NDP leader Andrea Horwath had to do an about-face on comments she made yesterday in opposition to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for education worker. At that time she said her party supports regular rapid virus tests for unvaccinated education workers before they come to work.
She told CBC in an interview “I don’t take lightly people’s charter rights, and so that’s why what we’re saying is rapid tests, or your vaccination status and being vaccinated. “We can’t simply ignore that there are folks that are not going to get vaccinated and I don’t think that the right thing to do is just to shut them out.”
It’s one of the few times the NDP leader found herself on the same page as Premier Doug Ford who has said he won’t mandate vaccinations for workers, saying he thinks it’s a constitutional right to refuse the shot. He’s also said he doesn’t support a proof-of-vaccination system that would allow people to participate in certain activities if they take the shots.
Then the criticism to Horwath’s comments started coming in from what are normally NDP allies. The head of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario said on Twitter that Horwath is getting “bad advice. “We need mandatory vaccination for ALL healthcare workers and education workers, unless they have a medical exemption. PERIOD,” Doris Grinspun wrote on Thursday. The OMA also weighed in, sating medical workers for sure need to be vaccinated. Even a federal NDP member Charlie Angus was critical, in a tweet, since deleted, “I just wrote to the party and told them they better push her to walk back her vaccination comments because the [Liberals] will drive a truck over our party for such idiocy,” he wrote on Wednesday.
Liberal leader Steven Del Duca said both Horwath and Ford are wrong. He wants mandatory COVID-19 shots for education workers ahead of the September return to school. He’s also supported mandatory shots for health workers.
Today Horwath walked back her comments, reversing her position completely.