Atlantic Provinces Reflect Ottawa’s Vaccine Mandate Push
Federal government pressure for provinces and territories to consider COVID-19 pandemic vaccination mandate was greeted with reluctance in Atlantic Canada.
“We are not in a conversation right now,” New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said on Monday. “I can’t predict what the future holds. “
“We have been very engaged in this educational process with our people. “
The Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness has also moved away from any general mandate on vaccines.
“Our goal continues to be to help Nova Scotians make informed decisions about vaccinations,” a written ministry statement said Monday.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey said the province’s vaccination policy for public sector and health care workers was “already” a sufficient mandate, in an interview with Power Play from CTV Monday.
The Prince Edward Island Department of Health did not respond on time.
Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said on Friday that a mandatory vaccination policy, which would be under the authority of provincial and territorial governments, should be considered with the Omicron variant stretching the country’s health system “too thin”.
New Brunswick Medical Society president Dr. Mark MacMillan said education and encouragement should continue to be the vaccination strategy for now.
“Mandate is a whole different ball game and I don’t think we’re there yet,” MacMillan said Monday.
“We don’t want to force anyone to do anything. We want people to make their own decision. But we want them to get the information they need to make that decision from an appropriate source, whether it’s their doctor, nurse practitioner, allied health professional, or public health. Contact us, ask the questions, we will give you the answer you need.