For many people who have come to Canada fleeing persecution, oppression and tyranny, Canada has been a safe haven and a place that offers freedom.
However, many of the policy responses to COVID-19 have left both born-and-raised and new Canadians alike shaking their head, wondering what is next.
This is the case for Feiga, a lovely Jewish woman who has called Regina, Saskatchewan her home for several years.
Feiga recently drove the five-hour round trip from Regina to Saskatoon to take her teenage autistic son to a cardiologist appointment at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon.
There, despite being told prior over the phone that she did not need to show proof of a negative test for the appointment, she was advised otherwise and was then treated appallingly by the staff members in charge of screening at the hospital.
For some context, the Saskatchewan Health Authority policy for visitors and patients attending hospitals is to ask typical COVID-19 screening questions — do you have symptoms, have you been around a positive case, and so on.
Once that is completed, the person is given a coloured sticker — the colour changes daily — to wear on their jacket or shirt to show they’ve been asked these questions and have been properly screened.
However, in Feiga and her son’s case, something went wrong and it resulted in a very disturbing scenario in which she was both embarrassed and emotionally troubled due to her family’s experience with the Holocaust and her own experience growing up as a Jewish child being mocked.
Her concerns are also echoed by Rabbi Raphael Kats of Saskatoon, who has provided his thoughts about this incident as well.
But I won’t tell Feiga’s story — I will leave that to her. This brave, wonderful Canadian who just wanted to believe she was finally free of Soviet-style authoritarianism, only to find out that Canada might just be heading down that dark path itself.