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Editorial: B.C. must become more transparent about COVID-19. Now

Public trust depends on the government being transparent about what's going on
Bonnie Henry
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry addresses the media on COVID-19 in B.C.

B.C.’s total refusal to provide a basic level of transparency related COVID-19 has left us feeling a little sick. We’d go get swabbed at the North Vancouver testing site, but the lineup is around the block.

This may be related to an outbreak among students at Capilano Elementary, but we don’t know for sure because of B.C.’s total refusal to provide a basic level of transparency related to COVID-19.

In the last week, we’ve seen the government admit to undercounting hospitalized patients, outbreaks in homeless shelters going without public acknowledgement or warning by our health authorities, and the BCCDC doubling down on and then retracting their stats claiming a 99 per cent vaccination rate for people under 30 in Vancouver Coastal Health.

What else are they not telling us? We don’t know because front-line health-care staff are muzzled for fear of losing their jobs, and questions sent to the health authorities are responded to with meaningless statements.

Because Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry refuse to trust the public with information, they are on the cusp of losing the public’s trust, which they are going to need if we are to bring this pandemic to its end.

In their attempt at “message control,” the government has created a vacuum of reliable info. That vacuum is then filled by assumptions, anxiety, rumours, leaks, informal word of mouth like parents sharing exposure notices, or worse – misinformation and lies. This confusion is weaponized by those who seek to undermine our pandemic response.

One of the principles of health care is informed consent – the notion that we must have all the information before deciding what’s best. It’s a matter of life and death. Give it to us straight, doc.

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