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LETTER: Dr. Henry needs to justify reasons behind mask mandate

It has now been more than a year since Dr. Bonnie Henry implemented the mask mandate in British Columbia.

During this time, B.C. has experienced COVID-19 cases reach all-time highs. In addition, the original mask mandate was broadened to include school-age children as well. Since then, the number of cases in schools appears to have increased. These results seem to suggest that masks are an ineffective method of combating viral transmission, as Henry previously acknowledged with the statement: “The mask mandate has not made a difference in the transmission of the virus in other jurisdictions.”

Given these facts, we have the following questions for Dr. Henry:

Was your decision to implement the mask mandate based on some specific evidence or study that we may be unaware of?

Following your statements on the ineffectiveness of masks made between March and September 2020, what new information came to your attention that prompted you to mandate masks?

After over a year of the mask mandate, can you provide any evidence that it has substantially reduced infections in B.C. (or elsewhere)?

Were any cost/benefit analyses or impact studies done on the effects of mask-wearing on social and mental development in children (particularly given the extremely low risk that COVID-19 poses to them)?

We would appreciate specific answers to these questions. The mask mandate is extremely disruptive to our lives, our children’s lives and to our communities. We believe it violates Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and our right to life, liberty and security of the person. However, we understand that limits to these rights are possible if they are justified; so with that in mind we are asking you to publicly provide this justification by providing detailed answers to our questions above.

Steve Darby

Free the Kids Vancouver Island