TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) – The Ontario government is pausing its reopening plans and has instead called for new COVID-19 vaccine policies in certain settings, with the province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore expressing that he is “sorry to say, I think it’s going to be a difficult fall and winter.”
Ontario has been one of the most locked down regions in North America since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many regions of Canada and the United States have fully, or almost fully opened, Ontario has not. Currently the province is in what it has called “step three” of its reopening plan. It is not a severe lockdown like during previous months; however, restrictions still affect the majority of activities for most citizens.
Mask mandates are still in place for indoor settings, religious gatherings still require masks and physical distancing, and retail settings are limiting customers allowed in at a given time.
According to Dr. Moore, the province is putting a stop to any reopening in order to “protect those under 12 years of age who can’t get immunized and to protect those settings.” The province has yet to provide any evidence that young people are at any serious risk from COVID-19.
Ontario has also mandated vaccine jabs for workers in what are considered “high risk settings,” not unlike what the federal government proposed last week for public servants and travelers.
The official website for the government of Ontario states the following:
To protect vulnerable patients and staff in settings where the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 and the Delta variant is higher, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued a directive mandating hospitals and home and community care service providers to have a COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees, staff, contractors, students and volunteers, and for ambulance services to have a COVID-19 vaccination policy for paramedics. The vaccination policy must be effective no later than September 7, 2021, and at a minimum will require these individuals to provide proof of one of three things:
- Full vaccination against COVID-19;
- A medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or
- Completion of a COVID-19 vaccination educational session.
Individuals who do not provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 will be required to undertake regular antigen testing. These settings will be required to track and report on the implementation of their policies to the provincial government. This is similar to the vaccination policy requirements currently in place for long-term care homes.
Under Canadian law, there are exemptions to mandatory medical procedures that are based in legislation pertaining to human rights. Advocating on behalf of federal employees, the Public Service Alliance of Canada communicated to its members that “the government must also provide accommodations for workers who cannot be vaccinated for reasons protected under human rights legislation, including health concerns.”
As of yet, the government has not made it clear what constitutes “regular antigen testing” with any specificity, for those who abstain from taking the jab.
LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.