Opposition House leader Gerard Deltell says any of his Conservative colleagues who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 should roll up their sleeves.
Starting Nov. 22, those wishing to access buildings in the parliamentary precinct, including elected members, will need to be fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
The Conservative party is the only one with seats in the House that has so far refused to confirm how many of its members are fully immunized against COVID-19.
Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole didn’t make vaccination a condition for candidacy in the recent federal election and says he respects the rights of individuals to make their own health choices and to keep that information private.
Vaccine mandates have been an issue he’s had to manage within his caucus, as MPs have varying views on the policy’s importance.
Mr. Deltell says he believes the majority of the Conservative’s 119 MPs are immunized and hopes “that everybody will get vaccinated to sit in the House of Commons.”
“If they want to attend the House of Commons, which is their duty, they have to be vaccinated,” he told reporters before entering the party’s national caucus meeting Thursday.
Mr. O’Toole has said any MP he’s tapped to take on a critic role will be ready to appear in the House of Commons. An analysis by The Canadian Press shows at least 82 Conservatives, including Mr. O’Toole, say they have been double vaccinated.
At least four, including Ontario representative Leslyn Lewis, say they don’t disclose their vaccination status as a principle, and two others say they can’t be immunized for medical reasons.
In an attempt to strike a balance between caucus members who strongly oppose vaccine mandates and those who feel as if the issue has become a distraction for Conservatives, Mr. O’Toole has said when the House resumes it would raise a point of privilege with the Speaker over how the decision was made.
He’s taken issue with the fact the policy wasn’t set by MPs in the House of Commons, but was decided by an all-party parliamentary committee that governs administrative issues.
Joel Godin, a Quebec MP, said Thursday he believes it’s important for all elected members to be vaccinated.
Asked if he was worried about colleagues being unable to access the House because they were unvaccinated, Winnipeg MP Marty Morantz, who is fully vaccinated, said: “We’ll see.”
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