Federal employee vaccine mandate raises questions

MP's report

Normally during the third week of September, all MP's would be heading back to Ottawa as the House of Commons would resume the fall sitting.

This year, because of the election called by the prime minister, it will be delayed.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he expects to announce his cabinet sometime in October. He also announced he intends to recall Parliament later this fall. Potentially, this could mean November or even early December.

Typically, the House only sits for the first few weeks of December, which creates two challenges.

The first is that it provides a limited opportunity for Trudeau to advance any legislation through the House before the end of the year. Secondly, it provides little opportunity for all-party Parliamentary committees to properly scrutinize the government and hold it accountable to Canadians.

The prime minister also announced his priorities for his new government this week.

The immediate priority will be to establish mandatory vaccination policies for all federal government employees and similar restrictions for Canadians travelling within Canada on “planes and trains” as Trudeau often states.

What is interesting about those priorities is that they did not require an election to implement. In fact, it could be argued that those measures could have already been implemented had the prime minister focussed on those priorities instead of calling an election.

One question already arising is will federal employees who refuse to be vaccinated be terminated from employment?

According to media reports “the (federal) government is still locked in negotiations with the public sector unions that represent tens of thousands of federal bureaucrats…” on this topic.

Once more information is available, I will share it in a future report.

On a different and very important note, today (Sept. 30) is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

This day is now a federal statutory holiday intended to create an opportunity for Canadians to commemorate and honour the Indigenous children who died while attending residential schools.

It is also an opportunity to support the survivors, their families and communities still affected by the legacy of residential schools.

We must never overlook that many loved ones never returned home.

Here in our region of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola, many of our local Indigenous communities were severely impact by these institutions and to this day there are families still searching for answers.

Today, I ask all citizens to reflect on this dark part of our past and consider what we can do to help support Indigenous communities on our shared road to reconciliation.

My question this week:

What ideas do you have to help advance progress on reconciliation?

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the critic for Environment and Climate Change.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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