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‘My life had value’ – message from Calgary woman who died with pre-existing conditions

“To the masses out there, haphazardly self-isolating on terms they feel reasonable, this condition would make me an expendable casualty in this pandemic war.”

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EDITORS NOTE: Carly Stagg was a beautiful, young woman who worked in the media in Calgary. She was born with cystic fibrosis and needed a lung transplant just a few years ago.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she knew she was in a high risk group.

She passed away this week from complications from cancer at the age of 39 – becoming what she feared, a statistic of being another death of someone with a pre-existing medical condition.

With permission from her family, the Western Standard is publishing an April blog post from her, unedited.

Please be warned that the following post contains profanity.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

I work in news. Every time we report a death linked to COVID-19, there seems to be an echoed chorus rising from the public demanding to know the pre-existing condition that led this person to become a victim of the virus.

It bothers me. Every. Fucking. Time.

It’s possible the fact that I was born with a genetic disease that led to an organ transplant, which led me to having a compromised immune system that made my body susceptible to that cancer bullshit has made me a little sensitive.

I am a walking pre-existing condition.

To the masses out there, haphazardly self-isolating on terms they feel reasonable, this condition would make me an expendable casualty in this pandemic war. My death would be met with sighs of relief and a generally acknowledged sense that I somehow had it coming for daring to be born so cursed.

The mere fact that I was born genetically flawed set me up from birth to be cannon fodder in the coronavirus conflict.

My death would be glossed over as people rolled over and went back to sleep, asking to only be awakened when a truly tragic death was announced.

Here’s the thing. Fuck you.

I’m an educated person, I’m reasonably intelligent, my bills are paid, I have no debt, I have no criminal record, aside from a speeding ticket or two, I know the difference between your and you’re, I don’t go out of my way to hurt people, I feel badly when I do, I’m not a whisperer of outlandish conspiracy theories, I’m a decent baker, I speak two languages and can stumble my way through in a third.

I’m not less worthy of continuing my life than you are. I’m a person, yes. I have a family and friends who care about me, obviously. But the real kicker of this whole thing is because my life wasn’t perfect from the get-go, because things have been medically challenging, I’ve endured a lot of emotional and physical pain and gone through things that would make the average person crumble to their knees — all for the sake of moving this cursed existence forward another day.

I’ve fought, kicked, scraped and karate chopped through things that most people can’t even handle hearing about, because I have no other choice. I wasn’t given one. I didn’t ask for any of this. My parents weren’t being irresponsible in having me, as there was no genetic history of the disease in my family (and it was the 80s, before genetic testing was available), I wasn’t dreaming of having a lung transplant before the age of 30, no one puts “get cancer” on their life’s to-do list.

My life has been hard. And if, God forbid, I’m taken out by this fucking virus, that would be a deeply tragic and abrupt ending to my story. That ending would be worthy of at least a tear or two.

So if you think for a second having a pre-existing condition somehow makes a COVID-19 death less unfortunate, you’re a dick.

Carly Stagg

Carly’s friends have set up several fundraisers in her honour.

The Canadian Transplant Association was instrumental to Carly’s well-being when she went through a lung transplant.

Cystic Fibrosis Canada donations will be matched by a benefactor until December 31, 2020.

News

CTF calls on governments to get their pipeline act together

A lack of pipelines is costing the federal government $13 billion in lost revenue, said Terrazzano.

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All levels of government must get on the same page to try and stop more taxpayers’ money from being flushed down the pipeline drain, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“This shows that politicians need to get their act together so we can build pipelines in Canada,” said Franco Terrazzano, the Alberta Director of the CTF, on Monday.

Terrazzano was reacting to reports from the U.S., that President-elect Joe Biden was planning on killing the Keystone XL pipeline expansion on the first day he enters the Oval Office, January 20.

Alberta has already invested $1.5 billion in the pipeline, even though Biden was already talking about killing the project as he campaigned in the Democratic primaries.

“That means the feds need to repeal damaging legislation such as the No More Pipelines Law and the discriminatory tanker ban, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to do everything in his power to make sure Keystone XL moves forward,” said Terrazzano.

“Taxpayers are being dragged further into debt because politicians have been roadblocking pipelines in Canada and that needs to stop.”

A lack of pipelines is costing the federal government $13 billion in lost revenue a year, said Terrazzano.

Kenney has said he is “concerned” over the reports and vowed legal action if Biden does cancel the US$8 billion project.

Trudeau has so far been mute.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Ousted UCP MLA Rehn blasts Kenney over lockdown measures

In a Facebook letter addressing his removal, Rehn noted he was now free to criticize Kenney’s government.

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As calls mount for him to step down, it didn’t take ousted UCP MLA Pat Rehn long to take a shot at the government he used to be part of.

Rehn, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake, was booted out of the party caucus on Friday, in part for not living up to his responsibilities in the riding.

In a Facebook letter addressing his removal, Rehn noted he was now free to criticize Kenney’s government.

“There are some advantages of not being tied to a party, however. I will now be able to express my opposition of some of the lockdown measures, such as closing gyms and businesses,” Rehn said.

“I believe strongly that measures must be taken to prevent Covid-19 spread, but also recognize the long-lasting effects caused by the lockdown itself.”

Rehn vowed to represent his riding to the best of his abilities in the future.

“There are still some large projects in the works I’m proud to be a part of, and I am optimistic this region will see great growth as we move forward, put 2020 behind us, and start fresh in 2021,” he wrote.

Rehn was one of seven UCP snowbird MLAs who jetted out of the province over the holidays while their own government had Albertans under a strict lockdown.

Rehn tweeted a picture of himself from a cave in Mexico, one of the moves that kicked off the entire scandal.

Rehn was ousted from caucus days after after an entire town council called for his firing.

In a withering letter to Rehn, the Slave Lake council alleges a litany of problems they have had with him.

The town, with a population of 6,500, 255 km northeast of Edmonton, made public a laundry list of complaints against Rehn, including missed meetings and failure to represent the area for economic development.

They claim Rehn doesn’t even live in Alberta (or Canada), saying he resides in Texas.

Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman called on Rehn to step aside.

“When you’ve lost the respect and support of the people you represent, as well as the people you work with, I think you need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask what you’re still doing there,” Warman told the Canadian Press.

The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association has also urged Rehn to step down.

“It is imperative for MLAs to be engaged with the cities, towns, villages, summer villages and counties they represent,” it said in a statement.

“It is therefore particularly regrettable that Slave Lake, High Prairie, and other municipal councils from the provincial constituency of Lesser Slave Lake had to take the unprecedented step of publicly reporting their struggles with building a productive relationship with MLA Pat Rehn.”

Meanwhile, a deep-dive into the expense claims of Rehn are raising questions about where the MLA spent most of his time when the legislature was not in session, and their appropriateness.

The MLA billed for three meals a day in Edmonton for two full months – even when the legislature was not in session – despite representing a constituency in northern Alberta.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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News

BREAKING: Alberta to run out of COVID vaccine Monday, Kenney says

This means the planned vaccination of First Nations and Métis individuals and seniors over age 75 has been put on hold.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says while the COVID-19 vaccination program has gone well in Alberta so far, they will soon have no more shots to give.

“Due to the unexpected supply disruption the federal government announced last week, Alberta will have no more vaccine doses available to administer as first doses by the end of today or early tomorrow,” said Kenney in a Monday statement.

“Accordingly, no more new first dose appointments will be accepted and some first dose appointments already booked will be rescheduled over the coming days to accommodate limited supply. Doses have been allocated to ensure second doses are available for committed appointments.

“As I have stated several times since our vaccine rollout started, our ability to get needed vaccine in the arms of Albertans is limited by the number of vaccine doses we have on hand. It is frustrating to see this happen while other countries, like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel have received significantly larger quantities of vaccines.

“I am deeply disappointed at the situation we are now facing. The news on January 15 that Pfizer shipments would be cut by 20 to 80 per cent over the coming weeks only adds to our frustration and means we have had to significantly slow down our vaccination plan.

“Alberta currently has the capacity to deliver 50,000 doses per week. In March, we expect to be able to administer about 200,000 doses per week. But we do not have the supply to match. Unfortunately, this means that the planned vaccination of First Nations and Métis individuals and seniors over age 75 has been put on hold.

“I want to assure Albertans that despite this setback, we remain in position to immediately ramp-up and get back to record vaccination numbers once sufficient doses are delivered. We remain undeterred in our efforts to get vaccines to those who need them most.”

…more to come

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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