CollingwoodToday.ca asked each of the federal candidates in Simcoe-Grey a series of six questions via email. The following responses were submitted by the candidates and/or their campaigns. The answers have not been checked for accuracy; they represent the candidate’s platforms and opinions. External links have been removed.
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Q. As we brace for a fourth wave of the pandemic and a more aggressive delta variant, many are suggesting Canada should embrace a federal vaccine passport. What is your view on this?
Nick Clayton, Green: Eventually, we will move from pandemic to endemic, and COVID-19 will become a background infection, not unlike chicken pox or the measles. It’s just a matter of how and when.
I understand that people are fed up with lockdowns, and public health restrictions. The pushback in the name of individual freedoms is completely understandable. There is always a balance to find between individual autonomy and public good. The balance tips toward collective well-being at the point which exercising your rights becomes harmful to others.
Fully vaccinated people have different health outcomes than non-vaccinated. Currently, the vast majority of symptomatic cases, hospitalizations, and ICU patients are people who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated. Vaccine passports are a tool that can be used by non-essential services and spaces to determine a safe level of risk, and are largely supported by small businesses.
We can all agree that we want to end the pandemic, we just disagree on how to get there. I support vaccination because it is proven effective, and vaccine passports because individual businesses and private enterprises are liable and also have the right to refuse.
Terry Dowdall, Conservative: Vaccines are a safe and effective tool to stop the spread of COVID-19. We encourage every Canadian to get one, but Canadians have the right to make their own health choices. No one should politicize a personal health decision and it is disappointing to see the Liberals do so. What’s worse is that Justin Trudeau is saying one thing, but his actions show the opposite. He has said all Liberal candidates must be vaccinated, but then admitted they are not. He said all federal civil servants must be vaccinated, then admitted there was no way to enforce it.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Conservatives have supported vaccines and we have also supported a robust rapid testing regime. We encourage everyone to get a vaccine, but do not believe politicizing it and creating more division is the answer. Instead, a Conservative government will require unvaccinated passengers to present a recent negative test result or pass a rapid test before getting on a bus, train, plane, or ship. We will require federal public servants who aren’t vaccinated to pass a daily rapid test. We believe that this supports public health without unnecessarily polarizing Canadians during an election no one asked for.
Lucas Gillies, NDP: Immunization records are nothing new in this country. As a paramedic, I’ve had to get the flu shot in order to do my job, because we have to protect our patients.
If you want to travel to certain countries you’ve always needed certain vaccines and proof you had them. If we truly want to reopen the economy safely, we are going to need a vaccine passport or some way for businesses and public services and events to know if you have been vaccinated or not.
At the same time, we need to protect those Canadians who cannot get a vaccine because they have compromised immune systems and have been advised by their doctor not to and also our young children.
We need to move collectively out of the pandemic and protect each other.
Adam Minatel, PPC: We categorically denounce this method and see this as an attack on our civil liberties, medical choice protected under the charter of rights and freedoms (supported by unions everywhere, and legal constitutional lawyers), and believe that businesses are being asked to enforce a tyrannical imposition that will ultimately lead to segregated society, familial separation, schooling mismanagement affecting mental health in our youth, and a potentially violent retort as being witnessed in other nations already (France, Australia, etc).
Bren Munro, Liberal: Vaccines and vaccine passports are a crucial tool to return to a normal life where everyone can be safe and healthy. The vast majority of people in our community have stepped up and done their part by getting vaccinated. We need further measures to beat this virus, support local businesses and keep everyone safe, including our kids.
A Liberal government will introduce a COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination Fund that will be available to support provinces and territories that implement a requirement for proof-of-vaccine credentials in their jurisdiction for non-essential businesses and public spaces. Our priority is to do everything it takes to keep Canadians safe and supported through this global crisis.
Ken Stouffer, Christian Heritage Party: The CHP and myself are completely opposed to a vaccine passport. Already there are many reports of fully vaccinated people getting sick and dying of COVID. There are also reports of the vaccine losing a significant amount of its protective impact after only a few months. Apart from the fact that it’s wrong to impose unwanted medical treatment on someone, why segregate people over a vaccine that is proving to be ineffective? The fact that the government is starting to push for booster shots is another big clue that the vaccines aren’t the silver bullet they’ve been made out to be.
In at least some places, and probably eventually everywhere, you will be considered unvaccinated unless you get the most recent booster. We are being manipulated and bullied into getting jabbed and then booster jabbed indefinitely. We need to stand up and say no to this madness. Furthermore, natural immunity is many times more effective at protecting us than any vaccine, yet everyone is being pushed to be vaccinated regardless of whether you have natural immunity or not. This is wrong.