Opposition parties in Ontario are calling on the Ford government to expand the vaccine passport into more settings. According to Global News, both the provincial Liberal and NDP parties have released statements on the current rollout of the passport.
The system took effect Wednesday and mandated proof of vaccination before entering many indoor establishments. These include restaurants, bars, gyms, meeting and event spaces and nightclubs.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath believes this is not enough and those who are vaccinated "earned the right" to be at the mall or a church "without having to worry about whether the person beside us is unvaccinated."
"For the safety of our families and our progress in the fight against COVID-19, let's fix the vaccine certificate program," Horwath said in a statement. "Doug Ford's version is full of holes big enough for COVID to pour through — let's close them."
The Liberal party also released a statement last week, calling for stricter measures. Their statement demanded a vaccine mandate for passengers and operators on provincially regulated trains.
Green party leader Mike Schreiner also raised concerns around "loopholes" in the vaccine passport system.
"I'm also concerned that Ford's vaccine certificate is not nearly comprehensive enough and is full of inconsistencies, exceptions and loopholes. For example, leaving salons and barbershops off the list does not make sense," Schreiner said.
"They cannot afford to close again, so we need to ensure we're doing everything possible to help them stay open.
In response to the criticism from opposition parties, the Ford government commented to Global News.
"The settings were chosen based on the advice of the chief medical officer of health," Alexandra Hilkene, spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott, said. "The policy applies to indoor settings where masks aren't always worn, and the risk of transmission is higher."
Ford previously said these "exceptional measures" being introduced, including the vaccine passport system, is "temporary" and will end "as soon as they can be responsibly removed."
"There are a lot of people who are concerned about this policy, and I want you to know that I hear you. I understand your concerns about protecting your civil liberties and right to privacy," wrote Ford.
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