The vast majority of Conservative candidates are not disclosing their vaccination status, even as their party leader champions vaccination as a key to getting through the pandemic.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has said that if her party wins the government, it will ensure that the country’s COVID-19 vaccination rate exceeds 90 percent, but she is the only leader of a major federal party to state its vaccination status. do not disclose. Candidate.
Both the NDP and the Bloc Québécois maintain that all their candidates have been vaccinated. Liberals insist that everyone except one of their candidates has been vaccinated – the only exception being someone who has a medical exemption.
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Contacted all Conservative candidates who had publicly listed e-mail addresses and asked the party for the vaccination status of candidates who did not have public e-mail addresses. The party did not respond to the request.
Of the party’s 336 candidates, 49 (15 per cent) said they had been fully vaccinated. The rest did not respond to The Granthshala.
One Conservative candidate said the central campaign had told candidates not to answer questions from The Granthshala. The Granthshala is not disclosing the person’s name as he was not allowed to discuss internal affairs of the party.
At a candidate stage for riding Alberta’s Bow River on Tuesday, livestreamed on Facebook by the Brooks and District Chamber of Commerce, Conservative candidate Martin Shields told viewers the party had not asked for his vaccination status.
“It’s not an issue in our party – it’s your choice,” Mr Shields said. His campaign did not respond to The Granthshala’s request for comment about his vaccination status.
Mr Shields, who was first elected in 2015, also told the forum he disagreed with vaccine passports, comparing them to inter-provincial trade barriers. “The problem we already have in this country is that we have more barriers than other countries in the world with trade between our provinces. This is not another layer for us to add,” he said.
Conservative candidate Scott Aitchison, who is running for re-election in Ontario riding Parry Sound-Moscow, told The Granthshala that he was happy to get his shots, but said he was concerned that the issue would be raised. Both are being “weaponized” by liberals. and the People’s Party of Canada, and criticized the media for doing so.
“I think it’s important for us to encourage people to get vaccinated, but the fact is, the way it’s weaponized, it’s just rhetoric and people are patting their backs,” he said. “I’m double-waxed, but I also respect people who are afraid of it.”
The fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic is on the rise in Canada, and it is affecting mostly people who have not been vaccinated. The Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan and Alberta are currently facing the worst. Premier Jason Kenney this week urged Albertans to get their shots as the province’s health care system struggles to care for people sick with COVID-19 who are filling hospitals and ICUs.
Most provinces are implementing some sort of vaccine passport to access non-essential services and businesses. For most of the pandemic, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau had rejected the idea of compulsory vaccination, but reversed it just before the federal election. On 13 August, the government said passengers on domestic planes, inter-provincial trains and cruise ships would need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The government also said it would make vaccinations mandatory for federal public servants, and it expects the same for federally regulated industries and Crown corporations.
Mr O’Toole rejects that offer, and says testing should be an option for people who do not want to be vaccinated. That policy stance has been heavily criticized by liberals. As more provinces enact rules for compulsory vaccination, Mr O’Toole has repeatedly defended his position on the campaign trail.
“I think you should get vaccinated. They are safe and effective to use,” Mr. O’Toole said on September 12. “We have an ambitious plan to reach 90 per cent. [vaccination], by working together. Not by dividing, not by trying to scare people, but by answering questions. And what we need to do is respect that people will make their own personal health decisions.”
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