The Conservative party says any Canadian who refuses COVID-19 vaccinations shouldn’t lose their jobs but be accommodated with rapid testing, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
“There’s a lot of Canadians who are at risk of losing their jobs because of vaccine mandates and I think that’s a concern for many,” said MP Glen Motz (Medicine Hat-Cardston, Alta.).
“It’s a bigger issue than just MPs. I have not disclosed my health status to anybody. I think the whole issue is a distraction. I think Trudeau’s done a great job of dividing Canadians, period.”
MPs attending a Conservative Party caucus meeting on Wednesday said the small minority of Canadians who have declined to disclose their medical status should be accommodated with rapid COVID-19 tests.
“We believe in choice for Canadians,” said MP Mark Strahl (Chilliwack-Hope, B.C.).
“We believe that where people need to be vaccinated they should have another option like rapid testing.”
“I’m concerned about my constituents who are being impacted by these mandates, people who are being told if they’re unable to be vaccinated they’re going to be fired.
“I think that’s discriminatory. I think that’s punitive. I don’t think it actually serves a public health purpose. Those are the people I’m fighting for. I’m not here to fight for myself.”
Canadians unwilling to disclose their vaccination status were entitled to “reasonable accommodation” through testing, he said.
MP Michael Barrett (Leeds-Grenville, Ont.) said vaccination rates are already so high that threats made no sense.
“In my health unit 97.9% of folks over the age of 12 have received one dose and 94.5% received two doses,” said Barrett.
“Vaccines are safe and effective and you know this is our way forward. We maintain of course that rapid tests should be made available to anyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated.
“We should be at a point now in our pandemic, particularly with vaccination rates rising, that people aren’t losing their livelihoods.”
A Commons committee that manages MPs’ business, the Board of Internal Economy, on October 19 ruled MPs should show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test when the 44th Parliament convenes November 22.
“All of our members in the House of Commons will be vaccinated,” Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole said yesterday.