For Canada, vaccines mandatory for federally regulated transport employees, as well as travelers
As of October 30, the Canadian government is demanding that employers in the federally regulated rail, air and marine industries have COVID-19 vaccination policies for employees and that passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains are fully vaccinated.
The government made the announcement on October 6.
According to Transport Canada, the vaccination policy requirement will apply to:
• “Federally regulated railways, their rail crews and track employees.
• “Airlines and airports, and other organizations that have employees entering restricted areas of airports, such as concessions and reception workers.
• “Marine operators with Canadian vessels that operate with 12 or more crew members. “
Every organization, Transport Canada said, must implement a “strong policy” that:
• Includes “provision for employee certification / declaration of immunization status”.
• Includes “a description of the consequences for employees who fail to comply or falsify information”.
• Meets “standards consistent with the Government of Canada’s approach to core public administration”.
Additionally, after a “short phase-in period, every organization is required to ensure that employees are fully immunized or will not be able to work,” according to Transport Canada. The government has said that employees “unable to be vaccinated due to grounds prohibited under the Canadian Human Rights Act, such as a medical contraindication, may request accommodation.”
Travelers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains; on non-essential passenger ships with trips of 24 hours or more (such as cruise ships); or departing from Canadian airports must be vaccinated by October 30. This requirement applies to all travelers aged 12 or older, Transport Canada said.
For travelers who are in the process of being vaccinated, “there will be a short transition period where they can travel if they can present a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel, but this transition period will end on November 30, ”the government agency noted. In addition, there will be “very limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement for travelers to cope with the realities of remote communities accessible by air; emergency travel; and exceptional medical reasons, ”according to the Canadian government.
Transport Canada will oversee compliance. He noted that for those “who falsify information or otherwise fail to comply, there will be serious consequences. For example:
• “Railways could be subject to compliance actions of up to $ 250,000 per violation, per day, under the Railway Safety Act.
• “In the airline industry, individuals – whether travelers or employees – could be fined up to $ 5,000 per violation under the Aeronautics Act, and operators could be fined. fine of up to $ 25,000 per violation.
• “In the maritime sector, employees and travelers could be fined for failing to provide proof of vaccination up to $ 250,000 per violation, per day, and operators could be fined to a fine of up to $ 250,000 per violation, per day, for non-compliance with the Interim Order made under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
“Vaccines are the best way to protect each other,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. “Requiring travelers and employees to be vaccinated ensures that everyone who travels and works in the transportation industry will better protect each other and keep Canadians safe. “
As part of related developments, CN announced in September that all employees in Canada must be vaccinated starting November 1.