Canadian Natural Resources require workers to be fully vaccinated

Mandate starts on December 1 but policy does not detail what will happen to those who refuse to comply

Canadian Natural Resources require workers to be fully vaccinated

Canadian Natural Resources will be requiring all employees, contract operators and people working under direct contract at its Calgary head offices or in the field to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"In [an] effort to enhance safety measures already in place, we continue to implement additional measures to build our collective response to COVID-19," said the company in a statement.

The decision was guided by the public health emergency in Alberta and the rise in COVID-19 cases, it said. 

The policy will be in effect starting Dec. 1.

The policy also provides exemptions for medical or religious reasons. 

CNRL did not state what would happen with employees without exemptions who do not get vaccinated, according to CBC.

CNRL was previously fined $253,424 after an incident at their Buick Creek, B.C., site left one worker fatally injured.

CNRL is the first of Alberta's major players in the industry to bring in a mandatory vaccination policy, according to Perry Berkenpas, executive director for the Oil Sands Community Alliance, according to the CBC report.

Recent reports have also indicated that energy giant Shell is considering implementing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate wherein employees would be fired if they refused to comply.

B.C. Hydro also announced that it would require all of its employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22.

The COVID-19 vaccination requirement is causing some confusion for mine operators in Northwest Territories, according to a previous report.


In similar news, four miners working at the Eagle gold mine in Yukon recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The employer found that one worker was exhibiting flu-like symptoms after a changeover of workers.

After a test, it was confirmed he had the virus, according to a report from Whitehorse Daily Star.

After contact tracing, three workers who had contact with the first worker also tested positive for the virus, but were asymptomatic.

The results, as a matter of protocol, were tested several times, said John McConnell, the president of Victoria Gold Corp., according to the report.

Though he could not confirm, McConnell suspected the workers got the Delta variant.

Among them, two of the workers are from Whitehorse, and one is from Dawson City and one is from the south, McConnell said.

Two of the workers were fully vaccinated, and one was partially vaccinated. The fourth was unvaccinated.

Approximately 30 workers were tested, according to the report.

A total of 5,432 workers in Alberta oilsands were infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus in 20 workplace outbreaks during the third and fourth waves of the pandemic, according to Alberta Health.

Previously, some mines delayed the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination rule in their workplace because federal guidance was unclear.