The Town of Minto has announced a new policy that expects all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they have a religious or medical exemption under the Human Rights Act.
Chief Administrative Officer Derrick Thomson said the municipality will be asking for proof of vaccination from its roughly 40 to 50 employees, plus volunteer firefighters. The policy does not include a deadline for when workers must get the jab and Thomson said that was intentional.
“This was by design for the policy, it’s not confrontational and we want to work with staff,” Thomson said. “We’re a smaller organization so we’re able to work with staff really effectively and we didn’t see a need to put a deadline.”
Thomson said the municipality will be taking each situation case by case in terms of accommodations. As for enforcement, he said and he couldn’t say at this point what consequences might be for employees who refused to get vaccinated.
Ultimately, he said the new policy is about safety for Minto employees and the public.
“What we’re trying to do, and I think every employer has to do the same thing, is create a safe working environment for our staff,” Thomson said. “Also, speaking as a municipal government, I think the public has an expectation that when they interact with staff at the town of Minto that they are in a safe place and that staff have been vaccinated.”
Meanwhile the County of Wellington has introduced a requirement that all new employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and local municipalities, including Guelph are considering similar mandates.
Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com