Liberals’ Failure to Be Transparent on Vaccines Fuelling Anxiety: O'Toole

Liberals’ Failure to Be Transparent on Vaccines Fuelling Anxiety: O'Toole
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole speaks during a news conference on the Conservative Opposition Day Motion on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Dec. 3, 2020. (The Canadian Press/Justin Tang)
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says the Liberal government’s failure to be transparent about plans to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine is fuelling anxiety among Canadians.

Thousands of Canadians are currently backing a petition before the House of Commons that raises doubts about the safety of vaccines, suggesting among other things they are being rushed without appropriate safeguards and that the program amounts to “human experimentation.”

O’Toole said the petition speaks to Canadians’ fears and their need for more information from the government.

“A plan will actually help provide details and help educate Canadians on the research and approvals of vaccines, how they’ll be stored so that can be used effectively, how they can be rolled out first to the most vulnerable, and then to to other Canadians,” he said.

“This is why information is a tool just as important as rapid tests and vaccines.”

The e-petition is sponsored by Conservative MP Derek Sloan, although he told reporters Wednesday he has not read it recently and so could not say whether he agreed with every point. He said petitions as a way for constituents to have their voices heard.

The Conservatives have a motion before the House of Commons Thursday that calls on the Liberals to present specific details on their vaccine rollout strategy by Dec. 16.

Among other things, the Tories want to know how each type of vaccine will be delivered, by when, and to whom.

O’Toole says even if there’s no firm date on when the vaccines will be approved for use in Canada, that doesn’t mean a plan can’t be in place that takes that into account.

“That’s how any business plans, that’s how the military plans, that’s how charities and non−profits plan,” he said.

“Why should the federal government not reveal their plan?”