'Statistically curious' that two Ford caucus members have medical exemptions: Horwath

·1 min read

TORONTO — Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath says it's "statistically curious" that medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines are supposed to be rare, but two of the province's 70 Progressive Conservative representatives have them.

The government announced late Friday that Lindsey Park, one of Premier Doug Ford's caucus members, had been stripped of her parliamentary assistant role for misrepresenting her COVID-19 vaccination status.

She is staying in caucus though, with a medical exemption, making her the second, along with Scarborough Centre representative Christina Mitas.

Government House Leader Paul Calandra says while he had been under the impression until recently that Park was vaccinated, she remains an "important member of the team."

Ontario's official guidance on medical exemptions says "there are very few actual contraindications to available COVID-19 vaccines that would qualify as medical exemptions."

Calandra says the two members "presumably" received a medical exemption from their medical practitioners that follows the guidelines.

Ontario reported 511 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, and two new deaths.

There are 159 patients in intensive care units due to COVID-19, though not all hospitals report those statistics on the weekends.

The province has lately been breaking down the numbers of new cases and ICU occupancy by how many people are vaccinated and unvaccinated, but Health Minister Christine Elliott said that due to a technical issue that data was not yet available Monday.

More than 86 per cent of eligible Ontarians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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