Ottawa is asking provinces and territories to make a decision on mandating COVID-19 vaccines soon.
Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says Canada’s healthcare system is fragile, Canadians are tired, and the only thing the federal government knows can help fight this variant and any future variant is vaccinations.
“PPE, physical distancing, testing, rapid testing, and PCR testing are all very important tools but what will make us move through this crisis and end it is vaccination,” he says.
Duclos used his home province of Quebec as an example saying 50 percent of the province’s hospitalizations are due to people not having been vaccinated.
“That’s a burden on healthcare workers, a burden on society which is very difficult to bear and for many difficult to understand,” he says. “So that’s why I’m signaling this as a conversation which I believe provinces and territories, with support from the federal government, will want to have over the next weeks and months.”
Duclos says based on his personal understanding of what is happening internationally and conversations with his provincial and territorial counterparts, a serious discussion on mandatory vaccine policies will be needed but the final decision will be up to the individual provinces and territories.