City council to consider mandatory COVID vaccine policy

Sarnia City Hall. September 2018 Photo by Melanie Irwin

A Sarnia city/county councillor is calling on all members of city council and city council committee appointees to provide proof of double vaccination against COVID-19 by October 31.

Mike Stark said anyone failing to do so, would be forbidden from participating at in-person meetings.

“That doesn’t mean that they would be excluded from the meeting,” said Stark. “They can access the meeting through technical support through ZOOM, but it would eliminate being involved with the in-person meetings.”

Stark said he doesn’t know what his colleagues’ vaccination status is currently.

“The mayor has been fairly explicit in his support for vaccines, I have not spoken with any other councillors and I am simply responding to the acting Medical Officer of Health in his request that we move down this course of action.”

If approved Monday, Stark asks that a similar resolution be forward to Lambton County Council for consideration.

Stark said city council doesn’t have the ability to impose restrictions on staff.

Sarnia’s Chief Administrative Officer Chris Carter released details of a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy Friday.

It requires all City of Sarnia employees, contractors, consultants, volunteers and students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The City of Sarnia is following the lead from our local community partners, Bluewater Health, Lambton College and other municipalities throughout the Province of Ontario,” Carter said in a statement. “The City of Sarnia is doing everything we can to protect our community, especially as more of the economy reopens. Health and safety continues to be our number one priority. Our goal is to increase the safety of our workplace for staff, as well as for the public accessing our services.”

Timelines to provide proof of vaccination were not shared.

The customer service area on the first floor of Sarnia city hall is expected to resume in person services October 12 and the second and third floor will be available to the public by appointment only.