The Government of Canada says vaccination is the best line of defense against COVID-19. It not only protects those who are vaccinated, but it protects vulnerable populations like young children who aren’t yet able to get vaccinated.
“To finish the fight against COVID-19, protect workers and their families, and ensure businesses can get back up to speed, we need to do everything we can to keep public spaces safe, particularly as we continue to face new variants,” the Government of Canada Stated.
Today the Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr., announced that the Government of Canada will propose regulations under Part II of the Canada Labour Code to make vaccination mandatory in federally regulated workplaces. These regulations would complement existing occupational health and safety measures, such as masking, handwashing, and physical distancing, and provide further protection against the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The Government will consult with key stakeholders, including representatives of small and medium-sized employers, as it works expeditiously to finalize the new regulations, which would come into force in early 2022.
“Canada has led the world on vaccination rates, thanks to Canadians, their belief in science, and their willingness to roll up their sleeves,” Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr. said. “Making vaccination mandatory across all federally regulated workplaces will protect workers, their families, and their communities. It will help us finish the fight against COVID-19 and help us sustain a strong and stable economic recovery.”
The Government says it will also develop resources to help federally regulated workplaces implement the COVID-19 vaccination requirements in consultation with their workplace health and safety committees or representatives.
Mandatory vaccination requirements are already in place for the public sector, employees working in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors, and travelers on these modes of transportation. The new regulations would ensure that employees in all other federally regulated industries, such as road transportation, telecommunications, and banking, are also vaccinated. Many employers in these and other industries have already made vaccination mandatory for their employees. By doing so, employers and employees are helping to limit the spread of COVID-19 in their workplaces and their communities.
“Vaccinations are one of the strongest tools we have in the fight against COVID-19 and in keeping Canadians safe and healthy,” Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos said. “Through these requirements we help add an extra layer of protection in federally regulated workplaces. I encourage Canadians who have not yet received a vaccine to book their shot today.”