Speaker at Queen’s Park enacting COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination or negative antigen test policy

The speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario will soon be requiring anyone looking to enter Queen’s Park or associated buildings to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a recent negative antigen test.

According to a memo issued by MPP Ted Arnott on Thursday, the new COVID-19 entry policy will take effect at 6 a.m. on Oct. 4.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with numerous challenges, and we have been able to adapt well to changing dynamics in our workplace while keeping our co-workers and (Legislative) Precinct occupants safe through the observance of strong and effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the document said.

Read more: Doug Ford says Ontario PC Party candidates must be COVID-vaccinated to run in 2022 election

“I continue to be grateful for the diligence that Legislative Precinct occupants have undertaken to observe public health protocols and advice over the last 18 months. Continuing these measures will help us maintain a safe and healthy environment for all.”

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The memo said further information on the new policy would be announced “shortly.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what penalties would be in place for Members of Provincial Parliament, their staff members, and employees of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario should they not comply with the new protocol.

Read more: Ontario COVID-19 vaccine certificate program for many indoor public settings now in effect

NDP MPP Peggy Sattler, who also serves as opposition house leader, said in a post on Twitter Thursday afternoon that the policy “does not go far enough,” adding all MPPs and staff members should be vaccinated.

“A vaccine-or-test policy falls far short. Why would the government expect less of an MPP than they expect of someone going to a movie or out for dinner?” she wrote.

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