Canadian company under fire for job advert only hiring unvaccinated

By Kelsie Sandoval

Owners of a Canadian-based canoe company uploaded a controversial job posting that called for non-vaccinated applicants only.

“Please DO NOT apply if you have taken any vaccines for COVID-19,” the Souris River Canoes’s job posting said. “We will only be considering unvaccinated individuals.”

The owners, who are married, were searching for two full-time roles and one part-time position. The positions were for six months, with the potential to renew.

The posting sparked a backlash from customers on social media. “Requiring staff to be unvaccinated for Covid-19 as a condition of employment is both irresponsible and reckless at this stage of the pandemic,” customer Rob Prdn said on Facebook.

The announcement also went viral on Twitter, which led to negative Google reviews.

Owners Keith and Arlene Robinson doubled down in their response to critics. An email that was posted on Reddit said: “We stand against government and corporate bullying of people’s right to health freedom using vaccine mandates and vaccine passports.”

They added: “You have a right to your judgemental attitudes and opinions, just as we have a right to make our own business hiring decisions.”

Wojtek Dabrowski, a public relations professional, told the Financial Post that the job posting sent the wrong message to customers. “Anytime you get in the way of that by throwing up something as off-putting, as offensive, and frankly to many people, as dangerous as asking only for unvaccinated people to come work at your store, you’re getting in the way of what it means to run a successful business,” Mr Dabrowski said.

This job posting came as vaccine mandates are cropping up across Canada. Employers across various industries are telling employees to get vaccinated or find another job.

Souris River Canoes did not respond to requests for comment from The Independent.

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