Defense minister backs military vaccine order in months-long review

Amid pressure to end the requirement and questions about when the promised “tweaks” will finally be announced, liberal governments have said the military will continue to mandate vaccines for military members as a condition of employment. I am defending my use of it.

Since December, the Canadian military has required all troops to receive two doses of the certified COVID-19 vaccine or face disciplinary proceedings, including expulsion from the military.

The majority of servicemen have their arms bare for shooting, but more than 1,100 do not. More than 400 of them voluntarily or involuntarily shed their uniforms, and many more have moved out.

Although delegation to other federal employees has been suspended, this requirement remains in effect. The government announced this week that vaccination requirements for international travelers will also be lifted on Saturday.

It was in this context that this week Conservative leader Pierre Polivre called on the Liberal Party to end what he called the military’s “discriminatory and unscientific vaccine mandate”, but the decision is ultimately entrusted to the Chief of Defense Staff, General Wayne Eyre.

On Thursday, Defense Minister Anita Anand expressed support for the mandate as she and other federal ministers briefed Canadians on hurricane recovery efforts in Atlantic Canada.

“It is prepared to conduct domestic and international military operations, sometimes in locations with limited or no access to specialized medical care, and sometimes in very close proximity to fellow Canadian Armed Forces members. It’s a force that has to be done,” she said.

“Therefore, the Canadian military has stricter requirements to implement health protection measures.”

Anand noted that Air is reconsidering the requirements after the government lifted obligations for other federal employees. “This review is pending,” she added.

However, when that review will be completed remains a mystery.

Pentagon spokesman Daniel Le Boutillier said Thursday it was a “complex issue” that the military must “balance medical and legal obligations, ethical considerations, and operational requirements.” described the review as.

“CAF will continue to take a cautious approach and make decisions when deemed operationally safe.”

The agency first reported in June that the mandate was being reviewed, and a revised draft vaccine policy obtained by Ottawa citizens in July suggested the vaccine requirement for military personnel would be lifted. rice field.

The draft, which officials said was not approved by Air, said it would eliminate the need for military personnel and recruits to prove their vaccination status.

The document also points to potential legal difficulties dealing with those expelled from the military due to vaccine mandates, which could force them to apply for re-registration. It suggests.

In contrast, other unvaccinated federal employees were taken unpaid leave but were allowed to return to work when their duties were interrupted.

Lee Bertioom

canadian press