Majority of N.S. Crown corporations following province's vaccine mandate for employees

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The majority of Nova Scotia's Crown corporations say they will be following the province's lead and requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated. (CBC News  - image credit)
The majority of Nova Scotia's Crown corporations say they will be following the province's lead and requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated. (CBC News - image credit)

When Nova Scotia announced Wednesday that provincial civil servants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the directive did not apply to employees of provincial Crown corporations.

Those entities have been left to develop their own policies.

CBC News wrote to 14 of Nova Scotia's 15 Crown corporations asking what vaccine policy, if any, they plan to implement for their employees.

Nova Scotia Power Finance Corp., which ensures the guaranteed debt of the former Nova Scotia Power Corp., is discharged, has no staff, and a vaccine policy is not applicable.

Of the 11 corporations that responded, nine said they will be adopting a vaccine policy in line with the province.

Proof of vaccination by Nov. 30

InnovaCorp, the province's early stage venture capital organization, as well as Nova Scotia Business Inc., and the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation said they will require their employees to provide proof of double vaccination by Nov. 30 — a policy identical to that of the province.

A spokesperson for Perennia Food and Agriculture, a development agency supporting the province's agriculture, seafood, food and beverage sectors, said it will draft a policy that "is in line with the spirit of the province's recent announcement" using its own governance framework.

Halifax Harbour Bridges will require employees to provide proof of vaccination by Oct. 15, according to a spokesperson. Contractors working with the corporation will be required to follow the same protocol.

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Develop Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Municipal Finance Corp., indicated they will be following the province's lead but did not provide a timeline for implementation.

A Nova Scotia Lands spokesperson said the agency is evaluating provincial requirements before deciding whether to adopt the same policy or an adapted version.

Kelli MacDonald, director of communications for Tourism Nova Scotia, said the destination marketing organization is transitioning from a Crown corporation to becoming part of the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage and has adopted the province's vaccine mandate.

NSLC still deciding

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation is reviewing how the province's mandate will affect the corporation and will provide an update "as more information becomes available," said communications manager Beverley Ware.

The corporation has more than 1,400 employees, according to information on its website.

Staff of two Crown corporations — the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board and the Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board — are civil servants and will follow the provincial vaccine mandate, spokesperson Vickie Birch said in an email.

Board members are appointed by order-in-council, and Birch said they will be working "with our colleagues to understand the requirements for our board members."

Another Crown corporation, the Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission, will take the same approach, spokesperson Maria McCurdy said in an email.

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