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Proof of vaccine coming for Coquitlam city workers

Staff have been informed that a COVID-19 vaccination policy is coming at the end of February but few details are available; Port Coquitlam and Port Moody are considering vaccine policies, too
Coquitlam is requiring staff to show proof of vaccination, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody are considering similar policies.

Proof of vaccination will soon be required for staff working at Coquitlam city hall and civic facilities.

A COVID-19 vaccination policy will be in place by the end of February but few details about what that means for workers — or visitors and contractors — are available.

A spokesperson for the city confirmed that the policy is being implemented for safety reasons.

"The City of Coquitlam is committed to providing a safe workplace and community spaces and is implementing a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for city staff to supplement the health and safety measures in the city’s Communicable Disease Plan," stated Renzo Del Negro, director of human resources.

But the president of the union representing city staff said he hadn't seen the policy. And until then, CUPE local 386 president Vim Sharma couldn't comment on what it means for workers, he told the Tri-City News.

The vaccination policy for Coquitlam civic workers comes as B.C. extends its vaccine card program until June 30.

Meanwhile, the City of Port Coquitlam is not far behind implementing its own policy while Port Moody is likely to consider such a policy for staff.

Port Coquitlam council was to discuss a proof of vaccine policy for councillors at its Jan. 25 council meeting but deferred it until all councillors could be present.

However, the city confirmed to the Tri-City News that a proof of vaccine policy for staff, although not yet approved, is imminent.

"The city has notified all staff that a vaccine policy is imminent and that will include the requirement to provide vaccine status a couple weeks after the policy adoption and being fully vaccinated three months after policy approval," stated Steve Traviss, director of human resources.

Port Moody is also considering a proof of vaccine policy for staff.

"We are actively considering implementation of a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy and expect to make a decision by mid-February," stated Angie Parnell, general manager of people, communications and engagement in an email.

“City leadership will continue to keep council informed of all COVID-19 impacts and related decisions and, if a policy is adopted, we will share this information with staff and the community,” Parnell further stated.

Vaccination requirements for city staff working in Tri-City civic facilities come months after the City of Vancouver implemented its own vaccination policy for staff in October 2021 with a Dec. 6, 2021, deadline.

In Vancouver, staff have to be double-vaxxed, with some exceptions for medical reasons or on grounds protected under the province's Human Rights Code.

Anyone who isn't vaccinated and doesn't fit into those categories were not to be allowed in their workplace.

And in the District of Vancouver, 16 staff members were placed on leave for defying the vaccine mandate.

— with files from Canadian Press, Vancouver is Awesome and the North Shore News