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‘Divisive, bureaucratic, not evidence based’: University of Toronto professor blasts vaccine passports

'The last thing we need in this challenging, difficult world we live in is one more thing to divide people.'
Thu Jul 15, 2021 - 1:21 pm EST
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TORONTO, Ontario, July 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of vaccine certification requirements being implemented in some Canadian provinces, a bioethics professor at the University of Toronto has publicly stated that “vaccine passports” are unnecessary and will lead to an increase of fear, anxiety, and division among the public.

Dr. Kerry Bowman, Ph.D., also an expert in global health, has been speaking out on the social effects of vaccine passports for some months, and has criticized the implementation of COVID-19 certification policies publicly since at least June, saying that such “passports” are “divisive, they’re bureaucratic, and they’re often not evidence based.”

Within the last few weeks, the Quebec government revealed its intention to require COVID-19 “vaccine” certification in the autumn, should there be another ostensible outbreak of the virus, or a variant thereof, spread throughout the population. 

“The vaccination passport is going to be used if, and only if, transmission or outbreaks justify us doing so in a certain sector of activity, or a given territory,” Health Minister Christian Dubé insisted.

While public services and those deemed essential by the Legault government will not be restricted, others such as gyms, bars, concerts, sporting events, and festivals could be placed on a “moderate” or “high” risk category list, restricting entry to the double jabbed.

The Manitoba administration, in like manner, has initiated an “immunization card” scheme within its province for those who have a Manitoba health card and have “received all required doses of a vaccine (that means for Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca, you require two doses).” Applicants are reminded to wait at least two weeks since their final dose before applying for the certificate, in order to be considered “fully vaccinated.”

As things stand, the scheme allows certified “immunized” individuals to forego quarantine requirements when travelling between provinces as well as an enhanced ability to visit friends and family in hospitals.

So great has been the demand for the certificates that the government website now displays a disclaimer, informing hopeful passport holders of a backlog in production of the cards, and suggesting that “digital cards are available for use immediately” while physical certificates “will be mailed as soon as supplies are available.”

For those who decide not to take the jab in Manitoba, they are advised that “you may not be able to take part in specific activities that can be accessed by individuals who are fully-immunized. You are strongly encouraged to continue to practice physical distancing, wear a mask and reduce contact with people outside your household.”

Bowman criticized the Manitoba government’s approach, explaining that holding restrictions over citizens who don’t take the “vaccines” will place immense pressure on them, essentially coercing them into taking the jab. 

“There’s this anxiety that everyone’s going to need one. And I’m not sure we’re going to need any,” the professor lamented. Manitobans will undoubtedly feel that “if they don’t have this, that they’re going to have really very restricted lives.”

“The last thing we need in this challenging, difficult world we live in is one more thing to divide people,” Bowman added.

Regarding Quebec’s passport scheme, Bowman noted the need for the government to demonstrate why it is necessary to prove immunity to COVID-19 to engage in normal activities, describing the move as “a kind of nudge to the younger generation to get on with it and get vaccinated.”

“But you need to show compelling evidence that you need to do this. Anything that creates divisions among people is very problematic, and freedom of movement is a democratic principle that we don’t talk about,” he said.

“There’s ethical concerns with vaccine passports and I think that, if we use them within our country, there really has to be some strong justification for it,” Bowman told CityNews Montreal. “Where you go for coffee, where you go for dinner, where you go for a drink, all of that is monitored. 

“Some people would say ‘So what?’ But the problem is that your movements are being monitored.”

After qualifying that he is “as pro-vaccine as a person can be,” Bowman asked, “if somebody really doesn’t want a vaccine or doesn’t feel safe taking a vaccine, is it really right that their movements are restricted?”

“It’s good to plan [against contagion] but I don’t think we can enact these plans until we can really justify why we need them,” he concluded.

While critical of the rapid deployment of vaccine certificates at this time, he proposed that the responses from government bodies to the coronavirus crisis “have to be proportional,” arguing that passport schemes might yet be justified “if we have a fourth wave that is profoundly serious and a tremendous threat to all of us. I truly hope that doesn’t happen.”

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Unlike Bowman, who seems to have held his post at the University of Toronto, other academics who have been outspoken on the politics and science related to COVID-19 have found themselves removed from their teaching positions or otherwise blacklisted by the mainstream media and Big Tech.

Dr. Charles Hoff, a medical doctor in the village of Lytton, British Columbia, for example, raised the alarm in April after many of his First Nations patients suffered Bell’s palsy and other neurological defects after receiving shots of the Moderna developed mRNA gene therapy for COVID-19.

A few weeks later, the Internal Health Authority within the province reprimanded the doctor, removing his ability to work in the emergency room due to spreading “vaccine hesitancy.”

“On 29th of April 2021, the Interior Health Authority (IHA) suspended my clinical privileges, for the crime of causing ‘vaccine hesitancy,’ for speaking out about my vaccine injured patients. So I am no longer allowed to work in the ER,” Hoff told True North in a May 25 interview.

“I am still permitted to see patients in my private practice, which is not under the jurisdiction of the Interior Health authority, but I have effectively lost about 50% of my income. This is the price of advocating for the safety of my patients,” he added.

Although both Quebec and Manitoba have signaled a move towards vaccine certification and adjoining restrictions, province leaders Jason Kenny of Alberta and Scott Moe of Saskatchewan have both made strong announcements against the notion of such requirements.

On Monday Kenny announced his opposition to vaccine passports during the annual Calgary Stampede pancake breakfast, stating that “we will not facilitate or accept vaccine passports” in the region. 

“I believe they would in principle contravene the Health Information Act and also possibly the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, we also amended the Public Health Act to remove the 110-year-old power allowing Alberta to force people to be inoculated,” the Alberta Premier confirmed.

While still encouraging vaccine uptake, Moe declared that to ask for any vaccine status “would be a potential violation of health information privacy,” thus asserting that COVID immunity documentation “will not be a provincial requirement in Saskatchewan” in a June 29 press conference.

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here. 

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  kerry bowman, university of toronto, vaccine passports

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