Council votes in favour of mandatory vaccine policy

Nurse/Doctor administering vaccine to an elderly gentleman.
Photo submitted.
Posted on: October 26, 2021

Director Kerry Costello presented Smiths Falls town council with a draft vaccination policy for the town at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday night. Council was required to decide if town employees, elected officials, volunteers and contractors would be mandated to be double vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to continue to be employed by the town. This elicited much discussion from town council.

Councillor Niki Dwyer noted that “this is such a hard discussion to have.” She commented that while she personally is in favour of the vaccine, she acknowledges that getting a vaccine is a personal choice, and so in some cases exemption on compassionate grounds should be considered. 

Mayor Pankow agreed that this decision was not one to be made lightly. “This is really gut-wrenching. We are making decisions that could have an impact on people’s livelihood and career. At the same time, we need to balance the impact of Covid-19 on people’s lives, the people who work in our municipality. As an employer, we have a responsibility to protect our staff. The OHSA requires we do all we can to protect our staff.”

Mayor Pankow noted that Premier Doug Ford is considering lifting the mandatory vaccine policy by March 2022. He acknowledged this makes the decision a little more complicated, as employees could seek the option of working from home or regular rapid-antigen testing for a short time until the policy is lifted.

Councillor Lorraine Allen said she believed the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, but that this wasn’t always her position. She shared that getting the vaccine wasn’t an easy choice for her. “I struggled with the vaccination because I have health issues. But I took that to my doctors and talked with them about it.  I chose to do what they suggested for the good of more people.”

Councillor Wendy Alford agreed with Councillor Allen. “I really appreciate all the comments that my colleagues have made. I’ve worked very hard for the last 2 years to protect my loved ones. I’ve given up a lot. Most of us have. The needs of the one can’t outweigh the needs of the many.”

Councillor Dwyer remained in favour of offering regular tests and strict masking for town employees who refuse the Covid-19 vaccine. “I can appreciate the concerns; but I feel like we can still maintain those obligations by requiring additional testing. I think we can demonstrate through that policy that we are doing our best to work safely with our employees. But I still don’t believe it is our right to require any individual to undertake a vaccine should they not choose.”

Mayor Pankow replied that he didn’t know why anyone would choose not to get the vaccine unless it was due to a rare medical condition, “however, I’m also not in their shoes or understanding their mental health, their anxiety or any other challenges that may prevent their understanding the benefits of the vaccine.” The Mayor was also in favour of offering testing as an option for employees who did not wish to get the vaccine.

Councillor Peter McKenna spoke up to point out that even with a mandatory vaccine policy, “We’re not forcing people to be vaccinated. They have a choice. If they choose to stay here, they make that decision – to get the vaccine. It’s their choice.”

Councillor McGuire pointed out that the unvaccinated are the ones most at risk from the unvaccinated. Councillor Alford added that the largest cohort of unvaccinated citizens is everyone under 12 years of age. 

Council voted 4/3 in favour of a mandatory vaccine policy for all town employees.

Article by Janelle Labelle

One thought on “Council votes in favour of mandatory vaccine policy

  1. John Dorsch

    Sad! SF Mayor and Council! Reprehensible that you would mandate an experimental drug that has no long term data and is not done testing until 2023 that has the possible side effects of death and serious side effects for your employees or you will fire them. You make no sense. Can you think beyond your rhetoric? You know that all who survive Covid have robust immunity stronger than your vax immunity and they are about 2 million in Canada. Covid is completely survivable by 99 percent of the population without medical intervention. The vaxxed spread the virus and contract it also and that is a fact so mandating vax is nonsense. This is evident in the Israel studies where nearly everyone is double vaxxed. Many more studies by well known doctors are being suppressed by MSM and despite this you sit in judgement holier than thou and fire your countrymen who are just as susceptible as you are. Shame on you! Theres no proof that the vax even reduces symptoms. If there is produce it because it only annectodal rumour and another prediction. Your decision divides and discriminates and you are no better off safety wise. Look at the recent outbreak in York region among the totally vaccinated from Sep 27th in Metroland news for your proof the vaxport and mandates and vax don’t work. Your decision gives you a false sense of security and you are drunk on your illegal power to harm and force your employees in the name of maybe making it safer. Name one person that any of these measures saved? Go ahead name just one real person and not some hypothetical garbage that theoretically we saved this many because there is NO evidence they work. These decisions are coercion and vaccine mandates accompanied by coercion are not consensual they are assault. These tyrannical measures have only harmed society and you further it. You reap what you sow, a discriminatory society of fear and hatred towards normal healthy people along with the understanding you will continue to trample the protected rights of your employees. You and the taxpayers will be on the hook for your liability here. If one employee dies or has serious complications from the vaccine you mandate will you now publicly declare your permanent financial support for the family of the affected employee? How can you say you are looking out for the health and safety of your employees when the possible consequence of taking the vaccine is death? That can be avoided by not taking it?

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