AJC’s Position on Mandatory Vaccinations
Monday, August 16, 2021
On August 13, 2021, the Federal Government announced a policy of mandatory vaccination for public servants.
The Association of Justice Counsel (AJC) supports the broadest possible vaccination of Canadians to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, a serious threat to public health which has seen 1.4 million Canadians infected, resulted in the deaths of almost 26,000, and significantly disrupted our lives.
Vaccination rates in Canada are good but could be better. The AJC encourages all who have not yet been vaccinated to do so if they can. The emerging fourth wave of the pandemic, fueled by the more infectious and deadly Delta variant, will according to scientists, hit the unvaccinated population hardest.
The details of the Federal Government’s mandatory vaccination policy have yet to be worked out. The Federal Government is consulting unions, including the AJC, who have and will continue to provide meaningful input. To be valid, the details of mandatory vaccination policy must:
- Be reasonable and fair to public servants;
- Balance and respect, to the greatest extent possible, the rights, interests and freedoms at play;
- Recognize that there are legitimate reasons why some public servants may not be vaccinated;
- Accommodate public servants who are not able to be vaccinated due to their individual circumstances and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect;
- Accommodate public servants who have been vaccinated but whose household members are at higher risk;
- Ensure that workplaces where public servants perform their duties are healthy and safe;
- Use other reasonable measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission as necessary to ensure the Employer meets its obligation to ensure a healthy and safe workplace for all, including those with children under 12, and those who are, or have household members that are at high risk.
The AJC will reserve judgment on the mandatory vaccination policy until the final details are available.
The AJC recognizes that mandatory vaccination is a complex issue. Our sense is that the mandatory vaccination policy has considerable support among public servants, including our members. That said, the AJC will continue to fairly represent all of its members with the above principles in mind.