B.C. Hydro to require mandatory vaccinations for thousands of workers and contractors

·2 min read
B.C. Hydro moves two giant turbine parts for the Site C dam. Built in Brazil and shipped to Prince Rupert, the turbine runners were trucked across northern B.C. to the $10 billion dam construction site.  (Submitted by B.C. Hydro - image credit)
B.C. Hydro moves two giant turbine parts for the Site C dam. Built in Brazil and shipped to Prince Rupert, the turbine runners were trucked across northern B.C. to the $10 billion dam construction site. (Submitted by B.C. Hydro - image credit)

More than 6,000 B.C. Hydro employees throughout the province will need to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, the Crown corporation announced today.

Additionally, the company will require all of its contractors and subcontractors to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022.

The order applies to all B.C. Hydro worksites including the Site C dam in northeastern B.C.

Hydro made the announcement Thursday following a similar move by the energy consortium LNG Canada, which is requiring all of its employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 30.

However, it goes a step further by requiring vaccination for contractors and subcontractors, while LNG Canada says it is simply encouraging affiliated companies to adopt a mandatory vaccination policy for their own employees.

On Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said she had written to all major industrial employers in the province recommending they implement a mandatory vaccine policy.

"Absolutely, yes," she said when asked by a reporter if B.C. Hydro should implement a mandatory vaccine policy at the Site C dam project, where a COVID-19 outbreak currently has 52 workers in isolation.

"[Work camps] are contributing to some of the surge that we're seeing in communities ... particularly in congregate living settings in industrial camps."

Last week, B.C. Hydro told CBC it had already started collecting vaccine information from Site C workers to better understand how many had been vaccinated.

"To date, we have had more than 2,100 onsite workers report their status and the vast majority are confirmed to be either fully or partially vaccinated," spokesperson Greg Alexis wrote in an email. "We still anticipate hearing from up to another 1,000 workers."

Alexis said approximately 2,000 first doses and 1,600 second doses had been given out at the Site C dam itself, with the remaining shots being received by workers in their home communities.

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