Conservative MP Dalton urges Horgan to reconsider stand on healthcare workers not fully vaccinated

CONSERVATIVE MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge, Marc Dalton, on Monday strongly urged Premier John Horgan to reconsider the B.C. Government’s decision to permanently terminate the services of public healthcare workers and provincially regulated healthcare professionals who are not fully vaccinated.

Dalton said in a letter to Horgan: “I would like to thank you for the leadership role that you have taken as we’ve faced this global pandemic. This has been a very challenging task and the provincial government has tried to steer us through this extremely difficult time.

“However, some recent decisions of yours have raised concerns from residents who have contacted me. I feel obliged to bring forward these concerns on their behalf and the many people they provide care for. I’m speaking of public healthcare workers and provincially regulated healthcare professionals who are not fully vaccinated.

“These dedicated and hard-working people have been on the front lines of this pandemic for the last two years, navigating a sea of ever-changing rules and restrictions to ensure the best care and treatment are provided to their patients.  It has been an extremely challenging time for all health care workers regardless of their personal vaccination status.

“And now the situation we find ourselves in is that nurses and employees in a BC Health Authority who have been placed on leave will soon be terminated permanently. Furthermore, for those among one of twenty-five provincially regulated healthcare professionals, as of March 24th, your government will deem them unfit to provide care to British Columbians.

“Those who have been affected are often hesitant to publicly come forward due to personal and professional repercussions or becoming another victim in today’s ‘cancel culture’.  In light of this, many of these professionals are making the decision to quit their position, retire or leave the workforce.

“Is this really the correct path for healthcare in our Province?

“Many, including myself, do not believe so.  Not at a time when jurisdictions across Canada and around the world are removing Covid-related restrictions and vaccine mandates. And, not at a time when nurses and others in our health care system are sounding the alarm over staff shortages, excessive overtime, and fatigue.

“I believe these decisions, if left to stand, will usher in a new health crisis – the lack of available healthcare workers.  This will be exacerbated by the inevitable flight of these professionals to other provinces or countries where they are able to practice their profession, provide quality care, earn a living, and support their families.

“I strongly urge you to reconsider these measures using rationale that accounts for the full impact on community health and the medium to long-term stresses on our healthcare system.”