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Press Conference on Covid Measures and the Freedom Convoy

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada - January 28, 2022

I have a simple message today for the federal government, and for the government of every province. I believe I speak for millions of Canadians when I say this:

We. Want. Our. Lives. Back!


It’s been 22 months since the pandemic started. The vast majority of Canadians are vaccinated. And yet we still have to live under a whole series of authoritarian covid measures, from vaccine mandates to lockdowns and vaccine passports.

Every week, more countries in Europe and elsewhere, and states in the U.S., announce that they are lifting these mandates and restrictions.

Canada is becoming the outlier. Not only do we still have most of these measures in place, but some governments are planning to add more.

My own province of Quebec has announced that unvaccinated people will have to pay a punitive tax. Not because they committed any crime. Simply because they want to decide for themselves what medical procedure they receive.

None of it has anything to do with science. There is ample scientific evidence that these authoritarian measures have almost no effect on the spread of the virus, while they have massive negative economic and health impacts on the population.

Both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated can catch and spread the virus. Vaccine passports are completely useless.

I will stay in Ottawa for the next couple of days to take part in the truckers’ Freedom Convoy protest. The vaccine mandate that was imposed on them is a blatant example of the unscientific approach adopted by the federal government.

Unvaccinated cross-border truckers have been providing an essential service to the Canadian economy for two years. That’s why they were exempt from the border closures.

They pose no threat to anyone. They’re alone in their trucks most of the time. There is no crisis because of sick truckers.

So why are they suddenly being forced off the road with a new vaccine mandate?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the misguided policies imposed on various sectors of our economy have made supply chains more fragile than ever.

And now, at a time when the trucking industry already suffers from a severe shortage of manpower, irresponsible governments in Ottawa and Washington are deliberately and needlessly disrupting them even more.

It could not have come at a worse time. This is insane. There is no logic in it whatsoever.

More and more Canadians, vaccinated and unvaccinated, want an end to this nightmare. The tide is turning. It’s time to stop living in fear and learn to live with this virus.

Here are the things I am asking the Liberal government to do:

First, repeal the vaccine mandates on federal employees and federally regulated industries.

But that’s not enough. The government should reinstate all civil servants, military personnel, and other government employees who unjustly lost their jobs. It should instruct federally regulated industries like transport and telecom to rehire their employees who were unjustly fired.

In cases where these unjustly fired workers don’t want to return to their former jobs, they should get any severance package and unemployment benefit that a terminated employee normally receives.

Second, repeal all travel restrictions on planes, trains and boats for unvaccinated Canadians. These measures are useless, and are a violation of our basic constitutional rights.

Third, the government should stop bailing out provinces that devastate their economy with lockdowns, curfews, vaccine passports, and vaccine mandates.

Although provincial governments are responsible for most covid measures that affect Canadians, they would very probably have been a lot more prudent and moderate without the billions of dollars of borrowed and printed money sent by Ottawa through various programs.

Provincial governments should be responsible for their own decisions. If they want to impose destructive measures, they should be accountable to their own citizens.

In closing, I would like to congratulate the handful of Conservative MPs, including deputy leader Candice Bergen and Finance critic Pierre Poilievre, for having finally mustered the courage to oppose the government’s authoritarian measures after two years of silence.

That’s a welcome contrast with their leader, who is unable to answer simple questions and has essentially supported every one of Trudeau’s decisions regarding covid.

I warn them however that just like I did, they will soon realise that it’s just not possible to defend clear conservative principles in this morally and intellectually corrupt party.

The door is open here at the People’s Party if they want to join us.

Thank you.