Entrepreneurs in Canada have mixed feelings about implementing vaccine passports

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Published August 23, 2021 at 11:35 am

Despite the fact 75 per cent of adults in Ontario have been fully immunized against COVID-19, cases are once again rising.

In effort to encourage people to continue to get vaccinated, mitigate the spread of the virus, and prevent another province-wide lockdown, many businesses have been implementing vaccine policies for their customers and staff.

However, the latest data from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) suggests not all business owners agree on this practice.

According to CFIB, when it comes to vaccine passports, 74 per cent of business owners approve of implementing them for international travel, while 21 per cent are opposed, and five per cent are undecided.

Additionally, 65 per cent of business owners approve of implementing vaccine passports for large events, such as concerts, sporting events, and festivals, while 28 per cent are opposed, and seven per cent are undecided.

But, when it comes to individual businesses, support for vaccine passports begins to falter.

Less than half, 48 per cent, of entrepreneurs are in favour of making vaccines mandatory for their staff, while 40 per cent are opposed and 12 per cent are undecided.

Even fewer, 37 per cent, are in favour of making them mandatory for their customers, while the majority, 47 per cent, are opposed, and 16 per cent are undecided.

However, if given the choice between making vaccines mandatory for staff and consumers versus going into another lockdown, 55 per cent of entrepreneurs said they would prefer mandatory vaccines, while 31 per cent would still oppose, even if it meant going back into lockdown, and 14 per cent were undecided.

Some of the trepidation among business owners regarding vaccine passports are linked to oversight—many entrepreneurs would want to know who would be in charge of verifying customers’ vaccine status, as well as whether they would be responsible for policing vaccine status.

Moreover, business owners want to know if they would be liable for human rights complaints if they don’t serve unvaccinated customers, what they would be expected to do if a customer refuses to provide proof of vaccination, what they would be expected to do if an employee refuses to get vaccinated, and how this data would be collected and protected.

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