September 7, 2021
Office of the Premier of the Province of Alberta
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
Re: Vaccination Passport Policy
I am concerned about your position against Vaccination Passports for Albertans. You are creating an unsustainable economic, social, health, and political situation by rejecting the Vaccine Passport opportunity.
Vaccine Passports are a very popular idea. A recent Leger poll found that 72% of Albertans support a Vaccine Passport policy, with almost half of Albertans, 47% in Strong Support. Vaccine Passports are a good government policy and have strong popular political support and will make a difference in the success of our economic recovery.
I am an appreciative fully vaccinated Alberta senior citizen. I still voluntarily wear a mask at indoor public spaces. I continue to practice social distancing, hand hygiene and limit my in-person non-essential indoor activities wherever possible.
I want to be a positive contributor to a safe, sustainable, and responsible economic reopening. I can’t function effectively if I am forced to take unnecessary risks of increased COVID infection of myself, my family, and others in the community.
This unwarranted increased risk is due to unnecessary additional risk exposure to unvaccinated people in non-essential public and private services situations. You are enabling this enhanced and expanded risk of infection.
The anti-vaxxer demands for “freedom” to choose not to be vaccinated are still there, even with a Vaccine Passport program. Their personal choice, like all other choices in life, have consequences. In the COVID pandemic, individual rights must not override the health, safety, security, and Charter Rights of the rest of society.
Vaccine Passports will limit the access of the unvaccinated to non-essential activities and services in the interest of continuing COVID containment and control. They have service options, like home delivery of groceries, medications, and other non-essentials.
Your continued rejection of a formal government-issued Vaccine Passport is a seriously missed public health and economic recovery opportunity. Government-issued Vaccine Passports will improve the safety, security, and quality of life for all COVID-conscientious vaccinated Albertans.
It also means fewer pressures on our struggling healthcare system, the caregivers within it, and reduces related hospitalization, ICU, and the sustainability of small local businesses like gyms, bars, restaurants, or the resilience of community organizations in the arts, culture, and recreation.
Vaccine Passports will add greatly to a robust and viable economic recovery that we all aspire to achieve, safely and sustainably. It will also provide clear guidance for responsible non-essential businesses. It is a policy that is enabling them to stay open.
This is because they will have better ways to protect staff and customers from unnecessary risks due to increased exposure to COVID infection by the unvaccinated. They can remain “open for good,” and that includes being part of protecting the good health of COVID-conscientious Albertans.
Your refusal to adopt a Vaccine Passport is not a trade-off between competing values of individual rights versus the protection of the greater good of the society and the economy. In times of pandemics, the balance of serving the public interest must tip towards the protection and safety of the vaccinated and the vulnerable and for the greater good.
I urge you to join your other Conservative-minded Premiers in Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba and now our B.C. neighbors, who are taking up the Vaccine Passport approach. I implore you to immediately institute a Vaccination Passport policy for Albertans.
I, like most Albertans, am looking to you for leadership on this.
K.J. (Ken) Chapman