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Ontario municipalities call for ‘practical’ province-wide vaccine passport
Aug. 23, 2021
Jennifer Pagliaro

All 444 Ontario municipalities are calling on Premier Doug Ford to implement vaccination passports as Toronto’s medical officer of health recommends that businesses and large event organizers have plans to require proof of vaccination.

Meanwhile, more city agencies are adopting Toronto’s new policy for municipal workers, including the Toronto Zoo.

This week, the president of Association of Municipalities Ontario wrote to Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott and Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark on behalf of its members asking for a “province-wide, practical vaccine certification program for those fully vaccinated to protect children under 12 and Ontario’s health care resources, and to support the safe, timely and stable reopening of public services, institutions, facilities and businesses.”

In a separate statement Friday, Dr. Eileen de Villa said she was “strongly recommending” Toronto employers implement their own vaccination policies. That advice came a day after Mayor John Tory announced all municipal workers would be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30.

The policy, Toronto Public Health said, should require workers to show proof of vaccination or provide a medical reason for remaining unvaccinated.

And the city has released a tool kit to help employers guide their teams through the process as well as plans to help by hosting on-site vaccination clinics.

In addition, de Villa says organizations planning to host gatherings of 1,000 or more people should ask for proof of vaccination.

City agencies were tasked with coming up with their own vaccination requirements.

The Toronto Zoo said Friday it will follow the city’s lead and implement that policy for staff and volunteers.

Toronto Community Housing also said Friday it would have employees follow the city policy.

“Simply put, the data is clear that vaccines work to save lives. Ensuring high rates of vaccination remains one of the most important tools we can deploy to protect each other, COVID-19 susceptible animals and our community,” CEO Dolf DeJong was quoted as saying in a statement.