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Canadian ethicist says ‘layers of problems’ with ‘inevitable’ vaccine passports

“If the European Union and the Americans and everybody else does it, Canada is going to have to. Otherwise it would be very problematic economically if we didn’t,” said Kerry Bowman.

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University of Toronto professor Kerry Bowman sees no way for Canada and the developed world to avoid vaccine passports despite “layers of problems” involved in their implementation.

“Looking at the global picture, meaning the international picture, I think it’s inevitable,” the teacher of bioethics and global health told the Western Standard.

“If the European Union and the Americans and everybody else does it, Canada is going to have to. Otherwise it would be very problematic economically if we didn’t.”

The federal government has reached the same conclusion. In a tender posted June 7, the Canada Border Services Agency expressed an “urgent need” for contractors to set up a “Biometrics Authority.” Bids close on June 21 and start-up is slated for August 2. The contract runs one year with an option to run a second year.

“Just stamping our feet and saying we’re not doing it is too problematic. It’s not going to work. From a purely philosophical point of view, we could say that, but it’ll be crippling economically to not do it. But that does not mean there’s not layers of problems with it,” Bowman said.

A large concern would be any denial of services to the unvaccinated.

“Would it be legal for a restaurant to say, all of our staff are fully vaccinated – fully – and all clients coming in here are fully vaccinated. Would that be a legal or illegal act? I don’t know. And if they can do it, and they’re trying to recover from this nightmare, they may do it – but what an infringement,” said Bowman.

A Reuters article last January said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was opposed to vaccine passports.

“I think the indications that the vast majority of Canadians are looking to be vaccinated will get us to a good place without having to take more extreme measures that could have real divisive impacts on community and country,” Trudeau said in an interview.

By early May such misgivings were set aside as Canada and other G20 countries agreed to hammer out a common framework for vaccine certification.

Bowman is concerned that people from poorer countries will be left out.

“One of the things that really worries me with this approaching summer of 2021 is that the only people moving around this world are going to be people from high income wealthy countries because everyone else has really not had access to the vaccine at all. So there’s going to be some serious inequities for a period of time in relation to the passports,” Bowman said.

“A lot of people want to get on with it, whether it’s working out of the country or travel, and we don’t have any direction yet as to how it’s going to work or what it’s going to be, so that’s a concern.”

Bowman hopes for the best, but has his doubts.

“My hope, trying to be optimistic, is that things will go very, very well globally as they are nationally…and that these problems will be short lived, and that things…will just improve so quickly that this is just such a short window to worry about,” Bowman said.

“I’m not convinced that’s going to happen, but that’s the most optimistic scenario I can come up with.”

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Erik Tarves

    June 15, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Funny how it was “fake news” just a few months ago.

    But we will see if they can actually implant it

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Hundreds of Albertans protest in front of UCP MLA offices over COVID restrictions

So just a few hours after Kenney brought in the new restrictions on Wednesday, ready they were – and about a dozen MLA offices were picketed.

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He knew they couldn’t stop the government from bringing in even more COVID-19 restrictions, but Jordon Kosik wanted to be ready to show his displeasure.

Operating two Facebook groups, Holding MLAs Accountable and Closed for Fall, Kosik had his 17,000 members ready to protest just hours after Premier Jason Kenney brought in a fourth COVID-19 lockdown, which this time includes vaccination passports.

“A couple of weeks ago, we knew something was happening,” Kosik said in a Thursday interview with the Western Standard.

Protest in front of Nathan Cooper’s office. Photo courtesy Holding MLAs Accountable

“There was nothing we could do to stop it, but what we could do is get ready.”

So just a few hours after Kenney brought in the new restrictions on Wednesday, ready they were – and about a dozen MLA offices were picketed.

Some had a handful of people show up, while others had scores of people.

“This was on organic protest, people in their own ridings,” said Kosik.

And Kovik thinks this won’t be the end of restrictions, with more likely in a couple of weeks.

“To get ready for that we have to network, network, network,” Koik said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Vancouver gangster killed in daylight shooting

Several news sources said the homicide victim was well-known in Vancouver’s illicit drug trade.

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Vancouver cops are on the hunt for an armed killer after a gangster was slain Wednesday during a daylight shooting in Vancouver’s core area.

Amandeep Manj, 35, a known member of the United Nations gang, was shot about 3:30 p.m while sitting inside his car in the parking lot of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel near Canada Place.

Soon after he bloodied body was discovered, paramedics raced to the lot, but Manj was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said they’re convinced the shooting was a targeted hit.

Several news sources said the homicide victim was well-known in Vancouver’s illicit drug trade.

Manj’s brother, Jodh Manj, also died a violent death three years ago when he was killed while leaving a Mexico City gym.

Vancouver Police Const. Tania Visintin told the Vancouver Sun Manj is the city’s 13th homicide of 2021.

She told the paper officers responded to level three of the parkade near Cordova and Burrard streets “after a man was found unresponsive by a witness.” 

Police have made no arrests in the case, and ask anyone who may have information about the shooting to contact Vancouver police.

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COVID vaccines changing their names

The FDA approved new names in the US earlier this summer.

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What’s in a name? Plenty, apparently, when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.

Health Canada announced Thursday it will accept the change in new brand names of the three most common vaccines Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

The Moderna vaccine will go by SpikeVax and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria.

The Pfizer vaccine will now be called Comirnaty, which the company said represents a combination of the terms COVID-19, mRNA, community, and immunity.

CBC said the vaccines didn’t go by their brand name initially, but now that new and more long-term data has been submitted and approved they will go by their permanent name.

Canada is still expected to receive vials labelled Pfizer-BioNTech for the next several months.

The FDA approved new names in the US earlier this summer.

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