How to address vaccine mandates

Many have approached us to ask how they can handle being hit with a vaccine mandate. Unfortunately, we are unable to answer all of these requests directly, there are simply too many requests coming across our desks.

No matter what your medical view on vaccines, the issue is a freedom issue. Many who support the vaccines do not even support the mandates. If you support others being forced to take the vaccine, will you have that same view tomorrow when you yourself may be forced to take a different medical treatment? Everyone should be able to make their own medical choices.

While we cannot give you legal advice for your particular situation, we can provide information that may help you, to outline what many are doing on this issue.

Whether you have been hit with a mandate in the workplace, post-secondary institution or in relation to events or services, the basics are the same.

If you wish to stand against the mandate, you can communicate the following to the authority mandating it. Only you can determine the boldness of your stance, but here are some options:

1. Under the relevant provincial human rights legislation, you are entitled to exemptions from the requirement of a mandatory vaccine if you fit under the protected grounds of religious belief and/or disability. You can ask the authority for an exemption to the requirement (citing the relevant human rights legislation) if you have a religious belief and/or disability that interferes with taking the vaccine. Asking for an exemption does not sit well with some. For others, it gives them a chance to provide their strong objection based on what they believe.

Sincerely explain the religious belief and/or disability at issue. Many are sharing that they hold religious and conscientious beliefs that require them to refrain from taking a medical treatment against their will (Rom. 12:1: 1 Cor. 3:17, 6:19-20) and that require them to act in accordance with these religious and conscientious beliefs. They believe that they have the right, indeed are compelled, to act in accordance with these beliefs without interference. If this is your belief, you should share that. Please flesh this out as much as possible, but within the context of requesting an exemption, do not share your opinions against the vaccine on a scientific basis. This view is not deemed a religious belief.

You may be asked for support for this from a doctor and/or minister. If you are unable to get this support, you can still assert that you are entitled to this exemption. The authority is required to accommodate you to the point of undue hardship. Inconvenience is not enough. Some individuals do not take the view that they should have to ask for an exemption. It is up to you to choose whether to make this request, but it is grounded in human rights law.

2. You can also share that any requirement to take the vaccine is not appropriate because it breaches the principle of informed consent. Informed consent occurs with one has been properly informed as to the benefits and possible side effects of a medical treatment. Further, informed consent cannot occur when coercion exists. This principle is grounded in tort and criminal law. If you are an AHS employee, you may wish to refer to AHS policies on informed consent.

3. When the entity issuing the mandate is government, section 7 of the Charter applies to protect life, liberty and security, especially in relation to personal healthcare choices. Even in the private context, this is important from a principled perspective.

4. Many are also communicating that they will not accept legal liability if they are forced to take the vaccine and adverse events occur, that this liability rests on those requiring it.

5. Some are also adding information to take exception to the scientific and logical basis for a vaccine mandate. If the vaccine truly protects those vaccinated, many question why the unvaccinated pose possible harm.

6. You may also share that you are willing to undergo mandatory testing in lieu of taking the vaccine. Some are willing to accept testing, others are not.

It is important that you carefully read the policy that applies to you.

While we cannot advise you on political options, we hope that you consider them, they are important. Mobilizing those who agree with you also helps.

These are difficult times. Only you can decide on your personal situation and it is still unknown as to how this will turn out. However, know that you are not alone, many are facing this challenge. And the more we stand for freedom, the freer we can become.