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Nechako Lakes MLA says poll backs an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandate

John Rustad wants the province to hire back suspended or fired health care workers
A nurse prepares a syringe of a COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

A northwestern B.C. MLA says results of an opinion poll confirm his argument that the provincial government should hire back health care workers who did not get vaccinated against COVID-19.

John Rustad, who represents the Nechako Lakes riding for the Conservative Party of B.C., said a clear majority of 1,500 British Columbians contacted by phone over the Family Day long weekend back his position.

“In the areas we surveyed, support for hiring back health care workers ranged from 88-93 per cent,” said Rustad.

The polling was conducted everywhere except the lower mainland of people who had land lines and those who answered the phone were asked to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if they agreed with Rustad.

“The uptake on this is fairly high, I’m told, for a robocall poll.”

“It’s time we support our health care heroes,” said Rustad in backing the call to end the provincial vaccine mandate pertaining to the health care system.

“At a time when we need every health care worker we have, there are health care workers sitting at home or leaving the province.

“Every other province in Canada has lifted the [vaccine] mandate except B.C. What’s the reason? Is it ideological? I just don’t think people should lose their jobs because they made a choice.”

Rustad said health care workers should be given a choice and that they can manage their work environments so as not to affect others.

The poll took place the same month Rustad ended his independent status and joined the Conservative Party of B.C.

Rustad had been a long time B.C. Liberal but he was ousted by that party’s leader, Kevin Falcon, last year for questioning climate change science.

He said his position on vaccine mandates meshes perfectly with that of his new party affiliation.

“I’ve said that it’s time to do politics differently in this province. MLAs should work to represent the interests of their ridings and not represent their party’s positions,” Rustad said.

The MLA is also gathering signatures on a petition to have the provincial government repeal Bill 36, an act Rustad says gives too much authority to the province in governing health care.

A first petition of 10,000 signatures was delivered to the provincial legislature before Rustad joined the B.C. Conservatives and he’s planning to file a final one March 23.

The petition is being channeled through the Canadian Society for Science and Ethics in Medicine.

Because it is a petition being filed in the legislature it cannot by electronically signed, Rustad said.

Polling information supplied by Rustad states the margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The poll used an interactive voice response system which is an automated telephone system that engages callers, allowing them to provide and access information without a live agent.

READ MORE: Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad crosses the floor to B.C. Conservatives

READ MORE: MLA pushes back against mandatory vaccination possibility

About the Author: Rod Link

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