The District of 100 Mile council has adopted a vaccination mandate for all staff, employees, contractors and volunteers, effective immediately.
Acting Mayor Dave Mingo read a prepared statement at council Tuesday, saying the requirement follows a “careful review of similar decisions by other municipalities and regional districts and consultation with our legal advisors.” It will apply to all District employees, including those working remotely or teleworking, as well as volunteer and paid-on-call firefighters.
Those affected will have until March 15 to prove they are fully vaccinated.
“The vaccine requirement is a sensible and appropriate way to protect our staff, contractors, and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mingo said.
He said while there are many residents in 100 Mile who feel vaccinations are a political statement or an unproven treatment, “we don’t share their perspective.
“The District’s vaccine requirement is a health and safety decision supported by good science and public policy,” he said. “There are many claims and counter-claims about vaccines, effectiveness, and so forth. The bottom line is that we must follow the best advice of our medical professionals.
“Everyone is free to hold their own opinion, but public institutions must rely on science and evidence for decision-making. Ensuring our staff and volunteers are vaccinated is good public health practice.”
Mingo said the District will work with anyone who has a valid medical exemption, although this does not mean those personally opposed to vaccines in general. Those who refuse to comply with the requirement without a valid medical exemption will be disqualified from attending work and will lose their jobs after four weeks without pay.
The Cariboo Regional District and Thompson-Nicola Regional District have already instituted similar policies.