Conservative MP and leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has tabled a private members bill to end vaccine mandates imposed by the Trudeau government and to ban them from coming back in the future.
The Prevention of Government-imposed Vaccination Mandates Act (Bill C-278) would make a number of changes to Canadian law.
The bill comes as millions of Canadians who have not gotten Covid shots continue to be prevented from boarding domestic flights and trains, with many also barred from leaving the country.
Unvaccinated federal public servants also continue to be placed on unpaid leave, even if they were working from home.
Poilievre’s bill would amend the Financial Administration Act to take away the power to make Covid shots a term or condition of employment for federal government positions. A similar change would be made to the Canada Labour Code.
The amendment to the Financial Administration Act would also prevent the government from terminating a civil servant – as well as suspending or reducing their pay – solely for being unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Furthermore, Bill C-278 would amend the Aeronautics Act to forbid regulations, notices, orders, security measures or emergency directions that deny people the right to board solely based on their vaccination status.
Similar amendments would be made to the Railway Safety Act and the Canada Shipping Act.
“Trudeau’s unscientific restrictions and mandates must be repealed,” said Poilievre in a news release on Thursday. “He is dividing Canadians, violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and using divide–and-conquer politics to marginalize people while countries around the world move on from the pandemic.”
The Trudeau government’s air and rail vaccine mandates are some only domestic vaccine mandates remaining in Canada, with British Columbia the last province to end its vaccine passports on Apr. 8. Many countries have also completely removed vaccination or testing requirements for domestic and international travel.
“This baseless discrimination continues despite Trudeau’s own Public Health Officer having said ‘we need to get back to normalcy’,” Poilievre said.
The Conservative leadership frontrunner also said that he has heard multiple stories on the campaign trail about how vaccine mandates have negatively affected Canadians.
“I hear tragic stories from working people, suffering because of these cruel mandates. Whether it is the son who cannot visit his dying mother two provinces over, or the federal employee who has been out of a job for months, people have lost control of their lives.”
Poilievre and other Conservative MPs and senators have been openly critical of government-imposed vaccine mandates, especially after the end of Erin O’Toole’s leadership that came amid the historic Freedom Convoy demonstrations in Ottawa.
The Conservatives have tried on several occasions in the House of Commons to put an end to federal travel mandates and restrictions. These efforts have failed, however, with the NDP giving the Trudeau Liberals enough votes to strike them down.