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This week’s mailbox: the vaccine mandate and ArriveCan border requirements

Dear Anti-vaxxers
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Dear Anti-vaxxers

At the anti-vax rally at Second Avenue and Ogilvie Street on Dec. 4, I saw this sign: “2020 — We’re all in this together; 2021 — You’re FIRED.”

In 2020, we were all in this together until you decided we weren’t. In 2021 I got vaccinated, at least in part, to protect you. I wear a mask to protect you.

If you care so little about the health and well-being of the rest of us in 2021, why should we care if you lost your job for your selfish reasons?

Don’t worry, there’s lots of jobs out there. Employers are crying out for workers, mostly in the service sector. They almost pay a living wage.

Oh. I forgot. They’ll require you to be vaccinated and wear a mask.

Tough situation, eh?

Carl Maguire

Whitehorse

Lost jobs to vaccine mandate

I just learned that 10 postal workers in Whitehorse were put on leave without pay for refusing to disclose their vaccination status. This has put an incredible strain on the remaining postal workers OVER CHRISTMAS! Some are working six-day weeks, 12 hours a day!

There is so much wrong with this, and it’s time your government, Mr. Trudeau, instead of punishing workers for claiming bodily autonomy, reversed the mandatory vaccine requirement. And how about our territorial government? How about the 30 guards at the jail that refused to disclose their vaccination status and now the jail is scrambling to fill the positions with Department of Environment CO’s?

How about the situation in Ross River, just heard on CBC this morning, where the community feels threatened by the number of important positions left vacant because of this vaccine mandate? Mr. Silver, it’s time to change course!

And this is just the tip of the iceberg I’m sure, as the media has been actively discouraged from really reporting on the adverse effects of this vaccine mandate, particularly the economic and social fallout. We in the Yukon are vaccinated to 80 per cent at least, and we were told that if we got to 75 per cent then all would be well. Hah!

The last four COVID-19 deaths were vaccinated people. This is very unfortunate, and I am very sorry for these people and their families, but it does not appear that the vaccine is the magic bullet it was claimed to be. And the only reason I know this is not from the media or the government, whose lack of transparency is egregious, but from medical insiders!

Word gets around in a small community, Mr. Silver, so you can’t hide forever. Relax the vaccine mandate, allow medical workers, teachers, the correctional workers, and all the other government workers back to their jobs, because it’s only caused hardship to a large number of families (including those still working) and no discernable benefit to the overall number of COVID cases in the territory.

Barbara Drury

Whitehorse

Letter to editor

My husband and I took a day trip to Skagway this past week. It’s been our tradition for years (except for 2020) to go down right before Christmas, so we’d been watching and listening for information about border crossing requirements.

We were delighted when the testing requirement for trips of less than 72 hours was lifted. We got our vaccine certificates in the mail and were ready to go.

We stopped at Canada Customs on the way south, just to be sure we had all the information we needed. My husband came out of the office with a yellow sticky note in his hand. It said “ArriveCan app.” I had filled out that form once before so I figured we could take care of business at the Skagway library. We don’t have a smartphone.

Interestingly, the agent at U.S. customs gave us better information – a whole sheet with website addresses, etc. Filling out the form at the library, including getting our vaccine documents scanned and inserted, took over a half hour.

My husband noted, accurately, that most of the information requested on the form was just a repeat of what we already would have available to show customs on our passports and our vaccine certificates. The rest of the form consisted of questions about potential self-isolation plans. That information would make more sense being communicated at a testing center (if one returned home and showed signs of infection). It really has nothing to do with the border crossing itself.

All went smoothly at Canada Customs on the return trip. I asked the agent if he had ever had to turn people back because they didn’t know about the ArriveCan requirement. He said yes. I heard of another Whitehorse resident being turned back when returning from Haines. In both cases, that is a huge inconvenience.

I suggested that Canada Customs could simplify the form — make it about five questions long without all the redundant information from the passport and the vaccine certificate. That way, customs agents could have a one page print-out available for people to fill in at the border if the online form had not been completed.

Obviously, the young man at the customs station has no control over procedures. But for those who do, I would like to suggest they create procedures that 1) control the spread of COVID-19 (which the ArriveCan form and mandatory random testing do not); 2) are respectful of different people’s comfort level with technology and respectful of their time; 3) are clearly communicated through a variety of media, not just on a website.

If procedures continue as they are right now, border crossers feel harassed — not what we want anyone to feel as they enter Canada.

Dianne Homan

Whitehorse



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