Despite strong support from the Conservatives, a bill that aimed to prevent the federal government from imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates on public servants and restricting unvaccinated Canadian travelers has failed to pass in the House of Commons. The proposed legislation, known as C-278, the Prevention of Government-imposed Vaccination Mandates Act, was defeated by a vote of 205 to 114. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cast his vote against the bill.
The bill was initially presented by Pierre Poilievre, a prominent Conservative figure, during his campaign for Conservative leader. However, due to an overlap with his own anti-mandate initiative called the “Freedom Convoy,” Ontario Conservative MP Dean Allison took over as the sponsor of the bill.
While advocating for the bill, Poilievre accused Trudeau of dividing Canadians and emphasized that the majority of provincial governments and the military review complaints commission align with Conservatives on this issue. However, critics pointed out that over 54,000 Canadians have lost their lives to COVID-19 and accused the Conservatives of sympathizing with pandemic deniers and participants of the trucker convoy protests.
As vaccine mandates became a key issue in the 2021 federal election, the Liberals had rolled out federal inoculation rules that were later rolled back in June 2022, allowing unvaccinated workers to resume their duties. Poilievre mentioned that the Prime Minister had withdrawn and apologized for the divisive comments he made about Canadians who made different medical decisions. He hoped that passing the bill would signify a turning point in Canadian history, leaving behind divisions over public health matters.
While some MPs agreed with the need for a full public inquiry into Canada’s pandemic response, others believed that discussing vaccine mandates at this stage is out of touch. Liberal House Leader Karina Gould emphasized the importance and safety of vaccines, suggesting that there are more pressing priorities to focus on.
Q: Who supported the bill to prohibit federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates?
A: The Conservatives were the only party to support the bill.
Q: Why did the bill fail?
A: The bill failed to pass in the House of Commons due to a vote of 205 to 114 against it.
Q: What is the title of the bill?
A: The bill is called C-278, the Prevention of Government-imposed Vaccination Mandates Act.