Vaccinations made mandatory for City of Calgary employees

All City of Calgary employees must be fully vaccinated or provide a valid reason for exemption by Oct. 18, officials announced Friday.

"As the second largest employer in Calgary, the City has a duty to ensure that our workplaces are safe for both employees and citizens accessing city services, while also modeling for Calgarians the role every individual plays in ensuring the safety of others," said city manager David Duckworth.

"We must take this leadership role at this critical time to do our part to mitigate the impacts of COVID on our staff, our operations and the citizens who depend on us every day. It’s simply the right thing to do." 

City employees unable to be immunized due to a medical reason or other protected grounds under the Alberta Human Rights Act will be reasonably accommodated.

Those employees who require accommodation, however, must undergo mandatory COVID-19 rapid testing and must receive a negative result before they will be allowed to access their workspace.

"Failure to comply with the policy may result in discipline up to and including dismissal," read a release.

The announcement comes soon after the province announced masks will once again be mandatory in all public indoor settings in Alberta and liquor sales are being ended at 10 p.m. Those two measures come into effect Saturday.

The province is also offering $100 to all eligible Albertans who get a first or second dose of vaccine between Sept. 3 and Oct. 14.

Key dates for the new policy include: 

  • Sept. 13 – City employees will be required to disclose and provide proof of vaccination status or grounds for exemption. Unvaccinated staff without an exemption will have to have their first dose by this date;
  • Oct. 18 – It will be mandatory for all employees to have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination, and;
  • Oct. 31 – All City employees without a valid exemption will be considered fully immunized.

According to provincial data, since the province fully reopened July 1, unvaccinated adults between the ages of 20 and 59 have had 50 to 60 times higher risk of hospitalization. More than 80 per cent of all COVID-19 hospitalizations since July 1 have been unvaccinated people. Of the current 114 ICU patients, 91 per cent are unvaccinated.