vaccine passport

Ontario wants to design its own vaccine passport app and people have so many doubts

Doug Ford is nothing if not Ontario proud, consistently referring to the province as the economic powerhouse of the nation and promising that our industries will bounce back stronger and better than ever post-COVID-19.

The premier is always touting made-in-Ontario alternatives to everything, whether it be N96 face masks amid a 3M N95 shortage, ventilators and vaccines, wearable contact tracing devices that never actually came to fruition or the famous blue license plates that no one could read in the dark.

And now with the rollout of a provincewide vaccine passport in the works, Ford naturally wants the dedicated app to be made in-house, too.

The provincial government told the Star on Tuesday that, despite the fact that Quebec's proof of vaccination technology (in the form of a QR code and code readers) took four months to develop, Ontario will have its own version in just six weeks to hit the Oct. 22 deadline.

It will be a joint effort between Ontario Digital Service and the private sector, though absolutely everyone on the internet today agrees that handing the project over to a tech company that, you know, actually develops these sorts of things all of the time would be a much quicker and smarter route.

"We are leveraging in-house capabilities and talent while also engaging with other jurisdictions and private sector companies, including those based in Ontario, to learn from their work and experiences," a spokesperson for Ford's team told the news outlet this week.

But, other experts are already saying the approach is messy, expensive, and could lead to a potentially poorly functioning and insecure app.

Given our leadership's track record, many residents are already doubting a made-in-Ontario solution, especially from a premier who still uses a Blackberry Classic and needs help using his laptop.

There are also the memories of how painful and confusing it was to try and get a vaccine appointment in the province in the first place just a few short months ago, the never-ending Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction and drama, the Ontario Cannabis Store mess, and countless other horrors we can look to and see how this could unfold.

As citizens wonder why Ford is trying to reinvent the wheel when there are already so many viable options available, some suggest that the premier must have a daughter, nephew or friend in the biz that he can give the contract to.

As one person said on Twitter this morning, "I just hope the license plate division wasn't given the task. I will wait patiently to see if the colours are off and if the codes can be scanned properly at night."


Lead photo by

Claudio Schwarz

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