Canada election: How vaccine mandates became an issue

Vaccination mandates emerged as an early problem in early federal elections in Canada two years before the end of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s current term

Announcing the election on Sunday, Trudeau said the fall vote would allow Canadians to have a say in the country’s pandemic recovery.

The Liberal leader said his government would give the Covid-19 vaccine to bureaucrats, transport workers and most air and rail travelers across Canada by the end of October.

Opposition leader Erin O’Toole – the party leader who is likely to oust Mr Trudeau – opposed the mandate, saying she supported daily tests for such Canadians. He also accused the prime minister of favoring a “divisive” vaccination strategy and engaging in pandemic politics.

The following is how vaccination rules can shape the first days of a campaign.

What is a liberal plan?
On Friday, just two days before the election was announced, Mr Trudeau promised to make vaccinations mandatory for government officials and Canadians traveling by air, train and ship.

The Liberal Party has so far provided very little detail on the implementation.

On the way to the campaign on Tuesday, Trudeau said there would be “consequences” for those who stopped vaccinating without “legitimate medical reason,” but did not provide further details.

Canada election: How vaccine mandates became an issue:

A slight tone change for the prime minister, who said he thought vaccination guidelines were “full of difficulties” in March.

“I think the indications that the vast majority of Canadians want to be vaccinated will put us in a good position without taking more extreme measures that could have a real divisive effect on society and the country,” he said. . .

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There is also a controversy on the government’s website, in which a senior Canadian human resources official told deputy ministers that the government would consider alternatives such as testing and testing for those who refuse to be vaccinated.

The civil service said the note was deleted because it was “wrong,” but the episode led to accusations that Mr O’Toolein was covered up by the Conservative Party.

Where does the opposition stand?

Mr O’Toole, who raised questions about vaccination requirements after an early period, formally objected to vaccination requirements on Sunday evening.

Instead, the Conservative Party will require unvaccinated government workers to undergo rapid daily Covid-19 tests and proof of rapid tests, or a final negative test for air and train passengers.

Canadians “want a reasonable and balanced approach that protects the right to make personal health decisions,” he said.

Mr Trudeau’s plan is widely supported by Canada’s left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP), led by Jagmeet Singh. During this week’s campaign visit, Bay Singh called on the Liberals to fulfill their vaccination mandate next month instead of October, and said disciplinary action, including dismissal, should be imposed on those who fail to comply.

Both the NDP and the Liberals demanded that candidates be vaccinated. The Conservative Party did not take this step.

‘Risk-free strategy’

Mr O’Toole criticized Mr Trudeau for politicizing the Covid-19 vaccines, calling the move “dangerous and irresponsible”.

In terms of politicizing the pandemic, Canada’s neighbor is a warning tale. The US vaccination program has been hampered by guerrilla policy. Vaccines are a better indicator of election results in the United States than almost any other demographic factor.

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But Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, a Canadian professor of politics at Queen’s University, said the proposed vaccination mandate would divide Canadians equally, despite the frequent migration of U.S. politics and culture to the north.

“I think this is a very risk-free strategy for Liberals, because in Canada, not only in the number of people who get vaccinated voluntarily, but opinion polls have repeatedly shown that vaccination hesitation – less vaccine opposition – is very low,” he said.

More than 80% of eligible Canadians (12 years of age and older) received at least one dose. A survey for Nanos Research in the Globe and Mail earlier this month found that a large proportion of Canadians – 78% – supported or somehow supported a ban on mass gatherings of unvaccinated people.

However, vaccination rates vary between states; Saskatchewan and Alberta are about last, with initial fire rates of about 65%. Both provinces are usually Conservative.

“There’s a problem with O’Toole,” said Prof Goodyear -Grant.

However, the difference between Mr. O’Toole and Mr. Trudeau is quite subtle.

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Via@ BBC

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