More Canadian companies to adopt vaccination mandates for workers – Minister

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland, Aug. 25 (Reuters) – More and more Canadian companies will introduce COVID-19 vaccination mandates to get their employees back to the office safely amid a growing fourth wave, a said the minister responsible for obtaining vaccines in an interview.

Last week, Canada’s five largest banks said they would require employees working in their offices to be fully immunized and some large Canadian companies including Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO ), did the same. Read more

Although hospitals, some the universities and even the Toronto Police Force is introducing warrants, many other companies have so far delayed or are not planning to require vaccinations, citing concerns about legal challenges.

Anita Anand, whom Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls his “Vaccine Minister,” predicts more warrants are coming and said that ultimately the courts will decide the pandemic was “a justifiable reason” to impose them .

“This is just the beginning of what we’re going to see in the future with large and small businesses wanting to resume operations as usual,” Anand said in an interview after accompanying Trudeau to a rally in Newfoundland Monday evening.

“We’re going to see (…) organizations and public companies, private companies, pension funds and other organizations, including non-profit organizations, moving forward with some kind of policy of compulsory vaccination. “

Despite 74% of Canadian residents receive at least one dose of vaccine, cases have increased in the past three weeks due to the highly contagious Delta variant, according to a Reuters tally.

Two days before calling for an instant vote on September 20, Trudeau made vaccination mandatory for federal employees and domestic air and rail travelers, putting the issue at the forefront of his election candidacy. Read more

There was hindsight. The largest union representing federal workers said the move should not be punitive and that accommodations like regular testing should be made, and Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole pleaded for a similar compromise.

The Toronto Police Association, a union representing 8,000 uniformed and civilian members of the police service, said it disagreed with the mandate.

But more than 80% of Canadians said they support Trudeau’s vaccination mandates and will support them for healthcare workers and teachers as well, according to an Ipsos poll released on August 19. Some 72% support vaccine passports for restaurants, gyms and other indoor spaces. , a policy adopted in Quebec.

BLUE JAYS, PENSION FUND

On Wednesday, the Toronto Blue Jays said they will require fans to be fully vaccinated or have a recent negative test to attend games at the stadium from September 13.

Several pension funds contacted by Reuters said they are still considering what to do to get people back to their offices, including the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP), the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation. and OPTrust.

But the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), the second largest pension fund in the country, ruled out a mandate.

“We strongly and openly encourage our employees to get vaccinated, but we cannot legally force them to do so – or even ask them for that matter, if they get vaccinated or if they are,” he said. declared a spokesperson for the Fund. deposit and placement of Quebec (CDPQ).

Anand, who was a professor of corporate and securities law at the University of Toronto for 25 years before entering politics, said workforce security would ultimately outweigh concerns about individual rights to privacy.

“This is sort of a case where the safety of the community, and of society as a whole, is so important… the courts are going to see this as a justifiable reason for collecting data.”

Reporting by Steve Scherer, additional reporting by Maiya Keidan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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