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Freedom Convoy Diary – How a young Central Alberta family found themselves in Ottawa protesting mandates

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24 minute read

When Cody Borek refers to “the road” he isn’t typically thinking about the highway.  For Cody and his wife Evalena, “the road” usually means Main Street in Settler, or Lakeshore Drive at Sylvan Lake.  That’s because the Boreks are not truckers.  Cody and Evalena run a couple of unique small businesses in Central Alberta. Sweet Home on Main Street in Settler is a ladies boutique and clothing store. They sell locally crafted vendor items. There’s even a cafe with on-site baking.  Sweet Home on the Lake at Sylvan Lake is the same type of operation, charming, homey, even trendy.  Certainly not the kind of place that comes to mind when you think of people who might drive across the country in support of something called the Freedom Convoy.

But before you make your judgement (I know.. you already have) just hear the Borek’s out a bit.  Maybe you’ll understand why they so desperately want to do anything they can to end this two year stretch of restrictions and division. Maybe you’ll understand why they loaded up their 3 children under 5 for a cross country trip promising as much risk as adventure. Cody knows there’s a price to pay.  So far about a thousand people have ‘unfollowed’ them on social media. Some have even returned items to their store because of their stance.  That opposition just proves the incredibly sad state of affairs the Boreks are so desperate to leave behind.

Cody and Evalena bought their businesses in 2018. For more than half of the time they’ve owned the stores, they’ve had to juggle covid restrictions on top of all the other challenges new business owners face. Days ago, their neighbouring cafe owner came over to tell them he can’t do it anymore.  He closed on the last day of January. One more piece of data.  Another business done in by pandemic restrictions.  For their part, the Boreks feel terribly uncomfortable asking customers for health information.   They know it’s a small price to pay for protection, but they feel like it’s becoming a permanent problem and they know it’s leaving some people on the outside.

They’ve also been raising three children.  For more than half their young lives, those children have not seen the smiling faces or enjoyed a ‘high-five’ with the people they come into contact with.  The youngest doesn’t know that world even exists. Cody and Evalena aren’t sure exactly what that will mean to the way their children think about the world and community, and ‘others’, but they know they don’t like it.  Then there’s the other end of the family.  The Boreks lost a grandfather in the midst of covid.  Like so many Canadians, they know the tragic heartbreak of not being there when someone they love dies, alone.  Their last contact with grandpa, was through a window.

In the end, the Boreks don’t see this ending.  The cycle of covid waves has the world heading in a direction they do not want their kids to grow up in.  That’s why they decided even though they aren’t truckers, they wanted to join the Freedom Convoy.  As of Tuesday, they’re still in Ottawa. Here’s a diary, tracking that trip, written by Cody Borek, and posted to his facebook page.  We have exerts and photos here posted with Cody’s permission.


January 25 – Leaving Stettler for Ottawa

This morning our family starts our drive to Ottawa❤️ The last 2 years have been some of the most mentally challenging of our life.

Family and friends have battled depression, business closures, jobs lost and there have been enough tears shed.

We do understand the first rule of business is to not get involved with politics. But we truly feel that this is so much more then that. Our 3 kids under 5 don’t know or hardly remember a life where strangers don’t wear masks. A life where you greet your neighbors and fellow community members with a smile.

We are taking this journey with our kids because it gives us hope❤️. Seeing so much of our country come together brings tears to my eye.

Some of you will strongly disagree with us taking this journey and making this stance. We can respect that, but it is something that we needed to do.

January 27 – Why we’re doing this

What would cause somebody to pack up their young family, risk everything they have worked for and drive 36 hours in the middle of a Canadian winter?
Severe discontentment and HOPE.
Instead of attacking our character and assuming we must be white supremacists or terrorists wanting to break up our country, I ask you to think deeper. Try to understand the why, and look to all of the people you know and love that are in support of this movement.
I know some of you truly believe what we are doing is wrong, but then you notice friends that you deeply respect in support of this journey. Have an open conversation with them.
There is so much hurt in my family, community, and country. If we want this to end we need to love our neighbours again.
This is not a fringe group of people making this stand, sure there could be some, but I honestly believe this is the silent and becoming less silent majority.
It is not an easy decision to drive across Canada to make a stand. For the tens of thousands that are doing it not only is it a massive financial challenge. They are also risking their safety on the roads, they are risking the unknown of what happens when we arrive to Ottawa and all the rumours of the military. They are risking members of their community trying to “cancel” them and their character without true understanding.
If I felt our future was going to soon be back to normal, or these government restrictions made a lick of sense I would not have joined the journey.
I complain too much, and have seen too much hurt in my wife, mom, kids, sister, family, team members, and friends to not try to do something about it. This movement has potential, and I hope you join in any way you can. At the very least to make a stand.
It was possible for me to join. I had a duty to do so. I know millions more would be by our side if they had the ability. Thank you for your support, I am not just here for my family, but for all of you who wish you could be here. To those who wish us ill, please seek to understand.

January 28 – On the road with the Freedom Convoy

This convoy is the most incredible thing I have ever witnessed. Beyond what you could imagine.
We just rolled into North Bay, just a few hours from Ottawa and I want to share some of the experiences.
EVERY single community entrance, EVERY gas station, EVERY road side diner is crowded with supporters cheering us on. They have the flags flying, cars honking, kids waving and ladies cheering. Workers in coveralls are stopped along every road.
The support in Ontario has been much more then we anticipated. Gas stations giving free drinks and discounted gas. Restraunts advertising free food. Business owners along the way offering cash for the journey. Groups handing out windshield washer fluid and bagged lunches.
We broke off from the main West Convoy at White River last night as they closed the road to Sault Ste Marie around Superior Lake. We were nervous they wouldn’t open it back up so we headed North.
We then learned there wasn’t just one convoy, but downloading the truckers app on Zello, we realized there are at least a half dozen coming from all over Canada and USA.
When we are in the convoy there are semis, trucks and cars as far as you can see in front and behind. And I believe we were in one of the smaller groups.
Each community you see an overwhelming amount of vehicles on route with flags flying and license plates from every province.
It’s truly humbling to be apart of.
Thank you for your support.
This needed to happen.

January 28  – Canadians come out in support

 

January 29 – Moved to tears

They say grown men don’t cry. This journey has made that not possible. Thousands upon thousands of people lined the roads sending us off to Ottawa.
People of every age, and background. You could see and sense so much hope.
Slowly rolling by making eye contact with some of the fathers at the side of the road. They would have tears in there eyes and just give you that head nod. I know we are on the right side of this movement. It needs to happen. Many of these mandates simply don’t make sense and they need to end.
It hasn’t been possible for us to get a true sense of how many people are in these convoys. But I am telling you the people lining the streets, parking lots and overpasses of every town are beyond words.
We are receiving much more love then hate. But there needs to be a conversation and understanding. Name calling and attacks just divide us further. I took this journey, because I have seen too much pain in my family, friends, team members, and business community. My 3 kids under 5 don’t know or remember a world without masks and keeping your distance from your neighbours. I would rather close my business then tell my team they can’t work for us unless they are vaccinated and boosted. I can’t be convinced that should be the new normal. It’s been 2 years of “almost over”, just this one more hurdle. I don’t believe the hurdles will ever stop unless we stop jumping.
Do you have a “why” you support this movement? Maybe if we fill the news feeds seeking to share why we feel the way we do instead of attacks, it may shift more and more people to understanding. The politicians need to shift with public opinion, and I don’t think the silent majority have been clear enough.

January 30 – Eyewitness report from Parliament Hill

This is what I am seeing on the ground.
I believe this to be one of if not the largest protest in Canadian history, yet not a single arrest has been made and no violence documented. That is incredible and a statement.
The Terry Fox statue should not have been used as a political symbol. People should not be holding Nazi or swastika flags. That is 100% in agreement from all. Those who disagree with the movement that have happened latch on to it and say that’s what we are about.
The truth is those flags didn’t last long. Large groups of people peacefully asked them to remove them immediately when they are seen.
If you don’t believe there are a few agitators here trying to provoke violence to discredit this whole movement you are wrong. I have already experienced them. I believe those with these signs are doing the same.
I loved the analogy from Pierre Poilievre the other day, and am going to spin it a little different. When someone in my home town of Stettler commits a felony. I don’t believe my community to be bad. That individual needs to answer for the felony he commited. Not my entire town.
Just like here. You have hundreds of thousands of people. Yet those who oppose what we are doing latch on to what one or two individuals do, then label us all as extreme disrespectful people, just to gratify the belief they have.
I challenge you to use your logic. Don’t drive the country apart further by name calling. Messages we receive saying we are disgusting or awful parents are quite annoying, though I don’t take them to heart. I just know you don’t yet understand why we are here.
I hope the scale of this should help you to continue to question the narrative the media and politicians are pushing. I truly hope one day we can shake hands and come to an understanding.

 

January 30 – The media narrative vs my lived experience

This is why traditional media is going extinct. Social media is exposing the narrative. Trudeau says only a small fringe support this movement. The media is following the script and mostly showing the “fringe”.
If they can manipulate the media, they can manipulate the narrative.
I have been receiving many messages about all the Swastika’s or inappropriate signs and they are asking me to tell them the truth of what I see. Another question is how many trucks are here.
Firstly, I challenge you to go through photos showing hundreds of people. I don’t think it will be very often you come across 1 or 2 inappropriate signs. When they do pop up, you better believe those who oppose this are going to snap a picture before others ask them to put them away.
Secondly, there are streets of trucks visible and much of downtown is at a gridlock. We were advised from our hotel that if we leave they don’t know if we can get back in. The police have many roads blocked not allowing the Western Convoy to yet join. They say they are coming tomorrow after the foot traffic has died down.
Are there people here with questionable motives? Yup probably. But the vast majority of people, who have travelled from all across our country, just want to take a stance. We are united in the fact that our government is over reaching too far into our lives and trying to make choices on our behalf that we simply won’t allow. People want to do their jobs, see their families, visit with their neighbours and live their lives❤️.
“Freedom is never more then one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same”.
Ronald Reagan
January 31 – The Prime Minister further divides us
Trudeau:
“Canadians were shocked and frankly disgusted by the behaviour displayed by some people protesting in our nations capital.”
I’m sure they would be when that’s what the media shows them, and that’s the narrative you are desperate to push to slow any momentum. Thankful for social media to continue to share what we experienced. Not once have I felt unsafe with my family.
There are people giving free food at stands, and walking the trucks offering truckers free food and coffee. I find it impossible to believe it was truckers that demanded food at a homeless shelter.
I did not witness any dishonouring of our war memorials, nor did I personally witness dishonouring of the Terry Fox statue. Quite the opposite. But I’m sure there could have been some which is so sad that a few can change the narrative.
The police are EVERYWHERE, both RCMP on horses and from cities all over. All that we have witnessed are very friendly. They smile at the kids, and wish us a great day. A minority of them have their masks pulled down
I sure hope you don’t let the media convince you against the magnitude and peacefulness of this. There have still been no arrests. I do believe many in the city may be inconvenienced by this. The honking is constant and loud and you couldn’t drive to work. But you haven’t been inconvenienced to the level of losing your job.
Thank you for standing with us back home❤️
CBC reports 8,000 people on Saturday and 3,000 on Sunday. This is just so wrong. I personally talked to parliament security who said they have never witnessed anything like it. He told me it was bigger then what they see on Canada Day.

January 31 – PM’s comments will ensure both sides double down in division

The Prime Minister didn’t take my advice about seeking to understand. Maybe I should😅
There are people whom I respect that disagree with me making this journey to Ottawa with my family. They aren’t as loud in my comments or messages, but I am certain that each one of my posts that challenge what they see would be frustrating. Just as when I see posts challenging what I am seeing here are frustrating to me.
The Prime Minister’s comments only divide us further. Do you think calling us racist, and fringe will make the truckers want to pack up? They are going to double down just as he has.
I would love to respectfully hear your comments on why the vaccines and masks need to be a government mandate and not a personal choice.
It truthfully doesn’t make sense to many of us.
I hope to open some discussion and understanding from both sides without personal attacks having to get involved.
—————————–
As of Tuesday morning, the Borek family were returning to Parliament Hill to show some more support for Freedom Convoy.  Cody plans to continue to post updates to his facebook page.

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Employee wins lawsuit filed by gov’t agency after losing job for refusing COVID shot

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From LifeSiteNews

By Emily Mangiaracina

The federal government successfully sued on her behalf, citing a Title VII violation.

A former assistant manager who was fired after applying for a religious accommodation to refuse the COVID shot has been awarded a six-figure payout after a federal government agency filed a lawsuit on the employee’s behalf.

Federal Judge M. Casey Rodgers on Thursday ordered the Pensacola, Florida store Hank’s Fine Furniture (HFI) to pay a former manager, identified in the lawsuit as “K.M.O.,” $110,000 for refusing to accommodate her request for exemption from the COVID shot due to her “sincerely held Christian beliefs.”

“HFI is permanently enjoined from discriminating against any employee on the basis of religion in violation of Title VII,” Rodgers wrote, the Pensacola News Journal reported Monday. He further declared that HFI “will reasonably accommodate employee and prospective employee religious beliefs during all hiring, discipline and promotion activities,” and “any activity affecting any other terms and conditions of employment.”

Significantly, the store also “cannot require proof that an employee’s or applicant’s religious objection to an employer requirement be an official tenet or endorsed teaching of said religious belief,” according to Pensacola News Journal.

Hank’s Furniture must also adopt a written policy, disseminated to all employees, declaring that HFI “will not require any employee to violate sincerely held religious beliefs, including those pertaining to vaccinations, as a condition of his/her employment.”

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued on behalf of K.M.O. (EEOC v. Hank’s Furniture, Inc., Case No. 3:23-cv-24533-MCR-HTC) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida after it was unable to reach a pre-litigation settlement “through its administrative conciliation process.”

According to Pensacola News Journal, about two weeks after HFI implemented a policy mandating that its employees receive a COVID shot, K.M.O. told the company she would not get the shot due to her “sincerely held religious beliefs,” and then requested a religious exemption.

According to the lawsuit, HFI ignored her request and asked if she would comply with their COVID shot policy, and K.M.O. then told HFI she planned to submit a written religious accommodation request, asking “whether HFI had a particular form she should use.”

HFI reportedly did not respond to her request. When K.M.O. complained that HFI’s unwillingness to grant her a religious exemption was “unjust,” her new supervisor reportedly told her that “HFI did not care why she would not take” the COVID shot and that HFI “would never grant an accommodation.”

When K.M.O. emailed HMI on September 6, 2021, asking for the status of her religious exemption request, HFI informed her that her religious exemption request was “severely lacking,” and then denied it.

K.M.O. then “asked for help to submit an acceptable religious exemption request,” but HFI refused to discuss any accommodation, according to the lawsuit. Then on October 31, she was fired by HFI because she did not comply with their COVID “vaccination” policy.

Birmingham District Director Bradley Anderson remarked regarding the case for an EEOC press release, “Employees should not have to renounce their religious beliefs in order to remain employed. Let this case serve as a reminder that employers should afford accommodation for religious beliefs unless doing so would cause an undue hardship.”

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Undue Censorship Still Skews COVID Treatments

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Lee Harding

The censorship and institutional capture evident in the pandemic should be an ongoing concern for policy-makers, scientists, and the medical field. Someone who encountered this first-hand was clinical trials researcher Sabine Hazan, who testified to the National Citizens Inquiry on COVID-19.

Hazan, the CEO and principal investigator at Venture Clinical Trials is also the founder and CEO of Progena Biome, a genetic sequencing lab. Starting in 2020, she subjected stool samples of COVID-19 patients’ to next-generation sequencing (NGS) of the entire genome of the virus.

It wasn’t long before the tests, which were $3,000 each, showed the virus mutating into four different spike proteins. Patients had anywhere from one to all of them.

“‘How is the vaccine going to work if the spike protein itself is mutating into multiple combinations?’” she asked herself.

“Vaccinating against viruses is not a really a good idea because unfortunately, viruses mutate more than bacteria.”

Hazan was curious about three cases where the virus had completely disappeared by day five. Two of these patients said they had been taking hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.

On April 2, 2020, Hazan submitted a protocol to treat COVID-19 consisting of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, vitamins C, D, and zinc. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a request to do clinical trials within 24 hours, yet Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram blocked her advertisements for patients.

The few patients Hazan could recruit faced another hurdle as medical authorities warned pharmacists not to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin together because of cardiac problems. Her monitoring of patients never revealed such problems.

“These drugs have been given to millions of people with arthritis, and all of a sudden, they’re bad?” she asked.

In the first 16 of 17 patients, the virus disappeared from stool samples between 5 to 8 days after being on the regimen. Hazan applied for a patent for her protocol in July 2020 and received it in December 2020. An unnamed party or parties offered her $10 million, then $40 million for her patent, but refused the money to continue her research.

Hazan found newborns have a lot of bifidobacteria and the elderly have little to none. Her research suggests that boosting a person’s microbiomes can address c difficile, anxiety, Lyme Disease, Crohn’s, psoriasis, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, while its deficiencies may be related to autism.

She had concerns from the vaccines from the start, but authorities kept doctors in California like her from warning patients about possible side effects.

“What I realized doing clinical trials is I couldn’t always trust pharmaceutical companies,” she said.

“When people are coming at me with a new medication that has been tested on animals for one week, I start freaking out.”

Some of her studies waited 6 to 8 months to get published, while 52 have not yet found a journal willing to print them.

“I’m trying to publish the data on the messenger RNA [of COVID vaccines] affecting the microbiome, which won a Research Award at the American College of Gastro[enterology], and nobody’s interested in publishing that.”

This study of more than 150 vaccine-injured patients found the entire phylum of bifidobacteria had been “wiped” out.

Frontiers in Microbiology published her most popular paper, Microbiome-Based Hypothesis on Ivermectin’s Mechanism in COVID-19: Ivermectin Feeds Bifidobacteria to Boost Immunity in July of 2022. The paper received 47,000 views before a complaint led to its retraction in May of 2023.

Twitter deemed her hypothesis as “misinformation” long before the retraction and blocked her account. Some of Hazan’s own patients who worked for Twitter helped get her account reinstated but could not keep her from a ‘misinformation’ label on her posts.

“I was doing the clinical trials. I was treating the patients, I was analyzing the stools. I was working with the FDA. Who’s giving misinformation? I’m publishing. You’re telling me I’m misinforming people?” she recalled thinking.

Hazan expressed concern that a “movement” to retract papers has yanked more than 14,000 of them and artificial intelligence will ignore them.

“What’s interesting about these papers is they all go against the narrative that is meant to sell you something. So that’s dangerous…if you’re trying to push a drug, or biologic, and now you’re removing everything else,” she said.

Such one-sided medical dogma is wrong, she insisted.

“That’s not science. That’s propaganda. That’s what we saw this pandemic,” said Hazan.

“Now I’m blacklisted from a lot of pharmaceutical companies…It actually killed my business of doing clinical trials.”

The fact that mRNA vaccines are still being pushed concerns the Moroccan-born doctor.

“You talk to scientists who do animal studies on the mRNA, they will tell you that the rats are eating their arms. So that’s all I need to hear,” she said.

“The technology may be promising, maybe, but it’s not there yet. It’s still very much experimental.”

Let’s hope more scientists, doctors, and journal publishers will find the integrity and courage of Hazan. Citizens have reason for concern that regulators have pushed risky mRNA vaccines while undermining the legitimacy of other promising options. When will honest science prevail?

Lee Harding is a Research Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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