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“Protect Our Province BC” launches to provide evidence-based COVID-19 briefings to British Columbians

Scientists, doctors, nurses, policy experts, and advocates concerned about the lack of science-informed public health guidance and measures.

A new organization — Protect Our Province BC — will provide regular COVID-19 scientific briefings in order to address the government’s worrisome lack of  science-informed pandemic response in British Columbia. 

The first briefing will be held on Wednesday, October 20 at 12pm.

The organization was established by a group of non-partisan health professionals, scientists, policy analysts, and community organizers volunteering their time out of a growing concern that BC’s pandemic response is failing to embrace transparency, and the best-available evidence. We are concerned that the key recommendation of the SARS inquiries has been forgotten: governments must adopt the “precautionary principle” when faced with novel infectious agents. 

The BC government and public health officials refuse to acknowledge the scientific consensus around a key feature of SARS-CoV-2, agreed upon in national and international published, peer-reviewed research. That key feature is the fact that the virus is predominantly spread via  aerosol (airborne)  transmission. In order to protect people in BC against COVID-19 as an airborne pathogen, we need to enact several measures:  effective ventilation and air purification; the wide-spread use of well-fitting high-quality masks;  easy-to-access rapid testing; as well as  effective contact tracing, and exposure notifications. All of these proposals respond to the fundamental challenge of COVID-19:  aerosol transmission. 

“There is a critical need for an unfiltered, honest assessment of the state of the pandemic in BC,” says co-founder and family physician Dr. Karina Zeidler. “We are now 20 months into the pandemic and our government continues to downplay and ignore important scientific evidence, including consensus that COVID-19 is primarily spread through the air. BC’s refusal to accept the science and educate the public on such basic matters, means that we are never going to be able to put an end to the devastating effects COVID-19 continues to have on the health and well being of people in our society.” 

This new initiative will provide people in BC with access to COVID-19 briefings based on the expertise of a diversity of health professionals, scientists, policy experts, and people with lived experience of COVID-19. 

“Currently,  BC residents are not receiving science-based guidance on many issues like airborne spread, high-quality masks, ventilation, and rapid testing,” says co-founder and education advocate Jennifer Heighton. “We hope that this initiative — like its counterpart in Alberta — will provide people in BC with access to COVID-19 science and evidence-based measures that can help us aggressively reduce COVID-19 infection and transmission.”

The first briefing will review the science on aerosol (airborne) transmission, and the implications for health care, school, and workplace settings. Speakers will include:

  • Dr. Karina Zeidler, Family Physician and Steering Committee Member, ProtectBC.ca
  • Dr. Victor Leung, Infectious Diseases Physician and Medical Microbiologist
  • Michelle Naef, Professional Engineer and PhD candidate at the University of Alberta in the David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management. 
  • Facilitated by Dr. Amy Tan, Family Physician and Palliative Care Physician.

Subsequent briefings will be scheduled with dates to be announced. Briefings will include both analysis on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in BC and expert presentations on a variety of pandemic-related topics.

For interview requests or questions, please contact: contact@protectbc.ca.

About October 20th briefing: 

Date and time: October 20, 12-1pm 

Public Live stream: https://protectbc.ca/livestream

Archived Briefings from Protect Our Province BC

Title image for briefing April 20 - COVID in the House: Protect Your Loved Ones
Wednesday, April 27th from 12:00-1:00 PDT What should you do if someone in your house tests positive for COVID-19? How do we prevent it from passing to loved ones in the household? Why should we care? Data is emerging that, due to variant mutations, COVID-19 reinfections are happening, even in highly-vaccinated countries. For that reason,… Continue reading COVID-19 in the House: How to Protect Your Loved Ones
Title image for Briefing 14 April 7, 2022 - COVID Doesn't Take Breaks, Neither Can We
Thursday, April 7 at 12:00 noon PDT Ignoring the 6th wave won’t stop it. What does the evidence say? Join Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, Dr. Brenda Hardie, and Gosia Gasperowicz, PhD, as they discuss what BC needs to do to lower community transmission as the most infectious strain of COVID ever becomes dominant across the globe.… Continue reading COVID-19 Doesn’t Take Breaks. Neither Can We.
Title image for Briefing 13: Ethics in Canada, March 23, 2022
Wednesday, March 23rd, 12:30-1:30 pm PT Join Canadian researcher and author Jon Parsons in a discussion with Protect our Province BC member Dr. Amy Tan about how Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic amounts to a failure of ethical action.  The pandemic has brought issues with Canada’s governing systems and cultural identity into full view:… Continue reading Lack of Ethics: How Canada is Failing with COVID-19

More News from Protect Our Province BC

Post title - reinstate masks in public spaces
Protect Our Province BC, Safe Schools Coalition BC and BC School COVID Tracker are coming together to ask for mask protection in indoor public spaces, businesses, schools and on public transit in BC. The removal of BC’s mandated health protections has us concerned for the health and well-being of all British Columbians. “Now that masking… Continue reading Protect Our Province BC, Safe Schools Coalition BC and BC School COVID Tracker Issue Joint Press Release
translink masking open meeting title image
On March 11th, the British Columbia Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry lifted the indoor mask mandate for most public places, with the main exception being healthcare settings.  TransLink immediately followed suit and lifted its own mask requirement, leaving commuters on  buses and trains with very few COVID-19 precautions. Unlike BC, Ontario and Quebec have… Continue reading Transit Users Ask Translink to Keep Mask Protections in Place.
Title image for blog April 2 - N95 masks and transmission
Share this: April 2, 2022  A Guest Post by Tim Henthorne, B.A.Sc., P. Eng Over the past two years, we have been flooded with opinions regarding the wearing of masks, all while trying to learn how to deal with the existential threat of COVID-19. Unfortunately, much confusion has come from Public Health itself with its… Continue reading N95 Masks & the Transmission of COVID-19