OTTAWA — Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet says the next session of Parliament should happen in person with any members who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 staying home.
Questions remain about what the return to Parliament will look like for Canada’s 338 representatives after the recent federal election saw the Liberals re-elected to a minority government.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will name his cabinet next month and Parliament will resume sometime in the fall.
The House of Commons and committees had been functioning with some MPs working from Ottawa, but many others appearing virtually, including to vote, before the election was called.
Blanchet says he wants to see Parliament resume with MPs having to be there in person because now vaccines against the novel coronavirus are more widely available.
His party, along with the New Democrats and Liberals, made it a rule that candidates had to be fully vaccinated in order to hit the doorsteps, but the Conservatives did not.
“They get fully vaccinated or they stay home,” Blanchet said on Wednesday.
“Parliament should not come back under any kind of hybrid formation now we know that we can go on with the way this building is supposed to work, and we should not refrain from doing so because a few persons don’t believe that the vaccine works. This belongs to another century.”
The Conservatives saw 119 incumbent MPs and new candidates elected.
Leader Erin O’Toole refused to say on the campaign trail whether he knew how many of those running for the Tories had been fully vaccinated, saying he told campaign teams that those who are not immunized against COVID-19 should take daily rapid tests.
O’Toole is himself vaccinated and has been encouraging others to get their shot. The Conservative leader says he also respects the personal health choices of Canadians.
Blanchet on poss. unvaxxed CPC MPs:”Get fully vaccinated or they stay home.”
“We know that we can go on w the way this building is supposed to work & we should not refrain from doing so because a few persons don’t believe that the vaccine works. This belongs to another century.” https://t.co/YSSHpcDRld
— Rachel Aiello (@rachaiello) September 29, 2021
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept 29, 2021.