A work-from-home Bank of Canada employee who asked for a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine has been suspended without pay, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. 

“It hurt so badly,” former Bank of Canada IT project manager Evelyn Egboye told Blacklock’s Reporter. “I just wanted to work. How can someone tell me I cannot work?”

Egboye, who has been working at the Bank of Canada for four years, was suspended last week. 

Egboye said she was not going into the office because she had been working remotely since March 15, 2020. She had been advised since that time to not go into the office. 

The Bank of Canada has threatened to suspend or fire employees who refuse to disclose their vaccine status or who cannot prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Management claimed it would consider religious exemptions – as required by the Treasury Board of Canada’s vaccine policy –  but it rejected Egboye’s request. 

Egboye explained in her request dated Oct. 28 that she was a born-again Christian, and she cited nine passages from the Bible explaining her opposition to mandatory vaccination. 

Her request was accompanied by a letter from her pastor confirming she belonged to a congregation “commanded to live in light of God’s moral commands,” including resistance to mandatory vaccination programs. 

The bank rejected her request without explanation. 

Egboye said she has since been locked out of her computer, her credentials have been suspended and she has lost her benefits. 

“The Bank was a very friendly place to work, very understanding,” she said. “These are not the people I knew.”

The Treasury Board said in a memo from Oct. 6 that religious exemptions must be granted to employees regardless of whether their place of worship has any teaching on vaccination. 

This suspension seems to contradict a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that ruled the state has no right to arbitrate religious beliefs. 

The decision came where Orthodox Jews in Montreal were accused of breaching condo bylaws by erecting sukkahs on their balconies. The ruling stated that condominium managers had no business questioning whether tenants’ convictions complied with Jewish law. 

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