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Some Metrolinx workers banned from using pot

A GO Train at Union Station in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Starting next month, some Metrolinx employees will be prohibited from using recreational marijuana even if they are not on duty.

In a memo distributed to employees on Friday, Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster says as part of an updated Fitness for Duty policy all employees who work in a “safety sensitive position” will not be able to use cannabis and cannabis products regardless if they are on duty.

Prior to the legalization of marijuana last fall, the provincial transit agency introduced a Fitness for Duty policy which says all Metrolinx employees must be able to “safely and acceptably perform assigned duties without limitations resulting from (but not limited to) alcohol, drugs, and/or medications; the misuse or failure to take medications as director; and/or extreme fatigue.”

While employees are not randomly tested, the policy does allow for drug and alcohol testing for any employee deemed “unfit for duty.”

“Metrolinx is committed to ensuring that all employees and contractors are fit for duty,” Verster said in a statement provided to CityNews. “Every employee of Metrolinx has a responsibility to safeguard the trust and safety of the public by ensuring compliance with the policy.”

It’s uncertain how many of the almost 4,000 Metrolinx employees will be affected by the updated policy. Supervisors, bus drivers, maintenance workers and fare inspectors are considered to be in safety sensitive positions.