A Danielle Smith government would amend the Alberta Human Rights Act to prohibit employers from firing employees based on their vaccination status.

Smith said thousands of Albertans lost their jobs because they declined the vaccine and another “tens of thousands” were pressured to take the vaccine on the threat of losing their job. Companies will be pressured into implementing the same mandate this fall as federal booster mandates are looming.

“This was a human rights violation,” she said.

“That’s why as Premier, our government will amend the Alberta Human Rights Act to prohibit employers from firing employees based on their vaccination status.”

In the past, Smith has said the federal government will pressure provinces to reintroduce lockdowns, restrictions and vaccine mandates. Alberta must be prepared to resist pressure to do the same, she said.

Western University in Ontario has already mandated Covid-19 boosters shots for its students and staff. Those who have two doses of a Health Canada-approved vaccine will not be able to attend campus this fall.

According to Alberta vaccination data, 77% of Albertans have two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Just 39% have three doses. 

The federal government is also considering whether to include booster shots in the next version of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its workers.

“Any decisions will be based on science and the advice of public health officials,” Mona Fortier, president of the Treasury Board, said in April. 

Currently, any federal worker in the core public administration, as well as the RCMP, must attest that they are fully vaccinated or risk being put on leave without pay. The policy also applies to employees who work from home.

Smith said the decision of whether to be vaccinated “is between you and your doctor…the Government and media can butt out.”

UCP leadership race polls peg Smith ahead of her six opponents. Party members will elect a new leader and Premier on October 6. 

Author

  • Rachel Emmanuel

    Rachel is a seasoned political reporter who’s covered government institutions from a variety of levels. A Carleton University journalism graduate, she was a multimedia reporter for three local Niagara newspapers. Her work has been published in the Toronto Star. Rachel was the inaugural recipient of the Political Matters internship, placing her at The Globe and Mail’s parliamentary bureau. She spent three years covering the federal government for iPolitics. Rachel is the Alberta correspondent for True North based in Edmonton.

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