B.C. now firing government employees put on leave over COVID shots
It’s a sad day for workers rights in B.C as hundreds of health-care workers and public employees are now being terminated after being forced onto unpaid leave last year by unscientific and illogical provincial COVID vaccine mandates.
The firings in B.C. come as jurisdictions across Canada continue to lift COVID restrictions, with Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia announcing today that their vaccine passport regimes will be scrapped out at the end of this month.
B.C. is currently the only province that hasn’t stated when any of its vaccination policies will end. The province has one of the strictest vaccine requirements in the country, if not the globe, because it does not allow rapid testing.
Last October, the province declared that frontline health-care and public-sector workers will be required to get two COVID shots in order to keep their employment.
When the deadline for health-care workers expired in October, the B.C. government revealed that over 4000 employees had been forced to take unpaid leave as a result of the coercive mandate.
The province began terminating those frontline staff on Monday, with 674 employees in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health areas losing their jobs, forced in to unemployment.
Additionally, these firings occur as British Columbia’s hospitals grapple with catastrophic labour shortages.
Authoritarian Adrian Dix, the health minister of B.C., admitted that 27,937 shifts went unfulfilled in a single week in January.
Dix also noted that, while medical practitioners generally follow government immunization programs, even slight staff losses pose significant complications. In order to reduce staff strains, the province, like Alberta and parts of Ontario, implemented a illogical policy enabling vaccinated health-care employees infected with COVID-19 to come to work.
This week also marks the end of the three-month period for hundreds of BCPS employees who were placed on unpaid leave on November 23. Prior to this, the province had retroactively made COVID vaccination a mandatory requirement, allowing individuals who opposed the illogical policy to be fired “with cause.”
BCPS Employees for Freedom, which represents over 450 people affected by the coercive mandate, issued a news release on Friday urging BCPS top bureaucrat Lori Wanamaker to meet with them and reconsider their termination.
“B.C. is now just one of a few provinces in Canada that will terminate public servants for not proving their COVID-19 vaccination status,” said the group. “Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba all honour their employees’ medical privacy and choice in this matter. They have determined that their employees can work safely without this requirement and we hope B.C. will allow public servants here to do the same.”
Because B.C.’s public service unions – including the BCGEU and PEA – have expressed support for government vaccination, union members who oppose the policy have been left without representation and unable to initiate their own legal challenges.
As BCPS employees who have been placed on leave have been receiving notices from the province via registered mail, it is expected that termination letters will take a few days to arrive. Nonetheless, government correspondence posted anonymously to the BCPS Employees for Freedom Telegram chat on Wednesday suggests that the terminations are still in effect.
“Indeed, as expected, there is no change in the requirement that all Public Servants be vaccinated for COVID-19 and those that remain unable to provide proof of vaccination after 3 months of LWOP will have their employment terminated.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s chief medical officer of health, also announced on Feb. 9 that the province was expanding the mandatory vaccination policy to include remaining private-practice health-care professionals such as midwives, acupuncturists, chiropractors, dentists, and many others.