The Alberta government is dismissing the idea of the federal government’s vaccine passport being used as proof of COVID-19 vaccination within the province, but that is getting pushback from local leaders.
On Wednesday, it was announced Canada is getting a vaccine passport for international travel, which could also be used as domestic proof of vaccination.
“If the provinces wish to work with us in order to use our federal credentials within their province, we would be happy to work with them,” Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said.
The vaccine certificate will be common across all provinces, and will include the holder’s COVID-19 vaccination history, the date they got it, the type of jab they received and the location where they received their shot.
“Alberta won’t be introducing a vaccine passport domestically, nor will we be supporting the use of the government of Canada’s international travel credential for uses within Alberta’s borders,” said Jerrica Goodwin, spokesperson for the premier’s office.
The hesitation from Alberta to sign on prompted sharp words from Edmonton’s mayor.
“This is not the time for anti-federal chest-thumping sentiment out of Alberta,” Don Iveson said.
“We need to get with whatever the right program is to have vaccine passports to enable people to get back to work and to be able to inspire confidence in our visitors.”
The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is backing the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, which expressed support Wednesday for a vaccine passport system in the province.
“I think the business community is looking at any sort of platform that’s going to provide consumer confidence, business confidence to get this economy back on track,” said Jeffrey Sundquist, president and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber.
“All orders of government should collaborate on creating a consistent and predictable path for people to move freely and with confidence in health and safety… I think if the federal government or the world is working to go in this direction, I think we should get ahead of it and embrace it.”
Proof of vaccination will be required for Winnipeg Jets’ fans to enter that NHL team’s arena, but so far, there are no plans for the Edmonton Oilers to do the same at Rogers Place.
“We are in ongoing conversations with Alberta Health, Canadian venues, the NHL and other key stakeholders. Once finalized, we will communicate our plan at an appropriate time in advance of the 2021-22 NHL season,” said Oilers spokesperson Tim Shipton.
The Edmonton Elks meanwhile said staff and players are following COVID-19 testing protocols laid out by the CFL and the club will not be requiring proof of vaccination before entry at Commonwealth Stadium.
“There are no plans to require fans or employees to provide proof of COVID 19 vaccinations,” said Evan Daum, manager of communications and media relations for the Elks.
–With files from Global News’ Rachel Gilmore