One Ontario hospital opposed vaccine mandate, letters to premier reveal


Published February 1, 2022 at 3:22 pm

Documents show that one hospital out of dozens that wrote to Ontario Premier Doug Ford over a possible COVID-19 vaccine mandate opposed the idea. 

The Canadian Press used Freedom of Information law to request copies of all written responses sent to Ford after he asked for input from health leaders on a potential mandatory vaccination policy for hospital workers in October.

Ford ultimately decided not to make COVID-19 jabs mandatory and stuck with a policy requiring all hospital workers who aren’t vaccinated to regularly get tested for the virus.

A hospital in Hearst, Ont., was the only facility that asked Ford not to mandate the shots provincewide.

Hôpital Notre-Dame Hospital CEO Liza Fortier said the staff vaccination rate was at 74 per cent at the time and she feared having to cut services or pay high fees to replace people if they refused to get vaccinated.

A handful of unions and one local public health official also opposed the idea but the Ontario Hospital Association and dozens of individual hospitals wrote to Ford sharing their support for a provincewide mandate.

A spokeswoman for Ford says the province reviewed input it received on the issue along with evidence from other jurisdictions that struggled to implement mandatory vaccination policies. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2022. 

The Canadian Press

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising