Special Bulletin #48
November 2, 2021
Transport Canada Interim Order No. 7
Sisters, Brothers, Comrades,
Transport Canada has issued: Interim Order No. 7 Respecting Passenger Vessel Restrictions Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID_19) and it can be viewed here:
The order is different than what was shared with us last week. Some key points of the order are:
- Nov 1st BCFS will need a policy in place to operate.
- Nov 15th BCFS will need to attest to Transport Canada that they have a mandatory vaccine policy in place, and declare whether it is company-wide (comprehensive), and that policy copies are on board vessels and crews informed.
- Nov 15th crew aboard vessels with a crew of 12 or more will require a first dose of an authorized vaccine (or have an exemption).
- Exception to vaccination requirements will need to be approved for medical or religious reasons, and that people who meet those criteria could continue to work aboard vessels regulated by TC.
- If a crew member has an exemption from the mandatory vaccine policy, they will need:
- a negative COVID test within 72hrs prior to working or,
- a positive COVID test >14 days prior to working and <180 days prior to boarding vessel to work.
- Jan 24th crew aboard vessels will need to be fully vaccinated (or have an exemption).
- Third parties hired by the authorized rep to work aboard will need to meet the same requirements as BCFS employees aboard the vessel (contractors).
- Vaccines authorized are AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen (J&J).
- The mandate from TC applies to vessels with a crew of 12 or more on board, however if a Comprehensive (company-wide policy) is not put in place BCFS must report weekly rather than monthly under the terms of Paragraph 15 of the order.
Frequently Asked Questions:
While BC Ferries has not yet published a mandatory vaccine policy it is anticipated they will do so in the near future and that points #1-9 above will be the baseline for an internal policy.
I’m already vaccinated what does this mean for me?
- A questionnaire will be coming around from the Company asking for your status, you will need to attest to your vaccine status, and continue going to work.
- You will be required by TC to carry proof of vaccination with you in the event TC does an inspection. You will not be required to show your medical status to shipboard management.
I’m not vaccinated yet, how do I do that?
- The fastest option is online registration and can be done here:
- You can register at all BC Services centers.
- If you don’t have a personal Health Number you can call this number Call:1-833-838-2323 | and translations are available.
I’m not vaccinated and don’t want to be what are my options?
The BCFMWU is continuing to review the changing Transport Canada directions with respect to mandatory vaccination and the Employer communicated decision to impose a fleet-wide mandatory vaccination policy. We are continuing to consult with our legal counsel and to discuss alternatives with the Employer.
While we encourage our members to be vaccinated and support the Employer’s stated objectives of introducing safety measures to limit COVID-19 transmission, we have advised BCFS that we do not support a blanket vaccination requirement. We expect BCFS to consider the individual circumstances of each member and mitigate harm by way of alternative safety measures. If the Employer seeks to discipline you, put you on unpaid leave or terminate your employment based on your vaccination status or failure to disclose your status, contact your shop steward and/or local Union representative immediately
The Union understands that the uncertainty around Interim Order No. 7 can be very difficult for members. For emotional and mental health support covered under our benefits plan, contact Homewood Heath: 1.800.663.1142 homeweb.ca.
To view as a pdf: Special Bulletin #48 Transport Canada Interim Order No. 7