‘Heartbreaking Stories’: Expert Panel to Hold Hearing for Canadians Adversely Impacted by COVID-19 Policies

‘Heartbreaking Stories’: Expert Panel to Hold Hearing for Canadians Adversely Impacted by COVID-19 Policies
A pharmacist prepares a dose behind a counter lined with vials of COVID-19 vaccines, in Toronto on June 18, 2021. (The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)
Isaac Teo
Canadians who have been adversely affected by government COVID-19 policies will have a platform to share their stories at a hearing to be held by a team of politicians, doctors, and auditors in Toronto on June 22–24.
A Citizens’ Hearing is intended to start the process of giving voice to those who have yet to be heard and who have been impacted the most,” said David Ross, president of Canadian COVID Care Alliance (CCCA), co-sponsor of the event that will be livestreamed nationwide, in a statement on June 16.
Event co-organizer Sonya Anderson, chair of the CCCA’s government relations committee, told The Epoch Times that “my email inbox is overflowing [and] the stories that I’m hearing are heartbreaking.
“Every single person has said thank you so much for doing this, because nobody is listening to us,” she noted. 
“They have family members that have turned on them. They have doctors that don’t listen to them. Even within families, partners don’t always agree. Employers. These people feel desperate to have their voice and their story heard.”
The hearing came about in response to a growing demand for an independent national inquiry into the management of the COVID crisis in Canada, says the CCCA. The organization’s website explains that it is a group of independent scientists, doctors, and other professionals committed to providing balanced and evidence-based information to the public about COVID-19.
“Many of us are questioning the actions taken over the past two years in the name of ‘science’ that have resulted in social and economic losses, unanticipated health effects, lack of informed consent, and disregard for individual rights and freedoms,” said the CCCA on its website.
Some of the questions Canadians are asking include whether the measures taken by the different levels of governments were appropriate to the threat posed by the virus, whether they were based on sufficient clinical and statistical evidence, and whether conflicts of interest were at play, the alliance noted.

Personal Stories, Expert Witnesses

Anderson says an expert panel will listen to the testimonies of people negatively impacted by the pandemic policies, including those who suffered permanent injury and disability from the COVID-19 vaccines.

“One individual will speak to the fact that his mother was in a long-term care home and he was prevented from being able to visit her, and he has witnessed her very rapid deterioration in cognitive health,” she said.

“And we will be hearing from students who were three credits away from graduating and forced to take vaccines or else not be able to continue on with their schooling, and then as a result of taking a vaccine, suffered an injury.”

Others who will testify include those whose employment or livelihood was impacted, Anderson said. They include small-business owners who were forced to close down their businesses due to pandemic restrictions, and “health care workers, for instance, that lost not just their jobs but their entire career, when they were let go with cause.”

The expert panel will consist of former Calgary MP and official Opposition leader Preston Manning, retired Ontario paediatrician Dr. Susan Natsheh, and CCCA president Ross, a chartered professional accountant (CPA) with a fellowship designation.

The panel will be moderated by veteran CBC journalist Trish Wood.

“Our panellists will be probing further with some questions, maybe clarifying or trying to draw out a little bit more information from [those sharing their personal testimonies],” Anderson said.

In addition, the panel will hear testimony from expert witnesses from the scientific, medical, and legal fields on approaches to tackling the pandemic that might have been pursued but were either ignored or banned by the governments.

Cross-Partisan Lawmakers’ Roundtable

Anderson says the hearing will include a cross-partisan roundtable discussion on the third day with lawmakers from different levels of government. Her committee has sent out invitations to two MPs from each of the four main federal partiesthe Liberals, NDP, Bloc, and Conservatives—along with “two senators, two provincial [parliament] members, and two municipal councillors so that we can get a really broad overview.”

She said the roundtable will centre on three specific questions, asking the politicians what impacts of COVID they’ve seen in their local constituency, what they’ve done to help their constituents through this COVID period, and what they feel are things that can be done to help their constituents through future types of crises.

She added that the hearing aims to serve as a springboard for more Canadians to come forward to share their stories, which will be continually accepted and uploaded on the event’s website even after the event is over.

“We want to be able to offer the opportunity for them to still be able to contribute via sending in a video or sending in a written testimonial.”

The hearing will lead to a report that will include recommendations and a roadmap for the future, and a task force will be created to make effort to engage with Canada’s federal and regional governments, Anderson said.

“It is certainly our hope that these recommendations will help guide government[s] for future policy-making.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy think tank, advocacy groups including the United Healthcare Workers of Ontario and Fearless Canada, as well as the Canadian Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS), a volunteer-based system for reporting adverse events resulting from COVID-19 vaccines that’s independent from government.
Isaac Teo is a news reporter with the Canadian edition of The Epoch Times.
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