Illustration of what the new Mills Memorial Hospital might look like when viewed from the southeast corner of the property. (Image courtesy Northern Health)

Mills Memorial builder brings in vaccination requirement

But there are grounds for exemptions

The multinational building the new $622.6 million Mills Memorial Hospital is telling its employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

“As of this date, testing will not be offered as an alternative to full immunization,” the company said in a joint statement released today with another major construction company, EllisDon.

Employees can request an exemption to vaccination verification on medical grounds and what the companies describe as “other applicable human rights grounds.”

The vaccination requirement for the Mills Memorial project is for PCL employees only and does not extend to contractors or others, the company said in follow up information.

That’s the same for non-PCL workers at the large worker accommodation camp along the West Kalum Forest Service Road on land leased from the Kitsumkalum.

As to what human rights grounds might qualify for an exemption from vaccination, the company said its legal and human resources departments would be involved “in a case by case basis”.

“Being fully vaccinated is the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Dave Filipchuk, PCL’s president and CEO.

“PCL has instituted strict safety protocols throughout the pandemic, and this vaccination requirement is the next step in our ongoing commitment to keeping employees, clients, business partners and our communities safe.”

PCL has been hiring some workers locally but will be requiring on a large contingent of outside workers. Its outside workers are being housed in the camp along the West Kalum Forest Service Road.