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On Friday, August 13, the Government of Canada announced that COVID-19 vaccines will be made mandatory for federal workers come this fall.

The announcement begged the question about what might happen to federal employees who refuse to get vaccinated.

In response, Minister Dominic LeBlanc said that "those will be cases that will be dealt with individually by the appropriate public service managers. But what we're saying to the federal public service, is that this is now a mandatory requirement to go to work in a federal workplace or to work for the government of Canada."

In addition, he noted that public service managers "will also be in a position to deal with employees that decide not to respect the mandatory requirement."

In regards to those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, Jennifer O'Connell, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of health, said that "there will be accommodations for people who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons. But this is yet another step for those individuals who can't receive that vaccine to ensure they themselves are in a safe workplace to help that they are not more vulnerable and are able to again have a safe workplace."

O'Connell noted that the Federal Government is taking a leadership role to create safe workplaces for government employees, but also "to set the example for Canadians to continue to step up, protect themselves, but protect our country and our communities."

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