Sask. NDP still pushing for vaccine passports as other provinces weigh options

Though Saskatchewan’s premier previously said his government will not require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend events within the province, the NDP is asking him to reconsider.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, NDP leader Ryan Meili said Saskatchewan should require proof of vaccination for certain events, like Rider games.

“This is being done all over the world,” Meili said. “It’s been done in the United States. They have been going to basketball and hockey games for months now with proof of vaccination. And it’s not a difficult thing because basically you have a choice. If you want to go, you show your card. It’s not a health privacy issue, it’s your choice.”

As the number of fully vaccinated Canadians continues to climb, provinces across the country are considering when – and if – they will require proof of vaccination and what that will look like.

Manitoba’s government said it will be checking for proof of vaccination for events like CFL games and concerts. While Quebec has said it will use vaccine passports to limit access to non-essential services if a fourth wave hits in the fall.

During a COVID-19 update on June 29, Premier Scott Moe and Scott Livingstone, CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, cited potential health privacy concerns as a reason why the province would not mandate proof of vaccination within Saskatchewan. However, the premier did acknowledge other governments could ask about a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status.

eHealth Saskatchewan is creating COVID-19 vaccine certificates to help residents provide proof of their vaccination status when needed. In a statement, the provincial government said it is working with the federal government develop documentation that residents can use when traveling internationally.

According to a tweet from eHealth on July 15, residents will have access to the certificates through their immunization records on eHealth.

@eHealthSask is working with the provincial & federal governments to develop COVID-19 immunization certificates that will be recognized as proof of vaccination status by foreign governments and agencies that require it.

— eHealth Saskatchewan (@eHealthSask) July 15, 2021