Conservative member of Parliament Richard Lehoux rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservative member of Parliament Richard Lehoux rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Tory vaccination status in spotlight after MP tests positive on eve of new Parliament

Quebec MP tests positive despite being fully vaccinated

OTTAWA — A new session of Parliament opens Monday with questions continuing to swirl over the vaccination status of Conservative MPs.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has said he and all his 118 MPs will be in the House of Commons, either because they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or because they have a medical exemption.

But that was before one of them — Quebec MP Richard Lehoux — tested positive for the virus on Saturday, despite being fully vaccinated.

Conservative spokeswoman Josie Sabatino says Lehoux did attend an in-person caucus retreat on Wednesday and Thursday but she won’t say how many unvaccinated Conservative MPs may now be required to self-isolate as a result of being in close contact with him.

She says they will all follow Ottawa public health guidelines, which specify that anyone who is not fully vaccinated and who is exposed to someone who tests positive must self-isolate.

Government House leader Mark Holland, meanwhile, says he wants the Commons to adopt a system to verify the medical exemptions claimed by Conservative MPs; he says it’s “statistically improbable” that there would be multiple valid exemptions among a group of 119 people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2021.

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