OTTAWA — The federal government appears to have as many as 27,000 public servants who have yet to attest that they are vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving them with two weeks to get the shot or face suspension.
The deadline for public servants to attest that they had been vaccinated passed last Friday, with people working across the core public service and the RCMP having to sign an attestation by that date.
According to the government’s website, as of Oct. 27, two days before the deadline, 240,000 of the approximately 267,000 people in the public service and the national police force had signed the attestation.
The National Post asked the Treasury Board Secretariat for an update on the numbers, but did not hear back before press time.
Public servants who don’t sign the attestation or aren’t vaccinated have until Nov. 15 to do so before they could be suspended without pay. If they have received at least one dose by Nov. 15, they will have another 10 weeks to get a second dose before again facing suspension.
When he introduced the policy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the exemptions for medical or religious reasons would only be granted in rare circumstances. He also said the attestations would be audited to ensure people had not lied about their vaccination status.
“The attestation for the public service is the first step. There will be severe consequences for anyone who is found to have been misrepresenting themselves.”
The initial mandate applied to those workers, but the government made it clear it expected Crown corporations, National Defence and other institutions to follow a similar rule.
“If you want to continue to work for the public service in Canada, you’re going to need to be fully vaccinated,” Trudeau said when introducing the policy.
British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Monday that 3,000 health-care workers in that province were on unpaid leave because they had declined to be vaccinated.
MPs and House of Commons staff will also have to be vaccinated when the Commons returns to business on Nov. 22.
And the Senate announced it would have the same rules in place when the Senate returns later this month as well. Senators, staff, visitors and even parliamentary interns will have to be vaccinated when the red chamber opens.
The decision was announced Monday by the Senate’s committee on internal economy, a group of Senators from all Senate groups.571600Up to 27,000 federal public servants miss deadline to affirm they are COVID vaccinated