Pierre Poilievre calls for the end of compulsory vaccination for the military

OTTAWA — Pierre Poilievre is calling for an end to mandatory vaccinations for all soldiers, but some members of his caucus admit that this question requires more nuance.

On Monday, the Liberal government announced that it would end the requirement for proof of vaccination against COVID-19 at borders. This means that at the federal level, at present, only the military must be compulsorily vaccinated.

Mr. Poilievre lamented Tuesday evening on Twitter that the government of Justin Trudeau still maintains this “discriminatory and unscientific obligation”. The Conservative leader believes that “many men and women who want to fight to defend our freedoms are not even free to serve their country”.

The Chief of the Defense Staff, General Wayne Eyre, signaled last August that this directive would eventually be relaxed. But he also said that this obligation was necessary on an operational level, to ensure that Canadian soldiers can be deployed abroad.

Conservative health critic Michael Barrett admitted on Wednesday that “if there is a specific operational requirement, that’s one thing.” But in general, the MP is opposed to vaccination against COVID-19 being a criterion of employment, for anyone.

Former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, a veteran of the military, expressed a similar view earlier this year. He said getting the COVID-19 vaccine was a rule for most military personnel because they have a duty to serve their country.

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