Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson says she replaced a former cabinet minister because of his comments on COVID-19 vaccines.
Ron Schuler was removed from cabinet last week, after serving as minister for infrastructure and emergency measures.
Schuler had refused to discuss his vaccination status, and Stefanson said all her caucus members had met a requirement to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 15.
A day after the deadline, Schuler said he is not against vaccines, that people should listen to their doctor and that the decision comes down to individual rights.
In her first public comments on the matter, Stefanson says Schuler’s messaging on vaccines was not consistent with the government’s vaccination efforts.
Schuler has not responded to interview requests and has posted on social media that he paid a price for liberty.
“The public messaging from Mr. Schuler has not been necessarily consistent with the spirit of our government’s efforts to get Manitobans fully vaccinated,” Stefanson said Tuesday.
“We are the ones that form a public policy in cabinet and so certainly, we do expect that cabinet ministers would follow through with those commitments that we’re making and … the policies that we’re putting in place.”
Schuler has been a legislature member since 1999, and had been a cabinet minister since the Progressive Conservatives took office in 2016. He ran for the party leadership in 2006 and finished a distant second.
It appears he will be remain in the Tory caucus. Stefanson was asked whether she and other Tories will discuss and vote on Schuler’s future.
“Not that I know of,” she said.