Pressure from Political Opposition, Business and Public Ford Finally Cause Ford to Implement Vaccine Passport System
Ford’s September 1st Announcement Comes As Province’s COVID-19 Cases Rise and Just One Week Before More Than Two Million Kids Prepare to Go Back to School
A Commentary by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by Reaction from Leaders of Ontario’s Opposition Parties
Posted September 3rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large
When the history of how Ontario’s Ford government handled this pandemic is written, one chapter will most surely focus on the degree to which Ford and company weighed the interests of his political base, including those who make up the anti-mask/anti-vaccine/anti-lockdown movement ahead of making decisions based on sound science.
The extent to which leaders of the province’s opposition parties, members of the public and even members of the business community he claims to care about more than his political critics is a sad comment on his record addressing one of the worst public health emergencies we have been suffering through in living memory.
Ford should have wasted no time doing what the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia did this August in announcing plans to implement a vaccine passport system instead of waiting until daily Covid-19 case counts began once again rising to rates higher than they have in several months due to a more infectious Delta variant of the virus that is mostly finding a host in the vaccine resisters among us.
He certainly should not have waited until within seven days of children under the age of 12, who have not yet been approved for the vaccine, to return to face-to-face classes at school.
It never seems to fail with far-right Conservatives like Doug Ford and his buddy, Premier Jason Kenney, in Alberta where COVID cases are soaring and hospital capacity in maxed out after Kenny stupidly lifted all his province’s health measure restrictions.
When it comes to doing anything for the common good, today’s Conservatives in Canada, like their Republican counterparts in the United States, don’t seem to have it in their DNA to do what needs to be done unless they – figuratively speaking – beaten about the head with a crowbar 50 or 60 times to do it.
And please think about this.
If we all don’t work together to do what needs to be done, including getting vaccinated, to crush this virus, we could see more of the kind of job and business killing lockdowns we have suffered through in the past.
One of the tragic ironies of the situation we are going through is that the anti-vaxxers who are rallying against any more lockdowns or restrictions in their lives, are now the ones most likely to cause more restrictions by not getting vaccinated.
A few days back, Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, made up of a group of medical experts from across the province, warned that we could be in for a Fourth Wave more damaging than the last one by mid-October if more than the roughly 75 per cent of Ontario citizens that are fully vaccinated now don’t do the same.
If the anti-vaxxers out there continue to resist, we could once again see our hospitals’ ICU units filled beyond capacity with patients that the virus made seriously ill.
And who is most likely to get seriously ill and possibly die from COVID? Well as research shows in the U.S. as well, it is the unvaccinated, of course, as much as so much trash information on venues like Facebook and Fox News want to white-wash that away.
By the way, Ford’s vaccine passport system will not go into effect until September 22nd when who knows how much more
Check out the chart for Ontario that the Science Advisory group posted on its website earlier this week (If you have a hard time reading some of the wording in the chart, the number of new cases of COVID here include the unvaccinated in red and the fully vaccinated in blue) –
Now here is reaction to Doug Ford’s vaccine passport announcement, first from Ontario NDP Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath, then from provincial Liberal Party Leader Steven Del Duca.
From NDP Leader Andrea Horwath –
Ford’s vaccine certificates late, leave too many behind: NDP
QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement in response to the Ford government announcement regarding vaccine certificates:
“We should already have vaccine certificates in Ontario. But despite the rise of the fourth wave and schools re-opening soon, Doug Ford keeps dragging his feet, playing politics with public health and doing the bare minimum.
Vaccine certificates aren’t coming soon enough for the small businesses that have been struggling without provincial guidance to keep their customers and staff safe. And Mr. Ford is still leaving far too many businesses on their own to make tough decisions. Mr. Ford seems to be more interested in not offending anti-vaxxers than in protecting Ontarians.
The government must work with experts, businesses and communities to address the gaps, and roll out vaccine certificates without delay. As Ontario rolls out vaccine certificates, we will be watching closely to ensure the system is equitable and leaves no one behind.”
Now from Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca –
A Liberal government would have implemented certificates earlier this summer when the Conservatives and NDP were still opposing them
TORONTO – Doug Ford has given up his stubborn fight against vaccine certificates after the overwhelming support of Ontarians grew too loud to ignore.
“I’m encouraged to see this long overdue action, but we can never forget that Doug Ford only does the right thing when he is dragged there kicking and screaming,” said Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca.
“I am deeply concerned about how long it will take Doug Ford to fully roll the vaccine certificates out. Throughout this pandemic, these unnecessary delays have put lives at risk and left us in an unending cycle of lockdowns and confusion. A Liberal government would have implemented certificates earlier this summer when the Conservatives and NDP were still opposing them, allowing us to enter the fall with a strong and clear plan to keep people safe and help our lives return to normal.”
Earlier this week, Ontario Liberals and other opposition parties held a Vaccine Summit with leaders from various sectors. The Summit was a show of unity around the urgent need for vaccine certificates as we navigate the fourth wave.
“Ontario Liberals will continue working to make sure Doug Ford gets the implementation right, and that the vaccine certificates are accessible to all Ontarians,” added Del Duca. “Vaccines alone will not get us through the next wave of this pandemic and we will continue to provide the necessary leadership to get this right.”
Ontario Liberals first called for both vaccine certificates and mandatory frontline vaccinations in July, before the fourth wave had begun, as part of their plan to keep schools and the economy open.
To visit the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table’s home page, click on – https://covid19-sciencetable.ca/
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