vaccine passport

Toronto business leaders are now asking Ontario to implement vaccine passports

Ah, the contentious vaccine passport: some Canadian provinces are vowing not to use them, while others already have them in the works. But where does Ontario sit, and what could our proof of immunization policies look like?

If Quebec's plan is any indication, residents could need valid proof of full inoculation against COVID-19 to go to certain businesses and take part in certain activities during outbreaks or case spikes in the future.

As that province's government said last week, "rather than closing sectors of activity, it would be necessary to be double vaccinated to access certain activities" in certain industries when necessary, such as going to the gym or a bar that would, pre-vaccine, perhaps be shuttered due to COVID risks.

Ontario, too, suggested a similar rule months ago, citing examples like going to the movie theatre or entering other spaces "where people will be in close contact."

"There may be some restrictions that may be placed on people that don’t have [a vaccine]," our provincial Health Minister Christine Elliott said back in December, referencing "some sort of proof of vaccine card" that would eventually be issued to the public.

She then notably changed her tune just last week when she stated in a press conference (before the Quebec proof of vaccination announcement, mind you) that such programs were " a matter for federal jurisdiction" for travel and other purposes.

But now, groups such as the Toronto Region Board of Trade are reviving the call for vaccine cards or passports to help people stay safer in some non-essential sectors and settings.

"Now that we've got sufficient vaccine, it's a way to start resuming a more normal form of day-to-day living," TorontoRBOT CEO Jan De Silva told the Canadian Press on the topic on Tuesday.

She suggested such policies apply to places like business conferences, tourist destinations and indoor dining, where people will have a "moral responsibility" to protect others.

As we've seen in the case of traveling, many federal governmentsincluding Canada's — are asking for proof of vaccination upon arrival, at least to bypass mandatory quarantine, testing and other measures.

The same idea will logically and inevitably apply on a smaller scale in some places, such as in Quebec, where residents are being sent QR codes with their immunization confirmation that will eventually be scanned from their phone for entry to certain events or businesses under specific circumstances.

Lead photo by

Unity Health Toronto

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