Fewer than 1,300 city employees face suspension over Toronto’s vaccine mandate deadline

New York City and dozens of US municipalities have insisted on issuing mandatory vaccinations for school students

Fewer than 1,300 city employees face suspension over Toronto’s vaccine mandate deadline

The deadline for parents in Toronto to get their children vaccinated and secure a seat at school turned out to be a grand gesture of compassion by the city, but as of late Sunday the Canada’s largest city had suspended fewer than 1,300 employees, according to Mayor John Tory.

From the self-proclaimed “ground zero” of anti-vaccination, the city of Toronto, has been among many that have sought to set a fair and level playing field for school-age children in both countries. The goal is to share the public health burden of immunizations. While some parents have not allowed the practice for their children, most have allowed for the school-years entrance of other children with vaccines that otherwise would not be allowed, according to the government.

To answer questions of how it will go about replacing thousands of teachers and other staff with those who have not been vaccinated, the Toronto Public Health website asks: “If your position allows for including those who are not vaccinated, are you planning to continue the practice?”

That meant no answer until late Sunday.

The government says 1,356 of the 12,578 employees who responded to the survey have been approved for disciplinary measures, which could lead to suspension, dismissal, or dismissal with cause, and 1,098 have not answered the survey.

Even Tory, who has repeatedly apologized and emphasized that good health has a “unique responsibility” for everybody, has not gotten on board yet with the move to include those who have not met the vaccination requirements.

“My understanding is that there are 2,500 nurses and heath care professionals,” Tory said, according to Reuters. “Do we really need to have so many people potentially on suspension of employment – or firing, whatever is in the hospital department, if that’s where that person is in a hospital – just to get those people vaccinated?”

“I don’t think so,” he said, adding that he was “going to continue to make that point”.

The Liberal government of Canada, like Toronto, is adamant about trying to emphasize that children have the right to be vaccinated and that they have the freedom to choose not to. In a recent debate in Quebec about a controversial French-only education policy, students threatened to boycott learning in English or French if the policy of teachers only speaking French at school prevailed.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has been keen to put an end to the media attacks on his cabinet ministers, who have been decried as being out of touch. Trudeau did a media blitz last week where he hit the studio and did interviews, in which he strongly advocated for mandatory vaccinations.

According to Reuters, this was the first case of potential systemic lost revenue in Canada in the new universal vaccination regime.

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In the US, many cities have stipulated that children must be vaccinated to participate in school enrollment and that cities are powerless to make exceptions for those who refuse to comply. In New York City, the policy has been controversial and the policy takes effect next Monday.

On Saturday, Los Angeles sued more than 400 jurisdictions who require parents to get exemptions for vaccines to prevent the spread of disease, according to the LA Times.

An invitation to a lunchtime event hosted by City Council member Jose Huizar on Saturday invited school administrators to “fully integrate it” into the school and not “hide it under a rug or ring it up in a piece of paper”.

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