Antonella Artuso, Brian Lilley
August 27, 2021
Ontario Premier Doug Ford will announce next week that his government will introduce a COVID-19 vaccine passport system, a senior Progressive Conservative source says.
The document would provide proof of vaccination status where needed to access non-essential businesses and public spaces.
Although Ford has said in the past that a vaccine passport is not necessary — the province already offers a printout confirming inoculation — the idea is extremely popular with business groups, the medical community and the public, the source said Friday.
“We don’t want to close the economy,” a source said when asked why the province was changing its position.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to set up a $1-billion fund to help provinces and territories create proof-of-vaccination credentials.
“I certainly hope that here in Ontario, Premier Ford steps up,” Trudeau said Friday, prior to news that Ontario was moving on vaccine passports. “It’s time for him to listen to public health officials.”
While Ford has been largely silent on the federal campaign, his office issued a statement in response to Trudeau’s comments.
“Ontario has put forward the most cautious reopening plan, which includes some of the highest vaccination thresholds, maintaining masking in public indoor spaces, as well as capacity limits and distancing requirements, and releasing the most comprehensive, far-ranging mandatory vaccination policies for high-risk settings in the country,” the Ford statement said. “As (Chief Medical Officer of Ontario Dr. Kieran) Moore has already said, we will continue to monitor the trajectory and status of the Delta variant and respond accordingly.”
The reminder of mandatory capacity limits in Ontario followed Trudeau’s morning campaign event which included a relatively large crowd of people.
“We will always follow public health guidance,” Trudeau said, when a reporter asked why there were more than 25 people in the room.