Federal civil servants who refuse COVID-19 vaccine will be put on unpaid leave, sources say

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Federal public servants who fail to receive a full vaccination or medical exemption will be forced to take unpaid leave as part of a new vaccine mandate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil on Wednesday, sources say .

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Mr Trudeau will also set a deadline for the vaccine mandate to take effect for domestic air passengers and cruise ship and inter-provincial rail passengers, sources with knowledge of the plans told . A source said that the vaccine mandate will go into effect soon and civil servants who are telecommuting will not be exempted from it.

The Granthshala is not disclosing the names of the sources because they were not allowed to discuss the information prior to Mr Trudeau’s announcement.

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The prime minister will release details of the long-awaited plan with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland at a news conference in Ottawa.

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A source said unions representing federal employees and federally regulated areas were shown the policy late Friday and were given until 4 p.m. Monday to respond. Unions were also asked for feedback on what the vaccine mandate should look like after it was first announced in August.

The governing liberal first proposed a vaccine mandate just two days before Trudeau launched a snap election in August. The mandate would also apply to employees of industries regulated by the union. Last week Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said a mandate to vaccinate employees in the federally regulated air, rail and sea transport sectors would be in effect until the end of October.

Back in August liberals would not say what the consequences would be on civil servants refusing two shots of the vaccine against COVID-19. During the campaign Mr Trudeau said civil servants will face consequences – but he did not provide any details. As of 2020, there were 300,450 federal public servants, according to the government’s website.

On the campaign trail, New Democrats backed the vaccine mandate and said that civil servants who refuse vaccination should face discipline, including the possibility of being fired. The Conservatives rejected the Liberal proposal, saying civil servants and travelers who are subject to a vaccine mandate should have the right to present a negative COVID-19 test result, rather than being vaccinated.

According to an online document published by the Civil Service on August 13, the federal government originally had a policy similar to the conservative position. At the time the government said that those who refused vaccination would be offered “options such as testing and screening”. After the Conservatives pointed it out during the campaign, the Federal Public Service said the memo was incorrect and was removed.

On 28 September, during his first press conference since the election, Trudeau said that implementing the vaccine mandate would be a top priority for his government. The prime minister at the time said that people wishing to air travel across Canada had only a few weeks to be fully vaccinated. This rule will apply to people who are 12 years of age or older and therefore eligible to receive a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

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“If you want to, or are planning to board a plane or train in the coming weeks or months, make sure you and all of your family members are over the age of 12 and if you have your Getting a second shot. ‘Not already,’ Mr. Trudeau said last week.

“You will not be able to travel on an airplane or train in Canada if you are not fully vaccinated.”

According to COVID-19 Tracker CanadaOf course, 82 percent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated and 88 percent have received at least one shot.

Canada’s Public Service Coalition, which represents 215,000 workers, including the federal government and Crown corporations, said Tuesday that “the real concerns are how unpaid members will be placed on unpaid leave, and how vaccination records will be stored.”

National President Chris Aylward said, “We fully support a vaccination policy for federal public service workers to protect the health and safety of our members and the Canadians who serve them, but a policy that actually works.” But there was no fruitful consultation with the unions.” A statement to the Granthshala.

On 17 August, Mr Aylward said discipline and termination were “unacceptable” options for implementing the vaccine mandate. He added that the union believes that employees who, for medical reasons or for reasons protected by human rights law, “should be offered a formal accommodation,” for example, the option to work remotely.

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The Liberals’ decision to unveil a vaccine mandate in August marked a significant change in policy by Trudeau, who raised concerns about the fairness of a vaccine mandate for most of the pandemic.

“When it comes to isolating people who have not been vaccinated and those who are not within our own country, questions of fairness and justice come to the fore,” Mr Trudeau said on March 12. “The idea of ​​a certificate of vaccination for domestic use to decide who can go to a concert or who can go to a particular restaurant or engage in certain activities brings up questions of equality, questions of fairness. , “They said.

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