As the Shadow Minister of Health, Michelle Rempel Garner was responsible for holding the Trudeau government accountable throughout the pandemic. The pressure that Michelle put on the government helped to deliver rapid tests across our country, sped up Canada’s vaccine procurement and delivery schedule, and forced the government to look at developing a comprehensive plan to lift travel and border related measures.
Since the onset of the pandemic Michelle began pressuring the government to deliver a comprehensive plan to safely lift lockdown measures across the country, and support Canadian workers and businesses in reopening our economy.
You can read the thought piece Michelle put forward on this topic in March 2020 here:
You can view all of Michelle Rempel Garner’s videos related to pressuring the government to present Canadians with a safe plan forward out of lockdown here.
You can read a detailed list of her accomplishments on this file here.
In addition to fighting for a plan forward out of the pandemic, Michelle pressured the Liberal government to provide Canadians with timely access vaccines, as we lagged behind our ally countries in procurement. Thanks to pressure from Michelle, we saw a more predictable delivery schedule presented to provinces, with more Canadians having access to an important public health tool. Michelle also pressured the government to release their vaccine contracts, and answer tough questions on their strategy in Parliament and at the Health Committee.
You can watch Michelle hold the Trudeau Liberals accountable on vaccine procurement, delivery and related public health advice here.
Michelle was also responsible for pressuring the government to utilize more public health tools, such as rapid tests, to better support our pandemic response. After months of pressure from Michelle in Parliament, the Liberal government finally listened and deployed rapid tests across the country allowing schools to reopen, businesses to resume, and essential travel to occur safely.
Throughout the pandemic many Canadians have experienced difficulties reuniting with loved ones due to the Liberal government’s disastrous travel related policies, and inability to properly manage border restrictions.
Due to these restrictions over the past year many Canadians have found themselves separated from their loved ones. Michelle has heard from Canadians across the country that have experienced family separation due to travel restrictions and spoken with organizations seeking assistance in the pandemic.
The Liberal government’s inaction on this issue is completely unacceptable. Since the onset of the pandemic, Michelle has been a leader in putting forward constructive policies that support family reunification.
Michelle held a press conference with Dr. David Edward-Ooi Poon, the founder of Advocacy for Family Reunification at the Canadian Border calling on the government to deliver a plan to address family reunification. You can watch this press conference here:
Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government failed to ever provide any meaningful support to these Canadians. Instead, he ignored the calls of experts and the Opposition and implemented the mandatory hotel quarantine program. This program devastated the aviation, hospitality and tourism sector, put Canadians in harm, and did not recognize the need for essential travel in Canada.
Michelle knows that throughout the pandemic many Canadians continued to travel for essential purposes which include family reunification, compassionate travel, employment reasons, and vital medical procedures.
Shortly after the mandatory hotel quarantine program was implemented, appalling stories broke of the unacceptable conditions travellers face during their mandatory hotel quarantine, including horrific reports of sexual violence. This is why, as Shadow Minister of Health, MP Rempel Garner called on the Liberal government to immediately end their unscientific, and unsafe hotel quarantine program.
Michelle and her Conservative colleagues put forward a number of constructive policy solutions to replace the mandatory hotel quarantine program such as pre and post arrival testing, variant screen measures, and the utilization of public health tools such as rapid tests, therapeutics and vaccines to resume safe, international travel.
Fighting for Action on Issues Related to Healthcare in Canada
In addition to her work related to the COVID-19 pandemic, in her role as Shadow Minister of Health, Michelle Rempel Garner progressed and pressured the government to take action on a number of other issues. This work included:
Ending the homophobic blood ban
In 2015, Justin Trudeau promised to end the blood ban and during the past six years, he has failed to follow through on that promise. In an effort to spur action on this important issue, as Shadow Minister for Health, Michelle pressured the government to begin the process of ending the ban.
Michelle’s statement on the blood ban can be viewed here. Michelle continues to stand strongly against policies that perpetuates negative stigmas which in turn cultivate discrimination against the LBGTQ2+ community and calls for action to end them. Michelle's letter to the Minister of Health on ending the ban can be read here.