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N.B. employees file court application claiming COVID-19 vaccine mandate unconstitutional

Click to play video: 'Thousands of N.B. health,long-term care workers unvaccinated as provincial deadline looms'
Thousands of N.B. health,long-term care workers unvaccinated as provincial deadline looms
The latest numbers from Horizon and Vitalite Health Networks indicate more than 3,000 of their workers are not fully vaccinated. The provincial government says workers must be vaccinated by Nov. 19 or be placed on unpaid leave. Tim Roszell reports. – Oct 20, 2021

An advocacy group in New Brunswick is taking legal action against the province over its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for civil servants.

The group, Stand 4 Freedom New Brunswick, made the court filing on behalf of four government employees.

The deadline to be vaccinated is Nov. 19. Government employees — including those working in health care, education and long-term care — must show proof of full vaccination or face unpaid leave.

Read more: N.B. premier mandates vaccines for public sector employees

According to a news release from the advocacy group, the four applicants are challenging the mandate as “unconstitutional and therefore of no force or effect.”

The four named applicants include two teachers and two Horizon Health employees.

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“If we can be barred from working in the public service as teachers and nurses because we decline irreversible medical interventions or decline to disclose to government the nature of those personal choices, then we no longer live in a free and equal society,” Stuart Murray, a teacher with Anglophone East School District, is quoted as saying in the news release.

“Even if we could ever theoretically justify coercing individuals into accepting an injection in order to keep their job, we certainly cannot justify it in the context of a vaccine that we know is no better than natural immunity.”

The other three applicants are Trista Michaud-Hachey, a teacher in the Anglophone West School District, Tabatha Belding, a registered nurse with Horizon Health, and Lisa Gorham, an executive assistant with Horizon Health.

Read more: Unvaccinated New Brunswicker says he’s running out of options with career on the line

The applicants claim that the vaccine mandate violates their charter rights of liberty, security of person, personal health choices and reasonable expectation of privacy regarding medical information.

The allegations haven’t been proven in court.

The application also seeks an order that any civil servant who is disciplined because of the mandate be reinstated to their position and compensated for lost wages.

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Global News has reached out to the province for comment.

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick sees uptick in COVID-19 vaccination rate for public service employees following mandate announcement'
New Brunswick sees uptick in COVID-19 vaccination rate for public service employees following mandate announcement

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