Skip to content

Letters: What if that had been you?

Reader responds to recent op-ed on election, vaccination debate
vanc hosp protest
An ambulance passes through a crowd of people protesting COVID-19 vaccine passports and mandatory vaccinations for health-care workers, in Vancouver on Sept. 1, 2021.

Re: 'Evan Saugstad: Just Say No to Justin', Alaska Highway News, Aug. 17, 2021

Recently in one of your OpEd pieces, you made some blunt statements regarding your opinion of Justin Trudeau and company. I do not entirely disagree with some of your points. For instance, we do not need this election.

On another note, you focused in on those folks who are non-vaccinated or are anti-vaxxers and our need to be generous and kind toward their point of view. We should not be critical or condemn their “choice” or their “freedom” when it comes to not being vaccinated during this fourth pandemic wave, you seem to suggest.

A couple of thoughts:

  • You definitely take on the tone of being a left winger when it comes to anti-vaxxers. You are leaning in a direction which sympathizes with a point of view that you would easily have criticized were it coming from the far left wing… just not in this case.

  • You are unwilling to acknowledge how to deal with those folks who are unreachable with regards to the Covid vaccine, no matter how dangerous or far-fetched their reasoning might be, or how damaging it could be for their families, neighbours or others that they might come in contact with;

  • You want them (anti-vaxxers) protected for exercising their “free will” by not having a vaccination, or not wearing a mask or vaccine passports, in lieu of endangering everyone else?

  • What are YOUR consequences then for the unvaccinated if they are responsible for making the rest of us vaccinated folks be turned into second class citizens? We have just lost our “freedom” which you, seem to be so willing to protect on behalf of the anti-vaxxers?

There are more victims here than you are willing or wanted to acknowledge.

A final thought: Those 5000 anti-vaxxer protestors at VGH who stopped a number of ambulances and other seriously ill patients from reaching their destination in order to receive their rightful medical treatment from doctors, nurses, and staff - what about THEIR freedom to obtain assistance required to save their lives?

What if that had been you?

— Rick Koechl, Fort St. John

Email your letters to