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Ontario Construction News staff writer
Toronto Mayor John Tory has joined a long line of officials urging Premier Doug Ford to create a vaccination verification system for businesses, sporting events, concerts and other crowded.
In a statement Thursday, Tory said he welcomed the federal government’s decision to develop a vaccine passport for international travel.
“I hope the government of Ontario will work with the federal government to ensure we have a proof of vaccination system here in our province to help businesses and institutions — even our major sports teams — navigate reopening as case counts creep up,” the statement said.
“Based on the advice I am receiving from medical officials, I believe such a provincial plan is the best thing we can do right now to protect these businesses and other places of work from being closed down again due to a surge.”
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie supported Tory on Twitter.
“I agree 100 per cent,” she wrote, “a provincewide proof of vaccination system will help encourage more people to get vaccinated and will help us continue our progress reopening and recovering from COVID-19.”
France has implemented vaccine passports for public settings with a reportedly large uptake in vaccines after the pass was announced. A similar mandate is in place in New York and planned for Quebec.
Tory said Toronto is finalizing plans for its own workers and vaccines, which will be unveiled next week.
“I have made it clear to city officials that any plans should be clear, should be focused on protecting employees and any members of the public they interact with from COVID-19, and ultimately encourage any employees who aren’t vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
After almost two years of remote learning, the University of Toronto, Queen’s University, the University of Guelph and several other Ontario post-secondary institutions have announced that vaccines will be mandatory for students, staff and teachers this fall:
- The University of Ottawa says students, staff and faculty, along with anyone visiting campus will be required to have had at least one vaccine dose by Sept. 7 and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.
- Ontario Tech University in Oshawa says it’s giving people until Oct. 17 to receive their second vaccination.
- U of T will “require all those intending to be on campus be fully vaccinated.” Those who are not immunized will still be allowed on U of T grounds but must have a negative test within 72 hours of going to campus and complete rapid screening tests twice a week.
- Queen’s University in Kingston will require students, staff, faculty and visitors to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 7.
- Carleton University in Ottawa will require everyone to prove their vaccination status or participate in rapid testing for COVID-19.
- Western University, in London is requiring proof of vaccination on campus. People who are not vaccinated must be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.
- Toronto’s York University announced Thursday that it will “require all community members and visitors on our campuses this fall to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”
- Seneca College will also require proof of vaccination for all staff, students and visitors.