Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors have voted unanimously to implement a mandatory vaccination policy for the organization.
The policy applies to all elected officials, CSRD employees, paid on-call volunteer firefighters, contractors working in indoor spaces, and emergency management volunteers.
The CSRD has been working with legal counsel and consulted with other local governments and union representatives in developing the policy, which will require proof of full vaccination as of Jan. 3.
Accommodations for legitimate medical reasons, as well as protected grounds under the BC Human Rights Code, are recognized in the policy and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
“If someone asks for an accommodation, we are looking to deal with them in good faith,” said chief administrative officer Charles Hamilton. “We are not in the business of putting people on leave, but it is a balancing act as to how we best look after the health and safety of everyone.”
Policy provisions do not mandate discipline or termination of employment for non-compliance with the policy, except in the case of an employee who falsifies information regarding their vaccination status.
For the purposes of the policy, “fully vaccinated against COVID-19” means following all required Health Canada COVID-19 vaccine protocols. If additional doses become required, CSRD personnel will be expected to comply with those additional measures.
Any new personnel will be required to show proof of vaccination before starting work.