Trudeau says Ford 'finally stepped up' on vaccine passports but timing was no coincidence

Ontario Premier Doug Ford "finally stepped up" in unveiling a vaccine passport system but the timing of the announcement was "no coincidence," Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says.

Trudeau made the comments during a campaign stop at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday. 

"Here in Ontario, you've made it clear you want a proof of vaccination system to keep you safe," Trudeau said. 

Last week, Trudeau promised a billion-dollar fund to help provinces create their own vaccine passport system. 

"That's real leadership and that makes a real difference," Trudeau said Friday. "It's no coincidence that right after we made that commitment, Premier Ford finally stepped up."

"I think we all know that wouldn't have happened with Erin O’Toole sitting across the table from Doug Ford."

Earlier this week, Ford blamed the delay of a vaccine passport system on Trudeau, saying he called an "unnecessary election."

Ford said he wanted Trudeau to announce a federal program that would be applied across the entire country.

"Every premier wanted a vaccine passport and unfortunately, the federal government decided to go into an unnecessary election, which I'm still shaking my head over, in the middle of a fourth wave in a pandemic, then telling us just three weeks ago that they wouldn't be able to get it done till the 24th," Ford said Wednesday.

"We either do this, or we risk shutting down the economy, which would even be worse."

Prior to this week, Ford has consistently said that a vaccine certificate was not necessary in Ontario, arguing that it would create a "split society."

The comments also come a week after Trudeau, while campaigning in Mississauga, urged Ford to "step up" when it came to the creation of a proof-of-vaccination program and to listen to public health officials.

Ontario's vaccine certificate program comes into effect on Sept. 22. 

Canadians go to the polls on Sept. 20.