Defence chief to review Canadian Armed Forces COVID-19 vaccine mandate – National

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Defence chief Gen. Wayne Eyre is reviewing the Canadian navy’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which stays in impact despite the fact that the same requirement for many different federal staff has been suspended.

Eyre first ordered all troops vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 in October, saying the requirement was supposed to defend the Armed Forces and “demonstrate leadership” because the Liberal authorities adopted vaccine mandates throughout the federal public service.

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House of Commons to droop COVID-19 vaccine mandate for MPs, workers, guests

Yet whereas nearly all of federal mandates have been lifted Monday, together with for civilians working within the Department of National Defence and members of the RCMP, the requirement nonetheless applies to these serving in navy uniform.

“We are currently reviewing the (mandate) in order to maintain a safe working environment while remaining ready to conduct CAF operations in support of Canadians at home and around the world,” Defence Department spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande stated.

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“In the meantime, the (mandate) remains in effect for CAF members until further notice.”

Those who refused to adjust to the order have been warned they might face disciplinary proceedings, together with their compelled removing from the navy.

That stood in distinction with non-navy staff, who have been allowed to go on depart with out pay and have since been cleared to return to work now that the requirement has been lifted.

While most service members complied with the order, with the Defence Department reporting greater than 98 per cent of Canadian troops had chosen to get vaccinated, tons of of others didn’t.


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What Canada’s suspension of the vaccine mandate means for federal staff


What Canada’s suspension of the vaccine mandate means for federal staff

More than 200 full-time members have since been ordered to depart the navy after refusing to get inoculated, in accordance to Lamirande, whereas one other 100 voluntarily hung up their uniforms relatively than get their jabs.

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Senior commanders have additionally offered quite a few warnings, counselling periods and different efforts to persuade vaccine-resistant troops to change their minds and get their jabs.

More than 800 troops nonetheless in uniform have been issued warnings, Lamirande stated, whereas formal opinions have been launched in opposition to 463 members who proceed to defy the vaccination order after different remedial measures have been exhausted.

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As for the greater than 1,300 Armed Forces members who utilized for an exemption from the requirement for medical or non secular causes, solely 157 have had their requests accredited.

Asked whether or not commanders have been ordered to pause the disciplining or compelled launch of their troops pending the outcomes of Eyre’s review, Lamirande stated there’s “no hold on releases as the (mandate) remains in place for the time being.”

That doesn’t sit effectively with lawyer Phillip Millar, who’s representing dozens of unvaccinated Armed Forces members searching for to problem the vaccine mandate in court docket.

Millar stated he was supposed to seem in Federal Court on behalf of 1 consumer this week to argue for an injunction in opposition to the mandate till navy officers requested for a delay whereas the Armed Forces, in his phrases, “gets its policy together.”

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Canada to droop COVID-19 vaccine mandates for home, outbound worldwide travellers


Canada to droop COVID-19 vaccine mandates for home, outbound worldwide travellers

The case is now scheduled to be heard by the Federal Court early subsequent month, however Millar stated every single day that the navy’s vaccine requirement stays in place means extra troops being proven the door for no legit motive.

“This grey zone right now is very destructive,” he stated. “The only reason they did it was because, they cited, the rest of the country was doing it and it was necessary. ? They don’t have a leg to stand on anymore.”

Retired lieutenant-common Guy Thibault, who beforehand served as vice-chief of the defence workers, stated the navy’s high precedence is defending the Armed Forces and ensuring it’s prepared and in a position to reply to no matter mission is thrown at it.

At the identical time, he famous that the navy is going through a extreme personnel scarcity and that not all missions and operations require the identical stage of safety and safeguards.

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“The only real option that the Canadian Forces has right now, and the leadership has right now, is to acknowledge the fact that it can’t be a one-size-fits-all,” stated Thibault, who’s now chair of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute.

As for these service members who’ve already left or been compelled out of the navy, Thibault stated the problem is that they finally determined not to comply with an order from their high commander.

And whereas some might argue the order wasn’t lawful, he stated, that shall be up to the courts and navy grievance course of to resolve.

“But where you start to sit and think is: ‘OK, look, you don’t want to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces? Fine. Go do something different,’” Thibault stated.

“But respect that the chief of defence staff has the responsibility to look after the force protection of Canada’s Armed Forces and make sure that we’re ready to fight.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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