The 2021 Campus Vaccine Index provides students, parents and the public with the campus Covid-19 vaccination policies of 61 public universities in Canada.
The Justice Centre’s position is that mandating vaccination for Canadians under most circumstances violates their right to bodily autonomy, and other Charter protected rights to freedom of conscience and religion, mobility rights, and the right to liberty, and security of the person.
We are in the process of commencing a Charter application against a college in Ontario which, if successful, may result in a change in policy on universities as well. Based on caselaw which applies the Charter more definitively to colleges, we are prioritizing a constitutional challenge to a college’s vaccine mandate to set a beneficial precedent.
In the meantime, we suggest that students explore whether any exemptions under their provincial Human Rights Code are applicable (such as a medical condition or religious belief preventing vaccination), or if rapid testing in lieu of the vaccine is available. We also encourage you to express your concerns in writing to the Board of Governors of your university.
Getting a Covid-19 vaccination should not be a prerequisite to accessing postsecondary education in Canada. As this situation is rapidly evolving, we will update the chart frequently, but please check with your own university for the latest announcements.
Universities situated in Quebec and the Yukon do not have policies in place that make vaccination mandatory for all students.
At least one university situated in each of the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island does have a mandatory vaccination policy.
Universities in Ontario and Alberta are the worst offenders: all of Ontario’s 20 universities have instituted a mandatory vaccine policy, as have Alberta’s five universities. Both of Saskatchewan’s universities have mandatory vaccine policies in place, as does Prince Edward Island’s one university.
In Nova Scotia, three of the province’s seven universities require the vaccine of some students.
Canada-wide, 45/61 (74%) of universities have a vaccine mandate in place.
The Justice Centre’s Report focuses mainly on public universities but some colleges and private educational institutions are included where we have the information that vaccines are being made mandatory.