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Former PPC candidate Mark Friesen sent to Ont. hospital with COVID-19, supporters say

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Former Saskatoon PPC candidate and well-known critic of COVID-19 restrictions Mark Friesen is in a Toronto hospital with COVID-19, one of his supporters said in a video.

The video is titled “How Long Will Canada Remain Docile?” and was posted on the video platform Rumble. In it, supporter Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson shared details about Friesen’s condition.

Read more: Saskatoon doctor expresses concern with police handling of PPC event

“Many of you are following what is happening with Mark Friesen. I love this man,” Tyler Thompson tells her viewers. “Many of you know, Mark got COVID, he is actually intubated at this time.”

It came to light earlier this week that Friesen had pneumonia and was transferred to Ontario, according to a different video posted by a supporter.

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In that video posted Oct. 21, Tamara Lavoie says he has been in the hospital for three weeks. She adds that he was in ICU in Saskatoon and transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto on Oct. 20.

Lavoie nor her guest, former PPC candidate Jody Craven, mentioned COVID-19 in the video.

On Friday, Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency President Marlo Pritchard said the province’s current focus is moving COVID-19 patients to Ontario, rather than non-COVID-19 patients.

The provincial government covers the estimated $20,000 cost.

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Featured in Tyler Thompson’s Oct. 23 video is an interview with Sean Taylor, a former federal candidate for PPC from B.C who says he is with Friesen at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Friesen has not spoken publicly and is not seen in any videos reviewed by Global News that have been posted to social media referencing his illness. His family members have also not been seen or heard from in the social media videos.

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Taylor claims to be a former nurse who was fired but does not specify why he was fired.

In the video, Taylor is donned in PPE and mentioned he is not “double” vaccinated and was not allowed to stay in an unidentified hotel.

Global News reached out to Mount Sinai Hospital to ask what their visitor rules are for individuals not fully vaccinated, but a response was not provided before publishing.

Read more: Saskatchewan planning to send 2 to 4 ICU patients daily to Ontario starting next week

Global News has reached out to several of Friesen’s family members for weeks for an update on his health but no one has responded.

“Well, he’s sick, right? He’s in a fight but I’m hopeful,” Taylor says about Friesen’s condition in the video.

Taylor also shared his views about Toronto, a city that has remained under stringent public health measures like gathering restrictions and mask mandates since the beginning of the pandemic.

“When I got off the plane yesterday and started travelling through Toronto, it’s a sci-fi horror movie out here,” Taylor said.

“Just the mind virus out here, like everyone’s masked and face shields and eye shields and it’s just, they’re pretty intense about the stuff out here,” Taylor added.

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Tyler Thompson and Taylor also discuss how they claim Friesen was treated in hospital.

“We had some excellent care in Saskatoon, it wasn’t everyone, but the meanness with a lot of the staff and just the complete absence of empathy these days,” Taylor said.

Friesen has been a prominent critic of public health measures related to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. He has appeared and spoken at rallies across the province and posts about his views on social media pages.

Read more: Saskatchewan health officials consider next stage of COVID-19 triage

He attended a protest against proof-of-vaccination policies outside City Hospital in Saskatoon prior to the Sept. 20 federal election.

As of Sunday, a total of eight patients have been transferred to Ontario as Saskatchewan continues to battle the fourth wave of the pandemic.

The province currently has the second-highest rate of active COVID-19 cases across the country.

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