Canada’s House of Commons threatens to revoke press access to unvaccinated journalists

Canada’s House of Commons has threatened to revoke access to Parliament Hill to anyone who is unvaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

Beginning on November 22, which is when the 44th Canadian Parliament is set to open, all visitors – Members of Parliament, press, staff, and visitors- will be required to show proof of vaccination to be granted access to Parliament Hill. Those who do not risk having their access to Parliament Hill revoked. For those who haven’t gotten the vaccine, a negative Covid test will suffice. 

Collin Lafrance, the Press Gallery Commons clerk, notified the press gallery that those who do not comply will have their access revoked. He also said, “Anybody who has not been verified this week, your access pass will be cancelled.” He suggested reporters and photographers to “get verified ahead of time” so they “don’t hit a wall on November 22 trying to get into the building.”

There have been mixed opinions regarding the requirement. The Parliamentary Press Gallery executive took no problems with the order. “If they make a choice not to get the shots, they are going to deal with the consequences.”

However, he said, “if we want to fight this I will fight this. If we decide we don’t want to put our energies in there, that is fine too. This is not our policy. We are not going to be enforcing, absolutely.” The number of members of the press gallery who have been vaccinated is unknown.

Catherine Levesque, the press gallery president said, “We are not going to be policing anybody. That is up to the House of Commons and Senate to do that.” She added, “As president, I am going to be respecting any decision the executive goes with.”




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