Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is stealing a page from George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.
During a discussion with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the University of Ottawa on Monday, Trudeau said that his government did not force anyone to get vaccinated.
“While not forcing anyone to get vaccinated, I chose to make sure all the incentives and all the protections were there to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau’s claims caused an uproar on Twitter, as many people pointed out that Canada had some of the strictest COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the world.
In October 2021, Trudeau’s government announced that federal employees would have to choose between getting the COVID-19 vaccination and keeping their jobs. Apparently, Trudeau believes that this was just an “incentive” to get vaccinated.
Those who refused to get vaccinated were put on administrative leave, with only “very limited exceptions” granted.
In that same announcement, the Canadian government stated that the vaccine would be required for anyone wishing to travel on trains, planes, or ships within or to Canada.
“For the vast, vast majority of people, the rules are very simple,” Trudeau said in a press conference about the new restrictions. “To travel, you’ve got to be vaccinated.”
Some provinces followed Trudeau’s lead but went even further by also requiring vaccination to use certain establishments like gyms, restaurants, and more.
Trudeau claims that the measures he put in place were solely to keep people safe.
“When it comes to keeping you and your family safe, when it comes to avoiding lockdowns for everyone, this is no time for half-measures,” he said back in 2021.
Trudeau doubled down on that sentiment in his statements this week.
“I will continue to protect [the unvaccinated] because my job as prime minister is to keep people alive and keep people safe and keep democracy going whether or not they choose to believe that’s what I’m doing,” he said.
Throughout the pandemic, Trudeau and his administration maintained that the restrictions were necessary and even said that a similar exercise of power might be necessary in the future.
“We know that there will continue to be threats to Canada, to our democracy, to democracies around the world,” Trudeau said in February 2022. “We cannot shy away from using tools that are necessary to maintain the safety and security of innocents and that’s exactly what we did in a responsible and proportionate [way].”
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