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Trudy Klassen: Ending travel mandates was long overdue

To override people’s ability to choose what’s injected into their bodies simply can’t be done without very serious reason in a democratic, free society.
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Air travel mandates for domestic travel in Canada were finally loosened this week. Getty Images photo

I had really hoped to have written the last column about Covid, but alas:

As I write this, a young woman I know is travelling across Canada to get home, by herself, in a car.  It’s a long way, and means four or five overnight stays. If she cannot find a friend to stay with overnight, her backup plan is to park near a local police stations and sleep in her car. Thankfully, her family has a large network of friends, so most likely enough friends willing to host her will be found and she should have a warm safe bed every night.

Flying would have been cheaper and much safer for a young woman. However, our government, currently run by the federal Liberals and NDP, has decided that it is still politically expedient to ban the unvaccinated from travel by air, (and train or bus) so her only option is to travel by car. High fuel costs mean the cost of fuel travelling by car has doubled over the last year, which is why the young woman needs to find a free place to stay overnight.

Perhaps some would argue she could have stayed home. Perhaps others argue that someone could have travelled with her. Those arguments are sexist.

Some would say “Just get the vaccine so you can fly!”

While we have had massive uptake of the Covid vaccines, for some, their recent family history includes being forcibly injected with experimental drugs by their rulers and so they chose not to get vaccinated. It may be frustrating for those who want the anger toward our government to stop, but to override people’s ability to choose what’s injected into their bodies simply can’t be done without very serious reason in a democratic, free society. It was possible to argue for this in the first eight or so months of vaccines, but as vaccine efficacy waned and Omicron infected the vaccinated, the argument for any vaccine mandates disappeared.

If happens to this young woman, blame lies on the direct perpetrator as well as the Liberals and the NDP who have at least twice voted down motions by Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to remove the barriers to safe travel. 

It is past time to end the vaccine mandates so that young women who don’t want to be vaccinated can still access safe travel across their homeland. I am really hoping this column is outdated by the time it goes to print.

Trudy Klassen is a Prince George writer.