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QUESTION PERIOD — Foreign Affairs

Mandatory Quarantine

June 21, 2021

Honourable senators, my question to the Government Representative was about 80% covered by my dear colleague Senator Plett this afternoon with respect to AstraZeneca. I want to add one small piece, if I could, and be assured in that question, for those 2.1 million Canadians who in good faith took their first dose of AstraZeneca, we have all heard over the last four or five days of issues arising concerning travel in the United States, events in the States, those kinds of things. My question is just to make sure and to look for assurance that the government is doing everything they can. What is the government doing to ensure that Canadians who did their part and received AstraZeneca are not feeling punished for their choice? This needs to be resolved to honour their intent and vaccine compliance for many Canadians. Sorry to be repetitive, but I wanted to make sure we were clear.

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for the question; you have raised an important point. Canadians who responded to the call of public health officials here in Canada to be vaccinated as quickly as possible with the first available dose are to be congratulated for doing their part to keep themselves, their families and all of us safe. In that regard, I’m pleased that millions took the opportunity to receive that vaccine.

The issues of the border are complex. Decisions cannot be made or should not be made unilaterally — they haven’t been made unilaterally, and properly so. I will make every effort to inquire, but I ask the chamber to understand that I may not have an answer tomorrow, notwithstanding those who wish that I would. I’ll do my very best to get an answer as quickly as possible.

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