Letter to deputy minister latest step protesting B.C. Public Service vaccine mandate

Nov. 22 the deadline for all B.C. Public Service workers to get vaccinated

A group calling itself BC Public Service Employees for Freedom is rejecting the province’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which takes effect Nov. 22. (Black Press Media file photo)

A group calling itself BC Public Service Employees for Freedom is rejecting the province’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which takes effect Nov. 22. (Black Press Media file photo)

A group claiming to represent around 1,400 employees has sent a letter to the head of the BC Public Service objecting to the province’s vaccine mandate, three weeks before the province’s deadline for public service workers to get vaccinated.

The government previously announced that any of its close to 30,000 public service workers not vaccinated by Nov. 22 will face suspension from work.

READ MORE: B.C. public service employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, province says

The group, called BC Public Service Employees for Freedom, sent the letter to deputy minister Lori Wanamaker.

In it, the group asks the province to demonstrate its legal authority for implementing the mandate, demands that it take responsibility if anyone vaccinated suffers side effects, says the mandate is a threat to employees’ privacy and violates consent laws, and that it represents a threat to diversity and inclusion within the public service.

“We respect and support the need for the BCPS to maintain safe workplaces,” the group wrote in the letter.

“However, coerced vaccination with the threat of job loss is neither acceptable, necessary nor justified.”

The group shares its name with a Telegram group – a social media platform similar to WhatsApp – that previously had exchanged messages about how to plan email blasts and get past spam filtering systems on government servers, similar to the emails that were sent to public service employees back in October.

Speaking previously with Black Press, a spokesperson for the BC Public Service said he expected most workers would get vaccinated by the deadline. He added individual ministries are responsible for staffing if there are any shortages.

READ MORE: B.C. public servants spread messages rebuking province’s vaccine mandate


 

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