Canadian MP: ‘Locking healthy people down is not a sustainable answer'

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Canadian MP: ‘Locking healthy people down is not a sustainable answer'

A Canadian Conservative MP has warned that “[l]ocking healthy people down is not a sustainable answer to try to stem the tide of a virus, and only creates hardship for healthy people.” David Sweet joined the small but growing list of politicians in Canada in calling for an end to COVID-19 lockdowns, saying they are “a threat to mental health” causing “huge” collateral damage.

“These many restrictions are causing unparalleled risk to Canadians physically. Lockdowns by their nature are a threat to mental health. The animal kingdom is limited to hunting, eating, mating, search for shelter. That’s not so with us human beings,” said David Sweet, who is a Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MP for Flamborough-Glanbrook in Hamilton, Ontario, at a press conference Wednesday.

“For a large part, what makes us human is birthdays, christenings, funerals, anniversaries, bar mitzvah, church, synagogue, mosque services, going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, and fast approaching Easter and Passover. Psychological damage is huge during these lockdowns.”

Sweet’s joint press conference to call for an end of lockdowns in Ontario was held alongside provincial MPP Roman Baber. Baber was kicked out of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario by Premier Doug Ford for opposing lockdowns.

Sweets remarks are the first public, anti-lockdown remarks made by a sitting member of Erin O’Toole’s CPC party. Former CPC MP Derek Sloan, who was booted by O’Toole from the party in January, has also come out strongly against lockdowns.

O’Toole commented, “Frustration is understandable,” but “it should not lead to counterproductive behaviour.”

“My view and the view of the CPC is that we respect the work being done by our premiers and health officials throughout this crisis. They are trying to put the health of Canadians first,” said O’Toole.

Both Baber and Sweet have noted they do believe COVID-19 is not something to be taken for granted, but that the real focus should be on long-term care (LTC) facilities. These facilities have been where most deaths attributed to COVID have been registered.

During the press conference, Sweet mentioned the financial costs to the economy, and on small businesses. “The financial consequences that family businesses, entrepreneurs, and workers are experiencing because of lockdowns — it’s huge,” said Sweet.

“Restaurants Canada states … over 100,000 restaurants have closed in Canada. CFIB says that small businesses now bear 135 billion in debt due to government measures in response to the pandemic. Much of this debt was mandated by governments who wanted PPE, sanitization, plexiglass barriers, and the list goes on. It was assumed by businesses that these expenditures came with the promise that they could operate with these safety protocols in place. They feel betrayed.”

Sweet called for a “new path” forward that “includes substantial protection for … vulnerable seniors and those with comorbidities and pre-existing conditions.”

“Locking healthy people down is not a sustainable answer to try to stem the tide of a virus, and only creates hardship for healthy people. The priority of government efforts should focus on the protection of the vulnerable in long-term care facilities, congregate settings, and establishing income supplementation programs for those with pre-existing conditions.”

Ford announced a province-wide lockdown that began December 26, including a stay-at-home order that placed the entire province under a state of near-total lockdown.  

Only in recent weeks has the Ford government eased some restrictions, going back to a color-coded region approach to restrictions, which brought many parts of the province out of the stay-at-home orders.

However, the Toronto, Peel Region, and North Bay Parry Sound District are still under the stay-at-home order until Monday.

The Hamilton region, which Sweet represents, is under the Red “control” level of restrictions. This level places strict limits on social gatherings and church services (30 percent capacity), bans kids and adult sports, and calls for people to only go out for “essential” reasons.

At the national level, Liberty Coalition Canada (LCC) is behind the “End the Lockdowns National Caucus,” which is a non-partisan group of current and former elected politicians with the common aim to end all “lockdowns” in Canada.  

Both Baber and Sweet are not listed as part of the End the Lockdowns National Caucus, however, Independent Ontario MPP Randy Hillier is listed as part of the group. Hillier was from Ford’s party months ago.

Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill, who has been very critical of COVID lockdowns and the Ford government, thanked Baber for opposing lockdowns.

In a recent tweet, Kaur Gill wrote, “We don’t need governments to keep our children safe. We need to keep our children safe from governments.”

Gill was recently “cautioned” by the College of Physicians and Surgeons for her anti-lockdown stance, and opposition to rushed COVID vaccines.

Recently, Dr. Gil Nimni, a York, Ontario, emergency room (ER) physician, said lockdowns that send people into “financial ruin” are not the “answer” to the COVID-19 crisis, and that he shakes “his head” at his co-workers who go on social media “ranting” about a full emergency room. 

 

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