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Yukon Conservative Party candidate booted from position due to vaccine views

Jonas J. Smith said he has been removed as candidate in the upcoming election

The former Yukon Conservative Party of Canada candidate said he has been rejected from the party over his stance on vaccines.

Jonas J. Smith announced his candidacy on July 13. He was acclaimed as the Yukon candidate. He ran in the 2019 election and was nearly successful, narrowly losing to Liberal candidate Larry Bagnell by less than one per cent of votes.

The decision to end his candidacy came down from the party’s “central campaign” according to Smith, who said he was informed of the decision early on Aug. 12 — his statement on the end of his candidacy went out late that afternoon.

The communications manager for the campaign said he is “taking time for family over the long weekend” and would be available to speak to reporters on Tuesday.

“This comes as shocking news to me, my family, my local campaign team and my thousands of supporters across the territory,” said Smith in his press release. “With an election call imminent, this is devastating news for the conservative movement in the Yukon and I fear will have repercussions across the country.”

Smith said he was told the reason for his disallowment was his “opposition to calls for implementation of mandated workplace vaccinations and vaccine passport requirements in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Federal conservative leader Erin O’Toole has been vague in comments around mandatory vaccination policies, although he has been strident in encouraging vaccination for all Canadians.

On Aug. 11 he told CBC News that “vaccines are the most critical tool in us fighting COVID-19. We encourage all Canadians to get vaccinated.”

He noted that vaccines are safe and effective, and he and his wife videotaped receiving their own doses.

O’Toole made the comments in response to a question about Conservative MP David Yurdiga, who represents Fort McMurray, who criticized the Liberal government for a recent announcement about vaccines being made mandatory for federal bureaucrats.

Smith seemed to echo Yurdiga’s beliefs in his recent release.

“I believe in standing up for the rights of all minorities, including those of the unvaccinated – be it for medical, religious or personal reasons – and that our country needs less discrimination, not more,” continued Smith.

“Generations of Canadians have fought for our Section 15 Charter rights, as well as freedom of choice when it comes to matters of bodily-autonomy, and these proposed vaccination-related restrictions will vastly alter what kind of country our children will inherit,” he said.

Smith said mandatory vaccines will create a “two-tiered society.”

Smith did not mention whether or not he would consider running as an independent candidate.

Officials from the Conservative Party of Canada as well as the local riding association could not be reached immediately for comment.

More to come.

Contact Haley Ritchie at