Toronto Police place more than 200 members on unpaid leave over vaccine mandate

By Michael Ranger

The deadline has arrived for Toronto Police officers, both uniform and civilian, to show their COVID-19 vaccination status or stay home on unpaid leave.

In the latest numbers released on Tuesday, Toronto Police Services (TPS) says 98 per cent of more than 7,400 members have disclosed their vaccination status — 98 per cent of those are fully vaccinated.

The remaining 205 employees who are unvaccinated or have an unknown status are now being placed on an unpaid absence. TPS says 117 are uniformed members and the other 88 are civilian.

“Our objective remains ensuring the health and safety of our members, our workplaces, and the public we serve,” said Police Chief James Ramer in statement.


“As we do every day, the Service is prioritizing frontline and priority response to ensure public safety is not impacted during this period. I want to assure the public that the Service is doing its part to protect the communities we serve and thank our members who have been vaccinated.”

There is no word yet on how the loss of the more than 100 officers will affect police operations.

The union representing TPS employees, the Toronto Police Association, has previously encouraged all members to get the vaccine, but says they have a duty to “represent and support all members” regardless of their decision.

“The TPA is disappointed that the Toronto Police Service has placed our members on unpaid leave for making the decision to not disclose, or not be vaccinated,” reads a statement from TPA President Jon Reid. “These are the same members who have selflessly served the community during the entirety of the pandemic.”

Mayor John Tory, who sits on the Police Services Board, would not directly answer on Tuesday when asked if he thinks the number of officers forced to stay home from work would impact police service.

“I’m very gratified at the fact that they have become vaccinated in such large numbers,” said Tory. “I think it’s important for every single Torontonian to get vaccinated, whether they are police officers or in any other line of work.”

Tory says he very much supports the vaccination policy as a way to protect health within the police department and with the public.

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