OVERVIEW: Where are Canadian universities at regarding COVID mandates?

Universities across Canada are becoming independent when it comes to implementing COVID-19 restrictions and mandates, while still claiming to follow scientific data. Here is a list detailing where Canadian universities, from uCalgary to Bishop's University, diverge in regards to COVID-19 mandates.

OVERVIEW: Where are Canadian universities at regarding COVID mandates?
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Western University has been at the heart of controversies in the past weeks. The university, located in London, Ontario, has decided to reinstate COVID-19 mandates, including a mandatory third vaccine dose as well as mask wearing on campus.

Indeed, after the deadline for tuition payment had passed, the university announced that they will require a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for the upcoming school year. This makes Western University one of the few universities in the country to enforce this mandate.

The university’s student council recently voted down a motion that would oppose the mandates in place. 

A first-year Western University student told Rebel News that he “has had a pit in [his] stomach everyday because all [he is] thinking about is the third dose.”



Despite having strict COVID-19 policies during the 2021-2022 academic year, where students were forced to have received two doses of vaccine to study on campus and live in residence, while simultaneously wearing a mask at all times, the University of Ottawa lifted all of its mandates for the upcoming semester. 

Indeed, students studying at the University of Ottawa will not be forced to be vaccinated, nor will they have to wear a mask while on campus. 

The student council still has not taken a public position on the issue, but sources confidentially told Rebel News that there are talks of having students sign an open letter directed to the university, asking for the reimplementation of COVID-19 mandates. This still has not happened yet, and Rebel News will keep you updated regarding that situation. 



Bishop’s University, located in Sherbrooke, Quebec, currently has no reported COVID-19 mandates. Students are therefore not forced to receive the vaccine nor are they forced to wear a mask. They say that “the Quebec government has deemed in-person classes an essential service, so no vaccination is required to attend.”

However, this has not stopped the university from putting numerous stickers all across campus, indicating that the school is mask-friendly (as the picture above shows). A student currently enrolled at the university sent Rebel News a picture showing a sticker on a door of the McGreer Hall, trying to prove the university's inclusive mentality. The signs read, bilingually, “mask friendly, les masques sont les bienvenus.”

Bishop’s University has, however, indicated that it is ready to adjust its guidelines according to future developments, and that students should continue to monitor future announcements. 



Ontario Tech University's rules are amongst the most confusing across Ontario. 

The university shares a campus in Oshawa, Ontario, alongside Durham College. The college will not require masks; meanwhile, the adjoining Ontario Tech University is requiring masks to be worn in all its buildings.

Students can walk from Durham College to Ontario Tech University without having to step outside, and they will need to comply with two different sets of rules. All while staying within the same broader building. 



The University of Toronto will be forcing students living in residence to be “up-to-date” with their COVID-19 vaccines. The university’s vice-president stated in an email that “recently, U of T reinstated the vaccination requirement for students and employees living in university residences.” 

“Students living in residences this fall will be required to have a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine and at least one booster dose before moving in.

The vice-president also clarified that while the university lifted its mask requirement on campus, students are still strongly encouraged to wear medical-grade masks. The situation is similar to Bishop’s University, but different in the sense that Bishop is merely encouraging everyone to wear a mask while having lifted all its mandates. 



The University of Calgary in Alberta has also lifted all of its mandates.

Students on campus are no longer required to wear masks or receive vaccine doses in order to attend classes they paid for. The university still decided to clarify on its website that “the University of Calgary wholeheartedly embraces the value of vaccination in keeping you, your loved ones, and our broader community healthy.”

“Everyone is urged to keep up with booster vaccinations as they become available. Anyone wishing to wear a mask should be comfortable doing so as a personal health choice.”



The world-renowned Canadian university located in the province of Quebec does not enforce a mask mandate for its students.

McGill University specifies on its website that "masks at most McGill locations are not mandatory but are encouraged."

The university also states that "if you have symptoms of COVID-19, follow government instructions as to when to self-isolate. If you test positive for the virus, do not come to campus." This makes McGill very similar in terms of COVID-19 restrictions to its neighbouring university, Bishop's University.


What does all this information show? It shows that the science universities claim to follow differs from school to school. While the University of Ottawa lifted all of its mandates, Western University continues to discriminatory measures upon its students, by coercing them into receiving a booster shot, and wearing masks on campus.

And while universities like Bishop’s University lifted their mandates, they seemingly want to make students understand how inclusive they are by displaying inclusive “mask-friendly” stickers across campus.

Rebel News will continue to monitor the situation across North American college campuses and will bring you the latest stories on these wildly inconsistent guidelines. 

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