A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted August 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Well isn’t this rich!
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his all-so-holy, right-to-life Conservative Party caucus members don’t seem to mind a teacher who chooses not to get vaccinated for COVID-19 entering a classroom full of young children this September, but Ford is now demanding that as of this August, 19th, every member of that same caucus has to be vaccinated.
The vaccine mandate must come as a disappointment to some of Ford’s caucus members – among them, one might think, Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff who last year posted at photo on social media of himself with a large group of acquaintances, flaunting Niagara Region’s mask-wearing bylaw in a Niagara Falls restaurant where staff tried asking the Oosterhoff entourage to please wear masks.
By the way, Oosterhoff openly identifies as an anti-abortion right-to-lifer and he – a home-schooled lad, himself – also happens to serve as the assistant to Ontario’s Education Minister.
But never mind all that.
At least Ford and his party members can feel a bit safer with a vaccine mandate in place for their caucus meetings, while teachers who choose not to get vaccinated can still stand in front of a classroom full of children, just so long as they buy their way in by taking a COVID test.
Have no doubt. This business about giving teachers a choice of getting tested rather than getting vaccinated is all Ford and company pandering to that part of their political base that falls down on the Trumpy-flavoured anti-vaxxer side.
With no apologies, I am finishing here with a message that is blunt.
There is no damn way I would send a child of mine, with a Delta variant in play that is infecting children, into a classroom with a teacher who for whatever reason, refused to get vaccinated.
If they don’t want to get vaccinated, they quit!
My daughter is 30 years old now and all through her grade school years, I received notes home from the school board, forbidding her and her fellow classmates not to come to school with any food containing peanut butter because some children have peanut allergies.
My daughter also had to be vaccinated for polio, measles and a number of other potentially infectious diseases.
So why does Ford and his party think it is okay not to mandate teachers to get vaccinated for a virus that has already caused so much death and suffering among people in our country and around the world?
We have a provincial election in Ontario next year and this Ford government has got to go!
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
Here is a brief statement issued by Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath this August 17th on this same subject –
Horwath calls on Ford to do better on mandatory vaccines, vaccine certificates
QUEEN’S PARK — NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement:
“COVID-19 cases have been on the rise, and the first day of school is three weeks from today. We urgently and desperately need to put the safety of children first, protect vulnerable people, and stop the spread. No unvaccinated person should be in a classroom or health care setting.
What we’re seeing from Doug Ford today is a risky half-measure. A test just once per week is not the same as a mandatory vaccine. It means that Ford is not requiring anyone – from long-term care to child care – to get a vaccine.
On top of that, Ford is still refusing to implement a vaccine certificate program, which is absolutely critical to protect people’s health, protect our progress, and keep non-essential businesses safely running.
The millions of us who got our vaccine, and the children and vulnerable people who can’t get a shot right now — we deserve better.”
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