Darrin Calcutt

All but one of the MLAs present at the BC Legislature on Monday evening voted to condemn the Freedom Convoy and applaud lockdowns and vaccine mandates.

“Be it resolved that one year after the anti-vaccine protests in Ottawa and communities including Victoria, South Surrey, Kelowna and Cranbrook, this House denounces the freedom convoy protests and affirms that public health orders, including vaccine requirements, have been an essential tool in B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the motion read.

The motion received 64 yeas and 1 nay from lone BC Conservative John Rustad. 20 MLAs skipped the vote, including both BC Green Party members.

BC United leader Kevin Falcon was amongst those who did not register a vote.

“Many BC United MLAs who call themselves ‘conservative’ simply didn’t show up,” Rustad wrote on Twitter.

“Their silence speaks volumes.”

In December 2020, BC NDP Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth called anti-mask mandate protesters “irresponsible idiots.”

“They are the problem and the sooner we get this curve bent down, the sooner we get COVID under control, then they can go back to their narcissistic self-indulgent ways – but until that time, they don’t have the right to endanger the health of the public,” said Farnworth at the time. 

No Covid-19 outbreaks in BC were ever connected to anti-mask mandate protests.

The Freedom Convoy protesters were nonviolent, and many protest attendees reported a jovial, party-like atmosphere in Ottawa during the winter of 2022, where bouncy castles and hot chocolate were on offer. 

Approximately 2,500 healthcare workers in BC were fired after declining the Covid-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, hospitals are understaffed and some rural emergency departments had to close for long periods of time due to insufficient staffing. 

Government-enforced lockdowns led to poorer social-emotional development and academic outcomes in children that were banned from attending school, as well as a deterioration in mental health. 

Due to lockdowns, individuals lost their businesses, lost the opportunity to attend the funerals of loved ones, and lost the chance to participate in milestone celebrations like graduations and weddings. 

According to a Fraser Institute report authored by Simon Fraser University economics professor Douglas Allen, “The most recent and thorough meta-analysis found that after combining all lockdown effects there was only an average reduction in mortality of 3.2 percent.”

“All of the lockdown efforts amounted to almost nothing.”


  • Lindsay Shepherd

    Lindsay holds an M.A. in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has been published in The Post Millennial, Maclean’s, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and Quillette.