Thousands of unvaccinated federal government employees are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to abandon his mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. 

A petition shared by the 3,200 member-strong Facebook group “Feds For Freedom” cites the Department of Health’s legal stance that making vaccination compulsory is unlawful, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

“This vaccine mandate is unconstitutional. It is in the interest of every single person employed by the federal government to have their rights, guaranteed by the Canadian Charter, respected unconditionally,” the petition claims. 

“It is unacceptable that the government believes it can force a medical procedure on anyone without considering alternatives. Discriminating against an individual who has partaken, or not, in a medical procedure is in direct contrast with the rights guaranteed.” 

The petition cites the fact that alternatives like daily testing can continue to guarantee the safety of the workplace from COVID-19. 

“There is absolutely no evidence that frequent or daily testing is less safe than a mandatory vaccine. For the government to impose a vaccine with minimal exemptions, it is for the government to prove beyond reasonable doubt it is superior to all other forms of accommodation.”

Earlier this month, Trudeau revealed that all public servants including those working in federally-regulated industries like airlines will be required to be vaccinated by the end of October or face being put on unpaid leave. 

While making the announcement, Trudeau did not mention the fact that vaccine hesitancy rates were highest among black and Indigenous Canadians, many of which make up the public sector.

Statistics Canada numbers reveal that black Canadians reported some of the lowest willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine (56.6%). According to 2020 data, black Canadians made up 3.5% of the federal workforce. 

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