Pair of COVID restriction protestors running for school trustee

Some COVID-19 restriction protestors are trying to get into power at the school board level.

Attending and organizing rallies against pandemic health restrictions landed Todd McDougall and Patrick Allard thousands of dollars worth of fines – fines they are appealing.

Their views against COVID measures also include ones imposed on students and teachers. Now they are running for office at the school level.

“So many teachers out there who were forced to receive a vaccine against their will,” said Allard.

“All of it I think was very, very poor decision-making,” said McDougall.

McDougall and Allard are running for school trustee positions. Both say they are running to bring more community voices to the school board level. They believe masks, vaccine mandates, and student cohorts, all put in place to prevent the spread of the virus, did more harm than good.

“I think a lot of the harm that was able to be done is because school boards are just a bunch of yes-men,” said McDougall.

“Why did we need school boards in the last two years when they did nothing different than what the government was telling them to do,” said Allard.

Former superintendent and U of M Faculty of Education Dean John Wiens says single-issue or anti-government candidates don’t always work well in a board setting.

“Single-issue people have a tough time on boards because they actually have no individual voice other than the collective of the board,” said Wiens.

Allard and McDougall insist they are not single-issue candidates. They both have children and McDougall says he’s worked in child care for 13 years and decided to run to prevent acclamations in his ward.

“This is nothing that I’m coming at because I’ve already been in some local spotlight over here a moment ago, it really is nothing like that,” said McDougall.

Allard, who ran in the Fort Whyte by-election this year, says he wants to improve how money is spent and see more recreation in schools. But he still thinks about pandemic restrictions.

“Although I’m not a one-issue candidate, this is definitely something top of mind. I will never have this happen again to children,” said Allard.

McDougall is running in ward two in the Pembina Trails School Division, and Allard is vying for a spot in ward eight in the Winnipeg School Division.

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