Kitchener startup says it has vaccine passport app ready for use

A CEO for a Kitchener-based startup says they already have vaccine passport software in place and have offered it to the Ontario government for free.

Back on Wednesday when the introduction of a mandatory vaccine passport for certain non-essential services, the province specified it wouldn’t come into effect until Sept. 22, and that the full rollout and system won’t be ready until October.

Before the announcement when many were calling for a vaccine passport system in Ontario, Martin Basiri and his software team at ApplyBoard in Kitchener had created a prototype.

“It didn’t take more than a couple of days,” he said. “We were able to assemble a team to put it together.”

The company already works with similar technology to approve student documents for immigration purposes.

“We built it months ago,” said Basiri. “It just happened to also be useful for a vaccine passport.”

To help fast-track the rollout, the CEO says he approached the Ontario government and offered up the software for free.

“It’s our duty to help society in these hard times,” said Basiri. “Since we have already have the technology, why not?”

The Ford government says it is already working on its own system.

“We have hardworking, smart people in Kitchener who have developed such a software, and he’s not even willing to look at it,” said France Gelinas, a health critic for the NDP.

The software can be viewed by anyone at showmyproof.com. All users have to do is type in the code “demo” and it brings up a vaccine passport prototype.

“Let’s build upon what he has, better, faster, and cheaper,” said Gelinas. “He’s offering it for free. How much cheaper could we get?”

In a statement, the Ontario government says it is, “developing its own made in Ontario app in consultation with private sector companies.”

Basiri says the province has responded to him, but is still unclear if the two sides will work together.

“If our technology ended up being in the hands of millions of people and saved lives, it’s just an honour for us,” he said.