Toronto Star
© Toronto Star/Deadline/KJN
Toronto Star front page • August 26, 2020
In an editorial dated December 20, 2021 the Toronto Star argues that
"refusing to get vaccinated (other than for religious or health reasons) is a willful, selfish, anti-social act that can no longer be condoned," and asks "is it time for our political leaders to make vaccination against COVID-19 the law?"
The Star asserts the following as "irrefutable" facts:
  • The government of Canada has declared COVID vaccines safe.
  • Vaccines reduce the risk of death from COVID and lower the burden on doctors and nurses holding our health care system together.
  • If you are not vaccinated, you put yourself at risk and intentionally burden the health care system supporting your family, friends, and colleagues.
  • When our hospital critical care units become overwhelmed with COVID care, they can no longer function to treat other diseases, injuries, and accidents.
  • With hospitals overwhelmed, our government will mandate forced lockdowns, resulting in social isolation that has been shown to contribute to increased drug overdoses, suicides, and spousal abuse.
It is certainly true that "the government of Canada has declared COVID vaccines to be safe" but government declarations do not create reality. In the 1940s, governments authorized the widespread spraying of the "safe" insecticide DDT on people, in a sincere effort to "save lives" from polio, but DDT was banned in the 1970s as dangerous to public health.

The safety (or lack thereof) of any medical treatment should be determined by the individual patient, based on her voluntary and informed consent according to the Nuremberg Code. Making vaccines mandatory (which has already happened in Canada to a very large extent) is a direct and blatant violation of the Nuremberg Code as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter provides:
That each person can decide for herself what she wishes to have injected into her body, without pressure from the threat of job loss, expulsion from university, the inability to leave and re-enter Canada freely, or the second-class citizenship now imposed on Canadians who legitimately exercise their right to bodily autonomy.
Lowering "the burden on doctors and nurses holding our health care system together" is something that could have, and should have, been addressed decades ago, and has little to do with COVID or with vaccines. Canada has doggedly refused to learn from superior health care systems in France, Japan, Germany, Singapore, and dozens of other countries where "hallway medicine" and deadly waiting lists are unheard of. Instead, we cherish our ideological commitment to a dysfunctional government monopoly system that serves patients poorly. Blaming overcrowded hospitals on any one particular virus or disease is intellectually dishonest, considering the fact that Canadian hospitals have been periodically overcrowded for many years.

The Star laments the choices of individuals who put themselves at risk and "intentionally burden the health care system." Would the Star support coercive government measures to force smokers, alcoholics, drug addicts and obese people to make whatever the government deems to be better health and lifestyle choices? If the Star insists that there are "good patients" and "bad patients," should the latter be deprived of their human rights, civil liberties, and Charter freedoms? The Star argues that "when our hospital critical care units become overwhelmed with COVID care, they can no longer function to treat other diseases, injuries and accidents." The same can be said of smokers, alcoholics, drug addicts and obese people, but presumably the Star supports their freedom to make their own unhealthy lifestyle choices, and to exercise their Charter rights in a free society.

The Star acknowledges that lockdowns result in "social isolation that has been shown to contribute to increased drug overdoses, suicides and spousal abuse." What a shame that the Star, and every other government-funded media outlet in Canada, paid so little attention to lockdown harms in 2020. Instead, media allowed politicians to get away with dismissing and glossing over the severe and numerous lockdown harms that have killed and injured so many Canadians.

The Star states that "Ontario has enforced mandatory immunization for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, mumps, rubella and other diseases in schools" and asks "Why is COVID any different?" COVID is different because the statistical risk of a child dying from COVID is like the statistical risk of a child dying from a lightning strike: close to zero. COVID poses a much smaller risk to children than drowning, which claims the lives of over 50 Canadian children each year. Canadians under 70 face a greater risk of harm or death from driving in a motor vehicle than from COVID. COVID is much closer to the annual flu than to the Spanish Flu of 1918.

Government policy in the past 21 months has been based on the demonstrably false predictions of Dr. Neil Ferguson of Imperial College who put the entire world into a state of permanent fear by claiming that COVID would kill tens of millions of people, like the Spanish Flu did in 1918-20. Apart from COVID not being the unusually deadly killer that the Star and other media make it out to be, the COVID vaccine has not been subjected to any long-term safety testing. Its protection wears off after months, in contrast to other vaccines which provide permanent, life-long protection. These are only some of the reasons which make the COVID vaccine very different from vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, and other diseases.

The Star compares mandatory vaccination to mandatory conscription during the Second World War, which "put a generation of our beloved young people into battle to face certain injury and death." But forcibly injecting Canadians with a substance that has not undergone long-term safety testing, to defend against a virus that has far more in common with the annual flu than with the Spanish Flu of 1918, is the polar opposite of what our soldiers fought and died for, which was the preservation of Canada as a free society.

"The only clear path to normalcy is vaccination," argues the Star. Wrong. Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and yet our governments are still imposing draconian lockdown measures, including a curfew in Quebec. "Normal" seems a distant memory now. Further, more evidence emerges daily about successful early treatment protocols that allow COVID patients to get better without needing to go to a hospital. Rather than attempting to refute the abundant research on COVID treatments, governments instead merely repeat their tired, old assertion that "there are no treatments available, other than lockdowns and vaccines." More significantly, the violation of our Charter right to bodily autonomy should never be accepted as part of "normalcy."

In light of the fact that COVID vaccines do not stop COVID spread, there is no medical or scientific reason for governments to coerce or pressure anyone to get injected. Declining the COVID vaccine is neither selfish nor anti-social. Is a free and legitimate personal choice that governments should support and uphold.
About the Author:
Lawyer John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (jccf.ca) which is challenging mandatory vaccination policies in court.