Tory leadership hopeful rejects vaccine mandate
Glover launches campaign Friday
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/09/2021 (625 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Shelly Glover supports a seniors advocate, boosting ICU capacity and apologizing to the Indigenous community, but she is vehemently opposed to “vaccine mandates” that she claims will result in unvaccinated nurses and health-care aides getting fired.
“I can’t even bear the thought of turning towards a nurse or aide that’s afraid to get a vaccine today and tell them that they’re fired,” she said Friday at the launch of her campaign to be leader of the Manitoba PC party and the next premier.
COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory in Manitoba. The province requires those who work with vulnerable people such as schoolchildren, the sick and the elderly to either be fully vaccinated or undergo COVID-19 testing three times a week.
Glover, who trained as a health-care aide during the pandemic to help understaffed personal care homes, said she is fully vaccinated and encourages people to follow public health orders and get vaccinated. But she said she knows of nurses, health care aides — “the heroes” of the pandemic — and others who are afraid.
“If we mandate people to be vaccinated, we’re actually telling them that they have to put something in their bodies that they may be afraid of — that their own doctors may have told them might harm them. That I’m firm on: I will not support mandated vaccines.”
She said she questions how and why public health decisions have been made, including the requirement for people to be fully vaxxed to dine at restaurants or attend sporting events.
“When I am leader, I will make decisions based on all of the information. I hope that I get fulsome information,” she said. “What I’m hearing right now is we’re not hearing all sides of the scientific story,” said Glover.
“There is other information out there that has never been addressed,” she told reporters without specifying what information she’s referring to.
Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said Glover’s comments may soothe the vaccine-hesitant and anti-vaxxers but he fears they threaten public health efforts.
“She’s spreading misinformation about how vaccine mandates work and she’s caving into a tiny, very vocal minority of people who oppose vaccinations,” Lamont said Friday. “People aren’t going to get fired. People should be reassured about that. Almost no doctor — no credible doctor — will tell anyone they can’t be vaccinated,” said Lamont.
“We have to stop pointing fingers at each other and being angry about a situation we don’t have control over,” said Glover, who’s running because she’s “worried about the state of Manitoba.”
“(The provincial election in) 2023 isn’t very far away and I’m the best person to lead this party into the election and beat Wab Kinew.”
The NDP opposition leader, whose party has gained popularity in successive polls since last year, isn’t so sure.
“The vast majority of Manitobans are strong supporters of vaccination,” Kinew said. “The last thing that Manitobans want is politicians who cosy up to anti-vaxxers just to advance their political interests or maybe to seek a couple of memberships.” The party members will vote for a new leader — and premier — to be announced on Oct. 30.
He said Glover’s last political stint was with the Stephen Harper government. “The last time we chose somebody from the Harper government to be the premier here, we ended up with Brian Pallister,” Kinew said. “I hope we don’t make the same mistake twice.”
Glover’s main rival for the PC leadership welcomed her to the race. A statement from Heather Stefanson, who has support from two-thirds of the PC caucus, said she doesn’t support vaccine mandates, either.
“She is supportive of the current public health orders that say front-line government workers who work with children, seniors, or vulnerable Manitobans must be fully vaccinated or undergo regular testing. Heather has and will continue to encourage everyone that is able to get vaccinated as it is the best way to protect our citizens from the fourth wave and keep our businesses, gyms, places of religious gathering and industries open, active and safe.”
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.