Orlando Sentinel

Pandemic policy pivotal in Canadian election

- By Rob Gillies

TORONTO — On the final campaign day of a tight election battle, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that his Conservati­ve opponents would weaken the nation’s battle against the pandemic and said Canadians need a government that follows science.

Polls indicate Trudeau’s Liberal Party is in a close race with the rival Conservati­ves

and that it is unlikely on Monday to get the outright majority needed to govern without relying on an opposition party to remain in power.

“We do not need a Conservati­ve government that won’t be able to show the leadership of vaccinatio­ns and on science that we need to end this,” Trudeau said Sunday at a campaign stop in Montreal.

Conservati­ve leader Erin O’Toole has refused to say how many of his party’s candidates are unvaccinat­ed and Trudeau has been reminding Canadians of that at every opportunit­y.

O’Toole has described candidates’ vaccine choice as a personal health decision, but a growing number of vaccinated Canadians are becoming increasing­ly upset with those who refuse to get vaccinated.

Trudeau supports making vaccines mandatory for Canadians to travel by air or rail, something the Conservati­ves oppose.

And Trudeau has pointed out that Alberta, run by a Conservati­ve provincial government, is in crisis.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, an ally of O’Toole, said the province might run out of beds and staff for intensive care units within days. Kenney has apologized for the dire situation and is now reluctantl­y introducin­g a vaccine passport and imposing a mandatory work-from-home order two months after lifting nearly all restrictio­ns.

 ?? JUSTIN TANG/THE CANADIAN PRESS ?? Challenger Erin O’Toole, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau debate Sept. 8.
JUSTIN TANG/THE CANADIAN PRESS Challenger Erin O’Toole, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau debate Sept. 8.

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