A group of Conservative MPs and Senators are banding together to form a “civil liberties caucus” speaking up for the rights of Canadians losing their jobs because they are unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu said around 15 to 30 representatives will be part of the group. Gladu said "that the move is not a direct challenge to Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s leadership, but its instead for fighting for constituents who are now, or may be out of work for refusing to comply with mandatory vaccination rules."
While O’Toole is fully vaccinated and has encouraged Canadians to get roll up their sleeves, he has suggested rapid testing should be offered as an alternative. Despite this , the vaccine mandate for the House of Commons as of Nov. 22 is a move many in the caucus have questioned. Nevertheless, O’Toole told reporters that his caucus agreed that when the new session begins, only fully-vaccinated Conservatives or those with valid medical exemptions who have been recently rapid-tested will be taking part in the House proceedings in-person next month.
Other figures aren't happy with the announcement . Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has said that O’Toole should any unvaccinated MPs the door, removing them from his caucus.
“That's leadership,” he said. “Who am I to argue with tens of thousands of brilliant scientists and doctors who urge the population desperately to get vaccinated?” said Mulroney.
“Look, you're not the leader to follow, you are the leader to lead, and if you think this is in the national interest, Canada's interest, you get your members of Parliament in line, and they have to support what you're doing.”