Ontario & Quebec Back Down on Vaccine Mandates For Healthcare Workers After Massive Resistance

Burden on healthcare system in absence of thousands of unvaccinated workers untenable, according to the respective governments.

Image Credits: FrankyDeMeyer/Getty Images.

The Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario have rescinded their COVID vaccine mandates, citing the system’s inability to cope with losing unvaccinated employees en masse.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said in a statement Wednesday that “the maintenance of essential services” could “not be ensured” in the absence of 14,000 unvaccinated healthcare workers.

“My priority remains that the population can receive the care and services they need. Compulsory vaccination would inevitably weaken the network, already under pressure, in a too important way,” he said.

“As a government, we have a responsibility to manage the risk between preventing COVID-19 and maintaining accessibility to the health care system. With our teams, we will continue to ensure that everything is in place to ensure the safety of network users, as well as its staff.”

Unfortunately, the vaccine passport will still “remain compulsory for people 13 years of age and over” in the province.

Dubé also said during a press conference that the injection will still “be mandatory for all new employees.”

“For many Quebecers, including myself, it’s still baffling that healthcare workers don’t want to get vaccinated,” he added.

Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott outright struck down the vaccine mandate Wednesday, telling reporters healthcare workers will no longer be required to take the COVID injection, citing the burden on the healthcare system in the absence of unvaccinated employees.

“We decided that this is the right decision for right now here in Ontario,” Elliott told reporters on Wednesday. “While individual hospitals can make their own determination.”

“We know that in British Columbia, for example, they’ve had to cancel some of their scheduled surgeries because they’ve got about 3,300 workers that are out on leave now and are being requested to have vaccinations, and Quebec has just announced that they are taking another look at their original mandatory vaccination policy,” she said.

This marks a significant turn of the tide in the fight over vaccine mandates given these Canadian provinces were among the first governments to try implementing vaccine mandates.


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