Trudeau and O’Toole Keep Flip-Flopping on Vaccine Mandates

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on August 17, 2021

Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Erin O’Toole started the federal election campaign explicitly saying or indicating they were in favour of mandatory vaccinations for federal employees, both men have rhetorically softened their positions but continued flip-flopping on what their policy would actually be.

It was little less than a week ago that the Conservative party had taken away the Yukon federal district nomination away from Jonas Smith, who nearly won the seat from the incumbent Larry Bragnell in 2019, because Smith had publicly opposed mandatory vaccines and vaccine passports.

Yesterday O’Toole is now saying that he believes Canadians “want a reasonable and balanced approach that protects their right to make personal health decisions,” while he softly announced that he was against vaccine mandates for federal government employees and travelers.


O’Toole went on to say that he thinks there needs to be an approach that respects the rights of those who do not want to or cannot get vaccinated.

This was quite ironic since just a day before it appears that O’Toole and the CPC pressured the Fort McMurray-Cold Lake incumbent MP David Yurdiga to step down as the nominee for the 2021 snap election after he had called mandatory vaccines for federal employees “tyrannical” and “another example of the Liberals using severe government overreach for political gain.” 

The official reason given for Yurdiga’s abrupt stepping-down was private medical issues. 


O’Toole also advocated for the use of rapid testing for those who chose not to or could not get vaccinated which in and of itself undermines his stance against mandatory vaccines since it still applies obstructive and cohesive barriers in front of people who are unvaccinated in order to live their normal lives. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the other hand has remained more hardline in his rhetoric on the issue of mandatory vaccines for federal employees, but yesterday seemed to get stumped by media questions on how the mandate would actually work.

Trudeau refuses to answer on whether or not up to 10 percent of all federal employees would be running the risk of being fired if they refused to get vaccinated, potentially out of fear or political backlash if he went that far.

Political commentator Spencer Fernando summed the situation up well in his article, “Trudeau’s Dishonesty On Vaccine Mandates Shows He’ll Say Anything To Divide Canadians And Gain More Power” where he explained:

Trudeau’s announcement of vaccine passports and vaccine mandates for members of the public service was obviously an election move aimed at dividing the country and trying to put the Conservatives in a tough political situation.

Of course, a PM who would use the rights and freedoms of Canadians as a bargaining chip or as a political tool is a disgrace.

Second, Trudeau’s stated policy – requiring all government workers to be vaccinated – appears to not actually be the real policy.

In fact, it seems Trudeau’s policy is the same as Erin O’Toole’s stated policy – which would be that those who don’t get vaccinated get regularly tested.

Seems that O’Toole and Trudeau’s flip-flopping on the issue of vaccines is the result of it becoming such a politicized issue, in large part due to politicians like them, that they are attempting to both support mandates and the Charter at the same time in order to appeal to the widest audience. 

It is almost as if both men want Canadians to just read into their confusing and contradictory statements what they want to hear rather than coming out with a definitive policy on the matter.

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.

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