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Vaccines Should be Mandatory for K-12 Education, Early Childhood Education Workers

Treaty One Territory, Métis Homeland, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberals are joining Safe September 2.0 in calling for universal mandatory vaccinations for people working in education, and say that people working in Early Learning and Child Care should be vaccinated as well.

In the U.S., children are getting very sick with the Delta Variant, which is highly infectious. Canada is already seeing an increase in cases and Chief Provincial Health Officer Brent Roussin said a fourth wave is inevitable. Manitoba Liberals say mandatory vaccines would make schools safer for staff and students alike.

Lamont said exceptions must be available for legitimate medical or religious reasons, but said that both are quite rare.

"There are about 400,000 Manitobans who have not yet been vaccinated - many are children who can't be," said Dougald Lamont Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface. "Children can't choose whether they are vaccinated or not, which means public health has an obligation to step up now to ensure that the adults who care for them don't infect them with Covid."

"Our schools need to be safe for students and for those working in schools. The PCs and Manitoba Public Health need to act immediately to ensure this happens," said Cindy Lamoureux, Manitoba Liberal Education Critic and MLA for Tyndall Park. "After all we've gone through in the last year, the PCs look like they are doing the bare minimum for safe back-to-school again."

Manitoba Liberals say the PCs are once again ignoring warning signs, expert advice and evidence from other jurisdictions that the Delta Variant poses a risk.

The incoming President of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr, Katharine Smart, has made it clear that we need to mandate vaccines in health care and education to protect children and our health care system.

Manitoba already has staffing shortages and surgery backlogs in our health care system from previous waves. The Liberals say we cannot give in to irrational fears of vaccines, which are safe, effective, and save lives.

The Manitoba Liberals have also called for mandatory vaccinations for people working in health care.

Liberals also questioned the absence of Health Minister Heather Stefanson, who has not made any public appearances since returning to work from medical leave on July 7.

"Instead of making schools safe, the PCs took the summer off," said Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface. "We have had more than a year of the PCs DIY approach to pandemic plans, and the result has been the worst response in Canada and a collapse of our health care system. We need mandatory vaccines for people working in our health care and education systems. In the fight against Covid, surrender is not an option."

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