Shomporko Online News Desk: The Canadian business community appears to support Quebec’s move to create the country’s first vaccine passport program.
According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, vaccine passports or digital vaccination certificates would help to prevent future pandemic waves from forcing a resurgence of financially disastrous lockdowns by allowing those at low risk to participate in events, move freely, and go about their daily lives.
In an interview before the government disclosed the new technique to stop COVID-19 from spreading, chamber president Perrin Beatty said, “Without it, people are being held, prisoner.”
He noted that 80 per cent of Canadians over the age of 12 have already demonstrated their willingness to get vaccinated, but that’s too low to achieve herd immunity.
“The private sector, like Canadians as a whole, is diverse — but one thing in which the private sector is very much united is that we can’t afford to go into more across-the-board lockdowns.”
Quebec announced last week that it would require Quebecers as of September to show proof of vaccination in order to access non-essential services in parts of the province where COVID-19 transmission is high.
Premier Francois Legault said the province appears to be entering the fourth wave of rising infections and that he doesn’t plan to return to lockdowns.
Not all provinces agree: Ontario Premier Doug Ford reiterated Thursday that the province isn’t planning to introduce a “vaccine passport” system allowing access to certain activities, and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has also rejected the concept.
Increasing the rate of vaccination would be ideal, Beatty said, but certificates could also help to protect people’s health without inflicting major social and economic damage on the country from the Delta variant and other potential variants.
Beatty said the chamber’s goal is to prevent mass lockdowns by controlling the risks posed by the Delta and other potential variants.
He said digital certificates would also be critical for international travel to provide proof of status for other countries that want to ensure visitors meet their vaccination requirements. Paper documents could easily be forged so machine-readable documents are needed that meet globally accepted standards, Beatty noted.
“I’m fully vaccinated. But if I were attending a concert, I would feel an awful lot more comfortable knowing the people I was jammed in with have themselves been vaccinated.”
The Toronto Region Board of Trade last month called on the Ontario government to introduce a vaccine passport system for non-essential business activity.
CEO Jan De Silva said it’s a personal decision to get vaccinated, but accessing major events and indoor dining requires moral responsibility. Small businesses cannot afford another lockdown, she said.
Digital certification would also help to assure employees and customers that it’s safe to return to work or visit places of business said Beatty, with rapid testing as a supplement.
He said vaccine passports aren’t dissimilar to the Nexus Pass, a voluntary system that allows Canadian and American travelers to cross the border more rapidly.
According to a recent Leger poll, 58% of Canadians and 37% of Americans favor requiring a vaccine passport for all necessary and non-essential activities.
According to the president of the Montreal Board of Trade, over 78 percent of company members surveyed support the usage of a vaccine passport.
“It’s a clear statement from the private sector that they think the vaccine passport is a useful instrument. And, of course, it’s because you don’t want to shut down the economy again,” board president Michel Leblanc explained.
Source_ the Canadian press