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Federal employees will need to be vaccinated

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Maria Gill
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(Ottawa) The federal government will mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all of its government employees.

Katherine Levesque
Canadian Press

Dominique LeBlanc, President of the Privy Council and Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs, says he also expects industries under federal jurisdiction, as well as Crown corporations and federal agencies, to do the same as soon as possible.

“Being the largest employer in the country, the Government of Canada wants to do its part in protecting public servants and the communities in which they live in Canada and around the world as well,” Mr. LeBlanc said at a virtual press conference on Friday. With the Minister of Transport and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health.

“It is also about aggressively encouraging others by exercising clear federal leadership in the areas we regulate. All of these efforts are aimed at helping Canada achieve the immunization coverage we need to open the economy, keep it open, and protect the millions of unvaccinated people who are vulnerable to infection.”

The federal government will also mandate by regulating compulsory vaccination in some sectors of transportation. Transport Minister Omar Al-Ghubra said workers in the federally regulated air, rail and marine industries, as well as some travelers, will have to comply no later than the end of October.

Thus, the vaccination requirement would be extended to all passengers on commercial flights, passengers on inter-provincial trains and passengers on large overnight stay ships, such as cruise ships.

He indicated in response to a reporter who asked him why we had to wait until the end of October to implement the measures. “The deadline for the end of October is the deadline for us to get there,” he added.

There are approximately half a million people who work directly for the federal government, the Crown Corporation, the Canadian Armed Forces or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Nearly a million more people work in federally regulated industries, such as banks and airlines.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had asked the Clerk of the Privy Council – which is responsible for the federal public service – to consider the possibility of making compulsory vaccination in the public service and in some federally regulated industries.

LeBlanc said his results were presented “a few days ago” and the prime minister finally delivered his verdict on Wednesday.

The next step is to mobilize key stakeholders, including the unions and bargaining agents with whom we have worked closely throughout the pandemic. We are working with them and other partners in the federal family to finalize the details of this robust federal approach to immunization.”

The federal government will have to consider how to implement this vaccination requirement, by way of proof of vaccination, for example.

What if officials or other infected people refuse to vaccinate? Accordingly, the Federal Ministers who sent the announcement had no clear answer to offer, except to gradually refer these cases to their chiefs of staff.

“We don’t focus on these issues,” LeBlanc responded to a reporter.

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We work to ensure that vaccination evidence is provided to vaccinated public officials, and that we work with unions, bargaining agents and others. But general service managers will also be in a position to manage cases of employees who decide not to comply with this mandatory requirement.”

LeBlanc said measures will be taken for individuals who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Nearly 82% of Canadians aged 12 or older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 70% have been fully immunized.

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