OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian public service union is protesting after Canada’s federal government dropped its last remaining COVID-related mask mandate last week, which forced Canadian taxpayers to wear facemasks to get a passport and other forms of identification at Service Canada offices.
Last week, LifeSiteNews reported how Social Development Minister Karina Gould of the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed to Conservative Party MP Rosemarie Falk, that the mask mandate for Service Canada centers – centers where Canadians can get passports and other government documentation – had been dropped.
However, according to Blacklock’s Reporter, the public union representing Service Canada workers has now said they do not agree with the lifting of the mask mandate, which may explain why some Canadians have reported being denied service for not donning a face covering.
Crystal Warner, national executive vice president of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union, wrote Gould to complain that her “members are calling us today asking why the unions agreed to this.”
Warner then said that the union would “not be agreeing to your forgone conclusion” to drop the mandate.
Gould’s announcement that the Service Canada mask mandate had been dropped came before a planned “consultation” meeting with the Canada Employment and Immigration Union, and according to Warner, the union only first heard about the policy change via “the media.”
Warner said they were “assured multiple times that masking in Service Canada centres would be remaining in place,” and claimed dropping the mask mandate puts Service Canada workers “at risk” because “we remain in a pandemic.”
She then asserted that Gould lifting the mask mandate violated a Canada Labour Code prerequisite that states there must be a consultation with union representatives on workplace health and safety committees before any decisions are made.
As reported by LifeSiteNews, the decision to drop the masking mandate was made quietly, and only became public via a Blacklock’s Reporter article that was published after Falk got Gould to admit to the mandate had been clandestinely rescinded.
Service Canada turning away maskless customers despite mandate being lifted
Service Canada is the federal agency that runs the country’s passport program as well as social assistance programs such as Employment Insurance (EI).
Last week, LifeSiteNews was contacted by a person living in British Columbia who said they were denied service at a Service Canada center because they refused to wear a mask, despite Gould’s comments saying masking was now optional.
Warner’s letter to Gould saying the union would not be agreeing to her comments regarding the lifting of mask mandates could explain why the person was denied entry into a Service Canada center, despite the mandate being lifted.
LifeSiteNews received confirmation from one other individual in Alberta who said they too were recently denied access to a Service Canada center because they were not wearing a mask.
LifeSiteNews contacted the media representative for Service Canada to ask why people were being denied entry despite the masking mandate being dropped, as per Gould’s admission.
A media representative for Service Canada acknowledged LifeSiteNews’s media request for comment and promised they would look into the matter and get back with more information. As of press time, no information has been provided.
Service Canada’s mask mandate is the longest standing mandate of its kind in the nation.
The Trudeau government had a mandatory COVID-related masking mandate in place for air travel as well in all federal buildings since April 2020, but it was dropped last October.
Service Canada, like other federally-regulated workplace, also had a vaccine mandate in place for its worker.
Last year, the department placed at least 249 workers on leave for non-compliance regarding the injection requirement.
Service Canada’s insistence on keeping mandates comes despite the fact that numerous studies have shown masking to be ineffective at limiting the spread of the coronavirus, with other studies even indicating that prolonged masking has association with a variety of negative health effects.