The name of Ontario's vaccine passport app has leaked and it's pretty meh
Ontario is slated to drop a free vaccine passport app in just two weeks, giving business owners and patrons alike an easy way to check or show proof of vaccination in settings where this is required.
The provincial government told us as much when announcing the new vaccine certificate rules for indoor businesses like bars, restaurants and gyms back in September:
"As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination as well as proof of identity (such a driver's licence or health card) to access certain public settings and facilities," reads an FAQ document posted to the province's website last month.
"An enhanced vaccine certificate, as well as a verification app to allow businesses to read the QR code, will be available beginning October 22."
We're now at the halfway point between the passport program's implementation and the expected release of an app suite that, for some reason, the province has decided to develop in-house.
Given the Doug Ford government's plentiful previous technical blunders, many have expressed doubts that the app will actually launch on October 22 as scheduled. I suppose we'll have to wait two weeks and see, using the printed or PDF copies of our official immunization records in the meantime.
The provincial government itself has yet to provide any updates on that front, but we do now know what they plan (or at least planned) on naming the enhanced vaccine certificate or verification app: Verify Ontario.
NEW: “Verify Ontario” will be the name of the app that businesses use from Oct 22 to scan your QR code proof of COVID19 vaccination. (There’s been no announcement from the government about the name. One of my colleagues found the web page.) #COVID19Ontario https://t.co/zsZk9Q95M9— Mike Crawley (@CBCQueensPark) October 7, 2021
First surfaced on Twitter by CBC provincial affairs reporter Mike Crawley, the URL "covid-19.ontario.ca/verify" went to a simple website with the heading "Use the Verify Ontario app" as of Wednesday night.
By Thursday morning, the URL had been programmed to automatically redirect traffic to the provincial government's main "Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination" portal.
What this is means is that you can't see the page live anymore — but you can see a cached version of it courtesy of Google.
A snapshot of the page as it appeared on at 11:47 p.m. last night descibes Verify Ontario as "Ontario's official app for verifying COVID-19 vaccine certificates."
"Verify Ontario gives businesses and organizations a quicker, easier and trusted way to scan and confirm that visitors are fully vaccinated," reads a block of small text, the only other thing visible on the page.
"The Verify Ontario app launches later this month."
So there you have it: The government's forthcoming vaccine passport app (or at least the scanning portion of it) will apparently have a name every bit as original as the wildly simple $650,000 logo created for the Ontario Cannabis Store back in 2018.
Let's hope the launch of this new app is smoother than that of the OCS website, or even the Ministry of Health's own COVID-19 vaccination portal, which went down on the first day that Ontario's vaccine passport rules were in effect.
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