Barrie City Hall looking at need for mandatory vaccine policy as City of Toronto announces all staff are required to get the shot

County of Simcoe, Town of Innisfil staff continue to work from home

The City of Toronto has put its foot down on the subject of vaccinations: all 37,000+ city staff must get the shot or have a good reason why not. The City of Barrie hasn’t taken such a stance just yet.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said on Thursday that there will be very limited exceptions under human rights grounds for a city staff member to go unvaccinated, but those without defined medical exemptions will be required to undergo vaccine education sessions.

The City of Barrie, meanwhile, has yet to mandate anything but supports the province in doing so. “Like all municipalities, Barrie continues to look at the need and our ability to institute a requirement for mandatory vaccination of staff,” said Chief Administrative Officer Michael Prowse. “We continue to encourage and support the province to institute a comprehensive directive for vaccines within each sector so there is a consistent approach. Protecting our employees and residents continues to be a top priority.”

The County of Simcoe says it hasn’t put any policy in writing either, as many staff members continue working from home. The County does encourage its staff to seek out a vaccine if they haven’t done so. “We have and continue to strongly encourage vaccination and support the Health Unit with their promotions, including running and supporting clinics and coordinating/administering vaccinations in Long Term Care and Seniors settings, amongst our paramedics, and within our housing and shelter systems, said County CAO, Mark Aitken. “While we currently are not yet requiring vaccinations for general staff in the workplace in most locations, we will continue to follow public health guidance and monitor what other organizations and governments are undertaking to enhance their safety measures, and we will continue to review and adjust policies and best practices at the County of Simcoe moving forward.”

A spokesperson with the Town of Innisfil says there is no mandatory vaccination policy at Town Hall, but confirms that staff continue working from home for the time being; a back-to-work/hybrid policy is in the works.