After the Biden administration withdrew its OSHA vaccine mandate and a Florida judge struck down the federal transportation mask mandate, most Americans began to forget about COVID-19. Meanwhile, our neighbors to the north continue to deal with invasive government mandates, some of which are still sparking protests and court challenges.
Some of Canada’s mandates have been phased out. The COVID-19 test requirement for entering the country was dropped for vaccinated adults on April 1 and for unvaccinated children aged 5-11 accompanied by a vaccinated adult on April 25. Multiple provinces have also dropped their vaccine requirements for public places such as restaurants and gyms, though rules vary in each one. Schools in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Labrador lifted mask mandates as recently as May 24.
But other key mandates remain in place. The nationwide mask mandate on planes is still enforced. Some provinces have also chosen to retain parts of their mask mandates, such as Ontario, which extended its mandate for public transit and healthcare through June 11.
Worse, though, is the mandate that still prevents Canadian citizens from traveling by plane outside of their country — and within it — without proof of vaccination. Another World Wide Rally for Freedom protest took place against this mandate at Courthouse Park in Calgary, Alberta, on May 21, Rebel News reported.
Employees of the federal government also still face a vaccine mandate, which prompted a court challenge by three public sector unions last week, according to the Edmonton Journal.
“Effectively, we think it is punitive and an abuse of management authority,” said Jennifer Carr, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. Carr also notes that employees can work from home and still get paid.
The policy forced 1,828 employees on unpaid leave as of March 29, the Edmonton Journal reported.
From jailing multiple pastors for holding service in violation of health orders to using excessive police force against protesters during the Freedom Convoy, Canada’s recent track record has been disturbing and reveals a troubling direction for the future. America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and others have all moved on. Canada is lagging behind.
Katelynn Richardson is a Summer 2022 Washington Examiner fellow.