Thousands of Albertan energy workers may face constructive dismissal for refusing the jab

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Early on in the pandemic energy workers in Alberta were declared essential. So why are hundreds if not thousands of them facing constructive dismissal if they don't produce their vaccine status to their nosy employers?

Over the last 20 months, Naomi Smart and her fellow employees at CNRL have worked diligently to make sure that Canadians have access to energy.

They've been safe. They've been reliable. And now they are facing unemployment because the multi-billion dollar oil sands giant that employs them now requires proof of vaccination prior to December 1st, 2021.

Naomi and her colleagues started organizing online and they got in contact with lawyer James Kitchen, a familiar face in Alberta civil liberties battles. He represented many churches and pastors faced with covid fines and closures including Church in the Vine, a client of the Democracy Fund's fight the fines initiative.

Naomi can't be vaccinated because of a severe anaphylaxis condition. Besides, she's had covid already and has private test results showing her resilient antibodies to the virus. But her doctor who previously offered to write her medical exemption says he no longer can because of pressure from his own professional body.

For Naomi, she was put in a position at CNRL where she fears she may have to take a medication that could cause an allergic reaction that may leave her son without a mother. It's not just a jab or the job for her. It's life or death.

When her boss at CNRL found out that she had done what every Canadian is entitled to do, reach out to a lawyer for advice, Naomi was fired. Worse still, her employer wanted her to sign away her rights in exchange for a severance package. The shock for someone who has spent two decades in the oil and gas industry and who has never been fired before.

When we heard what was going on at CNRL, we knew we had to help. And not just help Naomi but help as many people as we could.

These employees are up against a multi-billion dollar corporation. But we've got something CNRL doesn't have; an army of supporters who care deeply about civil liberties and who will help us make sure that Naomi and her former co-workers have the resources they need to fight back.

Through your crowdfunding donations to, James Kitchen's legal fees to represent Naomi and her former colleagues are being taken care of. These people are facing job loss, coercion and workplace bullying. They shouldn't have to worry about how they're going to pay their legal bills.

If you'd like to help fund legal action against CNRL for what could be the unlawful termination of hundreds of their own employees, please donate at Donations qualify for a charitable tax receipt through the registered Canadian charity, The Democracy Fund.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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