By Andrew Lawton
Published:August 28, 2021
The Department of National Defence (DND) has quietly edited a webpage telling employees that mandatory vaccines are not “supported under Canadian law.”
As previously reported by True North, the frequently asked questions page for Canadian Armed Forces members and civilian staff of the department said, until recently, that vaccination against COVID-19 was a personal choice and could not legally be compelled by an employer. The page also offered unvaccinated employees guidance on how to report and deal with “stigmatization” from vaccinated colleagues.
Last week, the department overhauled the page, telling employees of the federal government’s August directive mandating vaccination.
“In light of the announcement made Friday, August 13, 2021, the Government of Canada intends to require COVID-19 vaccinations for federal public service employees and Canadian Armed Forces members,” the page now says.
While the page does tell employees that religious and medical exemptions will be requested, it says this will only apply to “few,” who will instead be subject to unspecified “accommodation or alternative measures.”
“The health and safety of all public service employees remains a priority for DND. As such, DND has a duty to ensure the health and safety of its employees in the workplace,” the page says. “Vaccines are the best way to bring this pandemic to an end, by protecting employees and their communities by reducing the risk of COVID-19.”