Montana Governor Greg Gianforte called in to the KGVO Montana Morning News show on Wednesday to give an update on his first full year in office, and also answered questions from listeners.

Gianforte addressed the Canadian truckers protest over mandatory vaccine mandates for all truck drivers, something the legislature in Montana has already prohibited.

“I'm in pretty regular dialogue with the premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney,” said Governor Gianforte. “I had a chance to sit down with him face to face last week, and we talked specifically about this, and how we might bring pressure to bear on both the Biden administration and the Trudeau administration. I then reached out to a number of other regional governors here in the area, and we've been discussing next steps.”

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Gianforte said Canadian authorities, like those in this country need to have an overall change in COVID policies.

“Really we just need to change the policy,” he said “I've been very clear. I think that Montanans and Canadians know how to best protect themselves. These mandates don't work. We should rely on personal responsibility. And a trucker sitting in a cab all by himself is no threat to himself or anybody.”

Here in Montana, Gianforte looked back at how his administration has eliminated mandates.

“Our freedoms are threatened by these mandate, and we sense it here,” he said. “I spent a good part of last year unwinding the mandates I inherited, such as getting rid of the mass mandate. We've been pushing back against this proposed OSHA rule. I'm pleased that we won at the US Supreme Court and that OSHA could not force larger employers to vaccinate older folks.”

Gianforte said he is working with the medical community to find a way to provide loopholes in the CMS mandate.

“We've been very clear, we have a CMS deadline coming up for Medicaid and Medicare recipients, our hospitals, that DPHHS last week under our direction, put out a religious exemption form that's very straightforward and we've communicated with the hospitals that in fact, they should rely on self testing by employees if they have a religious belief that does not allow vaccination, and I am communicating with the hospitals now about this. We have to be vigilant because these freedoms we have are very fragile.”

Gianforte also released the following statement after the Certification Standards and Practices Advisory Council (CSPAC) revised the Professional Educators of Montana Code of Ethics to incorporate equity into Montana schools:

“CSPAC’s decision this morning puts an extreme political agenda ahead of Montana students. As we've seen across the country, promoting equity in education, or the idea that all students end up in the same place with equal results, jeopardizes students’ educational opportunities. Instead, Montana schools should promote equality in education, the idea that every student should enjoy equal opportunity to learn, thrive, and reach his or her full potential. CSPAC’s decision undermines students’ equality of opportunity. “Furthermore, CSPAC, an advisory council, does not have the legal authority to set policy.

“I call on the Montana Board of Public Education to right this politically motivated wrong and put Montana students first.”


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