Toronto mayor supports province-wide vaccine passport system

Aug 12 2021, 1:45 pm

Toronto Mayor John Tory has voiced his support for an Ontario-wide proof of vaccination system to help businesses stay open as COVID-19 cases creep up heading into fall.

In a statement issued Thursday, the mayor said he believes some kind of passport system will help major sports teams and businesses navigate pandemic reopening and mitigate case increases.

“I believe such a provincial plan is the best thing we can do right now to protect these businesses and other places of work from being closed down again due to a surge,” he said.

Several public health advocates and businesses organizations have lobbied in favour of a vaccine passport system for participation in local activities, but so far the provincial government has resisted.

Earlier this week, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that the PDF receipts of vaccination should be proof enough. But the Ontario Chamber of Commerce disagrees, saying the PDFs can easily be forged and contain unnecessary personal information.

Canada’s federal government announced this week it would introduce a digital vaccine passport for international travel — a move which Tory supports.

The mayor hopes Ontario works with the federal government to establish its own vaccination certificate system, whether using the federal passport or a different one.

“A province-wide proof of vaccination system will help encourage more people to get vaccinated and will help us continue our progress reopening and recovering from COVID-19.”

He also hinted the City of Toronto may be coming out with a vaccination policy for its workers.

“I have made it clear to City officials that any plans should be clear, should be focused on protecting employees and any members of the public they interact with from COVID-19.”

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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