This week, Premier Jason Kenney announced that restrictions would be gone by the end of March as long as COVID-19 numbers trend downward. He then added on Twitter that it could be even sooner and by the end of February.
Turns out, it may be even sooner than that. United Conservative Party Caucus Chair Nathan Neudorf indicated the vaccine passport system could be nixed “within days.” However, now Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek and some City Councillors are contemplating creating a passport of their own for the city proper.
Online, Ward 13 Councilor Dan McLean wrote the following:
"As many of you know, Premier Kenney has committed to repealing the Vaccine Passport. Unfortunately, this council has a record of debating, issues that are not municipal – like a climate change emergency, Quebec’s Bill 21, and many other issues that are not within our jurisdiction. Now the Mayor and some City Councillors are wanting to get involved in healthcare by implementing a City of Calgary Vaccine Passport."
"I urge this City Council to stay in its lane and focus on issues in our City like crime, homelessness, and getting our spending under control. What do you think? Should Calgary City Council implement a Calgary Vaccine Passport, or should we let the province make the right decisions based on their medical expertise."
Business owners are largely in opposition to further restrictions and support a wholesale repeal.
“It gets me excited,” said restaurant owner Leslie Echino. “I think people would be less afraid to go out, because I think all these rules are making people still stay so fearful in thinking that restaurants are dangerous. All the restrictions that have happened in the last year have happened to fitness and restaurants. We’re one of the industries that is constantly having to evolve and comply and go above and beyond the safety measures required.”
Echino said it would ease staffing concerns, as well as cut down on incidents of staff getting harassed by people who do not want to follow the rules.