OTTAWA – Conservative leader Erin O’Toole should show leadership on mandatory vaccinations and show the door to any of her unvaccinated MPs, says former Prime Minister and Conservative leader Brian Mulroney.
Mulroney said that if he were the leader today, he would demand that all his MPs roll up their sleeves and receive the COVID-19 vaccine, calling it a “no-brainer.”
“Of course. It’s leadership,” he said in an interview on CTV’s interview with host Evan Solomon.
“Who am I to argue with tens of thousands of ingenious scientists and doctors who are desperately urging the population to be vaccinated? And we want, for example, some members of my caucus who will say ‘I do not want to do that’? do it.”
After a few weeks of conflicting messages about the party’s stance on the House of Commons’ new rules requiring vaccination, O’Toole said Wednesday that his caucus has agreed to “respect and abide” policy, but at “first time” his party will challenge it.
While O’Toole has said that when the new session begins, it will only be fully vaccinated conservatives or those with valid medical dispensations who have recently been quickly tested who will personally participate in House affairs next month, he refuses. to say how many of his caucus of 118 MPs are unvaccinated.
With the Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois all fully vaccinated and apparently fully supported by the Board of Internal Economy’s vaccine mandate, it remains to be seen how far the forthcoming Conservative question of privilege to the President will go.
“Mr O’Toole has a difficult challenge because of some of the components of his caucus, and I respect that, and I respect what he has done to try to deal with it. But I have encountered such situations when “I was the leader of the party and the prime minister. For example, there were two members of parliament who would not support GST, they went. There were others who would not support language issues, they went out,” Mulroney said.
“Look, you’re not the leader, you have to follow, you’re the leader to lead, and if you think it’s in the national interest, Canada’s interest, you get your members of parliament in line and they have to support it. , you do.”
Mulroney said O’Toole should not let members of his caucus defy his leadership, especially with regard to this policy, which he said proves effective in bringing Canada closer to the end of the pandemic.
VACCINE POLICY MAY HAVE COSTED HIM CHOICE
Mulroney said O’Toole’s stance on mandatory vaccinations may also have played a role in his defeat in the Sept. 20 federal election.
While O’Toole had Mulroney’s support during the campaign – appearing with him at a campaign rally five days before the vote – the former prime minister says the Conservative leader “lost momentum” as a result of their stance on vaccine mandates.
“They did very well … for the first few weeks, and then they lost momentum, simply because … Mr. Trudeau brilliantly poked holes in the conservative views of exactly what you and I are talking about: Vaccines and health care. and problems going on in Alberta at the time, “Mulroney said.
In the final days of the federal campaign, Alberta rolled out new restrictions in light of a then-exacerbated new wave of COVID-19 infections after lifting most public health measures over the summer. O’Toole was repeatedly asked to comment, specifically whether he still believed Alberta Premier Jason Kenney handled the pandemic better than the Prime Minister, and he would not say so.
“This played a big role in the subsequent defeat of the Conservative Party,” Mulroney said.
DIRECTION OF CONSERVATIVE PARTY?
During the campaign, O’Toole – the same day he campaigned with Mulroney – described the party he leads as “not your father’s conservative party.”
Asked what he thinks the Conservative Party stands for today and what it should be, Mulroney said that even if it did not have to be the Progressive Conservative Party it was under him, it would not hurt.
“Although, as I recall, Brian Mulroney did quite well in two parliamentary elections as a progressive Conservative and won the biggest victory in Canadian history. And with his second, he was the first Conservative leader since Sir John A. Macdonald to win back- two-back majority for 100 years, ”he said.
“You have to be sensible and thoughtful and appeal to the broad middle class in Canada. For example, in the environmental field, middle-class Canadians are doing pretty well. They do not need small tax breaks for hockey sticks and that kind of thing to appeal to them,” Mulroney said.
In the run-up to and during the campaign, O’Toole launched a “personal low-carbon savings account” that would give Canadians direct discounts on what they paid for fuel, allowing them to use the funds for eco-friendly purchases.
“For example, in that case, in my opinion, they need and require a policy to ensure that they are able to provide their children and grandchildren with a pristine environment … If you do not have a policy that reflects “The urge of the Canadians, the demands, the need for the environment, you are not going to win. And then the party has to adapt unless it wants to lose a few more elections.”
Asked what his message is to conservatives who disagree on the need for a price of carbon, or refuse to acknowledge that climate change is real, Mulroney said: “Join the program.”
“My message is that it’s relentless, it’s going to happen, so come up with the program. You can not stop the waves of history from washing over you. And this is an important moment in Canadian history and indeed for the planet, and we should be there actively, “he said.