Manitoba Daily

Monday, November 29, 2021

The minister could be denied admission as the Manitoba legislature mandates vaccines

Key takeaways:

  • Manitoba’s new leader has turned down calls for all of her MLAs to be fully vaccinated.
  • Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler has been silent on whether or not he has rolled up his sleeves on the vaccination mandate.
  • All of the NDP and Liberal MLAs have been completely vaccinated, according to the parties.

Manitoba’s new leader has rebuffed requests for her MLAs to be completely vaccinated, but the proof will soon be required if they want to serve in the legislature.

After speaking to the Association of Manitoba Municipalities conference on Monday, Heather Stefanson disclosed that her government plans to require everyone entering the legislature — from MLAs to government workers and guests — to demonstrate their vaccination status beginning on Dec. 15.

“That will take some time,” Stefanson explained the schedule to reporters.

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“Several government ministries are participating in it — Central Services, Justice, and our deputy premier’s department as well — and they’re all working on it.”

Despite repeated queries, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler has been silent on whether or not he has rolled up his sleeves on the vaccination mandate.

The ruling Progressive Conservatives have claimed for months that 34 of their 36 MLAs have presented proof of immunization. 

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Schuler and Seine River delegate Janice Morley-Lecomte, both Conservatives, were the only ones who refused to answer the question.\

Manitoba legislature mandates vaccines, the minister could be denied admission.

Morley-Lecomte is now on the team.

On the other hand, Morley-Lecomte certified over the weekend that she is now completely vaccinated after being caught trying to eat at a Winnipeg café without appropriate proof of vaccination.

Last month, she attended the Progressive Conservative leadership conference, where delegates were required to present proof of immunization.

“Personal health information is a private matter for me, and I do not discuss my personal health information publicly,” Schuler stated in a statement Monday.

He was not present at the AMM convention on Monday, where a vaccination requirement was again enforced, nor during the party’s leadership announcement last month.

All of the NDP and Liberal MLAs have been completely vaccinated, according to the parties.

Throughout the pandemic, a deal between party house leaders limited capacity in the legislative chamber and, more recently, insisted that MLAs be completely immunized against COVID-19 before taking their seats.

The question period, which resumes on Tuesday, will see a third of MLAs participate online.

Winnipeg city hall has mandated that all residents be vaccinated by Nov. 15. Parliament Hill in Ottawa has begun enforcing that rule for politicians unless they can provide a valid medical exemption.

In the meantime, Stefanson feels the matter of Morley-Lecomte failing to demonstrate their proper immunization status at a Winnipeg restaurant has been resolved.

After Oakwood Café owner Wendy May wrote a letter to the premier and senior party officials detailing her staff’s interactions with the MLA, the situation came to light. Last weekend, Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont shared an excerpt of the letter on social media.

May claimed Morley-Lecomte insisted restaurant employees were incorrect when they asked to see her QR code, and she then left the bistro. Manitoba has made it mandatory for restaurant clients who want to eat inside to produce their scannable code.

According to Stefanson, Morley-Lecomte has since downloaded a duplicate of her QR code on her phone.

“That issue, I believe, is now moot. That’s been taken care of, and it’s been taken care of satisfactorily.”

May said the Seine River MLA showed a printed-out sheet with her immunization record, but that document alone does not meet provincial criteria because it lacks the QR code.

Source: CBC News

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