Government of Canada to require vaccination of federal workforce and federally regulated transportation sector  

News release

August 13, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Vaccination is the most effective tool to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for Canadians and to protect broader public health. It is our most important instrument and so we continue to take action to get as many Canadians vaccinated as possible.

The Government of Canada today announced its intent to require vaccination as early as the end of September across the federal public service. Vaccinations are our best line of defence and for those few who are unable to be vaccinated, accommodation or alternative measures, such as testing and screening, may be determined in each situation, to protect broader public health by reducing the risk of COVID-19.

As the country’s largest employer, the Government of Canada is committed to playing a leadership role by further protecting the health and safety of public servants and the communities where they live and work across Canada and around the world.

In addition, as soon as possible in the fall and no later than the end of October, the Government of Canada will require employees in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors to be vaccinated. The vaccination requirement will also extend to certain travellers. This includes all commercial air travellers, passengers on interprovincial trains, and passengers on large marine vessels with overnight accommodations, such as cruise ships.  

The government will engage with key stakeholders, including bargaining agents and transportation sector operators, as we plan for the implementation of these initiatives. Details will be communicated as the work unfolds. The process will include determining how this requirement will be implemented, through confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination and other means of protection, such as testing when necessary.

Further, the Government of Canada expects that Crown corporations and other employers in the federally regulated sector will also require vaccination for their employees. The government will work with these employers to ensure this result.

Today’s announcement comes in recognition of the dynamic public health situation in Canada. Since the start of the vaccination campaign in mid-December, less than 1% of COVID-19 cases have been among those who were fully protected by the vaccine. These measures will contribute to reaching the overall levels of vaccination Canada needs to sustain a resilient economic recovery in the face of more transmissible and dangerous COVID-19 variants of concern. More than 71% of eligible people in Canada are fully vaccinated, and more than 82% have had their first shot. However, more than 6 million eligible people in Canada are still unvaccinated. We are urging all of you to get out there and get vaccinated now. Doing so will help keep our communities safe.

The Government of Canada is also calling on all organizations beyond the federally regulated sector to put in place their own vaccination strategies, drawing on the advice and guidance available from public health authorities and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.


“We know vaccinations are the best way to help protect our fellow Canadians from COVID-19 variants of concern. We are encouraged by the many federal employees who have already been vaccinated and hope that vaccination rates will continue to climb as the Government of Canada moves ahead on its vaccination strategy.” 

–        The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

“Driving vaccine uptake in Canada to as high a level as possible is one of the most effective, and least disruptive, means at our disposal to sustain the gains we have made in recent months, and ensure that we continue on our path to economic recovery, and a healthier and more equitable future. With this announcement, we are doing more to protect the health and safety of Canadians and reduce the risk of COVID-19.”

–        The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board

“There are enough doses in Canada for every person to be fully vaccinated across the country. By getting vaccinated, you are protecting yourself, your family and your community. By being fully vaccinated, you are also protecting the safety of your workplaces.  If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please make a plan to do so.”

–        The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

The Government of Canada is leading by example in requiring vaccinations for public service employees, and we are asking all federally regulated employers to develop vaccine plans to ensure their employees and workplaces are safe. This is the right thing to do and will ensure Canada continues to build back better from the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

–        The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The majority of public servants (173,358 [57.7%])* are located outside the National Capital Region. This includes the core public administration and separate agencies.

    *As of March 2020. The most recent numbers on the population of the public service by province can be found here: Population of the federal public service by province -

  •  There are approximately 18,500 employers in federally regulated industries, including federal Crown corporations, that together employ 955,000 employees (or 6.2% of the Canadian workforce), the vast majority (87%) of whom work in medium-size to large firms (in other words those with 100 or more employees). These numbers exclude the federal public service. With the federal public service, there are approximately 19,000 employers and 1,235,000 employees (8% of all workers in Canada).

  • The Treasury Board Secretariat is collecting data from federal departments and separate agencies regarding the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among employees working remotely and on-site. As of July 29, 2021, 5,311 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the federal public service. These figures represent cumulative and not active cases.

Associated links


Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Treasury Board

Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Telephone: 613-369-9400
Toll-free: 1-855-TBS-9-SCT (1-855-827-9728)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 613-369-9371

Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Stay connected
Twitter: @TBS_Canada

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