The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is ending its Covid-19 vaccine mandate, a newly leaked directive from Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre reveals.
Unvaccinated soldiers who were discharged from their position for refusing to comply with the mandate will be allowed to re-enroll into the military if they so wish.
According to Ottawa Citizen, the policy is expected to be unveiled sometime this summer, reversing the mandate introduced last fall.
New CAF members will no longer be required to be fully vaccinated, and current members will no longer have to reveal their vaccination status.
“Suspending the requirement for CAF members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will require significant administrative effort to address the files of members who were not compliant with the CDS directives on CAF COVID-19 vaccination,” the leaked directive states.
The move comes a month after the federal government lifted vaccine requirements for public service workers and RCMP officers.
In total, 434 unvaccinated members were subject to administrative reviews and, as exclusively reported by True North, were given an “unsuitable for further service” release.
Those facing unsuitable for further release were given a written warning, a grace period to reconsider their decision and finally be put through an administrative process which ultimately led to their dismissal.
Edmonton lawyer Catherine Christensen is currently representing nearly 300 unvaccinated CAF members ejected from their service. Claimants are seeking hundreds of millions in damages from the government.
“These people have lost income, promotions and pensions,” said Christensen. “These people being released are outstanding soldiers. It’s unbelievable the quality of the people the military is losing.”
According to Christensen, the CAF’s offer to re-enroll dismissed soldiers is “smoke and mirrors” because the decision ultimately lies with the Chief of Defence’s staff. She believes unvaccinated CAF members will unlikely be allowed back in the fold.