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OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Federal workers suspended from their jobs for refusing COVID vaccines will not be repaid any lost salary, a Canadian government leader said Wednesday.

Asked by reporters if unvaccinated employees would be reimbursed lost wages, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc responded by saying “absolutely not.”

The Trudeau government imposed a deadline of October 6, 2021, for all federal workers to have the COVID injections. As a result of the policy, thousands of workers in all sectors, including aviation and travel, were placed on leave with no pay or lost their jobs outright.

On Tuesday, the federal government under Trudeau announced a “suspension” of a COVID jab mandate for travelers and federally regulated transportation workers starting June 20.

The government also announced that employers in the federally regulated “air, rail, and marine sectors will no longer be required to have mandatory vaccination policies in place for employees,” Transport Canada said.

“Employers will be responsible for establishing return-to-work practices,” Transport Canada continued.

The federal government also says it is “no longer moving forward with the proposed regulations to make vaccination mandatory in all federally regulated workplaces.”

According to the National Post, as of March 20, approximately 1,828 employees were placed on unpaid leave for not complying with a jab mandate. Those numbers come from the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).

Many major unions fought the COVID mandates, especially considering most Canadian provinces months ago dropped jab requirements for their own public sector workers.

Three of Canada’s largest federal public sector unions, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), and Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), had filed grievances on behalf of their members due to Trudeau’s worker jab mandate.

According to the National Post, the grievances all demanded that unjabbed workers be given accommodation to work from home, as well as reimburse wages lost.

All three unions plan to continue their grievances, says the National Post, with union heads calling out LeBlanc’s comments regarding not paying workers lost wages.

PSAC president Chris Aylward, as reported by the National Post, said, “With all due respect to Minister LeBlanc, our policy grievances on behalf of workers on leave without pay are a legal issue, not a political one.”

The CAPE president said his union will continue to “seek reimbursement of their lost salary, wherever possible.”

“We are disappointed to hear of minister’s Leblanc comment; nonetheless, we will pursue this matter before the Federal Public Section Labour Relations and Employment Board to obtain a decision,” he said.

People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier said he will continue his legal challenge against Trudeau’s COVID travel vaccine mandates despite the recent suspension of the restrictions.