Place Peel in the Red Zone
Place Peel in the Red Zone
Why this petition matters
To Mayor Allan Thompson,
My name is Brad Friesen and I am a resident of Caledon. I am sending this letter to you on behalf of my family and a group of concerned residents in the area engaged in this discussion.
We are requesting that your office immediately and publicly lobby the Regional Council and Office of the Premier to place Peel Region in the Red Framework upon expiry of the Stay at Home measures. I am certain that you are aware of the damage that this lockdown is causing in the livelihoods, mental health, and quality of life for all residents. I will not stress these points; you are aware.
The residents in our community are frustrated Mayor Thompson. At this point in time, Caledon has been left to the mercy of the opinions of Dr. Lawrence Loh, the appointed Chief Medical Officer of Peel.
As each week has gone by Dr. Loh has demonstrated his inability to consider multiple factors into his decision making and is treating his approach to this crisis through a singular viewpoint. Unfortunately, this view point is entirely disconnected from the situation in Caledon and we are yet again allowing Peel Region to damage this community. Caledon is an afterthought for most our elected (and unelected) governments, but we bear the consequences from the Federal level right on down to our Region.
It truly is Turtles All the Way Down with this dithering approach of half-measures and passing the buck.
Here are just some of the reasons why this sentiment has reached a boiling point specific to Dr. Loh.
1) The public has done their part. We have taken the brunt of this pandemic through our compliance and faith in Government. This is now being ignored and we no longer understand the purpose behind the current strategy. Is this about preventing deaths or the medical system from becoming overwhelmed? Is this about balancing public health and the safe reopening of the economy?
2) Dr. Loh should well understand scientific principles and the need for evidence-based decision making. Yet he is not at all providing basic transparency into the specific data he is using to form his opinions. The public does receive macro numbers daily, but there is little proof that the lockdown measures had any correlation to containment of this virus. Citing the closure of Caledon Ski Club under the grey framework as an example, how could outdoor skiing in a safe facility possibly result in increased hospitalizations or deaths of seniors? There is not one shred of evidence backing this up and common sense would show this to be a safe activity that would be good for residents.
3) The current COVID-19 data places Peel Region definitively in the Red Zone. What is the point of having a Provincial framework if this same framework is going to be completely ignored by the Chief Medical Officer of Peel? When do the goalposts stop shifting for Dr. Loh? Note that in each press conference, Dr. Loh states opinions and thoughts that might appear reasonable, yet he fails to provide any supporting data or “show the work” behind these opinions. The result has been an erosion of public trust.
4) This week, Peel Region has corrected it’s guidance that children were to be place in isolation with a single parent. During the walk back of this policy, the directive was stated as being more “Common Sense” oriented during media interviews. I find this incredibly hypocritical as the people of Caledon have long been asking for a common sense approach to making decisions. It makes sense to disclose data to people being asked to make sacrifices and it makes sense to use this data as the foundation for our decision-makers. In an area of Caledon larger than Brampton itself, as of last week there were 3 cases of the virus. Yet local businesses remain shuttered in this area and life is on hold and uncertain for so many.
5) We are all aware of the explosive potential of the variants of concern. Nobody wants the situation to become more volatile. The path of these variants certainly requires a strategy if the data shows that our targeted numbers have crossed over certain thresholds. Since we don’t know what those numbers are and we have an emergency break measure in place should cases go sideways, would it not be prudent to cautiously allow a glimmer of hope to people through the Red Zone entry? To date, the modelling provided by the Province has been incredibly inaccurate considering that in most situations the actual results were always less then the minimums set forth in the models.
Mayor Thompson, I could continue onwards with these points, but I believe that my point is made.
It is a critical time and I believe that it is incumbent on you to show true courage and stand-up loudly to represent the people of Caledon. You recently had advocated for a Red Zone treatment, however, as of yesterday statements in the media indicate that you would support the Grey Framework. I ask that you come forward with the facts behind your decisions and a greater consideration of the devastating impact that Grey Lockdown has on the fabric of this community.
Your constituents have been resilient throughout the last year. We have done already, and will continue to do, our fair share. But it is time for this fairness to extend back to the community. You must show us all that you are willing to fight for common sense and the constituents in Caledon.