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The COVID-19 pandemic has been an evolving public health issue in Canada. The Town of Oakville (town) continues to monitor guidance from all applicable public health authorities and reserves the right to revise this procedure as determined to be necessary and appropriate. Health and safety is a priority, and the town recognizes a member of Council’s commitment to taking every precaution reasonable from the hazard of COVID-19.
Vaccination is a key element in the protection of all employees, Members of Council, and any individual representing or acting on behalf of the town in any manner and every person accessing town property, services, events and programs, against the hazard of COVID-19. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that all current and future Members of Council are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provided an appropriate safe alternative accommodation based on individual circumstances.
This procedure applies to the Mayor and Members of Council. It provides guidance on the town’s Vaccination Policy, in a manner that respects a member’s statutory role as an elected representative.
Town Council supports and will continue to follow Halton Region Public Health guidelines and recommendations in keeping with the following principles:
Members of Council who have already received their vaccination are required to provide proof of their COVID-19 Vaccination Status by uploading their vaccination record/receipt provided by the Ministry of Health, pharmacy, doctor’s office, or other authorized provider into the self-serve portal by September 20, 2021. Appropriate proof of vaccination includes providing a clean copy of the physical or electronic receipt. If Members of Council have a green health card, they are able to download an electronic PDF copy of their vaccine record by going to https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/. If Members of Council have a red and white health card, or do not have a health card, they may call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488. Should the Province of Ontario implement a proof-of-vaccination certification system (commonly known as a “vaccine passport”), the town may choose to utilize that system at a later date, if feasible.
For those Members of Council who are not yet fully vaccinated, they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved accommodation plan in place by October 31, 2021. An individual is defined as fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (i.e. AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna, or a combination thereof), or their first dose of a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (i.e. Johnson & Johnson), that is approved by Health Canada. In the future, this may include any required booster shots.
All Members of Council are required to disclose and consent to providing proof of vaccination status. All medical information regarding vaccination status or accommodations will be treated with the highest confidentiality and will only be used for the purposes of the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and Procedure.
The town will use COVID-19 vaccination status information to make operational and health and safety decisions to protect all those in the town against COVID-19. This information will be used to verify compliance with the town’s policy and procedure on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. The information may also be used for tracking and reporting on aggregate data with respect to statistics around the vaccination status. The vaccination record will only be accessed by the Clerk’s department to administer this procedure and accompanying policy and will be stored in a secure system, safeguarded by restricted access, ensuring the privacy of this medical information. This information will be destroyed if and when it is no longer required by the town.
The town will make reasonable efforts to accommodate Members of Council who are unable to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for reasons protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Where a Member of Council is not fully vaccinated, the procedure supports appropriate safe, alternative accommodations based on individual circumstances.
Currently it is understood that the legitimate medical reasons for not being able to receive the COVID-19 vaccination are limited to the following:
A severe allergy to a component of the vaccine, confirmed by the employee’s medical doctor who is an allergist or immunologist, registered in good standing with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
Confirmation by the employee’s medical doctor who is registered in good standing with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario that the employee was diagnosed with developing myocarditis or pericarditis after a first dose of an mRNA vaccine.
These reasons may change in the future as medical science evolves.
Members of Council requiring an accommodation must make a request to the Town Clerk in writing. Accommodation requests should be made by September 20, 2021 in order to allow for sufficient time to review the request and determine the accommodations required prior to October 31, 2021. Safe, alternative accommodations include participating remotely in Council and Committee meetings in accordance with established policies, procedures, and by-laws, where applicable. Individual accommodations will be determined with the Member of Council and the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk will consult with Human Resources and/or the CAO’s Office, when required.
Non compliance with this procedure will result in implementation of a safe, alternative, and appropriate accommodation, to be determined by the Town Clerk in consultation with Human Resources and the CAO’s Office, when required.
Adherence to this procedure will be required by any newly elected or appointed Member of Council. Safe, alternative accommodations will be assessed based on individual cases.
Unless a legislated or regulatory exemption applies, all Members of Council are expected and required to continue to comply with applicable health and safety measures to reduce the hazard of COVID-19. The town will continue to closely monitor its COVID-19 risk mitigation planning and ensure it continues to optimally protect the health and safety of employees. The town will continue to assess other available workplace risk mitigation measures available and may amend this procedure as necessary.
COVID-19: A virus belonging to a large family called coronavirus which includes the virus that causes the common cold and more severe disease such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARs) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-COV). The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2.
COVID-19 vaccination status: Identifies if a person is fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or unvaccinated for COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated: the individual has received the required number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada (e.g., both doses of a two-dose vaccine series, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series); and they received their final dose of vaccine at least 14 days ago. If the person received their second dose within the last 14 days, they are considered partially vaccinated until day 14. In the future, this may include any required booster shots.
Partially vaccinated: having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada, but is not yet Fully Vaccinated.
Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination: documentation issued by the Ontario Ministry of Health, other Province or Territory, or international equivalent indicating vaccination status against the COVID-19 virus. Copies can be obtained by logging into the provincial vaccine portal.
Unvaccinated: not having received any COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada; Or is not willing to share their COVID-19 vaccination status with the town; OR has an approved exemption
Members of Council and Town staff are responsible for:
Staff are authorized and directed to take the necessary action to give effect to this procedure.
The Town Clerk or designates are delegated the authority to make administrative changes to this procedure that may be required from time to time due to legislative changes or if, in the opinion of both of them, the amendments do not change the intent of the procedure.
Procedure number: MS-REG-003-002
Parent policy number: MS-REG-003
Section: Municipal services
Sub-section: Regulatory services
Author(s): Clerk's Department, Human Resources
Effective date: 2021-09-13
Review by date: 2022
Last modified: 2022-02-28
Council Code of Conduct
Ontario Human Rights Code
Any other relevant town policies