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Saturday, July 2, 2022
Three town employees suspended over NOTL’s vaccine policy

Three Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake staff members are on unpaid leave for failing to comply with the municipality's vaccination policy.

The policy came into effect on Dec. 1.

Human resources generalist Sarah Stevens confirmed the number of suspended employees in an email to The Lake Report.

Stevens noted that 97.7 per cent of town workers are fully vaccinated and all councillors have had their COVID shots.

During a closed session on Monday night, councillors discussed the town’s new vaccine requirement in relation to an unspecified employee.

Monday’s committee of the whole agenda noted that in the private session councillors would deal with “personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees, specifically regarding vaccination policy update.”

In a message to The Lake Report on Wednesday, Lord Mayor Betty Disero said the issue was discussed in a closed session due to privacy concerns for the three individuals affected by the town's policy. 

She said she is under a legal obligation not to discuss details of what transpired during the in camera meeting.

“What I will say is I’m very proud of the number of people that have gone for their vaccines,” Disero said during an earlier interview on Tuesday.

The plan for implementation of vaccine rules for staff and councillors was set in September, but the town held off on bringing the requirement into effect until now so staff could have time to get both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, Disero said.