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Vaccine Mandates & New Travel Restrictions Go Too Far

[:en]This week, Justin Trudeau’s new travel restrictions go into effect. Anyone boarding an airplane, train or ferry in Canada must be fully vaccinated.

I believe this latest restriction is a challenge of the Charter right of Canadians to travel.

Section 6 (1) of the Charter states that: “Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.”

This comes on the heels of his mandate that “all” federal employees must be fully vaccinated—at least those to whom he has not granted an exemption (yes, thousands are arbitrarily exempt).

For all their talk about “rights” the Trudeau Liberals seem to have very little regard for, or interest in, upholding the freedoms that Canadians value.

The test of any constitution document is not during times of ease but times of great challenge. Will we uphold our stated values, for all Canadians? Or will we give in to fear?

We all want to be safe and feel safe.

We all want to do what is right for our families and our community. But we won’t always agree on what that looks like.

To those who say, “just get vaccinated” and to those who say, “drop all restrictions, immediately”, I would respectfully argue that, in the real world, neither is that simple. Canadians have widely varying sensibilities, situations, and concerns when it comes to COVID-19. What is so obviously the “right thing to do” for you and your family, may be different from what is right and best for another.

What is just plain wrong is demonizing those who make a vaccine decision different from the one we’ve made. To create two classes of Canadians: one that can enjoy their rights and freedoms and another that cannot, seems very wrong.

The most frustrating part is all this rancor and division could have been avoided.

Rather than put all of their eggs in one basket and attempt to force Canadians to conform, the Liberal Government could have provided options.

Experts and countries around the world have used such options as rapid testing—long promoted by Conservatives as the most sensible approach—and antibody testing.

More restrictions are not the answer. In fact, they create more animosity, further entrench, and exacerbate the COVID divisions in our country.

People have made their choices. There are options that allow us to accommodate everybody. Common-sense compromises that would allow us ALL to move forward, together.

Let’s use them.[:]