Ottawa Will Require Vaccination in the Public Service

Members of Parliament returning to work in the coming weeks could be doing so without a firm COVID-19 vaccination requirement — a rule that’s expected to be introduced for hundreds of thousands of federal public servants and workers in federally regulated sectors.

If such a requirement is not introduced, it would mean that politicians deciding on vaccination protocols for much of the Canadian public wouldn’t necessarily have to get vaccinated themselves.

But with the House of Commons scheduled to resume at some point this fall, there is already pressure to create a similar rule for returning MPs.

“They get fully vaccinated or they stay home,” Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said today.

“[If] the price to be paid for this Parliament to start working fully and rapidly again is to force everybody walking in the building to be fully vaccinated, then let’s do that.”

The House of Commons has introduced a variety of health and safety measures during the pandemic — such as the masking rule and the suspension of non-essential activities — but the group responsible for devising those rules has not yet decided if vaccines will also be required.

MPs designated as spokespeople for the Board of Internal Economy, the governing body of the House of Commons, have not responded to requests from CBC News about the prospect of a vaccination requirement.

It may be possible for MPs to impose a vaccination mandate by a majority vote in the House of Commons. There’s little precedent for such an action, however.

Liberal MP Hedy Fry, a doctor, said Parliament has an obligation to set an example.

“We cannot have two sets of rules,” Fry told CBC News. “We are the ultimate public servants and I think we have to obey the rules.”

The Office of the Prime Minister says its planned vaccine mandate will apply to ministers and staff in their offices, though it cannot decide rules for Parliament as a whole.


This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt

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