‘Lies are not opinion’: Mayor Nenshi slams area reeve for COVID-19 statement

Mayor Naheed Nenshi spars with area reeve over comments made around COVID-19 vaccines

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi during a Calgary Metropolitan Region Board last week. YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi sparred with the reeve of an area just south of Calgary on the issue of COVID-19 vaccine passports and misinformation.

The dispute happened at the Sept. 17 meeting of the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB). The meeting was done virtually when the debate occurred.

The collection of councillors, reeves and mayors in the CMRB tackled the topic of the province’s latest COVID-19 public health measures.  Calgary approved a vaccine passport earlier this week.

During that meeting, Foothills County Reeve Suzanne Oel recognized the risk she was taking by delivering her message.

“But, I would like to share a very heartfelt message, which considers the diverse views of our residents,” she said.

“I’m in favour of solutions that respect our constitutional rights and freedoms, and respect the dignity of each person.”

Oel said that many Foothills residents are opposed to the “vaxport” and the mandating of those rules. She said it’s turning citizens against each other.

“Some people believe that the vaccine will protect them. Others disagree. And I noted that the experimental vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission and safety trials have not been completed,” she said at the virtual meeting.

“So, the bottom line is that people should have a choice, and have a right to make an informed decision on either side of this without being censored, belittled, coerced and punished.”

She said there had to be a way to get through this without violating people.

CMRB Chair Greg Clark said they encouraged everyone to stick to facts on the very hot topic. He raised Oel’s remark about the vaccine being experimental.

“There’s some things in there, Reeve Oel, that you said, to the best of my knowledge are not true,” he said.

Reeve Oel responded.

(You can watch the full video here. We encourage you to watch from 35:00 to 44:00)

Nenshi calls ‘bs’

Oel said she appreciated they were allowing diverse opinions. She said Clark messed up the experimental part. The vaccine that was put out was only tested on animals, Oel stated.

Health Canada approved five Covid-19 vaccines for use in Canada after rigorous clinical trials. All of the trials leading to approval for use in Canada were performed on human volunteers.

Mayor Nenshi jumped into the conversation.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I just can’t hold this in,” Mayor Nenshi said.

“That’s 1,000 per cent false and this is not a place for us to abide by those extremist views, views that are putting people in danger.”

Nenshi said he was with an ICU nurse the day prior and people were dying every day.

“Yes, we have to have a diversity of views, we don’t have a diversity of BS like that,” Nenshi continued.  

“That is completely untrue and saying things like that puts people at risk and you should be ashamed of yourself Reeve Oel.”

Oel tried to press on, saying she was stating the opinion of many residents in the area. Nenshi wouldn’t have it.

Nenshi said Health Canada approved the vaccine after the largest ever human trial.

“Lies are not opinion, Reeve Oel, and that is a lie,” he said.

“Stop educating yourself in the YouTube videos. Read the science.”

Foothills has among the highest per 100k case rates in southern Alberta, according to Alberta Health data.

Parts of Foothills County are between 400 (north) and 800 (south) cases per 100K. In comparison, Calgary is between 200 and 367/100K. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Aryn Toombs has a regional breakdown of cases here.

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  1. I’ll listen to Nenshi’s options on health when he can prove with his body that he understands good health

  2. Thank you, Suzanne, for at least attempting to be a voice of reason and following the real science, especially in an environment of such aggressive rudeness. I applaud your courage and I abhor the overbearing attitude of Mr. Nenshi.

    Mr. Nenshi, unfortunately, UTube is often the only venue for the average citizen to be exposed to both sides of the question since the main stream media refuses to do so.

    • Hello Jeannie Rumary,

      If people have access to YouTube, that means they have access to the Internet.

      If they have access to the internet that means they can look up real scientific peer-reviewed journals.

      So as succinctly as Mayor Nenshi put it, Jeannie:

      “Stop educating yourself in the YouTube videos. Read the science.”

      This has nothing to do with “main stream media” not exposing people to both sides of the question. Quite frankly, if you are not an expert on a subject, your opinion doesn’t really matter. Your opinion is based on your limited understanding of the subject and conjecture from other non-experts on the subject.

      In the case of virology, if you are actually a virologist or a medical doctor (and I mean a real medical doctor not some homeopathic quack) that has dealt with viruses to the point of being an expert, then your opinion matters.

      But, as i am neither a virologist nor a medical doctor, my opinion on COVID-19 doesn’t really matter. I followed the expert advice and am happily healthy and vaccinated. I am looking forward to a nice dinner out with my wife as I have followed the science and listened to the experts and have my vaccine record in hand.

      Have a great day, and remember, not everything on the internet is true. This means you must verify from credible sources instead of being lazy and believing everything, especially from youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub82Xb1C8os

    • Not true, most major scientific journals have provided free access to scientific papers related to COVID-19. YouTube is not peer reviewed.

  3. Mike, you are assuming all unvaccinated people are lazy, grade 3 dropouts who don’t know how to do anything other than flip through the headlines. My husband has a Masters degree in science, so he does know a bit about research. The point is educated, credible public servants should be able to voice an opinion and not shouted down and called a liar, whether you and Mr. Nenshi agree with her or not. I’m sad to see how many admire such a bully.

    • Hello Jeannie,

      I do not assume all unvaccinated people are lazy grade 3 dropouts. However, you were trying to make the point that Ut

      What does your husband have a Masters of Science in? He may understand how research works but unless it is in something like microbiology or virology, he is not an expert and would be speaking outside his field.

      As for the Reeve voicing an opinion, she was portraying it as fact and not using the correct terms for the vaccine.

      Jeannie, you were the one that stated “UTube is often the only venue for the average citizen to be exposed to both sides of the question”

      There is no 2 sides to the question in this case. Vaccines help prevent the spread and effect of diseases. Ask your husband, if his Master’s degree in science has anything to do with medicine, micro-biology, or virology. If not, ask your doctor.

      Go to a reputable source that is an expert in the field, not a geologist, a GIS person, a MSc in Technology, etc.

      Or don’t. I will happily enjoy my privileges of going to a restaurant, going to a sporting event, and having a small gathering in my home with another household while the un-vaccinated sit at home and watch hockey on TV, order Skip the Dishes and continue to Zoom each other.

  4. Be interesting to know how it’s not experimental, Pfizer biontech vaccine still in clinical trials til 2023

    Study Type :
    Estimated Enrollment :
    999 participants
    Observational Model:
    Time Perspective:
    Official Title:
    Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 BNT162b2 Vaccine Effectiveness Study – Kaiser Per-manente Southern California
    Actual Study Start Date :
    May 15, 2021
    Estimated Primary Completion Date :
    April 1, 2022
    Estimated Study Completion Date :
    July 30, 2023


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