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Island communities reconsidering staff vaccine mandates as provincial changes loom

Some municipalities delaying decision; B.C. vax passport program lifted April 8
The City of Victoria has announced it will end its staff vaccine mandate as of April 8. (Black Press Media file photo)

Southern Vancouver Island municipalities are considering whether to keep staff vaccine mandates in place as the province moves to remove requirements for vaccine cards April 8.

As of Monday, the City of Victoria told Black Press Media it plans to remove its mandate in line with the provincial change. Head of engagement Bill Eisenhauer said the 16 city employees currently on unpaid leave will be eligible to return to work at that point, but it will be up to them whether they wish to return.

A spokesperson for the District of Oak Bay said its decision will be based on the state of the pandemic come April 8. Sidney, North Saanich, Central Saanich, Saanich and View Royal are also holding off on making a concrete decision. A spokesperson for each municipality said they’re maintaining their mandates for the time being, but plan to review them soon.

Colwood’s communications manager said they plan to review their policy at their upcoming occupational health and safety meeting, while a Langford spokesperson said they’re monitoring the situation but aren’t making any changes at this time. Sooke doesn’t have a vaccine policy in place.

The Capital Regional District also plans to remove its vaccine mandate for staff come April 8. Communications manager Andy Orr said he couldn’t comment on whether any staff had left as a result of the CRD’s mandate, but noted the regional district gave them the option of regular testing if they weren’t vaccinated.

READ ALSO: Mask mandate lifts in B.C., COVID vaccine card program to end April 8

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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