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B.C.'s largest Indigenous government announces vaccine mandate

The Métis Nation of British Columbia supports over 90,000 self-declared Métis people in the province through several regional offices.
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The vaccine mandate applies to all Métis Nation of B.C. locations, including its six regional offices.

The Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) — the largest Indigenous government in the province — announced it would be rolling out a mandatory vaccination policy for all employees and visitors to its office. 

The new rule will take effect Oct. 4. By Nov. 15, staff who can’t provide proof of a double vaccination will be placed on unpaid leave. 

“We need to do our part to help get us through the last leg of this pandemic,” says MNBC’s CEO and deputy minister Daniel Fontaine. “We support the science on the vaccines.”

In a press release, the organization said it would provide education sessions to help vaccine-hesitant staff answer their questions, but no exemptions would be provided. 

MNBC provides social and economic services to at least 90,000 Métis people in B.C., or one-third of the province’s Indigenous population.

The policy comes a week after the province rolled out its BC Vaccine Card, required to provide proof of immunization for anyone over 12.

Mandatory vaccination policies have also been extended to over 100,000 health-care workers in recent days. 

As of Monday, Sept. 20, 86.8 per cent of eligible British Columbians had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Coverage drops to roughly 77 per cent when ineligible and therefore unvaccinated children are factored in.