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Doug Ford silences COVID critics

By: 
John Bell

February 12, 2021
 
The next time you hear Doug Ford or his gang moaning about “cancel culture”, keep this in mind:
 
Dr. Brooks Fallis was the respected head of the ICU at Brampton’s William Ostler Hospital. By all accounts he worked tirelessly to deal with COVID-19 that has hit Brampton particularly hard. From his position he made loud criticism of the pandemic policies of Doug Ford’s government, as was his right.
 
In November he angrily reacted to Ford’s plan to ease restrictions and reopen business. Then he told the CBC: “there is no question more people will die because of these decisions.” That turned out to be an understatement.
 
He was called before the hospital’s CEO and told to stop his public criticism, for fear that it would threaten future financial support from the province. He carried on, and was fired. At his exit interview, January 22, the VP of Medical Affairs repeated the assertion: “some of your remarks have been misconstrued as being harmful to the government so our funding can be put at risk.”
 
He was also told that the CEO had received an angry, personal call from Doug Ford demanding Fallis be removed from the public eye.
 
When the Globe and Mail followed up on Fallis’s story, both the hospital and Health Ministry denied any political interference. They cited vague medical reasons for his dismissal. His colleagues disagree. 23 Ostler ICU doctors published an open letter supporting him: “Over the past year, Dr. Fallis has been an exemplary leader, not only for the ICU but for Osler as a whole.” 
 
Fallis refused to be silent in his defense of public health, and lost his job due to political interference. The people of Brampton lost a dedicated doctor when they need him most.
 
But Ford and his thugs in Ford nation weren’t done there. 
 
Dr. David Fisman is an epidemiologist and researcher at University of Toronto. He has made no secret of his objections for returning Ontario’s kids to in-person schooling. He was on record as being an expert advisor hired by EFTO, the elementary teachers’ union. So it was a bit of a surprise when Doug Ford’s government chose his to sit on their COVID-19 scientific round table.
 
Perhaps they thought they might co-opt him and get him to tone down his criticism.
 
It didn’t happen. Fisman continued to speak his mind.
 
So Ford used his unofficial mouthpiece, the Toronto Sun, to run a slanderous article insinuating that Fisman had hidden his connection to the union, to discredit his opposition to re-opening schools.
 
The rat-bags at the “Ontario Proud” website repeated the slanderous charge of conflict of interest and called for U of T to fire Fisman. Far-right scandal sheet, The Post Millennial went even further, alleging the EFTO connection amounted to a “bribe”.
 
We hope Dr. Fisman sues them for libel.
 
Meanwhile support from the scientific community rolls in and Fisman isn’t holding back. He informed his twitter followers: “This is not about me. I’m one voice of many and I’m not going anywhere.”
 
 
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