Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to drop all federal vaccine mandates and push the provinces to do the same.
In a letter to Trudeau obtained by True North, Poilievre writes that Trudeau’s pandemic “power trip” needs to end.
“Do not allow your spite towards the trucker protest to stand in the way of doing the right thing,” Poilievre writes. “This is not about saving face. Your pride and ego come after the public interest. Prime Minister, the power trip is over.”
In his letter, Poilievre accuses Trudeau of not listening to the science or the voters.
“Give people back control of their lives,” Poilievre writes. “You are their servant and not their master.”
Poilievre is also looking for a guarantee the federal government will not impose a tax on the unvaccinated, as Quebec proposed in January before scrapping the controversial plan last month.
Poilievre’s letter points out that Trudeau is increasingly out of step with his own experts, pointing to a remark Feb. 4 from Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, asserting that “we need to get back to some normalcy.”
At the same press conference, deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo said that mask-wearing should be a “a personal choice under one’s individual risk assessment.”
Despite the softening tone from Canada’s top doctors, Trudeau has been unrelenting on federal mandates.
Poilievre says in his letter Trudeau must “allow unvaccinated public servants their jobs back and compensate them for the earnings lost.” Federal public sector workers who haven’t received the second dose of a Covid vaccine are indefinitely on unpaid leave.
Trudeau has not given a timeline for allowing a return to work or lifting any other federal restrictions, which include the public sector and travel vaccine mandates, border and quarantine restrictions for the unvaccinated, as well as the Transport Canada mask mandate.
As recently as last week, the federal government was considering a vaccine mandate for interprovincial travel, though this plan was shelved.
“Public health changes, science changes. Lots of things are changing. It’s very much in flux,” Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan said of the walkback.
Poilievre is the only candidate to have officially announced a campaign to replace Erin O’Toole as Conservative leader. The party will elect its new leader Sept. 10.