B.C. Supreme Court rules on COVID-19 mandate for healthcare workers: Reasonable or not?

Justice Simon Coval dismissed all three cases against the B.C.'s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, with one exception.

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On May 10, British Columbia's Supreme Court handed down its decision for three separate cases that sought to challenge the reasonableness of the province's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Justice Simon Coval sided against unvaccinated frontline workers, who petitioned that Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry revokes her extension of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for healthcare workers. It contends the order was "unreasonable" and "unconstitutional."

Coval dismissed all three cases against the healthcare mandate, with one exception. 

The justice requested that Dr. Henry reviews the mandate's continued necessity for healthcare workers who serve their patients remotely.

Thousands of healthcare professionals are unable to work in several medical settings for not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Two years ago, we called for an end to this vaccine mandate that was driven by this ideologically driven premier and health minister," said Kevin Falcon, leader of the Official Opposition. He accused the province of refusing to listen to voters and healthcare workers, who remain effected.

Meanwhile, the province remains plagued with critical staffing shortages, dangerously long hospital waits and emergency room closures. "Patients cannot get the care and attention they need," Falcon told MLAs at the legislature on Monday.

"The fact of the matter is the impact [of the mandate] is dire," he said. "Lives are being lost due to these closures."

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