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UCP MLA challenges Alberta vaccine mandates

UCP MLA Peter Guthrie challenged the Alberta government’s vaccine mandates in the legislature this week saying he “unequivocally disagreed” with the policy. 

As reported by the Western Standard, Guthrie made the statement during a Members’ Statements portion of the sitting. 

“I support the committee recommendations and oppose any organization directing mandatory use of an active medical procedure, including vaccinations, on the citizens of this province,” said Guthrie.

“Unfortunately, over the course of the last few months, we have seen government organizations, institutions and businesses implement vaccination policies with termination as a result of non-compliance. I unequivocally disagree with this approach.”

 Guthrie, who is vaccinated himself, said Canadians should have the freedom to decide their own personal medical decisions. 

“I also hold dear the rights and freedoms of those to choose in matters pertaining to their bodies and personal health,” Guthrie. 

“A viewpoint shared by many Albertans is that we should have less government interference in our personal and business lives, not more. Creating legislation or supporting policy that may well be unconstitutional and acting based on societal views at any moment in time — even if one agrees with those views, sets a poor precedence and in my opinion — has governments going down a slippery slope.”

A year ago Alberta Premier Jason Kenney pledged that he would not make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in the province. 

“COVID-19 vaccinations will not be mandatory, not in Alberta,” Kenney said in November 2020.  “In fact, our government will amend the Public Health Act early next year, when the legislature comes back. We’ll be making a number of amendments to the Public Health Act.”

“I don’t believe [the power has] ever been used. So let me be absolutely clear: Alberta will not be making that or any other vaccine mandatory.”

Since then, Kenney has reversed his position and has imposed a vaccine mandate on healthcare workers. Under the new policy, those who refuse to be vaccinated will be subject to a daily testing regime or obtain a human rights-based accommodation. 

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