GM Canada will require all of its personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of December 12th, 2021, the automaker said in a statement released Thursday.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, GM Canada has followed public-health guidance to help protect our employees, their families, and the communities where we operate,” the statement said. “Today, GM Canada announced that effective December 12, 2021 all personnel including visitors to our facilities will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”
“We are joining many other companies, from multiple sectors, supporting public-health initiatives to increase vaccination rates and further reduce the impact of COVID-19 across Canada.,” it added. “Vaccination has been shown to be effective in reducing the transmission of the virus as well as reducing the health impacts if a vaccinated person does contract the virus.”
GM Canada also went on to say that “exemptions and accommodations,” for those who are not fully vaccinated “will be rare and will be evaluated on an individual basis.” The company’s headquarters are located in Oshawa, Ontario, although it also operates a technical center in Markham, Ontario, along with an innovation lab in Waterloo, Ontario and a cold weather testing facility in Kapuskasing, Ontario.
GM Canada production plants include the GM Oshawa Assembly plant, as well as the GM CAMI Assembly in Woodstock, Ontario and the St. Catharines engine plant. The company also operates parts distribution centers located in Woodstock, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal.
General Motors, GM Canada’s parent company, has not issued a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for its American workforce, however, GM corporate medical director Dr. Jeffrey Hess confirmed in August that it would be asking salaried employees to disclose their vaccination status to help it enact the appropriate safety protocols at its offices.
“The level of immunity is an important factor in determining when GM may need to increase or be able to relax or rescind certain COVID-19 safety protocols,” Hess said in a statement.
GM CEO Mary Barra also said in August that the automaker was still assessing whether or not to mandate vaccinations for its U.S. salaried workforce.
“Right now, we’re evaluating it and we’re in deep conversations with our stakeholders to look at what’s the right thing to do from a General Motors perspective,” Barra said.