Conservative interim leader Candice Bergen said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to “depoliticize” his response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reopen Canada quickly.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Feb. 7, Bergen criticized Trudeau for not following the science in removing the COVID-19 restrictions that have impacted Canadians’ daily lives for the past two years.
“Canadians have suffered. They followed the rules. They have done what they were asked to do. We can’t have a slow and drawn-out process of reopening just because the prime minister is hiding and in denial,” she said.
Citing Ontario’s chief medical officer Dr. Kieran Moore, who said on Feb. 3 that society has to learn to live with COVID, Bergen argued that the pandemic restrictions must end soon.
“Will the prime minister follow the science, follow the advice of experts, and assure Canadians that he’ll be removing all federal vaccine mandates quickly?”
In response, Leader of the government in Parliament Mark Holland said the federal government will only consider dropping the restrictions provided there is scientific evidence that proves it is safe to do so.
“We need to follow science. We need to look at what is the best way to get out of this pandemic using evidence, not politics,” he said. “We are not in a place where we can afford to play games with public health.”
In a letter to Trudeau on Feb. 7, Bergen said it is time to “depoliticize” the response to the pandemic since the country’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Teresa Tam said on Feb. 4 that all COVID restrictions, including vaccine passports, will need to be “re-examined.”
“Canadians were encouraged to hear Dr. Tam say that we need to find a more ‘sustainable’ way of dealing with the pandemic. She further recommended that all existing public health policies be ‘re-examined’ with provinces and territories so that we can ‘get back to some normalcy,’” she wrote.
Bergen stressed to Trudeau that federal leaders have the responsibility to bring Canadians together.
“It is my sincere hope that we can show leadership by coming back together to talk about solutions, to follow the science rather than the politics when it comes to mandates,” she said.