I'm getting MADDR about your restriction on my freedom of conscience... » How does Ontario’s vaccine-passport system stack up with what other provinces are doing? Here’s what we know

How does Ontario’s vaccine-passport system stack up with what other provinces are doing? Here’s what we know

Yes, there likely will be consequences, Mr Trudeau.


On Wednesday, Ontario became the fourth Canadian province to announce plans to require residents to prove they’ve been vaccinated in order to get into certain indoor spaces.
In the plan Premier Doug Ford said it’s “no secret” he didn’t want to implement, Ontarians will be required to show a vaccine receipt and identification to get into certain settings starting Sept. 22. Then, starting Oct. 22, Ontarians will have access to a QR code certificate, proving their vaccine status.

The goal is both to reduce transmission of the virus, by allowing only vaccinated people to get into high-risk transmission settings, and to incentivize the vaccine-hesitant to go and get their jabs, with a promise that the system will be pulled back if and when vaccination rates increase and transmission slows.

B.C. announced a similar plan last week and almost immediately saw an increase in vaccine appointments being made.

Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist with the University of Ottawa, says B.C.’s 124 per cent increase in bookings after it announced its program was no surprise.

  • “This is where the vaccine passports really work well,” said Deonandan of people who have previously been apathetic about getting vaccinated. “Because suddenly, it tilts in favour of that risk-reward ratio and provides an incentive to them to get vaccinated where there wasn’t one before.”

Ford made it clear that he views the certificate as a severe measure that should be limited as much as possible.

  • “This is a temporary tool that we won’t use for a day longer than we have to,” Ford said..

  • ..as does every other fat little tyrant.

He said the new plan brings Ontario into line with British Columbia and also with Quebec, where residents began Wednesday to show their vaccine certificates to get into bars and large events. Manitoba also has a vaccine certificate program, but it currently has few restrictions. Here’s what each province is doing, and how Ontario’s vaccine certificate program stacks up.


  • Dates: Proof of full vaccination will be required as of Sep. 22, but the Ontario vaccine certificate QR code will not be ready until Oct. 22. In the meantime, residents will use a PDF vaccine receipt that they can download or print, and be required to show identification.
  • Settings: Only indoor locations will require vaccine certificates, with the particular exception of nightclubs, which all will require them. The certificates will be required at restaurants, bars, nightclubs, meeting and event spaces, fitness facilities, sporting events, casino and gaming establishments, concerts and artistic events, strip clubs and racing venues.
    Staff of the restricted venues will not be universally required to use the vaccine certificate, but employers can decide to require staff to get vaccinated.
    The certificates will not be required for any essential services, religious services or personal services such as salons and spas. Weddings and funerals will have requirements for negative COVID-19 tests, but no vaccine certificate will be required.
  • Exemptions: Children under 12 and those with a valid medical exception.
  • Enforcement: Enforcement will be left to bylaw officers. Ford says he hopes businesses and their patrons will “do the right thing” and co-operate with one another when showing their proof of vaccination.


British Columbia

  • Dates: Starting Sep. 13, B.C. residents will need to prove they have one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. They will need to prove they are two weeks past their second dose by Oct. 24.
  • Settings: Indoor sporting events, indoor concerts, indoor dining, nightclubs, high-intensity fitness centres, organized gatherings such as weddings and recreational classes and activities.
    Staff of the restricted venues will not be universally required to use the vaccine certificate, but employers can decide to require staff to get vaccinated.
    The card will not be used for access to retail stores, faith services, health services or grocery stores.
  • Exemptions: Children under 12 and those with a medical exemption.
  • Enforcement: Businesses will be required to check vaccine certificates, and have been told to call the police if they are met with anger.
  • Reception: Appointments for jabs skyrocketed in the province this week after it rolled out plans for a vaccine passport system. Experts say the B.C. experience is showing that incentivizing people to get vaccinated can help nudge those on the resistant end of the spectrum to change their minds.


  • Dates: Manitoba was the first to introduce a vaccine card on June 8. Starting on Sep. 3, it will be required for admittance to more locations.
  • Settings: The card has been used since June to exempt vaccinated Manitobans from quarantine rules when they return to the province, and to gain admittance to big gatherings such as sporting events and concerts.
    Starting Sep. 3, restaurants, performance venues, nightclubs, other licensed venues and fitness centres will be required to check vaccination status.
  • Reception: An official with Manitoba’s government said that province did not see an uptick like British Columbia’s after introducing vaccine cards on June 8, but added that the Manitoba rules around proof of vaccination weren’t as strict as those in B.C.


  • Dates: The vaccine certificate came into effect Wednesday.
  • Settings: Bars and restaurants, nightclubs, fitness classes and centres, performance venues, organized gatherings, conventions and outdoor places, such as amusement parks, where more than 50 people are present at a time. Contact outdoor fitness activities also require the certificate.
    Private gatherings, weddings, funerals, and spas are not included in the program, nor are libraries, museums, or any essential service.
  • Exemptions: Children under the age of 12, those with medical exemptions and, in the case of dining establishments, the homeless. The same restrictions will not apply to staff of the restricted venues, and Quebec officials have said requiring staff to be vaccinated could break the province’s labour laws.
  • Reception: A spokesperson for Quebec’s government said they couldn’t confirm whether appointments jumped in that province in the wake of vaccine passport plans.