Opinion: Federal COVID passport is needed

In the highly politicized world that combatting COVID-19 has become, love him or hate him, Ontario Premier Doug Ford is 100 per cent correct when he said this week the federal government needs to take the reins and implement a national level passport program for vaccinated citizens.

It is all too easy for the anti-Ford factions out there to simply write off Ford’s suggestion this week to passing the buck of responsibility, but how could it not be a federal initiative.

Would anyone want each province left to develop its own criteria and passport system. These systems would not only include different passports or documents themselves but guidelines and rules that all must play by as well.

This would be a recipe for utter disaster.

What if one province pulled a France – as an example of one nation which has stated it will not allow those vaccinated with Astra Zeneca solely, or hybrid, to enter their country. They say AZ is not approved there, so they do not recognize its use.

Would/could provinces do the same here?

Why not if they are left to develop their own COVID passport infrastructure.

With many COVID-related issues there are two, sometimes three, sides to every story. This one has two possible ones, and that is only if you believe passports are needed or necessary. There are those who think they are not needed at all.

For those who think “no” on this, you’d better step back and think about world travel. If you’re a “homer” and not worried about leaving Canada, you could likely muddle through, but if you want to vacation out of the country, you’re going to need one. You’d hate to fork out thousands for a vacay, land, only to find out you’re getting sent home because you have no passport or vaccine documentation.

Even now different provinces have varied criteria to allow Canadians in. Thinking of driving to the east coast this summer? You had better submit an application online for a registration number in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia or you will get turned back at the border. You need that number and proof of vaccination to get into the province.

As stated, there are many facets to COVID debate on economics, physical and mental health and vaccinations but there should be no debate here. A federal passport program is needed. M.W.

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