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Shelburne May Explore Vaccine Mandate for Town Staff

Town of Shelburne May Explore Vaccine Mandate for Staff and Council

At its next meeting, the Town of Shelburne council will discuss a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff and elected officials.

“Like frontline workers, we are also public facing,” pronounced Shelburne’s Deputy Mayor Steve Anderson, delineating how businesses, governing bodies, and other employers were implementing a vaccine mandate.

On August 23, 2021, during Shelburne’s council meeting, Deputy Mayor Anderson put forth a notice of motion that would direct staff to investigate the feasibility of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy for town employees. Anderson expressed his intent for the policy to be inclusive of all municipal workers and any new hires going forward, in addition to elected officials. The deputy mayor communicated that January would be the expected turnaround date for a report on a staff vaccine mandate if the Shelburne council adopts his motion.

The Cities of Windsor and Toronto, along with Toronto’s police service, are mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for its staff. According to CBC News, Windsor will be making efforts to ensure the policy applies to its police service as well. Moreover, the Canadian Medical Association, Ontario Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, and Registered Nurses Association of Ontario have all called for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. In Dufferin County, Shelburne’s council is the only one that has put forth a motion regarding mandatory vaccination policies for its staff.

During Shelburne’s meeting, Headwaters Health Care Centre CEO Kim Delahunt presented to Shelburne’s council, and it was mentioned that all hospital staff would be asked to disclose their status by August 31. 

“There’s been a few hospitals that have actually gone ahead, and they’ve mandated it,” said Delahunt. “We, right now, are following the provincial directive.”

The Province of Ontario requires hospitals, ambulance services, community, and home-care service provers to have vaccination and testing policies for workers implemented by September 7. Unvaccinated workers will be tested regularly for COVID-19, like what occurs for visitors at long-term care homes. They will also have to complete a COVID-19 educational session. CBC News reports that Toronto’s University Health Network has already introduced policies like what the government will be requiring. 

“I do think it may evolve across Ontario over time,” said Delahunt, who shared the benefits of Headwaters remaining consistent with the province’s policies. “The directive is the directive; they can’t leave Headwaters to go to another hospital because its the same thing.”

The public can submit questions relating to agenda business to the Town of Shelburne’s Clerk at jwilloughby@shelburne.ca or 519-925-2600 Ext. 223 up until noon the day of the council meeting. Submitted questions and comments will be read during the meeting and into the public record. The next council meeting is scheduled for September 13, 2021, at 6:30 pm.

References – Shelburne May Explore Vaccine Mandate for Town Staff

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