Canada

Roy Green: Proof of vaccination in exchange for mask freedom?

Last December, I wrote a commentary on why I will agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

I miss what I couldn’t abide until recently, I wrote at the time, “things like a crowded elevator or sitting beside chattering and chewing patrons at sporting events or the movies. I detest the current reality of standing on spots while waiting to reach a cashier at the supermarket.”

Read more: Roy Green — Why I will agree to be vaccinated (Dec. 4, 2020)

I still miss those things and I suspect you do as well.

Masks, too, made their way into the December opinion piece. “I’m usually invited to climb into the hamster wheel debate concerning the wearing of masks. Does the wearing of masks save lives? Are masks visible evidence of a society’s surrender? You engage in that arm-twisting if you choose. Let me know if it helps.”

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We have travelled a bumpy COVID-19 road since that December commentary. That road is littered with curfews, stay-at-home orders, school closures and limited access to friends and family. It’s a road that also witnessed the eagerly awaited arrival of vaccines.

While 71 per cent of Canadians recently told Ipsos they are “‘angry’ that Canada is falling behind other countries like the U.S. and the U.K. when it comes to the pace of our COVID-19 vaccine rollout.”

Read more: Canadians are angry about vaccine delays and it’s hurting Trudeau’s poll numbers, Ipsos survey shows

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to insist Canadians who wish to be vaccinated will be by September, leading in turn to a series of “then what?” questions.

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When a clear majority of Canadians have been vaccinated, what will be the return for rolling up your sleeve? Will you be free to return to your place of employment? Will mall parking lots again begin to fill?

Will stadiums and arenas repopulate with eager and chanting fans? Will directional arrows disappear from supermarket isles? Will the mandatory wearing of masks at public venues become voluntary? Will we regain access to the way of maskless life stalled by the pandemic?

I will suggest yes, with a trade-off in the form of displaying a proof of vaccination — but not one bearing the contentious title of vaccine passport.

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Read more: No plans for ‘divisive’ vaccine passports for Canadians, Trudeau says

In fact, the PM has assured that Canadians will not be required to bear any such documentation.

I suspect that when so-called national herd immunity numbers are reached, for a significant majority of Canadians, the shedding of masks in return for displaying a certification of vaccination, like the card issued at the time we receive our annual flu shots, will not become an issue of compromising Charter or constitutional rights.

At least not immediately.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.

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