Vancouver gives staff December deadline for vaccines

The order covers 8,000 employees

Vancouver gives staff December deadline for vaccines

Vancouver is mandating its municipal staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by December in a bid to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the city. In an announcement, the city government said municipal staff should be fully immunised against COVID-19 by December 6. Those who’re non-compliant will be barred from entering the workplace. The mandate covers about 8,000 employees in the city, CTV News reported. However, it will not include employees from the Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver Police Department, elected city councillors, and park board commissioners.

A representative from the city explained to CTV that police and library employees are separate entities that will require a board decision before the mandate can be enforced. Elected city officials are also not included because of "different legal considerations" for them. Accommodations can be made for those exempted based on medical and other grounds that are provided by the BC Human Rights Code.

Read more: Alberta orders public service employees to be vaccinated

The city government said in its announcement that the new policy is aligned with the recommendation of the provincial health officer for large employers. The mandate will also limit the impact of the virus in the community.

"We continue to follow direction from public health in our workplaces, and this mandatory vaccination policy will help provide a further level of protection against this virus for City staff and the public we serve," said city manager Paul Mochrie in a statement.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart issued a separate statement supporting the new policy.

"Having all City staff fully vaccinated by Dec. 6 is another step towards building on our success as a community and making sure we put the health of our workers and the public first," Stewart said as quoted by CTV News. The mayor expressed his gratitude to Mochrie, union leadership, city leadership, and all government employees for "demonstrating leadership in the fight against COVID-19."

Vancouver's vaccine mandate follows similar moves from other local governments such as Toronto. British Columbia, where Vancouver is located, issued a November deadline for its public service workers to get fully vaccinated.

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