Beyond the Border: U.S. President Joe Biden unveils new vaccine measures

Washington, D.C. — United States President Joe Biden has announced new vaccine rules on federal workers, large employers and health care staff, directing the nation’s Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are either vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested for the virus once a week.

The new requirements could apply to as many as 100 million Americans–close to two-thirds of the American workforce–and certainly applies to collision repairers working in large-scale facilities.

If companies refuse to comply, they could face thousands of dollars in fines per employee.

Though Canadian Parliament is dissolved pending the Sept. 20 federal election, none of the federal candidates have voiced vaccine mandates as widespread as President Biden’s Thursday announcement.

The Liberal government already announced it would make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for federal public service workers and those in federally-regulated transportation sectors prior to the election. If re-elected, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal policy would take affect in October and also apply to any commercial air, interprovincial train and cruise-ship passengers.

Jagmeet Singh’s NDPs agree with the Liberal’s proposed vaccine mandate for federal workers, though Singh has taken the policy a step further, signaling that, in situations where employees refuse to be vaccinated for reasons other than health, disciplinary measures could be taken.

Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives say its party would take an “alternative” approach to mandatory vaccines and require unvaccinated Canadian passengers would be required to present a negative test result or pass a rapid-test before getting on a bus, plane, train or ship. O’Toole also said he would require any unvaccinated federal public servants to pass a daily rapid test.

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul said the party is “considering very seriously” vaccine mandates for the federal public service.




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