Canadian Court: Govt Justified in Denying Unemployment Benefits to Unvaccinated Man

A Covid-19 vaccine is prepared for administration ahead of a free distribution of over the
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A Canadian court has ruled that it was justified for the federal government to deny a fired hospital worker unemployment benefits because he refused to take the coronavirus vaccine.

A Federal Court judge has ruled that the Canadian government was correct to deny Anthony Cecchetto employment insurance benefits after he lost his job at a Toronto-area group of hospitals in 2021 because he refused to take the coronavirus vaccine or an antigen test.

Employment Insurance (EI) had been denied initially to Cecchetto because the agency determined that he had been fired for misconduct, a judgement that the federal judge agreed with, the National Post newspaper reports.

“It is likely that (he) will find this result frustrating because my reasons do not deal with the fundamental legal, ethical, and factual questions he is raising,” Federal Court Justice William Pentney said.

“That is because many of these questions are simply beyond the scope of this case.”

The case comes after Cecchetto appealed the initial EI decision to the Social Services Tribunal and then to the tribunal’s appeals division, which refused to hear him.

Cecchetto made it clear that he believed his right to bodily integrity had been violated but the judge stated those arguments were not relevant to the case as it only relied upon whether or not Cecchetto had been fired for misconduct.

Cecchetto’s case is just one of many cases that have challenged employers and the government over coronavirus vaccine mandates in the workplace.

In a case last year in Ontario, an electrical company attempted to force employees working from home with no interaction with the public to be vaccinated until an arbitrator ruled the policy was unreasonable.

Until last year, Canada had strict coronavirus vaccine mandates in workplaces and required vaccine passports to enter certain venues or to travel by railway or by air.

While the coronavirus vaccine mandates and passports were scrapped in early 2022 following the Freedom Convoy protests, it was not until June that the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced unvaccinated people would be allowed to get on aeroplanes.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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