Action4Canada formally filed legal action in the BC Supreme Court to hold multiple parties accountable for their actions with respect to COVID-19 measures.
One of the defendants included in the Statement of Claim is Jennifer Whiteside, BC’s Minister of Education. Since filing the Statement of Claim, Jennifer Whiteside, has been attempting to avoid further liability by instructing all BC school boards to make the decision on mandating vaccinations for teachers and staff.
October 7, 2021
Premier John Horgan and Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry announced that each school district would be required to make the decision about vaccine mandates for school staff.
BCTF President Teri Mooring sent an email to all BCTF members, instructing them that a vaccine mandate was likely coming to the education system. The BCTF took the position that the Federation supported provincial mandatory vaccines in the K–12 system for school staff and volunteers.
October 13, 2021
The SD23 Central Okanagan School Board held a Public Board Meeting to discuss vaccine mandate implications. Action4Canada was there to serve Notices of Liability, a Letter to the School Board, and a copy of the School Act to each Trustee at the meeting.
Notice of Liability (Elected/Appointed Officials):
Letter to School Board:
Copy of the BC School Act:
Video of A4C Serving Notices of Liability:
The SD23 Board of Education distributed a News Release titled ‘Board Reviewing Implications of Vaccine Mandate’ saying that the trustees were surprised that the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Government stated that Boards of Education could mandate COVID 19 vaccinations for their employees.
News Release: http://www.sd23.bc.ca/DistrictInfo/newsreleases/Documents/NR_Board%20to%20Review%20Vaccine%20Mandate%20Implications.pdf
October 14, 2021
All board chairs across the province met with the Ministry of Education to discuss implications and learn more about the provincial direction. Superintendent Kevin Kaardal compiled a report detailing the potential impact of a vaccine mandate on Central Okanagan staff, given to the Board of Education.
Within 8 weeks, over 150 Action4Canada volunteers served every school board trustee and superintendent in all 60 School Districts in BC. 26 School Boards have since voted against mandatory vaccination for school staff.
October 15, 2021
All School Boards in BC were instructed by the government to make the decision regarding mandating vaccinations for teachers and staff. The BC government put the onus on the School Boards because they themselves were wanting to avoid liability. This opens up the Trustees to personal liability as outlined in Section 94 (1)(4) of the BC School Act:
October 22, 2021
BC Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside issues ‘K-12 Sector Guidelines for Vaccination Policies’ to all school boards in BC.
1st Guideline: Gather preliminary data to assess the number of staff who may be unvaccinated
November 2, 2021
The largest school district in BC, Surrey Board of Education, is the first to announce that they will not be mandating vaccinations for school staff.
December 8, 2021
Teri Mooring, President of the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) and Susan Bauhart, President Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association (COTA), sent a letter to their members advising that if the employer insisted that their staff provide proof of vaccination, it would be “a serious violation of employee privacy rights.”
December 10, 2021
SD23 Central Okanagan School Board Superintendent Kevin Kaardal sent an email along with a “Vaccination Data Collection Notice” to all school staff instructing them to submit proof of vaccination status.
Legal Authority for Collection
All personal information collected under this Notice will be collected under the authority of the School Act, the Workers Compensation Act, and sections 26(c) and (e) of FIPPA. Any personal information collected by the School District in the course of verifying vaccination status information with public health officials is collected under the authority of section 27(1)(f) and 27(4) of FIPPA.
December 15, 2021
Action4Canada sent a Notice to Kevin Kaardal to warn him that he was continuing to violate the protected rights of employees by requiring staff to disclose their vaccination status. Collecting and sharing information via a Vaccination Data Collection Notice was a serious violation of the rights of school staff and leaves the trustees open to personal liability.
Letter to Kevin Kaardal (cc SD23 trustees and all BC School Superintendents)
January 12, 2022
The SD23 Central Okanagan School Board passed a Notice of Motion to mandate vaccination for all SD23 staff, which would be debated and voted on at their next meeting on January 26, 2022.
Trustee Norah Bowman’s Notice of Motion – January 12, 2022
THAT: The Board of Education directs the Superintendent of Schools/CEO to implement a vaccination mandate for COTA staff, COPVPA staff, Excluded staff and Trustees per the Operating Procedure specified in the Letter of Agreement between the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation and the British Columbia Public School Employer’s Association;
AND THAT: The Board of Education directs the Superintendent of Schools/CEO to implement a vaccination mandate for CUPE Staff per the Operating Procedure specified in the Letter of Agreement between the CUPE K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions and the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association.
January 17, 2022
BC’s Public Health Officer, Bonnie Henry issued a PHO to give the province’s school districts the authority to require staff to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status.
January 19, 2022
CUPE K-12 (union representing the public sector workers in BC) sent out a bulletin regarding the PHO saying they were surprised by the announcement. Apparently they weren’t consulted on the order. In their letter, they state:
“It is not a province-wide order, nor does it require immediate action by the school districts. School districts have been told that they are not required to collect staff vaccination information unless ordered by their local MHO.”
January 25, 2022
Action4Canada sent a letter to SD23 School Board Trustees and the Superintendent notifying them that Bonnie Henry’s Provincial Order did not absolve them from personal liability. Although the order gives the authority to the MHOs to create additional orders to collect private information, it is still a violation of one’s Constitutionally protected privacy rights.
January 26, 2022
The Central Okanagan School Board voted 5-2 to mandate vaccination for all SD23 school staff. The school board was very dismissive of the public’s concerns. There were close to 1000 members of the public on the Zoom call and out of 48 questions, they only responded to 3. The majority of the callers voiced their strong opposition to the mandate.
When asked about liability, the Superintendent Kevin Kaardal stated that the School Board was INDEMNIFIED from all liability.