Umar Sheikh, a Victoria-based lawyer with Sheikh Law, is taking on various legal fights for medical freedom pertaining to both the transportation sector and health care workers in Canada.
“In [July 19, 2022] report, we sit down to interview powerhouse lawyer Umar Sheikh about COVID-19 mandates that prevented aviation professionals from working, how that contributes to on-going airport delays, and how a non profit organization called Free to Fly Canada has retained Sheikh to fight back.”
Sheikh, a Victoria-based lawyer with Sheikh Law is no stranger to legal matters involving public health. Prior to starting his own firm, Sheikh served British Columbia Nurses Union (BCNU) as a director, and their General Counsel of Legal Services. He was later appointed their Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and the head of Negotiations and Strategic Development, during the time the BCNU succeeded in coming to an agreement with the Health Employers Association of British Columbia (HEABC) to amend the mandate that had been forcing nurses to either receive the flu shot or always wear a mask.
B.C. Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was also one of the experts involved that agreement. Although the collaborative decision between the parties respecting the nurses’ bodily autonomy, leaving receiving flu inoculations up to “the professional judgment of nurses” was finalized in 2019, last year Dr. Henry admitted to having “very little patience for people who are not immunized in health care.”
Such little tolerance for medical professionals whose personal choice with vaccines differs than her own is consistent with how Dr. Henry has used her sweeping powers to order COVID-19 restrictions. British Columbia was the last province to drop it’s discriminatory vaccine passport that was designed to incentivize people to vaccinate and punish those that did not. Additionally, the province is still preventing thousands of unvaccinated, healthy healthcare workers from saving lives in health care settings.
Sheikh’s firm is now taking on various legal fights for medical freedom, including working with some front line health workers. The legal fight with Free to Fly will take a multi-pronged approach to the entire transportation sector, which includes the labour component to the airline sector, and the unions that are supposed to represent them.
Greg Hill, a former military pilot and commercial air pilot, is the director of Free to Fly Canada, which is a non profit organization with close to 3000 aviation professionals and 40,000 passengers. When reaching out for comment, Hill told Rebel News he believes that the unions and associations in Canada “have taken the path of least resistance” over the last year and a half.
“They’ve failed to push back, they’ve failed to create policies from the outset, and they they’ve failed to take a collective stand” said Hill. That kind of lack of action in combination with counter productive systems like the digitally invasive ArriveCan protocols is only further straining Canada’s aviation sector which Hill says has “been a thin thread away from going sideways on a good day pre-COVID.”
Hill also pointed out that while it’s been over a month since the mandates preventing unvaccinated aviation professionals from working has been suspended, many such workers are still not back to work. According to Hill, some who are being offered their jobs back “are being required to cede their rights to find recompense for what’s happened over the past year.”
Previously, my colleague Tamara Ugolini interviewed Hill about some of the health concerns surrounding COVID-19 injections that are unique to flight crew members and since then Hill tells Rebel News that he has “personally spent hours on the phone” with flight crew members who have been injured from the COVID-19 inoculations.
In addition to the injuries, Hill estimates that there are tens of thousands of aviation professionals who were coerced into being inoculated for COVID-19 or forced into early retirement to avoid doing so, making the goal of Free to Fly’s legal action to ensure this “never happens again for all employees.”