On October 6, 2021, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister announced details of the government’s plans to require COVID-19 vaccinations across the federal public service and federally regulated transportation sectors. Under the new policy, federal public servants in the Core Public Administration, including members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will be required to confirm their vaccination status by October 29, 2021. Those who are unwilling to disclose their vaccination status or to be fully vaccinated will be placed on administrative leave without pay as early as November 15, 2021.
The Association has received several messages seeking clarification about the Corporation’s vaccine mandate and the position of the Association. As provided to all in our last website post, the Corporation is in the process of rolling out its vaccine post. It is anticipated that the policy will be available shortly.
The Association is dealing with the pressure between protecting the rights of our individual members and ensuring that the Corporation meets its health and safety obligations towards its employees, clients, and the public. The Association understands and supports members’ individual freedoms. However, with such freedoms come consequences.
You should also be aware that those who cannot be vaccinated for reasons that meet any of the relevant prohibited grounds of the Canadian Human Rights Act will be accommodated to the point of undue hardship. The Association will ensure that your rights in this regard are protected. Should you choose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada you will be placed on administrative leave without pay. These measures may appear drastic, but they are necessary to ensure the health and safety of your colleagues that report to work.
It is imperative that everybody understand the possible consequences of not being vaccinated given the overriding obligation of the Corporation to make sure the workplace is safe. Recent cases involving the balance between individual rights and public health have sided with the latter. The great majority are saying that while individual rights are important and everything should be done to respect them, in the time of a pandemic, reasonable limits are going to be given broad scope. Therefore, most restrictions that governments have placed on employers have been found to be reasonable given the threat of COVID-19.
The Association will continue to advocate on behalf of all our members.
APOC National Office