Health and safety concerns among most lobbied in Ottawa in 2021

Groups continue to challenge COVID-19 policies

Health and safety concerns among most lobbied in Ottawa in 2021

Municipal decisions in areas of health and safety have become one of the biggest concerns for lobbyists at the Ottawa city hall this year.

In total, there were 18 files concerning health and safety this year, tied for third with planning and development, according to a report from Ottawa Citizen. The report cited the 2021 annual report from Integrity commissioner Karen Shepherd’s office.

Health and safety came in sixth place during the 2020 reporting year and seventh place in 2019.

Information technology (34 lobbying files registered) and transportation (33 files) topped the list this year, according to the report.

Also, there were 223 new lobbyist registrations in 2021, up from 193 in 2020. This number stood at 243 in 2019.

Lobbying for health and safety in 2021 has included a medical equipment company interested in “discussing new protocols and trends in prehospital care” with the Ottawa Paramedic Service, including possible updates to cardiac defibrillators, according to the report, citing the lobbyist registry.

At least 13 establishments in Alberta received 18 suspensions or closure orders as of Nov. 6 for not complying with the province’s COVID-19 Restrictions Exemption Program.


Safety concerns around COVID-19 have been the main focus for many businesses for the past 19 months. But there have also been moves to try to overturn implemented safety protocols amid the pandemic.

Recently, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association, which represent 60,000 members, have filed grievances against the corporation over its COVID-19 vaccination policy. A cease and desist application filed by CUPW is set to be heard by an arbitrator on Wednesday.

In October, four Alberta doctors launched a lawsuit against Alberta Health Services and its president, arguing against their mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for staff.

By next week, Canada Post employees across the country will be put on unpaid leave for refusing to be vaccinated. The Crown corporation is not accepting regular rapid-testing as an alternative.

Last week, over 1,000 workers in “core” federal public sector were put on leave because they have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Despite this, CUPW is encouraging members who can to get vaccinated.

"We won't stand for one of our members losing their livelihood while there exist other ways of ensuring the health and safety of the workplace," Jan Simpson, national president of CUPW, in an emailed statement, according to a report from CBC.

"We want to make sure our members are treated fairly and that their rights aren't violated.”