November 16, 2020
Canada Central Office
415 West Hunt Club Rd
Nepean, ON K2E 1C5
Dear Canadian Costco Executives:
I understand that Costco Canada implemented a policy today whereby all Costco members in all communities nationwide are required to wear a face covering to access the warehouse. I am writing to express my strong objection to this policy for several reasons.
To impose a face covering upon every member as a condition of service is a significant infringement upon individual rights and freedoms, something that should be precious to every Canadian. Further, the use of a face covering is deemed a medical device. Costco has no legal or medical authority to impose medical interventions upon citizens. This is effectively practicing medicine without a license. Furthermore, in certain provinces like Ontario, the non-respecting of legal masking exemptions constitutes a provincial offence (Reg 364-20 section 2(4)(6) enacted October 3, 2020).
Health is under provincial jurisdiction in Canada and not the purview of individual businesses. In the absence of provincial legislation mandating masks in indoor spaces, the actions of Costco to indiscriminately impose such restrictions is not only inappropriate, it is unlawful. It appears Costco has made a unilateral decision independent and in spite of the laws or medical needs of each particular province or community.
Secondly, the science does not support universal mask wearing. A policy review paper published in Emerging Infectious Diseases in May 2020 — the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal — found no evidence to support universal mask wearing as a protective measure in non-health care settings. A recent meta-analysis and scientific review — which focused on randomized controlled studies rather than observational ones — found that, compared to no mask, mask wearing in the general population did not reduce influenza or influenza-like illness.
Canadian researcher, Dr. Denis Rancourt, Ph.D. conducted a thorough review of the scientific literature related to the use of face coverings. Dr Rancourt concluded: “No RCT (randomized clinical trial) study with verified outcome shows a benefit for . . . community members . . . to wearing a mask. There is no such study. There are no exceptions. Likewise, no study exists that shows a benefit from a broad policy to wear masks in public.”
There’s no scientific evidence to support the popular idea that people wearing masks will reduce infection rates and save lives. Health officials and political leaders have assigned mask mandates a gravity unsupported by empirical research.
In addition to there being no scientific basis to support non-medical masks in preventing viral infection or transmission, there are known risks with prolonged cloth mask usage. A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2015 found the risk of infection with influenza-like illness was 13X higher in hospital workers using cloth masks compared to medical/surgical masks, and over 3X higher when compared to not wearing a mask at all. 
The World Health Organization declared that masks carry uncertainties and critical risk including increased risk of self-contamination due to the inappropriate use of the mask by the general public. A cursory observation of masked members and staff at Costco shows repeated touching, adjusting and removing of masks, all of which contributes to increased risk of contagion. A recent CDC analysis reveals 85% of patients testing positive for COVID-19 wore face masks “often” or “always” in the two weeks preceding their positive test.
I’ve been a Costco member for 28 years. I’ve appreciated Costco for its good customer service, selection of high quality products, and fair compensation of employees. I find this action completely out of character with the Costco I have known and admired for three decades.
What is becoming increasingly apparent is that an over-hyped pandemic narrative is creating unwarranted and unnecessary panic. Further, this panic is being used by governments and businesses to justify violations of the rights and freedoms that form the basis of our society, including our constitutional rights, sovereignty, privacy, rule of law, financial security, and even our very democracy. Mask mandates strip us of our individual sovereignty and humanity and fuels unwarranted panic.
With your previous policy on masking, Costco served as a bastion against the growing violation of our rights and freedoms. I appreciated Costco for respecting personal choice and supporting those who could not mask or preferred not to mask. With this new policy, Costco has clearly shifted from the values and principles that has been the basis of its success.
I have a number of questions I would appreciate answers to:
- What does Costco hope to achieve by such policies?
- How will the impact of such policies be measured?
- How long will these restrictions/violations be in place?
- Is it your intention to honour exemptions in provinces where legal exemptions exist?
- Is it your intention to honour personal choice in provinces where there is no provincial mandate to mask?
- If your intention is to not honour legal exemptions or conscious choice, what accommodation and/or compensation will be offered to members who are denied access to the warehouse, a benefit of membership?
I look forward to your considered response.
Letter to Editor:
I feel like I lost a friend this week. My family and I have had a relationship with Costco for 28 years. That relationship came to an end this week when Costco joined in with those who have no regard for our rights and freedoms and personal health care decisions.
Costco will no doubt argue that this is for the safety of staff and customers. The science does not support this position. There’s no medical or scientific evidence to support the popular idea that wearing a non-medical mask will reduce infection rates and save lives.
Instead, there are known risks with prolonged cloth mask usage. A study published in 2015 found the risk of infection with influenza-like illness was 13X higher in hospital workers using cloth masks compared to medical/surgical masks, and over 3X higher when compared to not wearing a mask at all.
The WHO declared that masks carry risk including increased risk of self-contamination due to the inappropriate use by the public. A cursory observation of masked members and staff at Costco shows repeated touching, adjusting and removing of masks, all of which contributes to increased risk of contagion. A recent CDC analysis revealed 85% of patients testing positive for COVID-19 wore face masks “often” or “always” in the two weeks preceding their positive test.
The mandatory face covering may seem like a small infringement to some, but it is the thin edge of the wedge. Will a ‘warp speed’ COVID vaccine be next? Mask mandates strip us of our individual sovereignty and humanity and fuels unwarranted panic. I only support businesses that honour my individual rights and medical decisions.