Canadian Defense Chief Wayne Eyre said the refusal to get vaccinated "raises questions about your suitability to serve in uniform," adding that it is "dangerous in the military to have legal orders disobeyed."
"It's a very slippery slope," Eyre continued.
According to CTV News, vaccination requirements for new enlistees as well as the mandate for most current members of the Canadian military were dropped on Oct. 14, and the requirements will now only apply to those with specific roles, such as special forces and quick-response teams.
Despite the relaxed requirements, the military still plans on releasing members who failed to comply with the vaccine mandate.
"We want members in the Armed Forces who will follow lawful orders and put the safety and security of others first, who will embrace that selfless service and the values that are inherent in wearing this uniform and serving our country," Eyre said.
The order includes a list of those who will still need two doses of a Health Canada-approved vaccine, with emphasis on quick-response units such as special forces and disaster assistance response teams.
There are also requirements based on deployments alongside specific allies or organizations, such as those working with NATO or the United Nations, as well as sailors on warships that are operating overseas.
"We've got to remember that a ship out in the middle of the ocean doesn't have access to intensive medical care," Eyre said, adding that some allies such as the United States and Japan require military members to be vaccinated.
Eyre said that his orders are "interim policy," and has ordered a review of the military's overall approach to vaccinations while reserving the right to implement it again in case the pandemic returns.
Moreover, Eyre noted that medical advice is continuing to evolve. "What is the bare minimum that's required to protect the force, to protect operational output, while at the same time respecting the individual decisions that members want to make."
Various news sources say that 96 percent of the Canadian Armed forces have been vaccinated, but over 1,000 have resisted. It also lost around 100 soldiers who have quit over the vaccine requirements and plans to fire more than 400 additional members who refused to get the jab. More warnings have been issued to other non-compliant members.
Conservative MP James Bezan called out their military's stance on the vaccines, saying that they are "concerned that members are still being forced out of service" despite dropping the mandates. He advocated for the military to take a less "hardline approach" to the situation to allow unvaccinated members to remain. (Related: Military members sue Defense Department over COVID-19 vaccine mandate because they already have natural immunity)
Bezan said they should look at imposing lesser administrative penalties for those who refused to get vaccinated, especially considering the cancellation of the mandate.
Further, most other federal mandates had already been suspended. And the end of vaccination requirements for international travelers prompted Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre to call an end to what he said was a "discriminatory and unscientific" vaccine mandate.
Canada's Department of National Defense first reported that the mandate was being reexamined in June, and a draft copy of a revised vaccine policy suggested that vaccine requirements for military personnel be lifted.
However, this was not approved by Eyre. Officials also noted that there could be potential legal difficulties ahead in dealing with people who were kicked out because of the mandate, suggesting that they could be forced to apply for re-enrollment.
Eyre also defended the fact that the military is among the last to drop its blanket requirement, noting that it was among the first to take dramatic steps like suspending non-essential activities at the beginning of the pandemic to protect the force in case of emergencies.
"So it would be the same on the far end as well. We would hold onto those measures a little bit longer," he said.
Visit Vaccines.news for more updates about mandates and other shots.
Watch the president of Vaccine Choice Canada speak about vaccines as a choice in the video below.
This video is from the Vaccine Choice Canada channel on Brighteon.com.