OTTAWA – A Conservative MP and former leadership candidate is being criticized for sponsoring a petition that questions the science and safety of COVID-19 vaccinations.
The petition, signed by Ontario’s Derek Sloan, also likens a COVID-19 vaccine to “human experimentation.”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says it’s embarrassing that an elected official would promote misinformation and not support the evidence in this pandemic.
“I think it’s dangerous for someone to say — when people are saying it’s clearly going to save lives if you wear a mask — if someone comes out and says, don’t wear a mask, they’re putting people at risk. I think it’s dangerous to say that,” Singh says.
NDP Leader @theJagmeetSingh responds to the petition sponsored by MP @DerekSloanCPC saying it's dangerous to spread misinformation in a pandemic, and elected officials have a responsibility to protect the public and support what the evidence states will save lives #cdnpoli
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) December 2, 2020
Sloan, who lost the leadership race to Erin O’Toole, wouldn’t stop to speak with reporters on his way in to the party’s caucus meeting Wednesday morning, only saying to “catch me after.”
The petition appears on the House of Commons website and has more than 20,000 signatures.
In addition to claiming the COVID-19 vaccine is “effectively human experimentation,” the petition also says the development of a vaccine to fight the virus is “being rushed,” and that “Standard, prudent safety protocols, such as prior animal testing, are being waved.”
The petition calls for the government to “preserve and protect our ethical, legal, and moral right to informed consent,” “legally ensure COVID-19 vaccines are voluntary,” and “require that vaccine safety studies comply with standards equal to or exceeding other pharmaceutical products,” among other asks.
Health Canada is currently in the process of reviewing four vaccine candidates for safety and effectiveness.
During the Conservative leadership race, Sloan opposed any suggestion of a vaccine mandate and claimed mask policies were not based on science.
He has also come under fire for questioning the loyalty of Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.