No Ontario vaccine passport announcement coming Tuesday, Ford’s office says

The province is not making any sort of announcement about a vaccine passport system in Ontario Tuesday, a spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford’s office says.

Sources with knowledge of a plan to institute a form of proof-of-vaccine certification — commonly known as a vaccine passport — in Ontario previously told CBC News that it was expected to be revealed early this week.

The sources spoke on condition of confidentiality because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

The implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine passport was to be discussed at a cabinet meeting scheduled for today. Sources say that while some cabinet members are opposed to a vaccine passport, the program will go ahead. 

Pressure has mounted on Ford’s government in recent weeks to institute some sort of vaccine passport as the province navigates a fourth wave of the pandemic driven by the delta variant.

Though Ford once held near daily COVID-19 briefings earlier in the pandemic, the premier has not faced questions from media in more than a month. Millions of students in the province are also set to return to school next week. 

Many local medical officers of health, as well as mayors of some of Ontario’s biggest cities and independent medical experts, have publicly joined the chorus for vaccine passports, saying a clear, effective provincewide system is needed to avoid confusion and curb the current wave.

Quebec, B.C. and Manitoba have already released plans for their own versions of a vaccine passport system.

Until recently, Ontario has resisted the idea, with Ford saying he doesn’t want a “split society.”

The province has also said Ontarians have the option of printing out their electronic vaccination receipts if needed, though critics have pointed out that printouts can easily be forged.

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