On September 29th 2021 I resigned from the Saskatchewan Party to sit as an Independent Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. After 14 years, working with very talented people whom I regard as colleagues and friends, my decision was an extremely difficult one, but one I had to make in good conscience.
Since that time, my office has been inundated with calls and emails from citizens across Saskatchewan, thanking me for taking a position that challenges the mandates that have been imposed on our province.
In these conversations, disturbing themes have emerged. Primarily these are:
The blatant divisive and often misleading rhetoric the media and government continue to replay is beginning to lose effect: vaccinated vs. unvaccinated.
I would ask, how can the government support and unite people in these times instead of creating division? Diversity in the Legislative Chamber is beneficial for the province. We, as elected representatives are there for all of the people.
At this time, the issue of greatest concern I hear of is the plight of people who are in utter despair due to the vaccine passports. They are now in a position that in order to provide food and shelter to their families, they must submit to a medical procedure they feel may be harmful to their health.
They make a point of telling me that they and their children have all of the traditional vaccines. These are people with legitimate concerns about how this still experimental vaccine, will affect their bodies now and in the long-term. They are astonished and appalled that suddenly they “have no choice”, and are being coerced to comply or give up their careers, lifestyle or even be denied medical procedures.
They express disgust with the tactics of a government that has, in effect, created a two-class society complete with a ‘snitch line’ for people to report on their neighbours. They ask me to explain under what circumstances a person would be detained in the isolation (internment?) facility. They ask me if federal money has been tied to these policies. They want to know why natural immunity from a covid infection is not recognized.
Saskatchewan citizens are also questioning why vaccine passports were rushed to be enforced after the premier said, in the summer of 2021, vaccine passports would NOT be implemented.
Further, in an excerpt taken directly from the Public Health Order – Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination or Negative Covid Test released on September 30th, 2021, Dr. Shahab states:
“I am aware of and have considered that this Order may impact upon constitutionally-protected interests, particularly the rights and freedoms protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“Charter”), including freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association and mobility rights.”
When I ask these callers whether they have contacted their own MLA, another theme emerges. That is, the inability of people to communicate with their own MLA’s, elected to represent them in their own constituencies. Almost every single person who has contacted me from outside Saskatchewan Rivers, has first tried to talk to their own MLA. Their calls and emails are going without any response. As an elected representative, an MLA is responsible and has an obligation to listen to all of their constituents’ concerns without discrimination.
My personal opinion is that this government has inflicted so much damage to the relationships between people, families and friends in Saskatchewan, it will be years before we heal those gaps.
The desire for a just and fair democratic province shaped my decision to leave the Saskatchewan Party and sit as an independent member. I took time to listen to the people in my riding and reflect on my role as an elected official and citizen. I was elected by the people, for the people, in the Saskatchewan Rivers constituency. I will continue to work for them to the best of my abilities. My belief in the fundamental values of freedom of personal choice, voluntary informed consent, without the element of duress or coercion, solidified my decision.
I may be contacted by email at email@example.com, by phone at 306-787-0615 or by mail at RR5 Site 16 Box 4 Prince Albert SK, S6V 5R3