Canadian lawmakers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to serve in the House of Commons from late November, Lower House Speaker Anthony Rota said Tuesday night.
“Effective Monday, November 22, 2021, everyone must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter the Lower House area,” he said in a statement.
The new requirements apply not only to assembly members and their staff, but also to office workers, journalists, contract workers and consultants.
The law comes a month after an election campaign that debated the issue of a vaccination mandate.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who last week announced that his cabinet would be announced on October 26 and that Parliament would convene again on November 22, has expressed his opinion in favor of the vaccination mandate for Liberal Party candidates.
Other political parties followed suit. However, Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole has not made vaccination a candidate selection criterion and declined to say how many candidates had been vaccinated.
In the September 20 elections, his party won 119 of the 338 Lower House seats.
Rota’s statement said people who were unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for health reasons could choose the option of submitting a “negative result of the latest COVID-19 rapid antigen test.”
In addition, the Canadian Parliament remains closed to visitors, and the mask-wearing requirement has been extended until January 2022. [rd/rs]