was encouraged by the maniacal demigod Donald Trump. They included present and former members of the military.

As the anniversary of the insurrection on January 6 approaches, three retired U.S. generals have warned that another insurrection could occur after the 2024 presidential election and that the military could instigate it.

In their article in the Washington Post they said: “In short: We are chilled to our bones at the thought of a coup succeeding next time.”

One of those generals, retired General Paul Eaton, told National Public Radio in the U.S.:

“I believe that we need to war-game the possibility of a problem and what we are going to do. The fact that we were caught completely unprepared — militarily, and from a policing function — on Jan. 6 is incomprehensible to me. Civilian control of the military is sacrosanct in the U.S. and that is a position that we need to reinforce.”

Trump channels the values and attitudes of a segment of American society whose numbers and influence are in decline: generally older, white voters, disproportionately male, who are alarmed by demographic and social change.

Pollster Michael Adams finds a widening gap between U.S. Democrats and Republicans that is not evident in Canada (Globe and Mail, January 1, 2022)

Even Albertans, generally said to be the most conservative Canadians, are more likely to be aligned with Democrats in the U.S. than Republicans.

As for the Conservative Party, the social values of its supporters are much more similar to those of Liberal supporters than the values of Republicans.

The ugly wound on the American body politic will not heal in the foreseeable future.

Canadians can only look nervously to the south at the unraveling of a once proud nation.

Phrase of the year: Supply Chain

I’m picking supply chain as phrase of the year. While there were other strong candidates, the stark frailty of supply chains and its psychological backlash came as a complete surprise. Other contenders were: climate emergency, atmospheric river, and heat dome.

image: Global Supply Chain Institute -University of Tennessee

Supply chains were on Canadian’s minds even before the atmospheric river hit.  Google Trends shows “supply chain” peaking from October 17 to 23 as we worried about goods being stranded in ports and shelves being empty for Christmas.

After the torrential rains began falling, shoppers went on a panic shopping spree and emptied grocery stores of produce, milk, eggs, meat, and in echoes of the pandemic panic, even toilet paper.

After the rains, Google Trends showed “supply chain” reaching another peak from November 14 to 20.

The panic over supply chains was more visceral than rational. The real supply chains remained as Kamloops’ grocers are supplied from the East and South as well as from the lower mainland.

B.C. is exterior-centric. When I moved to Kamloops from Calgary, it struck me odd that I was moving to some place called “the interior.” It was obviously named by those from the coast who like to call the place where they live the “mainland.” We Interiorians would never name this place so.

The supply chains of our minds are more tenuous. The sense of being cut off from the mainland was part of the panic. The memories we have of before B.C. was a province are part of our cultural heritage. In the 1800s, we were dependent on the flow of goods from the ports on the coast. It’s imprinted in our collective psyches.

So, when supply chains from the coast were threatened, it seemed like we were doomed. But contrary to the perception, groceries quickly appeared on shelves even though routes from the coast were still cut off.

Who is cut off from whom is a matter of perspective. The Trans Mountain pipeline was shut down because of potential damage from the washouts. Gas was rationed on the coast while plentiful here. This prompted Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian to quip: “We are not cut off from the coast; the coast is cut off from us.”

If you live where food is produced, or where there are lots of groceries, supply chains present a different dilemma.

When water flowed into the Sumas Prairie, which is not really a prairie but a lake-bed only one metre above sea level, the family-run Lepp Farm Market in Abbotsford, was open and fully stocked. Shiny mandarin oranges sat in wooden crates. There was milk and eggs in the coolers. A chalkboard sign announced the soup of the day: cabbage beef borscht.

The problem for the Lepp’s was not a shortage of food but that they now lived on an island. Charlotte Lepp mused: “We have food, but people can’t get to us.”

Supply chains will continue to occupy our conscious and subconscious minds in the New Year.

Real supply chains carry the bounty of globalization and the fragility of a network exposed by the climate emergency. Our mental supply chains carry our hopes of prosperity and the fears of our vulnerability.

When the frailty of real and mental supply chains meet, panic sets in.

Owners of rooftop solar panels are a victim of their own success

T’is the season for BC Hydro to be jolly, while the days are short and the sun is low on the horizon.

The weak sun means that owners of rooftop solar panels won’t be generating enough electricity to sell back to BC Hydro.

Despite original enthusiasm, BC Hydro now claims they are paying customers too much for power generated by the installations.

Nancy Bepple. image: armchairmayor.ca

On their website, they like to post good-news stories of happy, energy-conscious customers with their solar panels; customers like former Kamloops city councillor (and former colleague of mine at Thompson Rivers University), Nancy Bepple. In no time after the installation, she was selling surplus electricity. After connecting to the grid in July, she had generated more electricity than she used.

Then BC Hydro got cold feet and wanted to walk away from the deal.

Bepple complained about BC Hydro’s reneging on the original deal.  In her article on the armchairmayor.ca in 2018, she says:

“Three years ago, I installed a 2000 W panel system on my house.  It was a sizeable investment of about $8,000, which will take 15 years or more to pay off. BC Hydro wants to walk away from their agreement with homeowners who generate solar power.” But she told me recently: “there is a $5000 rebate that speeds things up [payback] considerably.”

Peter Nix saw an opportunity and spent $145,000 from his pension savings on a 192-panel solar farm in B.C.’s Cowichan Valley in 2016. Then, BC Hydro told him BC they never meant to encourage people like him to sell power back to the grid:

“The purpose of the net-metering program has always been to provide our customers with the opportunity to use a small generating unit, fuelled by a renewable source, to offset some of their own usage, not to be a power supply source for BC Hydro,”

But why would electrical utilities not want as many sources of power as possible?

Maybe small power producers are just a nuisance with the huge Site C dam to come on line in a few years. Or maybe the addition of power to the grid at unpredictable times makes management of distribution difficult.

Or maybe energy is only one part of an electricity utility and the amount that customers are paid should reflect the total operation. That’s the case in California.

California’s 26-year-old program to put solar panels on customers’ homes has been wildly successful with more than 1.3 million residential solar installations, more than any other state.

The amount Californians are paid for the electricity they generate allows them to pay quickly for the cost of the solar panels. It only takes about three to four years for homeowners to recoup installation costs of US$20,000 by selling extra energy to the utilities.

Utilities say more needs to be done to make sure solar customers are paying for all the parts of the energy grid they use beyond energy generation, including transmission, distribution and even wildfire-prevention work.

Customers with solar panels should be paid for extra power they generate but at the true market rate. Otherwise, everyone else is subsidizing the cost of the installations.

China tries to take the separatist out of Tibetan children

China could learn from Canada’s mistaken attempt to “take the Indian out of the child,” as John A. Macdonald put it.

image: In search of Sunshine – WordPress

Now China is repeating Canada’s folly by trying to take “the separatist” out of Tibetan children. Those Tibetans who want to preserve their language and traditions have been branded as “criminal gangs connected to the separatist forces of the Dalai Lama (Globe and Mail, Dec. 7, 2021).”

China began to crack down on Tibet in 2008. The traditional ruler of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, is in exile and seen as a threat. Now Tibet is threatened by the repressive measures of the ruling Han people of China and the rise to power of Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2012.

Almost 80 per cent of Tibetan children in China have been placed in a vast system of government-run boarding schools, where they are cut off from their families, languages and traditional culture according to a recent report by the Tibet Action Institute.

“Kunchok”, a Tibetan who now lives in exile in New Delhi described being sent to a boarding school in 2000, when he was seven years old.

“We were not allowed to go home on the weekend or holidays,” he said “for the whole of [my first year] I did not see my parents.”

More than 800,000 Tibetan children between the ages of 6 and 18 are now housed in these state-run institutions.

In the past, China’s leaders have promoted and protected Tibetan languages and culture. China’s 1982 constitution states that “the people of all nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and to preserve or reform their own ways and customs.”

A Tibetan who attended one of those early state-run schools said that at least the Tibetan language was used. Now in exile, “Tenzin” said that while instruction was still largely in a Tibetan language, “the content of what we studied was almost all Chinese.”

“The history we studied was all Communist or Chinese-centred,” he said, “even when we studied world history.”

Things are different now with forced Chinese language and content.

The Han people represent 90 per cent of the Chinese population. They are the largest of 56 ethnic groups in China, many of those dwindling in numbers with only a few thousand members. Others, such Tibetans and Uyghurs have healthy populations in the millions.

President Xi wants to make China great again. He has overseen a revival of traditional Chinese culture. Xi calls traditional culture the “soul” of the nation and the “foundation” of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) culture. Hanfu, the traditional dress of Han Chinese, has seen a revival under him.

The colonization of China by the Han people parallels the colonization of the Americas by Europeans. The difference is that the Han have lived in China for millennia. The similarity is the attempt by the Han to assimilate ethnic groups into a homogenous Chinese culture.

Canada has prided itself as being a cultural mosaic while ignoring Indigenous treaty rights. The discovery of children buried at the Kamloops Residential School has forced us to confront our hypocrisy.

China will eventually learn Canada’s painful lesson and realize that its strength lies in cultural diversity.

Long battle over prof’s firing continues with new twists

The plot thickens as Steven Galloway’s war drags on.

The award-winning Kamloops author never imagined that his career would become mired in a warzone similar to the one portrayed in his award-winning novel.

Things looked rosy for Galloway until he came under fire in 2016. His life now in ruins, he earns a bare living doing physical labour.

Galloway attended the University College of the Cariboo in the 1990s before it became Thompson Rivers University.

He is best known for his 2008 novel The Cellist of Sarajevo which sold 700,000 copies, was translated into twenty languages, and had film options. His prospects soared and he became chair of the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia in 2015.

image: NBC News

In Galloway’s novel, set in the 1990s Siege of Sarajevo, a cellist watches as a shell falls and kills people waiting in a bread line. To commemorate the dead, the cellist is determined to play an Adagio in the crater created by the blast while avoiding sniper fire.

Now under siege, Galloway grimly watches as friends and foes exchange shots.

Galloway was terminated in 2016 over breach of trust and misconduct. A former student of his known as A.B. claims that Galloway had abusive sexual relations with her from 2011 to 2013. He says the relations were consensual.

In 2018, an arbitrator ruled that UBC had harmed Galloway’s reputation and the author was awarded $167,000.

Now Galloway sees some light from the pit dug by the explosive allegations. The B.C. Supreme Court recently ruled that his court case can proceed.

The plot of Galloway’s rise and fall has twists and turns worthy of a novel.

At first, Galloway had reason for hope that A.B.’s charges would prove unsubstantiated. In 2015, UBC hired retired B.C. judge Mary Ellen Boyd to investigate the matter. She found that it was not likely that Galloway committed sexual assault or assault (Globe and Mail Dec. 3 2021)

More support came for Galloway in form of a letter from some of Canada’s most celebrated writers, including Margaret Atwood. In 2016, she wrote:

“My position is that the UBC process was flawed and failed both sides, and the rest of my position is that the model of the Salem Witchcraft Trials is not a good one (Vancouver Sun Nov. 17 2016).”

The letter sparked an online backlash from former students who said the letter was an attempt to silence and intimidate them.

Andrea Bennett, a former student who said she witnessed her friend being slapped by Galloway but did not file a complaint, said she was disappointed by the letter (Maclean’s Nov. 16, 2016).

That prompted some of the writers to withdraw their names from the letter. Yann Martel author of the Life of Pi author, said:

“I did NOT sign the letter to defend an empowered white male. I did NOT sign it to silence young women, or anyone else (Maclean’s Nov. 16, 2016).”

Galloway shot back with a defamation suit against A.B. and 20 of her supporters.

A.B. and others fired back with a request to throw out the defamation suit in order to protect their freedom of expression. Under B.C. law, a legal action can be shut down if a court deems it to be a strategic attempt to silence and intimidate others, called anti-SLAPP law.

In a win for Galloway, Justice Elaine Adair firmly rejected the anti-SLAPP arguments. Galloway’s defamation suit can now proceed. Justice Elaine Adair said that there have to be consequences for “publishing on Twitter,” and added:

“It is difficult to see how something so extreme and potentially reckless [as A.B.’s] would be in the public interest (Globe and Mail Dec. 3 2021).”

Emily Murphy was a racist but her statue is safe, for now

Emily Murphy and John A. Macdonald were racists but Murphy’s statues won’t come down anytime soon. Here’s why.

image: Famous 5 Foundation

Macdonald may have been one of Canada’s greatest prime ministers but his reputation as a nation-builder has been tarnished because of his role in the creation of residential schools. His opinions now are offensive:

“When the school is on the reserve, the child lives with its parents, who are savages, and though he may learn to read and write, his habits and training mode of thought are Indian. He is simply a savage who can read and write.”

The view that Indigenous people were savages was common. Seen from today’s perspective, those views are abhorrent. Macdonald’s popularity is demonstrated by the 18 years he served as prime minister.

If you lived at that time, you probably would have thought the same.

Oh no, you protest! I am an enlightened person. Our treatment of Indigenous people has been cruel. I would never agree to the inhumanity perpetrated on them.

Yes, you (and I) would. We are creatures molded by the times we live in, formed by the zeitgeist of our times. Like fish, we don’t notice the water we swim in –it’s all pervasive.

But while Emily Murphy was also a racists, her statue in Emily Murphy Park, Edmonton, will remain undisturbed -for now.

Murphy was a champion of women’s rights. She is responsible for winning the rights for women to be declared legal “persons.” After women gained personhood, they could become members of the senate. She became a respected police magistrate and juvenile court judge in Edmonton.

Murphy made no secret of her distain for Canadians of Chinese decent. In her 1922 book, The Black Candle, and in articles she wrote for Macleans magazine, she claimed that good white women were being led into lives of depravity by Chinese immigrants who drugged them with opium. In her book, Murphy says:

“It behoves the people of Canada to consider the desirability of these visitors – for they are visitors – and to say whether or not we shall be ’at home’ with them in the future.”

Why hasn’t Murphy been condemned for her views? Although we have been sensitized by the atrocities against Indigenous people, that’s not so for Asian Canadians.

We have not yet woke to our deplorable treatment of Asian Canadians. While the internment of Japanese Canadians is an historical fact, it is not part of the milieu of our everyday experience.

In 1942, 22,000 Japanese Canadians, the majority of them Canadian citizens by birth, were imprisoned in camps in the B.C. interior. We know that but it’s not much more than a dry fact.

The attacks on Canadians of Asian decent have increased.  Vancouver experienced an increase of 717 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021. With 98 reported cases – more than all US cities combined – Vancouver was dubbed the “anti-Asian hate crime capital of North America”.

Eventually, we will become incensed at our blatant abuse of Canadians of Asian descent.

When the spotlight shines on Emily Murphy, watch as her statue is toppled and the plaque now reading “An author and a mother, she was a leader of social reform and political issues,” is smeared with paint.

Super, natural, takes on new meaning in the face of B.C.’s adversity

Super, Natural British Columbia has been our trademark for decades. B.C.’s natural beauty – our mountains, oceans, rivers- attract tourists from around the world. Our varied terrain spreads across a vast landscape from rainforests to prairies

image: 49 North Helicopters

How big is Beautiful British Columbia?  Big enough to hold one Japan and two New Zealands.

For over 35 years, Destination BC, a crown corporation, has branded B.C. as Super, Natural British Columbia® and inspired millions of people to visit B.C. On their website they say:

“Our brand essence is that we are wild at heart. And, our promise back to those that travel here is that BC’s powerful nature will transform and renew you, bringing out your better self. BC has a unique combination of refined civilization with raw wilderness, sophistication and exhilaration, and of urban areas immersed in natural environments.”

We’ve been marketed to world as place to be in awe of nature. Now our destructive wildfires, record heat waves, and torrential rains will require rebranding. Now we are the poster province of climate emergency.

That doesn’t mean we can’t still use the words super, natural, and awe for marketing but the meanings have to be expanded.

Super, from the root meaning in Latin, means “above, over, beyond.” Now nature is beyond benign. Mother Nature is angry at our abuse of the planet and she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Awe has been transformed into awful. From 1300 awful meant: “worthy of respect or fear, striking with awe; causing dread.” Now awful means “very bad or unpleasant.”

We have experienced the awe of heat waves, the terror of wildfires, the hardship of drought, and the despair of people evacuated from their homes.

However, marketing is about spinning the negative into something fascinating. Beyond the mayhem, there is a sense of exhilaration in the force of nature.

People are fascinated by the brute force of nature. During tropical storms, people are attracted to shorelines to marvel at the powerful waves.  Kite surfers harness the fury of the wind.

Even the seemingly placid side of nature can be ominous. Below the surface lurks an awesome power. Visitors can be drawn to a seething power that lurks below the surface.

I remember visiting Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia and being attracted to the rocks polished smooth by the waves. Despite signs warning of the danger, visitors stand on the slippery rocks, watching the seemingly calm waves, only to be swept to their death.

Destination B.C. should market the fury of the atmospheric river. This spectacular band of moisture-laden air brings heat and precipitation from the tropics to our coast. Atmospheric rivers can carry 25 times more water than the Mississippi River.

Then there is the world renowned heat dome. Watch the temperatures soar as they did in Lytton. That Fraser Canyon village hit almost50 degrees and then went up in flames. It was the world’s highest temperature ever recorded north of 45°N and is a record high for all of Canada.

Come to B.C. and experience climate change in all its fury. Beyond nature, beyond a sense of awe, a climate emergency in progress.

Antivaxxers grow desperate as their world collapses in on them

Kamloops lawyer Jay Michi took his kids to Riverside Park Last Thursday for what he expected to be a Remembrance Day ceremony.

Riverside Park. Image: Jay Michi

What he didn’t know was that that it was about to be hijacked by antivaxxers and that the official ceremonies were being held at the Cenotaph for invited guests only.

Instead of tributes to Canada’s fallen war heroes, Michi and his kids were subjected to antivaxxer diatribe. Jay Michi (@jaymichi) tweeted:

“Took my kids to Rememberance Day ceremony in #Kamloops today. It turned into an Anti-Vaxx event. Never again.

It broke my heart. I will never subject them to that again. I will find a different way to teach them about the sacrifices of their great-grandfathers.

SHAME!”

In a poorly thought-out response to the antivaxxers, the shocked crowd was about to receive foul language when an angry veteran took over the microphone:

“The Veteran who took the mic from him then apologized,” tweeted Michi, “but proceeded to drop fuck bombs throughout his ill-thought speech.”

Jay Michi’s tweet obviously hit a nerve. It received 37 replies and over 100 retweets.

The attempt by antivaxxers to highjack a solemn occasion indicates just how desperate they have become. They lash out as their world shrinks under the weight of public opinion.

What’s next? Will antivaxxers start going from odor-to-door with their wild theories of chip-implantation by Bill Gates in his attempt at mind control?

TRU Professor Michael D. Mehta (@DrMichaelDMeht1) reflects on how zealous antivaxxers have become. He says in his reply to Jay Michi:

“Riverside Park is an issue. I spent several weekends down there playing ukulele on a bench and had to deal with dozens of zealots. One even prayed for my soul right there after I refused to discuss my religious beliefs. We need a no religion, no politics rule for public places.”

Antivaxxers respond with anger. A comment on a recent column of mine attempts to personalize the debate:

“Charbonneau is an immunity denier. He also fails to mention that many of us are simply opposed to forced medical treatment without informed consent. These vaccines do not prevent transmission or infection and it has now become clear their efficacy wanes over a short time. It’s all about political control and compliance and Charbonneau is about as compliant as you get.”

Will antivaxxers stand on street corners and preach the gospel of the Georgia Guidestones?

What? You haven’t heard of the Georgia Guidestones?

It’s a series of 20-foot high granite slabs with warnings for a future “Age of Reason.” Billed as “America’s Stonehenge,” it’s built to instruct survivors of an Armageddon.

Denise Powers tells me on Facebook:

“Check out the Georgia Guidestones…..  this edifice has been around for 40 years and is the Ten Commandments of the NWO [The New World Order, a secretly emerging totalitarian world government] and the elites. Read about it…it will chill you to the bone and you might see what I am talking about now with the depopulation program underway with the vaccination program being pushed so hard.”

Well, I do find it chilling –the degree to antivaxxers have fallen into a delusional dark spiral from which they lash out in desperation.

All I want is a good death. Is that too much to ask?

Like most Canadians, I’d like to die in my home surrounded by friends and family.

Or second best, a home-like setting like the lovely Kamloops Hospice House.  That peaceful setting is where my wife spent her last days as she was dying of cancer.

Kamloops Hospice House. image: CFJC Today

But contrary to Canadian’s wishes, only 15 per cent die at home.

More often we die in hospitals; more than comparable countries.  Most Canadians, 61 percent, die in hospital. Far more than the Netherlands at 30 per cent. And although we like to boast about our health care system, only 20 per cent of Americans die in hospitals according to a report from the C.D. Howe Institute (Globe and Mail, Oct. 26, 2021).

We die in hospitals in the most unpleasant way, hooked up to tubes and machinery that unnecessarily delays the inevitable. Our lives may be prolonged slightly but the declining quality of life is hardly worth the price of suffering.

Canadian cancer patients have the highest rates of hospitalization in their last six months of life (87 percent), compared to England (83 percent), the Netherlands (77 percent) and the US (75 percent).

It’s so unnecessary.

Cancer patients whose condition is stable or reacting positively to treatment don’t require hospitalization. Those dying of cancer, as was my wife, typically require assistance with activities of daily living only in the final weeks or months of life. Terminal cancer patients differ from those dying of almost every other illness -those dying of other illnesses typically require assistance for many months or years before they die.

Older Canadian cancer patients are more likely to die in hospitals and less likely to receive palliative-care.

Palliative care primarily focuses on improving comfort and quality of life, often avoiding hospital-based, invasive, costly and potentially inappropriate care. Palliative care is preferably delivered outside of acute care settings, including in patients’ homes.

It’s not the fault of doctors in hospitals or because healthcare workers are unfeeling or uncaring. It’s because of the way the system is structured.

There are too few palliative care beds.  Canada has one-half the number of hospice and palliative-care beds as the United Kingdom. 

Treating patients at end of life in hospitals, rather than palliative care beds, is expensive.

Our per capita hospital costs are US$21,840. Canada’s costs are 18 per cent greater than that of the U.S., 100 per cent greater than Netherlands, and 233 percent higher than England. Canada’s relatively poor performance in terms of costs and quality of end of life care is clearly related to the high use of hospitals.

The authors of the report suggest the following remedies:

1 Canada must stop treating end-of-life care as acute care.

2 Palliative and end-of-life care must be provided across multiple healthcare settings. It cannot be the sole responsibility of hospices and palliative care facilities.

3 Training for clinicians, caregivers, even for patients must be provided recognize the end of life period.

We must have a frank discussion about death. Unless we know the signs of death’s knock on our door, we will be poorly prepared.

Vaccine objectors pay a price for their stand

What principles do the unvaccinated hold so dearly that they are ready to sacrifice their jobs and face ridicule and scorn?

Nurses in Kamloops are giving up the careers that they have worked so hard to establish: well-paying jobs with benefits and pensions. All because of a jab in the arm?

Kamloops nurse Glenn Aalderink second from right. Image: Kamloops This Week

To lay off nurses is a tough decision for the labour-friendly B.C. NDP government.  Health Minister Adrian Dix called it a “significant and solemn day,” but said that the requirement to get vaccinated “is an absolute necessity in our healthcare system.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has been trying to figure out the rationale of unvaccinated health workers. “Some people are quite dogmatic against vaccines, which is unfortunate,” she said.

Kamloops nurse Glenn Aalderink is feeling hurt and rejected.  “We`re not being allowed to help. We were told we weren’t wanted, we weren’t needed — and yet, we know we are,” he said.

Aalderink is so dedicated that he is setting up a private clinic Kamloops –a clinic that the Health Minister says must be staffed by vaccinated healthcare workers. Since then, the clinic has been shut down by the landlord.

Other Kamloopsians opposed to receiving the shot are also paying dearly.

Kamloops City councillor Denis Walsh has come out against being vaccinated. I know Walsh and he is not an irrational man. He’s opposed to the conspiracy theories of the antivaxxers and has received flack from that side.

Now he’s being shunned from the other provaxxer side. His coffee shop business may be affected.  He may well pay a political price as well, and he says that he’s already lost some friends over it.

Kamloopsian Beat Klossner is opposed to this vaccination. We have lively back-and-forth exchanges on Facebook; agreeing that workers rights and wages are threatened but disagreeing over his comparisons of vaccine passports to Nazism.

Klossner is community-minded and has run provincially as MLA for the Communist Part of B.C. and for the Kamloops School Board.

Klossner seems like a reasonable guy but is opposed to the way COVID vaccines have been imposed. He made it clear to me that he is not an antivaxxer. He’s had many vaccines in his life. “It is this specific COVID case I have a problem with,” he told me by Messenger.

Klossner is resigned to his fate: “I made my choice, I live with it. I’m not allowed to travel, to go to a pub or other public places, etc. I’m fully expecting in a few months, at the most, I’ll not be allowed to earn a living anymore.”

I asked: “Do you feel like a martyr? Going down for a cause?”

Klossner replied: “No, but I made my choice and will live with it.”

In an attempt to understand why someone would make such sacrifices, I asked him:  “What is the principle on which you would sacrifice your liberty and ability to work.”

He replied: “I’m not certain what is going on, but there is something bigger in the background. Many guesses and theories are floating around. While many are ridiculous, they also always seem to have something that could be possible.”

There seems to be some dark, ominous feelings that those opposed this vaccine have. The vaccine has gone beyond a simple jab in the arm and taken on totemic properties.