Passport, please. Before COVID, that phrase conjured up visions of beach holidays or trips to far-flung destinations. The last time anyone said that to me, I was travelling to India; little did I think that the next time might be at the local Kelsey’s. Such is the world we now live in; “Black Mirror” couldn’t have come up with a weirder storyline.
While I would happily flash my credentials to drink among the vaccinated, not everyone shares that opinion. “We’re not gonna have a split society,” intoned Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “We’ve been very clear from the beginning that we will not facilitate or accept vaccine passports,” chimed in Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. The premiers’ anti-passport rationale ranges from creating two classes of citizens to contravening privacy rules, but is rooted in one clear reality: their base doesn’t like the idea.
According to Abacus research, while 89 per cent of left-of-centre voters believe a second shot is essential to end the pandemic, only 70 per cent of right-of-centre voters feel the same way, with 17 per cent saying it’s an outright bad idea. Only three per cent of left-of-centre voters share that view.
And while a clear majority of Canadians support the idea of vaccine passports for certain activities, the rates are sharply lower among the unvaccinated. Whereas 80 per cent of vaccinated Canadians support passports for indoor events, for example, only 51 per cent of unvaccinated Canadians do.
So rather than risk the wrath of their vaccine-resistant base, both premiers have capitulated. The result leaves both citizens and businesses in the lurch, freer to resume their pre-pandemic lives, but at their own risk.