Town of Essex defers discussions on mandatory vaccination policy

Essex town hall on Feb. 26, 2020. (Rich Garton / CTV Windsor)

The Town of Essex has deferred discussions about a mandatory vaccination policy to a later date.

“I understand that everyone else is doing it. It doesn’t mean that if everybody else lines up to jump off a cliff, we do too,” councillor Sherry Bondy said

Town administration presented a plan to council that would see unvaccinated workers go on unpaid leave and possibly, be terminated.

Council expressed concern over the draft mandatory policy — which can only be challenged for legitimate religious exemptions.

Council directed the town to gather more feedback from the public and employees and will come back to council for reconsideration.

“It doesn’t sit well with me,” Coun. Joe Garron said. “Again, I’m not against asking people to follow the science and get double vaccinated. And I believe in that and I still believe it needs to be their choice. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing. Let’s keep the policies we have in place.”

At least three councilors expressed concern Monday over the wording of the proposed policy.

“It’s dishonest politics to claim that our employees have a choice, when the choice is submit to our will, or lose a pay check. That’s not a choice,” Coun. Chris Vander Doelen said.