BC Nurses Fight Mandates -- An Antivaxx Group, And Much, Much More
BC Nurses Fight Mandates
The last three years of Covid pandemic have fuelled an explosion of conspiracy-based organizations around the world. This growth of irrationality has taken place in virtually every country and every sector of society. Across Canada it has found its expression among police, with the formation of groups like Police On Guard For Thee and Mounties For Freedom. Veterans4Freedom is busily organizing among Canadian military personnel. Among teachers there is Educators For Human Rights and Freedom Teachers. There’s Firefighters For Freedom, Students Against Mandates, Lawyers4Truth, Trucking For Freedom and Moms Against Distancing. Some physicians are on board too, with Doctors For Covid Ethics and Docs 4 Open Debate. Given all that, it would be a great mistake to think that nurses are somehow immune to this virus. And they are not.
BC Nurses Fight Mandates first emerged into public view in November, 2022. It appears to exist in the form of a small organizing group working in tandem with a much larger Facebook group which claims to have 1,500 members. BCNFM’s initial focus was to fight for the reinstatement of approximately 2,000 nurses terminated by the five B.C. health authorities for refusing mandated Covid vaccinations, but it’s members have also been involved in filing complaints to the province’s Ombudspersons office, in pressuring the BC Nurses’ Union, in complaining (unsuccessfully) to the Labor Relations Board, in supporting various legal challenges to B.C.’s Covid regulations and in opposing Bill 36’s revisions to the Health Professions Act. Members have also been active participants in the broader antivaxx movement as featured speakers at rallies and demonstrations.
Every good conspiracy theory has at its core at least a small kernel of truth, and BC Nurses Fight Mandates is no exception. The Covid policies enacted and implemented by B.C.’s Public Health Officer have provided the group with quite a few legitimate concerns that have never been satisfactorily answered. For example, there’s the issue of masks. It unavoidably raises questions when the PHO’s policy required health care personnel to wear masks at the same time as declaring “we are not in a situation right now where I think every single child and adult in a school setting has to wear a mask all the time,” and refusing to require masking in schools. (1) Even worse, the very legitimacy of requiring health care workers to mask up at work has been massively undercut by Dr. Bonnie Henry’s utter inconsistency on the issue, bouncing back and forth from supporting their use as an important infection control measure to denying that they work at all, saying “we don’t recommend that people who are well wear them, because it is not an effective way of protecting yourself.” (2)
Similarly, the province’s insistence on mandatory Covid vaccinations for health care staff loses a considerable amount of credibility when leading figures announce that the goal of vaccine passports was to drive up vaccination rates, as Vancouver Coastal medical health officer Dr. Patty Daly did in a staff forum on September 20, 2021. (3)
Then there’s the status of the 2,000 or so staff who refused vaccination and were terminated as a result. If the primary goal of the mandatory Covid vaccination policy was to protect patients, why were unvaccinated staff fired, rather than being placed on unpaid leave (which would have entitled them to receive EI)? Even worse, unlike other provinces, employers in B.C, have refused to rehire them, even though the vaccination requirement has now been withdrawn in virtually all health care facilities in the province. (4) This refusal has more to do with punitiveness than it does public health.
These inconsistencies are not the sort normally to be expected from health authorities in the course of rolling out guidelines for dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, changing and becoming more fully elaborated as more and more is learned about the nature of the pathogen and what are the most effective methods of dealing with the virus. Rather they are gross inconsistencies that leave one gobsmacked, because of their massive internal inconsistency and because they can only have the effect of fanning the flames and giving oxygen to the antivaxx narrative.
These inconsistencies all derive from the same source -- the province’s fixation on vaccination as the sole overriding weapon in the fight against Covid, a fixation which results both in downplaying the virus’ continuing threat (in the form of new variants and of long Covid) and in ignoring and refusing to implement all the other measures that are a necessary complement to vaccination – selective lockdowns, compulsory masking, effective ventilation in schools). It even accounts for the ridiculous and criminal denial by health authorities that Covid is airborne. (5)
BC Nurses Fight Mandates – An Antivaxx Group (And Much, Much More)
We can see from the above that a stopped clock is right twice a day. However, that should not blind us to the other 22 hours. The group has some valid criticisms and concerns, but that forms only part of what it stands for. To understand it, we need to look at it more fully.
BCNFM has been an antivaxx group from its inception. Its web site makes that clear, stating that “we are BC nurses who believe in Patient Autonomy, Freedom of Choice, Informed Consent Without Coercion and Privacy in all medical decisions. We come from all areas of our province, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, employed and terminated; but with the same common purpose...we oppose the Public Health Order Mandates and the overreaching authoritarian measures instituted by our BC Government.”
But that is just the beginning. To understand a group, you need to look both at what it says, and what it does, and who its members are.
Corinne Mori is the most visible member of the group, and its key spokesperson. Based in Nelson, B.C., she recently let her registration with the BC College of Nurses and Midwives lapse, and is not intending to return to work as a nurse. Mori has spoken frequently at antivaccine rallies in the Kootenays and Vancouver. She is also a climate denialist who supports fracking and LNG production, opposes the carbon tax and has said “this climate action business isn’t the emergency they’re making it out to be”.(6) She has also posted a video on her personal Facebook page denouncing the Maui wildfires as a plot by the government to seize land and bring in 15-minute cities controlled by artificial intelligence. (7) All of these are themes widely distributed on social media by the far right, as is her contention that “the NDP government is systematically killing us.” (8)
The BCNFM Facebook group is composed both of nurses and a significant number of non-nurses as well. The latter group is particularly interesting. It includes members and leaders of a number of political organizations ranging from the right to the far right.
Rod Taylor is a member. He’s the leader of the Christian Heritage Party, a small ultrafundamentalist party whose policy on homosexuality is that gays and lesbians should be put to death. (9)
John Rustad is also a member of the BCNFM Facebook group, as well as the leader of the BC Conservative Party, which is trying to create an umbrella for the antivaxx movement, opponents of LGBTQ rights and other currents on the far right of the political spectrum in B.C. The party’s politics are well represented by its Abbotsford South riding president James Davison, who is one of the central leaders of the antivaxx movement and who would like to hang politicians. (10) Davison predicts civil war if Covid restrictions continue. (11)
Other BCNFM members include Davison’s partner Marcella Desjarlais, who is the vice president of the same BC Conservative riding association. She was the far right People’s Party of Canada candidate in South Burnaby in 2021, and received significant media coverage when she expressed her desire to see journalists hang. (12)
She’s not the only BCNFM member who was a PPC candidate, either. There’s also Naomi Chocyk, who ran in Vancouver Granville, and Corally Delwo, who was the party’s candidate in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.
A number of BCNFM members participated in the August 14, 2021 antivaxx disruption of a BC Teachers’ Federation rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery. One of them was Jack Hummell, who has announced on his Facebook page that “if you believe you can mask, vaccinate or molest innocent children, I believe in murder!” (13)
There’s also a cluster of transphobe activists – Errol Peters, Bill Ristau, Tammy Mowat and others – who spend their time spreading anti-LGBTQ hate on the Mountain Highway overpass in North Vancouver and in picketing the offices of physicians who perform gender reassignment surgery.
Finally there’s Brian Dominick, a failed parents’ rights school board candidate in Maple Ridge last October. Dominick (also known as Brian Paul) believes that there is a global conspiracy planning to take over the world and usher in a New World Order. In response, he has publicly called for the parasitic global elites (a far right dog whistle for Jews) to be “exterminated”. (14)
Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire
Corinne Mori is an administrator of the BCNFM Facebook page. Just in the last two months the page has uploaded post that demonstrate the group’s agenda (and presumably hers too) extends way beyond simple anti-vaccination politics. The page regularly posts memes, articles and videos that can only be characterized as far right in content. When people tell you what their politics are, believe them. When you see smoke, look for fire.
On June 22 the page posted a video of an anti-transgender demonstration at the ARC Foundation in Vancouver. Several of the demonstrators are members of BCNFM. (15)
On July 9 it posted an interview promoting the adrenochrome conspiracy – that powerful elites are torturing and murdering children in order to extract adrenochrome from their blood and use it to prolong their lives. (16)
On July 14 it posted a video advertising the weekly transphobe / anti-SOGI demonstration on the Mountain Highway overpass, taking place in defiance of a Supreme Court injunction. (17)
On July 26 it announced that Covid vaccines are a bioweapon.(18). A week later it announced that all vaccines are useless. (19)
On July 29 it posted a BC Conservative Party petition calling for scrapping the carbon tax. (20)
On July 31 it posted a video of noted virologist Marjorie Taylor Greene testifying that Covid vaccinations are a death jab. (21)
On August 8 it featured an interview with Ottawa convoy leader Tamara Lich, currently awaiting trial on charges of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief, intimidation and failing to comply with bail. Crown prosecutors are asking for two- to ten-year sentences. (22)
On August 10 it posted a video calling for support for "the Coutts boys". (23) The Coutts boys are four men arrested at the Coutts border blockade with a small arsenal of long guns and handguns in February, 2022. They are awaiting trial on charges of conspiring to murder RCMP officers. (24)
On August 13 BCNFM published video of another homophobic demonstration, this one targeting North Vancouver city hall. (25)
The Common Law Grand Jury – Now You See It, Now You Don't
By far the most interesting post is one that went up on August 19, only to be taken down 24 hours later. It's a video of a "common law grand jury" that met two days prior on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery. It was called by antivaxxer and ex-doctor Daniel Nagase, who started off opposing Covid vaccines three years ago and who has plunged deeply into sovereign citizen / militia ideology since then. Nagase will be remembered for speaking at an antivaccine rally at the provincial legislature while effigies of John Horgan, Adrian Dix and Mike Farnworth swayed in the breeze behind him, nooses around their necks. (26)
This "grand jury" of course has no legal significance whatever, but it does have a political meaning. It's one of the gimmicks employed by the U.S. militia movement to create the illusion that they are above the law. (27) In this instance, Nagase had been unsuccessfully attempting to sue the Supreme Court of British Columbia stemming from the court's decision to award custody of his children to his wife. When she had the children vaccinated, he filed suit asking for $66.6 million in damages, claiming the vaccinations had genetically altered the kids. Needless to say the Supreme Court justice summarily dismissed the case even before it went to trial, which led to Nagase calling in 74 of his friends and comrades to adjudicate the matter, and having BCNFM Facebook group member Jack Hummell record the procedure. (28)
The "grand jury" process was marked with all the pseudolegal eccentricities characteristic of the common law mevement, including the requirement that the jurors write their signatures in lower case and affix their thumb print in red ink in order to be "official". Unsurprisingly, the group immediately ruled in Nagase's favour, but he's likely going to have some difficulty collecting, first because the "grand jury's" decision is purely a far right fever dream, and secondly because the judgement they awarded – 777,000 metric tons of silver – represents both more silver than exists in the world, and a sum total greater that 5,000 years of GDP of all countries on earth put together.
It would be easy to dismiss this video as depicting a harmless gathering of cranks but there's a serious underpinning here. Over the last two years a significant current of the local antivaccine movement has gravitated into the politics of the common law / sovereign sitizen movement. It's both a movement and an ideology that provides the underpinnings of the North American militia movement. (29) It is one that has repeatedly led to violence over the last four decades, and is likely to do so again. (30) It is interesting to speculate as to why this video was deleted. It's even more interesting to consider why it was posted in the first place, and what that may say about the politics of the organizers of BC Nurses Fight Mandates.
(5) For a fuller critique of B.C.’s Covid policy, go to Protect Our Province BC at https://protectbc.ca/
(6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLQ5usFHRlk (at 1:40:22)
(7) https://www.facebook.com/rayleneshort/videos/2581039995368705 posted on August 13, 2023 on https://www.facebook.com/corinne.mori1
(8) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLQ5usFHRlk (at 2:11:02)
(9) Christian Heritage Party, Policy Book, page F-13. https://www.chp.ca/images/uploads/CHP_Policy_Book.pdf
(14) "This is not a Canadian problem, folks. This is a global elitist parasite problem, and they are the ones that need to be exterminated." https://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/maple-ridge-school-board-candidate-on-video-preaching-about-exterminating-the-global-elitist-parasite/