Refusing vaccination may result in termination from the military.
Four members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are facing disciplinary action for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 presented their case to the Federal Court on Wednesday.
General Wayne Eyre, the Chief of the Defence Staff, has ordered that all personnel of the Armed Forces be vaccinated by the end of November; those who do not will face disciplinary action, including the possibility of expulsion from the military. Since then, the deadline has been pushed again until December 18.
The order is in line with a regulation that applies to all federal employees. Eyre further stated that his directive is in place to defend the troops in the event of a pandemic.
The four military members appealing the order claim in sworn affidavits that they are opposed to obtaining the vaccine for a variety of reasons, including long-term safety concerns and religious objections.
Lt.-Col. Illo Antonio Neri says, “I do not have trust in the government’s assertion that they are safe and effective.” “More precisely, I don’t believe the trials accurately uncovered and assessed all potential vaccination long-term impacts.”
Despite the fact that Eyre’s order allowed for medical, religious, and human rights exemptions, Edmonton lawyer Catherine Christensen, who represented the four military men in court on Wednesday, told The Canadian Press that all of their petitions were denied.
The four service members claim that their constitutional rights are being infringed upon and that the danger of dismissal is excessive.
“I have witnessed individuals convicted of major offences and not dismissed from service during my time in the CAF,” Warrant Officer Morgan Christopher Warren writes in his declaration.
Hundreds of pages of evidence have been supplied by government lawyers to back up their claims that vaccines are safe and effective. They’ve also suggested that the four service members register a grievance with the military if they’re unsatisfied.
But, according to Christensen, that would be unacceptable because the order came from the military’s senior commander. If the Federal Court grants her interim injunction request, she intends to ask the court to hear the matter in its entirety.
Following many hours of arguments on Wednesday, Federal Court Judge Janet Fuhrer reserved her decision, according to Christensen.
The military has a vaccination rate of 98 per cent.
The four members of the Armed Forces aren’t the first to question the government’s immunisation regulations. The Federal Court refused to give an injunction for scores of federal workers who are also facing dismissal for refusing to get the shot earlier this month.
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