Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horvath says it is “statistically curious” that medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines are considered rare, but two of the province’s 70 Progressive Conservative representatives have.
The government announced late Friday that Lindsey Park, one of Premier Doug Ford’s caucus members, had been removed from her parliamentary support role for misrepresenting her COVID-19 vaccination status.
However, she is staying in the caucus with a medical exemption, placing her in second place with Scarborough Center representative Christina Mitas.
Government House Leader Paul Calandra says that until recently Park was vaccinated, she remained a “critical 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 “probably” received medical exemptions from their physicians who follow the guidelines.
Ontario reported 511 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths on Monday.
There are 159 patients in intensive care units due to COVID-19, although not all hospitals report those figures over the weekend.
The province is breaking down how many people were recently vaccinated and the number of unvaccinated new cases and ICU occupancy, but Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Monday the data was not yet available because of a technical problem.
More than 86 percent of eligible Ontarians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.