April 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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High Court decision | Quebec can impose a mandatory health vaccine

High Court decision |  Quebec can impose a mandatory health vaccine

Quebec could impose a compulsory vaccine on the health network if it so desired, the Superior Court ruled on Monday, but two weeks later the Legalt government backtracked on the matter.

Henry Ouellette-Vézina

Henry Ouellette-Vézina

“Applicants have not been able to prove that the decree to protect the health of the population in the event of a health emergency, whether we agree with the value of the solution it represents, was not taken in its face. […] Therefore, at this stage, it is necessary for the decree to come into force, ”Judge Michel Yergo explained in a public decision earlier Monday, rejecting the request for suspension.

Recall that the initial hearing took place on October 27, just days before Health Minister Christian Dube announced his decision to abandon mandatory vaccinations for health workers, he said he could not do without vaccinated caregivers.

In this case, more than a hundred health workers, including doctors, have filed a lawsuit against the government against the imposition of the mandatory vaccine. Advocate of the group, ME Natalia Manol appealed that the removal of “20,000” people from the health system would lead to a “disaster situation” due to service disruptions.

What kind of impact?

If this decision remains symbolic for the time being due to the government’s flip-flop, it will prove crucial if Quebec decides to change its position again by opting for vaccination on the health network. Judge Jergeus’ decision serves as the law of the case, nullifying and nullifying other legal challenges.

In the office of the Minister of Health, they say they “note” this decision of the Superior Court. “For our part, we continue to conduct mandatory screening of non-vaccinated employees at least three times a week, outside of their working hours. If recalcitrant employees refuse the exam, they will be suspended without pay. That fact must be taken into account. ”

This regular screening is a measure already in place since the October 15 deadline on the mandatory vaccination was first postponed. The government pays all the costs required for the screening, but the employee has to pay on their own time. Health facilities are encouraged to reassign non-vaccinated personnel to areas where customers are scarce.

Added by email, Attorney ME Natalia Manol recalled that “the judge ruled only on the request for suspension and not on the legality of the decree.” “The question of personal rights and public interest will come up for discussion during the trial on merit in January 2022. The judge will rule on the legality of the decree,” she said.

“Not applicable”

Roxanne Borges da Silva, a professor at the School of Public Health (ESPUM), recalled on Monday, “Although the government has all the legitimacy to apply this decree, we actually have an absentee rate in the health network. This measure does not apply.”

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“It is still very frustrating to know that these non-vaccinated workers do not know how to avoid their occupation, which does not put patients at risk. This is their main role,” she said. It’s not the same, but the epidemic has certainly exacerbated it, “she agreed.

Andre Willett, a professor of medicine at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute and director of the Molecular Oncology Research Unit, ruled that the procedure was “legal.” “It also raises interesting questions as to whether it could be extended to governments or other circles such as education. I think all employers should take the means at their disposal to increase the proportion of people who are vaccinated,” he said.

With Funny Lewesk and Louis-Samuel Peron‌la