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(Toronto) – The Toronto Civic Employees’ Union, Local 416 (CUPE), which represents 800 paramedics and ambulance workers in Toronto, is pleased to learn that the provincial government plans to announce their intention to repeal the mandatory flu shot requirement tomorrow. Paramedics are the only health care workers in the province who were mandated under legislation to take the flu vaccination.

“It appears that the province has heard the concerns of paramedics in Toronto and across this province,” says Brian Cochrane, president of CUPE Local 416. “Last year Local 416 launched a legal challenge on behalf of our paramedic members, based on our belief that the mandatory flu shot is unconstitutional and violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If the government does indeed repeal this from the provincial ambulance regulations tomorrow, we will of course withdraw the lawsuit.”

In addition to its court challenge, paramedics from Local 416 have worked in concert with other CUPE paramedics, through the chair of the CUPE Ambulance Committee of Ontario, Mike Dick, to protest against the mandatory flu shot. CUPE members across the province have rallied around Bill Kotsopoulos, a paramedic from North Bay who was suspended for refusing to be vaccinated.

In addition to paramedics, Local 416 represents Toronto’s library workers, water/wastewater workers, sanitation workers, parks and recreation workers, corporate services and transportation workers.


For more information:
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications,
416-738-4329 (cell)
Karen McNama, CUPE National Representative,
416-917-0106 (cell)