Note to media: Some media reports and social media posts have suggested that community members may access vaccines at Maple Leaf sites in the Peel Region and this is incorrect. We are only able to vaccinate our own employees at our sites, but we will be sponsoring community clinics managed by local and regional Public Health authorities. Details about the times, dates and locations of those clinics will be made available by the Peel Regional Health.
Maple Leaf Foods is planning its first on-site vaccine clinics in Ontario thanks to a collaborative effort with the Peel Region Public Health Authority and the Province of Ontario.
Through this initiative, and subject to vaccine availability, we expect employees at our four plants located in the Peel Region (Brampton, Walker Road, Courtney Park and Canning) will have the opportunity to receive vaccinations on-site as early as next week. Participation in the vaccination clinics will be voluntary, but we are encouraging everyone to participate if they haven’t already received a vaccine. As part of this initiative, Maple Leaf Foods will also be supporting community clinics in the Peel Region run by local Public Health Authorities.
Team Members at the company’s Viau plant in Montreal may also access vaccines through a mobile clinic run by local public health officials next week.
This development is welcome news as the Company continues its focus on protecting the health and safety of our people during the pandemic and producing nutritious food that people need. All our plants continue operating and our frontline team members have risen tirelessly to the challenges the pandemic has posed while they eagerly await access to vaccines. We hope the clinics are the start of more widespread vaccination opportunities for our Team Members and other essential workers in Canada because we believe on-site vaccinations will be one of the most effective and efficient approaches to advance the Canadian vaccination program. With our team of occupational nurses, we stand ready to support public health departments in administering vaccines at all of our sites.
As we work toward on-site vaccination opportunities, Maple Leaf Foods is encouraging its Team Members to access vaccines available in the local community as soon as they become eligible to receive them. If vaccination appointments are only available during working hours, Maple Leaf Foods will provide Team Members with time off, with pay to get the vaccination.
At Maple Leaf Foods, health and safety is our first priority. We have built a comprehensive COVID-19 prevention and safety program that has transformed how our sites operate through mandatory COVID-19 screenings, daily temperature monitoring, face coverings, careful social distancing, plexiglass separators on production lines where possible, marks on floors to control movement in certain directions and efforts to decrease density, like staggered shifts and additional break space. We continually seek opportunities to strengthen people safety programs and take action when new information and recommendations become available. We are very transparent about the steps we are taking, and pleased to share a video about our efforts.
As we continue operations at all of our sites, we maintain ongoing consultation with Public Health authorities to affirm the effectiveness of our safety programs. Public Health officials who have visited our facilities for inspections have praised our programs, with one Manitoba public health official remarking that we had “gone above and beyond” public health expectations. Other Public Health departments have provided similar feedback.
As the pandemic has passed the one-year mark, we know that Canadians and Americans naturally feel COVID-19 fatigue. It is hard – we know it is HARD. We are reminding everyone, including Team Members, to stay focused on COVID-19 prevention. With vigilance, we can all cross the finish line together. Our long-standing message to our Team Members is this: When you take care of yourself, you take care of all of us.