February 8, 2022 Message to the Membership

Posted on February 8, 2022 in

February 8, 2022 Message to the Membership

Well, here we go. Back to normal. It’s been just about two years, don’t you think it’s time? 

I for one certainly do. I know that’s not a unanimous opinion, not by a long shot, but I do think that most businesses are ready for things to be less restrictive.  

I know there will be much noise and criticism from the usual sources, but I like how Dr. Joe Blondeau, Head of Clinical Microbiology at Royal University Hospital and the University of Saskatchewan, has positioned this. Which is to say that omicron, yes, is highly contagious, but it’s also far less damaging compared to previous strains in terms of people becoming critically ill, which impacts hospitalization and ICU rates. 

In other words, we’re going to have to live with it, so let’s start living. I like that. 

Many will choose to keep on with their cautiousness, and good for them. And to be honest, from time to time I might be one of them. For instance, I may choose to wear a face mask at large gatherings after the mandate is lifted at the end of the month. If it makes you or me feel more comfortable, why wouldn’t we? 

Then again, I may not. But the thing that’s really at the crux of this whole thing is… I can choose to do either. 

That’s where the so-called ‘Freedom Fighters’ et al have been positioned all along on this. But why I personally dismissed this particularly emphatic position (supported by thousands, mind you), is that other restrictions and regulations have been in existence for years. Examples include (pre-COVID) inoculation for international travel, mandatory seat belts, helmets etc. Where is all the screaming at for these so-called violations? 

Anyway, that’s all behind us now… one could only hope, but something tells me that we will be hearing much, much more on this topic for weeks, if not months, to come. (After all, not everyone is fortunate enough to live in Saskatchewan.) 

Where the tricky parts hit the fan is when it comes to employer rights. Saskatchewan specifically went and passed labour legislation and amended the Human Rights Code to effectively state that employers had the right to mandate vaccine inoculation amongst their employees. Now, that becomes a little less clear in terms of employers’ options. 

Some may choose to retain their policies, and perhaps the employees (and patrons/clients) will willingly comply with those policies. I like the No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service mentality and analogy. I don’t recall any legal challenges on that particular (primarily restaurant) policy. But when there are differences in opinion is where the challenges lie. Those will be the tougher situations to resolve. And unfortunately, it’s likely to be a legal heyday. 

That’s where our good, old Saskatchewan values should come to the forefront. Regular readers have seen me close these weekly messages with a simple, but hopefully impactful set of instructions. Basically, it’s a well wish for you, and a reminder for you to be a good person.  

I know you can do it. It’s our way past this. 

Let’s face it, we’ve all had friends and family on both sides of this stupid thing. Many of us emphatically so. It’s time to put these differences aside and begin to live again. Sure, you can still disagree, and you can still take different courses of action of what this new normal will look like for you.  

But again, that’s your choice 

Read each other’s comfort level and willingness to get along, and let’s start to put this all behind us. The sooner, the better as far as I’m concerned. If we keep on picking at the scab, it will never heal. Plus, it will leave a scar, and there’s no reason to let it get to that state.  

Those closing words, as you may know, have for a long time been: Until next time, be safe, be smart, be considerate, be well, but most of all, be kind.  

Most of these actions involve your choices. So perhaps there’s one or two more to add to the list: be thankful and be grateful that you live in a place where you have the freedom to make choices such as these and others. 

 Keith Moen, 

Executive Director 



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