Members of Winnipeg city council’s executive policy committee have voted unanimously in support of a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all councillors and their staff.
The council committee vote comes after the city announced a vaccine requirement last week for its staff who deal with the public.
It applies to those working in public safety, community protection, recreation services, public transportation and public-facing customer service roles.
The EPC motion was put forward by Coun. Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry), who said if public-facing city employees have to be vaccinated, councillors should be, too.
“We sit among others … that deserve the same type of confidence in council as leaders to have that obligation to protect the safety of not only our residents, but those of our colleagues and our co-workers,” she said during an executive policy committee meeting Tuesday afternoon.
“As our employees are expected to do all they can to follow health and safety protocols, and inform themselves, this motion mirrors that,” Rollins said.
The motion calls on councillors, if they haven’t done so already, be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15 — the same as the deadline for city staff.
It will now be considered by the rest of city council when they meet next Wednesday.
If the motion passes, any council member who isn’t already vaccinated will have to work remotely.
The Winnipeg Free Press has previously reported that Coun. Vivian Santos (Point Douglas) is the only member of city council who has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, citing an unspecified medical condition as her reason for not getting vaccinated.
Earlier this month, Mayor Brian Bowman removed her as the city’s acting deputy mayor, saying he was looking for someone who was a “better fit” for the task of fighting a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with Rollins, the city’s executive policy committee is made up of Couns. Matt Allard, Jeff Browaty, Scott Gillingham, Cindy Gilroy and Brian Mayes, along with Bowman.