Liberal leader Iain Rankin promises a vaccine passport for Nova Scotians.

Rankin announces vaccine passports

The ScotiaPass vaccination certificate is a campaign promise from candidate Iain Rankin, not government policy.

On Monday morning, Iain Rankin made an announcement in Halifax where he introduced a vaccination passport for Nova Scotia called “ScotiaPass.” Rankin didn't announce this as the premier of the province, however, but as a campaign promise coming from the leader of the Liberal Party seeking to win the August 17 election.

“One of our first acts as a re-elected government would be to dig in to ask officials how we could most effectively use a province-wide vaccine certificate,” Rankin said.

For months as premier, Rankin sat beside top doc Robert Strang at provincial COVID briefings as the Strankin leadership team said a vaccine passport would NOT be created for Nova Scotians. “We’re encouraging people to use the CanImmunize app on their phone,” said Strang way back on February 24. “That’s a topic of national conversation,” said Rankin on May 3. “It’s not a priority at this point,” he added.

But today Rankin backed the passport idea, citing rising case numbers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick, and the recent warning from Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, that the country is starting a new wave of COVID infections.  “Our fourth wave is swirling around us,” Rankin said, going on to explain that a vax certificate would allow Nova Scotians to “attend events without fear, while not putting people’s health at risk from the delta variant or other potential variants.”

Rankin listed concerts, gyms, hockey games, theatres and restaurants (which he hinted will soon return to 100 percent capacity) as some of the locations where a ScotiaPass may be required. He gave no indication as to when the ScotiaPass may become a reality, although presumably that will come some time after next Tuesday’s election day if the Liberals form their third consecutive government.

About The Author

Victoria Walton

Victoria has been a full-time reporter with The Coast since April 2020, covering such topics as COVID-19, small business and politics. Originally from the Annapolis Valley, she graduated from the University of King’s College School of Journalism in 2017.

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