TimminsToday asked each of the federal candidates in Timmins-James Bay 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: We’re in the fourth wave of the pandemic with a more aggressive delta variant, what is your view on a vaccine passport for Canada?
Charlie Angus, NDP: Canadians have come through a very long and stressful time in facing three waves of COVID. The vast majority of Canadians have done their part in order to get through this crisis and keep their families and neighbours safe. The virulent delta variant poses a serious threat to health and it is being spread through the people who have chosen not to get vaccinated.
New Democrats stand with the medical health officers who are warning that if we do not get serious about vaccinations our hospitals could be swamped. We have seen this happen in parts of North American where governments have pandered to the anti-vaxx movement.
I support keeping people safe. We are in unprecedented times facing a medical threat larger than anything we have seen in a century.
I know Canadians will do their part and step up because we are in this together.
Steve Black, Liberal: My view is we need to listen to the health experts. Politicians should not be going against health expert recommendations and procrastinating to implement measures to keep our people safe and beat this pandemic. A pandemic is not the time to play partisan politics. All elected officials should be working to keep our public as safe as possible. If passports allow our small businesses to remain open to people whom have chosen to get vaccinated versus going back into a full lockdown, then I support that step forward.
The vast majority of countries around the world have some form of vaccine requirement. We have went through lockdowns, restrictions from travel, and restrictions from visiting both our family and friends. It is time we pull together and finish the fight against COVID-19. A re-elected Liberal government will support mandatory vaccines on planes, trains and within the federal public service. We will support funding for vaccines passports. We will invest in indoor spaces like schools and businesses to improve ventilation systems to make them safer. Vaccine boosters will be available and accessible to all those eligible. We will continue to make keeping people safe our priority
Morgan Ellerton, Conservative: At this time, the provinces are the authority that decide on the need for passports in their area, I believe Nunavut alone has expressed the need for guidance from the federal government. Proof of vaccination is helpful for businesses and others to feel safe while reopening. I believe, along with Conservatives, that we can beat COVID-19 through vaccination and testing, so we can fully reopen and avoid harmful lockdowns.
To help Canadians we will:
- Deploy rapid testing at all entry points to screen new arrivals.
- Everyone entering Canada, irrespective of vaccination status and whether they are considered an essential worker, will be required to take a rapid test, possibly a PCR.
- Accelerate Health Canada approvals for rapid tests approved by the UK, the US, the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, and Taiwan.
- Make at-home rapid tests readily available to Canadians.
- Immediately provide more rapid tests to provinces
- Develop a clear, evidence-based strategy for re-opening our border with clear timelines.
- Quickly close the border to travelers from hotspots where new variants are detected.
We will not allow new variants into Canada as Trudeau has done through his delays in enacting border measures to protect Canadians.
Stephen MacLeod, PPC: COVID is the hot topic right now. Actually that's not true. Job loss due to forced vaccination and forced vaccine passports are the hot topic. Let me ask you this. Why is the government tossing $1 billion across the provinces to implement a vac-pass when it's supposedly only till the pandemic is over. Just where is that money coming from? Our country is billions of dollars in debt yet somehow Trudeau can find another billion to toss at something that is supposedly temporary? How about tossing it towards the small businesses that had to close due to lockdowns or the mental health programs to better address the major spike in depressions and suicides. What is happening, is a major violation of our Constitution and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the PPC are the only party that is standing up for your rights as Canadians and will repeal the unconstitutional mandates and the vac pass. We will support proper medical research and development of therapies to treat COVID and other viral diseases. We will give you back the freedom of choice for treatments and will end the segregation and discrimination that the current government has now created.