Is it time to drop vaccine passport for air travellers?

Drop vax card for air travel?

Back in January 2021, when the idea of a “vaccine passport” that would (allow) vaccinated (Canadians) to travel and have access to various public amenities and services first emerged, the idea was strongly opposed by Prime Minister Trudeau.

As he stated (at the time), the idea of a vaccine passport was, and I quote directly, “fraught with challenges” and would have "divisive impacts on community and country."

As we know, the prime minister reversed his stance against vaccine passports and used them as a wedge issue during last year’s pandemic election.

Indeed, as Trudeau himself confirmed in January 2021, the implementation of the vaccine mandate has indeed created divisive impacts.

Fortunately, in all Canadian provinces, residents who are vaccinated and not vaccinated can now enjoy equal access to public and private amenities and services with one glaring exception—air travel, which is a federally regulated sector. It still requires proof of vaccination in order to fly.

For those who are vaccinated, which is the majority, this is not an inconvenience, although it has added to more congestion and some delays at many Canadian airports.

However, for those who are not vaccinated it has, and continues to, cause serious hardship in many situations.

For many who are unvaccinated it means being unable to see loved ones or to care for a sick or elderly parent in another part of Canada. It means holidays alone.

These are not just cases of people who want to travel for a vacation. I have heard of husbands and wives being separated overseas and adult children separated from their parents who are in hospice. It is often heartbreaking.
As the official Opposition, we have raised this concern in Ottawa.

While the government continues to insist it is “following the science,” it has shown no such documentation to support the continued enforcement of this exclusionary policy.

For the record, I am fully vaccinated and have supported vaccination throughout the pandemic.

My question this week:

Do you believe it is time for the federal government to lift the vaccination requirement for train and air travel or is this something you would like to see remain in place?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola and the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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