The Waterloo Region Record‘s May 1, 2013 article, 1,718 high school students get immunization suspension notices, allows for no comments, or I would’ve pointed out that vaccinations are not mandatory in Canada, and this was confirmed in this official Canadian government report in 1996.
“Unlike some countries, immunization is not mandatory in Canada; it cannot be made mandatory because of the Canadian Constitution. Only three provinces have legislation or regulations under their health-protection acts to require proof of immunization for school entrance. Ontario and New Brunswick require proof for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella immunization. In Manitoba, only measles vaccination is covered. It must be emphasized that, in these three provinces, exceptions are permitted for medical or religious grounds and reasons of conscience; legislation and regulations must not be interpreted to imply compulsory immunization.“
The article is accurate in not claiming vaccinations are mandatory, but it also happens to omit the fact that they aren’t mandatory, and the only requirement for vaccinations for public school students is if there’s a declared outbreak at the school, and then it’s only a requirement for continued attendance, which leaves parents with other education options in the meantime.
Unlike many U.S. states (30 at the time of the article), these three provinces allow exemptions for conscience, so one doesn’t have to claim a religious exemption when conscience is the real reason.