Canada imposes COVID-19 vaccine mandate on federal workers, transportation

OTTAWA, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Canada will place unvaccinated federal employees on unpaid leave and require COVID-19 shots for air, train and ship passengers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday as he unveiled one of the world’s strictest vaccine mandate policies.

Federal employees will be required to declare their full vaccination status through an online portal by Oct. 29. Workers and travelers age 12 and older on trains, planes and marine transport operating domestically – which are federally regulated – must show they have been inoculated by Oct. 30.

“These travel measures, along with mandatory vaccination for federal employees, are some of the strongest in the world,” Trudeau told reporters. “If you’ve done the right thing and gotten vaccinated, you deserve the freedom to be safe from COVID.”

There are about 300,000 federal service workers, plus 955,000 federally regulated workers, representing about 8% of Canada’s full-time workforce, according to the Treasury Board, which manages the public service.

The government’s new vaccine mandates were a cornerstone pledge by Trudeau during his campaign for re-election last month. The Liberals returned to power in a closely contested election, but fell short of winning a majority.

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Source: Reuters