Canada will be getting a vaccine passport for international travel, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced on Wednesday.
“We are working actively with the provinces and territories on a secure, pan-Canadian proof of vaccination for international travel,” he said.
It’s development is in its early days, but the passport will be ready to go “early this fall,” according to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
The vaccine certificate will be used across all provinces as the federal government commences talks for a nationwide system. It will include the holder’s COVID-19 vaccination history, the date they got it, the type of jab they received and the location where they received their shot. It will also be available to all citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents living in Canada who are fully vaccinated.
In the meantime, the government will have to gather all the vaccination data from each province and territory in order to plug it into their new passport system and get it ready to go.
The announcement comes shortly after Quebec’s decision to implement a COVID-19 vaccine passport as of September 1st, which the province’s Health Minister, Christian Dubé, announced on Tuesday.
Quebec’s vaccine passport will only be used for access to non-essential services, like gyms, bars, restaurants and festivals. For now, it won’t be required for retail stores and other essential services, but discussions are underway as to whether events like weddings or religious gatherings will use the system.
The implementation of a vaccine passport is a complete disregard for the privacy and constitutional rights of Canadians. Speaking back in January, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that a domestic vaccine passport would have “real divisive impacts” for Canadians, yet as of this week, he is pushing this agenda anyway.
The government frame the vaccine passport as a way to keep Canadians safe. However, we should recognize it for what it really is: political blackmail. Either you vaccinate yourself and get the passport, or face living in a two-tiered society where access to basic services are denied.
Were you naturally exposed to COVID-19? Do you now have an exceptionally low risk of suffering severe effects from the virus? Doesn’t matter. Do as the Liberal government tell you; get vaccinated and download the digital COVID-19 passport, or face infringements on your rights to travel and access services across the country.
This is an incredibly dangerous precedent for the Canadian government to set and should concern all those who value their constitutional rights and freedoms. We need the public, MPs and Senators to stand up to this draconian policy and call it out for what it really is – the greatest infringement to liberty that our nation has seen in modern times.
(Photo credit: NY Governor’s Press Office)