For Immediate Release
September 1, 2021
STATEMENT: Mayor Crombie Responds to the Ontario Government’s Enhanced Vaccine Certificate Program
“I sincerely thank the Government of Ontario and Premier Doug Ford for announcing today a province-wide enhanced vaccine certificate program that will require Ontario residents 12 and older to show proof of vaccination, or a medical exemption, before entering certain non-essential indoor settings where masking is not always possible, starting on September 22, 2021.
This is a critical tool to limit the impacts of the fourth wave of the virus, which is being driven by the more transmissible Delta Variant. An enhanced vaccine certificate program will protect our residents, health care system, schools and ensure we avoid the blanket closures that devastated so many Ontario small businesses over the past year and a half.
For weeks, I have been strongly advocating for a proof of vaccination program, along with other mayors across Ontario, health experts and chambers of commerce. All Ontarians, and all Ontario businesses, need a universal and secure system to easily prove and confirm vaccination status in a number of different settings.
I am very relieved the Government of Ontario will be creating an online app that will allow Ontarians to safely display their vaccination status on their mobile devices through a unique QR code, expected to be released on October 22, 2021. In the interim, Ontarians will be required to show their downloaded paper or digital receipt of vaccination, along with government photo identification, to enter certain non-essential settings, beginning on September 22, 2021.
I am very thankful the Government of Ontario will also launch a new app to make it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify that a digital vaccine certificate is valid, while protecting the privacy of Ontarians.
With many employers now implementing their own vaccination policies, including the City of Mississauga, the new enhanced vaccine certificate program will make it easier for employees to provide their vaccine status to their places of employment.
But above all else, the new enhanced vaccine certificate program will protect the health of Ontarians and our health care system. We know that vaccines are incredibly effective at reducing severe cases of COVID-19. According to provincial data, unvaccinated individuals are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 48 times more likely to go into intensive care due to the virus. The enhanced vaccine certificate will help us avoid the situation we were in earlier this year, when ICU capacity across the province was stretched to its limits, when elective surgeries were cancelled, and when many intensive care doctors feared decisions would have to be made on who did and didn’t receive life-saving care.
I once again thank the Government of Ontario for taking this important step. I thank the more than 72 per cent of Peel residents who are now fully vaccinated and for continuing to follow public health guidelines.”