TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford said he believes that the ‘vast majority’ of Ontarians are complying with the COVID-19 vaccine passport protocols amid reports of counterfeit documents.
Speaking at a news conference in Caledon, Ont. on Wednesday, Ford said that nowadays “you can duplicate or fraudulently print anything you want” and that his government has been leaning on individual business owners to watch out for fakes.
“If someone wants to find loopholes or break the law, they’re going to find it,” Ford said. However, the premier added that he believes that the “vast majority” of Ontarians are following the rules.
Ford’s comments come a day after Health Minister Christine Elliott was asked to address the issue of fake vaccine passports allegedly being used in the province.
“Counterfeiting is—we’re obviously dealing with that and investigating wherever we understand that this is happening,” Elliott said.
Ontario’s vaccine passport system was rolled out in two parts, with the vaccine certificate going into effect on Sept. 22, followed by the more secure QR code a month later.
As indicated by the premier, the original vaccine certificate is easy to duplicate as the document itself consists of text on a white page with a Ministry of Health watermark in the background.
Both the certificate and the QR code must be accepted by all businesses where proof of vaccination is required until the use of the system begins to relax on Jan. 17 at the earliest.
It’s unclear if the first iteration of the program will be phased out before that date, though Elliott said Tuesday that “it’s going to take some time” before the government switches over to a QR code-only system.
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