Sep 01, 2021

By Jane Brown

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A highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine certificate system will be announced Wednesday at 1pm by Ontario’s premier.

A government source has confirmed to The Canadian Press, Doug Ford will announce a COVID proof-of-vaccination program, which has been a contentious issue for the governing PCs.

Several regional public health officers and GTHA mayors have called for the province-wide system, which would provide proof of double vaccination against COVID-19 for residents to visit non-essential businesses, like restaurants and theatres.

Doctor Katherine Smart is the president of the Canadian Medical Association, and says the CMA is calling on all levels of government to ensure current and future vaccine certificate programs are accepted across jurisdictions.

“We know that we cannot fight COVID-19 with only one thing in the tool box,” Smart explained to CP24, “And vaccines are a huge part of our moving forward for reopening, but they’re not the only tool. We need public health strategies and we know we need to drive up those rates of vaccination across the country, and it’s been clear that using things like vaccine certificates are an efficient and effective way to do that.”

As of September 1st, residents of Quebec are required to show proof of COVID vaccination to access non-essential businesses.

They’ve been issued a QR code which contains their vaccination status.

Quebec’s health minister says the next two weeks will be a grace period, but starting September 15th, people and businesses caught violating the health order could face thousands of dollars in fines.

In a related story, the leaders of 14 Central Ontario hospitals have come up with a joint COVID vaccination policy they say will ultimately lead to unpaid leave or termination for unvaccinated staff.

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