Ontario Premier Doug Ford has rejected implementing a vaccine passport system or requiring vaccination, even for healthcare workers.

“We’re aren’t gonna do it,” Ford said Thursday. “We’re aren’t gonna have a split society.”

Ford’s decision on vaccine passports comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it is up to provincial governments to decide if they want to issue vaccine passports for things like interprovincial travel and accessing services.

Ford said the federal government may choose to demand a vaccine passport for travel, but he’s choosing to not go that route. 

“Now if it’s federal – getting across the border – that’s up to the federal government. We’ll see what they decide to do,” Ford said. 

The debate surrounding vaccine passports has heated up in recent weeks. While a number of provinces such as Manitoba and Quebec have already adopted the use of vaccine passports, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario have rejected the idea.

Ontario entered stage 3 of its reopening plan on Friday. While public health measures such as mandatory masking are still in place, gyms and restaurants are finally allowed to open.

In Ontario, more than 10 million people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 7.57 million have received two doses. 

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Harrison Faulkner is producer and journalist for True North based in Toronto.

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