By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Chatham-Kent council won’t be dealing with a municipal employee vaccination policy until Sept. 27 at the earliest.
At the regular Sept. 13 meeting, elected officials opted to delay discussion on the matter, voting 11-6 against a motion from North Kent Coun. Joe Faas to put the issue on the table immediately.
Faas told council time is of the essence, adding the safety of the community is at stake.
“The fourth wave is revving up,” Faas said. “The longer you leave it, the more advanced it gets.”
Earlier in the meeting, council heard from
Chief Human Resource Director Cathy Hoffman who gave a brief report on the vaccine policy staff is currently working on.
Hoffman said the document is still in draft form and, with government legislation in flux, the situation is evolving.
However, she said all employees have been “strongly encouraged” to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible over the “many months” of the pandemic.
Further consultation with the employee union is still needed before the policy can be completed, Hoffman said.
Faas had originally put forward a motion to establish a vaccine policy in August, but withdrew it upon learning administration was working to develop comprehensive guidelines for the municipality.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby is strongly recommending businesses adopt a vaccine policy.
On Sept. 22, Ontario’s vaccine passport will come into effect.