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BC healthcare workers prevented from returning to work despite understaffing


7 minute read

From the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

The Justice Centre announces that a 10-day hearing for the constitutional challenge to British Columbia’s Covid vaccination mandates began Monday at the Supreme Court of British Columbia. This challenge draws attention to Public Health Orders that continue to violate the freedom of conscience and religion, right to security, and right to equality of thousands of British Columbian healthcare workers.

On March 16, 2022, the Justice Centre supported a legal challenge to Government of British Columbia Public Health Orders, issued in November 2021, requiring specified groups of healthcare workers to get injected with the Covid vaccine. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 11 healthcare workers, including front-line staff as well as administrative and management personnel. This court action includes applicants who worked remotely and had no direct contact with patients. These workers refused the Covid vaccine, for which no long-term safety data was available, for reasons of conscience or religion, for medical reasons, or all three. Like thousands of other healthcare workers, they were terminated from their positions and continue to be barred from returning to their work more than two years later.

Over the next two years, the November 2021 Orders were expanded and modified by the BC government, capturing more and more healthcare workers.

  • A June 2022 Order required registrants of various medical colleges to disclose their Covid vaccination status to their respective medical colleges, who would report that information to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
  • September 2022 Orders expanded the scope of previous Orders, requiring students applying to post-secondary medical programs, post-secondary staff working in care locations, and post-secondary administrative and managerial staff working in health services facilities to disclose their Covid vaccination status to their institutions, who would report that information to Dr. Henry.
  • April 2023 Orders expanded the scope of previous Orders by requiring staff member construction workers to get injected to work at hospitals and other medical facilities. Previously, constructions workers, whether staff members or working under contract, as well as other outside service providers working on projects within the BC healthcare system, did not need to show proof of vaccination if they followed protocols set out in the Orders. The April 2023 Orders were silent regarding outside service providers, and specifically exempted construction services working under contract, meaning these groups of workers no longer needed to follow personal protective equipment protocols.
  • A June 2023 Order cancelled the June 2022 Order. Registrants of medical colleges would no longer be required to report their vaccination statuses to their colleges, and colleges would no longer be required to report that data to Dr. Henry. However, healthcare workers of any Provincial Health Authority in British Columbia, including workers who did not have in-person contact with patients, were still required to show proof of vaccination before being allowed to work.
  • An October 5, 2023 Order requires any unvaccinated new hires to receive the requisite number of doses of the new XBB.1.5-containing formulation of the Covid vaccine to be allowed to work, making it impossible for many doctors, nurses, administrators, other healthcare workers, and non-healthcare workers to work in BC’s healthcare system.
No provisions for alternative employment or accommodation were made for healthcare workers who chose not to get injected for reasons of conscience or religion, for medical reasons, or for those with natural immunity to Covid.Thousands of healthcare workers and patients lost their jobs as a result of these Orders. According to a March 2022 report, 2,496 British Columbia healthcare workers were terminated for not being vaccinated. Nearly four percent of healthcare workers in Interior Health were terminated; nearly three percent in Northern Health were terminated.

Meanwhile, British Columbia continues to experience a healthcare crisis, according to reports. Emergency rooms in rural communities are closing; wait times are climbing; birthing units in Surrey are suffering from acute shortages – sometimes with fatal consequences. British Columbians are turning to private and even cross-border healthcare options to get treatment.

In addition to pointing out that vaccines have proven ineffective and have caused adverse reactions, lawyers for the Petitioners argue that ordering vaccination as a condition of employment interferes with the right to medical self-determination – protected by Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Further, lawyers point out that the mandates failed to provide opportunities for religious and conscientious objections – protected by Section 2 of the Charter. Further, while healthcare workers were terminated for being unvaccinated, the government was hiring remote-working contractors with no requirement that they be vaccinated, generating a concern about equality – protected by Section 15 of the Charter.

Lawyer Charlene LeBeau stated, “The rights of healthcare workers must not be disregarded, even when the goal is to protect public health. This is especially true in relation to mandating a new medical treatment that has a terrible track record for adverse reactions and, in any event, has proven to be ineffective in stopping infection or transmission.”

Justice Centre President John Carpay remarked, “Understaffing in British Columbia’s healthcare system is literally killing people, based on an ideological decision to punish doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers more than two years after they legitimately exercised their Charter right to bodily autonomy. Science and medicine ought to prevail over ideology.”


Nova Scotia drops COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers amid ongoing staffing crisis

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

The Nova Scotia Health Authority is allowing unvaccinated staff to return to work when the new policy takes effect on February 26 after more than two years of being on unpaid leave.

Nova Scotia has dropped its vaccine mandate for healthcare workers amid an ongoing staff crisis.

On February 21, the Nova Scotia Health Authority announced that it will no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for healthcare workers and is encouraging staff members who were suspended because of the mandate to return to work.

“By removing the mandatory vaccination requirement, both organizations aim to offer flexibility and support to employees, onsite medical staff, and preferred candidates,” read a joint statement from Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health.

“Staff members who chose not to receive vaccines or submit proof of immunization, when the policy was implemented, may have the opportunity to return to active employment,” the statement promised.

Under the new policy set to take effect February 26, staff members “who chose not to receive vaccines or submit proof of immunization will be eligible to apply for onsite medical privileges with Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health, provided they meet all other necessary job requirements.”

Starting in November 2021, Nova Scotia mandated the experimental vaccine for healthcare workers. Those who refused the shot were placed on unpaid leave.

 According to a letter sent to The Canadian Independent, the province is telling unvaccinated healthcare workers to return to work when the new policy takes effect.

The email informed them that it is “imperative” to reach out to their manager to “confirm your intention to return to work or resign employment with Nova Scotia Health.”

“We understand this update may raise questions and concerns associated with a return to work,” the email stated. “We encourage you to reach out to your manager to discuss any supports and resources you may need to assist with your transition back to the workplace.”

The policy change comes amid record-high healthcare wait times of 27.7 weeks, the longest in the past 30 years and 198% longer than the 1993 average of 9.3 weeks.

The data surveyed 1,200 Canadian doctors across 12 specialties and 10 provinces. The report found that Nova Scotia had the longest wait time of 56.7 weeks, followed by Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick with 55.2 weeks and 52.6 weeks, respectively.

Vaccine mandates for healthcare workers remain in place across Canada despite the critical staff shortages in hospitals. While some provincial governments have lifted their mandates, many hospitals still require the experimental vaccine.

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Most Canadian nurses were hesitant to take COVID jab: gov’t data

Published on

From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Researchers found that over 50 percent of nurses in Canada and nearly a third of doctors were hesitant to take the experimental COVID vaccine, but did so anyway to keep their jobs amid workplace mandates.

A recently unveiled survey has found that a significant number of Canadian healthcare workers, including most nurses, were hesitant to take the experimental COVID shots, and only did so because it was mandated across the sector.   

According to a survey conducted by the Public Health Agency of Canada, results of which were obtained February 19 by Blacklock’s Reporter, 59 percent of healthcare workers were hesitant to take the experimental COVID vaccine, but many chose to put aside their concerns as the shot was mandatory to keep their jobs.  

“The prospect of losing their employment played a role in their decision to get vaccinated or not,” the report, titled National Cross-Sectional Survey Of Health Workers Perceptions Of Covid-19 Vaccine Effectiveness, found.  

“They expressed significant hesitation towards COVID-19 vaccines due to the speed of vaccine development and their perception of the potential for side effects,” it continued.  

The research found that 31 percent of doctors and 54 percent of nurses admitted “some level of hesitancy” to take the shot. The report found that “concerns about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines were among the largest factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy.” 

LifeSiteNews has published comprehensive research on the dangers of receiving the experimental vaccine, including heart damage and blood clots.    

A recent study done by researchers at the Canada-based Correlation Research in the Public Interest  found that 17 countries have a “definite causal link” between peaks in all-cause mortality and the fast rollouts of the COVID shots and boosters.  

However, despite their concerns, the report found that 89 percent of healthcare workers took the shot, mostly due to fears of losing their job.  

“Vaccine mandates were one of the most commonly reported reasons for getting vaccinated among respondents with a high proportion of nurses indicating it was the sole reason for vaccination,” the report said. 

Another revealed that vaccines were “developed in a matter of a couple of months and handed out like candy.”  

“I have a family and a mortgage it was like, what would I be able to do to make the same amount of money?” a third questioned.  

According to the report, 8 percent of workers refused the shot entirely, 87 percent of whom said they were concerned about the long-term effects of the vaccine, while 72 percent said they rejected that the vaccines were being mandated.  

64 percent of those who remained unvaccinated despite mandates said they lacked “confidence in Canada’s regulatory system,” 52 percent thought “the impact of COVID infection is greatly exaggerated,” 45 percent had religious reasons, and 20 percent were planning to become pregnant. Respondents were allowed to select more than one reason for opposing vaccination.

Notably, the survey found that “the proportion of self-reported infection did not vary significantly based on vaccination status,” meaning vaccinated healthcare staff were just as likely to transmit COVID as vaccinated ones.  

Currently, vaccine mandates for healthcare workers are still in place in many jurisdictions across Canada, despite a critical staff shortage in plenty of hospitals. While some provincial governments have lifted their mandates, many hospitals still require the experimental vaccine as a condition of employment.   

However, many healthcare workers have refused the vaccine and are appealing the mandates. In November, hundreds of British Columbia healthcare workers joined together to sue Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for ongoing COVID shot mandates preventing them from working.      

Similarly, Ontario pro-freedom Dr. Mark Trozzi plans to appeal after he was stripped of his license for critiquing the mainstream narrative around the COVID-19 so-called “pandemic” and the associated vaccines.   

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