WINCHESTER – North Dundas has chosen a straight forward solution to vaccination issues for its municipal employees. If they do not have proof of their two vaccination shots by Oct. 25 they will be asked to leave. For those employees who have had just the first shot, they will have until Nov. 30 to get the second one.
The decision to implement the vaccination policy was made at the council’s special meeting on Mon., Oct. 18.
Mayor Fraser said, “My preference is for this option. I think what the federal government has put into place for travel on
planes and trains, I think of university and what they have put in place, it’s very similar. We have done essentially the same with the counties. Many of the municipalities within the counties are doing something similar.”
The mayor said residents have had to give up events from weddings to funerals because of Covid and this policy is the next step in combatting the virus.
The policy states: “All workers are required to provide proof of vaccination status no later than Oct. 25, 2021, in the form of a Ministry of Health email vaccine proof or a copy of a vaccine receipt from the Ministry of Health. Individuals with an Ontario photo health card can log into the provincial portal to download or print an electronic COVID-19 vaccine receipt (PDF) for each dose received at https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca.
This proof must be submitted to the CAO or his/her designate. Workers who fail to provide proof of their vaccination status by Oct. 25, 2021, will be considered unvaccinated for the purposes of this policy and be subject to the actions set out in this policy.
Workers who are not fully vaccinated but provide written proof of having
received a first dose of vaccine as of Nov. 1, 2021 must receive a second dose of vaccine by Nov. 30, 2021 and provide proof of full vaccination status by no later than Dec. 10, 2021.”
The council wrestled with different options regarding their vaccination policy. The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry had already passed their vaccination policies, which are basically the same as the one North Dundas had adopted.
The other options considered included twice weekly testing for employees who did not want to be vaccinated but the cost and logistics to institute that kind of policy appeared to fall short of what councillors wanted to see.
The policy was brought to the council table by North Dundas CAO Angela Rutley.
She explained to the council that the municipality was committed to doing whatever it had to protect its employees and residents from Covid.
She read from the policy, “This mandatory workplace vaccination verification policy is an important measure that complements other workplace health and safety measures, in place, in accordance with applicable governing legislation.”
The policy stated: “At the time this policy is being implemented, the province of Ontario is experiencing the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by variants that are more transmissible and that cause more serious health issues. The province has also introduced a “vaccine passport” in recognition of the efficacy of
vaccination. This policy is being implemented to ensure that all workers, including employees, volunteers, township council and students, take appropriate steps, including immunization and regular testing, to minimize the risk of infection and to reduce the risk of transmission to others.
The purpose of this policy is to mandate that all employees (full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal), township council, volunteer firefighters, volunteers, student placements and any other persons deemed reasonable in the circumstances (all of which are referred to hereinafter as “workers”), be fully vaccinated, as defined by the Ministry of Health.
This policy applies to all existing township workers and is a condition of employment.”