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Trudeau faces a tough follow-through on his vaccine tough talk

Trudeau faces a tough follow-through on his vaccine tough talk

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  1. I don’t think it will be a tough follow through at all, a strong majority of the population is both vaccinated and want vaccine mandates. Implementing this will be a quick and easy win for the Liberals

    I’m sure a medical exemption will be in place if you can’t get vaccinated, but this will be pretty easy to enforce. The only thing that could derail it is a court challenge.

  2. *If the Liberals try to retreat to a typical ‘compromise’ position, they will never hear the end of it*

    *Federal Canadian politics will be seized in coming weeks with the future of the prime minister and the leader of the Opposition, both of whom took considerable risks in their campaigns that failed to produce the desired results. Justin Trudeau called an election for no good reason he could articulate to Canadians, burning considerable political capital for nothing. Erin O’Toole dragged his party to the centre, contrary to much of his own leadership platform, and won no more seats than the supposedly unelectable, social-conservative Andrew Scheer.*

    *When it comes to Trudeau, Liberals who believe in a sort of historical determinism will note how rare it is for a prime minister to win four consecutive elections: Only Macdonald and Laurier have managed it. Only Mackenzie King and Trudeau the Elder have been evicted from the prime ministerial residence after three victories and later been invited to return. Trudeau the Younger does not fare well in a gravitas competition against either gentleman. He will need to justify his leadership.*

    *Just as intriguing as the leadership question, though, and potentially crucial to Trudeau’s fortunes if he does manage to hang on, will be how his recent campaign promises fare in the real world — particularly when it comes to vaccine mandates.*

    *During the campaign, Trudeau vowed that all workers in the federal public service would have to be vaccinated, and warned of “consequences” for any who refuse (without providing specifics).*

    *Trudeau also vowed that passengers on federally regulated public transportation vehicles — ships with overnight accommodations, airplanes and interprovincial trains and buses — would have to be vaccinated. On the eve of the campaign, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra promised this requirement would be in place “by no later than the end of October.”*

    *The timing of these announcements was purely campaign-related; anyone who doubts that isn’t being cynical enough. That doesn’t make them bad ideas, necessarily (although there is little evidence that airplanes are super-spreader environments). But it wasn’t very long ago that Trudeau insisted “we’re not a country that makes vaccination mandatory.” He was responding to a question from online broadcaster Brandon Gonez about allowing unvaccinated people to attend Toronto Raptors games.*

    *A few weeks later, when O’Toole suggested accommodations such as rapid testing could be made for the vaccine-averse in the name of not further dividing the country, Trudeau sniffed that his Conservatives were “not there to defend the safety of Canadians.”*

    *Turns out both O’Toole and Trudeau were advocating for essentially the same rules around vaccinations for federal employees.*

    *With respect to federal public servants, we know what the likely outcome would have been absent an election. “We recognize that some people are unable to be vaccinated. In these cases, we will discuss accommodations that could be put in place,” Canada’s chief human resources officer, Christine Donoghue, wrote in a memo to deputy ministers posted on the Treasury Board Secretariat’s website early in the campaign. “For those who refuse vaccination, we will need to consider alternative measures, such as testing and screening.”*

    *That approach was more or less what O’Toole was supporting, which was awkward for Trudeau, and then the memo suddenly disappeared. It accidentally misrepresented government policy, Trudeau insisted. What a curious and very specific error!*

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