The City of Ottawa will require all staff, volunteers, contractors and students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1. If they refuse and don't have a medical reason, they won't be allowed to keep working.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson had asked city manager Steve Kanellakos to come up with a mandatory vaccine policy for staff by Labour Day weekend. Kanellakos' response came through memo released Friday.
The policy requires workers to have their first shot by Sept. 15 and second shot by Oct. 15, allowing the two weeks for immunity to build by Nov. 1.
Only a "valid medical reason" from a doctor or nurse practitioner will allow workers to continue in their job without a COVID-19 vaccine.
Those that refuse will have to attend a mandatory education session and if they still won't get a shot, will have to go on vacation, take a leave of absence, or be dismissed.
The memo said the policy will keep the workplace safe for staff and residents.
Vaccines protect people against COVID-19, he said, and the coronavirus is in the midst of a resurgence in Ottawa and many other places.
City councillors are expected to vote Wednesday on whether to extend this policy to include themselves.
As of Friday, 80 per cent of eligible Ottawa residents are fully vaccinated, as well as 70 per cent of the city's total population.