CALGARY: Mount Royal University (“MRU”) has backed down following a legal warning from the Justice Centre, after initially requiring exclusively online students to disclose their vaccination status or face potential deregistration from their classes.
On September 20, 2021, MRU sent an email to a student who attends all his classes online, warning that if he failed to declare his vaccination status by September 21 at 4 p.m., he “may be deregistered from your courses.” The Justice Centre was contacted by other students who received similar emails.
On September 22, 2021, the student received a further email from MRU stating that a hold had been placed on his online MRU account, and again warned that he may be deregistered from his classes. The email stated MRU’s unjustified requirement that “all students, whether studying in person or online, must declare their vaccination status.”
On September 23, 2021, the Justice Centre sent a letter to MRU on behalf of the student, warning that MRU’s requirement violated students’ privacy, Charter and human rights. The letter warned of legal action if MRU deregistered students who attend online courses.
On September 27, 2021, MRU sent an email to the student confirming that the student’s access to his online MRU would be restored on September 29, 2021. Absent from the email was any reference to MRU’s previous requirement that online students must declare their vaccination status.
“The intimidation and coercion being exercised by public institutions such as Mount Royal University to demand disclosure of personal medical information is unjustified and unacceptable,” states Marty Moore, Justice Centre lawyer.
“The entirely unnecessary requirement for online students to disclose their vaccination is indicative of the irrational abuse of power public authorities are exercising in the current atmosphere of pandemonium. It is essential that people stand up and push back against these abuses of power.”