Quebec judge speaks out against healthcare workers, says they failed to demonstrate vaccine mandate unreasonable
Earlier this month, the Quebec government backed out of making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for healthcare workers.
But a challenge to the policy was still pending in the courts.
A Superior Court judge on Monday dismissed a request by a group of healthcare workers for an injunction to postpone the implementation of the province’s vaccination mandate until both sides present their full arguments in January.
The group argued that the vaccination rule would constitute “irreparable harm” as it would prevent thousands of Quebecers from accessing health care as workers who are not adequately vaccinated would be suspended without pay.
According to Judge Michel Yergeau, the lawyer representing health workers has failed to prove that the decree should be suspended.
In his ruling, the judge wrote that the vaccination mandate does not necessarily require staff to be vaccinated, and the suspension of workers is a prejudice that can be remedied if the government decree is subsequently found to be invalid.
“[In light of that], the repercussions that [the vaccination mandate] would have on the quality, reliability or resilience of the health system and on its ability to meet the needs of the Quebec population do not go beyond hypothetical scenarios, âhe writes.
More than 17,000 healthcare workers were not vaccinated as of November 3, according to the Quebec government.
Lawyer for healthcare workers, Natalie Manole, presented her case for an injunction on October 27.
At the time, the province had already pushed back the original deadline for its vaccination mandate, and the judge said he would make a ruling regardless of what the Quebec government decided to do with the new deadline.