Rupa Subramanya, published by Common Sense
On August 13, 2021, the Canadian government announced that anyone who hadn’t been vaccinated against Covid would soon be barred from planes and trains. In many cases, The Backward could no longer travel between provinces or leave the country. If you lived in Winnipeg and wanted to visit your mother on her deathbed in London or Hong Kong or, perhaps, Quebec City, you’d better get jabbed—or resign yourself to never seeing your mother again.
Jennifer Little, the director-general of COVID Recovery, the secretive government panel that crafted the mandate, called it “one of the strongest vaccination mandates for travelers in the world.”
It was draconian and sweeping, and it fit neatly with the public persona that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had cultivated—that of the sleek, progressive, forward-looking technocrat guided by fact and reason. The Canadian Medical Association Journal, in a June 2022 article, observed that “Canada had among the most sustained stringent policies regarding restrictions on internal movement.”
But recently released court documents—which capture the decision-making behind the travel mandate—indicate that, far from following the science, the prime minister and his Cabinet were focused on politics. (Canadians are hardly alone. As Common Sense recently reported, American public-health agencies have also been politicized.) …
“The Trudeau government has claimed to follow The Science on COVID, but that science is strangely different than it is everywhere else,” Bruce Pardy, a law professor at Queens University and a former board member at the conservative Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, said in an email. “Instead, its policies are based on spite, divisiveness, and pure politics. COVID now serves as an excuse to punish the government’s ideological enemies.”