Reality is beginning to dawn for the vaccine reluctant
Unvaccinated Canadians will soon not be permitted to board domestic flights or travel interprovincially on trains and buses unless they have medical exemptions.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra recently stated that the vaccine mandate for travellers would be in place “by no later than the end of October.” Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau confirmed that he would also fully implement the new restrictions if he forms the next government. These would be applied to all federally regulated industries, domestic air travellers, and interprovincial rail, bus, and cruise passengers.
Where the other parties stand on vaccine mandate
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has said his party would not impose mandatory vaccines on public servants or travellers. Rather, he said, under a Conservative government, unvaccinated federal civil servants would be required to take daily COVID-19 tests and unvaccinated travellers would be required to present recent negative test results or pass rapid tests before getting on buses, trains, planes, or ships.
The NDP agrees with the Liberal’s proposed vaccine mandate for federal workers. In addition, they want the promised international travel-focused vaccine passport in place by early September.
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul also said the federal public service vaccine mandate policy was something the party is “considering very seriously.”
What does this mean for travelers?
Under this guideline, it means anyone wanting to travel within Canada can only do so by private transportation or special commercial arrangements.
They will not be allowed to travel on Air Canada, West Jet, Porter Airlines and all the other domestic carriers. Travel on Via rail and interprovincial buses will also not be permitted for Canadians who are not fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated people cannot also go to these places
In addition to travel restrictions, unvaccinated Canadians will soon not be allowed to go to the following places:
Federal public service
According to a government mandate announced in early August, Canadians won’t be allowed to work in federal public service jobs unless they have been fully vaccinated received all of their shots,
The government also announced they expect employers in other federally regulated industries, such as telecommunications, and banking to require vaccinations for their workers.
Planning to go on a cruise? You would also need to provide proof of vaccination to get on board
For anyone unable to get the vaccine for medical reasons, the government has said accommodations, such as enhanced testing and screening, will be set up for them.
Universities and post-secondary institutions
Numerous post-secondary education institutions across Canada have announced that students and staff will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return to campus in the fall.
Many prominent universities in Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba have mandated vaccinations. All other post-secondary institutions are likely to follow soon.
Health care settings
Canadians who refuse to be immunized might also face obstacles if they work in a healthcare setting in certain provinces.
Ontario recently announced that employees, staff, contractors, students, and volunteers at hospitals and home and community care settings will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a medical reason for not being immunized against COVID-19.
RBC, TD, Scotia, BMO, and CIBC are also making vaccines mandatory for all staff who wish to return to the office, and those who don’t comply will have to agree to regular testing.
All the top five banks and many other financial institutions have already sent out emails asking all employees and contractors to register their vaccination status by the end of September.
Immigrants and the vaccine
The initial reluctance to the vaccine in certain immigrant communities has largely eased and more newcomers are signing up for the jab. Previous concern was from various unfounded conspiracy theories.
Migrants and undocumented workers in Canada had also expressed fears of being deported or arrested if the police or the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) potentially gain access to vaccination databases
It’s estimated that there are 1.6 million people without citizenship or permanent status within Canada, and approximately 500,000 of those are undocumented.
The Federal Government has repeatedly assured everyone in Canada, including those who are not citizens about the importance of taking the free vaccine and respecting privacy.
Canada’s 80% goal
Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, but the pace of new inoculations has levelled off in recent weeks. So far, 73% of eligible people (those aged 12 and over) have been fully vaccinated. 80% goal is the next desired milestone.