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HomeBusinessExclusive: PoCo NDP candidate opposed vaccine mandates

Exclusive: PoCo NDP candidate opposed vaccine mandates

Bob Mackin

A Port Coquitlam city councillor running for the NDP in the Sept. 20 federal election wrote on Facebook in 2017 that she opposed government-mandated vaccination.

Port Coquitlam-Coquitlam NDP candidate Laura Dupont and party leader Jagmeet Singh (Twitter)

“I will state for the record that I am against forced vaccinations, forced sterilization, forced abortion, forced pretty much anything when it comes to government telling someone what to do with their own body,” wrote Dupont, who is vying to become the MP in Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam.

“I fully realize they also have a duty to protect society and their communities, but I stop right at that line where we tell people that they are being forced.”

Dupont started the discussion with a link to a Globe and Mail column by University of Alberta health law expert Timothy Caulfield headlined “Stop those naturopaths who spread anti-vaxxer myths.”

“Another ridiculous headline,” she wrote. “Let us not demonize critical analysis of an issue. Let us allow people to be informed and decide for themselves.”

Dupont also cast doubt on “who is funding or behind that ‘science’ and what are their ties, if any, to the industry that may potentially profit.”

The B.C. NDP imposed a COVID-19 vaccine passport Sept. 13 for entry to non-essential venues and activities.

The party’s federal wing, led by Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh, issued a news release on Sept. 17 critical of Nanaimo-Ladysmith Green Party incumbent Paul Manly for not answering a yes or no question at an all-candidates meeting on the topic of a hypothetical national vaccine passport. The same news release also criticized Green leader Annamie Paul for not supporting vaccine passports or mandatory vaccination of her party’s candidates.

Is Dupont fully vaccinated?

In a Tri-City News story dated Sept. 1, the twice-elected city councillor vaguely alluded to a bad reaction to medication and the need to consult a physician.

“I am getting my second shot too, and for now, I am testing regularly and closely following the updated provincial health guidelines,” Dupont said.

On Sept. 13, Dupont Tweeted about visiting two area seniors care homes, Mayfair Terrace and Astoria Retirement Residence.

Reached by phone on Sept. 15, Dupont claimed to now be fully vaccinated. She said she thinks she received her first dose Aug. 13, but did not remember the date or place of her second shot. Only that it was sometime in September, somewhere in Coquitlam.

A 2017 discussion on vaccination involving 2021 NDP candidate Laura Dupont. (Facebook)

“It’s a super, duper busy time and I really honestly can’t remember,” Dupont said, before pledging to call back a reporter with details.

She did not call back.

On Sept. 17 Dupont replied by email with a prepared statement that said she was “fully vaccinated” as of Sept. 10 — three days before the Tweet about visiting two seniors care centres. She called getting vaccinated “the most important thing” to end the pandemic.”

B.C. Centre for Disease Control guidelines state: “it generally takes at least two weeks to mount an immune response to a vaccine dose.”

If Dupont received her second dose Sept. 10, she would not have immunity until after election day. Vaccines do not prevent someone from carrying and spreading the disease.

Dupont refused to return repeated phone calls, text messages and a supplementary email from a reporter seeking proof that she had truly been vaccinated.

If she responds with proof, this story will be updated.

Dupont was temporarily banned from sitting on Port Coquitlam city council committees for leaking information from a closed-door council meeting. She lost a B.C. Supreme Court challenge in 2020.

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