Hamilton-area cabinet minister says she has COVID-19

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Published January 5, 2022 at 8:04 pm

Filomena Tassi served as the labour minister in the Liberals' 2019 to '21 minority government. (File photo)

Public Services and Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi, who represents an area of Hamilton in federal Parliament, has tested positive for COVID-19.

A post on Tassi’s official Twitter account said that the third-term MP from Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas (HWAD) was confirmed as a positive case on Wednesday (Jan. 5). Parliament is in recess and is due to return on Jan. 31, so Tassi had already been working from home.

“A big thank you to all the health workers who are doing so much to support Canadians through this difficult time,” Tassi stated.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official account was among the well-wishers in Tassi’s replies.

“Please take good care of yourself, and get well soon,” Trudeau wrote.

Tassi’s case comes while the two main hospital networks in Hamilton are treating 230 patients for COVID-19. Thirty-six of those patients, or about 15.7 per cent, are in intensive-care beds. Combined, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton also have more than 750 employees who are self-isolating due to a positive test, COVID-19 symptoms or being a close-contact.

Tassi was re-elected in HWAD in September with 43.9 per cent support, as the Liberal Party of Canada won three out of five seats in the Hamilton area. The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), with Dan Muys in Flamborough-Glanbrook, and the New Democrats, with Matthew Green in Hamilton Centre, each won one.

Vaccination status of MPs and whether Parliament should meet in a hybrid format both during the federal election campaign and its aftermath. The Liberals stated that not all of their candidates had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole would not say whether the majority of CPC candidates were vaccinated.

A week after the election, all federal parties except for the CPC supported a requirement that MPs should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering the House of Commons.

In late November, the Liberals and New Democrats’ support of keeping a hybrid format held sway. Their resolution to remain in hybrid passed 180-140 with Green Party and independent support. The CPC and the Bloc Québécois voted “no” after arguing for a return to a full in-person Parliament.

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