An Alberta oil and gas worker said he’s seeing issues arising from the vaccine mandates, including what he calls a “mental health crisis” in the industry.

The active worker for ConocoPhillips spoke to the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from his employer.

The worker said there have been “concerning issues” around the company’s mandatory vaccination policy.

“The way our camp works is, if they can get you home after you have a positive COVID test, they will supply you with a truck full of gas and send you on your way and they won’t count you as a COVID case,” said the unidentified worker.

“The only time we know there has been a positive case is if it’s a friend and they tell us personally. It just doesn’t get communicated officially. The company never informs any of us.”

The bigger concern for the worker is the mental health crisis he says he is witnessing on his site and others.

“Those that have had to buckle and get the jab against their will, most of them were so against it and they just aren’t the same anymore,” said the worker.

“I’ve seen these men have anxiety attacks. It’s like they killed something in them; like the life has drained from these people.

“I know this sounds graphic, but these guys say they feel like they’ve been raped. It’s almost like they have become prisoners. Is this worth it to have a bunch of guys walking around with PTSD?”

The worker said he made the choice to get vaccinated so he could remain employed, but is “extremely sympathetic for those who are struggling through this.”

“It hasn’t been easy for these guys. These people have to be functioning members of society after all this, but pardon my French, we’ve just mind-f—— ourselves and now people are suffering.”

The worker said he’s had conversations with struggling co-workers on site and said many “felt weird not being a part of society” and said they felt “demonized.”

“We have a lot of work to do to help these people. I’m making it my mission to bring some positive things back into the mix on our site,” said the worker.

“This has turned into a mental health thing. For some of these people, they were so against it and to have to cave in and get the vaccination, they are so offended and are turning to anger, resentment, even rage.”

Shell Canada was the first company to announce a reversal of its mandatory vaccine policy with a letter to contract workers sent last Thursday, as reporter by the Western Standard.

The letter indicates due to “a reduced availability of offsite testing, coupled with the fact vaccination is not as effective against the Omicron variant” Shell’s Scotford site in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., “is temporarily turning off the requirement for contractors to provide proof of vaccination and/or complete testing prior to arriving on site.”

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

Reporter (Alberta)

Melanie Risdon is an Alberta Reporter for the Western Standard and Alberta Report based in the Calgary Headquarters. She has over 20 years’ experience in media at Global News, Rogers and Corus.

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