74 per cent of Edmontonians, Calgarians support vaccine passports: survey

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The majority of people in Alberta's two largest cities support the idea of a proof of COVID-19 vaccination system, according to a new online survey.

Of the 1,000 citizens surveyed from Edmonton and Calgary, 74 per cent said they supported a system that would require Canadians to show proof of vaccination to access certain businesses or services, with exemptions for those who cannot be vaccinated. 

Thirteen per cent said they were "very opposed" to the idea, while 18 per cent said they were "opposed."

Seventy per cent of the 71 businesses that participated in the survey were supportive of vaccine certification, while 15 per cent said they were "very opposed."

The survey was conducted by Leger, in collaboration with the Canadian Global Cities Council, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce/Board of Trade, and the Calgary Edmonton Chamber of Commerce/Board of Trade between Aug. 19 and Sept. 1.

“Businesses and residents have clearly indicated the need for a standardized framework to ensure consumer confidence and protect worker safety,” Jeffrey Sundquist, president and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, said in a news release. 

“As other jurisdictions move ahead with implementing vaccine certifications, we cannot be left behind and have local business risk losing their competitive edge when it comes to attracting workers, customers and investors,” said Sundquist.

The survey also found 55 per cent of the members of the public surveyed were "very supportive" of vaccine passports. Fourty-eight per cent of the businesses surveyed shared that view.

Last week, 11 mayors from Alberta's capital region formally asked the province to reconsider its position against vaccine passports.

On Friday, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the province is looking at all pros and cons for a vaccine passport.

"The first work that has to be done is to ensure Albertans have their vaccine records in the palm of their hand for us to come out, like other provinces are doing," he said during a media availability in Rocky Mountain House, Alta. "I expect it to be next week for the printable card, same as B.C., which will also be launched next week.

"The second step is to make sure we have the ability for others who want a restriction in their workplace or in their business for it to be accessed quickly and that's the QR code. When it comes to the issue of whether it's going to be governed and mandated, we have, as we've communicated before as the premier has said before, we are enabling those businesses and workplaces to make those decisions." 

British Columbia is rolling out its own proof of vaccination system that will use a QR code beginning next week.  

Meanwhile, authorities in the U.K. have reversed direction on a plan that would have required vaccine certification for entry into nightclubs and other crowded events in England.