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Open letter to Canada’s Premiers calling for pivot in response, end to lockdowns


21 minute read


It has been over one full year since the declaration of the Pandemic. SARS CoV-2 has been in Canada much longer than that, as you well know.

You are responsible for the response in each of your jurisdictions.  While the Medical Officers of Health (MOH) are equally responsible for the advice they have given, you personally were elected to lead. They were not.

Your own statistics prove that for people under the age of 60, SARS CoV-2 is not something to be feared. In one full year, people under the age of 60 are twice as likely to die from a heart disease. For people 20 – 40 years old, they are five times more likely to die in a car accident. Worldwide 2.54 million people die from Pneumonic annually. SARS CoV-2 has killed under 2 Million in a year. The risk from SARS CoV-2 has been widely exaggerated, by you, your MOH and the media.

For people over 60, your approach has failed our seniors.

Canada has ranked last in the Organization of Economically Developed Countries (OECD) in care of those most at risk to SARS CoV-2. Over 96% of all reported SARS CoV-2 deaths were in our seniors. Even Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health admitted this is Canada’s shame.

Your use of “lockdowns” did not save over 21,000 of our seniors. It failed them.

The use of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) which we now call “lockdowns” was known to have little effect on the spread of infectious diseases long before SARS CoV-2 arrived. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) assembled the best infectious disease doctors in the world to write the 2019 version of “Non-Pharmaceutical Public Health Measures”. If you read the document, for a Pandemic of the severity of SARS CoV-2, most of these measures were not recommended for use. Yet we used almost all of them.

Top infectious disease doctors in the world have proven in repeated detail peer reviewed research papers all over again that “lockdowns” do not have significant impacts on either the spread or deaths for SARS CoV-2. Yet you and the media constantly tell us they do. But one of the many in depth studies found: “While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with lessrestrictive interventions”.

What is also know is that “lockdowns” cause terrible collateral damage. The damage to Canadians Mental Health, Societal Health, Children’s Education and Social Development, Patients with other Severe Illnesses and to our National Economy (Federal and Provincial/Territorial) will continue, until you remove and promise never to inflict “lockdowns again. These impacts and deaths seem not to be considered in any cost benefit analysis by you or your MOH.

Many of the world’s experts have tried to help target the response to SARS CoV-2 to save the most vulnerable, while minimizing the effects on the rest of our population. You have ignored these experts. In fact, most of these experts have been completely censored by you, your MOH and the media.

Please read the attached Paper, “One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada”. The Paper states what we had collectively planned to do in a Pandemic, what we have done, and how to pivot out of our failed response.

It is time to stop.

Listen to all expert voices.


Thank you for your time.

David Redman

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)

Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta


One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

Emergency Management

Pandemics happen continuously. Since 1955, this is the world’s fifth pandemic. In the next fifty-five years there is going to be five more. We have never responded to a pandemic like we responded to COVID-19.

It must be clear that a pandemic is not a Public Health Emergency, it is a Public Emergency because all areas of society are affected: public sector, private sector, not- for-profit sector, and all citizens.

In Canada, we have an Emergency Management Process that we normally use in a pandemic. We have pre-written Pandemic Response plans. These plans were written incorporating the hard lessons learned from previous pandemics.

Part of the lessons learned from previous pandemics is contained in the World Health Organization (WHO) “Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza” dated 2019.

This document included the world’s best studies and information on the use of 15 separate non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). The use of these NPIs was discussed in the development of the existing Provincial Plans.

The 2019 WHO document was known, or should have been known, by all Medical Officers of Health in Canada. The use of each of the NPIs was dependant on the severity of the pandemic. Even in a High or Extraordinary Pandemic the use of all or most of these NPIs at the same time was not envisioned.

Prior to the use of each NPI, the Federal and Provincial/Territorial governments needed to demonstrably justify how each NPI would protect the life of Canadians. Some of the NPIs were not recommended for use in any pandemic, including:

  • Contact Tracing (not recommended after first two weeks)
  • Quarantine of Exposed Individuals
  • Entry and Exit Screening
  • Border Closures


One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

Some of the NPIs were recommended for use only as a last resort, including: • Workplace Measures and Closures

Despite this, they were used as a first resort.

Some NPIs were not recommended for a pandemic with the severity of COVID-19, including:

  • School Measures and Closures
  • Face Masks for Public These recommendations were ignored.The lack of any attempt to publicly demonstrate a cost benefit analysis based on life and impact on lives shows a complete disregard for “Due Diligence” by both our Medical Officers of Health (MOH) and our Premiers.

    In summary on NPIs, the collateral damage from the use of each NPI needed to be justified in a cost benefit analysis, showing not only what life saving could be expected, but what the short-term and long-term impact on lives would be. Further, it needed to be demonstrably shown why the WHO recommendations were ignored. This was never done for any of the NPIs invoked.

    The aim of the pre-written pandemic plans is to allow our leaders to rapidly minimize the impact of a new pandemic on our society. The four goals of the pandemic plans are clearly defined:

    • Controlling the spread of influenza disease and reducing illness (morbidity) and death (mortality) by providing access to appropriate prevention measures, care, and treatment.

    • Mitigating societal disruption in Alberta through ensuring the continuity and recovery of critical services.

    • Minimizing adverse economic impact.

    • Supporting an efficient and effective use of resources during response and recovery

    The purpose in writing these plans in advance is to ensure the government could rapidly advise the public of the scope of the new hazard and publicly issue a complete written plan to address it. That way the public can see the entire plan, see the phases of the plan, and all steps that will be taken. The public understands their role in the plan. The response to the pandemic would then be coherent.

    This has not happened.


One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

The Canadian Response – Not Based on Emergency Management

The Canadian response to COVID-19 has been incoherent, constantly changing, and with no plan. The sole focus on COVID-19 case counts led to a completely flawed response trying to deal only with the first pandemic goal, and failing.

In February and March 2020 we knew that over 95% of the deaths in China and Europe were in seniors, over the age of 60, with multiple co-morbidities.

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One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

We should have immediately developed options for the protection of concentrations of our seniors over 60 with co-morbidities. Our Long Term Care (LTC) homes should have developed and offered quarantine options, for both the residents and the staff.

In our first full year of COVID-19 in Canada, 96% of our over 22,800 deaths have been in seniors, over the age of 60, with multiple co-morbidities. See Figure 5 in link below, updated weekly by Health Canada. cases.html

That is over 21,890 deaths. It is likely that thousands of these deaths could have been avoided, as over 80% of the deaths in the first wave occurred in LTC homes.

After one full year, we stand at 73% of the 22,880 deaths in LTC homes, 16,700 of our seniors. Our country ranked last in the OECD for protecting our seniors.

Long-Term Care Homes in Canada – The Impact of COVID-19 for-covid-deaths-among-wealthy-nations-report/ar-BB1f76sw

This may have cost $2 billion, but could have saved over 16,700 lives as 73% of Canadian deaths have been in LTC homes in the first year of COVID-19. Instead we locked down healthy Canadians and our businesses and spent well over $240 billion to force over 8 million healthy Canadians to stay at home. The cost mounts daily. 1.5827045

We did not need to follow the failed lock down practice of China or Europe. Lockdowns have not saved 21,890 of our Canadian seniors. We knew who was most at risk and had time to provide the option of quarantine for our seniors, both in LTC homes and in society. Instead, we sacrificed our seniors.

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In June 2020, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that Canada had a higher


proportion of COVID-19 deaths within LTC settings than other OECD countries included in its

comparison. At that time, deaths in Canadian LTCs from COVID-19 were at 81% of the total, while

OECD countries reported LTC COVID-19 deaths of 10-66% (average of 38%) of their totals.


The CBC News analysis has tracked $105.66 billion in federal payments to individuals; $118.37


billion that has gone to businesses, non-profits and charitable organizations; and a further


$16.18 billion in transfers to provinces, territories, municipalities and government agencies.

page4image1679152 page4image1679360page4image1679568

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

Our leaders and doctors constantly tell us we are in danger of overwhelming our medical system. If we had acted to quarantine our seniors’ long term care facilities, our hospital capacity would not have been challenged, as 71% of our hospital beds and 64% of our ICU capacity continue to this day to be filled with seniors. See Figure 5 in link below, updated daily by Health Canada. cases.html

We would not have needed to stop other medical procedures. ever-because-of-covid-19

We should never have forced healthy medical staff to self-isolate. We should have made rapid testing a priority for all orders of government.

We ignored the other three goals of our pre-existing pandemic plans:

• Mitigating societal disruption in Alberta through ensuring the continuity and recovery of critical services.

• Minimizing adverse economic impact.

• Supporting an efficient and effective use of resources during response and recovery

Ignoring these three goals and following a failed lockdown response has caused massive collateral damage in terms of deaths and long-term effects on our population. Collateral damage, largely ignored by mainstream media, includes but is not limited to:

  • Societal health,
  • Mental health,
  • Other health conditions,
  • Children’s education and social development,
  • Economic health

    We are told that lockdowns (i.e. the persistent use of NPIs) has decreased the spread and deaths from COVID-19. Therefore, it is assumed that the collateral deaths are somehow justified. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

We knew from the WHO 2019 NPI document cited earlier that the use of most NPIs have little effect on the spread of a virus. It was a lesson learned. Unfortunately, it had to be proved again through studies by some of the best infectious disease doctors in the world. One such study on the spread of COVID-19 is quoted:

“European Journal of Clinical Investigation
Assessing mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closure effects on the spread of



We first estimate COVID‐19 case growth in relation to any NPI implementation in subnational regions of 10 countries: England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and the United States. Using first‐difference models with fixed effects, we isolate the effects of mrNPIs by subtracting the combined effects of lrNPIs and epidemic dynamics from all NPIs. We use case growth in Sweden and South Korea, 2 countries that did not implement mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closures, as comparison countries for the other 8 countries (16 total comparisons).

While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less‐restrictive interventions.”

Further comment on deaths from COVID-19 and non-lockdown countries compared to lockdown countries: worked-it-wasnt-supposed-to-work/

COVID-19 has followed the annual seasonal infection curve almost exactly, in spite of lockdowns in our country. Our MOH and Premiers take credit for the seasons when it is in their favour and blame their citizens when seasons dictate “exponential increases”. Our Premiers and MOHs continue to abandon our Emergency Management Process and give in to fear.

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One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta


Conclusions – An Emergency Management and Science Based Way Ahead

Canadians deserve a confidence-based response to the COVID-19 pandemic and all future pandemics. An eight-point process is proposed for the immediate future:

1. Releaseacomprehensive,FourGoal-basedPandemicPlan,showingwhatis to be done phase by phase, and what the public’s role is in each phase.

  1. Vigorouslyenactaplantoprotectourmostvulnerable(thoseoverage60 with multiple co-morbidities).
  2. Ensureallcriticalinfrastructure(includingbutnotlimitedtohospitals)isready for people who get sick and who need to take sick days.
  3. Removethefearcampaignfromthemedia.ThisneedsaPLANandwillnot be easy. Government and the MOH daily facts must be given with context. There is no need to announce how many people have tested positive from COVID-19 each day. Introduce solid messaging that, with the context of what we know now, the way ahead is not based on case counts but rather on a confidence that we have the medical resources in our system, and speak to all Four Goals of the Pandemic Plan.
  4. Endalltalkoffuturelockdownsandloosensocialdistancingrules.Making people fear each other is always the wrong approach to any challenge.
  5. Guaranteetokeepschoolsanddaycaresopen,withrelaxedsocial distancing like in Sweden.

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

7. Geteveryoneunder65withoutpre-existingcompromisedimmune systems, who can and want to work, fully back to work.

8. Continuetovaccinateassafeandeffectivevaccinesbecomeavailable,for the current strain of COVID-19.


Canada’s Response to COVID-19 After One Year



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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Province wants everyone in Alberta to get a third shot

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Expanding COVID-19 booster to all Albertans 18-plus

Expanded availability of third doses of COVID-19 vaccine will help Albertans increase their protection against COVID-19.

Starting Dec. 2, all Albertans aged 60 and older can book appointments for a booster dose of mRNA vaccine six months after receiving their second dose. First appointments will be available beginning Dec. 6.

All other Albertans aged 18-plus will be notified when the next age group is able to book appointments. Additional age groups will be announced as quickly as possible.

“I am pleased that we can offer booster doses to more Albertans. Millions of Albertans have rolled up their sleeves to have their best protection against COVID-19. While two doses continues to provide strong protection against severe outcomes, we will continue to push the federal government for supply to ensure all Albertans can receive their third doses to continue limiting COVID-19 infection and transmission.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

“With the winter season increasing transmission risks, and more Albertans approaching the six-month milestone since receiving their second dose, the evidence supports expanding booster doses to add an additional layer of protection. Vaccines continue to be our best protection against COVID-19, and I continue to encourage Albertans to book their first, second and third doses as soon as they are eligible.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

Current evidence indicates that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection appears to wane over time. While individual protection against severe outcomes remains strong after two doses for most people, there are still many in our communities who are completely unprotected, and third doses will help boost population protection and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Expansion of booster dose eligibility was informed by the advice of the Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Booking for booster doses

Effective Dec. 2, eligible individuals can book appointments for third doses online with participating pharmacies by using the Alberta vaccine booking system. Albertans can also call 811, participating pharmacies or participating physicians’ offices. The first appointments will be available starting Dec. 6.

Booster eligibility is based on birth date. Albertans who are 59 turning 60, and First Nation, Métis or Inuit individuals who are 17 turning 18, are asked to not book appointments before their birthday.

Albertans who were previously eligible for third doses continue to be able to book their appointments.

Albertans eligible for additional doses

Albertans eligible for additional doses now include:

Eligible at least six months after receiving their second dose:

  • Albertans aged 60-plus
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit people aged 18-plus
  • Health-care workers providing direct patient care and who received their second dose less than eight weeks after their first dose
  • Individuals who received two doses of AstraZeneca or one dose of Janssen vaccine

Eligible at least five months after receiving their second dose:

  • Seniors living in congregate care

Eligible at least eight weeks after receiving their second dose:

  • Individuals with eligible immunocompromising conditions

Quick facts

  • To date, 378,507 Albertans have received a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 84.1 per cent of eligible Albertans 12 years of age and older have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine while 88.8 per cent have received at least one dose.
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Evacuation order lifted after wildfire contained in southern Alberta

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Firefighters contained a wildfire on Wednesday that had prompted a temporary evacuation order in a sparsely populated area of southern Alberta.

An emergency alert from the Alberta Emergency Management Agency was issued just after midnight notifying residents of a blaze near the intersection of Highway 22 and Highway 533, west of Nanton, Alta.

The Municipal District of Willow Creek No. 26 said in a statement it was unknown how many people had left.

Just after 6 a.m., evacuees were given the green light to return home with caution. The provincial agency said residents were no longer at immediate risk.

Josee St-Onge, a spokesperson with Alberta Wildfire, said the grass fire was classified as being held.

“It means that given the current weather conditions, and the resources that we have working on that wildfire, it’s not anticipated to grow past the boundaries that have been established for it,” said St-Onge.

Strong winds could prevent further progress in getting the fire under control and extinguished, she said.

“It’s too soon to see exactly how the fire is going to behave and if we’re going to be able to bring it under control quickly, but that’s definitely the goal.”

Aerial and land fire crews continued to fight the fire and additional resources were on standby, St-Onge added. The fire was mapped out at 37 hectares.

No property damage was reported.

St-Onge said fires are not unusual this time of year. Warmer weather, high winds and grassy areas not yet covered by snow increase the risk.

Wind warnings swept southern Alberta on Wednesday.

Environment Canada issued alerts for all southern parts of the province, including Waterton Lakes National Park, Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Lethbridge, Cardston and surrounding areas.

The agency said wind gusts could hit 100 km/h and potentially cause damage to property, down trees, toss loose objects and make driving difficult. Environment Canada said it expected winds to gradually decrease but remain “gusty” into Thursday.

Gary Stanford, who lives in Magrath, south of Lethbridge, said power went out at his home Tuesday night. He expects it was a result of power lines blown over by strong winds.

“A lot of trees broke and it was snapping off big power poles about halfway down to the ground,” said Stanford. “During the night was when the big gusts came.”

He said winds calmed down by about 8 a.m. Wednesday. He said it’s often windy where he lives, but this was out of the ordinary.

In other parts of the province, winter weather conditions were posing a risk.

Lake Louise RCMP advised that “winter has struck the mountain areas” and was creating avalanche risks near the resort village.

Parts of Highway 93, north and south of Highway 1, were closed to traffic and weren’t expected to reopen until Thursday, Mounties said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2021.

Alanna Smith, The Canadian Press

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