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Canadian Provinces Begin Backing Off Vaccine Mandates Amid Lingering Freedom Convoy Protests

Quebec, which previously announced plans to punitively fine the unvaccinated, said Tuesday that most restrictions would be lifted by March 14.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, May 2, 2019. (David Kawai/Bloomberg)
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, May 2, 2019. (David Kawai/Bloomberg)

Some Canadian provinces announced they are rescinding their vaccine mandates as protesting Canadian truckers continue to block major arteries on the Canada-U.S. border and clog the Canadian capital despite a crackdown from the Ottawa Police.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced during a Tuesday evening press briefing that the province’s vaccine passport program would end effective midnight, and that most of the province’s health rules would be over within three weeks.

“Our approach to COVID must change as the disease changes,” Kenney said. “The restriction exemption program has served its useful purpose. It has done its job.”

Kenney attributed his administration’s change of heart to high vaccination rates, declining hospital cases and a continued drop in the spread of the omicron variant, though his province has also made international headlines because recalcitrant truckers shut down a major border crossing into Montana for more than a week. Alberta has also drawn attention for its repeated imprisonment of clergy.

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