Western Standard

October 29, 2021

-Western Standard


Federal judges in Canada will not be sentenced to have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

And the Privy Office said Thursday a deadline to have other appointees to quasi-judicial tribunals and commissions disclose their medical status has been extended for a month.

“The judiciary is independent,” said Stéphane Shank, spokesperson for the Privy Council Office.

“Questions about the vaccine requirements for federally appointed judges should be directed to the relevant courts.”

The Federal Court announced September 2 all its judges were fully vaccinated. The court did not say if it required judges to show their immunization papers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on September 28 proposed a blanket policy requiring all 300,540 federal employees — from judges to interns — be vaccinated under threat of suspension.

“We are going to ensure the federal public service is vaccinated,” said Trudeau.

“There is a clear requirement for vaccination for anyone who works for the federal government.”

No federal employee has been suspended without pay to date.

Internal memos have detailed numerous exemptions and accommodation measures for unimmunized staff.

Friday is the deadline for all cabinet appointees in main federal departments, such as deputy ministers and assistant deputies, to report their vaccination status. Appointees at tribunals and commission have until November 30 to report.

An internal memo at one agency urged that appointees “cooperate and collaborate in good faith with accommodation measures including mandatory testing and the reporting of test results.”

Suspension of any appointee without pay would require a cabinet order.

“Members who do not attest to their vaccination status or who are unwilling to be vaccinated except due to an accommodation based on a certified medical contraindication, religion or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act may face administrative action,” read the memo.

“This could include being placed on administrative leave without pay by Order in Council.”

Appointees covered by the recommendation include commissioners, arbitrators, chairs and deputy chairs at the federal Competition Tribunal, Human Rights Tribunal, Industrial Relations Board, International Trade Tribunal, Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, Social Security Tribunal and Transportation Appeal Tribunal.

On Parliament Hill, Senate Speaker George Furey issued an order with approval of all parties stating senators must either show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 effective November 22.

“The health, safety and well-being of all parliamentary personnel remain of paramount importance,” Furey said in a statement.