Ottawa paramedic charged with forging COVID-19 vaccination documents
OTTAWA -- An Ottawa paramedic charged with using a fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine certificate in order to keep his job has been fired from the service.
Police say the man obtained his certificate by submitting forged documents and attesting he had received two vaccination doses from a provincial vaccine clinic.
The city of Ottawa informed police about the man’s fraudulent certificate last Thursday.
Ali Abdelgani, 30, was arrested Wednesday and charged with uttering a forged document, obtaining by false pretence and forgery. City officials confirmed Thursday afternoon that the paramedic has been terminated from the Ottawa Paramedic Service.
He was released on a promise to appear in court.
The city initially told all employees they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday. However, on Thursday they extended the deadline to Nov. 15.
Police are reminding people that selling, buying, using or accepting false COVID-19 vaccination credentials is a criminal offence.
“Participating in such offences puts everybody at risk and fragilizes our community’s public health,” police said in a news release.
Mayor Jim Watson said if the employee is convicted, he should be fired as a paramedic.
"We have to give the individual their day in court, but if those facts are in fact true, that’ s...a breach of trust on the part of that individual," Watson told Newstalk 580 CFRA's Leslie Roberts on Thursday. "I’m not sure why they would go to that trouble to do that.
"They should be treated accordingly."