Nurse's aid fired for not wearing mask or getting flu shot
A Grand Forks’ man has become the first person in Canada to be fired for refusing to get a flu shot.
Arnold Hoekstra, 49, worked as a nurse’s aide at the Boundary Hospital for five years in an adult day program. When pressure was put on him to get the flu shot, he refused. As an alternative, he was asked to wear a mask while working with patients for the duration of flu season – typically a four-month period. He also refused to wear a mask.
For Hoekstra, it was about principle. Last fall, a BC arbitrator ruled in favour of a provincial law that required health care workers to either get the flu shot, or wear a mask during the flu season. Hoekstra said he is vehemently opposed to this legislation.
“When it comes to health – and there are a lot of issues (involved) – it should be hands off. You should be able to make decisions as far as your health goes,” he said.
Hoekstra believes that the vaccine policy was implemented based on political issues, not science. He also says that all vaccines, not just the flu shot, are poison that people are injecting into their body.
If I said, here take some formaldehyde or aluminum or mercury, it will make you feel better. If I had it in my hand… you wouldn’t take it, he said, adding that it sounds crazy and he’s amazed that more people don’t agree with him.
He went on to say that he believes in cause and effect, not just treating symptoms. People might take a pill for a headache but that only treats the symptoms. With vaccines, “you can’t put toxic things in your body and not expect an effect.”
Hoekstra was fired last December, but the decision became more public when Health Minister Terry Lake mentioned Hoekstra’s dismissal when he talked the flu vaccine program last week.
Even though Hoekstra has been in the health care field since the 1980s, he’s not worried about his future. He said since his dismissal he’s been able to re-evaluate what he really wants from life and that he stands by his decision.