Front Burner

The debate over vaccine passports is here

As European countries make plans to reopen tourism, this week the federal government promised certification to get Canadians travelling again. We look at the massive practical and ethical implications of vaccine passports with help from Maclean’s writer Marie-Danielle Smith.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen puts on her protective face mask after revealing the EU's plan to roll out Digital Green Certificates at a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on March 17. (Associated Press/John Thys)

This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the federal government is part of ongoing international talks about vaccine certification. Canada's not the only country working on a plan to jump-start international travel with vaccine passports; some sort of system to validate if a citizen has been immunized against COVID-19 or has had a recent negative test result. Overseas, the European Union is betting on what they're calling a "digital green certificate" to eventually bring the tourism industry back to life.

But while it may sound promising, a Canadian vaccine passport poses massive logistical and ethical questions and there's growing debate about what certification could mean domestically across the country. Marie-Danielle Smith is a Maclean's writer in Ottawa who has been following this story. Today she joins CBC Montreal reporter and Front Burner guest host Antoni Nerestant to explain the latest. 

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