Federal government could push provinces on vaccine mandate for workers, document says


OTTAWA – Senior federal officials were told in the spring that the government could make it mandatory for all workers nationwide to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Trudeau Liberals have promised to bring in mandatory vaccination requirements for federally regulated workers, such as those employed by transportation, banks and telecommunication companies.

Those workers account for less than one-tenth of all workers in Canada, with the remainder falling under provincial labour laws.

Although the Constitution puts public health under the purview of provinces and territories, internal documents say the federal government could consider making the COVID-19 vaccines “a national interest item.”

The next step after that would be to either work with provinces and territories on a set of guidelines, or develop their own.

The documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the access-to-information law say that such a move wasn’t contemplated heading toward the summer.