University of Toronto drops vaccine mandate after being hit with human rights complaint

Covid National

‘Vaccine mandates, including those recently renewed by Ontario universities, are scientifically questionable, ethically problematic, and misguided,’ reads a paper featured on the University of Toronto’s law faculty website.

By Jack Bingham
As published in LifeSiteNews

TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) – Roughly a month after a group of University of Toronto faculty submitted a formal human rights complaint seeking an end to the school’s vaccine mandate, the university announced it will be rescinding its COVID-related policies.  

“University of Toronto staff, students, and faculty presented a letter to the University of Toronto’s top administrators on February 16, 2022, prepared by counsel Mr. Courtney Betty and Mr. Glyn Hotz and sent on behalf of individuals affected by the university’s vaccination mandates. The letter outlines claims of the affected parties, many of whom have already been placed on 12-months unpaid leave, intend to make in a pending Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario Group Application. These claims are now being filed,” a group of faculty members revealed in a press release earlier this month.  

Less than two weeks after the complaint was filed, the University of Toronto updated its so-called COVID health guidelines, announcing that they will no longer be enforcing vaccine mandates or compulsory mask wearing on their campuses.  

“U of T will be pausing the following measures effective May 1, 2022: The requirement to complete health screening via UCheck prior to attending University premises, The requirement to be fully vaccinated for in-person activities on University premises, [and] The requirement to be masked in indoor University spaces, unless otherwise required,” the university said in an official statement this week.  

Prior to both the complaint filing and the rescinding of the mandates, a paper featured on the University of Toronto’s own law faculty website took aim at vaccine mandates, suggesting the policies may inflict more harm than good.  

According to the paper, “vaccine mandates, including those recently renewed by Ontario universities, are scientifically questionable, ethically problematic, and misguided.” The paper added that discrimination based on COVID-19 vaccine status “disproportionally impacts human rights, promotes stigma and social polarization, and adversely affects health and wellbeing.” 

The paper makes similar points to the arguments raised by the faculty members who filed the Human Rights Tribunal Complaint against the university.  

In the human rights filing, the group states that the university violated the rights of members of the community by not only using an “overly narrow” definition of what entitles someone to an “accommodation” if he or she desires to remain unvaccinated, but that the school actually “concealed that there are grounds for accommodations” in the law at all.  

Further, the complaint alleges that instead of upholding the right to live out one’s religious and conscientiously-held beliefs as unequivocally enshrined in Canadian law, the university decided in an “arbitrary” manner who they were going to give a religious accommodation to, and who they were going to deny.  

The University of Toronto is not the only school to have faced accusations of harmful conduct in relation to COVID-19 policies. Last week, a former staff member at the University of Guelph wrote a letter to the president of the school explaining how being placed on unpaid leave over her decision to not receive the experimental COVID jab led to her losing her home. 

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