Manitoba's Premier says there are pros and cons to COVID-19 immunization cards.
Brian Pallister says, on the one hand, it might make sense for someone to have to prove they have been vaccinated before boarding a plane or entering a large sporting event.
"Air travel is one of the areas where I think until we have some verification mechanisms it's going to be very, very challenging to effectively open up our air travel to all travellers," says Pallister. "We've had some discussion with our pro sports franchises and that's another example where they understand that for large groups to be allowed there is going to have to be some mechanism that assures, never certainty, but a higher level of public safety."
But, Pallister says he also fears that those without a card might be denied other services. He explains that over the last 11 months, there have been stories in Manitoba of truck drivers being discriminated against and denied services.
With that in mind, he says both himself and the Governor of North Dakota want to make sure this sort of thing does not happen again in the coming weeks.
Pallister says while Manitoba is still months away from everyone having the opportunity to be vaccinated, he is hearing that North Dakota might only be a few weeks away from that same potential.
"What that could mean potentially is a repeat of what we saw in the spring with some coffee shops, even gas stations themselves being reluctant to see truck drivers in their midst, out of fear," explains Pallister. "And we don't want to see that happen in North Dakota because they are all vaccinated and our truck drivers are going down there and try and get goods to market or bring goods back to us."
Pallister says though Manitoba and North Dakota have already been discussing this, it is just the beginning.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg though on the potential dangers of not thinking through a uniform strategy," he explains.
Pallister says he wants to encourage as many people as possible to get the vaccine but says the issue lies during this interim period. He says it is important that the actions we take are in concert with each other, both nationally and potentially internationally.