Mississauga mayor pushes Queen’s Park for Ontario-wide proof of vaccination plan

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Published August 17, 2021 at 3:19 pm

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Citing the onset of a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie made an urgent plea this morning to Queen’s Park for an Ontario-wide proof of vaccination program. 

“This is largely a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Crombie said at a press conference where she and Region of Peel Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh expressed concern at growing COVID-19 numbers in Peel and beyond.  

“I am very concerned this upward trend is happening despite the huge progress (in fighting the pandemic)…despite the vaccination uptick. We remain in a precarious situation.” 

Crombie said a widespread proof of vaccination program is the “responsible thing” for Queen’s Park to do to protect residents, businesses and the economy.  

“With all the uncertainty our residents and businesses have faced the last year and a half, it’s critical our government (implement) a proof of vaccination program to avoid more closures…If the situation continues, measures may have to be taken again,” she said.  

“The vast majority of us have done our part (in getting vaccinated),” continued Crombie. “We can no longer cater to those who choose to put the rest of us at risk.” 

While she’s thankful “the hospital situation is stable” (currently 10 confirmed COVID-19 patients at Mississauga’s two hospitals, and six in Brampton), other numbers aren’t as encouraging. 

Crombie said that as of July 22, there were four cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Mississauga residents, but today that number is 18 per 100,000. 

Peel numbers show that 97 per cent of people in area hospitals with the virus are either only partially vaccinated or unvaccinated altogether.  

Across the region, Loh said, 260,000 Peel residents have yet to get a single vaccine dose, while another 120,000 have received only one dose.  

“Those are some large numbers,” said Loh, adding the situation is comparable to the once-popular fan waves at baseball games. “If you choose to remain unvaccinated, you are the wave.” 

By the percentages, 71 per cent of those eligible to be vaccinated in Peel have had two vaccine doses, while 82 per cent have had one dose. 

Officials are especially encouraging adults ages 25-40 to get vaccinated. That’s where they’re seeing a decrease in vaccination numbers, they noted. 

Crombie did applaud the Ontario government for announcing its plan today to enforce stricter vaccination rules for healthcare and education workers. More details on that are expected this afternoon. 

In the meantime, Crombie said City of Mississauga staff is studying options related to the mandating of vaccinations for the City’s 5,000 or so workers. She added it would be “helpful” if the provincial government mandated proof of vaccination for all. 

“We’re certainly studying it,” she said, adding many City staffers will be heading back to work on-site this fall and early next year. “We’re looking to see what we have the legal right to do.” 

Crombie added there may be an announcement on that front by the end of the week in Toronto. She said a number of municipalities are discussing plans for their employees. 

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