Despite disagreeing with the premise, BC Liberal health critic and Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield introduced a petition in the B.C. Legislature on Thursday (June 10) opposing mask mandates within schools.
The BC Liberal Health critic just introduced an anti-mask petition that claims the mask mandate violates people’s “autonomous rights” and that “it causes irreversible damage, emotionally, mentally, and physically to children." #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/9mOZLvN28C— George Smith (@GeorgeNDP) June 10, 2021
She brought the matter up on behalf of what she called an organization comprised of 4,500 parents spanning all B.C. school districts.
“These parents are opposed to the current provincial health order in relation to mandatory masking of school children. They oppose the mandate for all children in grades 4 through 12 and do not support further measures to extend masking to lower grades,” Merrifield said.
Merrifield said the organization is not looking to divide people but wants parents to be able to “retain their autonomous rights over the decisions surrounding the rights of their children.”
Defending herself after backlash on social media, Merrifield said was fulfilling her role as their MLA in presenting the petition.
Today, I presented such a petition and while I disagree with the premise, I fulfilled my role, as their MLA, in the presentation. #bcpoli— Renee Merrifield (@ReneeMerrifiel3) June 10, 2021
“Petitions from constituents are presented in the BC Legislature daily. As an elected official it is my role to present petitions from my constituents when they request it.”
Legislative Assembly guidelines on petitions state “Members are not required to present petitions, and it is entirely at a Member’s discretion whether or not they choose to do so.”
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