According to Ontario's minister of education, upwards of 50,000 education workers in Ontario could be fired if COVID-19 vaccines were mandated for the sector, The Canadian Press reports.
Responding to the Ontario NDP party in question period, education minister Stephen Lecce said a mandatory vaccine policy would mean terminating tens of thousands of educators when the province already faces staffing shortages.
"I think we have to be coupled by realism and ensure that any staff member who enters our school has a double test, a negative antigen test, to ensure they are safe, to ensure our schools could be staffed, and these kids can continue to go to school every day," Lecce said.
More than 85% of Ontario's education staff are vaccinated, while the remaining approximately 15% have either attested to not being vaccinated or have refused to disclose their vaccination status.
The approximately 50,000 workers include teachers, educational assistants, early childhood educators, principals, board staff, occasional staff and custodians, who are either unvaccinated or won't disclose their status.
Some school boards, such as the Toronto District School Board, have already enacted their own tougher policies that include threat of termination.
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