Canadian Politician ‘Regrets’ Defending Charter Rights Over Mandatory Vaccines

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Andrea Horwath on Sept. 20, 2016. Horwath, leader of Ontario’s far-left opposition New Democrat Party, opposed mandatory vaccination based on Canada’s constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but retracted her comments to toe the establishment narrative a day later, after facing criticism from the federal branch of her Party.
Andrea Horwath on Sept. 20, 2016. Horwath, leader of Ontario’s far-left opposition New Democrat Party, opposed mandatory vaccination based on Canada’s constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but retracted her comments to toe the establishment narrative a day later after facing criticism from the federal branch of her Party. (Image: Laurel L. Russwurm via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

The leader for Ontario’s opposition party decided to tread carefully behind the establishment party line, retracting comments she made earlier in defense of rights granted under Canada’s version of a constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, against mandatory vaccination. 

Andrea Horwath, leader of Ontario’s New Democrat Party, official opposition to Conservative Party Premier Doug Ford and one of Canada’s many far left political organizations, told Canada’s national broadcaster CBC in a television interview on Aug. 4 that she considered the right to refuse vaccination protected under the Charter, “I don’t take lightly people’s charter rights, and so that’s why what we’re saying is rapid tests, or your vaccination status and being vaccinated.”

“We can’t simply ignore that there are folks that are not going to get vaccinated and I don’t think that the right thing to do is just to shut them out,” she said, seemingly in reference to the push for vaccine passports to land in Provinces besides neighboring Francophone Quebec.

Horwath’s comments were in line with Ford’s position, who has said he won’t mandate injections for Ontario’s health workers and doesn’t support vaccine passports, “No, we aren’t doing it — simple as that. We aren’t going to have a split society..I think it’s our constitutional right to take it or not take it. No one should be forced to do anything,” Ford said in July.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, also a Conservative, likewise said definitively in July that vaccine passports would not be permitted in his province, “We’ve been very clear from the beginning that we will not facilitate or accept vaccine passports.”

“I believe they would in principle contravene the Health Information Act and also possibly the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,” said Kenney.

According to True North, federal NDP MP Charlie Angus immediately put Horwath on blast after the interview, “I just wrote to the party and told them they better push her to walk back her vaccination comments because the [Liberals] will drive a truck over our party for such idiocy,” Angus said in a now-deleted Tweet.

Justin Trudeau’s current Liberal Party minority government, also on the far left, relies on the support of the federal NDP to form a majority to pass legislation. The NDP likewise relies on the support of the Liberals to fulfill its agendas.

Ontario Liberal Party leader Steven Del Duca took advantage of the opportunity to tell both Horwath and Ford they were both wrong for appealing to “anti-vaxx” voters as he called mandatory vaccination “the right thing to do.”

“It is the kind of thing that we need our leaders to do at this critically important moment. I will continue to push for this, I will continue to tell Doug Ford and Andrea Horwath they’re both wrong.”

CBC reported Horwath indeed carefully retracted her comments and got in line only a day later on Aug. 5, stating “I regret the comment. I was wrong.”

“I fully support mandatory vaccination in health care and education, based on science and public health priorities. I should have made that position clearer, much earlier, in support of the health and safety of the most vulnerable among us: seniors, people with disabilities, people who are sick, and children who can’t yet get their vaccines.”

On Aug. 7, CBC published a piece titled ‘The Tide is Really Turning’ on Support for COVID-19 Vaccine Passports, Expert Says, which relied on the opinion of Bryan Thomas, a research associate at the University of Ottawa, to forecast Ford would renege on his vaccine passport pledge and install a two-tiered society sooner or later.

CBC, in a similar fashion to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, plays a role in Canadian society as a state-run broadcaster, rather than a journalistic outlet, pushing establishment, left wing talking points thinly veiled as news.

Thomas claims unless the Province installs vaccine passports, many businesses will implement them of their own accord, creating a “wild west with untold problems” in society because privacy cannot be guaranteed as they turn to various “private apps.”

“[It] doesn’t actually hold anyone down and force them to get vaccinated,” said Thomas of vaccine segregation, who believes Quebec’s installation will lead to a situation where “the pressure on the Ford government will just be overwhelming to get its act together.”

In the article, CBC quoted a representative from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as saying vaccine passports are “much less concerning” so long as unvaccinated Canadians are still allowed to go to the hospital if in danger or to the grocery store to purchase food.

  • Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.