Federal government could push provinces on vaccine mandate for workers, document says

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OTTAWA — Senior federal officials were told in the spring that the government could make it mandatory for all workers nationwide to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Trudeau Liberals have promised to bring in mandatory vaccination requirements for federally regulated workers, such as those employed by transportation, banks and telecommunications companies.

Those workers account for less than a tenth of all workers in Canada, with the remainder covered by provincial labor laws.

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Although the constitution places public health within the purview of provinces and territories, internal documents say the federal government may consider making COVID-19 vaccines “a national interest item.”

The next step after that would be to either work with the provinces and territories on a set of guidelines, or develop their own.

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Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the access-to-information law say such a move was not contemplated moving toward the summer.

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