Lambton College stands by vaccine mandate as protestors rally outside of school

Rally held outside of Lambton College. August 24, 2021. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Several vehicles honked in support of a group of protestors Tuesday who were stationed in front of Lambton College.

A rally against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations was held at the London Road entrance of the campus.

Lambton College, like many post-secondary institutions across Ontario, extended its vaccine policy to include all students, faculty, staff, contractors and guests.

Local resident Cory VanVeller attended the rally and said he’s not necessarily against COVID-19 vaccines but the mandate to show proof of vaccination.

“I am against the mandate. Everybody should be given a free choice. This is merely a matter of divide and conquer,” claimed VanVeller. “Right now, we represent the minority.”

He also said he’s concerned students will essentially be pressured into getting the vaccine.

“Leftist opinions are dominating what’s happening,” he said. “It’s time for common sense.”

Rally held outside of Lambton College. August 24, 2021. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Many protestors refused to comment to Blackburn News and none of the individuals identified themselves as Lambton College students or staff.

Diana Forbes, director of marketing, communications, and brand management for Lambton College, said they are listening to what protestors have to say but at the same time, the school has certain responsibilities.

“Lambton College still stands behind the decision made last week,” she said. “The reason for that, we have the responsibility to protect the health and safety of students, employees, and the wider Sarnia-Lambton area.”

Forbes said post-secondary institutions have been identified as high-risk settings, with specific concerns regarding the Delta variant. As such, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities gave schools a mandate to have a vaccination policy in place by September 7.

Campus security and local law enforcement were made aware of Tuesday’s protest as there were safety concerns because the London Road entrance is currently under construction.

Forbes said a small number of people associated with the college have expressed concern about the mandate.

She said students with concerns are encouraged to email, while staff are asked to speak with their direct supervisor to learn more about developing plans for the fall.