Statement by Goldy Hyder on today’s announcement of a vaccine mandate for federal public servants and some federally regulated sectors

The first priority of any government is to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens. At a time when COVID-19 case numbers across Canada are once again climbing, the federal government’s decision to introduce vaccine mandates for federal public servants and employees in some federally regulated sectors is absolutely the right thing to do. These measures should be implemented as soon as possible.

The rapid development and deployment of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is one of the greatest public health achievements of our time. More than 70 per cent of Canadians are now fully vaccinated, but we must do better if we hope to avert a significant fourth wave. Canadians and Canadian businesses cannot endure any more lockdowns.

Continued progress in the vaccination campaign will provide reassurance for Canadian families this fall as children return to the classroom. Higher rates of vaccination can ensure that schools stay open, businesses continue to operate safely, and the most vulnerable members of society are protected. As Canada’s largest employer, the federal government can and must set a positive example by doing everything it can to promote vaccination in the workplace.

We recognize that some people are uncomfortable with vaccine mandates, but extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures. In addition, today’s announcement underscores the immediate need for a nationally recognized proof of vaccination.  Policymakers at all levels of government should be working together to make it as easy as possible for Canadians to demonstrate their commitment, through vaccination, to protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.