Canada immigration news: A nationally-standardized vaccine passport system is being launched by all the provincial and territorial governments in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday.
“All provinces and territories have confirmed that they will be moving forward with a national standard of proof of vaccination,” said the Canadian prime minister on Oct. 21.
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Those vaccine passports will all have the same look and feel and the cost will be covered by Ottawa but they will be issued by each province and territory in Canada.
They will be used for several things, including international and domestic travel.
“Effective Oct. 30, all travellers 12 years of age and older departing from Canadian airports, and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, will be required to be fully-vaccinated in order to travel,” states the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
“To allow travellers time to become fully-vaccinated, there will be a short transition period where they will be able to travel if they show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel as an alternative to providing proof of full vaccination. If travellers have not already started the vaccination process, or do not start soon, they risk not qualifying for travel as of Nov. 30.”
On Thursday, Trudeau said Ottawa would cover the cost of these vaccine passports.
Federal Government To Cover Costs
“We will be picking up the tab for it at the federal level so that all the provinces can move forward with it,” said Trudeau.
Canada has recovered 100 per cent of the jobs it lost during the pandemic. There are sectors, though, that are still hard hit, especially restaurants, bars and hotels. Vaccine passports are being heralded as a way for Canada to return to normal operations.
“We can end this pandemic and move forward to the thing we love … Avoid further lockdowns,” said Trudeau.
Under a deal with Pfizer, Canada has secured millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccine to be administered to children aged five to 12 years old. That vaccination program is controversial, with many in Canada insisting the country should not be vaccinating such young children against Covid-19.
“I do not agree with the vaccine being given to kids under 12,” said one Twitter user within minutes of the announcement. “Nobody has looked into the long-term effects of these vaccines … i will not stand by this.”
The country, whose Covid-19 assistance programs for individual Canadians and businesses will end on Oct. 23 as scheduled, is putting a new set of Covid-19 assistance programs that are to be more targeted to those sectors that need it most.
Economy Has Regained All Jobs Lost During Pandemic
“The fourth wave seems to be coming under control in most parts of the country,” said Chrystia Freeland, the country’s deputy prime minister and minister of finance, today. “Our economy has rebounded and we are winning the fight.”
In its bid to rebuild its economy, Canada’s federal government remains firmly committed to immigration.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino has said the country is planning to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 and 2023 with 401,000 new permanent residents to Canada in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth,” said Mendicino. “Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table.
“As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves,” he said. “Our plan will help to address some of our most acute labour shortages and to grow our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage.