The House of Commons’ vaccine mandate will be ending on Monday, Jun. 20 – the same day as the federal mandates for domestic and outbound travel and civil servants.

Trudeau’s house leader Mark Holland put forward a motion on Thursday to end the mandate on the House of Commons precinct. The motion received unanimous support. 

In response to the mandate being lifted, Conservative house leader John Brassard told True North “it’s about time that the federal government follow the rest of the world as we get back to some normalcy.”

Meanwhile, Conservative Party leadership candidate Scott Aitchison said, “today’s news that the government is finally listening to science and ending vaccine mandates in the House of Commons is welcome news.” Adding that “more still needs to be done.”

True North also heard from leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre, who pointed out that the border mandates for truckers are still in place.

 “Justin Trudeau has admitted that it’s safe to sit next to an unvaccinated person on a plane or even in the House of Commons. But he still won’t let a trucker who sits alone all day in the cab of his truck go back to work by crossing the border.”  

The strict policy requiring anyone wanting to access the House of Commons precinct, including elected Members of Parliaments, provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19 has been in place since Nov. 2021. 

The mandate was introduced by the House’s Board of Internal Economy, an administrative body which the Speaker of the House later ruled did not have the authority to make such a policy.

However, the Speaker’s ruling was overruled as the governing Liberals, with the support of the NDP, had passed a hybrid parliament motion a week prior which contained a vaccine requirement for those wishing to access the precinct. 

The Liberal motion also tightened the rules around medical exemptions, by only allowing the limited exemptions offered by the Ontario government.

In Dec 2021, Holland cast doubt on the high number of medical exemptions in the Conservative Party caucus, the only party caucus where MPs were not required to be vaccinated. 

The tightened rules led to some medical exemptions, including an exemption Yorkton – Melville MP Cathay Wagantall had obtained, to be invalidated. Wagantall accused the Liberals of politically interfering with the work of the House of Commons nurse. 

Wagantall was removed from the House of Commons precinct earlier this month after attempting to defy the mandate by entering the House of Commons without disclosing her vaccination status.

While the vaccine mandate has been lifted in the House of Commons, the mask mandate will remain in place, making it one of few places in Ottawa where masking is still required.

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