Vaccine mandate caused ‘severe’ staffing problems in transport industry: declassified documents

A COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the federally regulated workforce would put serious staffing and operational strains on the transportation sector, according to a secret briefing submitted to the Cabinet in June before the mandate was suspended. posed a challenge.

“Operators are reporting serious challenges in staffing critical job positions across the sector, citing current vaccination mandates as a key factor,” said the now declassified and significantly The document being compiled is intended to brief government ministers on policy considerations regarding the obligation.

The briefing was from Transport Minister Omar Al-Ghabra and Treasury President Mona Fortier, according to a document attached to the briefing and signed by Advisor to the Office of the Privy Council, Neil McLaw.

“In the air, operators are losing some pilots to jurisdictions like the United States that don’t need vaccines, and ground crews to other divisions that don’t have mandates,” he said. trust in,” said the briefing.

The document has been partially declassified in connection with ongoing litigation related to travel vaccine mandates.

In June, the Canadian official behind the compulsory travel policy was cross-examined as part of legal proceedings and repeatedly cited the cabinet’s trust as a reason for not answering questions.

Applicant Karl Harrison and Sean Ricardo’s attorney, Sam Presvelos, informed Jennifer Little, manager of Transport Canada, that she and her COVID recovery team had entered into force on October 30, 2021. I asked if he had ever advised his boss to change aspects of his obligations.

“We made recommendations and outlined considerations, and like I said, I can’t argue with them,” Little said.

When Presvelos asked why, Justice Department attorney Mahan Keramati called out “cabinet trust,” a rule that protects government information from public view.

Presvelos asked for a promise to release the information, and the government sent back four official documents, three of which were completely redacted.

One briefing, not fully redacted, also noted that the airline industry was putting pressure on the Liberal government in late spring to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

“They underscored the growing difficulty of operations as Canada is increasingly remote from the rest of the world, and are aware of the latest science that protections from infection are weak. There’s been a lot of backlash from people,” the briefing said.

Although the government suspended the domestic travel mandate on June 20 and warned it could be reverted depending on the situation, public health officials said the government will continue to implement measures in late 2021 and early 2022. He said he was aware that vaccination provided limited protection against infection.

Dr. Eleni Galanis, Director of the Center for Integrated Risk Assessment at Public Health Agency of Canada, said: Her interrogation in June.

The briefing stated that the vaccine’s protection against infection and transmission from the Omicron variant after two doses was “less than 20% in most studies by >6 months post-vaccination.”

The Epoch Times reached out to Air Canada and WestJet to learn more about the staffing issue, but did not immediately hear back.

Epoch Times photo
A screenshot of the June 2022 briefing to the Liberal Cabinet on the impact of mandatory vaccines on the transport sector.


The issue of air travel has been more scrutinized in the context of vaccine mandates, but the briefing also mentions how vaccines have affected major railroads.

Class 1 railroads, namely Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP), are operating with fewer staff than last year and the order “is a major impediment to staffing critical operational positions such as engineers and conductors. It is.” Both in terms of keeping ex-employees aside and making hiring difficult.

Blacklock’s Reporter said in late June that Canadian Pacific did not impose such draconian orders to keep its trains running. Failure to do so would “jeopardize the critical operations of the railroad,” he was quoted as saying by CP.

Both CN and CP have been sued in federal court with Transport Canada for imposing vaccination requirements.

CN declined to comment on this story and CP did not respond by publication time.


The liberal government has suspended domestic vaccine mandates for boarding planes and trains, but kept them for going on cruises.

“The chances of catching COVID-19 on a cruise ship are very high, even if you are fully vaccinated.” To tell government website.

Cases of outbreaks on cruise ships have been widely documented, and a very high rate of vaccination is being given to passengers.

A Cabinet briefing said vaccine mandates “are important in the cruise environment, but the need for boosters will be a challenge.”

Next to the text is a table on vaccination uptake with columns “age group”, “fully vaccinated”. [as of Oct. 30, 2021]and “Fully vaccinated with at least 1 booster [as of May 8, 2022]”

The first two rows covering ages 18 to 39 are circled in red to indicate low booster intake. Seventy-eight percent of 18- to 29-year-olds were fully vaccinated and 35 percent had boosters. 79% of 30-39 patients were fully vaccinated and 43% had boosters. Uptake rates increased progressively with age.

“Require boosters” refers to considerations governments have taken to maintain their obligations and impose boosters to be considered fully vaccinated. Such an approach would require new doses to be mandated every few months, as protection has been found to decline significantly over short periods of time.


The Epoch Times reached out to Transport Canada for additional details about the staffing issue and whether it was related to the travel disruptions they experienced recently, but did not immediately hear back.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra held the private sector accountable at a news conference on 29 August, during which he and other ministers provided an update on the government’s task force to improve services.

Algabra was asked by reporters if there were places where the government could reduce its presence to improve the transport system. I referred to what you said about exclusion.

“I actually think it’s ironic. On the one hand, Conservative voices say ‘get the government out of the way’ and on the other hand they are asking the government to solve the problems of the private sector. So you can’t have both methods,” Algabra said.

He added that the government’s role is to ensure that there are safety and efficiency standards and that the transport sector, mostly privately run, is responsible for serving customers.

Transport Canada believed the mandate would be a “catalyst” to boost vaccine uptake, according to other documents filed during the lawsuit.

Noe Chartier


Noé Chartier is a reporter for the Epoch Times based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret