Toronto, ON, Thursday, August 19, 2021 – The Mayor’s announcement this morning of a mandatory vaccination policy for City of Toronto employees is the latest in a growing momentum of leaders taking action. These and other policies are appropriate measures in response to a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases and will help prevent another lockdown for businesses categorized as non-essential, especially in areas where lockdown is most likely.
The Mayor’s announcement this morning of a mandatory vaccination policy for City of Toronto employees is the latest in a growing momentum of leaders taking action. These and other policies are appropriate measures in response to a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases and will help prevent another lockdown for businesses categorized as non-essential, especially in areas where lockdown is most likely.
The call from businesses – especially our small businesses – has been clear: they urgently need a single, standardized way to identify and communicate COVID status. This responsibility should not sit with individual businesses to determine.
We at the Toronto Region Board of Trade have been championing what we’re calling the COVID Safe Pass – a practical and anonymized tool that conveys someone has been vaccinated or had a recent negative test.
We urge the provincial and federal governments to move quickly to adopt a framework as described and, notably, is like what is being used in many jurisdictions around the world.
All levels of government must work together for this to happen quickly and effectively. No single city can act alone, and all require support from the provincial government for a consistent framework across Ontario – one with clear parameters to avoid fragmentation, patchwork approaches or confusion. They’ve already done so in Ontario, with a “Roadmap to Reopen.” Now is the time to update that framework to integrate COVID Safe Passes and clearly communicate what will happen to non-essential businesses if cases continue to grow.
Our business members are not the only ones insisting on this. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Destination Toronto, Colleges Ontario, Council of Ontario Universities, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Ontario Medical Association, Ontario's Big City Mayors, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Innovation Corridor Board of Trade and Chamber members, and many others have made similar calls.
Every day that the number of local cases ticks up, we lose ground on this issue. We cannot wait until the situation escalates further before we act. All three levels of government must work together to produce a framework for COVID Safe Passes – culminating in a plan to address the fourth wave and prevent a future lockdown by allowing people with passes to visit nonessential businesses.
Considering vaccine efficacy and world-leading uptake in the province, there is absolutely no reason to return to lockdowns. We must prepare ourselves now
About Toronto Region Board of Trade
The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.
Andrew Perez, Media Relations Manager