Saskatchewan

Saskatoon city council will debate COVID-19 vaccine requirements for staff, facilities

Saskatoon city councillors will be debating mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for city facilities and employees.

City already announced it would postpone return to work plan as COVID-19 cases surge

Saskatoon's city council will consider mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees.  (Courtney Markewich/CBC)

Saskatoon city councillors will soon be debating mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for city facilities and employees. 

Ward 10 Coun. Zach Jeffries has given a notice of motion for Monday's city council meeting. 

He wants to pass a bylaw to implement a vaccine policy that would require all staff and anyone attending civic facilites like recreational centres to be vaccinated. 

The policy would be akin to the University of Saskatchewan's vaccine requirements annnounced earlier this month. 

The university is asking every member of the USask community —all students, faculty, and staff —  to show proof of at least one dose of a World Health Organization-approved COVID-19 vaccine before coming onto campus on Sept. 7. Proof of a second dose will be required by no later than Oct. 18.

Jeffries's notice of motion comes after Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark expressed his support for a vaccine passport and other public health measures to protect against COVID-19.

Clark previously told CBC he believes measures should be put in place in the city, including vaccine passports, vaccination requirements for certain activities and mandatory testing. These measures would affect public services such as transit and leisure centres, and potentially city staff, he said.

"If there's a whole bunch of uncertainty about what's going, if there are unvaccinated people in venues and the potential for the virus to spread, it's going to really have a significant detriment on our ability to function properly," Clark said. 

WATCH | Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark wants to see more COVID-19 measures in city 

Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark wants to see more COVID-19 measures introduced in city

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'What measures can we take to reduce that uncertainty': Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark is calling for a vaccine passport system and other public health measures to protect against rising COVID-19 cases. 0:35

The City of Saskatoon has already announced it would postpone its return to work plan as COVID-19 cases surge.

If Jeffries's motion passes, Saskatoon would become the first Saskatchewan municipality to implement policies around mandatory COVID-19 vaccines. 

Other municipalities like Banff and Toronto have recently announced mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees. 

Saskatoon's next city council meeting is Monday, Aug. 30, at 1 p.m. It can be live-streamed on the city's website. 

With files from Candice Lipski

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