Hundreds of Federal Employees Launch Legal Challenges to Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

A group of hundreds of federal officials has launched a legal challenge to the liberal government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, with trials set to begin on November 28.

Known as Fonctionnaires unis or United Servants, the Quebec-based group is made up of members working in various federal departments, including Canada Revenue Agency, Service Canada, Canada Food Inspection Agency, and Canada Border Services Agency.

United Servants announced last October that COVID-19 Vaccine Mandatory Imposed by the government on October 6, 2021, all federal employees must receive two doses of the vaccine or be suspended without pay unless they obtain an approved exemption through policy.

“Historically, as federal employees, we are not supposed to criticize the government, so we did not want to make our struggles public. Bernard Degagne, the group’s coordinator, told the Epoch Times.

Epoch Times photo
Bernard Degagne, civil servant. (Courtesy of Bernard Desgagne)

the trial is Federal Public Sector Labor Relations Commission In Ottawa, it is an independent quasi-judicial court responsible for administering the public service and parliamentary grievance adjudication system, with priorities including addressing layoff issues.

“We hope that federal officials who were unaware of our complaints and other legal challenges will hear us out,” said Desgagné, who has worked as a civil servant for 28 years.

“They may have been vaccinated under duress, or they may have been forced to take unpaid leave after they retired or retired because they didn’t want to be injected with substances they couldn’t remove from their bodies.”

The purpose of the court challenge is “to make it impossible for the government to implement such bad policies again,” he added.

Desgagné said both United Servants and their members’ employers have agreed to start the trial in two test cases, filed by Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Karine Lavoie and Service Canada’s Slim Rehibi. Complaint.

“About 60 complaint files have been adjudicated and will have to be addressed similarly unless the board decides during the first trial that it has no jurisdiction,” he said.

The group is headed by William Desroches, an attorney based in Gatineau, Quebec. The Attorney General of Canada represents the Office of the Canadian Finance Commission. I have issued a power of attorney For “core administration,” according to court documents.

The Epoch Times contacted the Canadian Attorney General’s Office, but a spokesperson said the Treasury Department would provide comments.

In an emailed statement, the Treasury Department said the vaccine mandate complies with laws, including the Privacy Act, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The policy on COVID-19 vaccination of core administrations, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will come into effect in the fall of 2021, with vaccination providing a high degree of protection against infection and transmission of the COVID-19 virus. This approach of requiring vaccinations for civil servants as a condition has served as an effective means of protecting civil servants and the communities in which they work.

“As these cases proceed before the Federal Public Sector Labor Relations and Employment Commission or other courts, we will have no further comment on specific complaints or other avenues.”

“Completely incoherent”

Desgagne said United Servants had intended to apply for an injunction last year, but a federal court judge decided against it. Reigns in December 2021 Federal officials opposing the vaccine mandate should file a complaint because their case was considered a labor dispute.

Desgagne said complaints are usually filed with the support of the union.

“So I had to file a separate complaint without the union’s help.”

A complaint filed in November 2021 alleged that the vaccine mandate violated the law. Charter of Rights and FreedomsIt provides for the protection of “the right to life, liberty and security of the person”.

“There are people in my family who got sick after being vaccinated, but I didn’t want to do that because that was my basic right and I was working away from home. said Desgagné.

“Many of us have been working remotely since 2020, so it was totally inconsistent.”

Mr Derochers said of the vaccination policy that “mandatory[s] who [to] Get the vaccine against their will. “

“It’s pretty obvious [it is an] It’s a violation of your personal autonomy,” the attorney told the Epoch Times.

“Much Suffering and Despair”

Desgagne emphasized that court rulings are important because they determine whether a vaccination policy is considered a “disciplinary or administrative action.”

“While we claim it is a disciplinary action, employers continue to claim it is an administrative action. , must be punitive in nature.

Additionally, the group argued in its complaint that “unpaid indefinite leave is not only a disciplinary action, but a constructive dismissal.”

Desgagné said many of the group’s complaints took several months to get back and forth on the complaints procedure before being referred to the board’s ruling, and the board began processing them in May of this year.

“I witnessed a lot of suffering and despair among our group and it affected me greatly,” he said.

“Single mothers and other parents were suddenly told that they would not get paid. .”

On 21 October 2021, Employment Minister Carla Quartraf announced the CBC’spower and politicsNot being vaccinated is “a condition of employment that has not been met, and an employer who chooses to dismiss someone for that reason will disqualify that person for EI.”

“we are [also] We asked the board to compensate us for lost wages and to rule that the policy was at least unreasonable, if not unconstitutional.

Isaac Theo


Isaac Teo is a Toronto-based reporter for the Epoch Times.