New Brunswick judge rejects ‘rambling’ anti-vax arguments from four public servants

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Published February 10, 2022 at 3:59 pm

FREDERICTON — A New Brunswick judge has rejected a bid by four public servants to overturn the province’s recent decision to place them on unpaid leave for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a scathing decision that takes aim at basic anti-vaccination arguments, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice E. Thomas Christie said the court had no jurisdiction in this case.

In a ruling released today, Christie said employment-related disputes within a unionized workplace like the provincial government must be handled through the union’s grievance and adjudication process.

Last fall, the province made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all government employees, saying those who failed to comply with the directive would be placed on indefinite unpaid leave.

In November 2021, two teachers and two health-care workers sued the province, claiming their constitutional rights had been violated.

In his decision today, Christie called the workers’ arguments “rambling” and rejected the notion that they were being forced to do something against their will.

He cited a similar case in which another judge stated that those involved were instead being forced to chose between getting vaccinated and keeping their jobs or remaining unvaccinated and losing their income.

Christie cited another court case last year in which the judge said that what was at stake “was not forcible vaccination but rather the consequences of one’s choice to remain unvaccinated.”

In the New Brunswick case, Christie sided with the province, which had filed an application to have the original lawsuit dismissed. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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