Feds mull mandatory vaccination in public sector

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OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is considering making vaccination mandatory for all federal public servants as well as employees in federally regulated industries as experts fear a fourth COVID-19 way in the fall driven by the Delta variant.

“I have asked the Clerk (of the Privy Council), who is responsible for all federal public servants, to look into how we could make vaccination mandatory. We’re also looking into how we could encourage vaccination for federally regulated industries, or even make vaccination mandatory,” Trudeau told reporters during a press conference on Thursday.

He was speaking alongside Quebec Premier François Legault,

who announced that his province will be the first to create a vaccine passport that will allow fully vaccinated Quebecers to live a “nearly normal” life.

“We can already start talking about the beginning of a fourth wave,” Legault said. “Unfortunately, we are predicting that cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks, and eventually an increase in hospitalizations and deaths.”

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé is expected to announce the details of the vaccine passport, such as what it will look like, where it will be required and when it will be launched. But Legault specified that it would only apply to “non-essential” services.

“Yes, we will give certain privileges to those who made the effort to accept two doses of the vaccine,” Legault said. “Even with the Delta variant, vaccines are effective … no one wants to live what we went through last year.”

Both leaders were in Montreal to announce an agreement between Ottawa and Quebec that would send $6 billion to Quebec “no strings attached” that will mostly be used to fund the province’s daycare system.

More to come.

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