Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday November 20, 2021
Vaccine for kids and mandates for MPs kick in
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole emerged onto an Ottawa street Thursday after spending two days behind closed doors with his elected members, plotting out their priorities ahead of Parliament’s return.
One thing he still insists on keeping a mystery, however, is whether all 119 Conservative MPs will be allowed to enter on Monday, when a vaccine mandate kicks into effect for the House of Commons precinct.
“As I’ve said, you’ll see us in the House on Monday, and we’re looking forward to, as we always have, following the rules of the House of Commons, making sure we’re holding the government to account,” he said while speaking to reporters briefly.
That day, MPs must appear in person if they want to vote for Speaker, a position for which some Conservatives plan on running.
O’Toole remains the only federal party leader with seats in the House who has so far refused to confirm how many of his members are fully immunized against COVID-19.
As Opposition leader, he has previously said any MP he’s tapped to take on a critic role will be ready to appear there.
But on Thursday, when asked directly whether his entire Conservative team will be able to assume their seats, he said: “We’re going to be ready to go Monday. You’ll have to stay tuned.”
Several other MPs said they will wait and see what happens. (CTV)
Meanwhile, the first doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for children aged five to 11 will start to arrive in Canada on Sunday, Public Services and Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi said today.
Tassi said the government and Pfizer-BioNTech had agreed already to an accelerated delivery schedule and more than 2.9 million doses will be shipped by the end of the week — enough to provide a first dose to every eligible Canadian child.
Earlier today, Health Canada approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for children aged five to 11, promising what could be a very different new year for hundreds of thousands of families. (CBC)