Number of potential Toronto suspensions drops, as mayor orders fewer firings

The number of city workers facing possible suspensions due to their refusal to participate in Toronto’s new mandatory vaccination policy has dropped to a small number following a directive from Mayor John Tory to limit the number of suspensions to just those who purposefully defied the city’s deadline, The Globe and Mail reported on Monday.

After Toronto passed a law requiring children attending daycare centers, daycares, and schools to have been vaccinated by the end of June, municipal officials received nearly 4,000 complaints from parents over the spring and summer. Ontario has the highest vaccination rate in the country, according to a recent study.

Toronto’s Ministry of Health wrote in a memo sent on Friday that there are currently 337 employees who face the possibility of suspensions. That’s down from 570 employees back in May, when the first wave of possible suspensions were called off. Mayor Tory, speaking to the Toronto Star at a press conference on Monday, said that the goal of the no-vaccination policy was to create healthier communities, as opposed to stifle religious freedom. “We shouldn’t be imposing it.” he said. “Our province has mandated them. Our province has helped.”

Toronto changed its policy after large numbers of children at an upscale private daycare in the city’s west end refused to immunize their children. Some parents of children in the daycare criticized it as an over-reliance on mandatory vaccines. That prompted the law’s passage earlier this year. Now, Toronto children who have not been immunized at school or daycare must either go to the doctor, or return home to have their shots. Violations carry fines of up to $1,000.

Read the full story at The Globe and Mail.


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