One of two of Ontario PC MPPs who remain unvaccinated against coronavirus defended their decision not to get the jab in an emergency conference call convened after a reporter began to ask about MPPs' vaccination status.

Sources tell CTV News Toronto that 69 of the government’s 71 members (including Premier Ford) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but an inquiry last week from a member of the media sparked confusion about whether Ford could actually compel his members to get vaccinated, especially given the backdrop of ongoing and confusing COVID-19 vaccine requirements in society and the broader public sector.

When a QP Briefing reporter began asking PC caucus members about vaccination status, a source says a staffer in the Premier’s office ordered MPPs not to reply or disclose their status.

The resulting article in QP Briefing prompted an emergency caucus conference call on Tuesday morning.

During the call, a source said one of the two unvaccinated MPPs spoke about their reasons for being unvaccinated and about the importance of personal choice.

A senior cabinet minister replied in the call that members of the government are held to a higher standard and will fall under greater scrutiny, the source said.

An email sent to caucus members by Chief Whip Lorne Coe and obtained by CTV News Toronto states PC MPPs must provide either he or Government House Leader Paul Calandra with proof of vaccination or a statement signed by a physician medically exempting them from vaccination.

They can also provide documentation of a previous positive test indicating “laboratory evidence of immunity.”

PC caucus members must provide this documentation by 5 p.m. on Thursday or they will be ejected from caucus.

The unvaccinated MPPs have not been identified, but a report in the Toronto Star said one was a veteran MPP from a rural area and the other was relatively new and from the GTA.

The PCs currently have an eight-seat majority in the legislature.

A PC government source previously told CTV News Toronto that all other caucus members are fully vaccinated, but declined to say how that information was obtained.

The Ford government’s position on requiring vaccination has evolved, from the premier first balking at making it mandatory for fears it would create a two-tier society, to new measures to increase vaccine uptake among healthcare and education workers.

Elsewhere, restaurants, post-secondary institutions, airlines and festivals have each introduced mandates forcing attendees or staff to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or otherwise separating people based on vaccination status.

The Liberal, NDP and Green caucuses each told QP Briefing that all of their MPPs are fully vaccinated.

-- With files from CTV News Toronto's Colin D'Mello