Federal PC MP Cathay Wagantall.

Clear overreach, says unvaccinated MP ejected from Parliament

By  Susan Korah, Catholic Register Special
  • June 9, 2022

OTTAWA -- Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall will not be allowed on the grounds of Canada’s Parliament as she has not provided proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The Saskatchewan MP was ejected from the House of Commons June 2 for failing to comply with COVID-related rules still in effect within the parliamentary precincts. She pointed to the irrationality of the decision, saying that mere days before she had chaired the National Prayer Breakfast held at the Delta Hotel in downtown Ottawa, an event attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I’m very happy the Prime Minister came to this event, but he had no trouble sitting beside me with no mask and no COVID restrictions.”

Wagantall, who is one of Parliament’s more prominent pro-life members, said it is clearly an overreach on the government’s part.   

“Mandatory vaccination has been a wedge issue between us (Conservative Party and the Liberal-NDP alliance) and between the government and Canadians,” Waganstall said in a telephone interview, after she was escorted out of the House of Commons when she challenged a ruling introduced by Trudeau last December laying out stringent rules for exemptions from vaccinations. “I expect they (the Liberal government) will continue to use these punitive rules indefinitely.” 

Prior to Parliament returning to Ottawa for its session beginning on Nov. 22, 2021, the Board of Internal Economy, the governing body responsible for in-house rules, issued a statement saying that “Any person who wishes to enter the House of Commons precinct, including members and their staff, political research office employees, administration employees, members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, parliamentary business visitors, contractors and consultants, will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.” 

The ruling stated that those with a valid medical reason for avoiding vaccination “will have the option of providing proof of a recent negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test result.” 

Wagantall was among three Conservative MPs with exemptions from being vaccinated (along with Dean Allision and Colin Carrie). But that was before Trudeau brought a motion in December calling for stricter criteria for the granting of exemptions, a motion that passed with a majority vote from both Liberals and the NDP. The ruling states exemptions may be given only to those who have had extremely adverse side effects when they received the first dose of the vaccination. 

Wagantall’s exemption was invalidated. 

The drama followed months of working from home for the MP, followed by arduous drives between her home riding and Ottawa. Under COVID restrictions, she does not have the right to travel by train or plane, leaving her with no option but to rent a car and drive three-and-a-half days each way from Esterhazy, Sask., to Ottawa, and back again. 

Wagantall had attended House sessions unhindered for three days, until she left the building to attend a Veterans Affairs Committee meeting and was escorted by the Sergeant-at Arms to her car. She ended up attending the meeting virtually. 

Wagantall told reporters at a press conference she had been warned by Leader of the Opposition John Brassard that she might be removed. 

Wagantall said she will continue to work remotely from outside parliament. 

“This is not just about myself. It concerns all Canadians who have lost jobs and are suffering a lot of hardship because of these vaccine mandates,” she said. 

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