This policy is aimed at keeping Wilderness Committee (WC) employees, contractors, volunteers, activists, donors and members of the public safe and healthy at our workplace and our public events, as well as to comply with public health regulations across the country. As an employer in Canada, WC is required to take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of all employees, in particular, and therefore this policy prioritizes collective health and safety over individual preferences.

All people in a WC workplace or at a public event are expected to be patient and treat others with kindness. WC acknowledges that COVID-19 and communicable diseases affect people differently and mental health and wellbeing is as important as physical health. WC uses a harm reduction philosophy— practical strategies and ideas that meet people where they are at — with the intent of making room to collaborate and support each other while feeling safe and secure in a shared space.

Wilderness Committee workplace:

The following permanent measures are in place:

  • Do not come to the workplace if you are sick or have any symptoms of illness.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands immediately when you arrive and regularly throughout the day.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect shared office surfaces.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation in offices and boardrooms and that HVAC or other systems are operational. Supplement where necessary with fans and air purifiers.

The following current measures as a result of COVID-19 and are in place until such time as they are withdrawn by the organization:

  • Daily self-assess COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the workplace. This assessment will be recorded. COVID-19 Self-Assessment screening tools are found at:

Ontario - https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/ 

Manitoba - https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/ 

British Columbia - https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en

  • Wear a mask at all times unless at your permanent workstation. Volunteers, contractors and members of the public will wear a mask at all times inside a WC office.
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least two metres between yourself and all others.
  • Restrict occupancy in smaller rooms such as kitchens and boardrooms.
  • Greet each other in a safe way, ask for explicit consent from anyone at the workplace before any physical contact.
  • Offices remain closed to the public, however orders or other supplies can be picked up, if scheduled in advance during regular office hours. 

Wilderness Committee in-person events:

All events that WC hosts, co-organizes, speaks at or attends must comply with all public health orders in the province at that time, including the latest legislation regarding mandatory vaccination and proof-of-vaccination. In addition, as an organization committed to social justice, staff at events are expected to set an example of our commitment to public health.

The following current measures are in place as a result of COVID-19 and are in place until such time as they are withdrawn by the organization :

  • WC staff and volunteers wear masks at all times when a distance of 6 feet can not be maintained.
  • For WC organized events, masks will be made available, and sanitizer where hand washing facilities may be non-existent or hard to access.
  • WC staff speaking at an event or to media are expected to remove their mask only as needed, such as when in front of a camera or mic.
  • For outdoor events, masks will be advertised as recommended for members of the public and physical distancing will be encouraged.
  • For indoor events, public health order restrictions will be followed regarding capacity, masks and proof of vaccination.

Resolving Safety Concerns or Complaints:

WC requires all employees, contractors, volunteers, activists, donors and members of the public to support each other in following the guidelines within this policy as closely as they can. Any threats to safety will be taken seriously. Any safety concerns or complaints reported to WC management will be addressed as quickly as possible to ensure the organization is compliant with all government regulations for safe operation.