Image copyright CAW Image caption Jeff Orr of the Ontario Federation of Labour says the Toronto budget cuts are hurting workers’ family relationships
The City of Toronto has announced plans to “pause” certain sports and recreation activities as a result of employee vaccination requirements.
The shutdown will affect recreational facilities and places of worship in the city.
It follows a decision from the Conservative government of Canada to enforce mandatory vaccinations for workers in the public sector.
Employees affected by the change include those employed by the government and “government contractors”.
Residents have been urged to volunteer in park clean-ups and other “vital” areas.
Tory Party Leader Doug Ford, who took power in Ontario after a March election, said the move was “to ensure we have individuals who are trusted to protect the public”.
At least two-thirds of the workers in the public sector have to be vaccinated against a range of diseases in order to stay.
This includes: seasonal flu, human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B, rotavirus, shingles, West Nile virus, pneumococcal disease, chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, human guinea pig virus.
The new regulations will come into effect from 2 January next year.
“Currently, we have some recreational centres where officials ask employees to submit vaccination forms,” said municipal councillor Pam McConnell.
“They are going to be suspended for a while. You want people who are healthy and fresh and are so they can help the community.”
The move was announced as part of a response to cuts in recreational services funded by Toronto City Hall, Jeff Orr, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, told Reuters news agency.
“We’re getting substantial cuts to our social services so [they] can in part, recoup the costs of these vaccinations. Why shouldn’t they do that at the same time they’re taking away services?”
Earlier this year, the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, said “limiting ourselves” to Canadian adults was unsustainable.
“Canadians believe in freedom to choose and frankly I think we need to respect that,” he told reporters.
Mr Tory’s predecessor, Rob Ford, was mayor during Toronto’s ongoing outbreak of measles.