Premier Ford has asked that changes be made to Ontario’s proposed vaccine certificate system: sources

TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford has asked that changes be made to a planned vaccine certificate system presented to his cabinet on Monday night and it’s now unclear when the program could be rolled out, sources tell CTV News Toronto.

The Ford government was expected to unveil an Ontario-based vaccine certificate system sometime this week.

However, sources tell CTV News Toronto that Ford’s cabinet met for approximately two hours on Monday night to consider the proposed system and did not approve it.

The sources say that Ford, in particular, wasn’t happy with what was presented to cabinet and asked that further work be done on the system.

Ontario is eyeing a digital proof of vaccination certificate system similar to one introduced in British Columbia, the sources say.

Officials in that province have said that the provincial vaccine certificate system could be a temporary solution until the federal government introduces its own vaccine passport sometime in the fall, suggesting that a similar approach could be utilized in Ontario.

Sources previously told CTV News Toronto that the Ontario certificate would be required “in non-essential settings like restaurants and movie theatres.”

But it remains unclear whether the Ford government will actually require proof of vaccination for entrance to non-essential settings or simply leave it up to businesses.

The Ford government has long insisted that a vaccine certificate system is not necessary in Ontario since residents can download “a receipt” with information about the vaccines they received from a provincial website.

There has, however, been a growing chorus of calls from multiple stakeholders – from municipalities to businesses to healthcare workers and educators – to create some sort of formal vaccine passport that could be used to gain access to some businesses and events.

“A lot of businesses and venues have already put policies in place to say you have to be vaccinated or something like that so there needs to be proof. There needs to be a device, an application that can prove in a way that is efficient and effective and non-forgeable,” Mayor John Tory told CP24 on Tuesday morning. “I think what the government is doing is the right thing and I hope we stay away from all this kind of concentration on whether Premier Ford had a different view sometime ago. It is not the issue.”

A number of professional sporting organizations have already introduced policies requiring that eligible fans be vaccinated or produce a negative COVID-19 test result to gain access to their facilities, including the Raptors, Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, Argos and TFC.

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Colin D’Mello.

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