Faculty call on institutions, provinces to implement mandatory vaccines, masks

August 4, 2021
Faculty and faculty associations in several provinces have recently penned letters and articles calling for stronger mandates around COVID-19 for students and staff returning to campus. In a letter to the editor of the Edmonton Journal, University of Alberta professor Dr J Nelson Amaral called for a mask mandate on campus, as “simple measures … could reduce the risk of a critical public health situation before the end of fall.” CBC reports that the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations and the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association have called for mandatory vaccination requirements for postsecondary institutions. In a new Maclean’s article, University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran and Western University professor Jacob Shelley argue that Ontario-based institutions have the legal grounds to require vaccines and assert that those without a vaccine requirement are taking an “anti-scientific” stance that is “palpably inferior to the world’s best.” University of British Columbia Professor Debra Parkes and UOttawa Professor Carissma Mathen penned a letter for the Vancouver Sun also asserting that “there is a sound constitutional basis on which universities can require proof of vaccination status, during a pandemic, as a condition of enrolment." CBC | Edmonton Journal | Maclean’s | Vancouver Sun (National)