G & M:
Ottawa continues to ban unvaccinated people from domestic plane and train travel, and it needs to explain why. Is it an effort to nudge those who’ve never had a shot into finally taking the plunge?
We supported the policy, in part for that reason. But Canada’s currently very low rate of first-dose uptake strongly suggests this nudge isn’t working.
Is it a measure to stop the spread of COVID-19? If so, it doesn’t jibe with the fact that over 19,000 people, vaccinated and otherwise, will cram into the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday to watch the Battle of Alberta.
As for the requirement to prove you are vaccinated to board an international flight, it’s a moot point in the sense that most countries won’t let you off the plane at the other end without the same proof.
But if the need to provide vaccination proof at airports for every departure and arrival, along with the federal government’s random onsite testing for returning Canadians, are indeed the reason airports are currently clogged – as airport operators maintain – then Ottawa should explain the rationale for keeping those rules in place.
There may well be one. We are certainly in favour of continuing to require that foreign visitors be vaccinated to fly to Canada, in order to minimize the risk of them becoming a burden on our health system.
But right now there is an obvious gap between Ottawa’s rules and the provinces’ rules. To maintain Canadians’ ongoing support for and confidence in public health, Ottawa needs to explain why that is.