In 2015 the Ontario Nurses Association Opposed Mandatory Masks And Vaccines

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on August 13, 2020

These days it may seem strange, but just under 5 years ago in 2015 the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) was out in the streets protesting mandatory mask and vaccine legislation.

At that time the nurses actually won against the government striking down the “vaccine or mask” policy which the ONA considered to be shaming tactics in order to force healthcare workers into getting flu shots whether they wanted to or not.

At the time over a couple dozen Ontario hospitals started forcing nurses to wear surgical masks for the entire flu season if they had not voluntarily gotten the influenza vaccine. The policy was meant to increase the immunization rates among healthcare workers.

The ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud challenged the government’s policy saying that, “They were basically coercing and shaming nurses into getting the influenza vaccine if they individually chose not to take it.”


Haslam-Stroud attested that for those not having received a vaccine, “They made them all wear masks and they had little stickers on their name tag that everyone knew meant ‘I don’t have my vaccine,” which seems to back up the ONA’s position that nurses were being overtly shamed for their personal choices. 

This situation from 2015 parallels today’s debate over mandatory vaccines and masks, and whether or not forcing those is a violation of Canadians’ civil liberties.

Haslam-Stroud’s arguments against mandated masks if vaccines are not accepted are essentially the exact same arguments people are making against mandatory mask orders and the potential of a mandatory vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Haslam-Stroud said, “I am not going to suggest that anyone should be forced to take the vaccine. I personally take it, but it is an individual right as a nurse.”

One woman who attended a protest against the mandatory mask order in Montreal said something similar about mandating vaccines, stating, “We want our liberty. We want the right to say yes to a vaccine. We want the right to decide. It’s our life, it’s our bodies, it’s up to us.”


In the debate on whether or not to mandate mask-wearing or vaccinations it seems like it has been forgotten that just a few years ago the discourse in the media around the issue was actually quite reasonable. These days the debate has turned more and more into a full-scale culture war between the right and left when in the past support one way or another was not overly partisan.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

One response to “In 2015 the Ontario Nurses Association Opposed Mandatory Masks And Vaccines”

  1. Okanagan Valley says:

    Glad I found you guys. Cannot tolerate watching CBC or other MSM at all – nice to see some balance.