MP Falk touts virus misinformation
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/02/2022 (188 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA — Provencher MP Ted Falk is accused of trumpeting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation just as his Manitoba colleagues in the House of Commons urge the anti-mandate truckers convoy to roll away from Parliament Hill.
Falk, who has represented southeastern Manitoba for the Conservatives since 2013, drew scorn from fellow MPs Friday when he read a letter from an unvaccinated constituent whose trucking business had taken a hit from the U.S. requirement to get immunized.
The constituent’s letter, which Falk read into Hansard, inaccurately stated that vaccines have been “shown to prevent nothing that we were promised (vaccines) would prevent.”
The letter claimed that because fully vaccinated and boosted people have caught COVID-19, vaccines don’t work. Evidence shows vaccinated people experience significantly less severe outcomes than unvaccinated people, and virologists say vaccines also prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.
NDP MP Charlie Angus briefly cut off Falk.
“We are listening to falsehoods and medical misinformation and medical lies,” the northern Ontario MP said in the Commons.
Angus characterized Falk’s comments as “anti-vax falsehoods and disinformation,” but did not convince the Speaker that Falk had breached House rules.
Falk is the only one of 338 MPs who refuses to say whether he has been vaccinated. He condemned “the illogical spotlight of condemnation” of the unvaccinated.
Last September, Falk apologized for spreading misinformation that COVID-19 vaccines increased the chance of death from infection, which is the opposite conclusion of reams of credible research.
Falk spoke virtually Friday, appearing on a screen in the House of Commons, outside of which a truckers convoy had been parked for seven days.
Some Manitoba MPs argued it was time for the noisy protest to be cleared out.
“Believing in peaceful law-abiding protests, the convoy should be dispersed,” wrote Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux.
Liberals Terry Duguid and Dan Vandal said it’s up to Ottawa police to decide how to handle the convoy, and not for politicians to decide.
Conservative MP Marty Morantz said he’d like the convoy to head home.
“At this point, it would be preferable for the participants in the occupation of downtown Ottawa leave on their own accord.”
Fellow Manitoba Tories weighed in.
“We also believe no protest should be permitted to block critical infrastructure,” reads a statement from provincial caucus chair Dan Mazier.
“The disruption caused to the livelihoods of Canadians by this ongoing demonstration must be minimized.”
They echoed comments by Tory interim leader Candice Bergen, who represents Portage-Lisgar, who has urged the Liberals to broker a solution.
In leaked emails, Bergen advocated against having the Conservatives push the protesters to go home, proposing they instead “turn this into (Trudeau’s) problem.”
Manitoba’s three NDP MPs were more concrete in their views.
“It is time for this protest and siege of the city of Ottawa be brought to a close,” reads a statement by MPs Niki Ashton, Daniel Blaikie and Leah Gazan.
Parliamentary bureau chief
In Ottawa, Dylan enjoys snooping through freedom-of-information requests and asking politicians: "What about Manitoba?"