October 6, 2021 | Circular No. 11323

Dear Member,

As you may have seen in the media, the Prime Minister held a news conference earlier today to provide additional details regarding its requirement that employers in the federally regulated air, rail and marine transportation sectors establish vaccination policies for their employees as of October 30.

According to the announcement, the vaccination requirement will apply to:

  • Airlines and airports, and other organizations with employees who enter restricted airport areas
  • Federally regulated railways and ther rail crew and track employees
  • Marine operators with Canadian vessels that operate with 12 or more crew

Organizations falling under this mandate will be required to implement a policy that includes a provision for employee attestation / declaration of their vaccination status, and a description of consequences for empoyees who do not comply or provide false information. After a short phase-in period, organizations will be required to guarantee that their employees are fully vaccinated or they will be unable to work.

The vaccination requirement also extends to travellers 12 years of age and older who are air passengers on flights departing from Canadian airports, and marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages of 24 hours or longer.

Transport Canada will oversee compliance of the above requirements by means of inspections and enforcement tools (including administrative monetary penaltie) that are already in place for each mode.  In the marine sector, employees and travellers could be fined up to $250,00 per day for failing to meet the vaccination requirement, as per the applicable provisions of the Canada Shipping Act.

Transport Canada will be holding a teleconference with marine stakeholder groups tomorrow afternoon, in order to provide additional information on how this mandate will be implemented in the marine industry and how far it will apply beyond domestic ship operators (which is the only marine sector employer explicitly referenced in today’s announcement).

As noted in CL 11315, we have been engaged in discussions with TC on how a vaccination mandate would impact shore-based employees of federally-regulated shipping lines and marine agencies, and whether the department would be willing to provide a list of specific employee groups to whom a mandate would apply.

We will provide members with additional clarification on these and other issues after tomorrow’s meeting.  In the meantime, the link to the government’s press release on this matter can be found HERE.


Karen Kancens
Vice President