City Council must keep vaccine passports in Calgary

Jason Kenney has capitulated to the fringe, anti-vaxx UCP members to save his leadership

While more than 86% of Albertans over the age of 12 have come together to fight COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, Jason Kenney has abruptly and senselessly capitulated to the demands of rural anti-vaxxers and foreign funded, white supramicists that are illegally occupying Ottawa and blockading the US-border, to try to save his job as leader of the UCP.


Jason Kenney is caving to the rural, anti-vaxxers within the UCP to save his leadership. (Image source: CBC)


This abrupt decision to end public health protections as hospitalizations due to COVID hit an all-time high in the province and as deaths continue to mount (39 deaths last weekend alone), appears to have been made despite opposition from  businesses, municipalities, school boards, and health care experts. The Calgary Chamber of Commerce said the decision was “akin to ripping the Band-Aid off before the wound has healed".


Vaccine passports work and are still needed to encourage booster shots as new Omicron variants spread

Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption (a.k.a. vaccine passport) Program has been successful in encouraging vaccine uptake and increasing consumer confidence in visiting businesses. (Source: CBC News).


Studies prove that vaccine mandates in Canada, Italy, France and Germany have been successful in increasing vaccine uptake and reducing the burden on healthcare. In Canada, the unvaccinated have been hospitalized at a rate 5.4 times that of the double-vaccinated and 11.2 times higher than the triple-vaccinated. 

While the Omicron variant has proven more resilient against two-doses, studies are showing that booster shots improve protection against the latest variants. Of the eligible population in Alberta, only 34.1% have received their third dose of vaccine. A vaccine passport program that asks for proof of a third-dose of vaccine would encourage more Albertans to get their boosters.


Healthcare workers are exhausted and our healthcare system is overwhelmed under the UCP’s mismanagement

Our healthcare system is overwhelmed, and our health care workers are still burnt out, and being attacked and demoralized. Hospital ICU capacity (including temporary field hospitals) is currently at 82% (without surge beds, we are at 114% capacity). The backlog of surgeries delayed by COVID in Alberta now sits above 80,000. We have the chance now to prevent even further strain on healthcare workers and hospitals by increasing third-dose vaccine uptake.

85% of Calgarians are united in getting vaccinated against COVID-19. (Source: City of Calgary, February 9, 2022)

Calgary and Edmonton have the power to uphold masking and vaccine passport programs to keep citizens and businesses safe

In 2020, both Calgary and Edmonton took the lead on implementing mask bylaws during the vacuum of leadership before the provincial government implemented their own. On Wednesday, Edmonton City Council showed leadership by voting unanimously to explore options to continue the province’s Restriction Exemption Program (REP) (a.k.a. vaccine passport), which Edmonton City Manager stated is “within its authority”. We need Calgary City Council to show leadership too.