As per the Supplementary Estimates memo, the Public Health Agency of Canada has allocated $17.6 million for a period of three years starting from 2022/23 to sustain the vaccine passport program, as reported by Blacklock’s Reporter. Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the end of the pandemic, Trudeau’s cabinet has budgeted millions to continue the vaccine passport program till 2026.
Health Canada memo
A Health Canada memo dated March 23 — almost a year after Canada withdrew vaccine passport requirements — said the department required further funding to support federal measures “as needed going forward,” reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
“The purpose of the funding is to ensure the continued provision of the Canadian COVID proof of vaccination credentials both as a health record and to facilitate mobility in the context of international travel as well as support the application of public health measures as needed going forward,” said the memo Supplementary Estimates.
As of June 30, 2022, the federal order requiring proof of vaccination for travel is no longer in effect. However, starting in November 2021, Parliament made it mandatory for vaccinated Canadians traveling abroad to use ArriveCAN. Failure to comply may result in a compulsory 14-day quarantine or fines up to $750,000. The costly ArriveCAN app was launched by Parliament in April 2020 as a tool to manage the pandemic. It was meant to streamline the border-crossing process by allowing travelers to upload their quarantine details. However, some Canadians expressed concerns about their personal medical information being widely shared with other government agencies through ArriveCAN.
In 2021, federal authorities stated that vaccination status documents won’t be used for any other purposes. Isabelle Dubois, a spokesperson for the Department of Citizenship, clarified that such documents aren’t meant for identification. Nevertheless, she admitted that there are no federal regulations in place to restrict the usage of these documents.
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