Comparing vaccine passports to residential schools 'repugnant': B.C. chiefs

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OTTAWA — The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations says it is "harmful and repugnant" that a People's Party of Canada candidate is comparing vaccine passports to residential schools.

Vancouver-Quadra PPC candidate Renate Siekmann sent a pamphlet to voters in her riding this week with "no vaccine passport" and "discrimination is wrong" written on a photo of Indigenous children at a residential school in 1880.

She later connected her complaints about vaccine passports to the "pass system" implemented by the federal government in 1885, that required Indigenous people on reserves to get a pass from an Indian Agent when they wanted to leave their community.

BCAFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee says PPC Leader Maxime Bernier must fire Siekmann.

He said claiming a public health measure is the equivalent to the genocidal and violent practices inflicted on Indigenous Peoples shows an "immense depth of ignorance and lack of judgment."

Siekmann says she is "pro-vaccine" but that vaccine passports are a violation of human rights.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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