A States Deputy who voted against the Civil Contingencies Authority's retention of executive powers is concerned that those who question the CCA's decisions are being lumped into the ‘anti-vaxxer’ movement.
Deputy Andrew Taylor was one of only two Deputies who voted against the CCA’s emergency powers during last week’s States debate, however he didn’t speak in the Chamber as to why.
He was joined by Deputy Lester Queripel, who voted against both the emergency powers and vaccine regulations while raising concerns about some of the decisions made by the CCA.
Pictured: Deputy Queriepel has questioned HSC and the CCA consistently during States debates, most recently querying whether dietary supplements could be of benefit in tackling covid.
Express spoke to Deputy Taylor to better understand his reasoning behind voting against the CCA’s executive powers.
“I’m certainly open to a bit more government input - I would rather see a deeper level of involvement from full government on how we go forward,” he said.
“I’ve been quite heavily impacted financially with both my businesses, but I’ve absolutely followed all the rules and I have no problem with it. I don’t envy the CCA having to make those decisions – it’s not something I think they take lightly at all.
“I have been supportive, and I still am supportive, but if it [covid] is something we are going to have live with, so it follows through that government really should have a bit more discussion in some way, shape or form.”
He said his decision stemmed from a recent trip off island, where he encountered first hand some of the border restrictions imposed by the CCA.
“I recently came back from the UK, coming through the ports, picking up the lateral flow tests, and realising just how much trust there is in members of the public just to do them.
“I did start to think that I don’t really know a huge amount about how this is all managed. We can ask questions, but I think it would be interesting to have that discussion. It’s not to say I have a better solution, or a different answer, but I think some sort of involvement would be beneficial,” he said.
Pictured: “I think it could be about time that it moves to the full States for more of a debate,” said Deputy Taylor.
The latest vote on the CCA’s emergency powers generated more debate than usual in the Assembly, with Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller arguing that some of the border restrictions are disproportionate and should be brought to all deputies for debate.
Furthermore, Deputy Gavin St Pier said this would probably be the last time he votes in favour of granting the CCA its executive power, suggesting that we shouldn’t rely solely on the use of the authority, which is designed by law to only operate in emergency situations or for the purpose of preventing and/or mitigating an emergency.
Despite this, the final vote on the CCA retaining its emergency powers was 36 for, and two against.
“I almost found it funny - having listened to some of the speeches - that more people didn’t vote against it,” said Deputy Taylor. "It seems like a topic that very few people want to discuss, which is interesting.
“I do wonder if some people may be afraid to even raise questions or show any kind of hesitation because you get labelled an ‘anti-vaxxer’ – I’m double jabbed, I’m not an anti-vaxxer.
"There is a part of me that feels, by asking questions or showing an interest in potentially doing something slightly different, that it may label you as an anti-vaxxer or a conspiracy theorist.”
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