University of Toronto drops vaccine mandate

TCS Wire

April 4, 2022

After getting hit with a human rights complaint, the University of Toronto has announced that it is “pausing” the vaccine mandate, as well as the mask mandate, on May 1.

In February, a group of faculty sent a letter to the university president outlining their human rights complaint filed to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). 

“U of T [must] immediately revoke all suspensions and terminations of employment related to U of T’s vaccination mandate by instead providing the necessary accommodations required under the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19.”

“Despite [the evidence], U of T [has] continued with its draconian policy and, in fact, outlandishly and outrageously upped the ante by terrorizing its faculty and staff that there would be broad suspensions at the start of 2022,” the complaint read. 

The University doubled down on March 4, stating that the policy would remain in place until the end of the academic term, which meant they were keeping the mandate until at least the summer and possibly bringing it back for the Fall term.

The group kept the pressure on, though. They issued a press release on March 21 that indicated the HRTO had received their complaint. The University of Guelph dropped its mandate the next day

And the complaint appears to have spooked the University of Toronto president because he reversed his decision just one week later, on March 28.

“As has been the case over the course of the pandemic, the University’s approach has been informed by changing regulations, legislation and direction from public health authorities,” their website stated

Of course, the University didn’t acknowledge the human rights complaint in their decision, much like how Premiere Ford said his decision to lift the vaccine passport had nothing to do with the truckers. Indeed, the University is hiding behind “authorities” despite contradicting them just three weeks prior.

With all that said, it should be noted that the vaccine and mask mandates may return in the Fall, as the University calls this abolishment a “pause.”

At the time of the University of Toronto’s reversal, covid rates of infection in Ontario were (and still are) three times higher among the vaccinated population. 

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