Canadian government announces mandatory vaccinations for federal public servants

By Lucas Casaletto

Canada’s government announced Friday that it’s requiring all of its federal employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 moving forward; a policy that will extend beyond federally-regulated workers.

More details are to be worked out with stakeholders, such as unions, but implementation is expected in early fall.

“We continue to face more transmissible and more dangerous variants of concern,” said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

“We know that vaccines are the best way to end this pandemic. That is why we are announcing today that we will require vaccinations in the federal public service.”

The feds also announced that commercial air travellers and passengers on interprovincial trains and large marine vessels with overnight accommodations – including cruise ships – will have to be vaccinated.

“We expect compliance from the federal public servants and we’ll obviously work with the appropriate bargaining agents to ensure there can be the best way possible to ascertain these vaccination requirements but we’ll do so expeditiously. We’re going to move very quickly to get this done,” LeBlanc added.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said some accommodations will be made for those who can’t be vaccinated. Those public health measures including screening and testing.

Close to half a million people work directly for the federal government, a Crown corporation, the military, or the RCMP.

Nearly a million more work in federally regulated industries, which includes banks and airlines.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a week ago that he had asked the clerk of the Privy Council – the nation’s top bureaucrat – to consider the mandate.

Alghabra says by the fall, there will be a vaccine requirement for transportation workers.

At last count, nearly 82 per cent of Canadians 12 and older had at least one dose of vaccine, while 70 per cent had been fully vaccinated.

With files from The Canadian Press

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