A petition opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates at BC Hydro has so far garnered more than 2,600 signatures.
The petition, launched two weeks ago, is calling on the company to stand by an earlier commitment that vaccinations would not be mandatory. The petition claims BC Hydro is mandating all employees declare themselves vaccinated, or face suspension without pay.
“BC Hydro has thrived as it has gone to great lengths to expand inclusivity. To abandon these core principles now will most certainly have long-term and unintended consequences,” reads the petition, started by Kevan Daniel.
“This is not about whether you are vaccinated or not. There are many reasons why one might feel either decision is safest for themselves and others. It is solely about respecting an individuals' rights to make their own personal medical decisions, and the right to keep those decisions private.”
More than 6,000 BC Hydro employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, BC Hydro said on Oct. 7. Consultants and employees of contractors and sub-contractors will be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022.
The mandate applies to workers at Site C, where there have been two viral outbreaks so far this year, both of which have been declared over.
BC Hydro has been contacted for comment.
As of Oct. 15, there were 1,657 workers reported at the Site C camp outside Fort St. John. There were 20 active cases of COVID-19 reported, with 15 workers isolating at camp and another 28 isolating at home.
Prior to the company's announcement, Health Minister Adrian Dix said of the 2,000 workers that had reported their vaccination status, 83% were fully vaccinated and 7% only partially. Five per cent were not vaccinated, and another five per cent did not disclose their status, he said.
Dix said 3,575 vaccines doses had been given to workers at Site C, including 1,985 first doses and 1,590 second doses.
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