Published:September 12, 2021
By MELANIE RISDON-BETCHER
Thousands of people jammed Calgary’s Olympic Plaza on Sunday in support of workers who don’t want forced vaccinations.
“We’re going to take (Alberta Health Services) to court,” says John Carpay, a lawyer and president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), as he addressed the throng gathered outside City Hall and Olympic Plaza at the Freedom of Choice.
More than two thousand stood in solidarity with Calgary firefighters, police, EMS, nurses, doctors, AHS and City of Calgary workers, who are opposed to mandated vaccines as a requirement of their employment.
The gathering started at city hall and Olympic Plaza, followed by a silent walk through downtown and ended again at city hall.
It was recently announced that both city of Calgary workers and AHS employees will have to be fully immunized against COVID-19. City employees have until October 18 to be fully vaccinated, while AHS employees have until October 31.
For those that choose to remain unvaccinated, they will have to submit to regular COVID-19 rapid testing and those who refuse could be fired.
City Manager David Duckworth said the city has a duty to keep workplaces safe for both employees and citizens stating, “It’s simply the right thing to do.”
Numerous people stepped up to address the crowd including Clay Farnsworth from the group Police on Guard for Thee, AHS registered nurse Annette Park, Katherine Kowalchuk with Lawyers 4 Truth and John Carpay with JCCF.
Park, a nurse for over 30 years, shared her concerns there has been little transparency and appropriate messaging from AHS throughout the pandemic.
She also stated that she feels research and data communicated has been manipulated.
Police on Guard for Thee is a group of active duty and retired police officers dedicated to honouring the oaths taken to uphold the Constitution of Canada and remain independent of political influence.
Western Standard also spoke with an AHS employee who wanted to remain anonymous.
“What I don’t understand is how they can possibly force this vaccine on us staff with no long-term data and there won’t be any for a year or more,” she said.